Adam Ondra's training regime

Here's a collection of training tidbits from the world's best climber.

Adam Ondra's training regime

"I train more or less just by climbing. How simple! I train on couple of small bouldering walls, where I train endurance and bouldering power as well. I rarely climb indoor with rope because there are not good walls enough in the city. The way I train depends on what I am training for. If I am preparing for bouldering, I do just lot of hard boulders. If I train endurance I do laps. I figure out usually 20 move lap and try to climb 3 times. 60 moves are usually more than enough. [See Upskill article on circuits] Good trick how to become stronger is to use ONLY micro footholds for your feet. You work on your power and precise footwork at the same time. I do not train more than 3 days in a row."

Getting good fast

"I would not say I have become better fast. I have been getting stronger more or less the same level a year since I was 8. In my early steps in climbing I climbed just onsights and sometimes 10 routes a day."

What do you do?

"Rock – sport climbing 85%, bouldering 15%.

Plastic – most of the time I train on bouldering walls, but on these bouldering walls I train endurance as well
[see above]. I only climb indoor routes around twice a month. In winter, I climb on plastic five days a week, for two to three hours a day. During all other seasons, I usually climb on the rock, even after school and only on plastic for two weeks before the competitions."

Training partners?

"More than half of the time I train alone. If I don't train alone, I love to climb with my sister, when we're bouldering it works quite well, we only have to figure out two different variations on the problems. I also train with Martin Stranik or I sometimes go to train with Tomas Mrazek, who has a really good bouldering wall in his house."

No hangboarding, no campus-boarding?

"Yeah, I train just in winter on small bouldering walls. The only exception when I go climbing indoor is time before European Youth Series and Youth World Championship."

Fitting climbing in with school

"My training has been just climbing two hours on the wall, so still a lot of time remains for me to study something if it is essential. In fact we go climbing abroad more or less just at weekends, so I do not miss school too much. Not enormously more than my classmates. Only on the rare occasions that we go climbing for longer trips. There are usually a few hectic school days after my arrival home from such a trip, but on the other hand - what one would not do for 14 days of climbing..."

Diet and nutrition

"I care about what I eat and try eat in some healthy way and to get enough proteins and vitamins, try to think what would be good dinner for fast recovery and so on, but I do not restrict myself in amount of food. When I am hungry, I eat. I have advantage that I can really a lot and I do not put on weight.

My favourite meal is pasta with various sauces before a climbing day and fish with basmati rice or couscous before a rest day."

What does Adam recommend for other people's training?

"If they start climbing, to climb many easy routes on the rocks onsight to get good technique. It is hard to get technique when you can do 10 one-arm pull-ups. Better to train power later. For [an already] exceptional climber, it is hard to advise. It depends on what you want train. But for sure it is important to have some base."

Adam Ondra on injuries

"I have a curved spine (like all climbers), but as well mine is also curved to one side. Because of it I am training mostly on an exercise ball, specifically some exercises in order to train the muscles around my backbone. Anyway, I have been lucky with some other injuries. Once I fell quite badly under the second bolt, head-first, but fortunately the only result was a lump."

Secrets of success

"Hard to say, success depends on many factors, I think. Firstly, I have big talent for climbing and had the best conditions possible to work on my talent, thanks to my parents. I had possibility to climb outdoors all the time and to improve my technique and efficiency in climbing. Secondly, I became soon totally obsessed by climbing. If you train and climb by your heart and passion, everything goes way easier. What more? I do not know, maybe the way of my climbing (fast, efficient and, if everything is OK, precise)."

Climbkalymnos interviews Lee Cujes, the premier site of all things Kalymnos just published an interview with me.

I talk about some random stuff, as well as the camps we ran in Kalymnos this year and why I reckon the place is so good.

Click this link to check it out.

Ask The Coach #5: Mental Training

So while I was in Kalymnos running our climbing camps I had ample opportunity to do weakness assessments on a stack of climbers (self included). I kept seeing the same weaknesses popping up again and again, and most of them had nothing to do with our physical selves.

I always say it. Climbing = 80% mental.

So, I thought it was high time to address some mental training. It's an area I'm very interested in, and I reckon all climbers can make good gains simply by paying attention to what's going on upstairs.

Oh yeah, go subscribe to ROCK. It's $31.95 per year.

Kalymnos 2 Week Photo Essay

Just arrived home in Oz so we're going for a full Joe Kinder/Coletteloc style photo dump from the last two weeks in Kalymnos. Some of these don't even fit on this blog template. You know what? I don't care, it's art.

Enjoy the eye candy.

Lee, Hogo Fogo 7c flash
Kre, Island In The Sun 7a+

Kre, Biloute 7a

Have you been to Olympic Wall? It's awesome, especially when it's cold.

Danny, King Cobra 7c+.
It's not every day I can say I put the gear up for Hayden Kennedy.

Kaly medal

The Coaches! Lee and Robbie.
Sam, Ciao Vecio 6c

Kre, Fouska 7a

The fingers of Robbie Phillips, hand model.                                                                  .
My biggest effort send of the trip, Sardonique 8a.

Sam, Pterodactyl 6b+


Danny, Houftasaurus 7b
Me. Time for tape.
Fred, Fossil Wall 6c

Advanced rigging? WTF?                                                                             .
My hardest send on rainy last day - Punto Caramelo 8a+. Click this to enjoy it more.
Danny celebrates
Matt Nance, Rendez With Platon 8a+/b
Lee, St Saavas 7b+ onsight
Team Oz: Lee, Sam, Danny
Thanks Kaly.

