Experimental Hangboard Training Program – Piotr

Piotr is an extremely motivated and experienced lead climber, who excels at crimpy slabs and vertical walls. He lives in Mexico, where he has access to vast areas of high-quality virgin rock, which allows him to bolt his own new lines.

To me, Piotr is a bit of a mystery because, based on the score from my lead climbing grade prediction algorithm, his level should only be 5.11d (7a). So far, the algorithm has been pretty accurate at estimating the current lead climbing level for other climbers on the program. And yet just a while ago, Piotr managed to send his fourth 5.13a (7c+) route. I believe that what Piotr lacks in terms of physical determinants, he makes up for with experience, technique, a strong mental game, and commitment. On top of that, being six feet tall gives him an extra edge on crimpy and slabby routes. 

Piotr is currently climbing a lot outdoors, so he follows a low volume hangboard training program, which strikes an equal balance between strength and endurance development. It also needs to be mentioned that Piotr never really trained on the hangboard before, so he still has a huge potential for physical development. I believe that if he combines his improved strength and endurance with his technique and experience, he will significantly progress as a climber.

Table 1: Experimental Hangboard Training Program progress.

Previous cycleJust climbing
MVC-7 (20 mm) [kg]81
Body weight [kg]71
MVC-7 (20 mm) [%BW]114%
CF [%MVC-7]33%
CF [%BW]38%
CF [kg]27
Bouldering level predictionV5 (6C)
Current bouldering levelV5 (6C)
Lead level prediction5.11d (7a)
Current lead level5.13a (7c+)

Figure 1: Critical Force as percentage of MVC-7 – progress plots.

Figure 2: Critical Force as percentage of bodyweight – progress plots.