Finger Strength 432 Plan – 6 session cycle – Medium, High, Low Volume

Arguing about the merits of specific isometric finger strength protocols is a prime example of not seeing the forest for the trees. We brand a certain program as superior for this or perfect for that, but the biggest part of progress is doing it over long enough periods to see a relatively permanent change in strength potential. With this in mind, the right method is to do max hangs and repeaters and on-the-minute hangs…but to switch between them at a regular enough interval that you continue to progress.

This plan is a different take on loading, and is a good option for climbers who have lots of experience on the board. It is a bit more complicated than straight sets or repeaters, so if you haven’t trained those programs yet, start there.

This is a six-session cycle and it is laid out as follows:

 

Session A – Medium Volume Session B – High Volume Session A – Low Volume
Session B – Medium Volume Session A – High Volume Session B – Low Volume

 

The sessions are as follows:

Session A:

Large Crimp – Straight Arm, 2 hands: 10 second hang, 20 seconds rest

Medium Pocket – Second Pair 90 degree elbow, 2 hands: 5 second hang, 25 seconds rest.

Pinch Block – Narrow Pinch, Straight Arm, 1 hand: 10 second hang, 20 seconds rest.

Small Crimp – Lock Off, 2 hands: 5 second hang, 25 seconds rest.

Spring-loaded Gripper – 5-8 reps each side (if you can do 8, you need a heavier gripper), rest as needed.

 

Session B:

Large Crimp – 90 degree elbow, 1 hand: 5 second hang, 25 seconds rest.

Small Pocket – First Pair, straight arm, 2 hands: 5 second hang, 25 seconds rest.

Large Crimp – Lock Off, 2 hands: 5 second hang, 25 seconds rest.

Reverse Wrist Curl – 10 reps each side on a 1 minute clock

Band Expansions – 20 reps each side on a 1 minute clock

Wrist Curl – 10 reps each side on a 1 minute clock

 

Each session follows the same format, but the volumes change. These can be done circuit-style, but most climbers in a commercial gym will have better luck with straight sets. The timing can be adjusted a bit to suit your own preferences, but this is designed to be a strength and hypertrophy session, and thus your rest needs to be limited.

Once you have the session formats down, you then can place them in the high-low-medium framework:

 

Session A – Medium Volume Session B – High Volume Session A – Low Volume
4 sets per exercise 6 sets per exercise 2 sets per exercise
Session B – Medium Volume Session A – High Volume Session B – Low Volume
4 sets per exercise 6 sets per exercise 2 sets per exercise

 

An example session detail would then look like this:

Session B – High Volume (Straight Sets)

Exercise Duration Approximate Total Elapsed Time (with rests between exercises)
Large Crimp – 90 degree elbow, 1 hand 6 x 5:25 3:00
Small Pocket – First Pair, straight arm, 2 hands 6 x 5:25 7:00
Large Crimp – Lock Off, 2 hands 6 x 5:25 11:00
Reverse Wrist Curl 6 x 1:00 18:00
Band Expansions 6 x 1:00 25:00
Wrist Curl 6 x 1:00 32:00

 

This plan is appropriate 1-2 days per week in-season, or 3-4 days per week off-season. Perform this for 3 or 4 cycles, then switch out to another plan or switch grips and start over at an easier intensity.