Quick summary

One Arm Hangs hangboard training routine

The One Arm Hangs protocol was made popular by Chris Webb-Parsons, an Australian V15 boulderer [1]. The protocol is known for being a very intense training method, putting a lot of stress on both arms and elbows, so it should best be used only by climbers capable of bouldering in the upper V-range [2]. The One Arm Hangs can be particularly useful to climbers who are so strong that they need to add very high loads, even over 50 kg, to make their two-handed hangs challenging enough, and for whom reducing the hold size may at some point become painful [3]. Since the One Arm Hangs protocol is very different from any two-handed hangboard protocol, if you never tried it before, you are likely to notice quick strength gains, owing to the entirely new stimuli it provides. This can make One Arm Hangs the perfect tool whenever you need to break through a plateau.

A very intense finger strength training method, recommended for climbers who can boulder above V8.

One Arm Hangs hangboard training protocol details

  1. Choose a hold and adjust the load so that you can hang one-handed for 5 – 10 seconds.
    • Preferably use an edge and the half crimp grip position.
    • Other holds are also possible but are less recommended.
  2. For the chosen grip position:
    • Hang one-handed for 5 – 10 seconds in the slightly bent arm position.
    • Repeat the hang for the other arm.
    • Rest 2 – 5 minutes.
  3. Perform a total of 3 hangs for each arm according to step 2.
  4. For the chosen grip position:
    • Hang one-handed for 5 – 10 seconds in the 90° bent arm position.
    • Repeat for the other arm.
    • Rest 2 – 5 minutes.
  5. Perform 3 hangs for each arm according to step 4.
  6. For the chosen grip position:
    • Hang one-handed for 5 – 10 seconds in the full lock-off position.
    • Repeat for the other arm.
    • Rest 2 – 5 minutes.
  7. Perform 3 hangs for each arm according to step 5.

One Arm Hangs hangboard training routine remarks

  • Make sure your arms are fully warmed up ready to take high loads.
  • Best if you can do a one-arm pull up on a jug, or at least be able to comfortably lock-off with one arm for a couple of seconds.
  • Using a pulley system to reduce the load may actually be better than using a rope for assistance.
  • Keep your scapula retracted, particularly with the slightly bent arm hangs.
  • Concentrate on preventing your body from spinning – if not using a rope for assistance.
  • If you can’t hang for 5 – 10 seconds on any hold, use a pulley system to reduce your weight.
  • Start on a deeper edge, keep adding weight and work your way down to smaller holds.
  • The optimum hang time is between 5 – 7 seconds –  10 seconds can be too hard on the shoulder.
  • This is a strength training protocol, so rest as long as you need to be able to properly execute the hangs.

Table 1: One Arm Hangs hangboard training protocol summary.

One Arm Hangs
Hang test time [s]5 - 10
MVC-7 load92 - 106%
Sets1
Positions3
Hangs/position6 (3/arm)
Hangs/set18 (9/arm)
Hang time [s]5 - 10
Rest betw. hangs [min] 2 - 5
TUT/arm [s]45 - 90
Total time [min]17 - 42

One Arm Hangs typical hangboard training cycle

  • The training cycle below is the CWP training cycle adapted to using a pulley system, rather than an assisting rope.
  • A typical cycle is 12 weeks long, broken into two 6-week blocks.
  • Perform at least 2 sessions per week.
    • Weeks 1 – 2
      • Execute the protocol with 10-second hangs.
      • Use a pulley system to adjust the load properly.
    • Week 3:
      • Execute the protocol with 5-second hangs.
      • Increase the load accordingly, to make the 5-second hangs challenging.
    • Week 4
      • Execute the protocol with 10-second hangs.
      • Use the load from Weeks 1 – 2.
    • Week 5:
      • Execute the protocol hanging as long as you can.
      • Use a higher load than in Week 3, to fail in under 5 seconds.
    • Week 6:
      • Rest
    • Weeks 7 – 8:
      • Execute the protocol with 5-second hangs.
      • Use the load from Week 3.
    • Week 9:
      • Execute the protocol with 10-second hangs.
      • Reduce the load in comparison to Weeks 7-8.
    • Week 10:
      • Execute the protocol with 5-second hangs.
      • Use the load from Weeks 7 – 8.
    • Week 11:
      • Execute the protocol hanging as long as you can.
      • Use a higher load than in Week 10, to fail in under 5 seconds.
      • Compare your maximum hang times with hang times from Week 5.
    • Week 12:
      • Rest

One Arm Hangs load vs. climbing level

In 2018 an interesting study was published, in which bouldering level was related to one arm finger strength. For the tests the Beast Fingers GRIPPŪL apparatus was used, with a 19 mm edge, in-cut 15 degrees [4]. Unfortunately, the exact test procedure is not thoroughly explained, so it is difficult to relate it to results of other tests. It