What is your climbing potential?

Ok, so you know what grade you can climb, whether on-sight, redpoint or bouldering. But you have the feeling that your strength is holding you back, or that you out-do everyone in the gym, yet they climb a lot harder. How do you benchmark your ability against theirs and assess your potential?

There are a few fun ways to do this. Let's look at some of them.

1) A quick and easy method. 

Finger strength is the most important attribute of a climber. The stronger your fingers, the harder you can climb, it is as simple as that. You can measure your finger strength by hanging with weights on a 20mm edge. 20mm is more or less equal to one "pad", the last joint of your finger. Make sure you warm up well, then progressively add weights until you can no longer hang for 5 seconds. The chart below to convert this weight into a grade was put together by combining data from several sources, including those listed below. The y axis is the percentage of body weight that you can hang for 5 seconds in addition to your body weight, the x axis the grade that you should be able to redpoint / boulder.