The mission of the training plan is to provide a platform for the participants of the Training for Climbing Clubs to utilize the climbing walls and fitness equipment to have fun working out and increase their climbing performance. The training program is rigorous but flexible, utilizing the principles of periodization, and focusing on improving technique in addition to physical strength.
The purpose of light aerobic activity before climbing is to increase blood flow and core temperature before getting on the wall. Active stretching versus static stretching is important because it helps to increase the range of motion of your joints and will reduce the risk of injury. Active stretching prepares your muscles for the climbing you are about to do.
Complete each exercise for at least 30 seconds before getting on the wall. *Complete certain exercises for 15 seconds clockwise and 15 seconds counter clockwise.
*Small Arm Circles
*Hip Circles (both legs)
Quads & Hip Flexors
Hamstrings and Hip Extensors
Shoulders, Triceps, Back, Biceps
Hips & Groin
The base phase lasts 6 weeks with the goal to lay a foundation for the rest of the program by developing aerobic endurance. We will build a foundation of climbing and general fitness to support the more intense phases to come. The climbing workouts will be low-intensity bouldering with the goal of maximizing the amount of time spent on the wall. The circuit workout will teach you how to train with weight and help you learn proper movement patterns. We'll be specifically training the aerobic respiratory and capillary system, or ARC.
The base fitness phase is focused on low intensity and long duration climbing which provides opportunities to learn and work on climbing techniques via specific climbing drills. Climbing drills are an excellent way to increase your climbing technique including balance, footwork, efficiency and dynamic movement.
Aerobic Respiration and Capillarity
The purpose of each ARC session is to achieve a Maximum Steady State (MSS) of forearm pump. The MSS is "the highest level of intensity at which a muscle can continue to function aerobically" (Anderson 95).
The purpose of completing ARC training is to prepare your muscles, specifically your forearms, for the more intense training in the next phases. Each ARC session lasts around 30 minutes and should be completed on vertical to slightly overhanging terrain.
The strength phase lasts 3 weeks and is focused on increasing finger strength and working on overall body strength to improve your climbing performance. This will be accomplished by completing strength specific climbing drills on the bouldering wall and on ropes that include endurance climbing followed by various upper body strength exercises. A hangboard training plan will start during this phase and continue into the Power Phase to increase your finger strength.
The strength phase is focused on sustained climbing followed by drills that will increase your strength of climbing specific muscles such as fingers, shoulders, back, core, forearms, legs etc. The climbing drills incorporates the following movements; pulling-muscle exercises (pull-ups), pushing-muscle exercises (push-ups), and core exercises.
The hangboard is a tool used to isolate specific grip positions to increase overall finger strength through periodization very similar to the overall training program. The hangboard can be used to vary a number of factors including grip position, weight, hang time, number of repetitions and sets to customize your workout.
The hangboard will be used for 6 weeks during the Strength and Power phases but can be incorporated into the other training phases. The hangboard circuit will be adapted to fit your climbing experience and goals. The hangboard should be used with caution and only after warming up your fingers extensively to reduce the risk of injury.
The power phase lasts 3 weeks and is focused on increasing finger strength and working on overall power to improve your climbing performance. This will be accomplished by completing power specific climbing drills on the bouldering wall and on ropes that will increase your ability to complete dynamic movements followed by drills performed on the system board. The hangboard training plan started during the Strength Phase will continue into this phase to increase your finger strength.
The power phase is focused on completing dynamic climbing drills such as one handed climbing, speed climbing, and skipping holds. These drills will increase your comfort and ability to perform dynamic climbing movements and can be applied towards techniques such as dynos. The climbing drills will train slow-twitch muscle fibers to respond more quickly and to generate an increase in fast-twitch muscle fibers.
Hangboard training continues through the power phase.
POWER ENDURANCE PHASE
The power endurance phase lasts 3 weeks and is focused on increasing your ability to to complete long powerful climbing routes. This will be accomplished by completing power specific climbing drills on the bouldering wall and on ropes.
The power endurance phase is focused on completing powerful and sustained climbing drills such as 4x4s and route intervals on overhanging routes. These drills involve climbing hard problems over a short period of time mixed in with short recovery rest periods. The drills will train your aerobic power and anaerobic capacity to both increase your power and strength endurance.
Instead of completing a circuit routine in the gym, we will use the system board to work on climbing specific movements. If your gym doesn’t have a system board, you can use a spray wall to complete some fun climbing games.
The performance phase lasts 7 weeks and is focused on projecting. Projecting is when someone works for multiple weeks on a problem that is at their climbing limit. Project can take anywhere from 2 weeks to a couple years. Each person will select a couple of projects to work on throughout this phase. You now get to use all the technique and strength you gathered over the training program and apply it to these problems over the next 7 weeks.
In order to prevent deteriorating in fitness during this time, we recommend a maintenance phase on the hangboard and we perform a 30 minute circuit at the end of each climbing session.
Each phase consists of a 30 minute circuit workout in the exercise room following the climbing workouts.
The base fitness circuit is focused on general conditioning to allow your body to adapt to training with weight and to learn the movement patterns to reduce the risk of injury. The circuit is comprised of climbing specific drills that will prepare the nervous system for the more strenuous circuits in the following phases while developing the mobility to complete the movements.
Strength / Power:
The strength and power circuit is focused on increasing climbing specific strength through basic climbing related movements. These movements include supplemental exercises to the climbing drills previously performed including focus on the latissimus dorsi "lats", shoulders and core. The intention is to complete less repetitions with increased weight to increase your body's baseline capability during the strength phase. The amount of weight will be increased during the power phase of the circuit.
Instead of completing a circuit training in the gym similar to the rest of the training phases, the system board will be utilized during this phase to focus on climbing specific movements. There are a variety of drills and exercises to perform on the system board depending on your weaknesses such as system wall repeaters, add-on, lock-offs, flagging and more. The raining will be adapted to fit your needs and adjusted based on the availability and setup of the system board in the local climbing gym.
The performance circuit is focused on maintaining the strength you have gained throughout the season. It is not extremely intense so you can focus on completing your climbing objectives without limiting your performance from completing the circuit workouts.
Log your climbing progress
Interested in logging all the hard work you are doing while you are at the gym? Check out the Training Log created to help you keep track of your climbing and fitness progress throughout the year.
Includes all training exercises and workouts for the 16 and 22 week training program and more!
The exercises and information contained in this Training Plan is for educational purposes only and may not be appropriate for all individuals. Never Stop Moving and their affiliates are not responsible for any injuries or health conditions that may arise as a result of this Training Plan. While Never Stop Moving will provide advice for how to do each exercise, it is solely your responsibility to warm up properly and decide if you are capable of performing the workouts without injury. Climbing and training for climbing are inherently dangerous activities, and Never Stop Moving is in no way responsible for your decision making while you are engaged in these activities. The information in this Training Plan is meant for healthy adult individuals. You should consult with your physician to make sure it is appropriate for your individual circumstances. If you have any health issues or concerns please consult with your physician prior to performing any of the workouts contained in this training plan.