This is a question many beginners ask. I know I did when I first started. From my own experience and from talking to some of the pros, it seems like 3-4 times or every other day is the sweet spot. Going more than that might be too stressful on your fingers and going less than that might result in slower progress. Obviously, how many times you climb a week also depends on your schedule. You may or may not have already noticed that taking too much time off can make your skills suffer. However, sometimes, it’s good to take a few weeks off especially if you hit a plateau and start to lose your motivation and become increasingly frustrated.
Top climbers like Sasha DiGulian adds in running as well as a way to keep fit as well as build endurance. Most climbers don’t weight train so their workouts basically consist of climbing and related exercises like pull ups, working on the hang boards, and circuit training.
Three times a week might be perfect for you or it might be too little or too much. The best thing to do is to look at your results. If you find that a day of rest just isn’t enough and your fingers are still hurting from the previous session, then lower the number of days you climb. Also notice how stronger or weaker you are when climbing routes. Often times, not resting enough will make your climbing suffer but on the other hand, having too many days in between climbing sessions will do the same thing.
How long you climb during your climbing sessions is important as well. Some people climb 4 or more hours while others climb just 2 hours. It really depends on how hard you climb, how much rest you take in between climbs, and what your endurance level is.
If you’re constantly climbing and only resting a few minutes in between climbs, you’ll reach the point of fatigue a lot faster than someone who rests way longer. In fact, try this experiment. The next time you go climb, bring a stop watch and see just how much time you actually spend climbing compared to resting. For those who climb 4 hours, they might be surprised to find that they’re actually only on the wall for less than an hour. I tried this myself and during a 4 hour session, I was on the wall for about 30 minutes! Most of the time was spent sitting on the floor, studying my route, watching other climbers, and talking to friends. Obviously, the longer your breaks are, the longer your climbing sessions will be.
So in reality, you can climb 7 days a week if you’re spending most of your time sitting.