Josh Wharton's 8 Week Intermediate / Advanced Rock Climbing Training Plan
Uphill Athlete by Steve House and Scott JohnstonAll plans by this Coach
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This eight week training plan is designed to improve intermediate and advanced climbing specific fitness, and create a peak performance period which can be utilized for an upcoming trip, or a specific goal route. It is ideal for climbers operating in the 5.10 to upper 5.12+ range. The plan operates on the assumption of a Monday through Friday work schedule.
Required equipment: Simple notebook to use as a training log, access to a commercial climbing gym or home wall, fingerboard, and TRX kit. Access to outdoor climbing preferred, but not required.
Download the Beastmaker fingerboard app. It’s an excellent way to time your fingerboard workouts (use the custom timer).
The Rock Prodigy Training Logbook has an excellent form for recording your fingerboard workouts.
A common skill amongst advanced and expert climbers is the ability to try really f****ing hard! This is a trained skill, and cannot be underestimated. In order for you to get the most out of this training cycle it’s important that you give everything; particularly during the FBR, FMH, CB, LBC, and PE workouts. Also bring this effort to your ORC sessions. Over time trying hard will become habit, and translate into long term performance gains.
Weight and Diet notes: Strength to weight ratio plays a huge role in rock climbing performance, and many climbers make more immediate gains in their performance by losing weight than by training. That said, weight regulation is not a good strategy for long term performance gains, and should be used with caution and care.
If weight is an issue for you ( 6% to 13% body fat is ideal range for Men, and 14% to 20% for women) be sure to do the Optional Aerobic Exercises (OAE) throughout the training program. Also take note of your diet, particularly towards the end of the training cycle. I find that simple, easy to follow changes in your diet are best, and create positive long term habits. Some simple things that have worked for myself and others, are salad for lunch, no snacks after dinner, and no alcoholic beverages. (Try cutting to one, if zero is too much.)
Workout Timing: I have labeled workouts with am or pm when timing is important. The aim of this is to spread the load, maximize rest time, and increase workout quality. The plan will still work if you are unable to spread the workouts out as prescribed, but will likely be somewhat less effective. Skip optional workouts first whenever time constraints are an issue. Swap Saturday and Sunday workouts to take advantage of better weather for outdoor climbing, but only do this when absolutely necessary.
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