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scrappy


Nov 18, 2001, 4:28 PM
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Ethical considerations aside, are there any people out there using it? Does it help? I know the machine (Alex Lowe) used it. I am just wondering if it would help me. I read an old climbing mag article that said it helps a alot for sport and bouldering.



colin


Nov 18, 2001, 4:39 PM
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Creatine only increases the muscles ability to hold water. Making them look bigger. It also raises the fulcrum at which your muscle moves. That means it takes more strength to do the same movements.

That kind of helps your training but you're better off taking your vitamins and lifting\climbing to get stronger.


thumper


Nov 19, 2001, 12:57 AM
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Creatine does a few good things for you, besides just making you look bigger. Firstly, creatine is manufactured by your body, as well as all other warm blooded creatures. You get a little extra with every portion of red meat you eat.

It works as a short-term energy source for your body. After the loading phase and into the maintenance phase your body is saturated with it, giving it an extra energy source during intense periods of exercise. It by itself does not make you stronger, however it may give you enough energy for that 1 last rep that you may not have been able to complete without it. That is what increases your strength.

Other than that, endurance athletes have shown decreased levels of lactic acid, and a feeling of not being as tired during their work-outs. As well as quicker recovery.

And their have been studies of a decrease in brain damage, and quicker regeneration of brain tissue after head injuries in people taking creatine.

You can expect to gain 5 pounds during the loading phase, and more weight gains during the maintenance phase. The initial weight gain will be water weight as creatine pulls extra water into your muscle cells during loading. You will maintain this extra weight as long as you correctly take the supplement.
The upside is that the water weight is gained intra-muscular, so you will look more pumped all the time.

You may experience some side effects, like cramping during the loading phase.

Hope this helps.


scrappy


Nov 19, 2001, 7:13 AM
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I've read many articles on it already and researched the stuff, but i am looking for first hand experience. Anybody????


wigglestick


Nov 19, 2001, 7:42 AM
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I tried it for a few months, about a year ago. My experience is that is does make you look bigger, which was not what I was looking for but I also gained about 7-8 pounds in just water retention. The only significant benefit is that I seemed to recover sooner and was not as sore the next day after a workout. However I get the same benefit from a tall glass of Endurox R4 after a workout. I noticed no other side effects. Although the long term is still yet to be seen. I don't use it anymore. Not enough bang for the buck. I noticed no performance, ie strength gains, the decreased recovery time was the only noticable benefit.


eclarke98


Nov 19, 2001, 10:51 AM
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I used it a few years back for about a 15 month period and it worked for me. I did notice I could work out longer when doing lots of weight lifting. But unless you have a regular training program it's not going to do anything for you.


rck_climber


Nov 19, 2001, 11:29 AM
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Here's a pretty detailed reply I made to the topic of using supplements.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=3321&forum=36

Mick


jdcox_9


Nov 19, 2001, 12:47 PM
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I use creatine, but not so much for climbing. I use it mor for football.

Any way, yes it works for me.


pollux


Nov 19, 2001, 2:01 PM
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Here's the deal with creatine. This comming from a personal trainer and a well known doctor (Dr. Wiles). There is no proof that creatine benefits your work out. It makes your muscle retain water as stated above. Some body types might benefit from this. From peronal experience it didn't do anything. Much less what it is supposed to do is make you gain mass, which makes your power to wieght ratio go down. Not the best thing for climbing. Stick to proven supplements that make you gain stregth but not mass.


jstumpf


Nov 19, 2001, 3:30 PM
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Another thing to consider is that if you don't stay VERY well hydrated, Creatine will blow holes in your kidneys (OK, maybe not literally, but...), so unless you're willing to carry a hydrapack with you up the rock, you may be better off just doing it the old fashioned way.


rck_climber


Nov 19, 2001, 4:11 PM
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Actaully, Tech, the increased water in your muscles carries more oxygen to the muscles and lets them recover faster. That's what these supplements are designed to do, let your muscles recover from a workout faster so that you can break them down more often.

The process of breaking them down and rebuilding them up again is what allows for strength and mass gain.

Unfortunately, you still have to drag the H2O to the crag as you'll still dehydrate just as fast.

If you take these supplements and don't workout, then, yes, you will get a big ass, instead, from the increased water in your system.

