Rock Climb Lab Rats Needed to Test MTI’s Pre-Season Training Cycle

By Rob Shaul

MTI is calling for remote lab rats for an upcoming, focused, 4 weeks, 6-day/week Mini-Study testing MTI’s Rock Climbing Pre-Season program design.

This mini-study will begin Monday, February 22. The deadline to apply is 1700 Mountain Time, Friday, February 19, 2021.



All lab rats will likely complete the same, focused training cycle. Programming will be focused on rock climb-specific fitness and technique. However core strength, work capacity, and endurance (running) will also be trained. In addition, athletes will be required to follow a specific diet during the course of the training cycle. Overall, this will be an intense, full-immersion, 6-day-week rock climb specific training cycle for committed athletes.

What We Hope To Learn

  1. Is the program progression and intensity doable for remote athletes?
  2. The effect of work capacity and endurance programming plus dietary restrictions on weight loss and the impact of weight loss on climbing improvement.
  3. Assessed improvement in climbing proficiency from the programming.

Required Equipment

  • Bouldering Gym access, and/or Moon Board Access or similar wall allowing the ability to complete a Bouldering V-Sum.
  • Campus Board and/or system board for threshold climbing intervals.
  • Hang Board
  • 40# sandbag (women), 60# sandbag (men)
  • Indoor and/or outdoor space for shuttle repeats


Cycle Duration and Schedule

This MTI Mini-Study will take 4 weeks plus 1 day. It will begin Monday, February 22, 2021, with the initial assessments and progressions. On the Monday of Week 5, March 22, 2021, lab rats complete their final V-Sum assessment and the study will be complete.

Weekly Schedule

    • Monday: Bouldering V-Sum
    • Tuesday: Climbing Strength, Work Capacity
    • Wednesday: 1.5-Mile Run Assessment or Threshold Intervals
    • Thursday: Bouldering V-Sum, Upper Body / Core Strength
    • Friday: Climbing Strength, Work Capacity
    • Saturday: Moderate Pace Distance Run


To Participate

  • You’ll need to commit to training 6 days/week for 4 weeks, and follow the program as prescribed
  • You’ll need to commit to following only this programming as formal fitness training for the mini study period.
  • You’ll need to commit to following the prescribed nutritional guidelines (no sugar, etc.)
  • You’ll need the required equipment (see above)
  • You’ll need to be an experienced rock climber and fit athlete.

Lab rat candidates need not be expert rock climbers, but cannot be new to rock climbing.

Want to be an MTI Lab Rat?

Please email, and put “Rock Climb Lab Rat” in the subject line.

Please include:

  • Age
  • Bodyweight
  • Climb rating you can onsight (i.e. 5.7, 5.9, etc.)
  • Verify you can commit to the 4 weeks plus 1 day, 6 day/week training cycle
  • Verify you have access to the required equipment

We’re hoping to get 6-10 lab rats for this study.



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