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)."