Welcome to StrengthClimbing – a website dedicated to exploring the most effective and efficient rock climbing training methods.

experimental hangboard training program for finger strength and forearm endurance

Experimental Hangboard Training Program

I’m currently developing and testing my own Experimental Hangboard Training Program that’s based on cutting edge climbing research. The program is addressed to both boulderers and lead climbers, and the training sessions are tailored to fit the climbers’ current goals and climbing schedules.

A group of climbers agreed to participate in the experiment by following the prescribed training protocols and undergoing periodic assessments to test their progress. Here you can find a ranking with the most recent test results of all the climbers following the program.

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climbing finger strength analyzer

Climbing Finger Strength Analyzer 2.0

The Climbing Finger Strength Analyzer 2.0 is finally here! This version is significantly improved compared to the initial one. New features include:

  • Height and Arm span module
  • Possibility to select your current training mode
  • Testing with one-arm hangs
  • Intensity expressed in terms of added load
  • Auxiliary Pull-ups module
  • Evaluation of your BMI
  • Detailed written assessment of your performance, together with suggestions on what to do to progress

I did extensive research, analyzed results reported by climbers on various fora, and went through the entire r/climbharder survey from 2017 to fine-tune the algorithm. In the post below the Analyzer app, you will find some cool sample input sets, which you can use for testing.

Try to get creative with the Analyzer and pinpoint your weaknesses! Remember, always warm up before you train!

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Mtoda 7-53 trening siły palców chwytotablica wspinaczka
Strength Training

Metoda “7-53” Erica Hörsta – trening wspinaczkowy siły palców na chwytotablicy

Opracowana przez Erica Hörsta metoda “7-53” jest bardzo skutecznym sposobem trenowania siły maksymalnej palców na chwytotablicy. Ten protokół treningowy jest czymś pomiędzy standardową metodą 7/3 Repeaters a metodą MaxHangs Evy López. Ten wydajny czasowo protokół łączy w sobie elementy treningu czysto siłowego oraz treningu wytrzymałości siłowej i zalecany jest średnio zaawansowanym i zaawansowanym wspinaczom. Dzięki wieloletniemu treningowi przy użyciu metody “7-53” Eric Hörst zwiększył dodatkowe obciążenie z którym ćwiczy na krawądce 14 mm z 22.5 kg do 41 kg i jest to nadal jego ulubiony sposób trenowania siły palców!

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8-month climbing hangboard finger strength training progress Bechtel's 3-6-9 Ladders strengthclimbing
Strength Training

8-month Hangboard Finger Strength Training Program Results

In this post, I describe the results of my eight-month hangboard finger strength training program with Steve Bechtel’s 3-6-9 Ladders routine. My goal was to verify how much I can progress my absolute and relative finger strength while undergoing a weight loss intervention, and under conditions of chronic sleep deprivation.
With the program, I increased my MVC-7 HC 20 absolute strength from 108 kg to 116 kg. During the last training cycle, I managed to reduce my body weight from 65.5 kg to 61 kg through Intermittent Fasting and Low Carbohydrate/Keto Diet. As a result, I increased my relative finger strength from 163.5% to 190%, allowing me to improve from the 7A benchmark to 7B benchmark level on the Moonboard Masters 2017 hold setup. Go ahead and find out the details!

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Eric Horst Hangboard Moving Hangs climbing training strength endurance
Endurance Training

Eric Hörst Hangboard Moving Hangs climbing training endurance protocol

The Hangboard Moving Hangs (HMH) climbing training protocol was described by Eric Hörst in his book Conditioning for Climbers. Because the intensity of the exercise is rather low, even beginner climbers with a couple of months of training under their belt can give it a try.

The Hangboard Moving Hangs climbing training protocol is a perfect introduction to hangboarding, because it’s safe, it puts less strain on the shoulders than typical dead hangs, and it’s easy to do. This routine is a powerful and versatile technique for developing forearm endurance, and it is worth including in any climber’s training portfolio! I started hangboarding with the Hangboard Moving Hangs climbing endurance protocol myself, and I would recommend it to both beginners and advanced climbers.

