Most men have an innate desire to be fit and strong. Those of us who grew up idolising the likes of Arnie or World’s Strongest Man winners Magnús Ver Magnússon or Mariusz Pudzianowski have always appreciated that a bit of muscle can go a long way. But all muscles aren’t earned from time spent throwing iron around down the gym.
There are other ways to develop that super strength and flat out fitness you’ve always dreamed of, and through sports you might never have considered taking up.
First up we’re going to put the spotlight on Bouldering. Bouldering is a type of rock climbing where no ropes or harnesses are used. A bag of chalk for the hands and a tight pair of climbing shoes is pretty much the only kit required to start climbing. It can be done for a fairly nominal entry fee on an indoor wall of which there is an abundance of in the UK.
These walls are usually around 20 foot tall and surrounded with thick crash mats to help avoid any major injuries, or for the more seasoned climber an outdoor setting can provide an altogether different experience.
Head down to your nearest indoor climbing wall and you’ll encounter some of the buffest bodies you’ve ever seen. There’s more lean muscle knocking about here than on a Belgian Blue.
And it’s no coincidence this is the case, once you try it for yourself you’ll soon find out why it can be a taxing sport perfect for muscle development. After scaling the wall for the first few times the lactic acid starts building up in your forearms and you start to feel some serious burn.
Aside from the climbing, most centres have a training zone that houses implements that would look more in place in a torture chamber than your local gym.
Here you can hone your skills by doing insanely hard pull-ups hanging onto metal balls at the end of a length of chain, improve your grip strength by hanging by your fingers from small holes, or grab a set of Olympic rings and attempt some Bulgarian dips before you realise just how strong these climbers must be as they just did twenty to your one without batting an eye lid.
There’s a purity about this discipline that you wouldn’t get with ropes and a harness, its just you utilising strength and movement to conquer the various challenges of different climbs. There’s also a grace to it, watching experienced climbers take on seriously difficult overhanging sections with little to hold onto as they snake up a wall is a wonder to behold.
It’s an activity that with a bit of dedication can help you get ripped as you grip. Climbing is a sport that uses the whole-body, a total workout in one. It works the lats, biceps and forearms most but utilizes all muscle groups at some point.
Just check this clip out to see the crazy strength on display in committed climbers:
So do yourself a favour find out where your nearest climbing wall is and give it a go. After no time you’ll be the envy of your gym buddies as you knock out one-handed pull-ups without spilling a bead of sweat.
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