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abkaiser


Sep 20, 2002, 6:38 AM
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burning arms - how to train for this?
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So after I spend time bouldering in the gym, I get to the point where my strength is fading. Last night, I did a little experiment - normally, if I'm hanging straight-arm on a hold, open grip, my forearm will start to burn. It's not necessarily pumping, but like a lactic acid burn. If I continue holding, the "burn" gets a little worse.

...What exactly is this? How do I train to extend my muscle no-burn time?


daisuke


Sep 20, 2002, 7:14 AM
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there are lots of things you can do to improve this.

first of all, hydrate your body well, keep the water in your body high and the lactic acid will tend to go into your blood faster.

do cardiovascular workout, the reason lactic acid forms is because of insuficient oxygen in your muscles

and as some more advice? make sure you're breathing, many climbers forget to breathe when pulling strenuous moves!

climb on

D


camhead


Sep 20, 2002, 7:47 AM
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"pumping" is lactic acid burn, and it is the biggest obstacle in the way of building our endurance. It is difficult to control, but you can reduce it on routes by utilizing ALL rests and shaking out on big holds to the maximum.


jprice


Sep 20, 2002, 8:00 AM
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Staying hydrated is very important. But basically, building up strength is the only thing that will keep the burn away, or at least lengthen the time it takes to get to that point. Rest and stretching are also helpful.

Climb safe.


mtnsprts


Sep 20, 2002, 8:57 AM
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Train with weights. You have the strength to be on the wall, all you need is endurance training.......concentrate on high reps with half the weight you would normally lift.


Partner jammer


Sep 20, 2002, 9:19 AM
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Beleive it or not, to control the "burn" I drink a lot of orange juice. It breaks down the latic acid before you start to burn. If you really push yourself, you will burn no matter what ... oj just puts it off for awhile.


climbincajun


Sep 20, 2002, 9:31 AM
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This is all great advice.
I find that proper breathing and taking advantage of rest holds are my two best weapons. A good, creative rest can get you totally refreshed when the burn sets in.


climbinggirl33


Sep 20, 2002, 9:32 AM
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This may not be exactly "on topic" - but you also need to train the "opposing muscles" that you don't use climbing to help prevent injury. I know too many climbers kept off the rocks by tendonitis - caused by the strain of the stronger muscles pulling on the weaker muscles. This is particularly the case with forearms!!!


wyomingclimber


Sep 20, 2002, 9:59 AM
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While weight lifting, cardio work, and orange juice definitely won't hurt, I'm not sure they're optimal training methods to solve your problem.

To answer your question: What you're feeling is simply the build up of lactic acid (a byproduct of anaerobic energy production) in the muscles of your forearms.

There are three main things you can do to improve this:

1: As you say, increase your aerobic floor (time to burn.) This would be done by long efforts (over an hour) at an intensity level below what would give you a burn or pump. There may be reasons that this isn't a great idea for climbing, but they're all pretty theoretical since there's little research on the topic.

2: Improve your body's ability to clear lactic acid. This probably relates to venous return (again little research.) Your veins bulge when you're climbing because they are trying to pull 'used' blood away from your forearms and back into your body where it can be detoxified and re-oxygenated. How to best improve that capacity? Not sure anyone really knows. Perhaps relatively short (4min?), sustained climbs, followed by a rest, then do it again (essentially intervals.)

3: Increase your muscle's ability to tolerate lactic acid. It seems that you can make your muscles somewhat accustomed to working in a toxic environment. Probably laps on big holds, maintaining a pretty good burn for as long as you can.

Good luck with your training.


Partner mchatz13


Sep 20, 2002, 10:35 AM
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2 tablespoons of baking powder in 8 oz of water everyday. Allow 2 weeks to get into your system. Base helps prevent the buildup of an acid


dmon


Sep 20, 2002, 5:31 PM
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Baking soda? Swallowing that will make it go into your stomach, and your stomach acid is a hell of a lot more concentrated than 2 tablespoons of baking soda in a little bit of water. All that you're doing is neutralising a tiny little bit of stomach acid.



jt512


Sep 20, 2002, 7:37 PM
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Listen to Wyomingclimber. He's pretty much said it all. You're not suffering from baking soda deficiency. You need to train your recovery, lactic acid clearance, etc. All the good training climbing books discuss how to do this. Read Performance Rock Climbing.

