Training Plan

The hardest thing for me when I wanted to start training was figuring out a program. Again, there is so much info out there. Thankfully, my dad has a friend who is a rad climber, and he was nice enough to help me form this one. Now, I’m sharing it with you. Any part with a  “*” next to it will be specified in another post (example: hangboard*). Below the schedule I will explain in more detail the parts without a “*”.

Note:When I started climbing regularly again, I had terrible endurance coming off some forearm issues during the summer and it made climbing nearly impossible. This program is great at building the foundation you’ll need to climb harder.

Training Schedule

Day 1- ARC

Day 2-  4×4 bouldering and ARC x 3

Day 3 –Rest or cross train (run + core*)

Day 4- ARC and boulder (2 moderate x 2 and 2 easier hard x 3)

Day 5- Rest

Day 6- ARC, hangboard* and core*

Day 7- Fun (send those projects)

Note: Every session should be started with warming up on at least three easy routes and cooling down again on three routes.

ARCing (Aerobic Restoration and Capillarity Training)

ARCing gradually works on preparing the body for the stress that it will experience when climbing harder in the future. For ARCing, you will need a patient belayer, or use the auto belays that your gym has (I use the auto belays because most people’s schedules are opposite of mine).

Pick a route that is a few grades lower than your projects (if you’re working on 5.11a ARC on 5.9.) You will climb up and down on this route for 20 minutes. If you feel like you’re getting pumped, rest on the wall and shake out. If you happen to fall off, just get right back on.

When your 20 minutes is up on the wall, rest for 20 minutes 

A set is considered the climb and the rest. ARC at least 2 sets.

ARCing is a great time to practice techniques. Use it to also work on other skills.

4×4 bouldering

Pick four bouldering problems that are a bit harder than a warm-up problem. Before starting the work out, take the time to find those four problems. You will climb those four problems back to back. Then, take a two minute rest before doing those same four problems again.


It should be impossible for you to actually finish the problems on the fourth set. If it’s easy all the way through, you need harder problems.

If you want more specific info about what ARCing does for your body, head here:


Originally listed on page 24 of my copy of Alone on the Wall

Photo by Naweed Ahmadzai

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