Boulder your way Crossfit

Bouldering for the beginner

If you're reading this then you're interested in trying different ways to test your body.

At PunchStrong we decided to try our hand at indoor climbing, or to be more precise, Bouldering.

What is Bouldering????

Indoor bouldering is arguably the most accessible form of climbing and requires the least amount of equipment.

Originally bouldering was climbing on rocks that weren't large enough to warrant a rope, but it has now developed into a very popular style of rock climbing in its own right. These short, tricky and worthwhile problems reduce the essence of climbing to something brilliantly minimalist. Bouldering offers great freedom of movement, requires hardly any equipment and you don't need a partner to hold your ropes.

Mile End Climbing Wall

We ventured to Mile End in London to test our skills at the Mile End Climbing Wall

Just a 5-10 minute walk from Mile End station we arrived. We had to sign a few waivers and pay the £11 which included shoe hire and a day pass to spend as long as our grips could take, which we thought was great value for money. We were given a tour around the premises, which turned out to be a tardis. With the exception of the reception almost every surface had the ability to be climbed.

We started at the traversing warm up area to get our arms, wrists and fingers warmed up, like any sport it is important to warm up thoroughly before you give it the full can of beans.

From here we took a look in the training area and rope climb section, then made our way to the main climbing area. Like geckos there were guys and girls ascending and descending the walls using the coloured holds for their grip.

We hung around here for a while (pun intended) and got to grips (sorry) with the problems attached to the different walls. Climbing either straight up or on what felt like a massive overhang, all our muscles were being tested. We weren't the most efficient or glamorous of climbers on the wall as we were using our strength rather than skill or technic to tackle the problem. This was fine for the big, easy to grip holds, but when we moved to more challenging routes we could see skill was required.

Grading and technical ability

For those who don't know, all the different coloured holds mean something, they are all graded and targeted to a different skill level, and each climb is called a "problem" to overcome. Most bouldering walls set Fontainebleau (the French bouldering mecca) style colour-coded circuits, where all the problems of a particular colour are at a similar level of difficulty. Some walls use V grades (V0, V1, V2...), others use Font grades (Font 4, 5, 5+, 6A...).

Monkey Room

We were shown to the Monkey room which was a side area with climbing holds from floor to ceiling, and also including the ceiling. This was a room some people saw as a rite of passage at the Mile End Climbing Wall, the aim being to climb from one wall to the other via the ceiling using a selected problem. This would take some serious strength to complete and we look forward to attempting this in the future.


Spending 2 hours non-stop bouldering our forearms we pumped to the max, and received a great workout session. Not only this but our core, biceps, legs, in fact everything but our chest had a good hammering.

Why don't you test your t-shirt muscles on something different and see how you can diversify your muscle groups onto a new challenge. If you enjoy training and want a new challenge I can't see why you wouldn't enjoy this.

PunchStrong people.

Further details

Check out


Mile End Climbing Wall

Haverfield Road
E3 5BE

Telephone: 020 8980 0289

Regular Opening Hours


10:00am - 9:30pm
Tuesday10:00am - 9:30pm
Wednesday10:00am - 9:30pm
Thursday10:00am - 9:30pm
Friday10:00am - 9:00pm
Saturday10:00am - 6:00pm
Sunday10:00am - 6:00pm
Alex Johnson

By Alex Johnson

My friends think of me as a mixed martial arts ninja and I don't disagree with them. I live in Essex (UK) with my wife and dog Kingston, who eats more protein than I do.

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