Tag Archives: power endurance

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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Climbing Training: Power Endurance


Vian Charbonneau (on Divine Fury 5.14b) has serious power endurance

It’s winter, and unless you have some awesome climbing trip planned or, unlike us, you live in warmer climates, winter can be a time when it’s hard to maintain motivation. Your project is covered with snow, you’re stuck in the gym, and have an overwhelming urge to drink hot chocolate and get cozy on the couch. Luckily for us, our favorite mean and lean trainer Jackie Pettitt from MetroRock Climbing Center, founder of Granite Girls Climbing School, brings us a power endurance workout to get you out of that rut!

So what is power endurance exactly? Jackie explains, “Unlike endurance, where you have a manageable pump, in training power endurance you will become very pumped to the point of possibly coming off the wall. Power endurance is the ability to do many difficult moves and not get pumped”. So in essence we are training both power and endurance simultaneously, to get us to that place where we can push through the dreaded pump. What climber doesn’t want that skill? Here Jackie gives us a killer workout to help achieve just that. 

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Climbing Training: 4x4s

climbing training 4x4s

Problem #1 of Cate’s 4x4s

If you’re a sport climber who spends most of the winter climbing in the gym, you probably know that making the transition from gym climbing to real rock can be harsh. You’ve spent all winter bouldering on hard gym problems, perhaps hopping on a lead climb here and there. You’ve got your spring route project all picked out. Yet when the snow starts to thaw and it comes time to get on your dream route, your training doesn’t translate to the send. Despite our best intentions, it’s easy to spend too much time during those cold, winter months only working individual boulder problems neglecting to develop the power endurance needed to send our projects outdoors. What IS power endurance? Imagine taking the hardest boulder you’ve sent and throwing it on top of 50 feet of moderate climbing – that’s a rough definition of power endurance. How do I build up my power endurance?


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