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One Arm Hang strength climbing training hangboard
Strength Training

One Arm Hangs hangboard training protocol

The One Arm Hangs protocol was made popular by Chris Webb-Parsons, an Australian V15 boulderer. 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. 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.

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Eva Lopez Subhangs strength endurance hangboard training
Endurance Training

Eva López SubHangs strength endurance protocol

The Eva López SubHangs strength endurance protocol is characterized by long hang times of up to 45 seconds, at relatively low loads, between 55 – 85% MVC-7. This approach is aimed primarily at improving strength endurance and potentially also strength itself, through hypertrophy. The Eva López SubHangs strength endurance protocol is quite similar to the more old fashioned way of hangboard training, where long hangs till failure were preferred. The protocol can be executed in two versions, the minimum edge with no added weight (SubHangs MED) and with added weight (SubHangs MAW). Use this method if you want to reduce recovery times between sustained sections of a route, or if you need to be able to hang on to small holds for longer!

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Zlagboard Forearm Endurance Workout hangboard training climbing
Endurance Training

Zlagboard Forearm Endurance Workout

The Zlagboard comes with a built-in Forearm Endurance Workout protocol. The idea behind the method is to generate a severe forearm pump, targeting the anaerobic lactic energy system and improving both the physiological and psychological tolerance to high acidic loads. While not very climbing-specific, the Zlagboard Forearm Endurance Workout might be just what you need to get you through long, hard, and pumpy cruxes. Boulderers may also benefit from faster regeneration between attempts, as well as from muscle hypertrophy caused by growth hormone release triggered by lowered blood pH. Go ahead and give the Zlagboard Forearm Endurance Workout a try if you like suffering, but keep your climbing goals in mind!

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Finger strength training for climbing on a hangboard - Steve Bechtel's Ladders protocol
Strength Training

Steve Bechtel’s 3-6-9 Ladders hangboard finger strength training

Steve Bechtel designed his 3-6-9 Ladders protocol as an effective and safe strength training method that can be used both off-season and during the season, while not leading to overtraining or injury. His idea was to reduce the load to the necessary minimum and progress the volume instead. But that does not mean that the loads used are light! Try an 8-week cycle with Steve Bechtel’s 3-6-9 Ladders protocol to trigger both neural and structural adaptations of the forearm muscles!

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Critical force and energy store component plot in climbing aerobic endurance

Climbing Critical Force Calculator

The Critical Force Calculator will help you determine where you stand with your aerobic endurance. It will also allow you to determine the optimum load at which you should train so that you will soon breeze up through those endurance routes!

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Endurance Repeaters HangboardTraining Protocol
Endurance Training

Endurance Repeaters – Forearm Aerobic Endurance Hangboard Routine

Endurance Repeaters are a less known modification of the standard 7/3 Hangboard Repeaters protocol. The idea behind this method is to perform intermittent hangs until failure, with the load reduced to only 30 – 40% of your maximum voluntary contraction (MVC). Such training is known to introduce adaptations, which include improved capillary density and vascular conductance, increases in size and density of the mitochondria, aerobic enzymes and fat oxidation, as well as sparing of muscle glycogen, reduced rates of lactate (La-) production and enhanced La- removal. Ultimately, you should expect improved oxygen supply to the muscles and better maximal endurance capacity. Give Endurance Repeaters a try if you often get pumped before you even reach the crux on those long sport routes!

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Eva Lopez MaxHangs Hangboard Routine climbing training
Strength Training

Eva López MaxHangs hangboard routine for finger strength

The Maximum Hangs (MaxHangs) protocols were developed and popularized by Eva López. The training protocols are low volume and high intensity, and their effectiveness is scientifically proven! MaxHangs became widely accepted in the climbing community and are among the most popular hangboard protocols. The routine can be executed in two versions, the minimum edge with no added weight (MaxHangs MED) and on a fixed edge depth with added weight (MaxHangs MAW). Both methods trigger neural adaptations through short TUT and high loads.

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