• Coming Back From Injury
  • Get Trip-Fit Fast
  • Systems Wall and Symmetrical Training
  • Coaching Climbing - How To Train Juniors with Care and Caution
  • Grip Trainers - Gimmicks, or Worth the Money?
  • Hangboarding for Endurance: Not Just for Power
  • Simulation Training: How to Do a Move You Can't Do
  • Planning a Year's Climbing
  • Portable Training Rigs - How to Stay Fit on the Go
  • How to Keep Your Job and Family and Still Climb at Your Limit
  • Suspension Training for Rock Climbing
  • Eat Fat, Climb Harder - The Ketogenic Diet
  • Witness the Mental Fitness: Set Thought Aside to Improve Performance
  • Mental Training Made Simple
  • Counterintuitive Climbing Tips to Change Your Game - Part 2
  • Endurance Training Tips for Winter
  • Five Counterintuitive Climbing Tips to Change Your Game - Part 1
  • Staying Power - How to Last All Day at the Crag
  • Attack and Defend - Tips for Effective Resting
  • Change Up - Plug the Gaps In Your Strength Training This Winter
  • Training While Injured
  • The Hard Way, Easier: How to Cope with Redpoint Nerves
  • Climbing Literacy - Get Better Instantly by Reading Routes
  • The Numbers Game - How to Use Your Age to Your Advantage
  • Injury-Free Bouldering: 15 Tips to Keep You Healthy and Strong
  • Injury-Free Boarding: 14 Training Tips to Save Your Fingers
  • The Truth About Caffeine and Climbing
  • Pushing Past Your Training Plateau
  • Five Strategies to Sharpen Concentration and Climb Better
  • Five Ways to Get Better Without Training
  • Beat the Burnout: Only Ondra Should Train Like Ondra
  • Effective Gym Training Strategies (for Route Climbing)
  • Should You Add Weight or Use Smaller Holds on a Hangboard?
  • Map Out a Plan with the Radar System
  • Managing the Fear of Falling
  • Projecting 101 – 6 Tips For Sending
  • Slowing the Pump Clock - Three Strategies to Prevent the Pump
  • Training on the Go
  • How to Train for Compression
  • Nutrition: Eating Your Way to Better Climbing
  • How to Dyno
  • General Conditioning for Climbers
  • Transitioning from Gym to Crag
  • Staying Strong to Perform Your Best All Season
  • How to Lose Weight for Climbing
  • Building a Better Climber: Final Phase - Peaking
  • Building a Better Climber: Phase 7 - Power Endurance Training
  • Building a Better Climber: Phase 6 - Endurance II
  • Building a Better Climber: Phase 5 - Strength and Power II
  • The Training Effect - Steve House and Scott Johnston
  • Training for Climbing: Injured? Train Your Core!
  • Building a Better Climber: Phase 4 - Power Endurance
  • Building a Better Climber: Phase 3 - Strength Training
  • Building a Better Climber: Phase 2 - Low-Intensity Endurance
  • Building a Better Climber: Phase 1 - Conditioning Phase
  • Gain Confidence by Learning Not to Fear Falling
  • Get Better When You Are Scared and Pumped
  • Never Get Pumped Again
  • Gutbusters - Core Exercises for Rock Climbing
  • Rest ... or Else
  • The Intuitive Approach to Training
  • Free Climbing Tips: Why Get Stronger When You Can Get Better?
  • Crank Like a Russian - How to Power Train for Climbing
  • How to Mentally Train
  • Boost Power With Eccentric Training
  • Tips for Better Onsighting
  • Should You Lose Weight or Get Stronger?
  • Is Protein Important?
  • Getting Strong After a Layoff
  • Does Running or Biking Improve Your Climbing?
  • Training While Hungry
  • How To Use Microcycles
  • How to Improve Slab Technique
  • How to Unlock a Crux
  • How to Use a Hangboard
  • Using a Weight Belt For Training
  • Training During Pregnancy
  • Maximizing a Small Home Wall
  • How to Stay Psyched
  • How to Prevent Bonking
  • Best Ratio of Resting to Bouldering
  • The Importance of Finger Strength
  • Regaining Confidence After a Fall
  • Overcome Anxiety and Send!
  • Maximum Training in Minimum Time
  • Dynamic vs. Static Stretching
  • Do Forearm Trainers Work?
  • Ultimate Strength
  • The Secrets of Warming Up
  • Periodized Training For the Year-round Approach
  • Resting the Perfect Amount
  • How To Recover On Route
  • Does Creatine Work?
  • Recovery Supplement Truths
  • Euro Training Secrets
  • Can Old Guys Get Stronger?
  • Training With an Injury
  • How to Beat Fear
  • How Often Should You Rest?
  • Warming Up Without Warm-Ups
  • How to Develop Sloper Strength
  • Beating the Lactic Acid Pump
  • Video Spotlight
    Alex Honnold Solos Lover's Leap in Dan Osman Tribute
    Alex Honnold Solos Lover's Leap in Dan Osman Tribute
    Whipper of the Month
    Weekend Whipper: Alastair McDowell's Los Indignados (M7) Screamer
    Weekend Whipper: Alastair McDowell's Los Indignados (M7) Screamer

