The Route Climbing Strength plans are built to increase finger strength, core strength, and overall body tension, with the longer efforts of full routes in mind. This plan is appropriate for boulderers looking for a bit more capacity as well as trad climbers, though the plan emphasizes finger strength at a level that is not needed by most trad objectives.  This training plan incorporates bouldering (indoors or out), hangboard training, energy system work, and resistance training. This is a simple plan, appropriate for climbers who have been training very little in the past 12 months or are new to organized training altogether. The time commitment of this plan is 10-12 hours per week on average.

Day 1:

Strength Resistance Training A – 50 minutes

5 rounds:

6 Pull-Ups

6+6 Walking Lunge

6 Hanging Straight Leg Raise

5 rounds:

6 Inverted Row

6 Step-Ups

6 Roll-Out

Hangboard A – 25 minutes

The format of this session is a little different than you’re probably used to. You’ll train three hold positions in a circuit-style format, holding each position for 5-8 seconds each. You simply cycle between the three positions until you reach a total hang time of 40 seconds per position. The positions are as follows:

Half Crimp

2 Finger (middle and ring)

Pinch (narrow grip, ~1.5″)

An example session might be as follows:

HC 8 sec, 2F 6 sec, P 6 sec

HC 7 sec, 2F 6 sec, P 7 sec

HC 7 sec, 2F 5 sec, P 7 sec

HC 6 sec, 2F 6 sec, P 6 sec

HC 6 sec, 2F 5 sec, P 5 sec

HC 6 sec, 2F 6 sec, P 6 sec

2F 6 sec, P 6 sec (HC reached 40 sec last round)

 

Day 2:

Volume Bouldering Day – 50 minutes

In this session, you’ll pick problems that are near your onsight limit or slightly below. Don’t go too easy – we still want you to be working hard in these sessions. Keep track of the problems you do, their grade, angle and type. Note your V-Sum at the end of the session.

General Interval Session – 20 minutes

Frequently, your skin or finger joints are done long before your system. In order to maximize the training and minimize potential for injury, I like to finish the volume bouldering session with non-specific intervals. The only rule: the training mode needs to be a total body movement. I suggest battling ropes, Airdyne bike, or rowers.

Warm-up easy, 5 min, increasing pace to very fast at the end.

4 rounds of:

30 seconds max pace (~15-20 calories on Airdyne), 90 seconds very easy/rest.

Warm-down, very easy, 5 minutes.

 

Day 3:

Rest

 

Day 4:

Strength Resistance Training B – 50 minutes

5 rounds:

6 Overhead Press

12 Kettlebell Swings

6 Hanging Straight Leg Raise

5 rounds:

6 Bench Press

3 Deadlift

6 Roll-Out

Hangboard B – 25 minutes

This session follows exactly the same format as Hangboard A (see Day 1, above), but you’ll use three different hold types. The positions I suggest are:

Wide Grip Pinch (~3″)

3 Finger (index, middle, ring)

Full Crimp

 

Day 5:

Intensive Bouldering Day – 90 minutes

In this session, you’ll warm-up for 10-20 minutes, using the following sequence:

Do as many easy V1/V2 problems as it takes to add up to your max grade. For example, if you are climbing V9 for your max problem, you might do V2, V1, V1, V2, V2, V1. Rest and stretch for a couple of minutes, then:

Do three problems in a row with little rest, which also add up to your limit grade. In our example, this might be V2, V3, V4. Rest a few minutes, then:

Do two problems that add to the limit grade, so maybe V4, V5 in our example.

Finish with some specific hold positions on the hangboard if necessary, depending on the nature of your work problems.

Following the warm-up, you’ll work toward doing hard problems for about an hour and fifteen minutes, resting a lot between goes. I suggest working 6-7 different problems for 10-12 minutes each. Record tries, problem type, and sends.

 

Day 6:

Rest

 

Day 7:

Rest and meal prep for the coming week.

 

Day 8:

Strength Resistance Training A – 50 minutes

5 rounds:

6 Pull-Ups

6+6 Walking Lunge

6 Hanging Straight Leg Raise

5 rounds:

6 Inverted Row

6 Step-Ups

6 Roll-Out

Intensify as appropriate over last week.

Hangboard A – 25 minutes

Half Crimp

2 Finger (middle and ring)

Pinch (narrow grip, ~1.5″)

Record changes from last week.

 

Day 9:

Technical Bouldering & Skills Day – 90 minutes

This is usually done on a less-steep wall, and problems should focus on hard positioning and footwork. These are frustrating sessions, but pay off tenfold if you stick with them. Think about quality movement and get plenty of rest. Warm-up for 10-15 minutes, then spend 1:15 or so picking apart 2-3 skills.

General Interval Session – 20 minutes

Warm-up easy, 5 min, increasing pace to very fast at the end.

6 rounds of:

30 seconds max pace (~15-20 calories on Airdyne), 90 seconds very easy/rest.

Warm-down, very easy, 5 minutes.

 

Day 10:

Rest

 

Day 11:

Strength Resistance Training B – 50 minutes

5 rounds:

6 Overhead Press

12 Kettlebell Swings

6 Hanging Straight Leg Raise

5 rounds:

6 Bench Press

3 Deadlift

6 Roll-Out

Advance as appropriate over last week.

Hangboard B – 25 minutes

Wide Grip Pinch (~3″)

3 Finger (index, middle, ring)

Full Crimp

Advance as appropriate over last week.