Mick


talons05


Nov 19, 2001, 5:16 PM
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Ha ha. I have used creatine before and found that it helps a lot. You do have to keep up your level of physical activity. If you don't have a dedicated training program, and if you don't stick to it for a while, then of course you won't see results.

Aw


thumper


Nov 20, 2001, 12:24 AM
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Pollux: regardless of the supplement, you will find studies stating that it does nothing for you. You will also find studies that say it does. Creatine IS a proven supplement and has been around for ages. Not every person will respond to any given supplent/medication in the same way, or respond at all. That just the way the human body is.

Anyone who is considering taking needs to understand that it is a strength building supplement. If your workouts are mild to moderate, you may not see any noticeable results because your body isn't using what it naturally produces, much less the extra you're giving it. If you're not pushing your body to it's limits, then don't take any kind of supplement. You'll just be wasting your money.


thumper


Nov 27, 2001, 3:26 AM
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Yeah, Thumper knows his shit! To be honest I know more about weights than climbing, but I'm catching up fast!


mountainmike


Nov 27, 2001, 8:59 PM
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Right now I am using a creatine supplement and I have had good results with it. It hasn't given me any huge results and I don't know if I would have noticed at a lower level of training. So, for me personally I think it is a great supplement.

I can't believe that some of you guys are saying that there is no "scientific evidence" to support creatine use. There are tons of studies out there. Just do a search on the internet and you will probably find a ton of them.

Your bodies main anarobic energy source is "ATP" the "TP" stands for tri-phosphate. What creatine does(if I remeber correctly) is it helps your body create "ADP" the "DP" meaning di-phosphate. The "ADP" is then converted by your body into "ATP" which can be used by the body at a very quick but short rate because it doesn't need oxygen.

Creatine has a lot of other benefits but I believe that this is how the main part of the supplement works. One other consideration I have read about and I think is important is age. I remember reading some study that said something about using creatine before your body has finished developing ( around age 18 ) can do thing like stunt your grouth and lessen you ultamate muscle growth potential. I am not sure that the study was correct but it was enough for me. I didn't start using creatine until I turned 21. . . this last year. Well I hope that this combined with all the other good info (and in my opinion it wasn't all good info) will help you out some.

Michael


rocmonkey


Nov 27, 2001, 11:42 PM
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Taking creatine will not make you climb better...it will make you LOOK better in the end.
You put on weight when using creatine and as a climber I am trying to lose weight, not gain any.
Keep training and leave the creatine be...

breathe stone
R C


roshi


Nov 28, 2001, 12:05 AM
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The judge is out when it comes to Creatine. I have read alot of reasearch on it and a lot of bull####. Some articles are just another marketing tool by Creatine pushers. Have a look, in articles, at where the publishers are getting their info from. Nothing is better than hard training and a balanced diet.


bart


Nov 28, 2001, 12:21 AM
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I agree, Roshi. I don`t see any good reason why someone would take Creatine. I consider it as drugs and food supplements. I don`t find those necessary for anyone, so I would`t risk taking such non-natural junk.


thumper


Nov 28, 2001, 4:03 AM
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Bart! Creatine is not "non-natural". Your body produces about 2grams per day, every day of your life. Every little piece of red or white meat you eat contains creatine. No, creatine will not make you a better climber. It won't make you better at football, baseball, hockey, or any other sport. What it will do is enable you to train a litle harder for a little longer, which will make you stronger.

There has never been an elite climber that was remarked as having increadibly puny arms and the complete inability to carry his own body weight up a set of stairs. They are remarked on for having a strong body and arms and great endurance.

Don't get me wrong. I AM NOT advocating that everyone should take creatine. I discourage 90% of the people I train from taking creatine or any other supplement with the exception of a little extra protein and lots of water. I discourage them because their work-outs do not require them, and because their body does not need them until they are more advanced in their workouts.

All I am saying is that if you choose to use or to not use any supplement, do it for the right reason with the right information in hand. There is an increadible amount of mis-information available, and most of it is spread by word of mouth by people who have no practical knowledge or experience. Before trying anything new, talk to people who have the experience needed to tell the good from the bad, and the knowledge to use it correctly.

