The ultimate bouldering training plan: how to improve your rock climbing!

October 9, 2020

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The ultimate bouldering training plan: how to improve your rock climbing!
Climbing Training

The purpose of this blog is to equip you with the basic tools and understanding to make yourself into a better rock climber through a bouldering plan. To better understand what a bouldering plan looks like and how to make one, we have to understand the key components, namely SMART goals and utilisation of the FITT principle. We have also created a free downloadable bouldering plan at the bottom of this blog.

Before we begin, what is your bouldering training goal?

Whatever your goal, having one can transform how you use your bouldering time, what you put into your sessions and what you get out of them. Even if the goal isn’t performance-related, e.g. “have fun with my friends”, identifying it as a goal can motivate us to get out of our house and go bouldering on those days where we’re not feeling great.

1. Using a SMART bouldering training goal

A goal is good, but a SMART goal is great! They’ve also been shown to have an increased chance of success.

SMART goals are:

Specific - 

What do I want to accomplish?

Why is this goal important?

Who is involved?

Where is it located?

What resources are needed?

Measurable -

How much?

How many?

How will I know when it is accomplished?

Attainable/Achievable - 

How can I accomplish this goal?

How realistic is the goal based on other constraints (time/money/travel)?

Relevant - 

Does this seem worthwhile?

Is this the right time?

Does this match my needs?

Time-bound - 


What can I do today?

What can I do six weeks from now?

What can I do six months from now?

Using the questions above, turn your previous goal into a SMART goal.

A goal of “I want to boulder hard” is probably one shared by many of us, but it’s pretty vague.

A SMART goal would be “I want to climb my first V8* outside in the next 6 weeks.” This  makes you think about what you want to rock climb, where it is, how you’ll get there, if you need more boulder pads (or spotters), if your weekly schedule will need to change and gives you a deadline. 

*choosing a specific V8 will be even better for you.

With this in mind, we can start bouldering training.

Bouldering training is not the same as exercising or working out.   

2. Using FITT to structure our bouldering training plan

Training is the process of using physical activity to accomplish a goal. It’s bigger than a single workout and therefore requires more forethought and planning than simply rocking up to the bouldering gym.

This is where the FITT principle can really help us out.

The FITT principle is the simplest way to structure our training and cover the most important considerations.

Frequency: How many sessions per day/week/month?

Intensity: How hard are these sessions going to be?

Type: What will you do in each session?

Time: How long will each exercise/ rest period/ session go for?

So using the SMART goal “I want to climb my first V8 outside in the next 6 weeks.” 

I can now start using my bouldering plan on my training days to direct my focus and effort in those next 6 weeks. 

3. Download your free bouldering training plan

We’ve created a free downloadable Nomad Bouldering x Climber Care Plan to start planning your sessions. Simply click the link, duplicate the spreadsheet so that it becomes uniquely yours and input whatever data you want!


Indoor Bouldering Training Plan

As for what exercises to put in and when? That’s going to be unique to each of us. If you want some extra pointers, book in a coaching session with myself or the other coaches at Nomad and we can create a more comprehensive training program together.

Stay safe and enjoy! <3 The Nomad Team

Written By: Nomad Specialist Coach - Dr. Mattias Braach-Maksvytis - DPT.

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