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Session Training Plan

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Session Training Plan

TN_boardA new year brings new goals, ambitions and aspirations; and in the climber this usually manifests itself in an increased enthusiasm to train. Last year I put together ‘Seven Simple Sessions’ which outlined ideas to add some structure but keep sessions light-hearted. This year I thought I would ramp it up a little and write an example of a more detailed training plan. Below are a few structured sessions that I follow when the climbing wall/gym is my only option. Hopefully this will help inspire others to evolve these or even create their own plans and turn that raw enthusiasm into tangible results.

So, about the plan… I aim to only ‘train’ twice a week (completing both sessions 1 and 2, outlined below, in a week), all my other sessions are free to do as I want, whether that is to go bouldering, project something, visit a new crag etc. I have found this to be a good balance between actual climbing verses focused effort to improve. This allows some flexibility as to what days I train, fitting around other commitments that may arise during the week. It also stops me burning out, losing psyche or getting bored. I follow a 6 week strength phase, followed by a 6 week power phase which will be long enough for your body to make adaptions as well as see you through until the clocks change. The program below is one I have adapted for me and whilst I have found it to be beneficial, I would like to emphasise that everyone is different and therefore it is best used as a framework to create your own programme around.

Remember this is hard work! You will struggle for the first few sessions as your body adapts and the next day you will be suffering! This is because you are really pushing your body. On the my way cycling to the wall, I often think of the goals I want to achieve outside.

hangboardStrength Session 1

Warm-Up: Don’t skip, and make sure you feel fully warmed up before moving on to the hard stuff. That may mean doing more than you have intended, the programme should be flexible and fit around how you feel.

  • General Movement Exercises (Cycle/Run to wall or skipping) – 10-15 minutes
  • 10 minutes Core – I follow a session on the Nike training app.
  • 12 x easy up to medium boulder problems – 4 problems on 3 different angles

1) Hangboard – Straight Sets

Holds should be bad enough that 5 seconds feels like 5 hours. The strong may need to add weight or drop to one arm hangs.

  • Open hand: 5 seconds on, 55 seconds off x5, rest 2 minutes.
  • Half crimp: 5 seconds on, 55 seconds off x5, rest 2 minutes.
  • Full crimp: 5 seconds on, 55 seconds off x5, rest 2 minutes.
  • Sloper: 5 seconds on, 55 seconds off x5, rest 2 minutes.

2) System – Circuit Style activity – Repeat the circuit 3 times: 3 minute rest after each exercise, 8 minute rest after each circuit.

  • 2+2 (2 moves per hand, slow and controlled) @ 2 sec per move
  • Lock + Hover – 1+1 @ 5 sec each.
  • Slow Ladder (work a hold type e.g. pockets, crimps, sloper)
  • 2+2 (i.e. 4 move problem with two moves for each arm) at 2-3 sec per move
  • Leg lifts touching holds with your feet hanging in a roof.

3) Strength Climbing (4 sets of exercise, 3-5 minutes rest between sets)

Either on a woodie board or climbing set problems. You will need to experiment to find the right difficulty. Don’t always do them on the same problems though. Reduce rest time or increase difficulty as you progress.

  • Lock-off bouldering, 4 moves each arm x 6 second locks per side – open holds.
  • Footless Lock off – big hold, each arm x 10 second locks per side.
  • Climb a problem static 6-8 moves.

Cool down, stretch and get some food in you.

climbing_wallStrength Session 2

Warm-Up:

  • General Movement Exercises (Cycle/Run to wall or skipping) – 15 minutes
  • 3 x 8 pull-ups into Knee Raises – slower the better
  • 5 min easy traversing small holds, big feet
  • ~5 easy to mid grade problems

1) Hangboard – Ladders –Circuit Style activity – Repeat the circuit 3 times: (30 sec rest between hangs):

Holds will need to increase in size for longer hangs, each hang must be hard work.