-Jay


colin


Sep 22, 2002, 10:07 AM
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other topics dealing with this...

here
and
here


abkaiser


Sep 23, 2002, 8:26 AM
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Thanks to all for the excellent help!


gethighonarock


Dec 26, 2012, 11:43 AM
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Re: [climbinggirl33] burning arms - how to train for this? [In reply to]
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climbinggirl33 wrote:
This may not be exactly "on topic" - but you also need to train the "opposing muscles" that you don't use climbing to help prevent injury. I know too many climbers kept off the rocks by tendonitis - caused by the strain of the stronger muscles pulling on the weaker muscles. This is particularly the case with forearms!!!

Agreed.

http://info.rockrun.com/articles/body-tension-training.html


(This post was edited by gethighonarock on Dec 26, 2012, 11:43 AM)


spiderman5


Jan 17, 2013, 8:56 PM
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agreed with what was said above, and I think weight training will really help you to build some strength


fskie


Feb 20, 2013, 4:17 PM
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I was in your shoes. Forearms burned too fast into a climbing gym session. It's called getting pumped. It's lactic acid buildup in the forearms. Your "pump clock" is how fast you get pumped. To lower your pump clock, as I've found out, you just have to go climbing as much as you can. Lower the time you climb, but go more frequently.

You might also look into buying a forearm trainer (gripper). I highly recommend the Captains of Crush series http://captainsofcrushgrippers.com/. You can get them on Amazon. I have the Point Five (120 lbs) and it's really a lot, so get either the Trainer (100 lbs) or even the Sport (80 lbs). If you work at it and don't overtrain, you'll see real grip gains. I've been using these and now it isn't my forearms as much as my fingers and shoulders and tri's. Then you just climb more!


jt512


Feb 20, 2013, 10:38 PM
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Eleven years later, and the typical response is still a n00b talking out of his ass.

Jay


billcoe_


Feb 21, 2013, 5:56 PM
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jt512 wrote:
Eleven years later, and the typical response is still a n00b talking out of his ass.

Jay

Not.

fskie wrote:
I was in your shoes. Forearms burned too fast into a climbing gym session. It's called getting pumped. It's lactic acid buildup in the forearms. Your "pump clock" is how fast you get pumped. To lower your pump clock, as I've found out, you just have to go climbing as much as you can. Lower the time you climb, but go more frequently.

You might also look into buying a forearm trainer (gripper). I highly recommend the Captains of Crush series http://captainsofcrushgrippers.com/. You can get them on Amazon. I have the Point Five (120 lbs) and it's really a lot, so get either the Trainer (100 lbs) or even the Sport (80 lbs). If you work at it and don't overtrain, you'll see real grip gains. I've been using these and now it isn't my forearms as much as my fingers and shoulders and tri's. Then you just climb more!


jt512


Feb 21, 2013, 6:00 PM
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billcoe_ wrote:
jt512 wrote:
Eleven years later, and the typical response is still a n00b talking out of his ass.

Jay

Not.

fskie wrote:
I was in your shoes. Forearms burned too fast into a climbing gym session. It's called getting pumped. It's lactic acid buildup in the forearms. Your "pump clock" is how fast you get pumped. To lower your pump clock, as I've found out, you just have to go climbing as much as you can. Lower the time you climb, but go more frequently.

You might also look into buying a forearm trainer (gripper). I highly recommend the Captains of Crush series http://captainsofcrushgrippers.com/. You can get them on Amazon. I have the Point Five (120 lbs) and it's really a lot, so get either the Trainer (100 lbs) or even the Sport (80 lbs). If you work at it and don't overtrain, you'll see real grip gains. I've been using these and now it isn't my forearms as much as my fingers and shoulders and tri's. Then you just climb more!

Is so.

fskie wrote:
You might also look into buying a forearm trainer (gripper). I highly recommend the Captains of Crush series http://captainsofcrushgrippers.com/.

Jay


DouglasHunter


Feb 21, 2013, 7:56 PM
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fskie wrote:

You might also look into buying a forearm trainer (gripper). I highly recommend the Captains of Crush series http://captainsofcrushgrippers.com/. You can get them on Amazon.

Sorry I just need to jump in here and correct this one bit of mis information. The fact that there is no relationship between isotonic and isometric forearm strength is well established is the scientific literature. Phil Watt's work from the 1990's goes into this a bit because his first attempt to measure climber's "grip strength" failed due to his using a dynamic measure of strength.

Isotonic work can, in theory, be used as part of hypertrophy training for the flexors of the wrist and fingers but doing that alone won't provide a direct benefit to climbing.

