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help.. need training program for woman
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Oct 12, 2006, 11:42 AM
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Registered: Sep 8, 2006
Posts: 25

help.. need training program for woman
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I was wondering if someone could give me a little insight on a training program for woman. I am looking for something to give me over all training (skill, endurance, and strength), but really focus on upper body strength. I am pretty weak in the upper body. I have a regiment I've been following, but not sure if it good enough. Would love to have hear you program, idea's or comments.

I am going to try to break down the regiment I am following right now in three sections. Indoor climbing, outdoor climbing, and strength training.

OUTDOOR: I go to New River about two weekends a month and climb Sat. and Sun. for about 8-10 hours each day. On the weekends I don't go to NR, I climb one day that weekend for about 8 hours. I do about 70% sport climbing and 20% cleaning someone else route (much hard than the one's I lead) when climbing outdoors.

INDOORS: I climb 3 days a week sometimes 4.
Monday: I spend 90% Bouldering
Wednesday: 90% Leading
Thursday: 90% Top Roping
The other 10% of the time is left at the end to do one of the other two types of climbing. I try to break down the climbing time to the following: 30% right at what I can climb clean (ex: 5'9-5'10a/b TR), 50% I can climb it, but I take some falls and have to rest some (ex 5'10a/b-5'10c/d TR), 20% what I am really struggling with ( 5'11's TR)

STRENGTH TRAINING: At the end of each gym section I do the following regiment.
Chin-ups:I do three different types of chin-ups on set of each. regular, wide, and the ones using the little handles on the back of the bar. My bf helps me with the chin-ups because I can't do one all by myself yet. I average 6-10 each set depending on how much weight my bf is talking off me.
Pushups: In between each set of chin-ups I do a set of push ups. I do three different types of pushups one set of each. regular, wide and triangle. I average 10 regular, 6-10 wide, and 5 triangle. All of the pushups are done girly style (on my knee's)
Campusing: (with BF assistance) 3 sets up and down.
Ab's: 2 minute in between each campus set.

I have been thinking of running 20 minutes at lunch 3 days a week, but I haven't decided if I wanted to spend my lunch running and then trying to eat at my desk while working.

I don't feel I am getting everything out of the climbing section I want. I still have a fear of falling on lead. (I know, I know I am really trying to get over this), so my lead days I am afraid to push myself too hard because I don't want to fall. I was wondering if I started doing three's (climbing 3 climbs in a row with no breaks) at the end of the section to try and completely burn myself out.

I really need to gain upper body muscle that's my first priority, second is skill, third is endurance. I really want to be over all a better climber. My short term goals are to be able to do 3 chin-ups by myself by 1/1. To be able to climb a V4 (I climb V2-V3's now) by 12/1. Be able to redpoint all the 5'10's by 1/1. My last goal is to completely get over my fear of falling.

I guess my first question is do you think this is a good training program to follow? Second, DO you have a better one? Third what would you add or change in mine? and Do you think if I keeps following this will I be able to reach my goals?


Oct 12, 2006, 11:58 AM
Post #2 of 3 (696 views)

Registered: Sep 11, 2001
Posts: 2335

Re: help.. need training program for woman [In reply to]
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Wow - that was a pretty detailed post.

Here are my thoughts. I generally recommend that people trying to put together training programs begin by reading some pretty foundational literature. If you want the short version, check out Rockprodigy's article on this site. I'd also recommend buying The Self Coached Climber and (to a slightly lesser extent) Performance Rockclimbing.

I think you're feeling what every beginning climber feels - I need to get stronger. While that's true, it falsely breaks apart what's really going on during climbing. In other words, it's pretty tough to disentangle strength from movement skill, balance, coordination, etc.

As it sits, your program seems okay, but you'll burn out if it isn't designed with a longer time horizon. That's why the above reading is so crucial - these guys have taken the time to think about how to train over long periods of time.

Also, you need to be a bit more precise about some things, particularly time. I don't care how much time you spend at the gym or at the crag - for instance, there's no way you're climbing for 8 straight hours. What's important is how many routes your doing at what level and in what style. Again, the books and article recommended above should help you begin to structure your time accordingly.

Finally, take it easy. It looks like your training volume is really high and that's an easy recipe for an injury. Given your level, I think you really need to look into ARCing and some other lower impact exercises instead of campusing and pullups (unless you're in a power phase of a periodization scheme).

So, to sum up:

1. Read the recommend books/article (also look at the sticky thread on ARCing or Bouldering and Capilarity).
2. Stop thinking about the problem as exclusively strength related.
3. Structure your time.
4. Lengthen your time horizon (think about phases of training).
5. Be careful and don't over do it.


Oct 12, 2006, 1:15 PM
Post #3 of 3 (696 views)

Registered: May 1, 2005
Posts: 368

Re: help.. need training program for woman [In reply to]
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I think I read an old interview with John Gill, about one arm pullups with 20lbs. weights and even one finger pull ups. I came across it thinking I would create some crazy training program for myself. What I ended up taking from it was that I should personalize my workout for myself by myself. The easiest way to do it was to write down everything I do(exercise; including routes and difficulty) as well as everything I eat in a small notebook. The days I feel I have acheived something are typically after a period of healthy eating good training, and believe it or not fun routes and exercises that got me motivated. Rest days are also usually preceding these periods.

Lastly I don't ever let myself get burned out in the gym mentally. Its easy to be around the same group or gym too much and get burned out. Make sure you enjoy everything you are doing that includes surfing or doing something other than climbing on a rest day.

As far as falling goes.....who's afraid of falling? :wink:

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