Recent exercise trends such as acrobatic yoga, dance parties, spinning, and pole dancing counter the belief that effective exercise is serious, difficult, and gruelling. Hopping on the alternative exercise bandwagon, indoor rock climbing in Montreal is another exercise trend that has developed a committed following. And It’s easy to see why.

Whether you boulder, top rope, or lead, rock climbing strengthens your entire body and improves your cardio and stamina. But more than that, climbing increases your willingness to exercise because it presents unique challenges, delivers encouraging results, and offers a community atmosphere. Climbing is the kind of serious, difficult, and grueling activity that leaves you feeling motivated to try again rather than ready for a Netflix binge to recuperate from your sore thighs and aching ego.

Here are a few places in the neighbourhood to get started rock climbing in Montreal:

 

Shakti

rock climbing in MontrealThere’s something delightfully childish in reaching the top of the climbing wall and feeling like you’re the monarch of the gym. It’s a feeling you don’t really get from lifting something heavy twelve times in a row and repeating. Climbing also makes you smarter. Each wall offers a unique problem (i.e. how to reach the top?) and the climber must solve this problem (i.e. get to the top). Climbers visualize their moves before they start climbing so that they can place their bodies in the right place to anticipate the next moves. Expert climbers place their hands and feet as accurately as possible to minimize the amount of energy they expend on the wall. Technique not bigger biceps means better climbing.

Address: 175 St-Viateur E (Mile End)

Gym type: Bouldering

Drop-in rate: $12

1 month membership: $70

Vegetarian potlucks each month

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Allez Up

rock climbing in MontrealAllez Up is an Amazing outdoor climbing wall in a defunct silo. Most importantly, climbing builds a great community. Strangers at the gym encourager each other; it’s not uncommon to hear someone shout “Allez!” or “Cmon!” at you while you’re struggling to reach for that last hold on the bouldering wall. Also, asking your fellow climbers for advice is a great way to improve. Often something as simple as changing your feet or turning your hips makes all the difference.

Address: 1555 St-Patrick Street (St-Henri)

Gym type: Lead, top rope and bouldering

Drop in rate: $14.75

1 month membership:  $79

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Zero Gravité

As a beginner, you can boulder or top rope at Zero Gravité. Bouldering requires no special equipment, rope or partner; you simply need climbing shoes. You climb on a lower wall with a crash pad beneath you. This type of climbing strengthens technique and endurance. Top roping requires a harness, an ATC and you will need to get a belaying accreditation which certifies you to belay your climbing partner. Top roping walls are much higher and work more cardio because the routes are longer.

Address: 4519 Avenue Papineau, Montreal, QC H2H 1V4 (Plateau)

Gym type: Lead, top rope, and bouldering

Drop-in rate: $15.50

1 month membership: $85

Regular yoga classes are also available

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Rock climbing in Montreal is becoming an increasingly popular form of exercise. Try it out for yourself and check out these 3 spots for rock climbing in Montreal!