Reactive Training – Part 5 – Campus Training “Double Dynos”

This dynamic up-and-down, fully airborne exercise is widely recognized as true campus training. It’s the most effective at producing neural disinhibition and building maximum contact strength and pulling power. This exercise is also the most stressful and potentially injurious exercise that climbers engage in, since the dynamic double-handed drops generate a force several times your body weight. Are your fingers and tendons ready for this level of stress? It’s my belief that the answer is “no” for better than 95 percent of climbers. If you do think you are ready for this exercise—are you an elite climber with no recent finger, elbow, or shoulder injuries?—then introduce it gradually and cautiously. The Double Dynos exercise requires a unique campus board consisting of a slightly overhanging wall equipped with specialized Campus Rungs.

1. Start hanging from high rung.

2. Drop to lower rung.

3. Immediately explode to up.

4. Catch starting rung. Repeat. (See photos below)



Begin by hanging from the third or fourth rung on the Campus Board. (It’s good to number your rungs beginning with the bottom rung as “number one.”)

2. Simultaneously let go with both hands and drop to catch the next lower rung (number two).

3. Immediately explode upward with both hands to catch the third or fourth (harder) rung. This is one full repetition, but don’t stop!

4. Without hesitation, drop down and again catch the second rung.

5. Explode back up to the third or fourth rung.

6. Continue this double-handed, drop-down-and-explode-up sequence between two rungs for up to six repetitions. Stop prematurely instead of risking a failed downward catch—have a bouldering crash pad in place just in case.

7. Rest for three to five minutes before engaging in a second set.

8. Perform a total of just two or three sets during your formative workouts; however, you can build up to six sets (a combined total of Campus Laddering and Double Dynos) as you gain conditioning and confidence.

9. Limit yourself to just one or two sessions per week, and cycle on and off campus training every two or three weeks.

  • Training tip: Execute Double Dynos only on rungs that are 0.75 inch or more in depth. In terms of training stimulus, speed of repetitions is more important than the number of reps, distance traveled, or size of rungs. Specifically, strive to turn around the catch on the lower rung and lunge upward in a quarter second (hard, but ideal).
  • Safety note: Consider taping the base of your fingers (use the A2 method depicted on page TK). Terminate your campus training at the first sign of pain in your fingers, arms, or shoulders.

  • Related links:

  • Reactive Training – Part #4

    Copyright 2009 Eric J. Hörst. All rights reserved.