A few weeks ago we finished a strength-focused climbing month, which means we added 2 hangboard sessions per week to our climbing schedule. We also changed up our hangboard routine from what we’ve done in the past (you can read about those here and here) and brought in a new, highly sophisticated piece of training equipment…. a small piece of 2×4 🙂
We were pretty happy with this new routine and thought we would share it.
Our Strength-Focused Schedule:
- One lead climbing session per week: Working on leading harder grades and improving technique (footwork, fast clipping, on-sighting, etc.)
- One bouldering session per week: Working on bouldering harder grades and focusing on maximum strength moves
- One general conditioning session per week: Incorporating exercises to improve functional movement and increase core and upper-body strength
- Two hangboard sessions per week: Maximum strength dead-hangs plus pull-ups
The modifications we made to our old hangboard routine were as follows:
- Choose 6 or 7 finger/grip positions to train. This time around, we included three different pinch grips using a 2 x 4 (cut to a length of 5-inches)
- For each finger grip / position, find the weight you need to add / remove in order to just hold tension for 6 seconds + 1 pull-up
- For each finger grip / position, complete 3 sets of the “6-second hang + 1 pull-up”), resting for 90 seconds in between each set
We loved this new routine for two reasons:
- It was quick! We could finish the hangboard routine in less than 45 minutes (this was, of course, after a very good warm-up at the climbing gym).
- It incorporated movement (the pull-up) off of a finger grip position, which we feel is more beneficial to climbing.
Pinch it Real Good:
We also started using a 2×4, cut to a length of 5 inches, to work on improving our narrow, medium and wide pinch grip.
- Start with your weakest grip (for us, it was the widest, 5-inch width of the block)
- End with your strongest grip (for us, it was the narrow, 2-inch width of the block)
- We used a sling around the block, attached to our weights. It seemed to work!
For these maximum-strength exercises, you need to find out what weight you need to add (via a weight vest) or remove (via a pulley-system) so that you can just complete one 6 second hang / hold followed by 1 pull-up. This might take a session or two to figure out exactly where you lie.
Make sure you record your weights and grip positions, so you can track your progress over the week, and know what weights to start on, when you return to the hangboard training months from now.