After I have laid a foundation of hypertrophy the next step is to maximise recruitment. Getting the balance right is tough because you want to be at your strength limit to ensure the intensity is there but at the same time the exercise needs to be simple enough so that your failure is not due to engram issues or technique. For this reason my preference is to use a hangboard as this probably one of the most specific and simple tools available to a climber. This also means that performance is easily recorded and tracked.
Using advice I have gained from the Beastmaker boys, my preference for this stage is to utilise one arm hangs where possible using a pulley system to allow all manner of grips to be trained (note – I am currently unable to do a one arm hang on back 2 no matter the weight I take off so I am forced to use 2 arms). For me the golden number is 5 seconds; I can’t recall where I got this from but it is now my standard. My routine exists of front 2 and middle 2 hangs currently on the medium pockets and a full crimp hang on the middle crimp on both left and right arms. I allow myself 3 minutes rest in between repetitions and sets. My intended progression is to work up to a point where I need less weight off and then move towards using smaller grips and eventually drop down to one finger grips.
Although this routine seems simple, the basic nature of it is also beneficial as you can isolate each grip type and focus in on pure power. Results are also highly measurable which is motivating - where one arm 2 finger hangs seemed impossible at first I have since been able to manage a 2 second middle 2 hang on my right arm without any weight taken off which is real progress.
I have been toying of adding in system board sessions using a weight belt. I have only tried this sporadically to date so still need to test its long term benefit but theoretically it would be a useful way to work other grips (i.e. pinches, compression etc). My current plan however is to use the system board for power endurance and general strength rather after having completed my hypertrophy and power cycles.
*If you have difficulty in understanding my reference to grip types then refer to the Beastmaker website.