Although the OP was a bit ambiguous, its likely that what he was describing has more to do with the anaerobic endurance capabilities of his forearm muscles which is addressed most effectively through various forms of interval training. Hand squeezers, weight lifting, and cross training are not going to help.

Look through the training forum for CIR / VIR workouts to build you stamina. and then if you are a boulderer you can try doing 8 X 2 intervals. That is, 8 sets consisting of 2 boulder problems done back to back. Each set should last about 1:30 and be followed by a 1 min rest. OR you can do longer form intervals in which you do 15 - 20 boulder problems with a 30 second rest between each problem. In this case the problems will need to be very easy if you are going to make it through all the problems.

Always choose your problems in advance, use a stop-watch to time your rests and write down what you do. plan on putting in 4 week of doing these things 2 times per week in order to see a benefit. Go 6 weeks if you can.

Cheers!


jt512


Feb 21, 2013, 8:09 PM
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DouglasHunter wrote:
fskie wrote:

You might also look into buying a forearm trainer (gripper). I highly recommend the Captains of Crush series http://captainsofcrushgrippers.com/. You can get them on Amazon.

Sorry I just need to jump in here and correct this one bit of mis information. The fact that there is no relationship between isotonic and isometric forearm strength is well established is the scientific literature. Phil Watt's work from the 1990's goes into this a bit because his first attempt to measure climber's "grip strength" failed due to his using a dynamic measure of strength.

Isotonic work can, in theory, be used as part of hypertrophy training for the flexors of the wrist and fingers but doing that alone won't provide a direct benefit to climbing.

Although the OP was a bit ambiguous, its likely that what he was describing has more to do with the anaerobic endurance capabilities of his forearm muscles which is addressed most effectively through various forms of interval training. Hand squeezers, weight lifting, and cross training are not going to help.

Look through the training forum for CIR / VIR workouts to build you stamina. and then if you are a boulderer you can try doing 8 X 2 intervals. That is, 8 sets consisting of 2 boulder problems done back to back. Each set should last about 1:30 and be followed by a 1 min rest. OR you can do longer form intervals in which you do 15 - 20 boulder problems with a 30 second rest between each problem. In this case the problems will need to be very easy if you are going to make it through all the problems.

Always choose your problems in advance, use a stop-watch to time your rests and write down what you do. plan on putting in 4 week of doing these things 2 times per week in order to see a benefit. Go 6 weeks if you can.

Cheers!

I'm so offended that you think your response is actually better than "Is so."

Jay


DouglasHunter


Feb 21, 2013, 8:25 PM
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jt512 wrote:

I'm so offended that you think your response is actually better than "Is so."

Jay

I said exactly the same thing you said, but did it with far less economy. Isn't that better?

By the way when are we climbing together again?


(This post was edited by DouglasHunter on Feb 21, 2013, 8:34 PM)


njrox


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DouglasHunter wrote:

Hand squeezers, weight lifting, and cross training are not going to help.

Besides climbing, are there any exercises that would benefit a climber?

Let's say someone has almost no access to a climbing gym or hangboard, but can go to a regular gym or health club...what would you have them work on while there to benefit their climbing?


redlude97


Feb 22, 2013, 1:06 PM
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njrox wrote:
DouglasHunter wrote:

Hand squeezers, weight lifting, and cross training are not going to help.

Besides climbing, are there any exercises that would benefit a climber?

Let's say someone has almost no access to a climbing gym or hangboard, but can go to a regular gym or health club...what would you have them work on while there to benefit their climbing?
Doorsill


DouglasHunter


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njrox wrote:
Let's say someone has almost no access to a climbing gym or hangboard, but can go to a regular gym or health club...what would you have them work on while there to benefit their climbing?

We have to respect the well established principle of specificity. If someone has no access to crags, a climbing wall, finger board, or anything climbing specific, then that climber is out of luck.

Now, if you are talking about something like 8 weeks in Kansas and then a return to SLC or boulder; one could do 8 weeks of strength training that attempts to target some of the muscles used in climbing. This training in and of itself would not benefit your climbing. It's the return to climbing 2 - 4 days per week after a "pre-season" strength training program that would allow for a "translation" of that strength into climbing. But this comes with some important hurdles.

1- Any weight lifting program needs to be based on a good analysis of the movements involved in climbing. None of the weight lifting programs I've ever seen for climbing have met this requirement. So that makes it a bit of a non-starter.

2- The lifting program really needs to be designed. You can't just go into a gym and move some iron around. You need to use a process to determine the proper load and volume of lifting that is right for your goals.

