Tips for Creating your Own Climbing Training Plan

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted anything training related, mostly due to the fact that I took a brief hiatus from structured training myself. The training bug is back though, and I’ve been working on establishing a new routine to achieve some new results!

I’ve seen a growing trend of climbers putting in their own time and effort to create a training plan for themselves, while growing their knowledge of the sport’s mechanics in the process. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a degree in Kinesiology or something similar, it’s hard to know what to do and how it will help. As rewarding as creating your own routine can be, here as some ways you can direct your efforts in the right direction:

1. Highlight your Weaknesses

Your training routine should be well-rounded to cover all areas of climbing fitness, but knowing your weaknesses will allow you to target these areas specifically.

2. Research like an Academic

The internet has a vast array of websites claiming to have climbing specific exercises but some are created without climbing in mind. My advice would be to cross-reference these workouts. If you find a workout you are unsure of, find a few other sources who also support that workout for climbing gains.

Even better, research as if you were writing an essay. I know quite a few climbers who have created programs for themselves and have dug through pages and pages of clinical research to find what really works for climbers. Time consuming, yes, but this pays off immensely in the end. If this sounds too daunting, take the easy road and do what I suggested above. It really depends on how accurate you want your results, but both will produce results.

3. Be Realistic

Imagine your average day. Along with work, chores and other things that happen, do you really have time for 3 hours of training when you usually do 1? Know your capabilities, realistically. Challenge yourself, but don’t bite off more than you can chew. The longevity of your program depends on how enjoyable and realistic you make it. If you’ve never trained before, keep it simple at first. Establish an easy routine before diving into something full on. Training can be boring sometimes, especially when all you want to do is climb. Set yourself up for success!

4. Tweak an Existing Routine

For the first time ever, I bought a training routine off the internet. I was itching to try something created by someone else, so I forked over 20$ for a 12-week strength/power cycle training guide. I was happy with most of what they asked, but I felt like a few things were missing so I swapped out a couple of workouts and replaced them with some workouts from my previous routine (ie. my finger training guide). Now, I have a routine I feel works to my advantage! And, they did most of the work so… score? 🙂

Existing programs on the market include:

The Power Company

The Climbing Sensei 

Climb Strong

5. Consistency is your Friend

You can’t do a workout once a week and expect results. Read up on how often you need to perform that exercise to see any improvement, and repeat it that many times during the week. Depending on the workout and intensity, each workout should be performed 2-3 times per week as a rule of thumb.

6. Don’t get Stuck on the Numbers

Technique is more important than the appearance of strength. If you’re adding/taking away weight, don’t concern yourself with how it appears. As long as it works for you, it’s golden. Remember that your training routine is pointing you in the right direction. Progress takes time! Trust that you put the necessary effort into creating this program for yourself and that it will pay off.

7. Modify as you Go

You may have chosen a workout that doesn’t seem to fit your program, and that’s okay. Often times I have started with a workout that sounded great on paper, but wasn’t working for me in reality. In a case like that, I have either increased/decreased the intensity of the workout, or have swapped it out entirely for something similar. It’s hard to know whether or not to stick with a workout, so when in doubt stick with it. Once you have more experience with training you’ll be able to tell whether or not something just isn’t working, or if results are just taking their sweet ol’ time.

I wish you the best of luck with your training!

Climb on xx