The route climbing endurance plans are built around developing sustained power outputs for long duration. These marry the needs of most climbers, and neither focus on strength-endurance nor on the low-end and recovery-heavy training of pure endurance climbing. This program features maintenance of strength through weekly bouldering and maintenance-level finger strength training. The bulk of this plan is energy system work that can be done in a bouldering gym, route gym, or even outside.

This 4-week plan should come after you have built good power/strength for a month or two, and would be appropriate before a long trip or redpoint season. The sessions are sequenced below, but are not tied to specific days of the week. Simply insert rest days as needed, and do the sessions in the order described. If the volume is too high for you to effectively do all the sessions, consider backing each session off by about 25% volume rather than eliminating whole sessions.

It is hard to perform at the crag with this volume of work. If you do want to continue effective cragging (the routes you’ll be on should be one or two grades below max) be sure to place your cragging days after a rest day or an EE day.

 

DAY 1 DAY 2 DAY 3 DAY 4 DAY 5
WEEK 1 15 MOVE CIRCUITS / EE 1 EE 2 POWER BOULDER / FINGER STRENGTH 25 MOVE CIRCUITS / EE 1 EE 2
WEEK 2 15 MOVE CIRCUITS / EE 3 EE4 POWER BOULDER / FINGER STRENGTH 25 MOVE CIRCUITS / EE 3 EE 4
WEEK 3 15 MOVE CIRCUITS / EE 1 EE 2 POWER BOULDER / FINGER STRENGTH 25 MOVE CIRCUITS / EE 1 EE 2
WEEK 4 15 MOVE CIRCUITS / EE 3 EE4 POWER BOULDER / FINGER STRENGTH 25 MOVE CIRCUITS / EE 3 EE 4

 

The Sessions:

15 and 25  Move Circuits

The 15 and 25 Move Circuits should be performed on a bouldering wall. Your circuit should be continuous in nature with no major rests or cruxes, and should not have any tweaky holds. You can consider traversing into an existing problem, linking problems, or setting an independent circuit or two. The circuit should be hard enough that you can just barely do it, so it might take a  session or two to get the sequence dialed.

 

15 move circuits

After warming up, do eight repeats of the circuit on a 5 minute running clock. If you really start to fail at the end and your technique is dropping off, increase your clock to 6-7 minutes. If after all eight things feel too easy, keep the rest the same, but make the problem slightly harder.

 

25 move circuits

After warm-up, do six repeats of your circuit on a 7-8 minute clock. This problem should be a fair bit more tiring than the 15 mover, and you’ll be glad for the rest. As your fitness improves, consider making just one or two moves in the circuit slightly harder rather than building an entirely new one.

 

EE (Extensive Endurance)

EE is easy mileage on easy problems, traverses or routes. This is more difficult than popular “ARC Traversing”, since we are climbing actual problems or easy routes instead of open holds…and definitely not at a restorative level. If you could imagine ARC as “5th gear” in your car, this would be 4th. In practice, this is the zone in which you spend most of your redpointing time when on “easy terrain” anyway.

This is a more effective zone for gaining endurance and day-long stamina, and is doubly useful because you have to keep your mind on the movement.

 

In this program, you’ll have 4 session formats, as follows:

 

EE1 EE2 EE3 EE4
10 min easy 15 min easy 20 min easy 30 min easy
Rest 5 min Rest 5 min Rest 5 min
10 min easy 10 min easy 10 min easy
Rest 5 min
5 min easy

 

Power Bouldering

The Power Bouldering Sessions are 45-60 minutes long after warm-up. When focusing on power, we do a few things slightly differently than we do in a normal bouldering session. The session details are as follows:

  • Problems should take no longer than 10 seconds. In most gyms, this means doing only sections of problems, or making up your own.
  • Problems should be explosive or “thrutchy” in nature, and should feature generally good holds.
  • Do one problems every 4-6 minutes followed by a minute or so of active stretching, then rest. This means you’ll complete 10-12 problems per session.

 

Finger Strength

The finger strength sessions in this program are very simple, and always follow a Power Bouldering session. This session acts as an excellent warm-up for the finger strength sessions. The finger strength session takes just 16 minutes.

 

You will use two different hold positions, the half crimp and the 2 finger (middle pair) pocket. Alternating between the two positions, you’ll begin each set at the top of the minute. This means you’ll end up with eight sets on each position.

Simply hold the crimp for 10 seconds, then rest for 50. At the beginning of minute 2, you hold the pocket for 10 seconds, then rest for 50. Repeat the sequence for all sixteen minutes.

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