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Stay-At-Home Climbing Training Routine: Day Seven

The seventh of a 14-day training plan for athletes looking for power and strength

As the situation continues to develop, climbers around the country are settling in for what might become a long duration of staying close to home.

While it will be a transition, physically and mentally, it’s important to stick to a regular training cycle to build power and psych for the upcoming season.

Consistency, as discussed by Dave MacLeod in his recent post, is necessary to progression. Show up to your training-sessions like you’re ready to climb.

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HERE IT IS!!! ✌️ 2 handed finger board program at home with @robinoleary and myself! 😄 2-handed max hangs 1.)Warm-up: Pulse raiser 20 star jumps 20 mountain climbers (10 straight, 10 twists) 8 squat jumps X 3 sets 2.) Band work: 10-15 cross body 10-15 straight 10-15 side arm raises Rotator cuff: 10 side rotations, 10 vertical 2.) Scapular pull-ups 8-10 focusing on isolating the shoulder blades. Slow movement and good range of motion. 3.) Board warm-up: Pull-ups or eccentrics 8-10 reps 4.) Progressive hangs: 2 seconds 5 seconds 10 seconds Then… Drop the rung size 35mm 20mm 15mm 10mm Etc. 5.) Grip position: 1/2 crimp is the chosen grip to train for max strength. It's good adding a set for both open handed and full-crimp. 6. ) Hangboard session No1: Size of rung: Drop until you find the rung size that you just hold for 5 seconds, maintaining form in shoulders and fingers. 6 sets with 1-2 min rests between. 7.) Hangboard No. 2: Added weight on a larger rung. 20mm or 15mm. 1/2 crimp, shoulders engaged. 5 second hangs. Build up to find your max weight. 2 mins rests 6 sets 8.) Cool down with 2 sets of 8 rep wrist curls and stretch the same as we did to warm up (up to 1 min holds though) Note that: The body adapts, so try to keep it guessing by switching protocol every 6 weeks or so. 1.) Weight added on a 20mm 2.) Drop size of rung and no weight 3.) Same as first phase but on a smaller rung 4.) One-arm hangs (for example). Filming this later this week. @scarpana @frictionlabs @organicclimbing @robinoleary

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Day 7

This weekend, Canada announced that it will not send athletes to this summer’s Olympic Games. The news comes as a result of increasing global pressure on the IOC to reschedule the games for another date. This decision represents a national response to the increasing pressure of COVID-19. Canadian Olympic Climber Sean McColl said in his post yesterday, “I am once again honoured to call myself Canadian, based on the leadership of the Canadian Olympic Committee (@teamcanada) together with their Athletes’ Commission in putting the health and safety of the country as a whole at the forefront of their call to postpone The Games. I stand in solidarity with my country, and I hope the IOC and the Tokyo Organizing Committee will make the responsible decision to postpone The Games.”

Though this decision was undoubtedly difficult, it only lends more credence to the thought that climbers should stay at home to prevent the spread of the virus. As it appears that self-isolation will continue past the preliminary two-week period we had all hoped for, this routine will be extended to include three weeks of training, followed by a less intense deload week. Though we will not be going to the Olympics, Canada has shown its strength in this decision and will continue to by preventing the spread of the virus. By training at home, Canadian Climbers can identify themselves as part of a larger Canadian Climbing movement.

Over these next few weeks or months, train hard. Return to climbing stronger than you were before and represent the sport you love by staying away from the crag, and growing some mad-gnarly muscles with which you’ll crush your project. This is the beginning of our second week of training.  If you are new to our party, check out Day 1.


  • The 5-minute Core Destroyer:
    • Very few people love doing core, which is why we developed the high intensity five-minute core exercise. The only requirement for this routine is that you give maximum effort on each exercise. The workout is as follows:
      • One minute each of the following exercises:
        • plank
        • big kicks
        • swimmer kicks
        • V-Sit
        • big kicks
    • There is no rest between each exercise, instead rest at the conclusion of all five exercises. Then rest for five minutes and repeat the series.
  • Leg-lifts: Hanging or Floor
    • Beginner: 50 leg lifts
    • Moderate: 80 leg lifts
    • Expert: 150 leg lifts

Antagonist Muscles


  • Elbows back: 
    • complete 20-40 push-ups with your elbows in line with your torso.
  • Wide Stance: 
    • complete 20-40 push-ups with your elbows perpendicular to your torso.
  • Diamond Stance:
    • complete 20-40 diamond push-ups. Place your hands adjacent to one another in the middle of the floor. Lower your body until your sternum touches your hands, then push up. Elbows should press in-line with your torso.
  • Archer:
    • Create a wide stance with your hands. Keep one arm straight while you depress your opposite arm. Push with the opposite arm, utilizing your straight arm for extra leverage as required. Complete 20-40 push-ups with a depressed left arm, and 20-40 with a depressed right arm.

Agonist Muscles

Pull Ups:

To get more power out of your pull-ups, strive to pull quickly as you go up, and to release slowly as you go down. In climbing, power helps you go up, and strength helps you hold tension.

    • Beginner:
      • one arm lock-off: 3 sets at 10 seconds
      • complete 30 pull-ups
    • Intermediate:
      • one arm lock-off: 3 sets at 10 seconds
      • complete 100 pull-ups
    • Expert:
      • complete a 90-degree lock-off for 10 seconds, three sets a side
      • complete 200 pull-ups


  • Hammer Curls:
    • This exercise targets the Brachialis muscles. Complete three sets of 10 repetitions.
  • Curls:
    • This exercise targets the bicep. Complete three sets of 10 repetitions.
  • Preacher Curls:
    • This exercise targets the brachioradialis. Complete three sets of 10 repetitions.

Off-set pull ups:

  • If you do not have access to dumbbells, or you are looking to diversify your training, replace curls or 60% of your pull-ups with off-set pull-ups. Off-set pull-ups require one hand to be lower than the higher hand and are designed to improve the one-arm power and strength of a climber’s scapular, shoulder, and bicep muscles. Do this by hanging a piece of rope from your pull up bar. Place one hand on the bar and one on the rope. Lower your rope hand for increased difficulty. Ultimately, the goal should be to complete one-arm pull-ups. As this is a power exercise, do not complete more than four sets.
    • 4 sets 3 repetitions



  • Increase the distance from Day 5 by 10%.


Hold each stretch for 15-30 seconds:

  • Straddle Splits: This stretch is important to climbing as it increases a climber’s lateral flexibility for moves like stemming in a corner.
  • Hamstring: keep your legs straight and bend down to your feet. Keep your back flat for an alternate version of this stretch.
  • Hip-flexor: Flexible hip-flexors allow a climber to high-step.
  • Quadricep: preventative against injury
  • Triceps stretch: preventative against injury
  • Shoulder stretch: increases mobility
  • Calf stretch: increased heel-hooking mobility.

Featured photo by @andimcleish of Allison Vest.