Difference btw Josh Wharton’s 4 week and Steve House’s 5 Week Foundation plan

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  • #5956


    As the topic headline says what is the difference between Josh Wharton’s 4 week plan and Steve House’s 5 Week Foundation plan.

    In mid January or early February I am planning some ice climbing WI4-WI5 and therefore I intend to use the 8 weeks Ice and Mixed Climbing Strength Plan. In the mean time I would like to make sure I have enough muscle endurance I thought of using one of the plans either Josh Wharton’s or Steve House’s.

    Yet, by the descriptions of the relevant plans I couldn’t make a decision. So what are the differences other then the 1 week training.


Posted In: Climbing

  • Keymaster
    Steve House on #5987

    Good question. The main difference is the sport, which changes the modality a bit.

    Let me clarify: Josh’s plan prescribes the training modalities of rock climbing, bouldering, and fingerboarding plus some optional workouts for mobility/stretching and running. The focus of this plan, being more cragging/rock climbing utlizes rock climbing as the main modality so as to train those key muscles, tissues, and joints between the fingertips and shoulders.

    My 5-week plan was written specifically as a transition period plan for my 8 week Advanced Rock Alpinist Plan, which as it states, is pretty advanced and many people would end up injured if they jumped straight into that. The 5 week plan has as an average week: 3 runs, 2 gym strength sessions, and 1 climbing day. So less of a specific rock climbing focus, as an alpinist needs a very large base of aerobic support for the aerobic nature of the activity which involves appraoching/climbing/descending, not only simply pulling down.

    Honestly, I think either plan would accomplish a good base of support for your ice climbing training. One is weight gym based and one is climbing gym based. But they do the same thing in the end. My 5-week plan is 5 weeks because the 5th is a taper week intended to de-load you (allow for rest) before starting the 8-week advanced rock alpinist training plan.

    I hope that helps clarify this for you. Let me know if you have further questions.

    madanyang on #6270

    Thanks Steve, for the explanation of the differences. I have decided to follow the old wisdom of “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” In the long run, it would be nice to plan my own training.

    So I have basically took the 8 week transition training from the 24 week Mountaineering plan and used it as a basis for my foundation phase training. I want to keep the aerobic training as this is my weakest link and I don’t want to lose what I have gained previously. For the first two weeks for the strength training I have done 2x Scott’s Core routine. I have also added the following exercises as 2 sets with 10 reps:

      Reverse wrist curls
      Reverse arm curls
      Shoulder press
      Dumbbell internal and external rotations for shoulder stability
      inclined pull ups
      Sling Trainer T
      Sling Trainer Y

    Starting with the 5th week I plan to do 3-4 sets of Scott’s Core Routine along with the above mentioned additional exercises. I will also include a climbing day consisting of 1 hour of ARC training.

    How does the plan sound so far in your opinion, am I missing things, or overdoing things ?

    One topic I am not sure is should I incorporate the “special strength for pull ups” as outlined on page 228 of the TFNA. I recall in a previous phone consultation we had, you have mentioned this should be introduced in the later phases of training. However given the current situation my best is 1 set of 6 pull up; though the incline pull up are fine with 2 set of 10 reps, and I want to increase my capacity to do more pull ups; what would you suggest?

    Thanks in advance,

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