Upskill Climbing

Upskill Training Articles

• Ask The Coach #8: Training Series 3/3: The Seven Deadly Sins, Nov 2012
• Ask The Coach #7: Training Series 2/3: Training finger strength, Apr 2012
• Ask The Coach #6: Training Series 1/3: Beating the pump!, Feb 2012
• Mere Mortal's Guide to Beasting the Beastmaker 45° Slopers, Dec 2011
• Adam Ondra's training regime, Dec 2011
• Ask The Coach #5: Mental Training, Nov 2011
• Climbing training tips based on YOUR level, Jul 2011
• Ask The Coach #4: To consolidate, or grade-hunt?, Jul 2011
• Cold Weather Climbing Tips, Jun 2011
• Ueli Steck Climbing Training Plan, Jun 2011
• The importance of remembering sequences in climbing, May 2011
• Ask The Coach #3: Training For Non-Trainers, Apr 2011
• Ask The Coach #2: Why some climbers get really good, real fast, Feb 2011
• Ask The Coach #1: How to identify your weaknesses, Nov 2010
• Paul Robinson hangboard workout, Nov 2010
• Protein after climbing for muscular recovery, Sep 2009
• The four things you need to train and aren't, Sep 2009
• Let Ondra get you psyched to train, Jun 2009
• CoachWise series by Dave MacLeod, Jun 2009
• Beastmaker doth come!, May 2009
• The super simple Steph Davis hangboard workout, Apr 2009
• The Coffin, Feb 2009
• Climbing periodization and planning, Jan 2009
• How to build a campus board, Oct 2008
• Resting is hard, Sep 2008
• What do I need to train? And how?!, Jul 2008
• Using circuits to train power endurance [video], Jul 2008
• Let your climbing out of its box, Jul 2008
• Training for a climbing trip, Jul 2008
• Upskill Climbing Coaching Videos (sample exercises), Apr 2008
• Fear of falling, Mar 2008
Redpoint Pyramid Template (MS Excel), Sept 2007
• Using a Home Climbing Wall to Train Power, Jul 2007
• Building a Rockclimbing Training Plan, Aug 2006
• Using a Climbing Training Diary, May 2006
• Maximising Your Climbing Gym Workout, Aug 2004

• Power Climbing Company - Climbing Training blog by USA Climber/Coach Kris Hampton
• 28 Days of Training with Andy Raether
• The Making of a 'Rockprodigy'
• Online Climbing Coach - Dave MacLeod

Training books - Upskill approved!

Performance Rock Climbing, Goddard & Neumann, 1993
The Self Coached Climber, Hague & Hunter, 2006
9 out of 10 climbers make the same mistakes, MacLeod, 2009

Upskill Training Philosophy

These are key 'trade secrets' I have learnt the hard way. They form the framework of the entire Upskill program.

Focus on your weaknesses
It is your weaknesses which ultimately limit you as a climber. For example, you may be the strongest climber in the gym, but if your head isn't in the game when you're on lead outdoors, you're not going to achieve your potential. In this case, getting even stronger in the gym (which feels good) isn't going to help your climbing overall. Because we are egocentric creatures and like doing what we're good at, working weaknesses is often hard work.

Be process focused
Learn to enjoy the process of climbing, training and learning, rather than the outcome of any given attempt on a route. If you get bummed out by failing to tick a route, this is counterproductive to the overall process of becoming a better climber. Falls are not failures - they are opportunities to learn and improve. Enjoy and try to perfect each move.

Gradually increase your training load

The body is an adaptive organism. If you keep doing the same thing each week, your body will adapt to the training stress and you will plateau. In order to keep improving at climbing, there are three variables that need to be addressed:
  1. Intensity - the difficulty of the moves you're doing
  2. Volume - the number of moves executed in a session
  3. Rest - the length of rest between routes or problems
The values of these variables combine to give you the training load of any given session.

All successful professional athletes realise that taking one or more substantial rest periods a year is a vital component of a sustainable training schedule. If you don't rest, your body will make you rest through injury or the symptoms of overtraining.