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TRAINING

If your progress hit a plateau and you feel like “just climbing” is not enough anymore, it is time you should consider starting some supplementary training. Here you will find detailed descriptions of the most popular training protocols for developing both strength and endurance.

Finger strength measurement on a fingerboard
Premium Content

How to test rock climbing finger endurance – simple guide

Instructional video included!


Endurance is the most elusive quality in rock climbing. How can some climbers power through unending sequences of hard moves without breaking a sweat, while others end up pumped before they even get to the crux? The answer is aerobic endurance, or in other words, Critical Force.


Read this article to learn how to make simple and reliable rock climbing endurance measurements using a hangboard. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to identify and address your weaknesses to break your sport climbing plateau!

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Training

How to boulder hard – conversation with Paul Gennaro!

This is the story of Paul Gennaro, a New Yorker who recently climbed his personal best at the local climbing area of Shawagunks.

In early 2022, Paul reached out to me asking if I thought a 40-year-old veteran could still make some strength gains to leap from V10 to V11 outdoor bouldering.

When he wrote to me, he was getting close to sending one of the few premier lines in the Gunks called Venus in Scorpio, graded V11, which he ultimately sent in the fall of 2022.

If you’d like to learn about Paul’s bouldering training methods, read the post and listen to our recorded conversation.

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beastmaking - a fingers-first approach to becoming a better climber
Reviews

Beastmaking – A fingers-first approach to becoming a better climber – Review

It’s time to review another book from Vertebrate publishing – Beastmaking by Ned Feehally – an excellent climbing training manual. The book is everything a climber needs to start designing training programs and making the most of their climbing. From finger strength and endurance training through injury prevention to skin conditioning and tactics, you’ll find it all here!

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Climber bouldering on Fortunadrago, 8B, Varazze
My Climbers

The 5 best climbs of 2021 in Varazze by Federico Roncagliolo

Federico is the best boulderer I’ve trained so far! In one year of training he improved his bouldering from 8A to 8B! He lives in Italy and his home crag is Varazze – a splendid bouldering area visited by the worlds crème de la crème. Here we present some of his favorite ascents from 2021!

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Climber training on the hangboard using Tyler Nelsons Density Hangs protocol
Endurance Training

Dr. Tyler Nelson’s Density Hangs Finger Training for Rock Climbing

Density Hangs, named so and popularized by Dr. Tyler Nelson, is a powerful hangboard training protocol. The term Density Hangs stems from the fact that the routine is generally considered to increase the cross-section of forearm tendons. That is partly true as pretty much any hangboard training method does that, but the main advantages of this unique exercise lie elsewhere. Namely, you can effectively use this method to make the muscle-tendon system more robust and less susceptible to injury. That lets you prepare your forearms and fingers for heavy and dynamic training loads while reducing the risk of damaging the connective tissues, which would stall your progress. In addition, if you’re already injured, you can use Density Hangs to speed up the healing process and increase the quality of your tendons by overcoming the stress-shielding mechanism and forcing the disrupted collagen to realign correctly. Read on if you would like to learn more about this must-know fingerboard protocol.

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A garage training setup for rock climbing
Tools

Hangboard Training Calculator for Rock Climbing

The Hangboard Training Calculator is an tool that allows the user to 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 program 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.

This way, you can quickly determine the correct loads for typical hangboard training routines such as Repeaters, MaxHangs, or Density Hangs.

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BETA BOARD Escape Climbing Intermediate Hangboard
Reviews

BETA BOARD from Escape Climbing – Hangboard Review

The BETA BOARD is one of Escape Climbing’s most iconic products. It was developed around 2011, and back then, it was known as the V5.12 Board. Escape Climbing invited me to write a non-biased review earlier this year, and since then, I’ve been using the BETA BOARD in my training sessions. So if you’re interested in learning more about this unique and very versatile fingerboard, go ahead and read the full post!

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Training

Elbow Pain – The Ultimate Guide for Rock Climbers

Have you been suffering from elbow pain for a long time? Has it prevented you from hard training and stalled your rock climbing progress? If so, this article is for you! Read it, and you will learn everything you need to know to diagnose your elbow pain accurately, heal it and prevent it from recurring. To write this comprehensive guide, I teamed up with Dr. Jared Vagy, a.k.a. The Climbing Doctor, and read through hundreds of scientific articles to ensure that the data presented is valid and up to date. Find out which methods work and from which it’s better to stay away. In addition, learn how to properly execute strengthening exercises as well as stretching and manual therapy techniques! Finally, don’t waste your time suffering when you could be enjoying pain-free climbing days at your favorite crag!

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Bleau Blocks - 100 finest boulders of the fontainebleau forest review
Reviews

Bleau Blocs – 100 Finest Boulders of Font – Review

“Bleau Blocs” is a new anthology of Bleau’s 100 finest boulders from Vertebrate Publishing. In the book, you’ll find detailed descriptions of Bleau’s crème de la crème boulder problems. Although it’s not a typical guidebook, it’s just what you need to look at Font from an entirely different perspective. The book is simply a must-have for anyone planning a bouldering trip to the Fontainebleau forest. Check out the detailed review to find out more!

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Hard bouldering
Strength Training

Eric Hörst’s “7-53” finger strength training program (case study)

In this article, you will find the results of a hangboard strength training plan designed and executed by one of my blog readers. The program was based on the Maximum Weight “7-53” protocol – a highly effective finger strength training method developed by Eric Hörst.

Carson trained hard, and in just eight weeks, he improved his finger strength by 17% relative to his body weight. Go ahead and read the full article to learn the details of his training program!

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StrengthClimbing Climber on Katmandú", 5.11d/5.12a (7a/7a+), Guadalcázar, San Luis Potosí, México
My Climbers

Hangboard Training Program Results – José Antonio

José Antonio is a highly motivated climber from Mexico who likes both lead climbing and bouldering alike. When José Antonio and I met in June, he’d been climbing for over three years, and his personal best was 5.12a/7a+. After two months of following the program, he quickly sent his first two 5.12b/7b routes, and he’s hungry for more!

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warm-up for rock climbing muscle temperature
Training

9 Powerful Reasons to Warm-Up for Rock Climbers (Review)

In this post, you will learn 9 powerful reasons why it’s critical that you do a good warm-up before beginning any kind of rock climbing activity. Based on a vast literature search, I review and examine the most vital physiological mechanisms associated with the warm-up. From increased blood flow through postactivation potentiation (aka “recruitment”) to stretching, all these effects are essential to maximizing short-term and long-term performance and preventing injuries. After reading this post, you will think twice the next time you feel like skipping the warm-up!

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