Steve Maisch is a climber, trainer, and economics professor based in Salt Lake City, Utah.  In his recent Training Beta Podcast, he talks quite a bit about using fingerboarding/hangboarding as a way to improve max finger strength.  Unlike the Anderson Brothers, however, Steve does not perform the common “repeater” exercise and instead does a series of 10 second hangs at his 1-rep max weight.

Additionally, Steve advocates pairing down the number of grips to three (4 finger half crimp, middle two pocket, and pinch) in an effort to make his training as efficient and focused as possible.  Here are two of Steve’s workouts taken from stevemaischtraining.com: (link no longer available)

The Workouts:

Assume half crimp, middle two and pinch are the grips to be trained.

Workout A:

  • After doing a climbing workout (not more than 1.5 hrs).
  • Using the half crimp grip, perform 4 sets of 10 second hangs separated by a 2 – 3 minute rest.
  • Progression is done by increasing the number of sets each workout to 5 sets then 6.
  • Once 6 sets has been reached you will have done this workout 3 times with this weight. It is time to re-test. If you’re only testing one grip on the re-test day test immediately after a warm-up and before any sort of serious climbing training. If you’re doing a three grip re-test then devote an entire day to it.
  • In addition to keeping up to date with progress in strength, the re-test day also functions as a heavy training day.

Workout B:

  • After doing a climbing workout (not more than 1.5 hrs).
  • Using the middle two grip, perform 2 sets of 10 second hangs separated by a 2 – 3 minute rest.
  • Using the pinch grip, perform 3 sets of 10 second hangs separated by a 2 – 3 minute rest.
  • Progression is done by increasing the number of sets each workout to 4 sets each then 5 sets each.
  • Once 5 sets has been reached you will have done this workout 3 times with these weights. It is time to re-test. If you’re only testing one grip on the re-test day test immediately after a warm-up and before any sort of serious climbing training. If you’re doing a three grip re-test then devote an entire day to it.
  • In addition to keeping up to date with progress in strength, the re-test day also functions as a heavy training day.

In his article on hangboarding, Steve also provides step by step instructions for how to determine your 1-rep max and how to use “pinch blocks” for training the pinch grip.  Check out his article and learn how to add max-weight dead hangs to your fingerboard training.

Click Here: Fingerboarding for Maximum Strength with Steve Maisch (link no longer available) 

(Photo courtesy of stevemaischtraining.com)

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