Hangboard Training Program – Jędrzej

I’ve been climbing since 2005, and since the beginning, my ambition was to send hard sport routes. However, my training focus revolved around bouldering and building strength, because I thought that if I got stronger, my endurance would also improve, a tip I read in one of the articles by Eric Hörst [1][2].

However, despite getting stronger and progressing significantly on the Moonboard, I couldn’t understand why I would very quickly get pumped when lead climbing. It was only later, after reading a paper by Lattice Training, that I discovered that the correlation between finger strength and endurance is very weak [3]. It is certainly valid for continuous hangs endurance, but not necessarily for intermittent hangs endurance, which is the key to sending difficult routes.

For these reasons, I designed my personal Training Program to put an equal emphasis on strength and endurance development. I started in July 2019 with and 8-month cycle of Steve Bechtel’s Ladders, which constituted the main part of my training sessions and helped me increase my finger strength significantly [4][5]. The second part of my sessions was a short 10 – 20-minute set of Endurance Repeaters [6]. The program proved very effective, and I managed to increase my finger strength and endurance significantly, as shown in Table 1 below. You can read the details of that part of my training program in [7]

Starting from April 2020, I began to focus on endurance development, by increasing the duration of the Endurance Repeaters exercise to 45 minutes. This change let me improve my endurance further, but I noticed that my finger strength began to decay. I want to become a better lead climber, but also to keep improving my bouldering, so now I’m trying to fine-tune the program to regain the finger strength level from March 2020, while efficiently developing my endurance. On this page, you will find the details of my progress, as I follow the Experimental Hangboard Training program of my design.

Table 1: Hangboard Training Program progress. Cycles 1 – 5.

 Beginning (07.2019)After Cycle 1 (09.2019)After Cycle 3 (02.2020)After Cycle 4 (06.2020)After Cycle 5 (08.2020)
Completed cycleMixedStrength /EnduranceStrength /EnduranceStrengh-Endurance /EnduranceStrength /Endurance
MVC-7 (20 mm) [kg]108111114106108
Body weight [kg]6566626464
MVC-7 (20 mm) [%BW]166%168%184%166%169%
CF [%MVC-7]29%33%34%39%41%
CF [%BW]49%55%62%64%69%
CF [kg]32
36394144
Score11361193132013161373
Bouldering level predictionV7 (7A+)V8 (7B)V9 (7C)V9 (7C)V8 (7B+)
Current bouldering levelV6 (7A) (MB)V6 (7A) (MB)V8 (7B) (MB)V7 (7A+) (MB)V7 (7A+) (MB)
Lead level prediction7c+7c+8a+8a+8a+
Current lead level?????

Table 2: Hangboard Training Program progress. Cycles 6 – 8.

 After Cycle 6 (09.2020)After Cycle 7 (11.2020)After Cycle 8 (01.2021)
Completed cycleStrength /EnduranceStrength /EnduranceStrength /Endurance
MVC-7 (20 mm) [kg]111111114
Body weight [kg]6464.564.5
MVC-7 (20 mm) [%BW]173%172%177%
CF [%MVC-7]39%41%43%
CF [%BW]67%70%75%
CF [kg]434549
Score137713901529
Bouldering level predictionV8 (7B+)V8 (7B+)V9 (7C)
Current bouldering levelV7(7A+) (MB)??
Lead level prediction8a+8a+8b+
Current lead level???

Figure 1: Jędrzej’s general progress in terms of MVC-7 and Critical Force, expressed as absolute loads in kg.

Figure 2: Critical Force as percentage of MVC-7 – progress plots.

Figure 3: Critical Force as percentage of bodyweight – progress plots.

References

  1. E. Hörst, Training4Climbing, 5 Reasons Why Stronger Fingers Matter!, June 10, 2016. (link)
  2. D. Mirsky, Evening Sends – CATCH A HANGBOARD BUZZ, Oct. 15, 2014. (link)
  3. Giles, D., Chidley, J.B., Taylor, N., Torr, O., Hadley, J., Randall, T., Fryer, S., 2019. The Determination of Finger-Flexor Critical Force in Rock Climbers. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance 1–8. (link)
  4. S. Bechtel, Training: Hangboard Ladders for Finger Strength, Climbing.com, Aug. 10. 2016. (link)
  5. J. Banaszczyk, StrengthClimbing – Steve Bechtel’s 3-6-9 Ladders hangboard finger strength training, May 18, 2019. (link)
  6. J. Banaszczyk, StrengthClimbing – Endurance Repeaters, May 2, 2019. (link)
  7. J. Banaszczyk, StrengthClimbing – 8-Month Hangboard Finger Strength Training Program Results, Mar. 31, 2020. (link)