8-Week Basic Rock Climbing Training Program-Part 2, The Second 4 Weeks

Carolyn Parker climbing the Great Escape, Sandias, New Mexico.

Strong and confident, Carolyn Parker, Founder Ripple Effect Training, climbs above her gear. Sandia Mountains, NM ©John Kear

I’ve said before that climbing technique is more important than strength.

Still, I encourage you to get stronger.

Strength and training brings more than how much a pull-up, or 10 pull-ups for that matter, will help your climbing.

Training and getting stronger gives you CONFIDENCE.

Pushing through a hard workout will make both your body AND your mind stronger. Working out teaches you about commitment. It gives you a better understanding of how to move the temporary and subjective threshold of discomfort.

These changes create a positive feedback loop that spins off as increased calm and focus—particularly useful climbing skills!

Continue to follow the weekly schedule outlined in Part I as closely as your schedule allows. But only strength train after climbing, or on a completely different day. This way you will be fresh for climbing.

Climbing Skills to Practice on Climbing Days

Reading and remembering:

  • Before you climb a route try to “read” the hand and foot sequences from the ground. This same practice transfers to outside climbing.
  • Remembering the moves on a climb is also a skill. As you do a harder route, try and remember how you climbed it so the next time you do it, you’ll climb it more efficiently. Efficiency brings success on more difficult routes
  • Remember to have fun!

Replace the Strength Training part of the workout with the following:

Basic Strength Training Workout (2nd 4 Weeks)


5 – 10 minutes of light aerobic work, indoor rower, jump rope, bike.


2 x
8 x Shoulder openers
5 x Push-ups
8 x Supermans on floor
2 x 30 secs dumbbell push-press/30 secs overhead-hold
8 x Good mornings


5 x
3 x Single-Leg, Straight-Leg Deadlift
10 x Toes to Bar (If 10 is too many, begin with the number you can complete.)


5 x
5 x Bosu or Bench press DBs or KBs (Weight should allow you to finish the reps with good form.)
5 x Single-arm, single-leg Strict Press (This is an overhead, standing movement. Stand on right leg, strict press with left arm. Stand on left leg strict press with right arm. Use same weight for both arms even if one is weaker. Pick a weight that is challenging to finish five reps.)


3 x
60 sec Overhead Plate Hold + 30sec Mountain Climber + 60 sec rest


Cool Down
10:00 minutes easy cardio + foam roller and stretching.

Stay tuned for the next Chicks Training article and ways to make this basic program more advanced.

If you are trying this program or have any questions, we’d love to hear from you. Leave comments or questions below!

Yours in strength,
Carolyn Parker
Founder Ripple Effect Training
Gym Jones Certified
AMGA Rock Guide
Uphill Athlete Coach