Physical Assessments

One of the things that has puzzled us for many years, is how do you isolate and identify what the weaknesses are in your climbing? After all, we know that continually working our strengths is eventually fruitless and training our weaknesses can be extremely effective. The best way of making fast improvements is focusing on the things that show the most potential. Sounds obvious doesn’t it?!

When we looked at the function of a climber’s performance, it was clear to us that we needed to really look in depth at what occurs in the forearm – as this is often the limiting factor in both bouldering and route climbing. Every time we assessed and analysed another climber, it became more and more clear that the complex function of the forearm was driving the majority of performance. It wasn’t just about being strong and fit. It had to be strength employed in the correct format with the appropriate energy system (aerobic or anaerobic) complimenting it.

We’ve been hearing climbers of all abilities asking:

  • How strong should my fingers be?
  • How hard do I have to pull to climb V10?
  • How anaerobically fit do I need to be for a 25 move power endurance 5.13/8a route, when I already have excellent endurance?
  • Is it possible to climb a V5 crux pumped if my maximum boulder grade is V7?

We took the fundamental rules of sports science and collected a huge data set from hundreds of climbers who operate from 7a/5.12 to 9a+/5.15 and worked out “what it takes.” We now know how long you have to operate at 60% of maximum forearm contraction to climb 5.14 and what the “average” V12 boulderer will pull on a 1/2 inch crimp. We have also taken 6 years worth of data collection and “performance tagged” the various profiles to create a guide to what we’re expecting to see in the forearm of any given grade of climber.

During your assessment you will be analysed primarily for finger strength, aerobic and anaerobic contribution, aerobic and anaerobic efficiency and lactate production. Secondly, we will assess your large muscle group function in the upper body and identify if there are any significant weaknesses in the chain. Finally, we map these findings to your climbing goals to give you an idea of where you need to work in the future and how realistic your current goals are.

Lattice Performance Analysis

The “Lattice Performance Analysis” package is a reliable methodology for testing the key physical attributes required in climbing at higher levels. It is designed to be carried out anywhere in the world, in your own time and with no pressure. All you need is some of the most common items found in any indoor climbing gym.

Find out more here.

Lattice Board Assessment

The “Lattice Board Analysis” package is an option available to those who can visit Sheffield in the UK and are climbing at 5.12+/7b+. This facility is the original method of assessing a climber’s performance and is only suitable for a certain grade of climber.

Find out more here.