3- You need to know what your lifting goals are. Strength? Hypertrophy? Endurance? These things matter as your load and volume are different in each case.

4- You need to an organized climber. That is, if you don't control the volume and intensity of the climbing you do each day, if your movement skills are lacking, if you will only be climbing 1 day per week when you get back from Kansas, if you don't have any goals. Then don't bother.


redlude97


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njrox wrote:
DouglasHunter wrote:

Hand squeezers, weight lifting, and cross training are not going to help.

Besides climbing, are there any exercises that would benefit a climber?

Let's say someone has almost no access to a climbing gym or hangboard, but can go to a regular gym or health club...what would you have them work on while there to benefit their climbing?
Unless you are twig, cardio. Lots of it. Almost every climber I know can stand to lose at least 5 lbs.


fskie


Feb 22, 2013, 7:07 PM
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I respectfully disagree with this. While I think that it doesn't transfer completely to climbing, I think that using a gripper has a huge effect on climbing. I can vouch for this with personal experience. Of course, I do think that the best way to get better at climbing is to climb more, but training the forearm muscles will definitely strengthen them and improve endurance. It has less of an effect on the fingers (tendons) and on contact strength, but it still is worth doing in my opinion. I've been training with a CoC Gripper for a while now because my nearest gym is 35 min drive away and the nearest crag is about an hour away and it's winter, and I have noticed serious improvement in my pump clock and my grip strength.

While I don't disagree with the isotonic/isometric argument, I disagree with you saying that the grippers aren't worth doing because they have no direct effect on climbing. While they don't have a 100% direct effect on climbing (climbing more is always the solution!), training with a gripper certainly helps with strength and endurance.


jt512


Feb 22, 2013, 7:57 PM
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fskie wrote:
I've been training with a CoC Gripper for a while now...

Just out of curiosity, how is the first of those two words pronounced?

Jay


(This post was edited by jt512 on Feb 22, 2013, 7:58 PM)


DouglasHunter


Feb 22, 2013, 8:27 PM
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Fskie,

Essentially what you are saying is that through personal experience you have determined that the available science on the topic is wrong.

Believe what ever you like, but if you want to counter good data you need to do it with something of substance, and you need to explain why your personal experience provides the more accurate understanding of isometric and isotonic muscle strength than actual test results do.


wallwombat


Feb 23, 2013, 3:54 AM
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I own 2 CoC Grippers and wouldn't be able to climb without them.

I strongly recommend Coc Grippers.

They Rule!!


njrox


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DouglasHunter wrote:

We have to respect the well established principle of specificity. If someone has no access to crags, a climbing wall, finger board, or anything climbing specific, then that climber is out of luck.

Now, if you are talking about something like 8 weeks in Kansas and then a return to SLC or boulder; one could do 8 weeks of strength training that attempts to target some of the muscles used in climbing. This training in and of itself would not benefit your climbing. It's the return to climbing 2 - 4 days per week after a "pre-season" strength training program that would allow for a "translation" of that strength into climbing. But this comes with some important hurdles.

1- Any weight lifting program needs to be based on a good analysis of the movements involved in climbing. None of the weight lifting programs I've ever seen for climbing have met this requirement. So that makes it a bit of a non-starter.

2- The lifting program really needs to be designed. You can't just go into a gym and move some iron around. You need to use a process to determine the proper load and volume of lifting that is right for your goals.

3- You need to know what your lifting goals are. Strength? Hypertrophy? Endurance? These things matter as your load and volume are different in each case.

4- You need to an organized climber. That is, if you don't control the volume and intensity of the climbing you do each day, if your movement skills are lacking, if you will only be climbing 1 day per week when you get back from Kansas, if you don't have any goals. Then don't bother.

Thanks for responding Doug, I'm hoping we can have a good discussion on this topic. How to cross-train for climbing (outside of actual climbing or hangboarding) is something I've been interested in for a while. I recently became Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, so I understand the "SAID" principle, program structure, and basic human anatomy. It seems like just about every other sport has some sort of gym-training program to improve performance and I'm wondering why climbing can't.

I haven't rock or gym climbed in about two months. I've been ice climbing all winter, which is obviously a lot different. Last night was my first night back to the gym. I was climbing at about the same difficulty level as I left off. First thing got that tired, or sore, my was fingers (almost right away) and by my 3rd climb my forearms were begining to burn.

So, for now I'll take "movement" off the table and focus on that issue.

