brooklyn boulders: A powerful & fun way to get in shape

In 2009, Brooklyn Boulders open the doors of the old Daily News garage and transformed the space into a 22,000-square-foot world class rock climbing facility and dynamic creative community. Walking in, you’ll be in awe of the pure power of the athletes that train here. Since its opening, they’ve expanded into four cities while spreading their passion of physical fitness across the country. Today they offer more than just rock climbing. Their space is ideal training ground for beginners and advanced climbers, diversified with classes in yoga, acro-yoga (a mix of partner acrobatics, Thai massage, and yoga) and capoeira (A Brazilian martial art and dance form).

As a beginner climber, I was ready to test my skills and push myself to new heights (literally). After jumping into our harnesses and putting on our climbing shoes, we took a brief introductory class that was about 10 minutes. It reviewed how to use the self-belaying machine. If you’ve ever been rock climbing then you know it’s normally done in pairs; one person is on the ground in charge of belaying the ropes while the other person climbs. The great thing about the self-belaying machine is that you don’t need to take turns and you can climb at the same time as your partner.

Next came rock climbing without harnesses, which is called bouldering. Professional rock climbers can boulder on ceilings (like this guy below).

However, I am nowhere near a professional so I tested my skills on a standard wall. There were different courses available based on the color indicated tape path. Black was the easiest so I started there. It wasn’t challenging, but after about 10 minutes I felt my forearms growing tired. Nonetheless, I pushed to the next activity which was dyno bouldering; an ambitious feat for someone who just started climbing an hour earlier. I do not advise trying this.

Dyno bouldering involves leaping from rock to rock while climbing. My first attempt was pathetic. Essentially I ran to the rock and screamed.

The second attempt was not much better because I fell on the ground.

The third attempt was a fail as well.

Then a lovely women who was rocking at dyno bouldering came over and told me that I should try an easier one to start. After two tries I finally did it successfully!  Kind of like these guys I found on the internet (but way less impressive). Success!

Overall, rock climbing is a fierce and fun workout. The next day my arms were sore but I felt a sense of pride knowing that I had a seriously unique workout. Brooklyn Boulders is located at 575 Degraw St, Brooklyn, NY 11217. They also have locations in Somerville, MA, Chicago, IL, and Queensbridge, NY. They are open Mon-Fri 6a-12a, Sat-Sun 8a-12a. Check out more details about their classes and offerings on their site here.


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