Gotta love the big trips away. Kaly 2011 was one to remember. These trips fuel my psyche for training hard at home, devising interesting local projects to keep motivation high, and working hard for $$$ to fund the next adventure.

Bring on the next one.

Video: Upskill Kaly 2.0

This video is a memoir of our final Kalymnos climbing camp of 2011. Enjoy!

Kalymnos 2011 - Trip Report 11 (The finale! Odyssey & the SG)

This is the end my friends. The final trip report from Upskill 2011 Kalymnos climbing camps. This'll be a good-un though, so read on for your last little hit of Kalymnos for the year.


A bit of a fave, you've probably gathered by now. Day nine of climbing and there were some tired bodies! But only two days of climbing left, so time to pull out all the stops and give it heaps!

Besides, it had to be Odyssey, as Bo refused to leave the island without Atena 6b+ in her satchel.

We headed up to the left side of the cliff which is home to a whole host of 20m high pitches. Most are tufa-laden, and quite hard, hovering around 7b, although there are a couple of easier routes.

Mythos 6b+ provided a warm up for Owen and Bo, while Andy and Susy found Feta 6c to be exceedingly 'warming' :) I put the gear up on Kulturistika 7b which had caught Andy's eye and Island In The Sun 7a+ which had Owen and Susy's name on it.

Owen ticking off Island in the Sun 7a+. Look at those tufas!
Sam is on climber-watch.
Enough rock for ya?

  • Andy had several solid burns on Kulturistika 7b which ended up going with one fall. Next year!
  • Andy also went up Island In The Sun 7a+ with a rest and proclaimed it Mega Classic, like everything he got on on this end of the wall. Another 2012 project.
  • Bo sent her project Atena 6b+!
  • Susy ticked Feta 6c and came within a metre of sending the powerful Island In The Sun 7a+
  • Owen went on a spree with sends of Mythos 6b+, Feta 6c, Island In The Sun 7a+, Satyros 6c+, Il Gigante E La Bambina 6c+ and Morfeas 6b+. He actually did 10 pitches of climbing on the day.

Bo is happy. She bagged Atena 6b+ on her second shot of the day. Stoked!
"We can leave the island now Andy ... Andy?"

Bloody knuckles, chalky digits. This is the life we love :)


Last year Andy set the challenge. One large margarita pizza from Prego Restaurant. He didn't achieve the send in 2010 and was up for setting the bar this year. All camp he was talking up the training he'd been doing over the past year and how this time, he'd smash it.

What he didn't bank on was having a couple of challengers to the title.

A double thumbs up photo is required to start the challenge.
Facial examination: 100% confidence.
I thought I would up the ante by adding salami to the margarita. This gives a higher degree of difficulty to the challenge.
Facial examination: 60% confidence.

Owen went for broke ordering the Mexican. Extremely high degree of difficulty.
Facial examination: 40% confidence.
And now ... the results!

Valiant effort from the Hustler - two pieces remaining with all crusts gone.
Next year mate?
Done and dusted! Dual 2011 champions.

SECRET GARDEN - the final day!

We loved it so much the first time, we thought it would be an ideal place to finish.

Bo starts up Achinos 6b

Susy crushing tufa blobs on Melodrama 7a

Susy on the final tufa curtain of Melodrama 7a. She flashed it!

Andy blitzes up the start of Ballos 7b+ (we think more like 7b).

Susy going for broke on Bratsera 6c+
Don't downgrade this Aris! Sam will come for you! :)

  • Susy was absolutely torched. But still managed to redpoint Bratsera 6c+ and flash Melodrama 7a
  • While the number might not look impressive, Owen's onsight of the pitch one slab of The Flood Gates 6c+ was "one of the best onsight fights I've done on Kalymnos". Hell yes it was! I got on after Owen to warm-up and nearly fell in several places. Super technical and hard!
  • Owen's clean redpoint and Andy's one-hang on Ballos 7b+ (we actually thought 7a+/b because the routes are so squeezed in here)


We always like to find out what our guys thought was the best route they climbed all trip. And here they are:

Bo: Pirates of Kalymnos 6b+, Sector Ghost Kitchen
Andy: Nickel 7a+, Sector Kalydna
Susy: DNA 7a, Sector Grande Grotta
Owen: Ixion 7a, Sector Kalydna

Upskill Kalymnos 2011 Team #2
Thanks guys, you're legends!


Well it's been another amazing season here in Kalymnos and both the camps we've run have been terrific. The great thing about having such a high return rate from our team members is that we get to see their progress from year to year. I can honestly say that the crew climbed better on this trip than I have ever seen them climb before. Love that.

Climbing is an evolution. Rarely do people have a linear progression of non-stop "getting better". We all have other things going on in our life, different amounts of time we can devote to climbing and training, injuries which crop up and hamper us, weird mental blocks, loss of confidence or decreased motivation.

What I have personally learnt is that one of the most valuable things I can do as a coach is help people discover (or more commonly, re-discover) the pure joy which is at the heart of climbing. If you can remember why you loved climbing in the first place and re-connect with that, improvement will take care of itself.

We have the trip video coming soon but in the meantime I want to sincerely thank you all for reading. 

Now go have some fun on the wall :)