Rock Climbing: Best Workout Ever?

It's a bird! It's a plane. No, it's Davey Wavey...

You’ve probably heard someone say, “Exercise can be fun!” And you’ve probably had the immediate reaction of rolling your eyes. But not so fast!

Today, I had an opportunity to visit a local rock climbing gym. Surprisingly, they’re becoming increasingly common in old factories or warehouses around the world. For just , I received equipment, training and a day’s worth of access to the gym and rock walls. Monthly and yearly memberships are also available for discounted rates.

Rock climbing is an incredible workout for a number of reasons.

First, it combines strength training and cardiovascular exercise. You’ll be surprised how quickly your heart starts pumping and your pores start sweating. In terms of intensity, rock climbing is the caloric equivalent of about a 7 MPH running pace. For someone my size, it’s about 800 calories and hour.

Second, it hits muscles that are usually pretty difficult to exercise – namely your forearm muscles. The major forearm muscles are brachioradialis, pronator teres, flexor carpi radialis, palmaris longus and flexor carpi ulnaris – and all five get a major workout as grapple across rocks, pull yourself up and grip the holds. You’ll also work your upper arm muscles (biceps, triceps, deltoids), quadriceps and calf muscles.

Third, it’s super fun! Rock climbing something different – and it’s a lot more exciting and interesting than doing forearm exercises with free weights. It breaks your routine and can do a decent job shocking your muscles. It’s also a great idea for a creative date night. Just saying.

If I’ve convinced you to try rock climbing (and I hope I have!) then check out the international rock climbing gym directory to find a gym near you.

About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.


  1. The biggest thing to remember when rock climbing is to use your legs. Don’t support your body weight with only your arms. Also, keep your body as close to the rock as possible.

    • Totally true! I always say to beginners as they are struggling on the wall, “Bring your feet up!”

  2. I love rock climbing ๐Ÿ™‚ Were you afraid to let go of the wall when you reached the top? It took me a little minute to collect myself before letting go when I first started. I got to name a new course because I was the first to complete it. Are you going back anytime soon?

  3. Both my roomies are climbers at the local gym. I thought I was in decent shape but, man alive the skinny boys were so much better at it than I am ! I was surprised at how hardcore it was.

  4. Davey, I’m so excited that you tried rock climbing! I’ve been climbing for 2 years now and I absolutely love it. It’s great to get a climbing buddy or buddies that can go with you on a weekly basis. In Atlanta we have a Facebook group for local gay climbers. If you do some research, you may find a gay climbing group in Rhode Island. And it’s always fun to see who’s on Grinder at the rock gym. XD

  5. wingkit lu says:

    i tried it a few times in my school rockclimbing club, and even though it was really intense, i have a really bad fear of heights! i gave up eventually!


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