Campus Training – Part 2

Campus Training (CT) is the gold standard for developing contact strength and upper-body power. CT is also extremely stressful and, thus, not appropriate for beginner, out-of-shape, or young climbers. As a guideline, you might consider adding some CT to your workout mix if you’ve been climbing a few years with no incidence of injury (fingers, elbows, shoulders) and if you already possess a moderately high level of fitness and ability (can you do 20 pull-ups and boulder V5 or climb 5.11?). Begin with some of the basic CT exercises described in the first article, before graduating to the Double Dyno.

Double Dyno
This dynamic up-and-down, fully air-borne exercise is most recognized as true Campus Training. While not quite as difficult as it first appears, the exercise is extremely stressful and potentially injurious if over used.

Begin on rung number 3 (photo 1). Let go with both hands simultaneously, dropping down to catch rung number 2 (photo 2) and immediately explode back up (photo 3) to catch rung number 4 (photo 4). Without hesitation, drop down again (photo 5) and catch rung number 2 (photo 6).

This is one full repetition, but don’t stop! Explode back up to rung number 4 and continue the up-and-down sequence between the second and fourth rungs until you are unable to make the explosive up movement and catch–try to avoid failing on the down catch (have a crash pad in place just in case). Depending on the size of the rungs used (varies among manufacturers), you may achieve anywhere from one to ten repetitions.

Note that NICROS CT Rungs possess a unique gripping surface of variable depth. Each rung ranges from about 3/4-inch depth near the ends up to a full inch near the middle. This way you can begin each set using the smaller outside portion, then gradually work your hands inward as your grip tires.



Rest for five minutes before considering another set. Early workouts should be limited to three total sets, whereas CT veterans may want to build up to a maximum of eight CT sets per workout. Don’t overtrain!

As you improve at this Double Dyno campus training, increase the distance of “flight” between the top and bottom rungs used. For instance, attempt campusing between the second and fifth rungs (significantly harder). As with the easier CT exercises described in the previous article, it’s useful to record in a notebook the number of reps and sets performed as well as the rung numbers used.

As a final note, the dynamic nature of this exercise dictates use of the open-hand grip. Therefore, it would be best to do a few sets of “Lock-Off” campus training with different grips combined with a few sets of the Double Dynos. This will provide a more comprehensive upper-body and grip workout.