Rope Training: Dinosaur Style

Rope Training: Dinosaur Style
Once we introduced high-quality climbing ropes, our phones started ringing off the hook. We heard from all kinds of people who had always wanted to get into rope training and had been searching for years for a top quality rope but had no luck.

It just so happens that one of those guys happened to be Brooks Kubik, that’s right, Mr. Dinosaur Training himself. Five minutes before I sent out the email announcing that we now had climbing ropes available, Brooks had just picked up the phone book and was leafing through it to see if anyone in his area had climbing ropes for sale… It was at that exact moment when he looked up at his computer screen and there was our email. He grabbed the phone and dialed right away.

(Yes, that is a true story and you can ask Brooks if you don’t believe me.) Anyhow, Brooks was like a kid in a candy store and we got him hooked up with exactly the kind of ropes he was looking for as well as the hardware to hang it properly. The ropes arrived late last week and here is the result:

John,


Brooks Kubik fries his forearms
with double climbing rope chins.

Had my first workout with the ropes last night. What an awesome addition to anyone’s training program! With a little bit of creativity, you can work your entire upper body into the ground with these babies. By the end of the workout, my fingers were numb, and the muscular soreness kicked in within a couple of hours.

The ropes allow you to do things that are impossible with any other type of equipment. They can take anyone to a new level of grip, arm and upper body strength, and I can’t think of a better tool for athletes who need a crushing grip. Wrestling and football coaches ought to be ordering ropes by the dozen. Ditto for martial artists, arm wrestlers, climbers and the guys who are working on those Ironmind grippers. As you are well aware, grip training is a must for any serious lifter, and using ropes is one of the best ways to build crushing strength super fast…everyone should give them a try. I’m having some ferocious training sessions with the new ropes. They definitely deserve a place in a dino’s training program.

I wish we’d known about these when I was a high school wrestler. Thanks for making these available to the strength training community.”

Brooks

If you want to be like Brooks Kubik and get your very own set of top-quality climbing ropes, you take action on this page:

Rope Climbing: Simple, Basic, and Brutally Effective…

Rope Climbing: Simple, Basic, and Brutally Effective…
By John Wood

Back in grade school, I used to love gym class. The grade school I attended, Sands Montessori, was in a building that was over a hundred years old. What I really liked about our gym was that they hadn’t changed much about it since the turn of the century. It had a beautiful hardwood floor, Swiss bars, parallel bars, ladders, adjustable rings, poles, balance beams and climbing ropes. (I never saw any Indian clubs or wooden dumbbells but would bet good money that they used to have em’ at one point.)

It looked a lot like the gym in this picture:
Needless to say, everybody had a heck of a good time playing on this vintage equipment. Yes, I do mean playing as it never felt like we were training but looking back, that’s exactly what we were doing. I believe that the time in that old gym had a lot to do with laying the foundation for my future athletic success.

One thing that was always one of my favorites during gym class was when we did rope climbing. Heck, that was an age when I didn’t really know what “strong” was. I could climb that rope like nobody’s business and not even think twice. Needless to say, when I did get older, and began researching some of the top grip exercises, rope climbing was always at the top of the list.

In fact, Karl Gotch, the “God of Wrestling” in Japan (who I had the honor of training with on one occasion), always said that rope climbing and other “gymnastic” type exercises were the most valuable exercises for combat athletes.

I agree.

Unfortunately, I didn’t realize this until it was too late… when I was in high school my grade school moved away from that building to a more “modern” location. There was no way I could go back to the old building to train.

All that great physical culture history…lost. Well, at least that’s how it looked anyway.

Did you know that rope climbing is one of the oldest forms of physical training?

In 1569, Hieronymus Mercurialis (1530-1606) wrote De Arte Gymnastica which collected many classical Greek and Latin sources on ancient gymnastics and physical training.

Of all the exercises and training techniques that he discussed, Mercurialis concluded that “only rope climbing and wrestling were wholesome.” As long as you can pull yourself up when you need to and can grapple like you mean it, there’s not much else a physically fit individual needs to be able to do. I don’t know if I would call other forms of exercise “unwholesome” but there is no doubt that rope climbing is one fastest ways to get very strong in a hurry. Regardless, it is clear that people have been using rope climbing for training purposes for thousands of years.

Rope climbing has always been a popular form of exercise for the training of soldiers …and with good reason. It was (and is) an excellent method for developing strength and endurance in the entire body that would come in handy for a variety of military maneuvers. If you can’t pull yourself up when you need to in a tough situation, you just might be dead meat.

At Fort Benning, for example, if you want to get into Ranger School, one of the skills you have to master is the Prusik Climb.

This event is a staple of the David E. Grange Jr. Best Ranger Competition. and is one of the fastest and most demanding events of the grueling 60-hour, 60-mile endurance contest.

For this contest Rangers are split into two-man teams. Each man has to climb a 90-foot rope to a narrow tower platform with gloved hands. Once they reach the top they must detach from the rope, run across the platform and rappel down the other side. Each team member’s time is then added together for a final score. It will take a time of less than two minutes to even raise an eyebrow.

Did you know that rope climbing used to be an Olympic event? Unfortunately it was dropped after the 1932 Games. Competitive rope climbing could still be found on the collegiate level until the early 1960’s though. It was originally sanctioned as a gymnastic event by the AAU and NCAA.

This was not a sport for the faint of heart. Why do I say this?

It’s because in competitive climbing, the legs weren’t involved at all. Yes, that’s right, you had to climb a twenty foot rope holding a seated position with the legs held out in front the entire time. The record for a 20 foot climb in this manner was under 3 seconds!!

You couldn’t use the legs coming down either. Needless to say, those who excelled at this event were some strong hombres.

I know of no other exercise that hits the entire body as hard as climbing does. If you want to develop some “Old School” strength with some \rope climbing might be just the ticket you have been looking for.

Why Quality Matters

Why Quality Matters
by Dr. Ken Leistner
One of the difficult things in anyone’s life is to admit they are wrong, were wrong, or can possibly be wrong. Another is to admit that they have benefited or learned not from a teacher, a coach, an older mentor, but from a peer. Guys who train with weights tend to think its all right to learn something from a wizened, experienced old hand but it is somehow unmanly to learn from someone who is an equal.

When you make as many mistakes as I have in the course of a lifetime, admitting you’re incorrect about something becomes second nature. As one who has always learned everything the hardest way possible, it is also not difficult to admit that I have learned from peers or those younger or less experienced than me. As one of the “older guys” in the Iron Game, I have been fortunate to train with and/or correspond regularly with and/or been coached by and/or been friends with some of the great names in the sport.

Among these I would include Bill Starr, Dan Riley, Ken Mannie, Hugh Cassiday, the late Pat Casey, Bill Pearl, Bill ‘Peanuts’ West, Bob Zuver, the late Joe Don Looney, the late Alvin Roy, Dick ‘Smitty’ Smith, Jan Dellinger, and others I can’t think of now.

