Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Campus Board Training: A Perspective

When I first started out climbing about 5 years ago, I aspired to climb the really hard routes and boulder problems because of the strength required would be rewarding to work for.  I wanted to climb hard because I knew I would always have to push past limits and plateaus to achieve these goals.  I knew this would not be an overnight success to climb really hard routes or problems.  I knew there would be a ton of training.

I decided to train like a marathoner would train for their 26.2 mile run, which is to start out slow and not try to "run 26.2 miles in one day".  I actually did not start training until I was able to boulder v8 and climb 5.11/12 in the gym and outside.  The training I decided to perform for the last 6 months was a progressive style of training on campus rungs at a local gym called Prime Climb (where the toughest climbers in Connecticut train!).

Note: The first campus board was set up at a university gym called The Campus Centre.  This is where the term "campus" came from in which one climbs with only hands and arms and was subsequently given the name to the style of climbing (wikipedia).


I decided to use campus rungs for training after researching what would be the best way to train.  I came across the invention of the campus rungs by Wolfgang Gullich and read about how he created the campus rung training regimen for his route Action Directe(world's first 9a in Frankenjura, Germany).  Since a lot of the problems that I want to work on involve explosive movements, I figured this would be the best style of training for me.  When I started training I started with making small movements on the easier campus rungs while slowly making advanced movements as I felt stronger and more confident in the moves.  Through all of this work I was able to achieve my goal of sending a v10 boulder problem.



My training routine was inspired by multiple sources, but a good place to begin would be at this article I found on the Moon Climbing website.   I use the half crimp approach when I perform my campus rungs training routine.  Open hand can be performed but involves use of only 3 fingers and can be painful!  This is my typical routine when I head to the climbing gym:

1.  Extensive warming up on boulder problems until I feel slightly past my peak performance.

2. Move to campus rungs and perform 2 sets of 1x1 movements up and down.

3. Perform 2-3 serts of 2x1 campus movement

4. Perform 2-3 sets of 2x2 campus movement

5. Perform 2 sets (with switched hand start to total 4 sets) of 3x1 campus movement

6. Perform 2 sets (with switched hand start to total 4 sets) 1,3,6 campus movement

7. Perform 2 sets of "double-ups" power campus movement

8. 2 Endurance sets: mix small movement sets back to back without coming off the rungs

9. Perform progressive lock-off movement.

10. 2 Power/endurance sets: mix hard movements with easy movements back to back without coming off rungs.

11. Rest for 5 minutes and then move to most difficult of rungs and perform progression routines ("typical burn-out period and is usually not performed extensively).

12.  Cool down by climbing a hard boulder problem then progress downward to easier problems until at the easiest.



This routine usually takes up to 3 hours which includes warming up, rests, hydration and socialization periods.  This also is just my perspective of training and may not be acceptable or suitable to others' standards of training.  All caution should be taken before performing any of these routines, especially campus rung exercises.  Listen to your body, if an exercise hurts, don't do it!  Most importantly, stay safe and have fun with your training sessions!

Campus Board Training Sessions Video: