tl;dr just download the bouldering logbook.

Why Train?

Training and performance are two different things. If you’re trying to perform all the time, you aren’t going to realize your potential. If you’re not trying to realize your potential, then don’t bother reading the rest of this.

The quote from tension climbing sums it up well. At times we may wonder why we go to the nearest warehouse-turned-climbing-gym to slap, crimp, and pinch “plastic globs attached to plywood walls”, we may be frustrated with our stagnating climbing grade, we may curse in frustration at another rainy weekend or lack of dependable partners. But could we imagine a life without climbing, without purpose?

The mystery of human existence lies not in just staying alive, but in finding something to live for. ~ The Brothers Karamazov

And when training season rolls around in the Spring, you can bet that in this moment, climbing is what we live for.


  • bouldering circuits by tension climbing. 3 different circuits spanning the power-to-endurance spectrum.
  • Steve Maisch’s pyramids. Basically you need to build out your pyramid by sending easier climbs and not trying to redpoint everything. My notes in a pdf since Steve’s website was down when I wrote this. More of reality check/tracking tool.


I’m not the first, nor the last to track training, but I’d thought I’d share what I’m using.

Since you can’t improve what you can’t measure, I’ve made a pdf that, if you print with the binding on the short edge, will turn into a booklet perfectly innocuous enough to fold into your chalk bag.

I like to quantify the bouldering circuit workouts above by:

  • number of sets
  • number of rounds within a set (where you climb multiple problems – either linked or unlinked)
  • rest between rounds and between sets
  • angle of wall
  • type of holds
  • V-difficulty
  • total time climbing

Then it is easy to compare if you’re working more on the power side (less total time on the wall versus total time of workout) or if you’re more on the endurance side.

I’ve found it easiest to plan out ahead of time what I want to do, and then execute when I get to the gym. But what are you doing still reading? Get off the compter and get to the gym!