Training Center

Cam-pinch2015Welcome to the new Nicros Training Center, the web’s #1 resource on climbing performance! Only here will you find leading-edge sport science and over 30 years of experience dovetailed into a single free website that will help you train smarter and climb harder!

Regardless of your climbing preference—bouldering, cragging, or big walls—we will bring you fresh ideas and techniques to help improve your climbing. We welcome you to send us a training question and to subscribe to our monthly training e-newsletter, TC Beta (sent out around the middle of each month).

Nicros is proud to produce some of the world’s best and most innovative climbing walls, holds, and training products. Whether you are building a home wall, climbing gym, or just buying a few holds, we look forward to hearing from you. You can place an order on this site or by calling 1-800-699-1975.

Featured Articles - March 2015

  • Overview of HIT System Workouts for Building Maximum Grip Strength: It’s now been more than 20 years since I developed this NICROS’ training system and protocol, and H.I.T. workouts are now used by thousands of climbers across the U.S., Europe, Asia, Australia, and South America as part of their training program. Read more >>
  • Question & Answer – Round 129: I am curious what types of weights to use to add to my body for hypergravity training? I have seen belts and vests. Is there a “best” method that you recommend? –Dennis (Colorado)
  • TRAINING VIDEO OF THE MONTH: In this Gimme Kraft! video you’ll see coach Korb working with Sasha Digiulian, both on strength and power training, as well as a fitness assessment. You might glean a few new workout ideas…and you’ll certainly be psyched to get training! Watch it now!


  • Basic Power Training (Without a Campus Board) The Campus Board is traditionally considered the best power-training tool for climbers–but how can you begin power training if you don’t have a campus board or if you’re not physically strong enough to do a simple campus “ladder” exercise?
  • Question & Answer – Round 128: I’ve read somewhere that you should be able to continuously climb 5.10a/b for 30 minutes without pump if you want to climb 12s. Do you agree with that idea, and if so what should my aerobic endurance training involve to become a strong 5.12 climber? –Andrew (Washington)
  • TRAINING VIDEO OF THE MONTH: Unless you’ve been on or under a rock the past month, you’ve heard about  the completion of the Dawn Wall project on El Capition–now the world’s hardest big wall free climb. Completing the route in January 2015 was the culmination of many years of work and highly specific training. In this video, shot at the end of last year’s big wall season, Kevin Jorgeson articulates beautifully the training process and how he and Tommy Caldwell refined the quality of their training and efficiency of each and every movement so that the climb would someday go free. And it did–congrats boys!


  • Training Tips to Climb Harder in 2015! So what’s your New Year’s Resolution? For many of you, I bet that “climb harder” is one of your top 2015 goals. If so, here are five training tips to help you achieve your resolution!
  • Question & Answer – Round 127:I’ve been wondering about the possibilities of reaching a high level of bouldering (V8-V10ish) after starting climbing at a relatively late age. I’m absolutely in love with climbing and I hope to keep getting stronger. I see these people climb V10 and they’re always people who have been climbing for 10+ years. So my question: Is it possible for me to still reach that sort of level? –Cody (Arizona)
  • TRAINING VIDEO OF THE MONTH: A fascinating video of the Germany Climbing Team’s unique workout, as directed by brilliant head coach Udo Neumann.


  • Question & Answer – Round 126: Hello Eric! I am 18 and I’ve been bouldering regularly for 2.5 years. I’ve been searching for good ways to train for climbing, but I find that all sources say the same: “while training for power/strength, less is more.” But some other sources say to spend more hours climbing, because it takes 10,000 hours to master something. So how do I combine these? –Sabastien
  • Campus Training – Part 2: Advanced campus training for contact strength and power.
  • TRAINING VIDEO OF THE MONTH: Café Kraft is the world famous climbing gym in Nuremburg, Germany…and it’s the birth place of the Gimme Kraft training center. Here’s a great video with some excellent training exercises featuring Matilda Söderlund gettin’ Kraft! Your can learn more about the Gimme Kraft book.


  • Question & Answer – Round 125: Hey Eric, I’m currently working to climb 5.11a, but I have noticed a plateau in my climbing. What advice do you have for helping me get over the 5.10d hump? –Eric (Illinois)
  • Entry-Level Campus Training: The first in a two-part series on campus training for improved contact strength and power.
  • TRAINING VIDEO OF THE MONTH: This is Magnus Midtbø, Norway’s best climber. He can do 6 pull-ups using his middle finger and 60 one-armed pushups. Click here to view the sickness!


  • Question & Answer – Round 124:Hey Eric, I’m a 17-year-old Iranian climber, and I’ve been climbing for 6 years. Over this time I managed to climb some 8a projects and I can onsight some 7b routes. I have a great issue in my climbing, however, it that I don’t recover much when I try to rest on the route I’m climbing (maybe 10% recovery if I’m lucky). I’d like to ask you if there is anything I can do to improve my mid-climb recovery? Thanks! – Vala (Iran)
  • Overcoming the Fear of Falling: Advice on pushing your boundaries, taking practice falls, and managing your fears.
  • Creatine Use for Climbers: A good supplement or a pathway to weight gain and a bigger pump?
  • VIDEO: Nicros has funded a mini-documentary on an amazing climbing family you may recognize. The SEND BROS documents the development of Cameron and Jonathan Hörst, two of the best young climbers on the planet. Click here to view the SEND BROS trailer. You can purchase an HD download ($5.00) of the entire SEND BROS film from Three Peak Films.


