My Anti-gravity, Leave-no-trace Hangboard Setup

A few weeks ago I decided to start a periodized training cycle. The first phase would be hypertrophy, for which a hangboard is a key component. I have the Blank Slate Slim training board with a couple of hangboards that I swap. The one in the picture is the Kraken:


Observe the Metolius Rock Rings hanging from two 3/8″ by 4″ eye bolts, each one rated to hold 350 lbs.


One of the problems with hangboard training is that some grips are too easy and others are too hard. When using four fingers I can hang for too long, and with two usually not long enough. The solution to this problem is to make yourself heavier or lighter so that you can hang from a given grip for the right amount of time before having to let go. The heavier part is easy: just hang some weights from a harness, or use a weighted vest if you have one. Making yourself lighter is nontrivial, so I concocted this rig:


This is a system of two pulleys attached to some 8mm accessory cord and carabiners. I had everything but the pulleys, and I could have connected the cord directly to two or three biners. The weight probably would never be enough to wear the biners significantly by cord friction (30 lbs on each side at most). Still, why not spend a few bucks on a pair of nice pulleys to reduce friction. I also had a set of adjustable dumbbells with removable plates adding up to 50 lbs. I attached them to biners with prusik loops, so I can remove them easily.


This is what the right looks like with 20 lbs (10 on each side) attached to my harness:


Notice the tablet with the timer ready to go. This is crucial for hangboard workouts.

So how much lighter does this make me? Before:


After: hangboard7

Not bad, barely one pound is lost between friction and and the components of the forces that offset each other pulling me slightly toward the sides. The important thing is that I can remove a consistent amount of weight. After experimenting a bit, I know that if I somehow weighed 100 lbs and my arm strength remained the same, I could easily do many one-armed pull-ups :)

The best thing about this setup is that you can put it up in an apartment, and move it easily without leaving any marks. The extra hardware wasn’t that expensive: less than $20 for the bolts and pulleys. I had the weights already, but you could use bags filled with rocks, sand, whatever.

Hope this is useful. Enjoy and get strong!

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