Having so many who fall into ‘the late’ category only emphasizes my age and experience. One of those who is a peer in age is Kim Wood, John’s father from whom I learned a tremendous amount, who forced me to reconsider what I was doing in my training and that of others approximately thirty or thirty-five years ago, and who continued to serve as a sounding board for training ideas. Kim has included some commentary on John’s site, tidbits that barely scratch the surface of all he knows about effective training.

One of the things that Kim stated and which made my wife and I chuckle because it put our age, our experience, and our passion for training into perspective was the comment, ‘I don’t know how many reps I have left but I want to enjoy all of them as much as possible.

I agreed.

Although I see myself and treat myself as I did when I was nineteen and still expect record performances in the garage or basement, that just doesn’t happen very often as one nears sixty years of age. However, the attitude that records can be broken remains and the desire and drive to train as hard as possible never wavers. I too want to enjoy every rep because I always have and understand the benefit of doing each rep correctly and passionately so that the reps add up to a great set and with a few great sets, there grows a great workout so yes, each rep does matter.

That brings me to equipment. I don’t want to go to Home Depot and buy a piece of rope and be forced to re-wrap it with duct tape every third workout, I want a quality climbing rope, one that reminds me of the rope climbing I did over and over during lunch time while in high school in order to get stronger.

If I am going to enjoy hanging on the rope as it is attached to the support pin of my power rack, I am going to do it while grasping the best piece of rope I can. I might be the only one who feels and understands and enjoys the difference relative to just any other piece of manila rope but I’m the one who counts, the only one who counts when I’m training. I want thick-handled dumbbells and bars because they make me work harder and make the workout more productive and for me, more fun. Kathy and I have been very fortunate and blessed in being able to make a living but in a lifetime, I have been on both ends of things financially and even when poor and barely scraping by, I never scrimped on my training equipment. I might have had little of it but it was all good, solid, safe, and enjoyable equipment, at least the best I could afford.

We all train for our own reasons and if enjoyment is one of them and using equipment that is different, more challenging, fascinating, and inspiring to you makes each rep a bit ‘better’ than that’s what you should be using.

Dr. Ken

Rope Climbing Like a Marine

How to Climb A Rope Like a Marine
by John Wood
Rope climbing will give you a tremendous full body workout, even if you never decide to become a Marine, Navy Seal or an Army Ranger. Who knows, being able to climb up or down a rope may even save your life some day. Soldiers and combat athletes have been using climbing ropes for training exercises for thousands of years with the biggest reasons being that this exercise is simple and very, very effective.


Your boots act like a clamp as you make your way up the rope.

I originally sent out this information in a recent email but several people who were interested in getting started in rope climbing asked us for some details and even some pictures to illustrate these points… so here we go (Pictures courtesy of Cpl. Serena DeFilippis, U.S. Marine Corps (Released))

First of all, when you are ready to climb, it is a good idea to make sure that you have a good pair of boots. You’ll know why in a second. There are many different ways to climb ropes but the simplest to learn is as follows:

The rope itself is going to go between your legs, out around your knee/calf and back between the insteps of your boots.


The rope goes between the instep.
With the rope like this, clamping your feet together acts like a brake and ideally, you should be able to support yourself in this position without using your hands and arms.

The basic idea of this drill is that you are going to ‘inch worm’ up the rope using the “brake and squat” technique. Climb up the rope by bending your legs, loosening the “brake” between your feet. Then once you straighten your legs, pull yourself up the rope about a foot or two and repeat until you reach the top.


Loosen your feet and pull yourself up.
Your boots act like a clamp as you make your way up the rope. Beginners should get “the hang” of this technique in no time. While it does use a fair bit of upper body strength, this technique actually conserves quite a bit of energy for the most important part of the drill – getting down. Holding the extended position is a very good exercise too, if you don’t have much room to climb. As also mentioned in one of my previous emails, you can also try “squats” in this position for a real killer.

As you get stronger, you can gradually move onto more challenging climbing techniques such as climbing your rope with the legs extended, climbing two ropes, upside down, etc.

Train hard,

John Wood

Gym Ropes

Gym Climbing Rope Sizes
When selecting the proper climbing rope for your gym, please keep in mind that we have manila ropes in two different sizes: 1.5-inch and 2-inch diameters. In almost all cases, the 1.5-inch rope will be your best choice — it can be used by older and younger athletes alike and can be as challenging as you need it based on how it is climbed. The 1.5-inch diameter has been the standard size for climbing ropes for the last hundred years. This is the size rope you would have used in gym class, the same rope used by the USMC, the Marines, ROTC programs, wrestlers and champion athletes in every sport — even when rope climbing was still a competitive sport at the college level and even in the early Olympic Games.

If you have any question at all as to which size to start with, we would highly recommend beginning with the 1.5-inch climbing rope.

When you have totally and completely mastered every exercise with that size of climbing rope then, and only then would we recommend moving on the 2-inch rope (we have actually had a few military bases ask to return their 2-inch climbing ropes because their people were having trouble climbing them.) Of course, you can still do many exercises with climbing ropes that do not specifically involve climbing but if you are interested in climbing then the 1.5-inch rope is likely your best choice.

In either case, here is a size comparison so you can clearly see both rope sizes: (Ropes are pictured slightly smaller than actual size.)

If you have any more questions about climbing ropes, please visit our rope Q & A page. Also feel free to contact us with any more climbing rope questions you may have. Otherwise, you can find out more details or place your order quickly and securely by visiting our climbing ropes page.

Train hard,

John Wood

2-inch Thick Climbing Ropes

Think You’re Stronger Than King Kong?”

2-inch Thick Manila Climbing Ropes Now Available For True Maniacs Only…
I’m sure everyone would agree that rope climbing is a serious workout…There’s no other exercise quite like rope climbing for building a “gorilla grip” and a sturdy back. Our traditional 1.5-inch diameter climbing ropes provide a number of interesting exercises for any routine.

But more and more athletes have been clamoring for a new rope climbing challenge and so here it is…
Top-Quality 2-Inch Thick Manila Climbing Ropes

Functional Hand Strength is now carrying 2″ thick full-length manila climbing ropes for the true rope climbing maniacs out there. These ropes have the same great features of our 1.5″ manila ropes and are made one at a time by hand by our master ropesmith.

* Five standard lengths – 15, 18, 20, 22, and 24 feet (custom lengths are available)

* Composed of the highest-quality 3-strand Grade-A manila – The very best in durability and safety

* Safe and secure steel indoor attachment clamp – Makes on/off a snap – literally!

* “Polybooted” end to prevent unraveling — you want your rope to last forever

* L-1 carabiner attachment link – included with all manila climbing rope orders
A Whole Different Kind
of “Thick Bar” Training

The oldtime strongmen knew one of the secrets of building frightening forearm strength – using thick-handled training equipment. Now you can apply that concept in an entirely different way, except that 2″ manila has a slight “give” to it, forcing you to grip and grab on even tighter than you would with a steel bar. And this means even stronger hands for you.

