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Climbing Hold Proficiency Test

Climbing Hold Proficiency Test

This is a basic proficiency test that will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses. Recognizing the types of climbing holds that you are proficient in vs. the climbing holds that you need to work on will help you decide were to focus more training on to help you become a better overall climber. 

Due to the number of climbing hold types, it may be a good idea to split the test between two or three training sessions so that you have full strength for each test so you have a more accurate idea of the type of climbing holds you need to work on.

What You’ll Need:

  • A climbing gym that matches whatever climbing you do (aka bouldering vs sports climbing, etc.)
  • A print out of the rating table below
  • Timer (Optional)

A printable version of the table can be found here.


  1. At the climbing gym, identify climbs with the majority of climbing holds that you want to focus on for the test. If climbs have one or two holds that are different than your focus, that is fine. However, if there is more variety than that, then find an area with many of the holds you are focusing on and make your own route/problem with just those holds.
  2. Set your timer (or have a friend time it for you) for two minutes 
  3. Climb the route up and down as many times as you can for two minutes while taking a personal mental-note of the difficulty in technique for each of the climbing holds
  4. After two minutes, rate yourself on a scale of 1-5 with 5 being expert and record it on the table provided below
  5. Break for 5-7 minutes between each test to recover and be at full strength before the next test
  6. If you become increasingly tired and are unable to recover quickly or feel strain on any tendons, stop. This test can be broken between multiple climbing sessions if needed.
  7. Repeat this test on a monthly basis to identify improvement and continued struggles or weaknesses.

Climbing Hold Proficiency Test Table

Rate each climbing hold from 1-5 (5 being expert)

Hold Type12345
Incuts/Mini Jugs
Side Pulls
Climbing Volumes

Printable Version of the table can be found here.