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Top Training Tips from Jo Neame

Jo Neame
Photo: Alex Messenger
18 year old GB team member Jo is determined to leave her mark on the UK climbing scene. Well versed in competition climbing, Jo's giving us some top training tips for those of you pushed for time!

Now the competition season is finally over, it’s time to take a moment to breath, de-stress and of course...restart the training process to build a good base over winter so that I can come back stronger next season! As a competition climber and student currently studying for A-levels, I often find myself organising time I simply don’t have. Busy as I am, I know many people share my situation or something similar, but there are definite ways of getting more out of the time you do have. Here are my five favourite possessions for fitting in training when it would otherwise be impossible:

  • Training plan: the hardest to purchase/make but definitely the most important! Whether you’re paying for a professional coach or creating your own, make sure you have a long-term goal in mind so that you are motivated to follow the plan and keep it varied. The best way to make the most of your time is to know beforehand what you intend to complete each session – if you don’t manage to follow this exactly, don’t worry, as a plan can have some flexibility and it is the long-term commitment that has an effect. However, if you enter the centre with an idea of how you will share your time, you will almost certainly get more done, and if you can’t go climbing, you’ll have a good idea of the type of training you can substitute in to keep progressing. 


  • Suspension trainer: most opt for the TRX but there are other cheaper brands. These are excellent for taking on holiday, on a run in the park or if you simply can’t get to the wall and want to train at home. With just a tree branch or a door frame, you can do a full body work out which is varied and flexible to suit different time frames, abilities and goals.


  • Fingerboard: I wouldn’t recommend using these unless you have been climbing for a while as it is very easy to get injured. However, they are a very useful tool for improving finger strength as well as upper-body and core strength depending on your use. You can get small portable ones which are ideal for taking on trips/holidays, but also larger ones to screw into your door frame when you want to train at home.


  • Ankle weights: again, I would be careful using these and don’t go too heavy if you haven’t used them before! Even small weights (I normally use just 1kg on each leg) can make training much harder, allowing you to better control the training resistance if you only have access to limited facilities. For example, they are perfect for increasing the difficulty of endurance training when the facilities available aren’t getting you pumped. They can also be taken on holiday to add resistance to core workouts and finger-boarding sessions.


  • Thera-bands: you can get these in a variety of thicknesses and lengths so I would advise having a collection. These are perfect for lower intensity training or correcting joint movement patterns which can help prevent injury. They can also be used to help rehab injuries, provided they’re used correctly and you do so according to the right advice! I always find them useful in a warm-up to get the shoulders firing but they can be used for a workout by themselves or to aid other exercises on the bar. Again, very portable and can be used anywhere. 

If you want to follow more of Jo's exploits, you can find her on Facebook and Instagram