Lattice Blog

Stop Wasting Time: How to Prioritise Your Training

Using your time wisely and knowing how to prioritise your training is key to achieving your goals. When we think about training and time, we may wonder: “How do I fit all these sessions into 2 hours at the gym?” or “What is the most time efficient way to warm up?”. Before answering these, there are some core questions relating to how we plan our training with respect to our time.

There is an analogy used for time management where you take a jar and, aiming to fit a range of rocks, pebbles and sand in the jar, put the rocks in first, then the pebbles and then the sand in order to fit everything in.

Prioritise the rocks, the essential training

When prioritising your training, the rocks are our high priority sessions, the essentials. For example, if your weakness is pull strength then your high priority training may be steep bouldering and weighted pull-ups. By putting the rocks in first, we ensure our highest priority training makes it onto the plan before our training capacity is filled. Or, on a weekly scale, we ensure we schedule our highest priority sessions first.

Know the size of your jar

Unfortunately, this analogy has a flaw: it assumes that all the rocks (training exercises we deem important) fit into the jar (our training capacity).

The first step when planning our training is to be realistic about the size of our jar and have a good understanding of what rocks to prioritise. Often, this means that we have to say “no” to things because they take too much time and energy and there is something else that is a higher priority that will benefit our climbing more.

What are your rocks?

Below is an exercise to help you figure out how to prioritise your training. This is not a hard and fast rule, but it provides a simple start to assessing training from a time realistic starting point.

Based on your time availability and/or ability to recover, decide how many ‘rocks’ you can fit into one week. Be realistic!

  • List the highest priority sessions that work towards your end goal.
  • List the highest priority areas based on your profile.

You should also write down anything that plays into your motivation, like social climbing.

You can see where these lists overlap. Order them in descending order of importance and see which top ‘rocks’ you can pack in your jar given the initial number of big rocks you can fit in.

Lattice Coach Maddy Cope climbs a steep boulder
Photo: Ollie Torr

What are your rocks? Head to the post on Instagram and let us know in the comments!

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