ARC Training

What is it?

ARC stands for Aerobic Respiration and Capillary. The aim of this training is to increase the blood flow (therefor the oxygen) to the muscle by increasing the capillary bed, and also train the muscle to use produce more energy using this oxygen.

How should I program it?

ARC Training is great at the start of training cycle as part of a preparatory phase to increase your recovery and ability to deal with a high training load. It can also be fit in as an active rest to help you recover between days of harder training although you have to be carefull with the intensity to avoid detracting from your harder training.

How should this type of training feel?

By the end of the sessions you should feel generally fatigued. You are not looking for a specific pumped feeling while climbing as the intensity is so low, however it can be tiring.


Training Sessions


15m ARC

Session Length: 55m-1.5hr

Facility: Autobelay, Traverse, Circuit Board, Climbing Wall

Find an area of wall where you can climb for 15 mins without coming off. This can be an autobelay where you can climb down, an easy circuit board, a traverse, or just an area of wall where you can climb around. 8 grades below your onsight is a good place to start but it will depend on your fitness. You should not really feel pumped. Try to vary where you are climbing but keep the intensity consistent throughout the session.

Format: Climb for 15 minutes without coming off the wall then come off for 10, complete 3-4 sets. As you get fitter, reduce the rest time down to 5 minutes.


Getting Extra Value

Improving Technique

Use the time to focus on your climbing technique. Practice twisting, rockovers, foot placement, drop knees or any other movement can be of benefit to even already good climbers. Remember you are always building habits so make sure you are building good ones. Try to regulate how hard you are gripping - relax as much as possible.

Improving Tactics

Stop for a moment when you are on a really good hold and plan the next section of the route. Keep your brain engaged and working.

Extra Physical Outcome

When climbing down it can be beneficial for many climbers to work on their shoulder engagement. Try to fully straighten your arm while keeping your shoulder engaged.



Coaching and Training at the Foundry


More Training Sessions

Aerobic Capacity (Endurance)


Strength & Power


Anaerobic Capacity (Short Strength Endurance)


Aerobic Power (Long Strength Endurance)




Flexibility and Mobility