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Top 5 Best Campus Boards in 2022

Looking to compliment your gym rock climbing with home workouts? Other than the typical hangboards, why not consider more specific and technical training on campus boards that you can install in your home gym, backyard or basement.

What are the Best Campus Boards?

To decide on the absolute best campus boards, we have examined dozens of campus boards rungs for climbing and reviews left by real users who bought and used them. Based on what they geniunely shared and experienced, we have shortlisted the top 5 campus boards for you to consider, including their most important features, in order for you to make an informed decision.

On top of that, to make it easier for you, we have also compiled a list of critical things and frequently asked questions (FAQs) to consider before purchasing campus boards rungs for climbing. You can find later further down in the article. So without further ado, here’s introducing the best campus boards.

1. Metolius Campus Rungs

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Material: Spruce Wood
Number of Boards: 5 rungs

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Metolius Campus Rungs come packed with all of the hardware that is needed to mount them to a campus board in your home gym. Each of the rungs is 16” long and varies in thickness based on size (S: .75”, M: 1”, L: 1.25”, XL: 1.375”, 2XL: 1.75”, 3XL: 1.875”). All sizes are ergonomically designed with an incut on one edge and flat surface on the other.

One advantage of Metolius Campus Rungs is that they come in six different sizes. Larger rungs can be mounted onto a campus board to better work larger muscle groups, such as the latissimus dorsi, while smaller rungs are useful for building finger strength. We recommend using a combination of rung sizes on your campus board to add variety to your training.

Pros

  • Ergonomic shape
  • 1-year manufacturer warranty
  • Available in 6 sizes

Cons

  • Overtightening when mounting my damage the rungs

2. Escape Climbing Campus Pipes 5 Pack

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Material: Grade A Ash Wood
Number of Boards: 5 rungs

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Escape Climbing Campus Pipes are durable and are made from grade A ash wood. It is suited for all exercises from vertical hanging, laddering, and explosive max moves.

While these are versatile, they only come in a single size. Climbers looking to focus on building finger strength may be better suited using a different model of campus board rungs. The high thickness of these campus board rungs make them ideal for the development of strength, the primary function of the campus board.

Pros

  • Comes packaged with all necessary hardware to mount to a campus board,
  • Can be used for a variety of climbing exercises,
  • High quality construction

Cons

  • Only comes in one size

3. Metolius 2 Pack Campus Blocks

Specs
Price: 💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Material: Spruce Wood
Number of Boards: 2 blocks

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Metolius campus blocks are a perfect addition to a campus board for those looking to add variety to their climbing workouts. Compared to traditional campus rungs that span the entire width of a campus board, campus blocks can be mounted with horizontal spacing so that climbers may develop greater accuracy and grip strength. These blocks are also suitable for mounting on smaller campus boards that are not wide enough for traditional campus rungs or for expanding larger boards.

The only major downside of Metolius campus blocks is that the provided screws are prone to falling out, causing mounted blocks to be loose or to fall off of the campus board. We advise purchasing replacement screws at a local hardware store if the provided screws are too loose.

Pros

  • Ergonomic design for comfortable climbing
  • Easy screw-in mounting
  • Match other Metolius products in depth for compatibility on campus boards using Metolius climbing rungs

Cons

  • Provided screws are prone to falling out
  • May be more affordable to cut segments of full-sized campus rungs

4. Metolius Campus Rung Combo Kit

Specs
Price: 💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Material: Wood
Number of Boards: 6 rungs

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The Metolius Campus Rung Combo Kit consists of six wooden rungs that can be mounted on a campus board. What makes this combo pack special compared to other rungs is that it features six rungs, two of each standard size offered by Metolius: small (.75” thick), medium (1” thick), and large: (1.25” thick). Each of the rungs is 16 inches in length.

The downside of the Metolius Campus Rung Combo Kit is that it does not include XL, 2XL, or 3XL sizes. If you want wider campus rungs, that will have to be purchased separately. We also advise not tightening the screws too much when mounting those rungs to your campus board as over-tightening may cause damage to the rungs.

