Peak District climbing courses

Anaerobic Training for Rock Climbing

Anaerobic Capacity Training

When you are climbing hard routes near your limit, there will not be enough oxygen getting to your muscles in order to create ATP using the aerobic system. The reason for this is two fold, the aerobic system is slow and can't produce ATP as quickly as the muscles need it. The second reason is when your muscles are contracting above 50% of their maximum the blood vessels in the muscles are squashed and therefore less blood is getting to the muscles, forcing them to work anaerobically.

Lactic Acid - it's not all bad

climbing in the South East

Lactic acid has a poor reputation in the sport science world. Everyone views it as the chemical that reduces high level performance and should be avoided at all costs. This is not quite true.

Lactic acid actually mops up the waste hydrogen within the muscles and without the production of lactic acid the hydrogen would stop the production of ATP completely. Being able to produce lactic acid is a good thing - as long as we have the ability to cope with it and remove it from the muscles.

Training aerobic endurance will help with the removal of lactic acid and anaerobic capacity training will improve the muscles' ability to create lactic acid and cope with the anaerobic conditions.

Anaerobic Drills

Sets of four

Climb four boulder problems at your onsight limit, this is one lap.
Rest for as long as it took to climb the lap.
Climb four laps in total with the correct amount of rest between each lap.

Fours and Fives

Pick four boulder problems at your onsight limit.
Climb each problem as many times as you can in 5 minutes (aim for a minimum for four times)
Rest 5 minutes between each problem.


Climb a circular boulder problem of 20-35 moves. Try and set the problem with no rests or cruxes. Rest between each circuit for 10 min. Aim for 6 repeats of the circuit.

Ten at a time

Climb 10 moves then rest for as long as it took you to climb the moves. Repeat this 3 times to make a total of 40 moves. This is one set. Rest for 15 min. and then complete another set. Aim to climb 4 sets. This is a great drill for training anaerobic capacity.

5 at a time

This is the same as above but you should only climb 5 harder moves. This is great for strength endurance.

Fingerbaord Training

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