Hangboard Training Calculator for Rock Climbing

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Hangboard Training Calculator for Rock Climbing

The Hangboard Training Calculator is an app that allows the user to easily calculate the correct load, edge depth, and hang duration for various hangboard exercises.

Choose a fingerboard hold, hang at bodyweight or with any added or subtracted load, and measure your hang time until failure. Based on the result, the app lets you calculate the exact total load with which you can hang on this particular hold for any specified amount of time. Moreover, you can run the test on any edge between 5 - 35 mm and automatically recalculate the result to any other edge depth.

The app lets you quickly determine the correct loads for typical hangboard training routines such as Repeaters, MaxHangs, Density Hangs and more [1][2].

Important: Warm-up your fingers and shoulders thoroughly before performing the tests, or before engaging in any climbing training. This will not only help you to avoid injury, but the result of the analysis will also be more accurate. To obtain the best results, follow the detailed instructions on how to use the Hangboard Training Calculator in the sections below.

Note: To get insight into your bouldering and lead climbing performance, you can use the Climbing Finger Strength Analyzer 2.0, or the Critical Force Calculator [3][4]. If you would like to get a personal climbing performance evaluation like this one, please feel free to contact me directly at [email protected].

Your Input
Choose the calculation model:
Light
Standard
Expert
Input your strength test results:

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

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10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

Input your target hang parameters:

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45




Output

Rock climbing training calculation - example

Let's say that you want to know your half crimp 7-second maximum load (MVC-7) on a 20 mm edge, but you only have a 15 mm edge and 20 kg of additional load at your disposal. Let's say that your body weight is 65 kg, you added all 20 kg to your harness, and you failed at 23 seconds.

If you use the "Standard" model, you will find that:

Hangboard Training Calculator manual

Hangboard Training Calculator manual In the paragraphs below, you will find detailed instructions on how to perform the measurements safely and accurately. But, again, remember that thorough preparation is essential.

Be well rested

To correctly measure your finger strength with the Hangboard Training Calculator app, ensure that you are well rested from your previous climbing activities. That typically means resting for 24 - 72 after your last training session, depending on its intensity.

Warm up and recruit

Before engaging in any climbing activities, you should warm up thoroughly. Pay special attention to your back, shoulders, forearms, and fingers. Then, top up your warm-up with a series of 3 - 5 progressively heavier 7 - 10 second hangs. For detailed information on warming up for climbers, you may look at my article, this video from Dr. Tyler Nelson, or this video on how to warm up your fingers specifically [9][10][11].

Determine your weight

To perform an accurate measurement, you should prepare a bathroom scale, a hook scale, or a dedicated tool, such as the Tindeq Progressor [12]. It is recommended to weigh yourself in full gear with the added load before each test hang. However, it is also helpful to know your body's weight to relate it to the total hang load.

Select the tested hold position

The Hangboard Training Calculator app is best suited for tests on simple edges because it lets the user change the edge depth and recalculates the result accordingly. What is more, the MVC% vs. time models used in the app were primarily tested in the half crimp, full crimp, and open hand positions. However, they should also be valid for pinches and slopers with reasonably decent accuracy.

Perform the measurement

To perform the test, add the desired weight to your harness or subtract some weight using a pulley setup and measure your hang time until failure in the chosen hold position.

Input the data into the Hangboard Training Calculator

Here's how to correctly input the data into the app:

  1. Target hang total load: the total load (your bodyweight +/- added/subtracted load)
  2. Input your body weight (use dots for fractions, not commas)
  3. Choose the calculation model (as explained here)
    • Beginner: if you're new to hangboarding
    • Standard: valid for most climbers
    • Expert: if you train on the hangboard regularly with added load
  4. Input your added load or subtracted load
    • The default is 0.
    • Take your gear into account.
    • Use negative numbers if reducing weight.
  5. Use the slider to input your test edge depth.
    • If using slopers or pinches, you may leave it as it is.
  6. Use the slider to input your measured hang time until failure.
  7. Input your target added or subtracted load.
  8. Use the slider to input the target test edge depth.
    • If using slopers or pinches, use the same setting as the test hold.
  9. Use the slider to set the target hang duration:

Hangboard Training Calculator - Output analysis

The output from the app is thoroughly explained in the following sections.

Target load calculation

In the Target load calculation section, you can check the exact load you need to add or remove to hang on the target edge for the set time duration.

