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Academy: Power Pulls

Part of our "Toes to Knows" Climbing Academy series--covering climbing from footwork to mental preparation.

Tags: Coaching, Intermediate, Advanced, Power

Power is force applied quickly and it’s an important skill for hard rock climbing. The campus board is the classic way that climbers train power, but it’s not the right tool for everyone. Lots of climbers aren’t strong enough to actually get a good power workout on a campus board. You can get a good power working just using a hangboard.

Power Pulls are essentially half of the campus workout. The goal is to pull as FAST and high as possible on a small edge repeatedly. The key element here is pulling fast. You’ll keep doing the pullups in rapid succession until you feel yourself slowing down. When you begin to slow down, that’s a sign that you’re losing power and it’s time to stop and rest.

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I mentioned fast—if you’re not strong enough to do quick pullups, then subtract some body weight using elastic bands or a pully system. You’ll want to subtract just enough weight that allows you to pull quickly, but not so much that you’re not getting a workout. Find the right balance.

A good power pull workout looks like this:

  • Warm up first!
  • Perform 6-10 power pull reps in rapid succession
  • Stop when you feel yourself slowing down below 90% of your max velocity
  • Rest 3 minutes
  • Perform 6 sets

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