Pros

  • Ergonomic shape
  • 1-year manufacturer warranty
  • Pack comes with variety of grip sizes from Small to Large

Cons

  • More expensive than making homemade campus rungs
  • Overtightening when mounting my damage the rungs
  • Pack does not include XL, 2XL, or 3XL rung sizes

5. Metolius Campus Rung 5 Pack

Specs
Price: 💲💲💲 (fewer 💲 = cheaper)
Material: Wood
Number of Boards: 5 rungs

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https://youtu.be/KWbrU8TDZ8oo

The Metolius Campus Rung 5 Pack includes 5 wooden rungs that are perfect for mounting on a campus board. The pack of rungs all come in one of the sizes offered by Metolius: small ( .75” thick), medium (1” thick), large (1.25” thick), XL (1.375” thick), 2XL (1.75” thick), and 3XL (1.875” thick). All sizes are 16 inches in length.

We advise intermediate climbers to use medium or large rungs to get a feel for campus boarding, while more advanced climbers may want to use small rungs to strengthen grip and improve climbing accuracy. Climbers with larger hands may need to use larger sizes of campus rungs.

Pros

  • Ergonomic shape
  • 1-year manufacturer warranty
  • Available in 6 sizes

Cons

  • More expensive than making homemade campus rungs
  • Overtightening when mounting my damage the rungs

Following all the comparisons, research and information we have gathered about these top campus boards, we can confidently say that Metolius Campus Rungs is the best campus boards out in the market.

However, if you are on a slightly tighter budget, you can also consider the Metolius 2 Pack Campus Blocks as an affordable alternative.

Lastly, if you are going all the best features with high quality materials and would like to consider all the premium options out there, we will strongly recommend the Escape Climbing Campus Pipes 5 Pack. We look forward to hearing from you in the comments below what are some other models that you might have experienced that are even better!

What You Should Know Before Buying Campus Boards

How To Choose The Best Campus Boards

Choosing the right campus board to maximize your climbing strength workout regimen depends on the amount of space available in your home gym as well as the amount of money that you are willing to pay. Campus boards can cost upwards of $300, while constructing a campus board can cost less than half of that price. We advise a happy medium of constructing the board, as affordable boards can be difficult to find online, and purchasing campus board rungs which are expert-designed to maximize climbing strength development and safety.

Advantages And Benefits

Campus board training is an excellent addition to a climbing workout routine to build explosive strength and muscular endurance. A campus board workout training the pulling muscles (latissimus dorsi and biceps) as well as the triceps, forearms, and core. Campus boards are designed to activate fast-twitch muscle fibers (which provide explosive bursts of strength), which other exercises (such as pull ups and hangboard dead hangs) do not. While we do recommend pull ups and dead hangs to build strength and improve climbing performance, campus boards are an irreplaceable tool in a climber’s arsenal to build explosive strength.

Campus board training is an excellent addition to a climbing workout routineCampus board training is an excellent addition to a climbing workout routine

Campus Board Training And Progressions

Campus boards are ideal for intermediate and expert climbers that want to develop explosive upper-body and core strength. Novice climbers are better suited training on hanging boards first, and should be mindful that climbing injuries can be sustained when using incorrect techniques on a campus board. Before attempting to perform explosive full climbs on a campus board, we advise stretching on the rungs while keeping your feet on the ground. Once you have more experience with the motions of climbing the board, you can begin performing simple vertical climbs and more advanced explosive climbing.

Campus Board Training And ProgressionsCampus Board Training And Progressions

Setup & Usage

Proper setup of a campus board is dependent on the location where it will be set up and the desired challenge of your workout. Placing campus boards at an angle closer to vertical will provide a more strenuous workout. In general, campus boards are placed at an angle between 16 and 20 degrees, which we recommend. If placing a campus board outdoors, make sure that the hardware and wood are treated for outdoor usage to prevent damage from the elements.

It is important to perform a proper warm up and stretching routine before campus boarding. We advise using the campus board at the beginning of your workout as it is a strenuous exercise and can lead to injury if you are already exhausted from other exercises.