MVC-7 conversion

In this section, your result is converted directly to the standardized MVC-7 on a 20 mm edge. Note that this conversion is valid only for edges (half crimp, full crimp, and open hand) and not slopers or pinches. In other words, you cannot convert a pinch or a sloper to an edge.

Target hang parameters summary

Here, your target hang settings are summarized:

  • Target hang total load: the total load (you bodyweight +/- added/subtracted load)
  • Target edge depth: the edge depth on which you want to train
  • MVC-7 percentage: how heavy the target load is relative to your 7-second max on a given edge. As an approximate guideline:
    • 94 - 96% for Eric Hörst's "7-53"
    • 92 - 94% for Steve Bechtel's Ladders
    • 88 - 104% for Eva López MaxHangs
    • 55 - 85% for Heavy Repeaters (strength endurance and hypertrophy, Tyler Nelson's Density Hangs or Eva López SubHangs
    • below 55% for Endurance Repeaters or BFR training
  • Target hang time: how long you are aiming to hang.
  • Time until failure: maximum possible hang duration estimated based on the chosen calculation model.
  • Time margin: the time buffer left on your hang, meaning time until failure minus the target hang time
  • Apparent difficulty - based on the time margin:
    • - 1 to 1-second margin: Extreme
    • 1 - 3-second margin: Hard
    • 3 - 8-second margin: Medium
    • More than 8-second margin: Light

The concept of MVC-7 in rock climbing training

When determining the load for hangboard training, we often refer to the 7-second maximum voluntary contraction (MVC-7). In a way, this parameter can be conventionally treated as the equivalent of the one-repetition max (1RM) on a given fingerboard edge or hold.

Knowing your MVC-7 makes it easy to program your fingerboard training and determine the correct loads for various finger training drills. For instance, it is commonly accepted that the proper load for training strength-endurance and hypertrophy with the 7/3 Repeaters is the load at which you can hang for roughly 30 seconds on the chosen hold. For some climbers, 30 seconds is equivalent to 75% of their respective MVC-7 (beginner model), but others can endure 30 seconds at 85% MVC-7 (expert model).

That means if climbers use time as a reference for calculating training loads, they could be working at different intensities and deliver varying training stimuli with apparently the same exercise. On the other hand, if you use MVC-7 as a reference, you get much better control over your training, making it much easier for you to target your weaknesses and foresee the outcome of your hangboard training cycles. The above goes not only for Repeaters but for pretty much any hangboard training protocol, including MaxHangs, Density Hangs, Horst 7-53, Bechtel's Ladders, and Endurance Repeaters [14].

References

  1. J. Banaszczyk, StrengthClimbing – Hangboard Repeaters strength endurance protocol, Apr. 8, 2019. (link)
  2. J. Banaszczyk, StrengthClimbing – Eva López MaxHangs Hangboard Routine For Finger Strength, Apr. 29, 2019. (link)
  3. J. Banaszczyk, StrengthClimbing – Climbing Finger Strength Analyzer 2.0, Jun. 25, 2020. (link)
  4. J. Banaszczyk, StrengthClimbing – Climbing Critical Force Calculator, May 6, 2019. (link)
  5. J. Banaszczyk, StrengthClimbing – Eva López IntHangs Strength Endurance Fingerboard Protocol , Apr. 24, 2019. (link)
  6. J. Banaszczyk, StrengthClimbing - Steve Bechtel’s 3-6-9 Ladders hangboard finger strength training, May 18, 2019. (link)
  7. S. Bechtel, The Climb Strong Hangboard Manual [eBook], 2018. (link)
  8. J. Banaszczyk, StrengthClimbing – Eric Hörst's "7-53" finger strength hangboard routine, Jan. 21, 2019. (link)
  9. J. Banaszczyk, StrengthClimbing - 9 Powerful Reasons To Warm-Up For Rock Climbers (Review), Dec. 4, 2020. (link)
  10. Dr. T. Nelson, C4HP, Connective tissue warm-up drill, Jan. 31, 2020. (link)
  11. A. MacFarlane, Finger Warm Up for Climbers, Oct. 4, 2020. (link)
  12. tindeq.com (link)
  13. J. Banaszczyk, StrengthClimbing – Eva López SubHangs Strength Endurance Protocol, Nov. 1, 2019. (link)
  14. J. Banaszczyk, StrengthClimbing – Endurance Repeaters – Forearm Aerobic Endurance Hangboard Routine, May 2, 2019.(link)
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