There Can Be More To It Than Just Climbing…

I won’t beat around the bush – our traditional 1.5″ manila climbing ropes are more than enough of a challenge for just about anyone and most athletes will NOT be able to climb a 2″ diameter manila rope unless they are a real stud…if you want to learn to climb a rope, DO NOT start with the 2″ diameter. However, even if climbing isn’t your bag, you can still get a great workout with the 2″ ropes.

Attach your climbing rope to a high pulley or even just an overhead beam and go to work. Pull-ups, hanging leg raises, and even just timed hangs will be more than enough of a workout for most people and you won’t need cathedral ceilings for the “grip” effect either. They say being able to do 10 rope pull-ups is equal to climbing a 15 foot rope…

IMPORTANT: Please Read This Before Placing Your 2-inch Rope Order:

Before you place an order for a 2-inch climbing rope, please keep in mind that our 1.5-inch climbing ropes are generally more than enough of a challenge for anyone especially when factoring in variations such as climbing without using your legs, climbing upside-down etc. As a result, we would strongly recommend going with the 1.5-inch sized rope first and foremost, especially if you are new to rope climbing. By ordering a 2″ rope at this time, we are going to assume that you completely and totally understand the difficulty involved. By proceeding with a 2-inch rope order and upon receipt find it too difficult to climb, there will be a 25% restocking fee involved in the event that you want to exchange it. If you understand the challenge and want to order a 2-inch climbing rope at this time, by all means, please do so and we will be happy to place your order.

Top-Quality 2-inch Manila Climbing
Ropes: Get yours today!


– Order your 2″ Climbing Ropes Online by clicking here –

Note: Please observe all safety precautions when doing any activities with climbing ropes. By purchasing this product from FHS, you are agreeing to take responsibility for your own health and well-being. All rope climbing activities should only be done with the proper padding under and around all climbing equipment. A spotter and/or proper supervision should always be present. Also note that we will not accept returns on custom rope orders. Please ensure that we have all specifications for your desired rope before placing the order. Knots are not an option for 2-inch climbing ropes.

Climbing Rope Question and Answer Page

CLIMBING ROPE
Question and Answer Page

“Welcome to the most comprehensive climbing rope Q & A resource on the web! Here you’ll find answers to many of the common questions on climbing ropes and how to purchase them.

Still have questions? Please feel free to contact us any time by phone or email — we are here to help you get the climbing rope that you need!”

Question: “Do you have any recommendations as far as choosing a climbing rope length?”
Answer:

We can do ANY custom length of rope that you might need… For climbing purposes, the traditional rule of thumb for figuring out the ideal length of your climbing rope is to measure from the attachment point to the floor and then add four extra feet. The reasoning behind this recommendation is that having a few feet of slack in the rope will make it much easier for climbers to get onto the rope and will also allow a spotter to stand on the end of rope to prevent it from swinging while in use.

Climbing rope “slack” need not be an exact measurement down to the inch; a rough estimate of an extra 3-4 feet should suffice. All rope lengths are measured in feet, so please round to the closest foot when determining your rope length. This rule of thumb is equally true in choosing length for outdoor or indoor climbing ropes.

For pulling or dragging purposes, 50 or more feet is generally recommended. Please click here for more information on ropes that can be used for pulling and dragging. If you would simply like to attach your rope to a pulley, or hang your rope for exercises such as pullups, laybacks or hanging leg raises, generally 15 feet will suffice. We feature five standard climbing ropes lengths which are applicable in the vast majority of cases. If you need a custom length besides the ones listed, please contact us and we will be more than happy to provide a quote and other important details.

Question: “Will it be ok if want to hang my manila rope outside?”
Answer:
We do not recommend or condone hanging a manila rope outside unless you plan on taking it down after each use and storing it in a safe place. Neither the climbing rope material nor the hanging mechanism are designed for outside usage. Leaving a manila climbing rope outside will void any and all warranties associated with it. Furthermore, when exposed to rain, condensation or damp climates, manila fiber will rot from the inside out making it unsafe, and will also develop “rope splinters” which are very uncomfortable.

Fortunately we do have synthetic poly-plus ropes specifically designed to handle outdoor usage, that will dramatically enhance your outdoor rope climbing experience. Please click on this link to find more information on poly-plus outdoor climbing ropes.
Question: “How do I hang my climbing rope?”
Answer:

The I-Beam Clamp in action

The I-Beam clamp in action

Indoor climbing ropes must be hung from structurally safe framework which will exceed any and all loads placed on the rope. Most beam and ceiling frameworks in institutional buildings will meet this criteria, however, please always confirm this with your building plans and/or building engineer. If there is any question about the structural integrity of your climbing rope attachment point, please consult a contractor.

It is advisable to raise your ropes out of the reach or path of other students or activities whenever they are not in use, so please select your training area accordingly. It is also recommended to hang climbing ropes no further than the rope’s length away from the wall. This will allow a pulley installed high on the wall to raise the rope out of the way. Both of these can be accomplished with a rope hoist or lock box.

The L-1 quick link carabiner comes standard with all manila rope orders. We offer several different hardware attachment options: I-Beam Clamp, Wood Beam Clamp and Pipe Clamp, all of which can be found by clicking here.

It is advisable to hang ropes far enough away from the wall so that the wall itself or objects on the wall can not interfere or injure a climber by impairing proper spotting and supervision. You will need to install mats under and around the climbing area and a thick landing mat directly under climbing rope for safety purposes. At no time should manila climbing ropes be left out of doors.

A look at several of our rope climbing attachment hardware options: Pipe clamp hanger, i-beam clamp and wood beam hanger. For more details on each one, please visit this page.

All poly-plus outdoor ropes come with a chain sling attachment to facilitate installation. To hang outdoor climbing ropes please follow similar a protocol, making sure your attachment point can support and exceed any load placed on the rope. The primary attachment hardware for outdoor climbing ropes is a “chain sling.” You can find more information about the chain sling on the Outdoor Climbing Ropes page. Regardless of where or how you choose to hang your ropes, it is advisable to consult a contractor to find the best options and considerations.

Question: “Can I get a custom manila climbing rope length?”
Answer:
Absolutely, we will be happy to sell manila climbing ropes “by the foot.” Our fabricator can do any custom length that you need besides the standard lengths that are listed on the website. Keep in mind that climbing ropes that are less than 15 feet in length will be charged at the 15-foot rope price — our ropes are all hand made and most of the cost of the rope goes into labor, which is the same regardless of length. Custom ropes will require additional lead time as well as a custom shipping quote adjusted for the total order weight. If you require a rope in a size other than those listed, please give us a call at 1-800-978-0206 to get the ball rolling.

Question: “Can I purchase the rope attachment clamp separately?”
Answer:

We get a lot of interest from folks looking to purchase the climbing rope attachment clamp separately. The answer to that is “you sure can.” Please use the order button below:

Please Note: By purchasing this item you are agreeing to take full responsibility for your health and well-being. The rope clamp will already be attached to a 3-foot “short rope” length of manila climbing rope when shipped. Removing the rope clamp from original fittings and/or reattaching the rope clamp to another rope will void all warranties. Reattachment will require special tools. FHS, its representatives and manufacturers will not and cannot be held responsible for anything that occurs as a result of tampering or misuse of this item.

