A few tips, before you give the old gerbil wheel a spin:
Pad well: With 4–5 inches of dense foam. Motor on: Look for motorized walls that can change angles. Manual versions, or those powered by the climber’s momentum, can feel slow. Brewer Fitness and Climb Station offer both motorized and angle-adjustable models. Get swole: To up the ante, wear a weight vest during higher-intensity training. Start with between 5 and 10 percent of your body weight. Add weight up to 15 percent of body weight. When that becomes too easy, change the hold sequence or steepness to add difficulty. Get set: For longer routes, number the holds in addition to having them color-coded or taped—doing so lets you “skip” holds on the fly, keeping you from gravitating toward the same sequences and helping to prevent repetitive-use injuries. Clock in: Keep a stopwatch or smartphone with timing app handy. To stay cool as the pump mounts, use a fan.