There is beauty in simplicity. And this little nugget of training gold from Steph Davis is the height of simplicity. Easy to remember, easy to apply and easy to adapt to any old thing you can hang off, be it a hangboard, rock rings, or even a piece of wood bolted to the wall.
"I happen to have a nice So Ill fingerboard which I like very much, but I imagine they are all good. The workout is simple. Start on the biggest hold (on mine, it’s the sloper on the top), and do a reasonable amount of pullups. This amount could be 3, it could be 10. It’s up to you. Make sure you do them well, slowly, with no thrutching. Quality is more important than quantity.Give it a try!
Then move down to the next smallest hold (on mine, it’s the big edge below the top sloper). Do one less pullup than you started with–could be 2, could be 9. Then move to the next smallest hold, and do one less pullup. If you started with 3, this is it. Whenever you get down to one, it’s time to start going back up your pyramid, back to where you started. And that’s it. It hardly takes any time at all!
At the moment, I do 6 pullups on the sloper, take it down to 1 pullup on the tiny pockets, and go back up to 6 on the sloper. I make sure to rest for a couple of minutes between sets (usually a good opportunity to weed or rake leaves out of my cactus gardens). So the whole workout doesn’t take more than 15 or 20 minutes. In a week or so, I’ll probably start at 7.
I did this last winter when I kept hurting my legs BASE jumping, and I couldn’t believe how much stronger I got after just a few weeks. I went from being injured and not climbing for months, to being able to do one of my hardest redpoints. And I’m pretty sure it was all because of my fairly non-impressive fingerboard workout. At the time I thought, “geez, I’d better do this all the time!” Naturally, I didn’t. Suddenly I have the fingerboard motivation again, and after only a week and a half (this means a grand total of 3 fingerboard workouts), I am noticing instant finger strength improvement again! It really does work.
Geez, I’d better do this all the time!"