Question: “What are the differences between the outdoor and indoor climbing ropes?”
Answer:
Indoor climbing Ropes: Our indoor manila climbing ropes are made of 3-strand, pure “Grade A” manila, a natural fiber which is extremely strong and durable. The attachment fitting for the indoor rope consists of a specially designed steel eye fitting making installation to your ceiling attachment simple, safe and secure.

To prevent unraveling, the end of our indoor ropes are first “whipped” with a smaller length of cord and then fitted with a “polyboot.” These manila ropes are the climbing ropes of choice for many schools, sports teams and training programs all over the country and the world as they offer a superior workout experience in a minimum of space.

Our most popular length of indoor manila climbing ropes is 15 feet but we can do any length you need.

Outdoor Climbing Ropes: The biggest difference between the indoor climbing ropes and outdoor climbing ropes has to to with the material they are composed of. In order to better deal with the elements, specifically moisture, our outdoor climbing ropes are composed of “poly-plus” a lightweight quality polyester dacron blend which was selected specifically for its excellent moisture and UV ray resistance. Poly-plus is both lighter and stronger than manila and has a soft feel that is very similar to cotton.

The attachment point for the outdoor ropes has a galvanized metal eye thimble to minimize friction with the rope material and hardware during use. Each outdoor climbing rope comes with a “chain sling” which provides an easy instillation option. The bottom of each outdoor rope is braided to deter unraveling. Outdoor ropes are available in any length with our most popular being 15 feet.
Question: “What can you recommend if I want use a rope for pulling or dragging weights?”
Answer:

We highly recommend ordering your rope with a slightly different design than the standard climbing ropes. For pulling or dragging, we have a specially designed spliced metal “thimble” instead of the traditional indoor rope attachment clamp.

During use, the galvanized thimble will minimize friction on the rope material itself which will dramatically extend the life of your rope. The thimble also makes for a very easy way to attach the rope to a pulling sled or vehicle, etc. Additionally, “thimbled” ropes can also be hung in the traditional manner for climbing. Please call for pricing and shipping options.

Question: “Can I get knots in my climbing ropes?”
Answer:
Rope Knot Option #1: Monkey Paw
The “monkey paw” is a woven knot of smaller cord that is spliced into the rope material to provide a larger gripping surface while ascending and a resting spot while descending. Monkey Paws are $10 each.
Rope Knot Option #2: Big Knot
A large knot (or knots) tied directly into rope itself forming platforms for assistance in climbing. ‘Big knots’ are $10 each.
Rope Knot Option #3: Ball Stop
Ball Stops are attached Rubber balls which are bolted into the rope and provide assistance for intermediate climbing rope participants.

Recommended for athletes up to 120 lbs. Ball stops are $18 each.

Yes, you can! We offer three distinct knot options: Monkey Paws, Big Knots and Ball Stops, with each one offering a little something different due to their design and structure. More details on each option are provided at the right.

Due to the custom nature of knot placement, you will have to place your order by phone if you are interested in adding knots to your rope. Please give us a call at 1-800-979-0206 and one of our representatives will be happy to walk you through the process.

When placing your order, you will need to provide:

1.) the type of knot you would like
2.) how many knots you would like
3.) the specific location of each knot

Monkey Paws and Big Knots are available with both indoor manila and outdoor poly-plus ropes. Including knots will not shorten the stated length of your chosen rope. So for example, a 15 foot rope with four added big knots will be 15 feet in length after the knots are placed.

Another option for the rope end is a “turks head knot” (a large know which finishes the rope) as a substitute for the usual polyboot (in the case of the manila rope,) or braided-back (in the case of the poly-plus rope) finish. Please be sure to mention this if you would like this option. Please note: turk knots can only go at the end of the rope.

Question: “How is your manila climbing rope different than the manila rope that I can find much cheaper at the hardware store?”
Answer:
The most important difference is the quality of the Manila used in the ropes. This is measured by something called a Becker Value scale which takes into account the color, consistency and overall performance of the manila during use.

The reason that the manila you see in the hardware store and elsewhere is so much cheaper is that it is much lower in quality. This is also why you tend to get rope splinters if you decide to go that route. Ouch. The Becker Value listed on the cheap stuff is 36 – good for towing tugboats and such, but bad for climbing. On the other hand, our manila ropes feature a Becker Value of 40, the absolute highest quality available. You simply cannot do any better. Also, another important distinction is the attachment hardware. The majority of the list “price” of our climbing ropes is due to the proper installation of the rope clamp attachment hardware which has to be done by a trained professional. This steel clamp is attached to the rope with a hydraulic press, drilled, tapped and welded into place for the best value in terms of functionality as well as safety.

Question: “What are the different diameters of rope that you have available?”
Answer:
We have two standard diameters for our climbing ropes: the traditional 1½-inch diameter and 2-inch which is popular with the military and law enforcement. We would strongly recommend starting with the 1½-inch diameter climbing rope unless you fully understand how difficult the 2-inch climbing rope is.
Question: “How much padding should be under the rope?”
Answer:
Safety should always be a priority and a good rule of thumb to use is to have six inches of padding for every ten feet of climbing height. Obviously the more padding the better as you want to observe the proper training precautions at all times. You may refer to the following illustration to get a better idea of what an ideal setup for indoor climbing might look like but please check with your local officials for any and all official setup and safety guidelines.
Question: “Can I use ropes for any other exercises besides climbing?”
Answer:

Despite their simplicity, ropes are an extremely versatile training tool and climbing is only one of the many ways to use them for physical fitness. Rope training can be divided into four distinct areas:

1. Climbing – pretty self explanatory

2. Static work – usually performed when an attachment point is too low to allow for climbing, these are exercises such as pullups, “laybacks” and hanging leg raises

3. Dynamic work – exercises performed by hooking the rope to an apparatus such as an overhead pulley

4. Pulling and dragging – performed by attaching the rope to a movable weight, usually a sled or vehicle

We hope to have a full rope training course which will cover each area in much greater detail ready shortly.

Question: “Do climbing ropes require any maintenance?”
Answer:
Climbing ropes are very durable and will stand up to rugged use. How long your ropes will last before replacement is necessary depends on a variety of factors such as the frequency and duration of use, the number of athletes who climb it on a regular basis, whether shoes are worn by climbers, etc.. Some programs use one or two ropes, others use four or more. Due to frequent use, high traffic on a single rope may necessitate sooner replacement. Also, upper grade level and team use will facilitate wear, particularly on the bottom half of the rope.

