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The best hangboard endurance training for rock climbing – Pyramids

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Endurance Repeaters Pyramids - Introduction

So far, in my articles, I've been explaining how to perform finger strength and forearm endurance tests for rock climbing [1][2]. Having reliable test results is great for identifying your weak spots and benchmarking your climbing progress.

However, the main power of performing finger strength and finger endurance measurements is that they allow you to design your targetted rock climbing training plans. In my future posts, I'll explain planning finger strength and endurance training cycles in detail. But before you can design a complete training cycle, you need to know the training drills that are the building blocks of your training sessions.

I covered many basic protocols in my early articles, like the MaxHangs, IntHangs, Bechtel's Ladders, and Endurance Repeaters [3][4][5][6]. However, over the years, as I gained experience in coaching climbers, I've developed my versions of the protocols, which I've found to be even more effective and time-efficient. I want to share this knowledge with you, and in this post, I'll start by explaining my version of Endurance Repeaters, which I call Endurance Repeaters Pyramids.

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Endurance Repeaters Pyramids - Summary

The Endurance Repeaters Pyramids is a very flexible exercise for building aerobic and anaerobic endurance required for high-level sport and trad climbing.

By appropriately controlling the training load and training volume, we can target the following:

  • Lactic capacity
  • Anaerobic threshold
  • Maximum oxygen consumption
  • Aerobic threshold

I've been successfully using the Endurance Repeaters Pyramids training method with my clients for years, obtaining significant improvements in Critical Force, which translated directly to sport climbing performance. Please try this technique and let me know your results!

  1. J. Banaszczyk, StrengthClimbing – Finger Strength Measurements For Rock Climbers Made Easy!, Feb. 17, 2023. (link)
  2. J. Banaszczyk, StrengthClimbing – How To Test Rock Climbing Finger Endurance – Simple Guide, Feb. 17, 2023. (link)
  3. J. Banaszczyk, StrengthClimbing – Eva López MaxHangs Hangboard Routine For Finger Strength, Apr. 29, 2019. (link)
  4. J. Banaszczyk, StrengthClimbing – Eva López IntHangs Strength Endurance Fingerboard Protocol , Apr. 24, 2019. (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 – Forearm Aerobic Endurance Hangboard Routine, May 2, 2019.(link)
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8 thoughts on “The best hangboard endurance training for rock climbing – Pyramids”

  1. What average critical force improvements have you noticed in your client after following this protocol?
    If my CF is around 30% of my bodyweight, can I expect +20% in two months?
    How does it compare with your Endurance Repeaters where you load your fingers for 20mins at CF? Except for the total time duration.

    1. Hi Volodymyr,
      Thank you for the questions. If you have a good program that develops both your MVC and your CF, then it’s reasonable to expect a 15 – 20% CF/BW in a year and up to a 30% improvement over 2 years. Is your CF really only 30% of your BW? Could you please send me your test results to double check?

      How does the Pyramid Protocol compare with doing Endurance Repeaters for 20 min straight? I really don’t know – you would need to do a scientific study to get a meaningful answer. The Pyramids yield a higher TUT, and it prevents getting a flash pump because the warmup is integrated into the exercise, so I prefer Pyramids.

      1. Thanks for the reply!
        Yeah, my aerobic endurance sucks. I did a Lattice Remote Assesment to confirm that.
        My stats:
        MVC: 125Kg
        Weight: 80Kg
        70%: 120s (they used 70% instead of 80%)
        60%: 150s
        50%: 170s
        It seems that my body relies only on anaerobic energy system, hence the small increase in TTE time.
        And on a sport route I’m always dead in 1min or 1:30min, no matter the route’s difficulty.
        I did one test on a separate date, and the other two with 30 min rest.
        Results from the test:
        CF: 15.9 %BW (or 10.0 %max)
        W’: 11279.0 %BWs
        I don’t think it’s that low, but it’s definitely pretty bad.
        Tindeq CF is right hand=23.9Kg, left hand=20Kg with a pull from a ground method. But I did it a long time ago.

        I started doing some ARC training on the wall and Endurance Repeaters when I couldn’t get to the gym. I do ARC/repeaters even on the rest days (but not every day). I do repeaters with a weight scale (no very precise but otherwise it would be too much weight with the pulley system). I started with -60Kg, and now I’m doing -50kg. I feel some mild pain in my arms, but no pump. And the pain quickly disappears on 3-sec rest. When I do -40Kg (50% bw) I’m starting to get pumped quickly.

    1. I usually use a stopwatch and a metronome and count the beeps in my head while listening to the radio or listening to music. But there are a good few apps available for Repeaters training, like Hangboard Repeaters or the Beastmaker Trainer.

  2. loic duquennoy

    Hello Jędrzej

    I noticed something: when I use a pulley system it is quite difficult to measure the counterweight probably because of the friction and efficiency of the pulleys. I performed the following test:
    I put 20kg in the counterweight, I weighed myself with a weighing machine:
    – If I make myself light (I don’t try to sit in the harness), the counterweight takes off 10kg instead
    – If I try to sit a little in the harness, the counterweight takes off 30kg instead.

    Have you ever noticed this phenomenon? I noticed that it was reduced a bit by reducing the number of pulleys to 1 (but it is less comfortable). I use a thin cord (5-6 mm)

    Thx for your Work

    Loïc

    1. Hi Loïc,
      Thank you very much for your comment! It’s best to use low-friction, high-quality pulleys with a diameter of at least a few cm. Otherwise, the error introduced by the pulley friction is significant.

      I use two Camp Naiad pulleys with 90% efficiency; the error is about 5 – 10%. So, for example, when using a 20 kg counterweight, I measure 1 – 2 kg inaccuracy, but that’s decent enough.

      Please let me know if this helps!

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