Alpine Rock Climbing Pre-Season Training Program


  • 6 weeks, 5 days/week
  • Sport-specific training: legs, lungs & core for loaded hiking
  • Also emphasizes forearm strength, grip strength, rock climbing technique
  • This training plan is one of the 190+ Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription.


This 6-Week training plan is sport-specifically designed to prepare athletes for traditional alpine rock climbing days or trips which include a long, steep approach, trad rock climb, and walk off or rappel descent.  The plan assumes you’ll train 5 days/week for 30 total training sessions.

This programs trains your “mountain chassis” – the legs, lungs and core required for hiking up and down steep inclines under load. It also sport-specifically trains your forearm strength, grip strength, and rock climbing technique.


Required Equipment

- Rock Gym membership. Rock gym needs both bouldering and top rope areas
- 15/25# (female/male) Dumbbells
- 25# plate for Weighted Situps (You can also use your step up back pack)
- 15-18” Bench, step or box for Step Ups
- Back Pack for Step Ups

Sample Training

Obj: Strength/Climb Stamina

(1) 6 Rounds
3x Quadzilla Complex -15/25#
15x 2-leg Poor Man’s Leg Curl

Pick 4 Routes 3 V levels under your ability (a V-4 Climber would use V-1 Routes). Record your routes.

(2) 4 Rounds
Climb each route back-toback with no rest, then…
Rest 1 minute.

Rest 5 Minutes

32) 4 Rounds
Climb each route back-to-back with no rest, then…
Rest 1 minute.

Rest 5 Minutes

(4) 4 Rounds
Climb each route back-to-back with no rest, then…
Rest 1 minute.

Rest 5 minutes.

(5) 4 Rounds
Climb each route back-to-back with no rest, then…
Rest 1 minute.

Obj: Step-ups

(1) 550x Step-ups for time in 30# pack.

(2) 4 Rounds
15/15sec.Standing Founder
15/15sec. Kneeling Founder
15/15sec. Low Back Lunge
10x Face Down Back Extension

(3) 6 Rounds
5x Curl to Press @ 15/25#
10x 1-leg Calf Raise -15/25#
3/5x Pull-ups
10x Dumbbell Hinge -15/25#

(4) 3 Rounds
Lat + Pec Stretch

Obj: Climb Stamina

Warm Up:
5 Minutes easy traverse wall

Pick 3 top rope routes you can onsite climb (A 5.13 Climber would pick a 5.10 or .11 route, for example). Record your route names.

(1) For 15 minutes:

Climb your 3 routes back-toback- to-back as many times as possible,

(2) Rest 15 minutes (or, if you have a partner, they’ll do (1) above).

(3) For 15 minutes:

Climb your 3 routes back-toback- to-back as many times as possible,

(4) Rest 15 minutes (or, if you have a partner, they’ll do (1) above).

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Gym numbers mean nothing. All that matters is mission performance. 

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Our mid-section training methodology, Chassis Integrity, is also original, as is our endurance programming, 7 strength training progressions, tactical agility, and work capacity programming.

Our mountain sports pre-season training plans, tactical PFT, selection, school, course, and fitness improvement training plans across military, LE and Fire Rescue are MTI-developed, tested and athlete-proven.

Over the years hundreds of athletes and coaches have taken our advanced programming and unit fitness leader programming courses and MTI is widely recognized within the mountain and tactical professions and fitness media as a thought leader in fitness programming for military and tactical athletes.


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MTI exists to “Improve Mountain and Tactical Athletes mission performance and keep them safe.” To that end, we have developed a unique research methodology aimed at identifying real world areas of improvement and identifying immediately deployable mission-direct solutions. Click HERE to learn more about MTI’s Mission-Direct Research methodology, and Here to read about just few of our research efforts.

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Over the past decade, MTI has partnered with hundreds of athletes throughout their individual mountain and tactical careers, and provided fitness solutions as they face new mountain objectives, tactical schools, selections, PFTs and deployments, and came back from injury.


7) Worldwide Influence

Our work is not limited to US Athletes.

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On the mountain side, Alpinists from Japan to Slovakia have consulted with MTI and used MTI’s programming to prepare for mountain objectives.


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This focus on “mission direct” solutions, enhancements and improvements drives our work and research and extends beyond fitness solutions to include training, leadership, gear, team culture, and safety. 

Fitness is just one area of our work.

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– Rob Shaul, Founder


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By Rob Shaul

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I can tell them the process we go through to design our programming.

We begin with extensive research on the fitness demands of the event, identify the exercises and progressions which sport specifically meet those demands, chose end-of-cycle goals, and program backward to design the plan.

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Yes. If you purchase an Athletes’ Subscription, follow the training sessions as prescribed, and are not satisfied with the quality of the programming, notify us within 30 days of purchase, and we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.

How is MTI programming different than CrossFit?
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What Equipment is Required?
Click the “Required Equipment” tab to find out what equipment is required for the specific plan you are interested in.

Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE. The Run and Ruck Calculators are listed as exercises.

What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE.

Can I see sample training?
Click the “Sample Training” tab to see the entire first week of programming.
You are encouraged to do it before purchasing.

What if I have more questions?


I live in Kansas City so any mountain activities I want to do now are legitimate trips. I take one “big” trip each year which means I want to squeeze the most out of every day I’m in the mountains. My trip last year was to the North Cascades and after some self-guided training to prepare, I got worked over… hard. This year I arranged for a trip to the Bugaboos. We planned for 6 days in the mountains if the weather agreed. With the cascades still fresh in my mind I wanted to make sure I was physically prepared to get the most out of this trip. I had been using your bodyweight training program and your SSD subscription sessions for a while with good results, so I decided to try out your alpine rock climbing plan. I completed that plan and then threw in the gym based stamina plan for good measure. 

Thanks to some stellar weather, we were in the mountains for 5 days. Only our last day got rained out. The promises made in your alpine rock climbing and gym based stamina plans were delivered. Most important I think was the mental toughness. The glacier was in miserable condition which meant a lot of added distance around crevasses and that demanded my full attention for long durations. I was able to perform at the top of my game for 5 consecutive big days. My partner (a regular trail runner and ultra-marathoner) is someone I’ve climbed with on multiple occasions and he was blown away at how fast I could cover the terrain big day after big day. He was so impressed in fact that he is going to start using some of your plans for his training.

It was really exciting to see how well all the hard work in the gym translated to the trail/ridge/wall. Thank you so much for helping me get the most out of what precious time I have in the mountains. I am an SSD believer and I will be preaching the good word whenever the opportunity arises.

Regards, - L

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