5 Tips to Increase Focus During Training

August 29, 2022

Mountain climbing is demanding both mentally and physically. Mountaineers must have unyielding focus, determination, and mental toughness to overcome failure. Physically, mountain climbing pushes the body, unlike any other sport.

Successful expeditions require physical preparation to improve your current levels of endurance and strength. It also requires training the mind. Keep reading for tips to increase focus during training for your next big climb.

Be present during training

When you climb, it is imperative to your safety and success that you learn how to stay in the moment and be present. When you are present, you are able to stay focused and alert to any possible risks or dangers, avoid any distractions, and concentrate on your next step.

Try to keep your mind from wandering, as a mind focused on what happened earlier that day or what you need from the store is not allowing you to anticipate your next move.

Staying in the present moment also means not getting ahead of yourself. You may have just succeeded in a difficult maneuver, but don’t celebrate just yet. There will be plenty of time for a celebration once you’ve reached the top.

When you are doing physical training for climbing, eliminate all distractions and allow yourself to be fully present. Whether you are strength training, stretching, or climbing the wall, practice being mindful and present. Put your phone away, put the headphones away, and really allow your mind to connect with your body. If you train for climbing mindfully, you will climb mindfully.

Box breathing

Box breathing, also known as square breathing, is a breath technique used by police officers, Navy SEALs, nurses, and athletes. It’s a technique that can increase focus and concentration while also mitigating the effects of stress.

Evidence suggests that practicing intentional deep breathing can have a calming effect on the autonomic nervous system (ANS).

The ANS controls involuntary body functions. It can reduce blood pressure and provide a sudden feeling of tranquility.

Holding the breath allows CO2 to build up in the blood. Higher levels of blood CO2 enhance the inhibitory response of the vagus nerve when you exhale and activate your parasympathetic system. This creates a calm and relaxed feeling in the mind and body.

To practice box breathing, exhale all the air in your lungs to a count of four, hold your lungs empty for a four-count, inhale for four, and hold the air in your lungs for a count of four before exhaling and repeating the pattern.

Take cold showers or a cold plunge

Cold showers and ice water baths are all the rage these days, but could this frigid trend actually improve your focus and performance while climbing?

Proponents of cold water immersion suggest that it leaves them feeling invigorated, clear-headed, and better able to handle stress. Some people even say that it has helped them cope with grief, anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges.

Some researchers believe that adapting to the shock of cold water can improve a person’s ability to manage other stressful events. This is why cold water immersion may increase focus and concentration during mountain climbing.

When you take a cold shower or a cold plunge, your body produces a stress response. The rush of cold water turns on the sympathetic nervous system, also known as the “fight or flight” response. When it’s activated, your body releases the stress hormones norepinephrine, cortisol, and adrenaline. Exposing your nervous system to small amounts of these stress hormones can build your tolerance to stress over time.

If you can build your tolerance to stress, you may be able to better handle the adrenaline rush that comes with a difficult climb.

Take a supplement that increases energy and focus

One of the most common supplements that can increase energy and focus during a workout is caffeine. Caffeine activates areas of the brain that make you feel more alert and awake. It may also improve strength during training although scientists are unsure of how this is accomplished.

Green coffee beans provide a clean-feeling caffeine that gives you a steady boost in energy, alertness, and focus without the jitters or crash afterward.

Panax ginseng is another supplement that can improve focus during training. Panax ginseng has been shown to enhance cognition, memory, and mood.

Additionally, the adaptogen ashwagandha has been shown to control mediators of stress in the body. This supplement can reduce stress and anxiety and improve athletic performance.

The energy wellness shot from Naked Nutrition is a convenient way to get caffeine, Panax ginseng, and ashwagandha all in one shot. Drink it before a training session to energize your body and boost mental focus.

Get enough sleep

Studies show that sleep can heavily impact athletic performance and recovery. Sleep is also critical for all aspects of brain functioning.

A night spent tossing and turning can result in difficulty concentrating, difficulty remembering things, and poor cognition. It can also impact physical performance. Getting enough sleep can enhance fine motor skills, reaction time, muscular power, and endurance.

Make sure you get 7-9 hours of sleep the night before training, and especially the night before a climb.

Final thoughts

Mountain climbing is a physically and mentally demanding sport. The way you train can prepare the body and mind for the real expedition.

To increase energy and enhance focus during training, try taking a supplement that supports cognition before your workout. Outside of training, you can practice box breathing, cold exposure, mindfulness, and get enough sleep.

These practices will improve focus and concentration during training and your climbs.

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