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The Best Training Programs to Try This Winter (Rock Climbing Edition)

With winter setting in, it can feel hard to make your weekly climbing goals. The days are shorter, the temps are colder, and it feels like all you’re going to do is spend more and more time staring at your hang board rather than actually rock climbing. 

If you’re like me, winter is when you buckle down and start getting serious about training. I dust off my thera bands and look gravely at my pullup bar that mostly sits unused during the spring and fall. 

I’ve heard of a lot about different training programs over the years, and this year I wanted to really dig deep to see what’s out there. This article should serve as a one stop shop for people who are interested in seeing what kind of rock climbing training programs there are, what they cost, and what they offer. 

Eric Horsts Training For Climbing (T4C) Program
Cost: Free

If you’re the kind of person who thrives on a self appointed schedule, and you are good at self motivating, then Eric Horsts Training for Climbing program is perfect for you! 

How much it costs: FREE
What the program offers: Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced generalized training programs. 
Pros: Very detailed, flexible, FREE, comprehensive.
Cons: Requires holding yourself responsible for your own schedule – I found the spreadsheets to be a bit complicated to keep referencing.
Link: https://trainingforclimbing.com/training-programs/

Improve Climbing
Cost: Free

This is another great resource I found for people looking for a free climbing training program. Stefan is a climbing enthusiast who detailed his climbing workout routine for folks to enjoy on the internet. It is an easy to use resource that covers a lot of climbing specific workouts. 

How much it costs: FREE
What the program offers: Simple, one size fits all training program for climbers. 
Pros: One page online, very in depth, all of the exercises are listed for you and when to do them, simple and easy to understand. 
Cons: Not tailored to your body or specific needs, requires keeping yourself accountable. 
Link: https://www.improve-climbing.com/climbing-training-program/

Climbing Magazines Online Training Guide
Cost: $4.99/month

Do you have a Climbing Magazine subscription? Or an Outside+ subscription? Then this is actually a pretty good deal for you. Climbing Magazine has a step by step, year long, weekly climbing program. The coach, Neil Gresham, is a UK based climber and he will take you, week by week, through a training program designed to get climbers from a mid grade (5.10c-12a) to an advanced grade. The program is broken down into eight segments, each six weeks long, and covers a different mode of training from low intensity training, to power endurance. 

How much it costs: Free with the cost of a Climbing Magazine subscription ($4.99/month) 
What the program offers: An in depth, year long program designed to get climbers out of a mid-grade plateau, and into an advanced level of climbing. 
Pros: Designed by a pro climber and a coach, a full year of climbing training, very in-depth, comprehensive. 
Cons: Not designed to your specific body/needs, requires self motivation, and requires an annual Outside+ subscription. 
Link: https://www.climbing.com/skills/comprehensive-rock-climbing-training-guide-weeky-year-long/

Uphill Athlete
Cost: $39-$59

If you’re looking for a program more specifically designed to help you get into the alpine, then Uphill Athlete is for you. They offer programs ranging from Mountaineering, to Ice Climbing, and even covering ski territory. If you are more interested in ice and snow sports, then Uphill Athlete is for you. 

How much it costs: $39-$59 per plan or $99/year for their Chamonix training plan
What the program offers: Mountaineering, Alpinism, Ice & Mixed Climbing, Ski Mountaineering, Skimo Racing, Mountain Running, and Rock Climbing. 
Pros: So far the only Alpinism focused training program I found, if your other sport is skiing then this would also be a good program for you, also based on a Monday-Friday 9-5 work schedule. 
Cons: No in-person coaching, limited rock climbing specific programs. 
Link: https://uphillathlete.com/training-plans/

Training Beta
Cost: $27/month–$270/year

If you’re a powerful boulderer and want to improve, then Training Beta is for you. With excellent, one size fits all programs for boulderers and sport climbers, as well as people looking to recover from climbing injuries, Training Beta is a great self starter training program. It’s also the only one I’ve reviewed that specifically has a training program for injury prevention and recovery. 

How much it costs: $27/month-$270/year
What the program offers: Bouldering Training Program, Route Climbing Training Program, Home Training Program, Injury Prevention, and Rock Rehabilitation Programs. 
Pros: A one size fits all model of a training program that makes bouldering, sport climbing, and injury prevention easy. 
Cons: No trad climbing specific coaching, no in person coaching sessions. 
Link: https://www.trainingbeta.com/climbing-training-programs/

Lattice Training
Cost: $80-$140/month 

This list would be incomplete without Lattice Training. Lattice offers everything from a one size fits all model of a generic workout to better strength, up to personalized coaching to help you achieve your climbing goals. 

How much it costs: $80-$140/month
What the program offers: Bouldering, Sport Climbing, Performance Coaching, Flexibility Training, Home Training, and Fingerboard training. 
Pros: Self assessments designed to place you in an accurate climbing program, personal coaching (for a fee), workouts tailored to your needs, companion app that tracks your workouts. 
Cons: Pricey, not good for people with injuries. 
Link: https://latticetraining.com/

Power Company Climbing
Cost: $125-$275

Last but certainly not least, we have the training programs from Power Climbing Company. These programs exist to be tailored to your specific needs, with the option of having a coach to help you along this journey. 

How much it costs: $125-275 per program (one time fee)
What the program offers: Bouldering and Sport Climbing training plans for beginners and intermediate climbers, a kettlebell workout routine, and a fingerboard training plan. 
Pros: You can do a coaching or no coaching option, depending on how you prefer to work, 
Cons: No trad climbing specific program, pricey. 
Link: https://www.powercompanyclimbing.com/proven-plans

Reaching Your Training Goals

I hope this has been a helpful dive into the type of training you can check out this winter. Everything from super minimal self guided activity to hyper specific coaching for hyper specific goals. All of the training programs have one thing in common however: consistency. Keep to your training, keep trying, and you will reach your goals.

Cover photo credit: Kaya Lindsay

About the Gear Tester

Outdoor Prolink Pro

Kaya Lindsay is the social media coordinator for Yosemite Facelift. She is also a writer and photographer with a passion for rock climbing and the outdoors. In 2016 she converted a Sprinter Van into a tiny home and has been traveling around the US & Canada to pursue her passion for rock climbing ever since. You will most likely find her in a parking lot or coffee shop, camera in hand, planning her next adventure. Connect with her on Instagram @OneChickTravels

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