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Strength to weight ratio

Original Post
Stan McKnight · · Scottsdale, AZ · Joined Jan 2013 · Points: 263

So I've been experimenting with different ways of tracking my training progress lately and have been thinking of different possible ways of measuring a strength to weight ratio. My best idea so far is to start hang board workouts with one hang on a specific hold, and hold it for as long as I can. Divide that time in seconds by my weight in pounds, and then I can monitor that over time as another indicator of progress.

Does anyone else do this or have a better solution for measuring this sort of thing?

Eric and Lucie · · Boulder, CO · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 140

Your max time on a hang board is already a function of your body weight (your body is hanging from your hands...), so dividing again by your body weight makes no sense.

Your max hang time alone is one (of many) possible measures of your training, though not specifically strength... more like lactic tolerance/endurance.  

Bread Pirate Rahsahbi · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0
Mike Slavens · · Houston, TX · Joined Jan 2009 · Points: 35

What you are looking for is the equivalent of a one rep max to measure strength, you should approach it the same way weight lifters approach it.  Hanging for time is going to be a better indicator for power endurance, not strength.

Don't do the strength test every workout because your peak strength is going to naturally fluctuate, give you incorrect feedback, and you don't want it effecting your workout every time.  I suggest doing it once every 4 to 6 weeks.  I would pick a decent hangboard hold that you can hang body weight on for 15 to 20 seconds.  Then add weight until you can only hold it for exactly 7 seconds (a typical hangboard routine "rep").  Weigh yourself with the added weight and that is your measure of strength.  You can divide by your body weight, or just count the added weight to get the ratio you are looking for.  There are good resources on the internet on how to structure a workout going for a 1-rep max so I won't cover that here.

As always proper rest before/during/after, nice good warm up to prevent injuries, and listen to your body for signs of injury.

Linda Shift · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2017 · Points: 0

It is important to gauge one's strength before embarking on certain exercise especially energy draining exercise like mountaineering. Training and measurement of process is very important. 

Steve Pulver · · Williston, ND · Joined Dec 2003 · Points: 455

I follow the Rock Climber's Training Manual workout. During the strength phase (hangboard phase) I take an average weight I'm applying, across all of the grips for the intermediate hangboard routine (obviously this means body weight plus or minus any weights I'm adding or subtracting), and divide by body weight. I usually expect a 1-2% improvement of this number every session. Of course if I ever switch grip types used I won't be able to compare this number to previous workouts. I basically just want to verify that I am making continuous improvement. If it ever happened that I went 2 or 3 workouts without this number improving I would move on to the next phase.

I'm anal about it. I use a spreadsheet,  and track weight down to .2 lb increments.

(Just one more detail, I'm usually trying to fail at the end of each set, if I don't then I record how much weight I think I should add or subtract for the next workout, this adjusted weight is what I'm usually graphing in Excel.)

Since you mentioned you were trying to record hangtime relative to body weight, I would say from trial and error it is better to try to improve the weight applied not the time under tension with each workout. 

will ar · · San Antonio, TX · Joined Jan 2010 · Points: 270

In terms of tracking progress is strength to weight ratio the best metric for tracking long term improvement? I usually track the total load for each grip (body weight+added weight) to measure progress during the season and over multiple training cycles. My weight can fluctuate a lot throughout the year regardless of strength and could potentially lead to a lot of variation that would be misleading if you're trying to evaluate your finger strength. Strength/weight might be a good way to evaluate if you're ready to send, especially if you can compare it to past seasons and sends.

Steve Pulver · · Williston, ND · Joined Dec 2003 · Points: 455

I think if my avg load number was stagnant, but my estimated strength to weight ratio coninued to improve then I would still consider it progress.

Aleks Zebastian · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 175

climbing friend,

no need for the masturbation of mental type, just climb out of doors, trying harder and harder route for beefing up your meat. the rigorous utilization of spreadsheets and hangboard is only for those with excessive sexual frustration, yes?

Steve Pulver · · Williston, ND · Joined Dec 2003 · Points: 455

I live in NW North Dakota. It's flat and there's only men here.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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