Getting stronger fingers requires heavy loading of the fingers. Heavy loading requires rest between sets. Resting between sets makes most of us feel like we are not working hard enough.

Although the ideal rest times between hangs can be debated, the fact is that with maximum-effort hangs, more time between hangs is better. In order to maximize gym time and help our climbers feel like they are “doing something” between finger strength sets, we build the Hangboard + Core series of training plans.

This is a 4-week plan that focuses on finger strength, but can include a couple days a week of bouldering, as well. The recommended training calendar is below:

MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT SUN
BOULDER MED. VOLUME HB+CORE A BOULDER LOW VOLUME HB+CORE B BOULDER HIGH VOLUME
HB+CORE A BOULDER MED. VOLUME HB+CORE B BOULDER LOW VOLUME
BOULDER HIGH VOLUME HB+CORE A BOULDER MED. VOLUME HB+CORE B BOULDER LOW VOLUME
HB+CORE A BOULDER HIGH VOLUME HB+CORE B BOULDER MED. VOLUME HB+CORE A

 

Your bouldering volumes will vary, but remember that this is not a peaking phase or a time to get your pump on. It is recommended that you take your current average session, say 2 hours, and make that your “high” session. Your medium-volume session will be 20% less than that, and your low-volume session will be 40% less. Therefore:

 

Current Session Length High Volume Session (in minutes) Medium Volume Session (in minutes) Low Volume Session (in minutes)
120 120 96 72
90 90 72 54
60 60 48 36

 

The Hangboard + Core sessions are as follows:

Hangboard + Core A:

Warm-Up: Standard Hangboard Warm-Up

 

Set 1:

On the minute for 10 minutes:

20mm 2-arm edge hang, 8 seconds (loaded to 8 sec max)+

3x Hanging Straight Leg Raise

 

Rest 5 minutes after set 1

 

Set 2: On the minute for 10 minutes:

Minutes 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 –

Pocket Hang, 2 arms, 8 seconds (loaded to 8 sec max)+

2x Lever Progression

 

Minutes 2, 4, 6, 8,10 –

10mm 2-arm edge hang, 4 seconds (loaded to 4 sec max)+

15sec hollow position hold

 

Hangboard + Core B:

 

Warm-Up: Standard Hangboard Warm-Up

 

Set 1:

On the minute for 10 minutes:

20-25mm 1-arm edge hang, 5 seconds per side (loaded to 5 sec max)+

5x Ab Wheel Roll-Out

 

Rest 5 minutes after set 1

 

Set 2: On the minute for 10 minutes:

Minutes 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 –

Pocket Hang, 2 arms, 5 seconds (loaded to 5 sec max)+

4x Lever Progression

 

Minutes 2, 4, 6, 8,10 –

Spring-Loaded Gripper 10+10 reps (at max intensity)+

5x weighted sit-up

 

Training Notes:

  • If you are fatigued coming into the Hangboard + Core workouts after your bouldering days, back off on the bouldering volume. The priority here is the finger strength.
  • If you don’t have spring-loaded grippers, you can fix that by buying some. Many climbers think that general grip training is a waste. They are wrong.
  • Be strict with your lever progressions, and they will pay off in the end.