The New Campus Board

May 29, 2017    |    Training

If you've been on the mezzanine, you've probably noticed some major changes were made to the campus board. Not only have we doubled the surface area to add a peg board, we've also added high end lattices from Tension. Before going into more detail, let's discuss the utility of the campus board and it’s origin.  

Like most sports, rock climbing requires technical, mental and physical abilities. Needless to say that climbing requires some upper body strength! An experienced climber will add a campus board work-out to his/her training program to improve their climbing performance. On a campus board, the climbing is done without use of one's feet. The wall is slightly angled and climbing is done on wood slats with the use of finger strength only. This training board was invented by Wolfgang Gullich a German climber whose goal was to increase finger strength to send his project Action Directe (5.14d), a very difficult route in Frankenjura, Germany. 


Today, the campus board has evolved so that climbers of all levels can include in their training programs. This was made possible by making thicker slats. However, the campus board being a technical training tool, there is a high risk of injuries when not used properly. This is due to the high intensity power required to climb each slat. Here are some tips to reduce the risk of injuries :


  • Moderation. Fatigue becomes a risk factor in long sessions. Keep your workout limited to an hour at most.

  • Strength. If you find it very difficult to hang off of the first slat, it’s preferable you do not attempt a climb until you've built up your strength enough to comfortably do it.

  • Rest. A campus board training is about 50% rest and 50% power work out.

  • Movement. Even when tired, it is important to focus on doing each movement correctly.

  • Never full crimp.

  • Campus board training once to twice a week should be enough.

Peg Board
Though all the principles discussed above also apply to its use, the pegboard is used for a different type of training. The peg board is less taxing on the fingers since pegs are used to climb up, thus making it the wrong tool to develop finger strength. Pegboard training does require sufficient “lock-off” strength in order to easily aim for the next hole. Progressing on a pegboard requires controlled power movements which are less dynamic than those used in campus board training. However the pegboard does allows for more gymnastic type trainings, composed of movements that aren't as accessible on the campus board (lateral movements,
movements requiring arm crosses.)

Don’t be discouraged, it is normal for the campus/peg board training to be difficult even if you are an experienced climber. Despite the new configuration of the campus board, it is important to remember that it is an advanced and challenging training tool. It’s use is intended for serious climbers with a good amount of strength who wish to work on very specific finger strength techniques.  

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask our coaches Marco and Phil.

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