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Body with Bruno Part 1: No Legs Required

What’s going on, crushers? My name is Bruno and I am here with part one of my new series, Body with Bruno, where I reveal my top climbing tips and workouts so that you can send your proj. Whether you are climbing on ropes or bouldering, you’ve probably heard that footwork is the key to climbing harder. I’m here to tell you the truth about footwork: it doesn’t matter! Look at me, for instance, I am, literally, all upper body. And I will still flash your proj. Climbing hard is all about campusing (or climbing with no feet). I’ve never come across a crux that I can’t campus. Small crimps on an overhang? Campus it. Big slopers on an arete? Campus it. Slab climbing? You best believe I campus it. If you stick with me I’ll impart my wisdom to you so that you can get a body like Bruno’s. Without further ado, here are my top 3 campus workouts for climbing, no legs required!

Instead of messing around with campusing at the end of your climbing session, I always try to incorporate campusing into the climbing session. Always campus with at least 24 hours of rest before your session.

Up Downs

On any overhanging wall (usually greater than 30 degrees) pick a boulder problem that you can campus to the top easily. Your boulder problem will likely be V0-V2 and between 5-8 holds long. The idea with this exercise is that you are not allowed to progress to the next move until you have campused back down to the start. So it looks a little something like this:

Begin by campusing from hold 1 to hold 2. 

Match hold 2. 

Then campus down to hold 1. 

Match hold 1. 

Campus from hold 1 to hold 3.

Match hold 3.

Campus down to hold 1.

Match hold 1.

And so on until the end!

If you do this right you will go up and down quite a few times, hence the name. But most importantly, you probably won’t make it to the end! Think about it. If the boulder problem has 5 holds you have to campus… let me do some quick math… that’s 28 campus moves! Congratulations, you have a new proj. Rest for 4 minutes between attempts and only try your new proj 3-4 times in a session so you don’t get too burned out.

If you are still working towards being able to campus, try performing this exercise with both feet, progressing to only one foot, and finally to campusing.

Toe Touches

Toe touches don’t necessarily involve campusing, but they do when I do them! Well…they would if I had toes to touch with.

This exercise involves touching your toes to the next hold before campusing to that hold. Just like with Up Downs, find yourself an overhanging boulder problem that you can campus successfully. Pull onto the start hold and reach your toes up to the second hold before lowering them and campusing to it. Do this for every move all the way to the top. No skipping holds and no grabbing holds that your toes haven’t touched! Be warned: this exercise is one heck of an ab burner. Rest for 2-3 minutes between attempts.

Just like with Up Downs, if you are still working towards being able to campus, try performing this exercise with both feet, progressing to only one foot, and finally to campusing.


Campus Board

Campus Board


Campus boarding is one of my favorite ways to train for climbing but it can be pretty intense on the body. Be sure to rest up and have a coach talk you through the basics of campus board form before performing any campus boarding. If you can’t campus up the biggest rungs on the campus board, try one of my other campus workouts first.

Once you’ve got the basics down, here is my favorite beginner workout on the campus board:

1x Single Ladder – Start matched on the lowest rung then simply campus the rungs to the top while alternating hands (left to 2, right to 3, etc.). Be sure to match the top rung before dropping.

1x Single Arm Ladder Left – Start matched on the lowest rung and campus one arm, one rung at a time until you reach your maximum.

1x Single Arm Ladder Right 

1x Double Ladder – Start matched on the lowest rung and campus to each rung with both hands at the same time to the top.

1x Max Catch Left – Start matched on the lowest rung and reach up as far as you can with one hand. Be sure to match the rung you land on before dropping.

1x Max Catch Right

Rest 2-3 minutes between exercises.

And just like that, you are ready to start campusing like Bruno. Next time you arrive at a crux move, remember your training and forget about those feet!

Please note that while this blog is written in the playful and sarcastic voice of Bruno, these workouts are real and will complement any climbing training.