Rope knots placed on the rope for climbing assistance will facilitate wear due to increased friction points while climbing. Please note: manila ropes can be susceptible to mildew and “dry rot” in humid environments. Please inspect periodically and replace if defective. Never allow ropes to rub against other objects. Climbing ropes are relatively inexpensive and other than avoiding these conditions, one should expect to replace climbing ropes periodically under heavy use. Hardware and rope inspection should take place before and after each use.
Question: “Can I get a rope shorter than 15 feet or longer than 24 feet?”
Answer:

Brooks Kubik, training with
ropes in his garage gym
Yes, we can do any length of rope that you are looking for — keep in mind there are many different ways to train with a rope aside climbing. Brooks Kubik, for example, trains in his garage gym (which does not have very high ceilings) and ordered two 8-foot ropes for the purpose of performing various pullups and abdominal work.

You can see Brooks (and his ropes) in action in his “Ropes and Rings” training DVD. Please keep in mind that, as per our manufacturer’s guidelines, any rope that is shorter than 15 feet will still be charged at the 15-foot price.
Question: “Can you tell me how to hang a climbing rope in a tree in my back yard?”
Answer:
Since every situation involves many different variables, we are not able to provide any specific suggestions for hanging climbing ropes in trees. If you choose to do so, please seek the advice of a contractor and observe all safely precautions for yourself (as well as for the tree.)
Question: “Is it possible to get a climbing rope that is thicker than 2 inches in diameter?”
Answer:
Of all the climbing rope options and styles that we offer, this is one of the few that we will not be able to fulfill for you. A 1½-inch diameter rope is generally challenging enough by itself to climb and the 2-inch thick ropes are not easy to climb even for trained professionals. A rope that is thicker than two inches will not be necessary and/or will be too difficult to use for training purposes, hence the reason we do not offer them.
Question: “I live in an apartment and have no place to hang a climbing rope, is there anything I can do to still get the benefits of rope climbing?”
Answer:
The biggest challenge for most people who want to climb ropes is that they simply have no place to hang a climbing rope. While it is not the perfect substitute, we do offer this alternative.
Question: “How far apart should I get knots put in the rope?”
Answer:
The number and location of knots are purely a personal preference. The more knots that a rope has, the easier it will be to climb. Our recommendation as far as knots is to place them no closer than 18 inches apart. We generally advise placing the first knot approximately three feet from the floor and the last knot approximately five feet from the top of the rope. Due to this custom nature, your order will need to be taken manually by phone so please give us a call at 1-800-978-0206. When placing your order, our operator will walk you step-by-step through knot placement and other important details.
Question: “How much rope should be on the floor?”
Answer:
For safety and ease of spotting by your spotter, we recommend leaving 3-4 feet of rope slack on the floor. Please add this to your total rope length when deciding what length rope to order.
Question: “How are the lengths of the climbing ropes measured?”
Answer:
This is a very common question. The climbing rope lengths listed represent the measurement extending from the top of the steel clamp (not including the attachment carabiner) to the very bottom of the rubber polyboot. This represents the actual footage of rope used in the construction of the climbing rope. Keep in mind that rope length may change slightly over time with heavy use.
Question: “Can you tell me about hanging two or more climbing ropes side by side?”
Answer:

One climbing rope is certainly more than sufficient to provide a great workout, but having an additional rope (or ropes) available can provide benefits well beyond “traditional” climbing. Two ropes hung a few feet apart affords a climber many new training options.

For example, with two ropes, it is easier for a climber to perform hanging leg raises and other abdominal exercises. Also, climbing two ropes simultaneously (i.e. one rope in each hand) is a unique and very effective method of building climbing strength. It is also often written that performing chinups on two climbing ropes is superior to a straight bar since the neutral hand placement and the maneuverability of each rope itself allows the body to move in a more natural manner. Many turn of the century gyms often featured a row of climbing ropes for precisely this reason.

The image on the right, taken from a training course written in 1913, shows another unique exercise that can be done with two climbing ropes. So, an additional climbing rope may be something to consider if you are looking for a new climbing challenge.

A closer look at an outdoor climbing rope thimble – you can swing away on this rope since all the friction will be on the steel and not the rope fiber.
Question: “Can I use climbing ropes for swinging?”
Answer:
Our “standard” indoor manila climbing ropes are not designed or warrantied for swinging. If you want to do any swinging, your rope should have a “thimble” so that any friction created through swinging is directed towards the steel fitting and not on the rope fiber itself. Thimbles are available for manila and poly-plus ropes. Please contact us to find out more options.
Question: “What is the expected turn around time for rope orders?”
Answer:
All of our ropes are crafted one at a time by hand and are made to order, so there is an expected (albeit brief, all things considered) turnaround time on all rope orders. We place your order with our rope manufacturer immediately after we receive it from our online shopping cart, and estimate a turnaround time of 7-10 business days.

Highly specialized rope orders, such as those involving woven knots or unconventional lengths, etc., may take slightly longer to produce. Our rope manufacturer is very reliable about completing orders in a timely fashion, which is one of the reasons we proudly work with them. The other main reason? They simply make the best climbing ropes available.

We make every effort to get your rope order to you in the quickest manner possible. Please note that there is a 7-10 business day expected lead time to all rope orders. Business days do not include weekends or major holidays. So, for example, a rope ordered on the “1st” according to the above calendar should be expected to arrive on or before the 12th (at the very latest). Please allow at least three additional days for west coast orders. “Expected shipping times” as posted include the time to create the rope as well as the time in transit — please plan accordingly.

Exceptionally large orders or international orders may also require additional lead time and we will be in contact if that is the case.
Question: “Do you accept purchase orders?”
Answer:
You bet we do! We proudly accept purchase orders from schools, military bases and other government institutions. Please give us a quick call and we will be happy to walk you through the process. Additionally, there is no tax on orders for government institutions or orders shipped outside the state of Michigan.

Question: “Do you carry tug-of-war ropes?”
Answer:
Yes we do, we absolutely carry tug of war ropes in both 1½-inch and 2-inch diameters. Please let us know what length you might be interested in and whether you require anchor loops on either end.
Question: “Do you offer cargo nets?”
Answer:

Cargo nets are very popular for military bases, adventure races and obstacle courses and we can definitely do any type of cargo net that you might be looking for. Cargo nets are available for indoor and outdoor use based on the type of material they are composed of.

Please let us know your a) choice of material, b) preferred diameter of material and c) mesh size. Additionally, cargo nets often require custom dimensions based on your course. Please contact us with the specifics of your course and your preferences, and we will let you know how to proceed.

Question: “Can I get rope for decorative purposes?”
Answer:

You would be VERY surprised at how often someone contacts us looking for ropes to use for various decorative purposes: garden walkways, docks, handrails, tree houses etc. We’ve even had set directors contact us looking for rope to use for props in plays and productions.

You bet we can sell rope by the foot. There are several material options to choose from. Decorative ropes generally do not come with any fittings but we can discuss your options once you contact us and describe the details of your project. Drop us a line and let us know what you need and we’ll be happy to help any way we can.

