Bouldering 4×4’s: Tips & Tricks

For the pebble wrestlers (aka boulderers) of the Salt Pump scene, it can sometimes be challenging to work anaerobic / power endurance. We have the most fun, after all, when we work our projects and climb at our max, so spending the time building fitness can seem boring or uninspiring. One interesting way to do so is the ‘4×4’ workout.

The concept is simple, really: after warming up, choose four problems that you can do but not easily. If there aren’t any that are easy enough, try adding foot or hand holds to existing ones. Climb each one four times (whether you do the four problems in sequence, and then repeat the sequence four times, or do one problem at a time, four times each one, is up to you). Allow as little rest as possible between problems within the set, and then rest for about the amount of time it took to do the set between each set. At the end, it is 16 problems, climbed in 25-30 minutes, and you’ll be ‘worked’, guaranteed.

The trick is making sure the problems are difficult enough to cause you to “redline,” but not so hard that you blow your engine. -Steve Bechtel

There are many ways to change this concept up – such as by doing it with roped routes instead of boulder problems (this would be more a straight endurance workout instead of power endurance), or changing the numbers to 3×5 or 6×2, etc, or by incorporating down climbs instead of jumping off within the sets. This is a great workout to do with a friend, so you can cheer each other on while resting.

Read here for more details and ideas for alternative power endurance workouts. And then go git it!