Why improve grip strength?
If there is one single physical attribute that is going to improve your climbing ability it is finger strength, now having strong fingers is not quite as attractive as having bulging arms and chest but it is more functional for climbing and will produce GAINZ that can be seen on the wall along with solid forearms.
How to improve finger strength?
There are many ways to improve finger strength depending on your goal, but in this article we are talking just talking about maximum strength output and the most optimal way to improve that is with max hangs using a fingerboard.
Max hang protocol.
Before you use the fingerboard always ensure you are fully warmed up, start by performing a full body warm up, then move on to the wall and perform a minimum of 30 mins moderate climbing but no more than 60 mins.
when at the fingerboard try to work out what you are trying to improve, if you have a project you are currently working on that is super crimpy it is best you work your half crimp (never train full crimp, leave this for project climbing outdoors).
Now we know we want to work the half crimp it is time to locate an edge, find an edge that you can crimp making sure all fingers are at a right angle, too deep and you will be working a four finer drag.
Now you have located an edge you need to find a weight you can hang with for 8-10 seconds to work max strength, this may be body weight for some people and for some you may need to add weight to a harness, belt or vest. Make sure you are working hard to hang for 10 seconds, but you should not be feeling pumped at the end of this.
sample hangboard session:
beastmaker 2000 small edge:
bodyweight hang X 15secs
8kg X 10secs
10kg X 10secs
10kg X 10secs
once you are able to hang for 12 seconds, it is time to increase the weight of your max hang.
add 1 set each week, for example:
week 1 = 4 sets
week 2 = 5 sets
week 3 = 6 sets
once you have reached 6 sets you are done with this protocol, and should have found your new max hang, after theee weeks of strength and max hangs I would typically move onto a more power endurance based phase of training which I will cover in a later post.