Question: “What is the weight capacity of your climbing ropes?”
Answer:
The tensile (breaking) strength of the material used for our climbing ropes is as follows: 1.5-inch Diameter Manila: 16650 lbs., 2-inch Diameter Manila: 27900 lbs., 1.5-inch Diameter Polyplus: 31300 and 2-inch Diameter polyplus 46000 lbs. Safe working load is understood to be 20% of the tensile strength of any rope in good condition. The attachment clamp on the indoor ropes is rated to 6000 lbs. and the L-1 Link is rated to 3300 lbs.
Question: “Can I get an “indoor” style rope made out of poly-plus material?”
Answer:
Yes, that is an option that we can provide. Contact us for specifics.
Question: “Do you offer battling ropes?”
Answer:
Battling ropes have taken the training world by storm and you can often see athletes using them in top college programs or on television. We offer battling ropes in standard 50-foot and 100-foot lengths and in 1½-inch and 2-inch diameters. As far as material, we can do battling ropes in manila or poly-plus (which is more expensive, but less likely to shed.)
Question: “Do you ship your ropes internationally?”
Answer:
We sure do! We have shipped our climbing ropes to dozens of countries all over the world. The shipping costs depend on total order weight and are calculated differently for every country, so please contact us with a list of what you would like to order and your shipping address and we will be happy to give you a quote. Another option for international rope orders is to APO/FPO locations – you bet we proudly ship our ropes to the men and women of our military throughout the world. There are a few things to keep in mind with APO/FPO order. Again, please contact us and we will be happy to fill you in on everything you need to know to complete your order.

Climbing Rope Accessories and Attachment Hardware

Rope Climbing Accessories and Attachment Hardware
If you want to climb ropes, you are going to have
to safely and efficiently attach your rope overhead.
We provide several options to address just about any situation that you might be faced with. No matter which attachment option you go with, always follow the proper safety procedures and no matter how you attach your rope, always make sure that it is secure before each and every climbing session. We welcome any questions you might have on any of these rope attachment options.

Rope Attachment Hardware Option A: Adjustable I-Beam Clamp

Adjustable I-Beam Clamp
______ $99.99 + s/h
The versatile, all-steel, adjustable I-beam clamp attachment hardware comes complete with two 2-3/4-inch wide jaws and 1/2-inch threaded rod with self-locking “lock tite” nuts. The adjustable I-Beam clamp will fit beams with 3-1/2-inch to 12-inch wide flanges. There is also a 1/2-inch flange thickness max with the clamp shown here. Please call for wider or thicker special flange requirements.

NOTE: The adjustable I-Beam Clamp is designed for indoor use only. The Adjustable I-Beam Clamp will fit but does not include the L-1 link, however, the L-1 Link does come with all Manila Rope purchases.

Rope Attachment Hardware Option B: Wood Beam Hanger

Wood Beam Hanger

Wood Beam Hanger
______ $79.99 + s/h
The Wood Beam Hanger is an industrial grade heavy-duty steel “L” attachment made to fit on secure wooden surfaces such as wooden overhead beams and walls. The Wood Beam Hanger has two bolt attachment holes on the side and one on the bottom (bolts are not included).

NOTE: The Wood Beam Hanger is designed for indoor use only. This option fits but does not include the L-1 link, however, the L-1 Link comes with all Manila Rope purchases.

Rope Attachment Hardware Option C: Pipe Clamp Hanger

Pipe Clamp Hanger
______ $79.99 + s/h
The pipe clamp hanger is composed of two solid steel halves which can be adjoined together onto any 3-1/2-inch outside diameter pipe via threaded bolts and lock washers (which are included).

NOTE: The Pipe Clamp Hanger is designed for indoor use only. The Pipe Clamp Hanger can use but does not include the L-1 link. The L-1 Link, however, is included with all Manila indoor climbing rope orders.

L1 Link Rope Attachment Hardware
L-1 Quick Link

The 1/2-inch zinc-plated L-1 quick link (shown here roughly life-size) is used for a solid attachment from ceiling hardware to climbing rope. The L-1 Link comes standard with all manila indoor climbing rope orders and can be used with options A, B, or C.


L-1 Quick Link
______ $9.99 + s/h

Indoor Climbing Rope Accessory: Climbing Rope Tambourine

Rope Climbing Tambourine
______ $59.99 + s/h
The tambourine is traditionally the “finish line” in competitive climbing but can also be used to prevent climbers from climbing above a certain height or interacting with the attachment hardware. This 20″ diameter, 1/2-inch thick plywood tambourine comes complete with fitting clamp for easy installation and height adjustment. The 2″ diameter center hole allows the tambourine to be slid up any 1-1/2-inch diameter climbing rope with an unknotted end or over a climbing rope top fitting. Many uses include limiting climbing heights for age, skill, and testing concerns. Popular in facilities with high ceilings and also preventing climbers from reaching attachment hardware.

NOTE: climbing tambourines cannot be used with 2″ diameter ropes, or with outdoor (Polyplus) ropes.

Indoor Climbing Rope Accessory: Climbing Rope Hoist

Climbing Rope Hoist
______ $99.99 + s/h
The “Rope Hoist” allows you to raise climbing ropes to wall or ceiling after use for easy storage and greatly reduces the possibility of misuse or unsupervised climbing. The rope hoist includes two wall brackets and 60 feet of cordage with a weighted end. The rope hoist can hold up to two ropes total.

NOTE: We also have an option (not shown) which includes a “lock box” in order to prevent unauthorized access to the ropes. Please inquire about this option if interested.

Polyplus Outdoor Climbing Ropes

“Outdoor Climbing Ropes are Here!”
Now You Can Climb in the Fresh Air and Sunshine
with Your Brand New Outdoor Rope

Thanks in large part to Brooks Kubik’s Dinosaur Bodyweight Training Course (which features top-quality manila climbing ropes from www.functionalhandstrength.com) training involving climbing ropes is now more popular than ever… Even more popular than when Dudley Allen Sargent was appointed the head of Hemenway Gymnasium at Harvard U. back in the late 1800’s. Sargent created what was probably the finest physical training facility, the likes of which has never been seen before or since. Imagine an indoor gym the size of three football fields outfitted with climbing ropes, still rings, Indian clubs, rope ladders, boxing rings, and much more.

Anyhow, these days a whole new generation of primates-in-training are ready to leave solid ground behind and build a “Gorilla Grip” and powerful, functional full-body strength with an “anti-gravity” training program filled with rope climbing, rope swinging, timed hangs, arm-over-arm movements, and more.

The big problem, however, is that there just aren’t any good places to hang a rope inside most homes…

Polyplus Climbing Rope1-1/2″ Polyplus Climbing Rope

Chain Sling Attachment

Polyplus Climbing Rope Braided Rope EndBraided Rope End

But what you might have is a perfect spot outside somewhere or you may even build a freestanding climbing tower like Jiujitsu Champ Steve Maxwell… Although now you have another problem: manila and the elements don’t get along very well. You see, when manila gets wet, it is susceptible to rot, mildew and rope splinters (which you don’t even want to think about getting in your hand.) Not to mention that when manila does start to rot, it does so from the inside out – while a rope may look perfectly fine, you don’t want it to “let you down” in any sense.