You would not (hopefully) let some-one take you on a route because he once read "An idiots guide to climbing" and feels he knows what to do. You look for an experience climber to lead you or at least give good beta.


squeeks


Nov 30, 2001, 6:14 PM
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with out lots of water intake, doesnt it dehydrate you? something i was always curious about.


fusion


Nov 30, 2001, 6:38 PM
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When takin creatine drink lots of water.. nothing bad will happen if you don't it's just a lot more effective when you do. I took creatine a year ago while on a weight training program, and it helped me break through a plateau in my training. Whenever takin any suppliment read as much as you can on it.


rrooclkln


Aug 30, 2007, 10:16 AM
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I used creatine for approximately 2 years. Within those 2 years of weight training, LAX, snowboarding and healthy eating I went from a lean and cut 155 to a massive and bulky 180 frame. I went from benching 180 in 4 sets of 10 reps to 220 in 4 set/10 rep. It did help with adding longevity to my workout which could've correlated to the
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strength but the cost both in pocket and health afterwards I believe were not worth it. I've been off it for 3 years with a more cross training workout regime and I've dropped to 165 with some str loss in some muscle groups but I believe more harmonious body look and performance. My folks are both doctors and after they informed me of the renal and liver problems that could be caused with creatine loading along with the research I conducted my motto now is just keep it natural.


NSFW


Aug 30, 2007, 10:26 AM
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Can someone blow the dust off these posts so I can read them? thanks.


bcrigby


Feb 8, 2013, 6:11 PM
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NSFW wrote:
Can someone blow the dust off these posts so I can read them? thanks.
^
This sorely needs to be done!

Creatine does not cause liver or renal problems, but this is a huge piece of misinformation that keeps circulating akin to the similar rumor that protein causes kidney damage. If you already have kidney problems, then consult your doctor, otherwise there is no risk associated with creatine.

Creatine will add 2-5 lbs to your weight because it associates with water. It will also make you last longer both on the wall and in total during a session because you add another fuel. I wouldn't recommend it to everyone to use, but I do believe that a significant portion of climbers, especially those who focus more on bouldering or single-pitch sport would benefit strongly from it.

A final interesting note associated with creatine is that those who supplement with it tend to injure themselves less often than athletes who do not supplement. Keeping the muscles strong means less potential for a failing muscle to put undo strain on other less-well-equipped parts of the body. There are no climbing-specific studies on this, but there's no reason why it shouldn't apply to climbers as well as the general athletic population.

Bottom line, creatine is not going to cause you any damage, and it might improve your training and performance, but don't expect it to solve problems associated with an otherwise poor diet!


Partner macherry


Feb 8, 2013, 8:03 PM
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bcrigby wrote:
NSFW wrote:
Can someone blow the dust off these posts so I can read them? thanks.
^
This sorely needs to be done!

Creatine does not cause liver or renal problems, but this is a huge piece of misinformation that keeps circulating akin to the similar rumor that protein causes kidney damage. If you already have kidney problems, then consult your doctor, otherwise there is no risk associated with creatine.

Creatine will add 2-5 lbs to your weight because it associates with water. It will also make you last longer both on the wall and in total during a session because you add another fuel. I wouldn't recommend it to everyone to use, but I do believe that a significant portion of climbers, especially those who focus more on bouldering or single-pitch sport would benefit strongly from it.

A final interesting note associated with creatine is that those who supplement with it tend to injure themselves less often than athletes who do not supplement. Keeping the muscles strong means less potential for a failing muscle to put undo strain on other less-well-equipped parts of the body. There are no climbing-specific studies on this, but there's no reason why it shouldn't apply to climbers as well as the general athletic population.

Bottom line, creatine is not going to cause you any damage, and it might improve your training and performance, but don't expect it to solve problems associated with an otherwise poor diet!

first post and you dug this thread out!?!?


bcrigby


Feb 8, 2013, 8:16 PM
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Haha, didn't dig it out on purpose, it's the #2 spot on Google for "Creatine and Rock Climbing" and I felt like it would be useful to have a more recent take on creatine posted, especially since so many of the posts warned about dangers that don't exist for healthy people!