So I want to figure out how to work on building a base for and increasing grip endurance. Not just closed hand gripping (like you would a bar) but pinch gripping for my finger tips.

If we just start with that aspect, what do you suggest? And yes, let's pretentd I live in the flatlands and don't have a hangboard at home, and the climbing gym is 50 miles away while I live nextdoor to a health club/gym.

There are some things I have in mind but I'd love to hear what you think.


camhead


Feb 23, 2013, 7:14 AM
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njrox wrote:

So I want to figure out how to work on building a base for and increasing grip endurance. Not just closed hand gripping (like you would a bar) but pinch gripping for my finger tips.

If we just start with that aspect, what do you suggest? And yes, let's pretentd I live in the flatlands and don't have a hangboard at home, and the climbing gym is 50 miles away while I live nextdoor to a health club/gym.

There are some things I have in mind but I'd love to hear what you think.

Heavy finger rolls. Also, it is not hard to make your own rudimentary hangboard out of different plywood strips.

A for pinch strength, that's harder to build, and I have not even seen many hangboards that have good pinch grips. But then again, you usually do not need pure pinch strength on routes outside, and just regular openhanded edges build plenty of strength that is applicable to pinches.


DouglasHunter


Feb 25, 2013, 1:00 AM
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njrox wrote:
Thanks for responding Doug, I'm hoping we can have a good discussion on this topic. How to cross-train for climbing (outside of actual climbing or hangboarding) is something I've been interested in for a while. I recently became Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, so I understand the "SAID" principle, program structure, and basic human anatomy. It seems like just about every other sport has some sort of gym-training program to improve performance and I'm wondering why climbing can't.

I haven't rock or gym climbed in about two months. I've been ice climbing all winter, which is obviously a lot different. Last night was my first night back to the gym. I was climbing at about the same difficulty level as I left off. First thing got that tired, or sore, my was fingers (almost right away) and by my 3rd climb my forearms were begining to burn.

So, for now I'll take "movement" off the table and focus on that issue.

So I want to figure out how to work on building a base for and increasing grip endurance. Not just closed hand gripping (like you would a bar) but pinch gripping for my finger tips.

If we just start with that aspect, what do you suggest? And yes, let's pretentd I live in the flatlands and don't have a hangboard at home, and the climbing gym is 50 miles away while I live nextdoor to a health club/gym.

There are some things I have in mind but I'd love to hear what you think.

When I talk about specificity I'm not just talking about SAID in the narrow sense, I'm also talking about the functional aspect of movement for a sport. In my opinion a lot of activities proposed as supplemental conditioning for climbing lack a meaningful relationship to functionality. This is both a function of the design of the activities and of poor movement analysis. Anyway, My question for you would be, how is focusing only on grip endurance trained using non-sport specific means not a move away from SAID and functional movement? Not trying to be snarky here, I just want to understand your thinking.

Honestly I don't have a lot to say about your direct question. Since you are going to be using non-specific means my bet is that you already know what I would say: follow one of the accepted protocols for training endurance and on the return to climbing structure your time in a way that has the greatest chance of quickly translating whatever strength or endurance gains you generate using non-specific means to climbing.

Honestly your question is not one that have much knowledge of because its not a context that I encounter as a coach, and it's not directly related to improving performance level. I would suggest looking at Eva Lopez's most current blog post for some ideas regarding pinch strength:

http://en-eva-lopez.blogspot.com/


lena_chita
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Feb 25, 2013, 5:36 AM
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njrox wrote:
So I want to figure out how to work on building a base for and increasing grip endurance. Not just closed hand gripping (like you would a bar) but pinch gripping for my finger tips.

If we just start with that aspect, what do you suggest? And yes, let's pretentd I live in the flatlands and don't have a hangboard at home, and the climbing gym is 50 miles away while I live nextdoor to a health club/gym.

There are some things I have in mind but I'd love to hear what you think.

You create a rather unrealistic scenario. IMO, if you have money for a health club/gym, you definitely have the ability and resources to buy a hangboard and/or build a little board with couple pinch holds, couple crimps, etc.

IMO, a climber who has a good base (e.i. has been climbing for a while, has good movement skills, etc.) can take two months off, or even longer, and without doing anything specific, just staying in generally-good shape, can come back to the climbing gym with relatively little lost ground.

Sure, some endurance, power, finger strength, etc. is lost, and nobody would call this sort of situation optimal for training/improvement, but all the lost ground is regained quickly.