    Map Out a Plan with the Radar System


    This sample radar diagram plots the progress of six training variables over 10 weeks of training. The marks on each axis are pre-determined increments for each test, for example, seconds for deadhangs or reps for pull-ups. When setting the scale, try to assess how far you think you will progress over the duration of the program. For example, deadhangs may start at 3 seconds and go up to 9 seconds by the end so each hash mark could equal 1 second, or in the case of pull-ups, 1 rep. Keep in mind that the diagram is a subjective way to look at your overall fitness and progress at-a-glance—each hash mark should denote roughly equal improvement. You may need to adjust the value of each hash mark and re-draw your radar diagram after a few weeks to more accurately plot your progress.



    If you’re looking to apply structure to your training this winter, but not inclined to sit down and write an in-depth program, join the club. Nobody likes planning. Even if you can summon the wherewithal to plan, you may find a standard periodized program difficult to stick to because of your changing schedule and want something that’s more flexible and user-friendly. Or, if a periodized program has worked for you before, it’s still important to try new things to keep your climbing progressing.

    If any of these hypothetical scenarios apply to you, the “radar system” may be what you’re looking for. This system is one of the quickest, simplest and most common-sense-based methods available for planning your training. It’s 100 percent personalized, based on your goals and weaknesses and, better still, it’s entirely governed by measurable results. Here’s what to do:


    1. Write down six areas for improvement over the next three or four months. These could be weaknesses or components of strength and fitness that you need for a particular goal or climbing trip. For example, if you’re a boulderer they could include sloper strength, pinch strength, lock-off strength, core strength, explosive power and/or session endurance. Alternatively, if you’re a sport climber this could be open-crimp strength, core strength, arm strength, power endurance on 35-degree overhangs, and stamina (low-intensity endurance). 


    2. Test yourself in each area. Testing will be easy for the strength and power components, as you can use a hangboard or campus board and measure finger strength by timing deadhangs, arm strength by timing lock-offs or counting a maximum number of pull-ups (calibrated with weights if necessary), and counting a max for leg-raises or max time for front levers for core strength. 

    Endurance will be more difficult to quantify. A good approach is to use a campus board and count your max number of reps. For power endurance, stronger climbers can do footless ladder climbs; the less strong can test with feet on. For stamina (low-intensity endurance), use a circuit and record how many moves you do, or alternatively, how long you can stay on. This approach is slightly limited as improvements may come from getting the circuit wired, so an alternative for higher-level climbers is to use the campus board with feet on. 

    3. Once you’ve set out your requirements and worked out the tests, draw a “radar” diagram like the one shown. Now do a test session and record your scores for each of the components. Use this score to determine your main area of focus for the next two weeks of training. For example, if you did poorly at open-handed strength and core, but well at power endurance, then prioritize open-handed strength and core over the next two weeks (three or four times a week), whereas power endurance can be trained less often (once a week or even once in the following two weeks). 

    After two weeks, record your scores and draw lines that connect the hash marks, providing a visual reference diagram. This first two weeks of training may be slightly skewed, as it can be hard to make an objective initial assessment of how well you did in each test. After you’ve completed the first two weeks, do another test session, draw lines between the hash marks and it will be easy to compare your improvements. You may find, for example, that open-handed strength and core have improved significantly, but power endurance has only improved slightly; in which case, you should set up the next two weeks of training to focus on stamina and arm strength. Thus you continue training for two weeks at a time, with the priorities always determined by the tests. You can roll this program out for six to eight weeks, after which you should take an active rest week before further training or climbing. 



    This article appeared in Rock and Ice No. 224 (February 2015). 

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