Big Wall Climbing Training Plan


• 8 weeks, 5 days/week
• Best executed with your climbing partner
• Plan volume designed to prepare you for up to a 40-pitch objective


This 8-week program is designed specifically to train athletes for a big wall climb (up to a 40-pitch objective), such as one of the classics in Yosemite. This program is climbing-fitness specific, and focused on developing your grip and forearm strength, work capacity and stamina.

You’ll train 5 days per week, Monday through Friday. The program is progressed – it gets harder – so do each session in order. Each session is designed to train a particular fitness attribute(s) needed by big wall climbers. It is best executed with a partner.

The weekly schedule is:

Monday: V-sum Assessment
Tuesday: Climb Strength
Wednesday: Work Capacity (General Fitness)
Thursday: Climb Work Capacity
Friday: Climb Stamina

Sessions will take 60 min. except for Friday’s Climb Stamina session, which starts at 60 min. (Weeks 1-2) and slowly increases duration to 2 hours (Weeks 7-8).

Required Equipment

- You’ll need a rock gym for this program which has a campus board. If it has a general fitness area, you’re covered. If not, you’ll need:
- A 20” Box or bench
- 15/25# Dumbbells (female/male)
- A watch with a timer or stopwatch feature
- A climbing rope for butterfly coiling
- 5/10# dumbbells (female/male)
- An ab wheel or barbell that you can grab and roll on ground

Sample Training

Obj: V-sum Assessment


3 Rounds
Traverse across an open and relatively easy wall, making 25 total moves (so, your hands will use 25 holds).
5x Push-ups
10x Sit-ups
Ultimate Wrist Stretch


(1) V-SUM:
In 50 minutes, climb at least 8 unique bouldering routes.

Then add the grade of the hardest 8 problems you climbed (ex: V-0, V-5, V-4, V-2+ are grades.

You can climb more than 8 in the 50 minutes, but only add up the hardest 8 you do.

For example, let’s say you climb 9 routes of the following grades:

V-0, V-0, V-1, V-2, V2, V1, V1, V0, V-2+*

Add: 0 + 1 + 2 + 2 + 1 + 1 + 0 + 2.5* = 9.5

*Count all routes with a + or - after their number as .5 points higher (for +) or lower (for -).

Obj: Climb Strength


a) 3 min. Vertical wall - move and shake (simply find a vertical wall with easy holds and move around, shaking often, for 3 minutes)

b) 3 Rounds
2x Laps Campus Board - feet on
2x Offset Campus Pull-ups*
8x Air Squats
8x Sit-ups
Ultimate Wrist Stretch


(1) 3 Rounds
2x Lock and Reach - work up one rung at a time going as high as possible
10x Air Squats
Ultimate Wrist Stretch
(Repeat with other hand, including push-ups and stretch. That’s one round)

(2) 6 Rounds
Dyno Campus Board - see progression table - record finishing progression
Butterfly Coil Rope
10x Air Squats
Lat + Pec Stretch - Floor

(3) 10 Rounds
20 sec. Touch Jump Touch
20 sec. Burpees
20 sec. Rest
*If you can’t do pull-ups:
5x5 sec. Shoulder Holds
10 sec. Flex hang

Obj: Work Capacity


3 Rounds
8x Front Squat - 45/65#
8x Push-ups
8x Sit-ups
Instep Stretch


(1) 8 Rounds
5x Renegade Man Makers - 15/25#
25x Step-ups - 20” Bench or Box
30 sec. Rest
Sprint to the rest each round!

(2) 4 Rounds
10/10/10/10 sec. 3-Limb Bridge
10x Standing Russian Twist - Bar/Bar + 15#
10x Ab Wheel Rollout
3x Campus Offset Pull-ups*

(3) 2 Rounds
Ultimate Wrist Stretch
20x Wrist Eccentrics - 5/10#
*If you can’t do pull-ups:
5x5 sec. Shoulder Holds
10 sec. Flex hang

Obj: Climb Stamina


Both partners will prepare in the following manner:

Pick 2 routes you can onsite climb 10x in 15 min. Preferably on the same rope or very nearby to minimize time lost in transition between ropes. If you don’t have a partner, use the auto belay route.

If you can, use two routes are 2 number grades below your redpoint.


(1) In 15 min:
Climb your 2 routes a total of 10 times, rotating route to route.

(2) 15 min. Rest - Partner completes (1)

(3) In 15 min:
Climb your 2 routes a total of 10 times, rotating route to route.

(4) 15 min. Rest - Partner completes (3)

Show More

1)  Mission Direct

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

To this end, MTI’s fitness solutions and programming are not boxed in by convention, tradition, orthodoxy, public opinion or any other artificial constraint driven by inside or outside forces.

We begin with the raw fitness demands of the mission and build a fitness solution which directly prepares the athlete for those demands.


2) Fitness Solutions Built from the Ground Up

MTI’s programming is not “re-tread” bodybuilding, football, CrossFit, kettlebell, strength or general fitness programming. We’ve built our fitness programming for mountain and tactical athletes from the ground up.

The Fluid Periodization methodology we deploy to concurrently train multiple fitness attributes is completely original and has continued to evolve and improve over the years.

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.


3) The MTI Method

→ Research: MTI begins program design with extensive research of the fitness demands of the mission, sport or event, identifies the exercises and progressions which sport-specifically meet those demands, chose end-of-cycle goals, and program backward to design the training plan.