There is a guy at our gym who used to climb regularly, started maybe 15-18 years ago, and was a pretty strong climber back when he used to climb regularly. Now, the demands of work and family mean that he doesn't show up at the gym for months at a time. Literally, could be 6 months. When he shows up at the gym after a 6-months hiatus with NO climbing at all in between, he is bouldering maybe V3-V4 on the first day. Two weeks later, after climbing 2x week, he is doing V8-V9.

But a newish climber who has been climbing for maybe a few months to a year and who DOESN'T have the base of good technique, strength, endurance, power, etc. is pretty much screwed if he has to take 6 months off. He would be starting out from the ground level if he comes back, no matter how many grip training exercises he does, in those 6 months off.


njrox


Feb 25, 2013, 5:44 AM
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Re: [DouglasHunter] burning arms - how to train for this? [In reply to]
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Hi Doug

Iím only looking at it in terms of developing grip strength and endurance because I feel like thatís my biggest weakness.

I also wanted to see how as a CPT I could come up with a resistance-training program as a supplement to climbing, and I wanted to start with the above-mentioned issue.

But I think aside from the obvious methods for grip-strength/forearm training, without a focus on movement overall success will be limited.

Thanks anyway, and I will check out Eva Lopezís blog. I think Iíll also take your book off the shelf and give it another look.


(This post was edited by njrox on Feb 25, 2013, 5:45 AM)


shotwell


Feb 25, 2013, 6:52 AM
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njrox wrote:
Hi Doug

Iím only looking at it in terms of developing grip strength and endurance because I feel like thatís my biggest weakness.

I also wanted to see how as a CPT I could come up with a resistance-training program as a supplement to climbing, and I wanted to start with the above-mentioned issue.

But I think aside from the obvious methods for grip-strength/forearm training, without a focus on movement overall success will be limited.

Thanks anyway, and I will check out Eva Lopezís blog. I think Iíll also take your book off the shelf and give it another look.


Doug will probably try to say this in a nicer way, but I doubt that your biggest weakness is grip strength. Your movement skill probably needs work. Focus on the climbing and supplement if you still feel the need.


bcrigby


Feb 25, 2013, 10:17 AM
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I wanted to clear up a common myth regarding the burn, not just in climbing but anytime in exercise. It is NOT caused by lactic acid build-up. Lactic acid contributes only a very small amount of excess free hydrogen ions. The majority of the "acid buildup" (from excess free hydrogen production) is actually the result of anaerobic glycolysis, where we turn muscle glycogen or blood glucose into energy.

One strategy to maximize your potential time on the wall before feeling the burn is to make sure your glycogen levels are full before you start climbing. Why will this help? When we turn glycogen into energy, it produces 3 ATP. When we turn blood glucose into energy, it produces 2 ATP. We get a 150% return on energy from muscle glycogen compared to glucose. In practice, you will always be using both, but if you are low on glycogen then your body will rely more on blood glucose, which is less efficient and will cause faster hydrogen buildup.

Don't skimp on your carbs! If you sport climb or boulder, climbing is a power/strength sport and your body will only use fat as its primary fuel in situations where you are climbing well below your grade. Anytime your muscles are contracting with 30% or more effort, the majority of your blood vessels get occluded and prevent oxygen delivery to your muscles. No oxygen means no burning fat. Getting stronger means your muscles need to contract with less effort, allowing you to burn fat (which will not produce any burn) for more of a given route.


bcrigby


Feb 25, 2013, 10:32 AM
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Baking soda is actually effective, but not in the manner mchatz mentioned. Your stomach acid will neutralize the bicarbonate and nothing will change.

HOWEVER, many studies have shown that baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) consumption at the level of 300 mg/kg body weight IS effective when taken 2-3 hours in advance. This is a ton of baking soda in one serving. For me, we're talking about 21 grams, which is about 5.5 TBS. At this amount, some of the bicarbonate will enter your small intestine where it will be transported into the blood.

Our body's largest and best buffering system is our breath, which works by naturally producing bicarbonate in the blood. Unfortunately, blood supply to our muscles basically ceases during high intensity work. Having extra bicarbonate in the blood adds to our muscles' ability to buffer the hydrogen buildup, and thus go longer.

Be warned: if you try this, make sure your stomach is empty and you're not trying it for the first time before a major event. Take it at least 2 hours, preferably 3 hours in advance. Mix the 300 mg/kg body weight with .5 - 1 liter of waters. You might feel bloated, you might have other GI symptoms.

