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Ben Abel – Big Goals and Staying Motivated Through Injury

Have you ever wondered how I stay so motivated and psyched to climb and train every day?

Just like anybody, there are times that I find it hard to get up early so I can do that extra training session. It is easier to train and climb if you have something you want to do or achieve, something to focus on. I am constantly psyched to train because each month there is always a comp on. You need to find that something that gets you excited, pick a climb outdoors that you like the look of or weren’t able to finish last session and train those movements in the gym. If you don’t go outside or compete, you can still do exactly the same, just pick a climb in the gym that you have to work for.


When I am about to start a training block I will sit down and look at the time I have got, I plan a whole training routine and I stick to it. Sticking to a routine is hard, I have multiple things that help me to stick to it. I am a very competitive person, so keeping me motivated isn’t hard, I’ve just got to train harder than the other competitors.

When training, finding someone that climbs around the same level as you and will train with you is a huge help. I am lucky enough that I have two mates that are really strong and if I go into the gym when they are there the psych is so high, we all just push each other and it makes the session so much more enjoyable. If you have a friend that climbs the same level, try and get them psyched for some hard sessions!

Another way that I’ve found to get motivated is failure. If I compete and get my ass kicked, it motivates me to work harder to catch up and it’s a great opportunity to learn what others are doing differently to me.

Ben training hard @pulseclimbing

Coming back from my big trip I was so excited to start training for IFSC World Championships in Paris. You could say I was too excited, I went straight into the gym to start climbing hard and training and I injured my A4 pulley. I haven’t been able to climb at all in the last 2 weeks. I did this on the boulder wall on a crimp that i threw for, I didn’t feel it on the wall but when I came off and sat back down it felt funny but not sore. I went to pull on thinking it was nothing and when I went to climb I couldn’t hang on without a lot of pain.

The next day I got an ultrasound but it didn’t show anything out of the ordinary.  I saw a Physio who said it was just a strain in my a4 pulley, which is good because it will heal faster than if it was ruptured. I still got an MRI just to make sure. The MRI showed the finger looking completely normal which was a relief. I still feel like there is something going on since I haven’t had any major improvement since I injured it. I visited a hand surgeon to see what he had to say, everything that I thought was wrong wasn’t actually wrong. I didn’t have a strain in my A4 pulley, instead my A2 pulley is partly ruptured. no climbing for another 2-4 weeks and hopefully I can resume my normal training.

This injury has completely thrown my training program out of whack, but it hasn’t destroyed my psych to keep training it, if anything it’d made me more focussed. I have put together a completely different training program, replacing climbing with a lot of running and swimming. My strength sessions now involve a lot of different exercise with thero-bands that I am beginning to love and still doing the usual core workout.


With lead nationals just around the corner I haven’t made up my mind whether or not I am competing, I feel like it’s worth sacrificing Lead Nationals for the chance to let myself heal properly and be stronger for the bigger goals I have set my sights on.