Campus boards are recommended for climbers that have at least a year of prior climbing experience. Start out slowly, climbing singular rungs until you have developed a feel for how to use the board. Once you have grown used to climbing individual rungs, you can begin skipping rungs when campusing to develop more explosive strength.

Precautions To Take Note Of

Campus boarding is most suitable for intermediate and advanced climbers since using the campus board incorrectly can lead to injuries. We advise beginners to start climbing the board with their feet on the floor or campus rungs as they climb the campus board; advanced climbers can train foot-off. Campus boarding is a strenuous exercise, so it is advised to perform exercises on the campus board near the beginning of your workouts (after a proper warmup). As with any workout regimen, avoid overworking your muscles, as doing so is an easy way to sustain injuries. We also advise placing proper crash pads to cushion any falls and prevent serious injuries.

Questions and Answers About Campus Boards

What muscle does each campus boards train?

Campus board climbing trains upper body and core muscle groups for strength and endurance, both of which are vital for rock climbing. Campus board workouts primarily target the latissimus dorsi, biceps, and triceps. Secondary muscle groups that are activated by campus board workouts include the abdominals, abdominal obliques, and forearms.
By keeping up these reactive and quasi-plyometric exercises on campus boards, in the long run it helps your train recruitment and RFD rate-of-force development in your arm flexors and finger tips.

Why is it called campus board?

Campus boards, invented in 1988 by German rock climber Wolfgang Güllich, are training devices that can be used to train upper body and core muscle strength and endurance. The first campus board was mounted at a university gym in Nurnberg, Germany, called “The Campus Centre”, giving the device its name. Despite the first campus board being placed in a university gym, they can be excellent additions to home climbing gyms.

What angle should a campus board be at?

Deciding on an angle at which a campus board should be mounted depends mainly on how strenuous you would like your workout and the height of your ceiling. A more shallow angle will provide more of a challenge when climbing the campus board, while an increased angle will allow for more leg room between the climber and the floor. Generally, we advise mounting campus boards at an angle between 16 and 20 degrees.

Campus board vs hangboard which is better?

Campus boards and hangboards both have their places in a climber’s strength training toolkit. Campus boards are primarily used to build explosive upper body strength and contact strength, or the ability to grip and hold quickly under tension. Hangboards, also known as fingerboards, are useful to increase the grip strength of the fingers and forearm muscles. Since hangboards are used primarily as finger strengtheners and campus boards are used primarily to develop explosive muscular strength, it can not really be argued that one tool is better than the other. It should be noted, however, that hangboards are more suitable for beginners since campus board training has a higher probability of causing injury if done improperly or by climbers that have little to no experience with hangboard training.

What is the standard campus board dimensions?

Campus boards can come in a variety of sizes and can be placed at different angles. Most campus boards suitable for home gyms are between 48 and 55 inches tall and are at least 24 inches in width. The campus bars are generally 4.75 to 6 inches apart and are between 1 inch and 2.25 inches in thickness. When mounting campus boards, the mounting angle depends on the available overhead ceiling space, and the desired challenge of the campus board workout. Angles closer to vertical provide a more strenuous workout, while a higher angle will give more room between the first rungs on the board and the floor. The standard mounting angle is between 15 and 20 degrees.

Does an outdoor campus board need additional features?

Campus boarding outdoors can be a great training experience for climbers that want to simulate outdoor rock climbing. Firstly, suitable hardware for exterior use must be employed to prevent oxidation and damage to the campus board. Secondly, we recommend using UV-treated wood so that the board is not damaged by the elements. Finally, when exercising outdoors, proper safety precautions become even more important; we advise using a climbing mat during your outdoor campus board workouts.

How do you make a campus board?

Building a campus board is relatively easy for those that have experience with woodworking, and can be an affordable addition to a home climbing gym. Before building the board, make sure that there is enough space for the board to be mounted in your desired location. We advise building your campus board using plywood at least 2 feet in width, two inches in thickness, and long enough to be mounted to the ceiling with enough space for your legs to be clear of the ground when climbing.
For the sake of safety, it is advised to check the screws, bolts, and other hardware used before each workout on your homemade campus board. We also recommend placing a good crash pad below your climbing board to safely break any falls and prevent injury.

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