In plain English, while our indoor manila climbing ropes are a really fantastic piece of equipment, they are NOT meant for outdoor use, neither the material nor the attachment hardware will function properly if left outside in the elements for long periods.

The solution, is to get one of our Synthetic Polyplus Outdoor Climbing Ropes which are ready to battle the elements and have you swinging from tree to tree like Tarzan in no time flat.

You see, we’ve had synthetic outdoor ropes available since the very beginning but just hadn’t gotten around to putting a full product page together. Well all of a sudden, more and more people kept asking about them until finally we were in the middle of a full-scale rope-climbing riot. Now for your training pleasure we feature a detailed introductory page laying out everything you need to know about our synthetic climbing ropes from A-Z.

Material:

Polyplus ropes are made of a lightweight, synthetic core with a soft and durable polyester outside jacket. This material was chosen specifically for its excellent moisture and UV ray resistant properties. This type of rope is the choice of most adventure rope course programs due to its tremendous durability and dependability in harsh conditions. These synthetic ropes will not develop “rope splinters” like manila when they are left out in the elements.

This material looks and feels similar to cotton or dacron, but don’t let the soft touch fool you, you need a rope as tough as you are and this is it. Further, as the rope gets used, it will get tufted and easier to climb. As it wears and gets more textured, it will offer a firmer grip.

Polyplus Climbing Rope vs. Manila Climbing Rope

Attachment Loop:

One of the main differences between outdoor and indoor ropes is the attachment mechanism. Unlike our manila indoor ropes which feature a steel clamp with a welded loop, the attachment mechanism on these Polyplus Outdoor Climbing Ropes are woven directly into the rope itself via a galvanized steel eye “thimble.” This feature provides the absolute best in terms of security and durability. As a further benefit, if you should decide to swing at all on outdoor rope (as they are often used in outdoor rope courses) or use the rope for pulling or dragging, there is little or no actual wear and tear on the rope material since the steel thimble takes the brunt of the friction and not the rope material itself.

One of the biggest advantages to purchasing an institutional grade climbing rope is having the reassurance that it was cut, fastened, and assembled by a trained expert who knows what they are doing so that you get the maximum possible benefits (not to mention safety) out of your rope when it is in use.

With ropes, especially those purchased from elsewhere, there is a significant likelihood that it will unravel during heavy use if it is not fastened correctly. Duct tape can only go so far before you have a major problem on your hands.

Have no fear, our Polyplus Outdoor Climbing Ropes are all hand-braided one at a time by our master ropesmith.

Attachment Hardware:

In order to hang your outdoor rope in the most effective manner, we recommend a galvanized “chain sling” attachment system which provides a very efficient method of attaching or detaching your rope. A chain sling is included with each Polyplus Outdoor Climbing Rope order.

Available Lengths:

Just like our indoor manila climbing ropes, our standard lengths for outdoor polyplus ropes are 15, 18, 20, 22, and 24 feet. We can also cut them to any length you need, so email if you desire a custom length.

Get your outdoor rope now and get climbin’!

Train hard,
John Wood signature
John Wood

Polyplus Outdoor Climbing Ropes + Chain Sling – Starting at $184.99 + S&H

order here

Another Option to Consider:

On occasion, we get a request to do a rope with an indoor fitting but made of poly-plus outdoor rope material. Yes, we can absolutely make it happen. If you are interested in a rope like this,  please contact us for details.

“Indoor” Polyplus Climbing Rope

Please note: for all Rope orders there is a 10-14 business day lead time as these ropes are manufactured one at a time by hand. Please note that custom ropes (those that include knots, custom lengths, etc.) will require a lead time of 24 business days. Please plan accordingly.We will not accept returns on custom rope orders. Please ensure we have all of the specifications for your rope before placing the order.

Some Things to Consider When Ordering Ropes:
  • Manila Climbing Ropes are designed to be stored indoors. If you are looking for a rope that you can leave outside in the snow and rain, we recommend going with our PolyPlus Outdoor Climbing Rope. It is specifically built to withstand the elements and will last much longer if left outside.
  • Unless you are an experienced climber who is familiar with the increased difficulty level offered by 2-inch diameter climbing ropes, we STRONGLY recommend that you order our 1.5-inch diameter rope. 1.5″ is widely considered the standard diameter for climbing ropes and will provide more than enough challenge for any athlete.
  • Other than our five standard manila rope lengths, we have other custom options available. These include longer lengths, thicker ropes, different kinds of materials, attachment hardware, rest knots, etc. We also have tug-of-war ropes available. Please note that custom ropes will require a lead time of 24 business days, so plan accordingly. If you are interested in any custom options, please contact us for details.
  • Custom rope orders must be paid IN FULL before we will place the order. NO EXCEPTIONS!

All of Our Ropes are
Proudly Made in the U.S.A.

 

Please note: Safe climbing area and soft landing surface is required under all climbing equipment. The use of outdoor climbing ropes and/or rope course activities has inherent risk. Climbing to unsafe heights where a fall will cause serious injury or even death requires professional use and training of belaying equipment. Installation, use and inspection must be made by qualified parties. It is the responsibility of the owner or manager of the program to receive and maintain professional training and upkeep on the safe operation of their activities and equipment. Rope has a limited lifetime affected by varying outdoor environmental factors and various degrees of usage. Inspect frequently and replace regularly. Discard used rope to avoid misuse.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Swinging on a rope requires special attention. A smooth, soft,  obstacle free area must be provided. Attach only to framework that exceeds any weight applied to rope. Proper inspection and maintenance of equipment, framework, attachment hardware and surface under equipment must be made before and after each use. Replace rope and/or hardware at any signs of wear. Never allow more than one climber on rope at a time.

Hand and Grip Strength Products

Hand and Grip Strength Products

JOIN THE IRON LEAGUE! …Some have called it “The Iron Game Library of Congress” which is a very good way to put it, and it is our goal to create our own “place” …where everyone speaks a common language… and can ‘talk shop’ on what works and what doesn’t in the world of serious training. You’ll find material from the Golden Age of Bodybuilding, Grip Training, Steel Bending, Olympic Weight-Lifting, Powerlifting, Gymnastics, Boxing, Wrestling, Conditioning workouts and just about any other training topic you can think of. More info…

NEW! Joe Kinney’s Little Monster Gripper

Recently, Joe Kinney came across another source of springs, springs that are slightly smaller than the ones used for the Monster Gripper but still very formidable. For those seeking another unique training tool for building super human crushing strength, Joe dubbed his new gripper “The Little Monster” and it sits roughly half way between the Iron Mind #4 gripper and the Monster Gripper. More info…


NEW! FHS Pulling Rope

When you are around strength training as much as I am, sometimes it’s easy to overlook some good ideas… The good news is that they eventually seem to come back around. Let me give you a great example: A little while back, the idea popped into my head that I should take a harder look at sled pulling. Don’t ask me where the idea came from, I sure couldn’t tell you, but the more I thought about it, the more I liked it. More info…


E-Books

Kindle e-books We feature several of our titles on the E-Book/Kindle Format. We have posted all our e-book titles on this page for quick and easy viewing. New titles will be appearing often. More info…


Get a Grip! With Joe Kinney

In this groundbreaking DVD, you can see the original “Get a Grip!” video, put together by the first man to close the IronMind #4 Gripper, Mr. Joe Kinney. You’ll learn all about his training equipment, his workout ideas and more importantly: his results.

