Hangboarding – Six month progression?

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  • #46099

    I’m in the position that I have no access to rock for a further six months. I have a very small bouldering wall, a fairly comprehensive weights gym and a beastmaker 1000 hangboard. I use the gym Monday, Wednesday and Friday, do long days at the weekend (skiing, running, easy mountaineering) and hangboard Tues/Thurs. My fitness has always been quite good but my pure rock climbing ability has stopped me on a few objectives in the last few years and I want to use this block of time to fix it.

    I’ve been hangboarding twice a week for four months now. I did 8 weeks of max hangs, then 8 weeks of int hangs and I’m currently on week three of another 8 week block of max hangs.

    The first block of max hangs and int hangs wasn’t especially targeted; I did a broad selection of holds, including slopers, pockets, medium edges…then I did a benchmarking session and realised I’d be better off focusing on my weaknesses. My weaknesses being my half crimp and my ability to use small (10-12mm) edges.

    My question is, what will give me the best increase in finger strength over the next 6 months; max hangs/int hangs in 8 week blocks, or just max hangs in 8 week cycles? My understanding is that max hangs are for recruitment, int hangs give hypertrophy and endurance. I will switch to endurance workouts with occasional strength maintenance for eight weeks or so prior to getting on rock (April/May 2021). Also, could I use heavy barbell finger curls to induce forearm hypertrophy instead of doing int hangs? And one more; what int hang progression would you recommend for an eight week cycle?

    Attached is my fingerboard log, in case that is any help in answering my questions.

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Posted In: Climbing

  • Participant
    David Thompson on #46160

    Hi there,

    What you will want to do is alternate the protocols more frequently. However a huge caveat is that your gains, irregardless of how you implement a hangboarding program, will result in plateaus in strength if all you are doing is hangboarding — do as much climbing movement as you can.

    As I said above, I would recommend alternating between max hangs and repeaters more frequently. So if you are hangboarding twice a week, then max hangs on the first day, and repeaters on the next day.

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