How to Make a Training Plan Part 4: training, resting, and outdoor climbing to fit your schedule

If you can find 5-6 hours to train every week, you can significantly improve your climbing.  With structured training after work twice a week and a day or two on the weekend, an outdoor weekend trip here and there, you have the time and resources to get better.

So before we move onto part 4, let’s recap:

  1. You have specific, attainable, inspiring goals
  2. You know the six components that go into a succesful plan
  3. You have looked at your goals and their timing and decided whether block or non-linear periodization is best for you.

Now what?

It’s time to get down to the nitty gritty and plan out your time in the gym each week. I am going to take you through some sample schedules that will be mostly relateable to the average weekend warrior–which is me.

I climb 3-4 days/week. I go to the gym 2-3 days after work M-F and climb on the weekends 1-2 days (if I’m lucky, I am outside on these days).

Me, looking particularly glamorous after a long power endurance session at my old gym in Cincinnati, OH.

Non-linear sample schedules

Weekly schedule, non-outdoor climbing:

Day Category Description Duration
Mon Rest
Tues Integrated
Strength
Lifting,
hangboard
75 min
Weds Endurance ARCing 60 min
Thur Rest
Fri Power Endurance timed
bouldering
75 min
Sat Rest watch
football
Sun Power Limit
bouldering
90 minutes
Mon Rest
Tues Integrated
Strength
Lifting,
hangboard
75 min
Weds Endurance ARCing 60 min
Thur Rest

WEEKLY TOTAL TRAINING TIME: 5 hours

Weekly schedule with outdoor climbing:

Day Category Description Duration
Mon Integrated
Strength
Lifting,
hangboard
75 min
Tues Rest
Weds Power Limit
bouldering
90 minutes
Thur Endurance ARCing 60 min
Fri Rest
Sat OUTDOOR CLIMBING
Sun
Mon Rest
Tues Integrated
Strength
Lifting,
hangboard
75 min
Weds Endurance ARCing 60 min
Thur Rest

WEEKLY TOTAL TRAINING HOURS: ~4 hours plus a weekend outside
….
The key is to rotate between Strength, Limit bouldering, Endurance and Power Endurance. I have decoupled my outdoor climbing with my training. I climb outside, have a good time and pick up training where I left off in the cycle when I come back. Learn more about block periodization in part 3.

Block Sample Schedules

For block periodization, at least in the case of the Rock Prodigy Program, the schedule is pretty simple. See below for breakdown by phases. Each phase lasts 2-6 weeks depending on your goals and climbing experience. You can learn more about this program by picking up your own copy of The Rock Climber’s Training Manual.

Base Fitness

Tuesday: ARCing 60-90 minutes
Thursday: ARCing 60-90 minutes
Saturday/Sunday: climb outdoors on moderate routes

Strength:

Tuesday/Thursday: Hangboard, lift
Saturday/Sunday: moderate routes outdoors (or inside)

Power:

Monday: campusing, limit bouldering, lifting
Thursday: limit bouldering
Saturday: outdoor climbing
Rest Sunday

Power Endurance:

Tuesday/Thursday: linked boulder circuits or route intervals
Saturday/Sunday: redpoint attempts

Resting

Resting is critical. Recently I’ve noticed myself trying to do too much back to back. I only recently have dialed in what I can do back to back and what I can’t. I know I need a rest day before I limit boulder now, no matter what. I also need a rest day before strength training. I also know that if I’m feeling too tired for that day’s agenda I can slot in low-end endurance and move on to the next day of training when the time comes.

Me about to step into this icy cold pool on a rest day in Spain last summer. The cold was real nice on the muscles.

I also prefer to rest before I go outside. I want to be fresh and presentable when I get the chance to climb on real rocks.

Outdoor climbing

I get outside whenever I can and I do my best to make the most of these days. I like to follow Eric Horst’s philosophy on the time you spend climbing:

“Shoot for a 3:1 ratio of practice time to performance time”.

Gym days are for practice, for me. Extrapolating from this philosophy, days outside are about 1/3 performance and 2/3 practice. In a weekend I like to spend one of the days working something hard and the other day climbing things I can onsight. This enables me to both try hard and practice smooth, high-skill climbing outside.

My friends and I having too much fun when we got ourselves rained out at the Red a few months back.

I climb outside as much as life allows and I hope you do too!

 

Summary

1. If you can climb three days per week and dedicate an average of 6-8 hours/week to climbing, you can improve.

2. Rest days must be taken when needed

3. Climbing outside is fun and opportunities to climb outside should be seized and cherished and celebrated with crag beers with good pals.

How many days a week can you get to the gym? What time management strategies have you found? 

I’d love to hear from you. Leave a comment or shoot me an email at senderellastory@gmail.com

Happy climbing!

Senderella

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