Hangboard

Alex Bridgewater Demonstrates a 1Arm Hang Lock Off

Hangboard Ladder Training 1

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By Steve Bechtel Over the past few years, we’ve seen some incredible climbing gyms opening around the world. We’re talking multi-million-dollar indoor crags here, some so diverse and huge that you might never want to wander outside again. Strangely, though, the gyms aren’t cranking out superstars as fast as you’d think. I had a great…

Example of Mono Systems Board Hang, Photo by Mei Ratz

Hangboard Training for Finger Strength – A Primer

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By Steve Bechtel The hangboard is perhaps the best tool for developing finger strength in climbers. Unfortunately, it is too often “over-sold” by manufacturers as a one-stop training device for all climbing movement. When your desire is stronger fingers, let that be your goal; don’t be fooled into trying to get a pump or do…

Pinch Block with Kettlebell, Photo by Mei Ratz

Making Sense of Hangboard Programs

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by Steve Bechtel I’ve been asked to weigh in more than a few times on various discussions on which was the “best” method of hangboard training. Although this is much like deciding which is the best dumbbell workout, it got me thinking. To truly decide what the best hangboard program for you is, you’ve got…

Alex Bridgewater Demonstrates a Mono Systems Board Hang, B&W, Photo by Mei Ratz

Training Contact Strength

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By Steve Bechtel Contact Strength is a term unique to climbing. It refers to one’s ability to grasp a hold with maximum strength “on contact.” The ability for different climbers to do this varies widely, and many climbers have to “ramp” their strength a bit each time they grab a new hold. Although we see…

Forearm Dumbbell, Photo by Mei Ratz

Forearm Hypertrophy Training

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By Steve Bechtel Unless we’re talking about super lean people, about the last thing any climber wants to do is get bigger. The bigger you are, the more you weigh, and the harder it is for you to climb. But climbers can really benefit from creating more mass in the forearm musculature; it helps improve…

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6|16 Finger Strength Plan

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The Plan I wrote this program for my athletes that couldn’t handle a lack of specifics when it comes to strength training. I am still a big fan of staying “organic” in your work and rest and in loading, but here is a plan that give you some exact details on how to build sessions….

Contrast Load Hangboard Training

Contrast Load Hangboard Training

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The Plan The debate rages whether to load your hangboard training with added weight or to go to smaller holds. Whether to hang one arm or two. Whether to train multiple grips or just one. The answer, and you won’t like it, is all of these are right, at a certain time. The only error…

Rob Pizem, working for the first free ascent of the Frank Zappa Appreciation Society, 5.13+, Escalanta Canyon, CO

In-Season Strength – Program Minimum

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These days, climbers are well aware of the need to gain strength in the off-season. Many climbers I hear from spend much of the winter allocating time to the weight room and the hangboard. Where the system can break down is when someone quits strength training cold-turkey to switch to climbing full-time. There’s no arguing…

route climbing strength 1

Route Climbing Strength 1

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The Route Climbing Strength plans are built to increase finger strength, core strength, and overall body tension, with the longer efforts of full routes in mind. This plan is appropriate for boulderers looking for a bit more capacity as well as trad climbers, though the plan emphasizes finger strength at a level that is not…

Hangboard mono hangs

Level 1 Hangboard Progression

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The Plan We do a lot of hangboard training with our athletes. It is a tool we use primarily as a strength builder for the fingers and hand, but also as a way of preventing injury. Ironically, though, many climbers new to using the board get hurt when they first start using it. This is…

NBerry crop 2

Route Climbing Strength-Endurance 1

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This is a 6-week plan for climbers looking to maximize Strength-Endurance for short crux sequences and long boulder problems. There are no specific days assigned to these workouts, nor rest days specified. Just plan on doing the workouts in the order written, and rest as necessary.   Week 1- For week 1, you want to…

Brad Hilbert Bouldering, image courtesy of Butora USA

Introduction to Training for Bouldering

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By Steve Bechtel Bouldering is exactly the same as rock climbing, except that it’s way harder. In an attempt to do this way harder sport, we often employ rock climbing training programs, yet they don’t quite work. This article is intended to highlight these differences, provide an introduction to bouldering training, and suggest an alternative…

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