Training - Endurance

The goal in endurance training is to increase the time you can hang from any specific grip position. It is especially relevant for the trad climber since they need to be able to hold a specific grip position while placing gear.

Here are some general guidelines for designing a grip training routine for 6-8 week endurance cycle:

  1. Hold specific grip position for 15 seconds - adjust hold angle and effective weight (see below) so that you can target this duration.

  2. Rest 5 seconds between reps.

  3. Do 5-10 reps for each grip position.

  4. Rest for a minute between sets

  5. Do 5 or more sets.

  6. As you progress, increase one or more of the following: the number of reps, decrease time between reps to 3 seconds, and/or increase the number of reps; or increase the number of sets.

  7. Reduce your effective weight or angle of hold so that your grip does not fail during the endurance training. The overall goal is to increase hang time and decrease rest time between reps/positions.

  8. Aim to do endurance training every other day if not in the gym or out on the rocks.

  9. Keep a log of all the variables to monitor progress.

Methods for reducing effective weight

Here are few ways to reduce your overall effective weight, so that you can hold a specific grip position for longer without failure. The first method using pulleys and counter-weights is the preferred method because it’s easy to change the weight and log progress:

  1. Use a counter-weight pulley system. Hang free-weights or sandbag from one end of a length of 6-8mm of accessory cord running through a pulley girth hitch to the pull-up bar with the other end clipped to your harness. If desired, two pulleys can be used to offset the weight to the side so that it’s not directly inline with you. By using fixed weight amounts it’s easy to add/subtract and log progress.




  1. Put your legs on a chair or step-stool and adjust distance out in front of you to determine the amount of weight taken off your arms and hands (the further out the more difficult).

  2. Use a length of heavy duty surgical latex tubing clove hitched to the bar with a small webbing foot sling to step in attached to the other end. Adjust the clove hitch to change the length of the tubing and thus the amount of weight taken off your arms.  If you need to increase the weight taken off even more, attached both ends of the tubing to the grip mounts so that it hangs down and forms a loop and then step in the loop that is created.