Rock climbing endurance measurements – contents
- Rock climbing endurance measurements – Introduction
- The concept of Critical Force in rock climbing
- The three energy systems climbers use
- How to determine your Critical Force for rock climbing
- First, determine your maximum finger strength – MVC-7
- Equipment required for rock climbing endurance measurements
- Calculation of the finger endurance test loads
- How to measure the finger endurance total test time
- How to determine finger endurance test failure
- To shake out, or not to shake out?
- Anaerobic alactic/lactic endurance test (80% MVC-7)
- Anaerobic lactic endurance test (60% MVC-7)
- Aerobic endurance test (45/50/55% MVC-7)
- Verification of the forearm endurance test results
- Interpretation of the forearm endurance test results
- Forearm endurance measurements for rock climbers – summary
Rock climbing endurance measurements - Introduction
While in bouldering, the most critical determinant of athletic level is finger and upper body strength, in lead climbing, endurance, or how long we can generate a given level of force with our fingers, plays an equally important role.
Although endurance measurements are common in other sports, such as cycling, in climbing, endurance has remained elusive and difficult to measure until recently. In 2019, David Giles, in collaboration with Lattice training, published an article proposing applying the concept of Critical Force to determine finger strength in climbing . Since then, Critical Force determined on a 20 mm edge has become the gold standard for estimating sport climbing level.
Interestingly, determining the Critical Force is relatively easy, and anyone can do it on their own using a fingerboard and a set of weights and pulleys. In this article, I would like to explain how to effectively carry out such a measurement, which will later serve as a reference point and help you evaluate your sport climbing level progression.
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Forearm endurance measurements for rock climbers - summary
In this article, I've explained how to perform endurance measurements with the traditional two-handed method on a fingerboard. In addition, endurance and CF measurements may be performed using load cell dynamometers, such as the Tindeq Progressor or the Exsurgo gStrength. I will cover alternative measurement methods at length in separate articles.
- 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)