Core Training Podcast

Apex Climbing Blog

So this week I was in the process of creating a new training plan for myself (perks of the job). I often like to try out new and up & coming ideas, or old ones that I have recently found out about and liked. This lead to me evaluating my ‘areas for improvement’ and tackling my core strength and routine (or lack of it).

As a frequent listener to the Training Beta podcasts, I put forward a question to Neely Quinn, the owner and founder of the website (

My question was:

“As we know, pure strength building often requires low reps and high weight. My question is, why are the core muscles treated differently, especially when the use of the core in climbing is often dynamic and explosive for just a few seconds at a time, and not always medium to low intensity as many core workouts tend to be?”

Kris (a very successful and reputable trainer in the Denver/Boulder area of the States) replied with a great answer and one that leaves plenty of room for exploration and experimentation. However from this answer I got an idea. Implementing a periodised program just for the core muscles maybe appropriate? This would be as part of your weekly workouts, but could be separate from your other overall cycles, i.e. be in your power phase but add on a high rep core workout after your upper body power workouts.

The Example Plan:

  • Week 1-6 – Get the core strength to a good level by using a high rep methods.
  • Week 7-11 – Move that into a more medium reps, low weight exercises
  • Week 12-14 – Finally up to a couple of very high intense sessions (low rep, high weight),
  • Week 15-16 – Followed by a rest period.

This cycling may be inline with current best practice in training principles as a whole, as well as fits into what Kris said on the podcast. As with all workouts, new or old, listening to your body and avoiding injury at all costs is paramount. This should be a consideration all the way through any training, especially at the high weight phases. Good form and appropriate rests between sets and workouts is most definitely advised! Getting a coach, knowledgeable friend or even a mirror should help keep good form and therefore aid in injury avoidance.

I hope this post may provide room for thought and maybe even a stronger core for you! I know I am going to embark on trying it and if it works, WA HEY! I’ll report my findings in due course.

The podcast in question can be found here.

Leave a comment

Ready To Take Your Climbing To The Next Level?

Contact Jamie & The Apex Team To Book Your First Class