let's make climbing training mainstream

Our proven path to optimal climbing training

About FITclimbing

FITclimbing is all about building a solid framework, 
chaining your workouts and making progress.

Chaining or “chains” are frequently used for training sequences that are beyond the current repertoire of the learner. The term is often credited to the work of B.F. Skinner, an American psychologist working at Harvard University
in the 1930’s.

We believe building a solid base for strength, training local anaerobic fitness in the most efficient way and systematic training plans are the missing links in climbing training.

Often strength training in climbing applies only specific strength training without a solid overall strength, which results in injuries. Training for power endurance and endurance is often done without enough training load and optimal recovery times, and without a descent plan. We think many climbers could train much more efficient to unlock their full performance potential.

Based on this fact and looking at existing training methods in other, upper body, anaerobic and high intensive sports, we have built the FITclimbing HIIT and Strength Workouts.

So, we didn’t invent a complete new way of training. We just looked to how other sports(wo)men are training, knowing that a well-developed foundation will be more receptive to the loads imposed by specific training.

HIIT and Strength Workouts start on your own level to train endurance, power endurance and strength. You can easily chain from one workout to the next one to progress.

Our workouts are mostly physical training programs. That doesn’t mean that we think climbing technique, tactics and mental training aren’t important. You can easily integrate these parts of training into the workouts.

So prevent yourself from injuries and unlock your full performance potential. Build a solid framework and chain at your own pace for having a lifetime injury free and a balanced climbing life.

Made by experts

A powerful training Program

Our H(F)IITclimbing workouts are developed using the 25 years of expertise in training, physiology and internet technology of Polar. With this and our own climbing training experience we believe we have built a powerful training program.

Start Training!


Become a member and have access
to our training programs.

  • Train where and whenever you want
    with your own online climbing coach.
  • 690 HIIT Workouts for climbing and bouldering.
  • 120 Strength Workouts based on fundamental climbing movement patterns.
  • Access to FITclimbing community.
  • Make your own personalized training plan
    and track your performance.
  • Keep on track of your nutrition.
  • Available in Google Play or Apple Store.
    Also accessible via the PC.
  • Can be cancelled monthly.
Frequently Asked Questions


For every climber who wants to train in an efficient, balanced way. Whether you are a competition athlete or a recreational climber you have to build a solid base to increase your training load. If the framework isn’t right, it may limit future progress.

Plan workouts at your own level and chain easily from one workout to the next one to make progress.

The HIIT schemes don’t let you to choose your own rest periods. The non-linear programming in the app means that the workouts aren’t predictable. They are programmed to have an optimal training load and recovery time.

You can choose your own start level and easily chain from one workout to the next one to make progress. Want even more advanced training? Use a heart rate monitor to make sure you are training at the right intensity.

Whether you are a competition athlete or a recreational climber, a good physical frame is important to avoid injuries and unlock your full performance potential.

Often, strength training in climbing ends up with only specific strength training without a solid base of general strength resulting in injuries. Climbing does look like a full body workout, but some muscle groups are easily forgotten. Forget about training single antagonists but build a solid base with strength workouts based on fundamental climbing movements.

Because “If you can measure it, you can (im)prove it”. It’s important to create an optimal balance between load and recovery, whether you are in the middle of a workout or between two workouts.

You can measure training intensity (load) and your recovery with heart rate monitoring. Training less than 40% in heart rate zone 4 – 5 indicates your workout is too easy. Tracking more than 40% in zone 4 – 5 means you’ve reached the right intensity to trigger muscle and vessel growth and develop local anaerobic fitness.

who we are

THE FITclimbing Team

Irene Pieper
Online Personal Coach and Trainer

Irene started climbing almost 25 years ago. After her national and international competition career (and many injuries later), she discovered a new way of training to get fitter, stronger and more resistant to injuries, the FITclimbing method. Since then, it’s her mission to sway other people to train like this.

“This new way of training with FITclimbing workouts has made me more fit and stronger than during my competition career. Now at 40+ I am bouldering 7b+/V8 again and heading up now for my first 7c/V9. I want to share my training experiences to everyone who wants to train.

I am a professional functional strength and sport performance trainer and climbing coach and trainer. I want  to improve the performance of both recreational climbers and competitive athletes. To learn how to build a physical frame and to unlock your full performance potential”.

Michel Kleinjan
Training Program Creator

Michel Kleinjan, a fanatic climber for many years and founder of FITclimbing. He learned his basics at the ‘The Hague Sports Academy’. Inspired by the systematic training routine from an Olympic athlete he was coaching, he started experimenting with heart rate zone training for sport climbing. 

Together with the 25 years of expertise in training, physiology and internet technology of Polar, Michel developed systematic FITclimbing HIIT workouts for lead, bouldering and running. After developing these HIIT workouts, functional strength workouts has been added. With this, we think he has built a powerful training program.

Even though Michel is no longer directly part of FITclimbing, he is still our silent expert and advisor.

our milestones

FITclimbing Timeline

In 2008 Michel Kleinjan coached an athlete on his way to the Beijing Olympic Summer Games. He was inspired by the systematic training methods of this athlete. Climbing training was at that time mainly through private tried and tested methods. Michel’s mission was born: Let’s make climbing training mainstream”

Further development of FITclimbing

Take-over by user and (now) ‘Coach Irene’ and further development of the product FITclimbing to help climbers to start training.

Start app and name FITclimbing

Bringing the app into service with HIIT workouts and strength workouts for climbers where clients can plan their own personal training schedules or train with the support of a coach.

Start training sessions with HIIT training

Started with making personalised High Intensity Interval Training programs for clients under the name Topfit. With personal feedback from information gathered in Polar Flow.

Started working together with Polar to develop training method

Polar Netherlands endorsed the findings about sport climbing and heart rate zone training and has since been a partner in the search for optimization of training for sport climbing.

Started experimenting with training in heart rate zones

Try out phase with several training methods by using a heart rate tracker. Started learning the do’s and don’ts of training in different heart rate zones.

Let’s make climbing training mainstream

Inspired by the systematic training routine when coaching an Olympic athlete, Michel Kleinjan launched the idea of making climbing training mainstream.