That being said, there is nothing dangerous about taking in so much bicarbonate, and some studies even suggest it could be beneficial and help your bones. The extra bicarbonate will last around 1 week before returning to baseline levels.


DouglasHunter


Mar 1, 2013, 8:41 AM
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shotwell wrote:
Doug will probably try to say this in a nicer way, but I doubt that your biggest weakness is grip strength. Your movement skill probably needs work. Focus on the climbing and supplement if you still feel the need.

Shotwell,

I'm glad that you brought this up, because I think it points to a very broad problem in the climbing world. We all believe in the weakest link principle but we all say that we have the same weakest link! If I wanted to become a rich man I would not have written books on climbing, I just would have been paid $1 every time a climber said that grip strength was his or her biggest weakness.

What we seem unable to understand is that the climbing is a very good way to train strength and endurance of the wrist and finger flexors. At the same time individual climber's create horrible motor learning experiences for themselves and pay the price for that horrible motor learning every day; AND that their poorly developed movement skills help lead to the impression that they are "Too weak."


DouglasHunter


Mar 1, 2013, 9:34 AM
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njrox wrote:
I recently became Certified Personal Trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine, so I understand the "SAID" principle, program structure, and basic human anatomy. It seems like just about every other sport has some sort of gym-training program to improve performance and I'm wondering why climbing can't.

NJ I wanted to discuss some of this with you a little further. I am not familiar with the details of the NASM certification materials but I am familiar with those created by NSCA. I've spent a few months reviewing the NSCA materials and I find them lacking. Not that they don't contain a lot of important information, but there is no way that someone could use those materials to produce a conditioning program for anything but the most basic movement patterns, and they are really no help at all when thinking about creating a program for climbing.

Then this morning I was doing some reading and came across this:

"The supposed "gold standard" for exercise prescription recommendations, the ACSM Guidlines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, provides only a cursory description of a method for programming weight training. Frequently, the "experts" on whom the public relies for guidance come from one or two camps 1) individuals with practical experience and little or no specific education and training or 2) individuals with degrees (usually not in the area of anaerobic physiology) who have very little practical experience with weight training but the best of intentions. The end result is that they typical coach, clinician, gym member or athlete trying to maximize performance is very poorly served by inappropriate instruction in weight training and inadequate program design."

- Practical Programming for Strength Training by Mark Rippetoe

I would say that this critique is spot on with regards to the NSCA materials, but what are your thoughts on how it applies to the ACSM program?

Also to the issues of climbing having a conditioning program. It's not that climbing can't but climbing is a lot like gymnastics in that there are athletes at all levels who use supplemental conditioning, and there are athletes who do not. In general there is no way to say that gymnasts or climbers who engage in supplemental strength training have any advantage over those who don't as measured by performance level. This appears to be the case among all areas of the climbing population.

This might be the case because the materials available regarding conditioning for climbing are down right horrible. But I also have no doubt that its the case because of the importance of motor control in climbing. The balance, timing, and movement patterns are too unique to climbing. Without a high volume of high quality practice climbers progress will be slow and very uneven regardless of their conditioning.

As you go forward in attempting to design a program for the forearm muscles it would be interesting to me to know what activities you choose and then how you handle the transition back to climbing. Will you build your conditioning program largely around isotonic or isometric activities? Will your emphasize strength, endurance or Hypertrophy? How will you train the Flexor Digitorum profundus and superficialis using traditional weight lifting equipment? How will you structure your return to climbing? And what about the extensor digitorum communis?

Anyway, good luck.


njrox


Mar 1, 2013, 12:25 PM
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Iím not familiar with any of NSCA or ACSMís training materials.

Iím sure you can find the details of NASMís curriculum on the internet and draw your own conclusions on the appropriateness of its instructions and adequacies of its program design, or lack thereof. Suffice to say, thereís no chapter on ďhow to rock climbĒ. Being a Certified Personal Trainer doesnít transfer into me being a Climbing Coach. My statement of being a trainer was more ďand as a matter of factĒ then a declaration of expertise.

I genuinely have no idea how to train, outside of climbing, to improve rock climbing. My first post on this thread, ďBesides climbing, are there any exercises that would benefit a climber?Ē was because Iím truly interested as a trainer, and a student of training. I donít have a bunch of ideas or preconceived notions on how to train for climbing that I refuse to depart with. Iím actually willing to listen. I want someone to school me.