 

Day 12:

Volume Bouldering Day – 50 minutes

In this session, you’ll pick problems that are near your onsight limit or slightly below. Don’t go too easy – we still want you to be working hard in these sessions. Keep track of the problems you do, their grade, angle and type. Note your V-Sum at the end of the session. Compare today’s number with your number on Day 2.

 

Day 13:

Rest

 

Day 14:

Rest and meal prep for the coming week.

 

Day 15:

Strength Resistance Training A – 50 minutes

5 rounds:

6 Pull-Ups

6+6 Walking Lunge

6 Hanging Straight Leg Raise

5 rounds:

6 Inverted Row

6 Step-Ups

6 Roll-Out

Advance as appropriate over last week.

Hangboard A – 25 minutes

Half Crimp

2 Finger (middle and ring)

Pinch (narrow grip, ~1.5″)

Advance as appropriate over last week.

 

Day 16:

Intensive Bouldering Day – 90 minutes

In this session, you’ll warm-up for 10-20 minutes, using the following sequence:

Do as many easy V1/V2 problems as it takes to add up to your max grade. For example, if you are climbing V9 for your max problem, you might do V2, V1, V1, V2, V2, V1. Rest and stretch for a couple of minutes, then:

Do three problems in a row with little rest, which also add up to your limit grade. In our example, this might be V2, V3, V4. Rest a few minutes, then:

Do two problems that add to the limit grade, so maybe V4, V5 in our example.

Finish with some specific hold positions on the hangboard if necessary, depending on the nature of your work problems.

Following the warm-up, you’ll work toward doing hard problems for about 75 minutes, resting a lot between goes. I suggest working 6-7 different problems for 10-12 minutes each. Record tries, problem type, and sends. Compare results to Day 5.

General Interval Session – 20 minutes

Warm-up easy, 5 min, increasing pace to very fast at the end.

5 rounds of:

30 seconds max pace (~15-20 calories on Airdyne), 60 seconds very easy/rest.

Warm-down, very easy, 5 minutes.

 

Day 17:

Rest

 

Day 18:

Strength Resistance Training B – 50 minutes

5 rounds:

6 Overhead Press

12 Kettlebell Swings

6 Hanging Straight Leg Raise

5 rounds:

6 Bench Press

3 Deadlift

6 Roll-Out

Advance as appropriate over last week.

Hangboard B – 25 minutes

Wide Grip Pinch (~3″)

3 Finger (index, middle, ring)

Full Crimp

Advance as appropriate over last week.

 

Day 19:

Technical Bouldering & Skills Day – 90 minutes

This is usually done on a less-steep wall, and problems should focus on hard positioning and footwork. These are frustrating sessions, but pay off tenfold if you stick with them. Think about quality movement and get plenty of rest. Warm-up for 10-15 minutes, then spend 75 minutes picking apart the same 2-3 skills as on Day 9.

 

Day 20:

Rest

 

Day 21:

Rest and meal prep for the coming week.

 

Day 22:

Strength Resistance Training A – 50 minutes

4 rounds:

6 Pull-Ups

6+6 Walking Lunge

6 Hanging Straight Leg Raise

4 rounds:

6 Inverted Row

6 Step-Ups

6 Roll-Out

Same loads as last week.

Hangboard A – 25 minutes

Half Crimp

2 Finger (middle and ring)

Pinch (narrow grip, ~1.5″)

Same loads as last week.

 

Day 23:

Volume Bouldering Day – 50 minutes

In this session, you’ll pick problems that are near your onsight limit or slightly below. Don’t go too easy – we still want you to be working hard in these sessions. Keep track of the problems you do, their grade, angle and type. Note your V-Sum at the end of the session. Compare today’s number with your number on Day 12.

General Interval Session – 20 minutes

Warm-up easy, 5 min, increasing pace to very fast at the end.

5 rounds of:

30 seconds max pace (~15-20 calories on Airdyne), 45 seconds very easy/rest.

Warm-down, very easy, 5 minutes.

 

Day 24:

Rest

 

Day 25:

Strength Resistance Training B – 50 minutes

4 rounds:

6 Overhead Press

12 Kettlebell Swings

6 Hanging Straight Leg Raise

4 rounds:

6 Bench Press

3 Deadlift

6 Roll-Out

Same loads as last week.

Hangboard B – 25 minutes

Wide Grip Pinch (~3″)

3 Finger (index, middle, ring)

Full Crimp

Same loads as last week.

 

Day 26:

Intensive Bouldering Day – 90 minutes

In this session, you’ll warm-up for 10-20 minutes, using the following sequence:

Do as many easy V1/V2 problems as it takes to add up to your max grade. For example, if you are climbing V9 for your max problem, you might do V2, V1, V1, V2, V2, V1. Rest and stretch for a couple of minutes, then:

Do three problems in a row with little rest, which also add up to your limit grade. In our example, this might be V2, V3, V4. Rest a few minutes, then:

Do two problems that add to the limit grade, so maybe V4, V5 in our example.

Finish with some specific hold positions on the hangboard if necessary, depending on the nature of your work problems.

Following the warm-up, you’ll work toward doing hard problems for about 1:15, resting a lot between goes. I suggest working 6-7 different problems for 10-12 minutes each. Record tries, problem type, and sends. Compare results to Day 16.

 

Day 27:

Rest

 

Day 28:

Rest

Leave a Comment