Bouldering Volume on Mini Moonboard

Hey y’all,

I recently built a mini moonboard to supplement days I can’t get outside. It’s great for hard efforts but trickier for volume-based training.

One of the sessions I’m playing with is a bouldering “pyramid” (from PCC plans) where I climb ~13 problems total, resting 2 min between problems. The goal is to build capacity/stamina. When I’ve done this in a commercial gym I’ve felt a distinct “deep tired” feeling by the end. With the mini, I still feel pretty fresh. I think this is because the problems are so short (~3-7 moves, ~10-15 sec).

Ordinarily, I’d just increase the difficulty of the problems but the shortness of the problems is a confusing variable. Instead, I’m considering setting longer problems (a bit tricky on a mini) or doing more problems (e.g. doubles on the 2 min, more pyramids).

My goals are in bouldering.

Anyway, I’m curious to hear folks’ perspective on this specific session and also any general experiences doing volume-based training on a small board.


I recently built a spray board in my garage and was noticing the same thing in my sessions when training for pump endurance. I started just doing the problems twice w/o rest then the proscribed rest after. So I guess the “doubles on the 2mins” concept you mentioned in your comment.

I was able to feel a similar feeling on my home board by doing the climbs twice in a row without rest. You may have to bump the difficulty down though to get through it on the Moonboard depending on the grades in your gym. My gym’s grades are way soft when compared to the Moon scale.

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I’d invest in some holds for the spare spots on the board that are more conducive to volume based climbing- there are loads of good, small footprint mini buckets/good enough holds at 40° you can get to supplement the moon setup. If I remember correctly assuming the moon grid and lights, you could still double your hold count- basically have a whole other boards worth for volume climbing.

I seem to recall that if you are creative, you could actually put a full kilter mainline home board in the spare lanes on a moon. Or the aux set if you want it harder.

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Yeah I definitely switch up the stamina/density sessions when stuck with board climbing. Usually that means instead picking 3-4 flash level problems (1-2 a bit below) and doing one, dropping and immediately repeating it followed by 3min rest. I do this with each problem once then work my way back down. SO…6-8 doubles with 3min rest between each double = 12-16 “problems” and a really powered down feeling afterwards which is usually what I’m looking for in these. Total time is about 30min so it pairs well with other stuff or as a great way to spend 1hr including the warm up

Nice to hear you have a mini, I built one last year and have loved it! Such a great training tool and seems to have less of the jumping common on the MB.

But to be honest I haven’t done any of the type of training you’re talking about. I have had mini MB sessions where I try to do many problems at a lower grade, instead of working on just a few projects, but that’s about it. Will think on it and let you know if I come up with anything more helpful…and let me know what you figure out!

I have a mini and I’ve been experimenting with same drill both on it and in a commercial gym. I also noticed the same - I’m not as tired while doing it on mini. I can propose two approaches for addressing this issue.

  1. add some holds in-between the mini ones and start adding few more moves at the start/end of problem. This way you can increase the number of moves while keeping difficulty on the similar level.

  2. add some more challenging footholds and use them as feet instead of regular mini holds. I use some from Cheeta spoutinks and PCC Inductors. Additional benefit is that you’re also practicing to use smaller footholds.

  3. go with standard setup increase number of problems in the pyramid e.g., 6 base problems, 3 mid-level problems and 1 top-level problem. If you sue this approach you can also incorporate rule to use every hold in a problem, which will again increase number of moves.

I believe all 3 methods can work but In the end best is to go with whatever keeps you psyched most, because these kind of drill can be a bit monotonous on board as small as mini.
I attached picture of my mini, where I incorporated additional holds and small footholds. Hope this helps.


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Thanks for all the helpful tips (and keep 'em coming!).

I hadn’t seriously considered adding more holds to the board. I considered adding some low-profile jugs to make warming up a bit more friendly but it hasn’t been a priority. I can totally see how more/different holds would help with volume circuits as well though. I think I’ll give that a shot!

In the meantime, I’ll play with some of these other ideas (doubles, different climb/rest protocols, etc.).

Nothing particularly new to add here, but echoing what others have said about adding holds to suit your needs. I have an 8x10 board that has some Tension holds (set B, the mid-sized holds), filled in with other holds. The jugs I’ve added are key for warming up, and nice for movement drills and volume as well.

I particularly like these screw-ons as they’re low-profile, fit anywhere, and are relatively inexpensive: Screw-On Jugs – Escape Climbing

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Definitely some of my favorite mini jugs!

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I think we posted this episode around the same time you posted this - just in case you haven’t heard it. Might be some things that will help.