  • Question & Answer – Round 123:Hey Eric, I have climbed indoors a handful of times, and I have thoroughly enjoyed it each time. I’d like to begin some formal training–-any suggestions on classes I could take to improve indoor climbing and develop outdoor climbing skills? –Doug (New York)
  • How to Keep Your Cool on a Challenging Climb: 3 strategies for regaining control in the midst of a difficult route.
  • Projecting 101: 6 Tips for working your project…and FINALLY sending your “lifetime project!”
  • Question & Answer – Round 122:Hey Eric, I have been climbing for about a year and a half, and I frequent the gym at least 4 times per week. I have rapidly progressed to bouldering V5/V6. In order to boulder harder should I just keep climbing or should I add actual strength training elements to my routine? –Will (Connecticut)
  • Using Proprioceptive Cues to Climb Harder: Proprioception is subtle, yet vitally important, physical awareness of your body’s “feel” and movement in space. No matter what you do physically, proprioceptive data from the sensory receptors in your muscles, tendons, joints, and inner ear is available for you to use to determine your effectiveness and quality of movement. Awareness and diligent use of this information is a primary factor separating master climbers from the mass of climbers.
  • VIDEO: Must-watch footage of Adam Ondra’s incredible onsight of “Il Domani” (5.14d/9a) this Spring.
  • Question & Answer – Round 121:Hi Eric, I train together with a friend following your 4-3-2-1 cycle, and we are both really progressing. We climb about the same level, have the same size and weight, and similar strength. Interestingly my friend can climb much longer than me on overhanging, pumpy routes. How can I train to get less pumped on steep routes? –Alexander (Switzerland)


  • VIDEO: Inspiring, powerful EPIC-TV segment on NICROS athlete Daniel Woods, along with Jimmy Webb and David Graham, in search of hardest-ever problems.
  • Question & Answer – Round 120:Hi Eric, For the past year I’ve been struggling to improve my maximum strength (without adding another entry to my long list of injuries). Here’s my problem: When bouldering, I’m amazingly strong on my first try (sometimes doing V9-V11), but after just a few problems (or tries) I’m simply awful–I struggle to climb V4! Is my anaerobic endurance lacking? What can I do to improve? –Davi (Brazil)



  • Core Training – Part 1 – Talk of core conditioning is in vogue these days, and the six-pack-ab look is indeed highly coveted by climbers and nonclimbers alike. So what’s the best method of training these muscles?
    Read more>>
  • VIDEO: Here’s a great interview with NICROS’ athlete Daniel Woods at the Kalimnos climbing festival. Looks like an amazing place to climb!
  • Question & Answer – Round 114: I boulder up to V9 and lead 12+, but can’t break into the 5.13 grade. What one or two things should I should focus on to help me break the 5.13 barrier? –Todd (Lexington, KY)
  • Effective Pull-up Training – Part #1 – This most obvious exercise for climbers is very useful for beginners, but it’s next to worthless for enhancing the capabilities of an elite climber. If you are unable to do a single set of 15 pull-ups then you should continue training with them about three days per week…
    Read more>>
  • VIDEO: Watch NICROS Athlete Daniel Woods sending The Wheel of Life (9a/V16), one of the hardest boulder problems in the word, at the Grampians of Victoria, Australia!
  • Question & Answer – Round 112: Having just relocated to Lexington, KY, I’m really looking forward to climbing at the Red River Gorge. However, between a busy new job, a wife who works full time, and two very young kids, I’ll probably only get to the Red a couple times per month and the only training materials I have at home are some rock rings, a pull up bar, and a hangboard. How can I train enough at home (with these limited tools) so I don’t get pumped silly when I do have the time to get to the gorge? –Scott (Kentucky)
  • Kid Crushers – An Overview of Training Youth Climbers – With the growing popularity of youth climbing competitions and the recent press of pre-teen climbers sending V12 and 5.14 routes, many parents and coaches are curious about the best way for a youth climber to train. In this article you’ll learn how to foster a youngster’s interest in climbing, while at the same time keeping it safe and fun!
    Read more>>
  • VIDEO: RMNP is one of the best summer destinations for bouldering in American. Watch NICROS Athlete Jon Cardwell take down some hard alpine problems!
  • Question & Answer – Round 111: A big goal of mine for the last few years has been to train hard enough to onsight my first 5.13. I have been climbing long enough to know that each person’s training should be specific and determined by a number of variables. What I don’t know is if to climb at this level one needs to focus on intensity or just putting more time in? –Nate (Colorado)
  • 6 Enemies of Your Concentration – Researchers have compared successful and less-successful performers and determined that the ability to maintain concentration is a primary discriminating factor. The best performers were less likely to be distracted by irrelevant stimuli or to succumb to worry and outcome-oriented thoughts. Read more>>
  • Question & Answer – Round 109: After training this winter, I was really stoked to get back on real rock because I’ve been dying to get to V7, but last weekend when we finally got out I realized that I’ve gotten way stronger indoors with major improvements, but outside on the boulders, I seem to be stuck at V6. Is there something more to my training (other than getting back outside every weekend) that I need to add to bust through this plateau? Thanks a lot for the help Eric! –Megun (Tennessee)







  • 3 Exercises for a Crushing Grip As a climbing coach of more than two decades, one of the most common questions I’m asked is “how to train for greater grip strength.” While gains in grip strength come quickly during your formative days, it’s not uncommon for grip strength to plateau after a few years of regular climbing.
  • Question & Answer – Round 95: Hello Eric, I built a woody in my garage 3 years ago and put up your HIT system. I weigh about 180lbs and am wondering what the maximum weight you recommend for each grip. Currently, I use 35lbs for Crimp, 10lbs for Pinch, 10lbs 3rd team two-finger pocket, 30lbs 2nd and 1st team two-finger pockets, 45lbs for open hand grip. I am getting significantly stronger this garage season, and am worried my strength will surpass my tendons and/or judgement. –Matt (Montana)