For those who like to mix up their workout regime, Collingwood’s newest fitness centre is worth checking out.
Indoor rock-climbing gym Urban Climb has three locations in Brisbane, and has now ventured to Victoria. The gym, which has a land size of approximately 1000 square metres (making it Melbourne’s largest bouldering space) opened a few weeks ago in a neatly refurbished former furniture warehouse.
The Urban Climb team spent more than a year overhauling the space, which offers rock climbing as well as bouldering (a form of rock climbing on smaller walls, without a harness).
In the mezzanine yoga studio, which overlooks the climbing walls below, there are flow, flex, strength and restorative classes, and meditation sessions for a post-climb wind-down.
There’s also a regular gymnasium with weights and cardio equipment offering Climb Fit classes to strengthen the muscle groups used to scale boulders.
Marketing manager Thomas Gissing says the team wanted to create a “general community hub”, where guests only need one membership to approach fitness in a number of ways.
Beyond yoga, weights training and cardio, climbers can mix things up to enjoy a variety of session types. There’s a campus board (a training board made from wooden slats), a pegboard (a customisable board a climber ascends by inserting handheld pegs into holes) and a board that offers climbers 6348 different problems (paths to the top) that light up once selected on a tablet. The problems are all reversible, which allows climbers to train both sides of their bodies, important for muscle development.
All the bouldering walls are graded on the V Scale, (a system named after its designer, John “Vermin” Sherman, that measures the difficulty of climbs from V0 to V17). The problems are graded by colour; yellow holds are the easiest, white represents the more hardcore paths. The degree of difficulty scales up gradually so climbers can transition smoothly up levels.
According to venue manager Curtis Coulson, another strategy to help climbers improve is to disguise some climbs. “If you have climbed every blue in the gym, then you have also climbed at least one purple,” he says.
Three routes are updated fortnightly, so dedicated climbers always have new problems to scale.
Rock climbing challenges your mind, body and your fear of heights, and all it requires is a pair of oddly shaped shoes, some chalk, patience and determination. Casual climbing sessions are $20 plus $5 for shoe hire, with a $2 discount for students. Climbers must be 13 or over to participate.
29/41 Down Street, Collingwood
1300 001 203
Mon to Fri 12pm–10pm
Sat & Sun 10am–6pm