Includes the only footage of the #4 gripper ever closed on film plus over TWO HOURS of additional material, shot in the summer of 2009, where Joe Kinney revisits his training and offers insight and instruction not found in the original video. More info…


Gift Cards

Gift Cards

Can’t think of the perfect gift? Give the gift of strength with a Functional Hand Strength Gift Card. Available in $30, $50, and $100 denominations, they are the perfect gift for trainers, athletes, musicians, or anyone who wants to gain some serious strength.These gift cards can be used on any of our websites. More info…


Ironmind Hand Grippers

Iron Mind Captains of Crush Hand Grippers

The gripper that changed the world! You will feel the difference quality makes when you train on the original Iron Mind Captain of Crush Grippers. It was Iron Mind that put hand grippers back on the map in the late 1980s. Even today with a whole slew of imitators, the Captains of Crush Grippers stand alone as the highest-quality grip tool you will find and the undefeated leader in the field of hand strength development.

Now available in ELEVEN strengths! Do YOU have what it takes to reach the top of the mountain? More info…


Top Quality Manila Climbing Ropes

Rope climbing is one of the very best exercises for serious athletes. If you are looking for a single exercise that will increase your grip strength and train every other muscle in your entire body, rope climbing is it. Our high-quality manila gym climbing ropes are made of the finest quality 3-strand grade-A manila and come with a steel clamp on one end for easy installation and removal. The other end of the rope is covered by a polyboot to prevent unraveling and promote durability during heavy use. More info…

Outdoor Climbing Ropes

Polyplus Outdoor Climbing Ropes

Our Synthetic Polyplus Outdoor Climbing Ropes are ready to battle the elements and have you swinging from tree to tree like Tarzan in no time flat. Choose these synthetic climbing ropes if you plan to do any outside climbing. More info…


Gorilla

2-Inch Thick Climbing Ropes

Want to be stronger than King Kong? — I’m sure everyone would agree that rope climbing is a serious workout… There’s no other exercise quite like rope climbing for building a “gorilla grip” and a sturdy back. Our traditional 1.5-inch diameter climbing ropes provide a number of interesting exercises for any routine….but more and more athletes have been clamoring for a new rope climbing challenge and so here it is: More Info…


Old School Arm Wrestling

How to Be a Champion by Ernie Jeffrey

If you want to learn what it takes to be a Champion Armwrestler, Ernie Jeffrey can show you…he coached some of the best in the game and put his theories down on paper. One of our scouts found a few mint copies of his incredibly rare training book published in 1977, so grab your copy now and become a real “terror” at the table. Arm wrestling rules and techniques have evolved over the years, but the need to build strength and power haven’t changed since the beginning… More Info…


You will find very little, if any, modern sources on hand-balancing available anywhere…until NOW that is. Thanks to strength author, historian, and publisher Bill Hinbern, the lost art of hand-balancing lives again… This training guide provides dozens of interesting techniques and supplementary exercises to get you hand-balancing like a champ in no time. More Info…


Dr. Ken’s Original Log Bar Trainer

Years ago, Dr. Ken Leistner trained with a unique parallel grip bar that Arthur Jones devised at the old Nautilus plant in Deland, Florida. Dr. Ken experienced tremendous results with this bar and a few years later had his own version made up. Now you can train with the very Log Bar made to Dr. Ken’s exact specs. Perfect for overhead pressing, rows, bench pressing and hammer curls, this Log Bar comes with a complimentary Log Bar training booklet written by Dr. Ken himself and is ONLY available at FHS. More Info…


The Log Bar Training Guide

The Log Bar Training Guide

The first and only training guide specifically written for parallel-handle Log Bar training. This 8.5″ x 11″ 55-page training guide includes material by John Wood, Dr. Ken Leistner, Pat Povilaitis (who wrote on log bar training for strone lifting), and a special overhead pressing program from Brooks Kubik. It also features just about everything you would ever want to know about how to use the Log Bar for the best results. More Info…


Climbing Rope Accessories and Attachment Hardware

If you’re setting up a climbing rope, you are going to need the right hardware to safely and efficiently attach it somewhere. We provide several options to handle a variety of installation needs, including I-Beam clamps, Wood Beam hangers, and Pipe Clamp hangers.

All manila rope orders come with the L-1 link (pictured at left) which will help you connect your rope to your specific type of attachment hardware.We also offer several custom options for your rope, such as various types of knots (monkey paw, “big knot,” and ball stop), a “rope hoist,” and the highly practical “tambourine.” More Info…


FHS Short Rope

FHS Custom Short Rope

…well this got us to thinkin’ – how about if we combined the great hand strength benefits of climbing ropes with something portable enough to be used just about anywhere and by just about anyone? The result was the FHS CUSTOM SHORT ROPE.This custom piece is one of our classic three strand manila ropes cut down to a much more manageable length.

These ropes feature all of the great components which make them the best ropes out there except that they are only three feet in length! Perfect for carrying in a gym bag. More Info…


Finger Fitness Guide Book and Instructional DVD

Finger Fitness Guide Book and Instructional DVD

The Finger Fitness Program has been in development for over 20 years and originally began as a small booklet. Over the years, it has grown and grown until now it incorporates an 80 page instructional manual as well as a 63 minute step-by-step demonstrational DVD. More Info…


Finger Fitness Guide Book and Instructional DVD

ADVANCED Finger Fitness DVD

The new ADVANCED Finger Fitness program provides 15 exercises which are level coded from 1 to 5 for ease of use. These exercises are ideal for use as warmups or short breaks in the workplace to enhance and maintain flexibility and dexterity. More Info…


Dinosaur Training by Brooks Kubik

If you are sick and tired of screwin’ around with garbage training information then Dinosaur Training is the book you have been searching for!Dinosaur Training features in-depth training information on: Sand Bags, Barrel Lifting, Power Rack Training, Thick Bars, Heavy Grip Work, Tendon and Ligament Training, Effort, Dedication, Perseverance, Concentration, Determination, Mental Toughness and much more. More info…


The Official Functional Hand Strength Logo T-Shirt

What does “The Human Vise” Pat Povilaitis wear when he performs his extreme strength feats? Camo pants, lifting shoes and the Official Functional Hand Strength Logo T-Shirt of course!This high quality 50/50 Cotton-Polyester blend is the coolest t-Shirt on the Net. Our logo is featured on the front and back along with our motto: “Earn it.” Available only in kick a$$ black. Sizes: Medium, Large, XL, XXL, XXXL. More Info…

Reading List

Reading List From time to time, we come across books and other resources that we really enjoy but that we don’t actually carry — in case you are looking for something new and interesting to add to your reading list, check these out: More info…