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Climb a Grade Harder

Coach Justen Sjong will take your climbing to the next level.

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Professional climbing coach Justen “The Sensei” Sjong and Climbing Magazine teamed up to create a 9-week program designed especially for the 5.9 to 5.11 climber. Dedicate yourself to it, and you’ll an climb entire grade harder.

Sign up for the program here!

A long held belief in climbing is that the best way to improve and climb at higher grades is simply to climb more. There’s an undeniable logic to that, but at some point, in the words of coach Sjong, “Just climbing more isn’t as beneficial as targeting your training.” But what do you do? How do you turn a gym session into a training session with measurable results? How many days and how long do you train? What exercises will most benefit your climbing?

Learn From the Pros

Justen Sjong
Photo: Caveman Collective

Coach Sjong understands these questions better than just about anyone on the planet. He’s been climbing since 1992 and has established some of the hardest free big-wall climbs in the world, including Magic Mushroom (5.14a VI) on El Cap. He has had great success as a climbing coach as well, having instructed Daniel Woods, Emily Harrington, and Alex Puccio (who assists with this course) among others.

What’s Included

If you’re a 5.9 to 5.11 climber, this course is for you.

Through videos, weekly training programs, and periodic discussions, we’ll cover:

  • Self assessment
  • Utilizing your eyes and your breath
  • Fitness training
  • Climbing routines
  • Finger strength
  • The power of rest
  • Peformance (because sending your project IS a performance!)
  • And pro tips from Alex Puccio
Alex Puccio
Photo: Caveman Collective

How It Works

After purchasing the course, you can login and begin your training at your own pace from any device, anywhere you have a Wi-Fi connection. You’ll have access to the course and its resources forever.


What date does this course begin?
You will be able to access all the material at any time, at your own pace, though it is intended to progress from week to week throughout the 9 week program.

How hard should I climb to take this course?
This course is designed specifically for the 5.9 to 5.11 climber. If you climb above 5.11, we recommend training with a coach in person, to better address your particular training needs. 

What kind of access will I get to the instructor?
Justen Sjong and Alex Puccio will host a live, one-hour webinar towards the middle of the session to address questions you may have.

What do you expect the time commitment to be for each week?
It’s a simple weekly regimen that you can tailor to your own life and which will still allow you to have your weekends free to climb indoors or outdoors for fun (you should still climb on the weekends!). Monday and Friday are rest days. Tuesday and Thursday will focus on sport climbing and bouldering respectively, but you can switch those days depending on whether you have a partner (or autobelay) or not. Wednesday is a fitness day, which you can do at home or in the gym. Each training session will take approximately an hour. 

Will I need to purchase books or other materials?
No, but note that the course is geared toward an intermediate climber, which assumes that you already climb and already have the necessary climbing equipment (shoes, harness, rope, belay device, etc.) and a climbing gym membership.

How do I sign up?
It is available for purchase at AIM Adventure U: Climb a Grade Harder.

Justen Sjong Alex Puccio
Photo: Caveman Collective

Thanks to Earth Treks Climbing Center in Golden, Colorado for the use of their facilities.