Gmburns2000


Feb 9, 2013, 2:35 AM
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bcrigby wrote:
Haha, didn't dig it out on purpose, it's the #2 spot on Google for "Creatine and Rock Climbing" and I felt like it would be useful to have a more recent take on creatine posted, especially since so many of the posts warned about dangers that don't exist for healthy people!

So, whose stock do you own?


bcrigby


Feb 9, 2013, 8:02 AM
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Gmburns2000 wrote:
So, whose stock do you own?

If only!

Actually, I'm just a health/fitness writer by trade and starting my own sports nutrition consulting business soon. I guess there's room to interpret my motives as self-serving, but that wasn't my goal at all. I do feel like there's room to debate the utility of creatine supplementation for climbers without resorting to scare tactics, though!


jt512


Feb 9, 2013, 9:10 PM
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bcrigby wrote:

Creatine will add 2-5 lbs to your weight because it associates with water. It will also make you last longer both on the wall and in total during a session because you add another fuel. I wouldn't recommend it to everyone to use, but I do believe that a significant portion of climbers, especially those who focus more on bouldering or single-pitch sport would benefit strongly from it.

There are no climbing-specific studies on this, but there's no reason why it shouldn't apply to climbers as well as the general athletic population.

One reason it might not apply to climbers is that the extra 25 lb of body weight might negate the improvement in strength.

Jay


bcrigby


Feb 9, 2013, 11:33 PM
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jt512 wrote:
One reason it might not apply to climbers is that the extra 25 lb of body weight might negate the improvement in strength.

Agreed--it'd be interesting to actually see some studies done on climbers and creatine. I personally use creatine, and feel like it makes a huge difference, but I mostly boulder so it's all very short intense stuff.

My feeling is that if you climb mostly shorter, more power-dependent routes then you'd probably benefit. If you do mostly long, multi-pitch climbs then hauling all that extra weight might be counter-productive to your performance.


sungam


Mar 1, 2013, 7:55 AM
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jt512 wrote:
bcrigby wrote:

Creatine will add 2-5 lbs to your weight because it associates with water. It will also make you last longer both on the wall and in total during a session because you add another fuel. I wouldn't recommend it to everyone to use, but I do believe that a significant portion of climbers, especially those who focus more on bouldering or single-pitch sport would benefit strongly from it.

There are no climbing-specific studies on this, but there's no reason why it shouldn't apply to climbers as well as the general athletic population.

One reason it might not apply to climbers is that the extra 25 lb of body weight might negate the improvement in strength.

Jay
Yeah but you lose the water retention pretty rapidly after coming off of it (most people use it in cycles) and skipping the loading phase of taking stupid amounts at the start greatly reduces the water retention as well. Some "special" creatine (for example creatine ethyl esther) claim to further reduce water retention as well.


bcrigby


Mar 1, 2013, 1:53 PM
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I wouldn't buy into any idea of reduced water retention from any form of creatine--physiologically speaking, it requires water to be stored in the muscles. If there's no water retention, then your body isn't storing it where it's needed (or more likely at all). The "water weight" does come off quick, though.

I've been trying hard to piece the different areas of research together as to whether creatine will benefit climbers, and at this point I'm confident enough to say it's a definite yes. There isn't much research on climbing in general, and none on creatine use in climbing, but drawing assumptions from established research has me a firm believer.

Creatine use has consistently been shown in studies to not only increase absolute strength, but relative strength. Usually these studies are done on major muscle groups, like the legs, but there is no reason to assume the results would be different in the forearms. Attenuated, yes, but when given a long training period, the overall increases in strength found in the creatine group will at some point compensate for the extra 2-5 lbs gained. Thus, there may be a possible loss of relative strength initially, but it will be overcome with enough time.

More importantly, climbing performance is more dependent on strength endurance than relative strength, and creatine significantly adds to the energy pool upon which strength endurance is based for two reasons. 1) It adds more energy directly by boosting creatine phosphate stores and 2) It buffers hydrogen ion buildup by utilizing H+ in the reaction to turn ADP back into ATP.

