• Nick Bentley

Reignite the Psych

I don't know about you, but I started lock-down with plenty of psych. Its pretty easy over time, to go from 1,000 push ups a day back to watching Netflix in your pants, eating hobnobs.

Some of us have started to carefully venture outside again, however for others it might not be the right time yet. For those that can't or don’t want to, here's a list of some things that have kept us going to reignite your psych.

  • Training

  • Learning

  • Baking


This has been a great opportunity to get back into physical shape. It was all too easy to get excited and train 25 hours a day 8 days a week and burn out a week in. What I wanted to do was take the opportunity of time and motivation to build a habit that would remain when I go back to a busy work schedule. I have set myself some realistic training goals and expectations but the plan also celebrates any extra sessions I do and keeps my motivation high. If you want some help with a plan get in touch and we'll do our best to help you build a personal plan. If you want to figure out your own with a peek into what we've been doing read on.

On a rushed day I try and get a quick 20 minute Yoga done, if I've got more time and the suns shining I may get a 3 hour session of running, working out and yoga, its easy to do a bit or add as much as you want, consistency is key.

Online routines and calisthenic

We all want to make the most progress possible but I’ve never been a fan of working out till I puke so instead of beating myself senseless with the one punch man workout I spent hours trawling the internet trying to see what I could learn, I've come across a few experts whose advise is firmly routed in science and I wholeheartedly trust . Check out Calisthenic Movement and Lattice Training. There's plenty of programs to cover the beginners and the more seasoned athletes, most of the exercises use minimal or no kit and are designed for or can be transferred into climbing.


I hosed down my camping mat, put on my loose pants and fired up YouTube to get exploring.

Its been well documented how good for your mind and body yoga is and lately I cant get enough of the good stuff. Its also great to stretch out after my workout and most importantly improves mobility, coordination and stability which is worth its weight for climbing.

Starting out I found Yoga with Adriene was an excellent well paced intro to yoga for climbers. When I'd found my feet and I wanted pushing more, I came across Five Parks Yoga which worked for what I was looking for and is my current favourite, it's well worth flicking through some videos before you do them seeing if the way they teach and the kind of movements would work for you.

I've been favouring:

A 20ish minute full body with some extra leg focus

A slightly more shoulder focused

A 45ish minute session made for climbers

If I don’t have time for yoga and a work out I’ve found this half hour Saturno Movement video has a good mix of strength and mobility in one routine.

Hang board

No training rundown would be complete with out everyone's favourite strength builder. Its highly effective but easy for a novice to get carried away and hurt themselves. It's also dead easy to avoid it and ride the gain wave, just make sure you warm up those digits properly. There's loads of excellent resources around if you want to really dig into the nitty-gritty.

The program I've been following is:

Warm up

Get the blood flowing and stretch out, for me this looks like going for a quick run followed by a gentle stretch. Avoid stretching fingers on their own its easy to over stretch and do more harm than good. I tend to gently stretch as a whole set.

The routine

6 seconds on

3 seconds off

6 sets

2 minute rest

3 Rotations

Use the rests between to stretch out and shake out the pump . I mix up the rung depth a bit and remember if it hurts, don’t do it.

Top tip: there's some good free interval timer apps around to set up the whole routine and a kick ass playlist keeps the psych up.


When i'm thoroughly pumped I need something to do beyond drink tea and eat flapjack, with my body trained I may as well workout the mind.

The world wide spiders web

Its amazing how much information is available at our fingertips at all times. I think I’ve learnt more on the porcelain throne that I did at school. Mind = blown.

If you’ve got access to a staircase mountain and some kit, Stu's been working hard putting some excellent tips and tricks videos together, although he may be visually tricky hes super knowledgeable and in my humble opinion puts it across well. If you haven't already, check out and subscribe to our You Tube channel.

I’ve also been able to take part in a lot of webinars which the Mountain Training Association have kindly uploaded to You Tube. Some of my favourite so far have been with Jim Langley who runs Natures Work. Hes a super passionate expert in his field who has a really engaging delivery style. If you want a bit of extra knowledge to impress your partner what's around a climb or if you're interested in getting into upland ecology, hes been uploading loads to his Facebook and You Tube.


As good as these 1s and 0s are sometimes nothing beats a good old fashioned repurposed tree. I was recently told by an author that when Amazon discounts their book the author foot the loss. A lot of these authors are instructors and mountain professionals so I like to try and buy direct if I can, for me its worth a few quid extra although often it works out the same price any way.

Mike Raine's nature of Snowdonia is on the bookshelf of probably every mountain professional but don’t be fooled, this is an excellent, easy to digest book for anyone who enjoys the outdoors. Now in its bigger, badder, better second edition this cover all guide, although Snowdonia focused, applies to most upland areas in the UK. Divided into different seasons this covers geology, plants, insects, birds,animals myths and more. Excellently written with some stunning photos, little makes me more psyched for a trip to the valleys than picking this up.

John Kettle is a Lake District based coach, he's produced this excellent easy to digest and entertaining guide to climbing movement and psychology, well worth a read full of great tips backed by a You Tube library to see the moves in real time.

I love a two for one Tuesday and Paul Gannon delivers just that. His books start with some general area geology then give a great selection of walking routes with fantastic views that take you back in time to show you how the mountains and hills were formed. I'm gradually building up the set and making a long list of where else I can explore.


I woke up from a nightmare in a cold sweat that the flapjacks had gone the same way as the bog roll and hand sanitiser. I rushed to the kitchen and busted out the scales for a plan B. Every climber I know loves a good protein bar or flapjack I figured I could work out some recipes with no added sugar and decent ingredients that can go into a pack for a day out. I'm not going to pretend these are completely healthy snacks that will get you shredded even if you wolf down tray after tray but I figure they're better than some cheap supermarket alternatives.

Coooooookies! As a hero of mine once said. Soft and chewy and definitely not crumbly this oat cookie is packed with flavour and couldn’t be easier.

Whilst I’ve been imitating kids show characters my girlfriend Emily’s been concocting the ultimate easy bake protein power bar. A little bit oatey, a little bit cakey this nut free vegan friendly bar will be well worth a try.

Keep your eyes peeled for our recipe section coming soon for these and more great kitchen treats with the mission to be simple, easy to get hold of ingredients and good for you. If you've got any of your own ideas we'd love to hear them!

That's all Folks

So that’s it my top list for keeping fit, sane and topping up your psych. These are great any time you're not able to get to the crags or mountains but now they are lockdown approved.

Share your top tips or any blogs and videos you'd like to see by e-mail or in the comments below.

Bonus tips:


No psych list would be complete without the amazing Eds Beta Monkeys that has me roaring every time, pure genius!


Get out your chalk and shoes and climb along to this massive list of films climb.com have put together. Banff Mountain Film Festival have uploaded all their stuff too which is super cool of them. Finally if you haven't checked them out BMC TV is always worth a scout for all kinds of good films and tips. Time for my weekly viewing of Dawn Wall, catch you next time!

Stop reading, go and do something

118 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All
Keep up to date with all Peak Climbing School News
Sign up to our newsletter
Mountain Training Logo
Association of mountaneering instructors
Rock climbing courses, peak climbing school, trip advisor
Adventure activites member
  • Facebook Peak climbing school
  • Twitter - Black Circle
  • YouTube - Black Circle
  • Instagram - Black Circle

©2020 by Peak Climbing School