Spray walls are one of the most effective training tools for experienced climbers looking to improve their training. A spray wall is typically set slightly to moderately overhung and named for the ‘spray’ of climbing holds, which cover nearly the entire surface. This configuration resembles a mixed, haphazard jumble, a child’s scribble, next to a typical commercial set. However, sometimes it’s better to color, think outside the box, and get creative. Here’s why you should use a spray wall to create your training masterpiece. 

Reasons to Train on a Spray Wall

1. Versatility

Because there are no set problems, and given the hold density (with every t-nut filled), an infinite number of boulders await. A spray wall allows you to construct boulder problems with extensive climbing holds. Whether you need to target pinches, crimps, or slopers, you’re only limited by your creativity and the variety of holds in your setter closet. Ask other climbers or friends if they’ve made up any complicated moves or climbs to try to switch it up or have a friendly competition. 

Additionally, you can incorporate any training on a spray wall. Whether you want to dial in power, power endurance, or pure stamina, you can customize your workouts in the same place. Pick out a few complex moves for power, rest for 3-5 minutes, and repeat! If you can’t stick to the movement, work it next week! To train stamina (endurance), you can create a circuit of 50-100+ moves in a random or defined order and climb until you achieve your desired pump level! Then rest a few minutes and repeat. For power endurance, find the proper middle ground between power and endurance for your goals, i.e., 25 consistently tricky moves in a row, perhaps simulating your next project.  

2. Consistency

A spray wall changes much less frequently than a typical bouldering area reset. The same climbing holds will be in the same position week after week, which makes it a perfect spot to train a specific movement or sequence for an outdoor project or to improve an area of weakness. Practice makes perfect, and repetition builds muscle memory, both of which a spray wall hands you on a silver platter. 

Even if the gym changes the spray wall more frequently, you’ll know what to expect for training. There should be ample pinches, slopers, crimps, jugs, and pockets. The sheer amount of holds placed on the wall almost guarantees that you’ll be able to replicate something similar to an old boulder problem or the same movement you were practicing on the previous set. 

3. Efficiency

A spray wall is just that, a wall. Yet, there are myriad and unending training possibilities. We know how easy it is to go to the climbing gym, look to train hard for the hour you have, yet climb for a fraction of that after socializing or other distractions. Spray walls are designed as a training tool for intermediate and advanced climbers looking to make significant, concentrated improvements. Head to the spray wall when short on time or looking to reach maximum efficiency.  

Another component of efficiency is on-the-wall mechanics. The best way to increase that and reduce unnecessary energy expenditure is to route-read and dial those cryptic moves. Since a spray wall doesn’t have distinguishable boulder problems, you will challenge your route reading and memory, especially if you return to the same climb throughout your training cycle. 

If you are ready to hone your efficiency, consistency, and creativity and get closer to your climbing goals, find a spray wall and start training! Remember, any climbing workouts or drills you typically incorporate are easy to replicate on a spray wall. We would love to hear how your training is going and if/how you use the spray wall to take your climbing to new heights. Don’t be shy. Comment below!