Weighted pull-up training works! Learn the most effective program for strength gains.
Strong fingers and a strong core are essential for hard bouldering and sport climbing. However, it’s the large pulling muscle of the upper arms and back that connect your fingers and core and, in fact, power upward movement in climbing.
In this video, Cameron Hörst presents an effective training protocol for increasing your pulling strength and power. Use this “5 x 5” training program twice per week, and you will notch-up your climbing strength in a few short weeks!
1. Do a good warm-up with a few bodyweight pull-ups, dynamic stretching, and a few minutes of generalized cardio, if possible.
2. The day of your first “5 x 5” pull-up workout, you’ll need to determine your proper training weight. This is the amount of weight needed to limit you to just 7 reps (i.e. 7 rep max weight).
3. Using the proper training weight (identified in #2), do your first set of 5 weighted pull-ups. Be sure to hold the top position for 1 second. At the bottom, don’t relax your shoulders (no “hang resting”!), but instead immediately begin into the next pull-up.
4. Rest 3 to 5 minutes between each set of weighted pull-ups.
5. Do a total of 5 sets of 5 weighted pull-ups. If your training weight is right…the last two sets should be difficult. If they are not, then add 5 or 10 pounds to your training weight for the next workout. I recommend using this 5 x 5 program twice per week, ideally on your bouldering or “strength/power-training” day.
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