Training for climbing

February 8th, 2021

Introduction to climbing training

Climbing until you don’t feel your forearms more is quite easy. However, improving your climbing grade constantly in the long term isn’t so easy. This is why a good understanding of climbing training is so important. At ClimbingPlan, we offer you the necessary climbing training program, workouts and all the necessary to improve your climbing.

You have a higher probability of stagnating if you always make the same exercises, with the same loads and repetitions. To climb better what you need is variety. The principle of variability is very important . But if you train randomly, the risk of climbing injuries will be higher.

Half technique, half strength, this is climbing. The power comes from adapting yourself correctly to a climbing training program that is personalized to you. To push your climbing to the next level, read this article and complete a ClimbingPlan assessment.

Pull-ups, weight lifting, deadhangs, wind sprints… you make all the workouts but you don’t improve? Training has to be oriented, well-planned, and tailored to suit your individual needs in order to be fully successful.

How to plan your climbing training

You can improve with different approaches when preparing your climbing training program, but it's easy to get stuck. Your grade would not change if you have been doing the same training for years, with the same exercises and breaks. If you intend to continue progressing, preparing for climbing training will be necessary.

To plan you must carry out an analysis of the starting point, and an establishment of the goals pursued. For someone just starting out, the planning is straightforward: gradually increase the intensity and take some rest when you get stuck. But as you get more experienced, it gets more complicated.

Due to the cumulative effect of training, planning helps you to keep improving in the long term. It helps you work with different intensities and improve all your skills better. If you have completed a power cycle, you should concentrate on power-endurance, apply the power gained, and focus on other types of muscle fibers and metabolic substrates.

However, the choice of the correct recovery times and the alternation of loads of different orientation is enormously complex and variable. For your training to be functional, it must be transferred to the type of climbing you practice, or to specific objectives.

With your climbing training program you can find peaks of forms (example: get at your maximum level for a trip) or a more “plateau” wat of training. There is no universal method for climbing training due to the variability of objectives of each climber: competition, rock climbing training, bouldering, scheduled trips, dates allowed by the climate of the area, work…


Periodized training focuses on the principle of overload and adaptation; climbers will steadily develop capacity by stimulating the body during a period of time, enabling it to recover, and then stimulating it again. Think of it as: Two steps forward one step backward.

Periodization is the practice of breaking an annual training program into separate time blocks, where each block has a specific purpose that gives different types of stress to the body. To enhance regeneration, it helps you to build some intense cycles and some easy cycles. Periodization also lets you develop multiple physiological skills during separate training periods.

Three kinds of cycles are related to periodization:

  • In climbing, a macrocycle usually refers to a 3 months cycle.
  • A mesocycle refers within that macrocycle to a specific training month or block; e.g. the period of endurance.
  • A microcycle, typically a week of training, corresponds to the smallest unit in a mesocycle.

You will ensure that you are constructing and rebuilding sufficiently for optimum adaptation by structuring the season with these cycles in mind.

Read on to discover the concept behind periodization and how it can be applied to you.


Not all climbers are the same, this is why personalization in climbing training is so important

Factors we recommend you taking into account when preparing your climbing training plan, in fact, these are the ones we ask in our assessment to prepare your personalized training plan:

  • Previous training experience

    • It will determine intensity, load, hangboard routines, use of campus, injury prevention and more!
  • Available equipment

    • Some climbing training plans providers offer costly training plans not taking into account your available training equipment. At ClimbingPlan it does not happen, we are climber centric!
  • Available time
  • Available climbing days
  • Climbing type

    • Alpinism, outdoor vs indoor, bouldering, lead climbing and more.
  • Goal

    • Differentiate between climbing on sight or redpointing for example.
  • Core level


Each climber is unique and must train according to their needs, potential, goals and will. It is not worth taking just any planning and executing it to the letter. This is why at ClimbingPlan we offer you a personalized training plan personalized to your climbing level, equipment, time availability and goal.

Take it easy. Allow your body to progress and adapt to the increasing difficulty. If you are just starting out and your technique limits you, you should spend more time outdoors than in the gym. If your technique exceeds your physical capabilities, then you will need to carry out a specific workout in the gym.

But until this happens, it will take time for the tendons and general muscles to become stronger. Once you automate the technique, you will really enjoy climbing.It's not easy work, and very often you're going to use the empirical trial/error factor. The critical aspect is to change as quickly as possible when feeling things are not working.