Tag Archives: campus board

3 Crucial Principles of Training for Bouldering + CXC Reader Discount!

This article was kindly written for us by Dan Mirsky over at TrainingBeta.com, where you’ll find training programs, training articles, training videos, and a training podcast. They offer an online subscription program dedicated to training for boulderers of all abilities, the Bouldering Strength and Power Program, and in this article they’ll explain what you need to do to properly train for bouldering, whether you’re following their program or not.

Enter TrainingBeta…

Although summer is just getting started, shorter days and cooler temps will be here before you know it, so soon it’ll be time to get trained up to crush your bouldering projects. So what does that mean? Well, most hard boulder problems…

a) have bad holds that are far apart and

b) require the ability to do a continuous series of hard moves before you can stand on top and high five your buddies or scream your head off in Spanish.

The 3 Things You Need In Order To Send Harder

Sounds like you need the combination of finger strength, dynamic power, contact strength and power endurance. Here’s how you get that.

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How To Train On The Campus Board


When it comes to training one of the most intimidating tools we can think of is the campus board. We know that this big, imposing board covered in vexing little rungs is an effective training tool, but it can be hard to even know how to begin to use it. So to help us get past our fears, we turn to none other than the fiercely dedicated training machine, Galina Parfenov (and if you haven’t seen this lady in action, check out her training videos to see what we mean). In today’s article, she breaks down the different types of campus board exercises and shows you how to do each one, whether you are just starting out, or already have a campus-board routine and want to freshen it up! Here’s Galina:

Over the years I have gone back and forth between various training techniques and devices—everything from fingerboards, rock rings, systems boards, and even plain old pull-up bars—until finally settling on just one: the campus board. Which, like the lever, screw, pulley, and wedge, is a simple machine, at least where climbing is concerned. Ten rungs. That’s all it takes (just ask their inventor, Wolfgang Güllich, who used the campus board to train for the first ascent of Action Directe, the world’s first 9a!)

That being said, a person who has been climbing for less than two years should not be using a campus board. They shouldn’t really be training, other than maybe a few pull-ups here and there. The first 18-24 months or so should be dedicated solely to climbing and training by climbing, until your tendons can handle the additional pressure of campusing. This also applies to youth.

Here’s a checklist to help you decide if campus rungs are right for you:

  • I have been climbing for at least 18 months.
  • I am at least 16 years old.
  • I have not recently had reoccurring pain in my fingers, elbows, or shoulders.
  • I have plateaued.
  • I want to get STRONG!

Check them all? Then refer to the list of campus board exercises below! I’ve provided modifications for beginner and advanced. If you aren’t sure which you are, start with the beginner exercises and move to advanced if you need more of a challenge.

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Newbie Climbing Training: Power

Jackie at Dark Horse Finals showing us what power looks like.

Jackie at Dark Horse Finals showing us what power looks like

When I first started climbing almost two years ago, Jackie Pettitt was my introduction.  A beautiful, bespectacled, tattooed, tiny brick s%$t house.  I walked into the gym for my basic safety course, and I remember her teaching me how to tie in, and being distracted by her impressive biceps, thinking, “Is this what I’m going to look like if I start climbing?”  And, while I don’t look anything like Jackie just yet, I was excited to get the chance to work with her, and get some training tips during the Women’s Climbing Clinics at one of our local gyms, MetroRock.

Each week the clinics have a different topic, and this week was “Power”.  Training for power is, as Jackie puts it “getting your muscles to work at 100%, and this includes the ability to pull off dynamic, explosive, and difficult moves in isolation.”  MetroRock decided to organize these clinics for women, in part to help women focus in on areas, such as power, that many women struggle with. “I feel that women are naturally very aware of their bodies and how to move them intuitively, with balance,” says Jackie, “This body awareness makes women have the ability to avoid cutting feet, but, when we need to cut feet, we are not used to engaging the core, back, and shoulders.”

This week I share with you some tips I learned, as a newbie, to develop more power.  This post is obviously not inclusive of every single thing that goes into working power, which is a complex system, and we will continue to discuss it in future posts.

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