As a final point, one study has shown that the anaerobic alactic energy system (the phosphocreatine system, PCr) can provide 34-41% of the total energy for a climb (abstract: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00421-007-0501-0?LI=true). Supplementing creatine could significantly improve strength endurance by adding to the capabilities of the PCr system.


jt512


Mar 2, 2013, 6:05 PM
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sungam wrote:
jt512 wrote:
bcrigby wrote:

Creatine will add 2-5 lbs to your weight because it associates with water. It will also make you last longer both on the wall and in total during a session because you add another fuel. I wouldn't recommend it to everyone to use, but I do believe that a significant portion of climbers, especially those who focus more on bouldering or single-pitch sport would benefit strongly from it.

There are no climbing-specific studies on this, but there's no reason why it shouldn't apply to climbers as well as the general athletic population.

One reason it might not apply to climbers is that the extra 25 lb of body weight might negate the improvement in strength.

Jay
Yeah but you lose the water retention pretty rapidly after coming off of it (most people use it in cycles) and skipping the loading phase of taking stupid amounts at the start greatly reduces the water retention as well. Some "special" creatine (for example creatine ethyl esther) claim to further reduce water retention as well.

I think if you've lost the water retention, you've lost the creatine along with it.

Jay


jt512


Mar 2, 2013, 6:11 PM
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bcrigby wrote:
I've been trying hard to piece the different areas of research together as to whether creatine will benefit climbers, and at this point I'm confident enough to say it's a definite yes. There isn't much research on climbing in general, and none on creatine use in climbing, but drawing assumptions from established research has me a firm believer.

The climbing-specific evidence isn't there. Be careful about falling in love with your assumptions.

Jay


bcrigby


Mar 2, 2013, 6:58 PM
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My assumptions are based on the research which is available, which I grant is not climbing-specific. However, the body of evidence on the utility of creatine almost universally supports its application in sports which are primarily anaerobic, including other sports where body weight is an important consideration such as sprinting.

It's important to test hypotheses in sport-specific applications, but it's also important to recognize that similar systems behave in similar ways. We can, for the most part, assume that because creatine increases the absolute power endurance of the leg muscles and biceps, it will also increase the absolute power endurance of the forearms. If creatine increases the relative strength of the legs and biceps, under what reasonable conditions can we reject that it increases the relative strength of the forearms?

With sport-specific research, we may find that the assumptions made are not pertinent in climbing, but at this point all we have are assumptions on both sides of the equation. To me, the assumption that climbing will react similarly to creatine as other anaerobic weight-dependent sports seems more likely than climbing reacting differently.

So we wind up at a crossroads. Which assumptions do you base your beliefs upon? Is it better to avoid creatine because there is no climbing-specific research (null hypothesis: creatine will not significantly affect performance) or to take creatine because non-climbing-specific research supports its application in anaerobic sport in general (alternative hypothesis: creatine will significantly affect performance). Either way, our decision is not based upon climbing-specific research, but at least on the 'pro' side there is research in general.


bcrigby


Mar 2, 2013, 8:12 PM
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I wasn't satisfied with unreferenced suppositions. Here's a couple of articles that directly deal with creatine in forearm strength and endurance:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10362451 (you can Google to find entire article, link was too long)
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2276184/

In the first article, maximal isometric contraction strength was NOT improved in the forearm, but endurance during submaximal forearm contraction was significantly improved (p < .01 for the 1st trial, p < .05 for the 2nd and 3rd). A limitation of the study was it's short duration--only five days. This length of time was sufficient to demonstrate the acute effects of creatine (improved ATP resynthesis rates in submaximal exercise) but insufficient to demonstrate positive long-term effects, such as muscular hypertrophy which could increase strength significantly above a placebo.

In the second article, creatine pyruvate significantly enhanced contractile force (p < .001) and relaxation velocity (p < .01) in the forearms, which "is accompanied by enhanced oxygen consumption and blood flow." Mean power was also significantly improved in the creatine pyruvate group (p < .001).

Both articles deal with absolutes, not relatives, and that is a limitation. However, the second article in particular has implications for climbing as relaxation velocity enhances blood flow and re-oxygenation. As another paper stated, "The superior intermittent finger flexor endurance of climbers over non-climbers may be explained by the faster re-oxygenation of the finger flexor muscles during the short rest phases." Enhanced blood flow also allows for better buffering of H+ ions, reducing muscle burn.

Final article mentioned: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22131087 (abstract only, sorry)


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