Time to Train.

January is definitely my least favorite month. I love New Years day (in fact, it may actually be my favorite day of the year), but then the holidays are over, being cold no longer feels festive, and you don’t have an excuse to consume copious amounts of eggnog and cookies…

The upside of January is that it’s a great time to train! I always have a renewed psych for training after I make a list of my climbing goals for the year; realizing that the hard work I put in now will hopefully make some of those goals achievable come climbing season 🙂

Sometimes training can feel overwhelming because there is SO MUCH information out there, and it’s hard to know exactly WHAT to do. I have tried several different training plans over the last couple years, and this time around I decided to make my own plan because I feel like I’ve learned what works for me and what doesn’t… I would like to state that I am not a trainer, and have no professional education in training, so everything in this post is simply based on my own experience and opinions… However, I get a lot of questions about what I do for training, so I thought it would be useful to write a few posts about what exactly I do…

When it comes to training, I definitely don’t think there is a “one-size fits all” solution. Everyone is different and has different strengths and weaknesses, and I think training should be catered to those individual needs. That being said, here are a couple things I like to think about when deciding what to do for training:

  • What are my goals? I think all training should be tailored for whatever personal goals you have. This is pretty self explanatory, but I would obviously train differently if my goal was to climb a 5.13 sport route, vs. climbing a hard boulder problem… but even within the realm of just bouldering, if I have a specific project in mind, sometimes I will tailor my training to meet the demands of a specific move or crux sequence.
  • General fitness: How is my overall fitness at the moment? Do I need to put specific energy into gaining general fitness, i.e. weight loss, cardio, day-endurance?
  • What are my strengths and weaknesses? These get a little harder to pinpoint as you gain more experience as a climber, but super helpful if you can find those things that you are lacking. I often ask people I climb with for their feedback on if they notice any inefficiencies or weaknesses in my climbing (probably to the point of annoyance 😛 )
  • Any nagging injuries? It’s always important to take this into account, even if something seems minor, climbing creates so many imbalances in the body, and it’s important to try and address these before injuries happen or get worse!

So given those factors, here is what I have come up with for myself. First I will say that my goals are pretty general at the moment; I’d like to be ready for the spring bouldering season. For training, while I generally prefer a non-periodized schedule, I have decided to do 4 weeks of strength specific training followed by 4 weeks of power specific training. For the strength phase, I have decided to focus on two specific goals: the one arm pull up and the front lever. I currently can’t do either, but I figure both will be good to work towards! Without further ado, here’s an outline of my 4-week strength training schedule:

Monday: Rest


  • Warm-up: Bouldering
  • One arm repeaters on slopers (5″ on, alternating sides. 3 reps. 5 sets)
  • Max effort dead hangs – partial crimp (10″, 5 sets)
  • Max effort dead hangs – 3 finger open hand (10″, 5 sets)
  • One-arm pull up (eccentric) [I assist myself into a one arm pull up and then slowly lower down from there] (1 rep, alternating, 5 sets)
  • Weighted TRX Plank (60″, 4 sets)


one arm hang 2.png
One arm dead hangs on sloper



one arm lower.png
One arm pull-up (eccentric)



Weighted TRX Plank



  • Deadlifts (5 reps, 5 sets)
  • Shoulder External Rotations (20 reps, alternating. 4 sets)
  • Shoulder Internal Rotations (20 reps, alternating. 4 sets)
  • TRX Core Super Sets (Saws/V-ups, Planks/Sit-ups, Reverse Crunches/Crunches; 3 sets each)

Thursday: Rest


  • Warm-up: Bouldering
  • Repeaters – partial crimp (10″/5″ rest, 4 reps, 6 sets)
  • Repeaters – 3 finger open hand (10″/5″ rest, 4 reps, 6 sets)
  • Assisted one-arm pull-ups with pulley (1 rep alternating, 5 sets)
  • Front Levers (one-leg) (10″, 5 sets)



  • Deadlifts (5 reps, 5 sets)
  • Shoulder External Rotations (20 reps, alternating. 4 sets)
  • Shoulder Internal Rotations (20 reps, alternating. 4 sets)
  • TRX Core Super Sets (Saws/V-ups, Planks/Sit-ups, Reverse Crunches/Crunches; 3 sets each)


  • 4x4s on Moon Board
  • Burpees (2min, 3 sets)
  • Core: v-ups/bicycles/crunches (30/50/50, 3 sets)



Stay tuned for my Power workouts!


3 thoughts on “Time to Train.

  1. Thanks for your posts! – I hope you find the time (motivation) to write some more. I am also an environmental consultant (I work for Arcadis Canada) and an overly obsessed climber, so I can relate allot.

    I took a huge chunk of time off climbing (2012-2014) to build my house and started again in the fall of 2015, so had to start from zero again. It has been a super rad experience building back up (uber frustrating at times as well). I jumped back in too quick a few times and ended up injured (It clearly took me while to realize that I was a beginner again – from a physical stand point).

    Anyways, enjoy your training and be psyched by the process!


    1. That’s awesome!! Yeah, it’s always hard when you have to take time off climbing, and definitely takes motivation and perseverance to start back up again and get back to where you were! It’s definitely a humbling experience. That’s awesome that you are getting back at it, and I always love to hear more about other people who maintain a career and climbing simultaneously! Keep crushing!!!


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