Forums: Climbing Information: Beginners: Re: [rgold] Woman climbers, arm strength: Edit Log


Apr 6, 2012, 3:51 PM

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Re: [rgold] Woman climbers, arm strength
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rgold wrote:
Shannon, I don't think you are getting very good advice here.

There is no question that technique reduces the need to apply pure strength, and that one can and should learn an enormous amount from texts like The Self-Coached Climber. But I also think it is irrational to insist that general conditioning is either irrelevant or can be acquired along the way. Its a mantra one hears more and more, and it doesn't make much sense to me, and seems to fly in the face of the accumulated experience of virtually all other sports.

I'm not talking here about non-sport specific things like the Crossfit cult, I'm thinking about specific combinations of basic physical training aimed at the kinds of strength climbers either need for certain types of moves or else could use to prevent the kinds of injuries that occur when, for example, dynamic moves are made without enough strength to control the consequences.

But don't listen to me. (The almost political nature of these debates means that very little listening is going on anyway.) Consider, for example, what a highly accomplished woman climber has to say. Responding in her blog to questions about building strength for women analogous to the questions in this thread, Steph Davis writes, (

I think youíre on the right track with wanting to increase your upper body strength for climbing. As a woman, I notice that if I improve my upper body strength at all, I instantly see dramatic results in my climbing. Since women do not naturally build upper body muscle like men do, I think we are forced to climb with more technique in general. If we give any attention to strength building, it allows us to make use of that technique to an extremely gratifying degree.
Iíve also seen many posts written for climbers that play down the benefits of pullups and pullup workouts. I couldnít disagree more, especially for women. If you start to do pullup workouts, and possibly fingerboard workouts, you will see a dramatic improvement in your climbing very quickly.

Her article has links to weight, hangboard, and pullup training regimens she uses. Might be worth checking out, if for no other reason than to balance the "just climb" chorus heard here.

I agree with you.

Campusing is the ultimate tool i have found so far. Going through the differant styles of campusing and rung size it will immediately tell you what your upper physical weaknesses are.

Personally i realised i was very strong on doubles but very weak on laddering. That had a real connection to my climbing since i have a heavy dynamic style. After working on ladders im now doing weighted 1-3-5. The obvius connection to climbing is that i do much better on strengthy slow pull through moves that use to be quite a weakness. I find myself going dynamic out of choice rather than ''dynamic or nothing''.

If people look for physical weaknesses the gains are their to be made. If they think campusing and the sorts wont help climbing then they can enjoy the limited choice on the next road trip Sly.

I realise this was slightly off topic to the womens arm strength issue... or was it?. Depends who you ask.

OP, the first few sessions of what ever you choose to do to target the bigger muscles will be very hard and demorolising. Keep at it and you will brake through to see gains. I do admit men seem to start off at a higher level in terms of reps etc.. but trust me we also get the same horrible feeling of being weak.

(This post was edited by ceebo on Apr 6, 2012, 4:06 PM)

Edit Log:
Post edited by ceebo () on Apr 6, 2012, 3:54 PM
Post edited by ceebo () on Apr 6, 2012, 4:06 PM

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