Bouldering 436 Plan – Specific Power

4 week plan – 3 days per week – 60-120 minutes per session

This is a 3x per week bouldering plan that last 4 weeks. The training involves a medium-intensity day, a high-intensity day, and a low-intensity day each week. It is best to start this cycle with a good base of finger strength and a solid athletic foundation – this might be too much volume for a getting-back-in-shape block.

The 436 plan would fit well between a Base Strength 2 plan and a performance phase, or else a Route Climbing Endurance 1 Plan. The time commitment of this plan is approximately 6 hours per week. It is not recommended that you do any other training during this time.

 

Each day consists of 3 parts:

  1. A small amount of foundation strength training in the form of a Push-Up progression and a deadlift.
  2. Bouldering for 45-75 minutes.
  3. Hangboard training on two holds: an edge and either a pocket or a pinch.

 

Week 1:

Day 1 (medium) –

Performance Bouldering, 45-60 minutes after warm-up. This should feature mostly problems that you can do within two to five tries. Onsight level problems are too easy, and the really hard ones should be saved for the hard day later in the week.

 

Foundation Strength, 20 minutes. 2 sets each of 5x Deadlift and 5x 1-Arm 1-Leg Push-Up. These numbers will be around 70-75% of your max.

 

Hangboard, 17 minutes. 2 rounds of 6 sets each, 5 second hangs on a 30 second rolling clock, alternating between a small edge hang and a second position. Rest 5 minutes between rounds.

 

Day 2 (hard) –

Limit Bouldering, 45-75 minutes after warm-up. This session should feature attempts on super-maximal problems and will rarely see you sending. You may send one or two per training cycle, but the goal is high-threshold skill building. Finish the session with 3-4 easier problems, closer to your onsight level. This serves as a cool-down of sorts, but also helps reset the body into normal movement after so much “cruxing.”

 

Foundation Strength, 20 minutes. 2 sets each of 2x Deadlift and 2x 1-Arm 1-Leg Push-Up. These sets are probably close to 90% of your max.

 

Hangboard, 25 minutes. 2 rounds of 10 sets each, 5 second hangs on a 30 second rolling clock, alternating between a small edge hang and a second position. Rest 5 minutes between rounds.

 

Day 3 (light) –

Volume Boulder, 60-75 minutes. Stick with problems close to your onsight level. Your pacing will naturally be faster than in the heavier days early in the week, but don’t fall into the trap of chasing fatigue. Keep track of your total volume of climbing here and try to improve your density each session as the cycle progresses. This is done by tracking your “V” grades, adding them up to get a “V-Sum” and then dividing it by the minutes in the session. For example, you might do 75 total V points in a 60 minute session, which would give you a density of 1.25. If in a later session you do 88 points in a 65 minute session, you’d see a density of 1.35, which would be an improvement.

 

Foundation Strength, 20 minutes. 2 sets each of 20x Kettlebell Swings and max reps regular Push-Up (3 second reps). This is a strength-endurance stimulus, and won’t heavily tax your power reserves.

 

Hangboard, 10 minutes. 2 rounds of 2 sets each, 15 second hangs on a 60 second rolling clock, alternating between a small edge hang and a second position. Rest 2 minutes between rounds. Don’t skip this, even though it is brief.

 

Week 2:

Day 1 – Aim for a higher average V grade in the bouldering sets, and look for an increase in loads over last week in the weights. Progress loads in the hangboard if all sets were perfect last week.

 

Day 2 – Limit Bouldering will see you maintain difficulty and try for a 5-10 minute increase in the duration of the session if your power is still good. Loads in the deadlift and difficulty of the push-up should increase if you were technically correct last week. Hangboard progresses if last week’s session was perfect.

 

Day 3 – Put in the work. In the bouldering, keep the duration the same as last week, and try to push the volume a bit and the difficulty a bit, too. In the foundation training, move up to one kettlebell heavier and try to add a rep or two to the push-up. Maintain loads on the hangboard, but switch your timing to 20:40.

 

Week 3:

This is the hardest week of the cycle. Be rested for each session and don’t get stupid and add in other activities or training.

 

Day 1 – Aim for a higher average V grade in the bouldering sets than in the previous two weeks, and look for an increase in loads over last week in the weights. Progress loads in the hangboard if all sets were perfect last week.

 

Day 2 – Limit Bouldering will see you maintain difficulty and try for another 5-10 minute increase in the duration of the session over last week (but not over 75 minutes total work time) if your power is still good. Loads in the deadlift and difficulty of the push-up should increase if you were technically correct last week. Hangboard progresses if last week’s session was perfect.

 

Day 3 – Try to push the volume and the difficulty in the bouldering but don’t push the duration. In the foundation training, move up to one kettlebell heavier and try to add another rep or two to the push-up. Maintain loads on the hangboard, but switch your timing to 25:45.

 

Week 4:

We back off this week, even if (especially if) you’re feeling like going harder.

 

Day 1: Hold the bouldering at the same Average V from last week, but pull the session back by 15 minutes. Hold the deadlift and push-up the same as last week, and back the hangboard off to 2 rounds of 4 sets each, holding the duration and loading the same.

 

Day 2: Limit Bouldering should still be at max difficulty, but you’ll back off by 15 minutes this session. Stick with 2 sets of 2 on the weights, but don’t increase loads over last week. Hangboard maintains 2 rounds, but back off to 8 sets per round.

 

Day 3: Duration of the bouldering stays the same, but once again try to go harder or fit more in. This is the only part of the week where we are still increasing difficulty. Maintain weight and reps in the KB/Push-Up and on the hangboard.

 

Note: No, you can’t add additional crap to this training plan in some vain hope of making it work better faster.