  • Open hand: 3 sec, 6 sec, 9 sec
  • Half crimp: 3 sec, 6 sec, 9 sec
  • Full crimp: 3 sec, 6 sec, 9 sec
  • Sloper: 3 sec, 6 sec, 9 sec

All 3 sec hangs are completed, then all 6 sec hangs, then all 9 sec hangs before starting round 2 back at 3 sec hangs and so on.

2) System – Circuit Style activity – Repeat the circuit 3 times: 3 minute rest after each exercise, 8 minute rest after each circuit.

  • Undercling to crimp –  2+2 2 (4 move problem with two moves for each arm) @ 2 sec per move
  • Laddering (Bad hands big feet – reduce foothold size to increase intensity) – 2+2 @ 2-3 sec per move
  • Leg lifts touching holds with your feet hanging in a roof.

3) Strength Climbing (4 sets of each exercise, 3-5 minutes rest between sets)

Either on a woodie board or climbing set problems. You will need to experiment to find the right difficulty. Don’t always do them on the same problems though. Reduce rest time or increase difficulty as you progress.

  • 20 press ups
  • Lock-off bouldering, 3 x 4 second locks per side – open holds
  • Reach repeats (static) 3+3 2 (6 move problem with 3 moves for each arm)
  • Climb a problem static 4-6 moves.

Cool down, stretch and get some food in you.

TN_climbing1Power Session 1

Warm-Up:

  • General Movement Exercises (Cycle/Run to wall or skipping) – 15 minutes
  • 10 minutes Core – I follow a session on the Nike training app.
  • 12 x easy up to medium boulder problems – 3 different angles

1) Power Sets – 6 rounds: Circuit Style activity – Repeat the circuit 3 times.

3 minute rest after each exercise, 6-8 minute rest after each circuit.

  • 1-up X2 (1 Hard move into some easy moves to the top of the wall, Once going with left hand first, going right hand first). Give a few attempts shouldn’t be flash-able.
  • Explosive Campus problems, (Not on a campus board). Campus a steep problems that has been set at the wall.
  • Awkward Dynos 8 attempts. Go off bad holds or weird starting positions. Rest between attempts.

2) (Optional) ~25 minutes projecting a boulder at or beyond limit; lots of resting between goes.

3) Weight Training (4 sets)

  • 6x Dynamic front levels. Jump to bar, swing into front lever and control swing back down to hanging.
  • 25 Press ups.
  • Power pull ups X3-5 reps. Pull up as quickly as possible, try to get your shoulders over the bar.
  • 12x Bat hang touches

Cool down, stretch and get some food in you.

watchtowerPower Session 2

Warm-Up:

  • General Movement Exercises (Cycle/Run to wall or skipping) – 15 minutes
  • 5mins easy traversing – don’t get pumped at all. Focus on good footwork/body positions.
  • 10 – 15mins progressive bouldering.

1) Power Sets – 6 rounds: Circuit Style activity – Repeat the circuit 3 times: 3 minute rest after each exercise, 5-8 minute rest after each circuit.

  • Power Boulder Problem – 4 moves – rest 3 minutes.
  • Campus Board – 3 attempts at max – rest 60-90seconds between attempts.
  • Awkward Dynos 5 attempts –rest 30-40 seconds between attempts.

2) (Optional) ~25 minutes projecting boulders. Lots of Rest.

3) Weight Training (4 sets)

  • Muscle Ups (Max out on Reps)
  • 10x windscreen wipers levers
  • Power pull ups Power pull ups x3. Pull up as quickly as possible, try to get your shoulders over the bar.
  • Foot on doubles (Up-down-Up)
  • Jump and catch. From the floor jump start to a pair of holds. 1 arm or 2 but you success rate should be around 50%. Go for a variety of hold types, I normally do this on the board. This takes some experimenting to find appropriately challenging holds.

Cool down, stretch and get some food in you.