• Building a Better Climber: Final Part
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 7
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 6
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 5
  • The Training Effect: Methods by Steve House
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 4
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 3
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 2
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 1
  • Catch of the Day
  • The Unnatural Way to Climb
  • Too Hard for a Caveman
  • Never Get Pumped Again
  • Should You Add Weight or Use Smaller Holds on a Hangboard
  • Training for Climbing: Injured? Train Your Core!
  • Cheap Tricks
  • How to Mentally Train
  • How to Power Train for Climbing
  • Boost Power With Eccentric Training
  • Tips for Better Onsighting
  • Should You Lose Weight or Get Stronger?
  • Does Running or Biking Improve Your Climbing?
  • Is Protein Important?
  • Getting Strong After a Layoff
  • Training While Hungry
  • HowTo Use Microcycles
  • Improving Slab Technique
  • How to Unlock a Crux
  • Best Ratio of Resting to Bouldering
  • Training During Pregnancy
  • Using Your Hangboard the Right Way
  • Maximizing a Small Home Wall
  • How to Stay Psyched
  • How to Prevent Bonking
  • Using a Weight Belt For Training
  • Regaining Confidence After a Fall
  • Dynamic vs. Static Stretching
  • Overcome Anxiety and Send!
  • The Importance of Finger Strength
  • Do Forearm Trainers Work?
  • Maximum Training in Minimum Time
  • Dialing in Crampon Technique
  • Ultimate Strength
  • Periodized Training For the Year-round Approach
  • The Secrets of Warming Up
  • Beat the Ice-Climbing Pump
  • Resting the Perfect Amount
  • How To Recover On Route
  • Does Creatine Work?
  • Can Old Guys Get Stronger?
  • Recovery Supplement Truths
  • Euro Training Secrets
  • How to Beat Fear
  • How Often Should You Rest?
  • Training With an Injury
  • Avoiding the Gear-Placement Pump
  • How to Develop Sloper Strength
  • Warming Up Without Warm-Ups
  • Beating the Lactic Acid Pump
  • Video Spotlight

    How Often Should You Rest?


    I climb three or four days a week on average. What's the best combination of rest days and climbing days?

    —Jim Munson, Cleveland, OH

    There is no ideal sequence of training/rest days. However, there are some basic guidelines for structuring your training, according to your ability level and goals or the climbing or training season. Novice climbers (5.7 to 5.9) are advised to climb no more than three times a week, unless they are very cautious and make sure that their second day on is always a very light, endurance-based day. Mid-grade climbers (5.10 to 5.11) should regard three days a week as the minimum requirement, and if they can increase this to four without getting injured they will undoubtedly improve faster. Advanced to elite climbers (5.12 to 5.14) will need to climb up to five or even six days to keep making gains, but not all year round and only at the high point of training phases. The way to do this is to cycle the intensity of your consecutive days on: for example, hard day (possibly strength-based), then a medium day (power-endurance based), then a light day (stamina-based), and finally a rest day. Repeat.

    If you are really keen to get strong, then you can make great improvements using a day-on day-off structure. When it comes to gaining strength, it is always better to maximize the quality of rest and training rather than the quantity. Developing endurance is simply a matter of putting the time in. A two-days-on/one-day-off schedule works well, or even better, three-on/one-off.

    At the beginning of the training season you would be ill-advised to try to do four or five days a week, as your body simply won’t be prepared. However, you can work towards increasing the number of days as you adjust progressively to the workload. Coaches refer to this as developing the fitness to train. Finally, as the climbing season or an important trip approaches, you can start to taper off and reduce the number of days on per week in order to rest and peak.

    If you really can’t be bothered to plan your training properly, then a good combination for a mid-grade climber is bouldering and strength work on day one, routes and endurance on day two, and rest on day three. Then repeat.

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