6 weeks from Couch to Climb Training Program

Join Dave Numme, Rock 98.9’s Program Director and Captain for Rock 98.9’s Big Climb Seattle team as he helps you to go from couch to climb in just six weeks!

To get ready to climb 69 floors, or 1,311 steps, you need to prepare yourself mentally and physically.  Getting okay with feeling uncomfortable and staying dedicated is one of the most challenging aspects of taking on an event where you push yourself.  You need to check with your doctor and get professional medical advice before taking on any training program to make sure you are healthy and there are no underlying issues.  Then, there are a couple of caveats.  Make a date with yourself and some training buddies and stick to it.  Be good to yourself and do your best. You will always improve.

This program is a guide to help you get going.  Check out the Big Climb Seattle training packet  Here are some stair maps and the top 20 outdoor staircases in the Seattle area.

The 6-week “couch to climb” training program is designed to help improve your cardiorespiratory endurance and increase muscular strength and endurance.  There are two separate programs depending on where you are in your base fitness and goals.  For Performance you will need access to a gym with weights.


Scaled to provide an entry point to the goal of climbing 69 floors.  The goal of the program is to get you moving and build some base endurance and strength.  You should have no injuries, or health issues preventing you from doing a relatively low impact training program.


You are involved in a sport such as running, soccer, CrossFit, basketball and workout hard at least three times per week.  You’re planning to wear a timing chip for the big climb.

Pursuit: February 5 – February 18 – Week 6

Day 1: Get outside and walk for 30 to 40 minutes at a moderate pace. You should be able to carry on a conversation but you should get warm and sweaty after a few minutes.  Take on a few hills if you want to increase the intensity.  Drink lots of water

Day 2: Get some friends and find a set of stairs, preferably outdoors where it’s always more fun.   Climb intervals :30 seconds on then 1 minute of rest.  Climb at a moderate pace for 30 seconds; walk back down easy; rest for 1 minute and repeat.  Go for 10-12 sets which would be 5 to 6 minutes of climbing and 9 to 11 minutes of rest.  If you want to increase the intensity run every other set. Go as you feel. Drink lots of water.

Day 3: OFF:  Day of active rest-take steps at work – go for a walk at lunch.

Day 4: Easy jog for 4 minutes then walk for 1 minute. Continue for up to 25-35 minutes as you feel. Walk up a few flights of stairs at work or anywhere you see an opportunity.

Stand at your desk for part of the day of you have a workstation which allows;  If you sit at work; get up every :20 minutes and walk around a bit and do some squats.  Drink lots of water

Day 5: Walk some hills in your neighborhood for 30-45 minutes.  To add intensity jog for 8 min on and 1 minute off.

Day 6: Active recovery; Get up and stand every 20 minutes at work; take the stairs, walk to lunch, drink lots of water.

Day 7: Stair intervals 1 minute of climbing :30 seconds of rest at the top then descend; rest :30 seconds at the bottom and repeat.  Go for 8-10 sets at a pace that you can maintain for the full climb.

Performance: February 5 – February 18 – Week 6

Day 1: Hill Repeats:  Warm up on your own; 6-9 Hill Repeats:  1 Min at 85%  easy run down; 1 Min recovery; Walking Lunges:  6 sets of 10 (rest as needed) add intensity with dumbbells; Jumping Squats:  4 sets of 10 (rest as needed) between sets

Day 2: Stair Climb Repeats:  Warm up on your own; 10-12 Climb Repeats: 1 Min at 70%; rest :30 at top; easy descend; rest for 1 minute and repeat.  Increase intensity to 85% as you feel

Day 3:    Strength:  A): Back-Squat 6 x 5 at 70% of 1RM; B) then, (3 rounds of): 20 Box Jump Step Downs; 50 Jump Ropes Singles or Double Unders  (perform “A”, then move to “B”)

Day 4: Active Recovery – Mobility – Easy run for 30 minutes

Day 5: Stair Climb Repeats:  Warm up on your own; 10-12 Climb Repeats: 1 Min at 70%; rest :30 at top; easy descend; rest for 1 minute and repeat.  Increase intensity to 85% as you feel.

Day 6: Strength:  A) (3-4 sets) Banded Monster Walks x 12 Forward and Back, Walking Lunges x 10 (add sandbag of DB to add intensity) B) (Deadlift 6, 5, 4, 3 slight increase each set getting to a heavy triple) C) Run :20 minutes at a moderate pace.

Day 7: OFF

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