Steve House’s 8 Week Advanced Rock-Alpinist Training Plan

I wrote this program with myself and several friends in mind. The typical goal for this plan is a long summer alpine rock route in the Mont Blanc Massif, Bugaboos, North Cascades, or Sierra. In each of these places long approaches are commonly followed by demanding rock climbs. This would also be an excellent plan for a climber bound for Argentine Patagonia.

This rock-alpinist training plan is designed for the already fit and functional climber that wants to achieve peak fitness for a specific alpine rock climbing objective. If you have not engaged in recent training, you will need to complete a minimum of a four-week-foundation training plan prior to this plan. To jump straight into this plan will cause your gains to be minimal and put you at risk of injury. If you have doubts, I highly encourage you to do a four-week-foundation training plan before embarking on this advanced training plan.

This plan is designed for the climber working a normal full-time job. To follow this training plan you will need access to a climbing gym, a hangboard, a weight gym, and you must have the ability to train via a weight-bearing modality such as hiking or running (indoors or out). The program assumes you have one day per week to climb outside.

Here’s useful beta about how to purchase and start your new plan and why we use TrainingPeaks.  For specific questions about this training plan, or to send us your success story email us at  Tag your training with #weareuphillathletes

Train smart. Climb well. Have fun.

-Steve House
IFMGA-certified Mountain Guide, Coach, and Founder of Uphill Athlete

Rock-Alpinist Training Plan – Sample Workouts:

Workout #1: Optional Stretching/Yoga

Planned Time: 0:30:00

This is an optional workout. For some climbers flexibility is not an issue, for other climbers it might be a significant one. If you are particularly stiff, have nagging injuries, or climb at an area/have projects where flexibility is critical (Devil’s Tower, Yosemite stem corners, etc) this is an important use of your time, and should not be neglected.

Workout #2: Run

Planned Time: 0:45:00

Zone 2 after 10 minute warm up.

Workout #3: Other

To learn how to determine your aerobic threshold (I’ll refer to aerobic-capacity building workouts as “Zone 2” workouts in this training plan), read this series of articles: Breath Intensity Part 1 and also read MAF Method for Determining you Aerobic ThresholdIf you don’t want to spend the time, simply use 180 minus your age to get your Zone 2 training zone.

Workout #4: Run

Planned Time: 1:00:00

Zone 2 run. Warm up slowly, taking 10 minutes or so to get to your zone 2 heart rate.

Workout #5: Day Off

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