→ Deploy & Assess: We deploy the training plan “Lab Rats” at our Wyoming facility. Training session and cycle issues are identified and fixed as we work through the training plan. Post cycle we assess the programming’s effectiveness and efficiency. We keep the stuff that works, and fix or toss the stuff that doesn’t.

→ Publish & Assess Again: Plan is published for purchase as an individual training plan and made available to our subscribers. Feedback/results are assessed.

→ Iterate: We take what we learn from lab rats and athletes, re-visit, update and improve already published training plans. Several of our individual training plans are on their 4th or 5th version.


4) Mission-Direct Research

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.

5) Field Proven

Our stuff works. Weekly we receive unsolicited reviews of our programming and testimonials to its effectiveness.


6) Programming Breadth

MTI’s library of 200+ sport-specific fitness plans for mountain and tactical athletes is unmatched. Resources range from specific programming for tactical special forces selections, to specific plans for climbing Rainier and Denali, to general fitness solutions such as running improvement, to post-rehab from injury.

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.

We’ve developed selection-specific training plans for Canadian, UK, Australian and German Special Forces Selections and worked with individual military personnel from Scandinavia, South, and Central America.

Canadian, Australian, UK and western European law enforcement and fire/rescue athletes have used MTI programming for mission-direct fitness.

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


8) Mission Performance beyond Fitness

MTI’s exists is to improve Mission Performance for mountain and tactical athletes and keep them safe. 

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.

Our non-fitness research has included tactical cultures, combat uniforms, and gore-tex performance, and effect of stress on marksmanship.

Our work on defining what it means to be a Quiet Professional has had penetrating influence and driven healthy conversations with both mountain and tactical professionals.


9) Direct, Honest, Clear Answers

Since 2007 we’ve taken and answered dozens of questions weekly from mountain and tactical athletes. We’ve saved these individual Q&A’s and now thousands are archived on our site.

We’re not salesmen, and our answers are noted for their directness, honesty, and clarity. Our stuff isn’t for everyone. If we can help, we’ll let you know. If we can’t, we’ll let you know that, too.

– Rob Shaul, Founder


All of the Above is Backed Up By Our Promise: Our Stuff Works. Guaranteed.

Our Stuff Works. Guaranteed.

By Rob Shaul

I received notes frequently from athletes hesitant to purchase a subscription or training plans asking me to sell them on why they should make the purchase.

While I understand the question, I’m not a salesman – so I can’t put a hard sale on anyone for our programming.

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.

Then we test the cycle on ourselves and our lab rats here in Wyoming. We document, note what works and doesn’t work, re-assess, and make changes and modifications.

Then we publish the programming in the form of one of our plans or as part of our subscription daily training sessions for tactical and mountain athletes.
We don’t stop there – our daily programming is the “tip of the spear” for our programming evolution. We use these sessions to learn and make continuous improvement.

As we learn more and improve, we go back, and update the sport-specific training plans on the website. For example, we’re currently on Version 5 of our Ruck Based Selection Training Plan and Version 3 of our Dryland Ski Training Plan and Version 4 of our Big Game Back Country Hunting Training Plan.

We understand our programing isn’t cheap, but we believe it’s a great value. The $79 for the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan, and $39 for the Dryland Ski Training Plan reflect the, research, work, innovative theory, iteration, testing and feedback we’ve put in and received to make these plans effective.

All that matters for us is outside performance, and we feel strongly that Our Stuff Works in the real world.

Here’s our guarantee:

1) Individual Training Plan Purchase:
If you purchase an individual training plan, follow it as prescribed before your season/event/pft/selection, and if you don’t feel you were physically ready for your season/event/pft/selection, and/or didn’t see dramatic improvements in your early season performance, we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.

2) Athlete’s Subscription
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.



Do you have any reviews or testimonials from athletes who have used your Athlete’s Subscription
Yes. Click HERE.

Is it true you guarantee your stuff works?
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?
This is a common question. Read our answer HERE.

You have a lot of competitors. Why should I choose MTI?
MTI is driven to improve mountain and tactical athletes’ mission performance and keep them safe. This emphasis and focus on mission performance sets us apart. Read about more that sets us apart HERE.

If I purchase a plan or subscription, how do I access the programming?
All of our plans are online, accessible via username and password.
You can log in through our →Website  or Mobile App →IOS and Android.

Do you have downloadable .pdf’s of the training plans?
No. But you can print the programming, by week, from your browser. You access individual training plans online via a username and password.

Do you have a mobile app?
Yes, we do. Available for IOS and Android.

What is the difference between purchasing an individual training plan, packet of plans or an Athlete’s Subscription?

  • Plan – Like purchasing the DVD of the first Star Wars movie. You own it forever, including any updates we make to the plan.
  • Packet – Like purchasing the DVD’s of all the Star Wars movies. You own them forever, including any updates we make to the plans.
  • Athlete’s Subscription – Like subscribing to Netflix. You get access to all 200+ plan in our library, but lose access if you unsubscribe.

If I purchase an Athletes Subscription Can I cancel on my own, anytime?

Do I have to contact MTI to cancel or can I do it myself?
You can do it yourself. Instructions HERE.

If I purchase a subscription and have questions about where to start or what plans(s) to use for my goals, will you help?
Yes. We answer dozens of training questions from athletes weekly. Email

If you add new plans or update existing plans after I subscribe will I have access to them?
Yes. We are continuously adding training plans and packets (2-5/month) and updating plans. With your subscription you’ll have access to all new plans, new courses and plan updates.

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?

Athlete's Subscription Package

Need all access programming? The Athlete Subscription gives you 450+ Plans and 4 Daily Programming Streams.