This 6-week training program is sport-specifically designed to prepare athletes for rock climbing or bouldering. It is designed to be completed directly before a climbing trip or can be used as focused rock gym training.
Rock Climbing performance is primarily dependent upon finger, grip and forearm strength, as well as proper footwork and technique.
This climbing-specific fitness programming in this training plan is primarily focused on finger, grip and forearm strength. As well, using bouldering, it pushes an athlete’s rock climbing technique progression and development.
The plan does include some general fitness work capacity, strength training, and core strength training, but the focus on the plan is finger/grip and forearm strength and rock climb technique development.
This is a 6-day/week training program, which gets progressively harder as you work through the plan. Training sessions are designed to be 60-70 minutes long, and the plan is designed to be completed in any rock gym which includes a general fitness area, or, a rock gym plus any commercial gym.
This is Version 3 of this plan, updated April 2019.
The program design in this plan was first tested by lab rats at MTI’s facility in Jackson, Wyoming. Click HERE to read more about that cycle.
This training plan deploys two focused drills to train rock climb-specific strength: (1) Rock Climb Lock & Reaches, and (2) Campus Board Constant/Rapid Movement Intervals. You’ll train each, once per week.
This training plan deploys versions of the Bouldering V-Sum to concurrently train rock climbing strength and technique. The Bouldering V-Sum is most efficient tool we’ve found for training pushing rock climb-specific technique. You’ll complete a 50-minute, 8x problem Bouldering V-Sum every Monday during this plan, and a 40-minute, 4x problem Bouldering V-Sum every Thursday.
General Strength, Work Capacity and Endurance
The primary focus of this training plan is rock climbing-specific strength training and technique work. However, the plan also includes general upper body and core strength training, work capacity efforts, and assessed and progressed endurance. The endurance work is built around multiple 5-mile running assessments.
- Monday – 50-minute, 8x Problem Bouldering V-Sum
- Tuesday – Climbing Strength (Lock & Reach), Core Strength (sandbag getups)
- Wednesday – Endurance (5 Mile Run Assessment or 2-Mile Intervals)
- Thursday – Climbing Strength (Technique), Upper Body/Core Strength
- Friday – Climbing Strength (Campus Board Constant/Rapid Movement Intervals), General Work Capacity (Prone to Sprints)
- Saturday – Endurance – moderate pace run (6-8 miles).
- Campus Board
- Bouldering Gym and/or Moon Board for Bouldering V-Sums
- Sandbag (Women – 40 pound, Men – 60 Pound)
- Pull Up Bar
- Pair of Dumbbells (Women – 15lb, Men – 25lb)
- Stop Watch with Interval Timer (smartphone will work)
My Rock Gym has a General Fitness Area and hang boards, but now campus board. Can I still do this plan?
No – you’ll need a campus … The program includes an alternative if your gym doesn’t have a campus board.
How long should the training sessions take?
60-75 minutes, Mon-Friday. Saturday’s long runs push to 8 miles and depending upon your pace, may push to 90 minutes.
What if I can’t keep the Monday through Saturday Schedule?
Do not skip any sessions. Do your best to train 6 days per week, but If you can’t, do the sessions in their exact order. The program is progressive and you should not “skip around”. Start again where you left off.
What does 2/4x Pull ups Mean?
2x Pull Ups for female athletes, 4x Pull Ups for male athletes.
What does 15/25# mean?
15# for female athletes, 25# for male athletes.
What if I miss a day?
Begin where you left off when you return to training. This program is progressed – each session builds upon the prior session – so don’t skip a session or skip around. Follow the training sessions in order, regardless.
Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE. The Run/Ruck Calculator is listed as an exercise.
What about nutrition?
We strongly recommend a strict diet as you complete this training plan. Cutting excess fat will directly improve your rock climbing performance. During this program ….
Eat This: Meat, vegetables, fruit, nuts
Drink This: Water, Coffee, Tea, a little fruit juice.
Don’t Eat: Sugar, grains (wheat, bread, rice, etc.), Beans, Dairy.
Don’t Drink: Soda, Alcohol, Milk. With the exception of fruit juice, try to avoid drinking any calories.
Note: There is no caloric restriction with this diet. Eat when you are hungry, just avoid the “don’t eat” list.
Can I see sample training?
Yes. Click the “Sample Training” tab to see the entire first week of programming.
How do I access the plan?
You can access the plan via username and password either through our website or through our app (Mtn Tactical Fitness) available for IOS and Android.
Can I print out sessions to take to the gym?
Yes – you can print a week of programming at a time.
More Questions? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org