Many a good climbing wall will have a training room with a campus board lurking about in it. The Campus board has become a mainstay of climbing fitness, strength and endurance training, but where did this monstrous contraption begin its life.
In 1988 a climber and sports student Wolfgang Gullich, was struggling to complete his hardest project Action Directe, a 9a. Wolfgang built the campus board and hung it in the Campus gym in Nuremberg. Therefore the board took on the title Campus Board.
In 1991, after applying various established workout systems and theories to his Campus Board work out , WolfGang Gullich achieved his goal and completed Action Direct in September of that year. At that point Action direct was the benchmark 9a route.
Well there you have it another footnote in climbing history.
While Campus Boards do have a place in your training regime it is wise to keep in mind that as with all workout equipment incorrect use can lead to injury. Tweeking tendons in the fingers from incorrect holds or even just pushing it too hard. Boards set at incorrect angles can also cause injury to the elbow joints. Most indoor climbing centres should have a properly fitted campus board so the risk should be minimal.
Always try and do campus board training when you are fresh, this means you’ll get the most out of your work out and minimise the risk of injury due to fatigue. You should warm up thoroughly taking time to do a thorough stretching routine and maybe a few easy routes to warm up your muscles.
Most campus boards have 3 rows of rungs decreasing in size, start at the biggest and work your way down. Don’t move on to the next set of rungs until the size you are on is getting to easy.
For some excellent training regimes to use on the board visit rock and runs site on this link and to get an idea of how hardcore the board can make you check out this link for a tribute to Wolfgangs idea.