Anyway, this was my follow-up, ďIím only looking at it in terms of developing grip strength and endurance because I feel like thatís my biggest weakness. I also wanted to see how as a CPT I could come up with a resistance-training program as a supplement to climbing, and I wanted to start with the above-mentioned issue. But I think aside from the obvious methods for grip-strength/forearm training, without a focus on movement overall success will be limited.Ē

So, what have I been doing?

Iíve been doing lock offs and dead hangs off of a doorís molding. Iíve been wrist curling dumbbells. Iíve been squeezing a grip strengthener. Iíve been spinning a gyroscope ball.

These are things I feel will enhance my fingers, grip, and forearm strength and endurance. I donít feel they will improve my climbing abilities but at the very least, Iím hoping theyíll eliminate the problem I mentioned, ďLast night was my first night back to the gym. I was climbing at about the same difficulty level as I left off. First thing got that tired, or sore, my was fingers (almost right away) and by my 3rd climb my forearms were beginning to burnĒ. Thatís why I am here in the ďburning armsĒ thread.

I do feel there are some basic ďgymĒ exercises that will benefit a climber. Hanging Leg Raises. Lateral Pull-downs. Pull-ups. I also feel that there are yoga poses that will benefit a climber. Half Moon Pose. Triangle Pose. Eagle Pose. But I feel that in order to get good at a particular sport or activity you have to regularly be doing that sport or activity as the body adapts to the specific demands placed upon it (the Principle of Specificity). And with that, I agree with what youíre saying. Without actual climbing, oneís abilities will regress.


(This post was edited by njrox on Mar 1, 2013, 12:27 PM)


DouglasHunter


Mar 1, 2013, 1:13 PM
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NJ,

I think my intent was not clear. I wasn't questioning you, your thinking or abilities. I was curious about your opinions as a climber who has gone through the certification process. I was interested in your thoughts on the challenge of applying that body of knowledge to climbing. Sorry if it sounded like I was being aggressive with you.


bcrigby


Mar 1, 2013, 1:25 PM
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As mentioned, there's a sparsity of research into actual training for climbing-specific strength and endurance. However, I did find one climbing-specific study for training technique:

Abstract: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19346182.2012.716061

Long story short, training deadhangs on an 18 mm edge with maximum added weight for four weeks and then switching to minimum edge-depth deadhangs produced significantly greater gains in both grip strength and strength endurance than doing minimum edge-depth training first and added weight second.

So, train added weight first, then train for edge depth when doing deadhangs. That's one piece of research, and hopefully we'll start to see more studies done on climbing.


MED


Mar 2, 2013, 5:17 PM
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bcrigby wrote:
As mentioned, there's a sparsity of research into actual training for climbing-specific strength and endurance. However, I did find one climbing-specific study for training technique:

Abstract: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/19346182.2012.716061

Long story short, training deadhangs on an 18 mm edge with maximum added weight for four weeks and then switching to minimum edge-depth deadhangs produced significantly greater gains in both grip strength and strength endurance than doing minimum edge-depth training first and added weight second.

So, train added weight first, then train for edge depth when doing deadhangs. That's one piece of research, and hopefully we'll start to see more studies done on climbing.

It's probably worth looking up the full study and deciding for yourself just how convincing the data is.

I read Ms Lopez' blog regularly and respect her opinion, but am unconvinced by the study that added weight hangs before small edge hangs is proven to be better.

You could interpret the results as showing that hangboard training doesn't improve strength at all, and actually leads to a decrease in strength after detraining.


bcrigby


Mar 2, 2013, 6:25 PM
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I agree that one study does not necessarily provide convincing evidence in and of itself--it takes a body of research to really start understanding a subject, and training for climbing is no different.

However, I feel like articles such as the aforementioned one at least move us in the right direction, and it's certainly more credible than the usual broscience. Eva Lopez at least has attempted to apply scientific rigor to the adaptation process, and demonstrated that in advanced climbers, weighted deadhangs seem to improve endurance.

It's not surprising that four weeks of detraining would result in a return to baseline strength and endurance, especially in such advanced climbers, as their bodies are likely to be extremely well-adapted to the pressures of climbing already. It would be interesting to see results for more intermediate climbers who have more room for physiological change at their current body weight.

At any rate, there was comparatively minimal loss of strength and endurance from only two weeks of detraining, so I think it is more suggestive of the rate at which our body re-adapts to our physiological weight from an added-weight situation, and that detraining can be avoided by maintaining added-weight exercises throughout a training routine.

Let's hope more climbing research gets done so we can begin to build a core of knowledge rather than rely solely on anecdotal evidence!


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