Academy: Strength Assessment
Part of our "Toes to Knows" Climbing Academy series--covering climbing from footwork to mental preparation.
Tags: Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced, Coaching, Training
My friend Lyti and I are joining forces to try and achieve our summer climbing goals. My goal is to climb 5.14. Lyti is working to lead her first 5.11 outside. In this post, we’re doing a strength assessment to benchmark current strength before starting a workout regimen. We’re testing pushups, pullups, crunches, a one-rep-max hang and a max duration hang.
Pushing strength isn’t as directly used for climbing as compared to pulling strength, but you definitely still want to train these antagonistic muscles to keep yourself balanced. We’re doing a simple test of how many pushups can we do. We’re doing a simple test of how many pushups can we do.
We’re measuring the max number of pushups we can do. Climbing training can benefit from max weighted pullups, but as an assessment, measuring a max quantity of pullups is really convenient.
We’re testing using a military-style crunch. I don’t love this exercise and don’t train my core using it, but it is a simple and repeatable assessment tool. For the crunches, we’re holding down feet and testing how many crunches we can do in a minute.
1 Rep Max Hang
This is the only test we’re using a separate tool rather than body weight. In this test, we’re measuring max pull over a 10-second period using a strain gauge. The max effort really happens in the first few seconds. We’re holding onto a 20mm edge for this test.
Max Duration Hang
This is a simple test of how long can we hang onto a 20mm edge. Our test actually used a 19mm edge because that’s all we had available.
Here's how we came out in our tests.
Our next step is going to be designing a training routine for each of us to help increase our basic strength. After spending a couple months with the routines, we'll test again and see if we've improved.