Climbing is definitely an adventure, but it’s also a fun way to stay fit. Sonu Kumar Sherval, 24, an instructor at Gold’s Gym, Mumbai, which offers climbing as a workout, elaborates: “Climbing helps you work out various muscle groups in your arms and legs simultaneously, building stamina, improving grip and coordination. “The best part is, anyone can do it,” he adds. The gym offers a 20-ft wall to its members.
If climbing a stationary wall isn’t challenging enough for you, you can even try out the new Cliff, created by six men in their 20s, who wanted to replicate their rock climbing experience indoors. Vinay Savla and five brothers — Akash, Deepak, Neel, Rajesh and Sandeep Karani — developed a moving ‘wall’, complete with different kinds of foot and hand holds like the jug-hold, the pinch and the crimp. The planks move as if on a conveyer belt, and the holds are screwed on at different points.
You can change the angle of the wall, dipping it to 135 degrees to get a taste of scaling an overhang, and increase the speed to up to 50 feet per minute, increasing the level of difficulty.
Dr K Sen Ray, a reader at the department of Sports Science and Nutrition in SNDT Women’s University, tested the Cliff for its medical and health benefits and found a direct correlation between the angle of the climb and the muscle group exercised. A lower incline exercised the back and calves, while the higher ones exercise the shoulders and fingers. Climbing also helps improve heart and lung function, grip strength and concentration.
If you’re wondering whether climbing an artificial wall is as challenging as the real thing, listen to this. Ram Vengulakar, 28, an instructor at the 43-foot Arun Samant Climbing Wall in Goregaon, Mumbai, says, “Climbing a wall requires as much concentration and mental alertness as climbing a natural rock-face.”