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Maintaining in between climbing
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mrssteventyler


May 14, 2007, 6:44 PM
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Maintaining in between climbing
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I'm still working on my strength having only been actively climbing for four months. I was regularly climbing about 3 times a week for about 3 hours a time. But I currently have to take a break and the last time I did so [during the break I climbed maybe twice in 2 or 3 weeks] I lost all my strength and went back down a few grades when I returned.

Rather than lose all my strength and get knocked down a peg or two again (which I anticipate is tough to take a second time round), any suggestions on what I can do to maintain any or all of the areas needed for climbing?

[P.S. I'd check the archives for similar topics but I've got no patience or time to at current, and figured I'd get a fresh crop of answers anyways!]


richardvg03


May 14, 2007, 7:38 PM
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Re: [mrssteventyler] Maintaining in between climbing [In reply to]
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mrssteventyler wrote:

[P.S. I'd check the archives for similar topics but I've got no patience or time to at current, and figured I'd get a fresh crop of answers anyways!]

hahaha I like this chick! LOL

I do pull ups and push ups... and I do the whole hanging by my fingers on a pull up bar... take in concideration that I'm a noob also though ;)


coastal_climber


May 14, 2007, 8:00 PM
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Re: [richardvg03] Maintaining in between climbing [In reply to]
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Do some core work and maybe some jogging. Do dead hangs and pull ups and some finger pulls. Get one of those balls and squeeze it during work to build up finger strength.

>Cam


overlord


May 14, 2007, 11:15 PM
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Re: [coastal_climber] Maintaining in between climbing [In reply to]
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how long will the break be?? if its three weeks, you shoudlnt really loose much power if you climb three times during that time. maybe some power-endurance, but power should pretty much stay where it is.

but you will "fall out of the zone", meaning you wont be quite as good as you were, but thats mostly psychological and movement based short term decline.

if you really want to maintain (and even increase) your strength/power, buy a hangboard or rock rings. the first is prefered if you have the room and can mount it.


ottabox


May 15, 2007, 5:15 AM
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Re: [mrssteventyler] Maintaining in between climbing [In reply to]
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Unless you are hard core into climbing I doubt climbing specific do-dads are the way to go. Better still is a routine that serves more than (climbing) and becomes sustainable because it serves a number of functions. Instead, why not get several dumb-bells and begin a weight training program. You can add climbing specific exercises into your routine.
Is there any way you can get to a climbing gym a least once a week?


iwasasportweenie


May 15, 2007, 5:32 AM
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Re: [ottabox] Maintaining in between climbing [In reply to]
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Actually, I think it has more to do with how hard you climb. Being pretty new to climbing, this is probably right. If you're climbing 5.8/5.9, a hangboard probably isn't going to help you much. But if you can climb hard 10s or 11s, or boulder V3, I think Overlord's suggestion that you get a hangboard or do something else climbing specific, like weighted hangs from a pullup bar or doorframe, is a good one. Running also helps a lot for maintaining/improving endurance, which you'll lose a lot faster than power.

I tend to look at forced breaks from climbing as an opportunity to work on specific things that are hard to train when you're climbing routes or bouldering a lot. For example, campus training "in-season" increases your chance of being injured at the worst time (while it's nice out!) and training anything too hard will leave you tired or sore when you want to get on that next route or boulder. If you don't need to worry about the next time you'll be climbing, you can really kick your butt and have the time you need to rest and recover.

Weight training can be helpful, but it can also be harmful by inflaming tendons, adding unnecessary weight, or just training muscles incorrectly or inefficiently.

If you're comfortable sharing, people can probably give you more specific advice if they know what type of climber (trad/sport/boulder) you are and where you're at difficulty-wise.


granite_grrl


May 15, 2007, 5:35 AM
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Re: [ottabox] Maintaining in between climbing [In reply to]
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I love how people think that taking a two or three week break they will loose so much that it will effect their climbing. I had to take six months off, and I was amazed at how quickly things came back (and by off, I mean off....the only regular exercise I got was physio, which wasn't much). I still have some endurance to work on, but I'm actually a little stronger than I was before now.

Think of taking a few weeks off as time you're letting your body recover. Climbing puts a ton of strain on you, a few weeks off is good for your tendons and ligiments, etc. Keep up with some all over basic physical conditioning and you shouldn't loose much (except, as overlord said, maybe mental stuff).


mrssteventyler


May 15, 2007, 1:11 PM
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I only worry because the last time I took a short break I did lose a lot of my strength and endurance.

It's up in the air whether I'll be climbing at all in the next month... possibly a day or two outside and most likely not at the gym... but my newness to that means I'm getting very few climbs in during the outings, and none of them too straining. If they are straining I burn out on one hard climb and then I feel it was for naught.

In regards to overlord and the mental decline, definitely yes. I found that last time it definitely happened, and I fear it happening this time too.


coastal_climber


May 15, 2007, 6:06 PM
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If you don't mind me asking, how good of physical shape are you in?

>Cam


mrssteventyler


May 15, 2007, 6:24 PM
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Re: [coastal_climber] Maintaining in between climbing [In reply to]
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Um, I'm very tiny with no excess meat on me... about 102 pounds. I'm on my feet for about 40 hours a week at my job... so my legs feel strong. I do a fair amount of lifting at work, but my arms are probably the first muscles group to lose strength if I stop climbing for a short period of time.

Why do you ask?


salamanizer


May 15, 2007, 11:38 PM
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Umm, try not taking a break form climbing. Works for me.
Saying "I have to take a break" for what ever reason is just an excuse. Most people live in a world of excuses of why they can't do something.....do you?


mrssteventyler


May 16, 2007, 5:44 AM
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Re: [salamanizer] Maintaining in between climbing [In reply to]
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See, it's not a case of me making excuses... so don't assume. It's plain ignorance to assume someone is full of excuses as opposed to valid reasons.
My climbing partner needs to take a break because of an elbow injury and I can't make the 40 minute trek to the gym since I don't drive.


granite_grrl


May 16, 2007, 6:05 AM
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Keeping up with general exercise will prevent you from going into a slump. Maybe something like pullups, and Vianyassa or Power yoga is good too. What bothers me is I've heard people who have to take a week off complaining about their losses, I think its all in their head.

There are a fair number of Waterloo climbers. I've seen them on a couple of boards and down at the Niagara Glen. Its too bad about the driving, but maybe you could search for some more partners online in your area (both gym and outside).

Try posting on the Canada section of this board, and also check out Halcyon climbing. Good luck!


salamanizer


May 16, 2007, 1:19 PM
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Valid reasons! Ha, I could see if you had a debilitating injury, but you don't, your friend does. All you have is an excuse, and an excuse to justify your excuse.

Look, it's simple. If you want to climb, you will.
You'll find a way. I'm not assuming anything here. I see it time and time again. People love to look for reasons why they can't do things.
You and your friend can't be the only two people that go climbing at the gym or local crags.
Work out a deal with someone, build your own training wall, climb random crap around town or put routes up on trees if you have any somewhere near by where people arn't going to bitch. But for god's sake, stop telling yourself that I'm the ignorant one and go out and find a way to climb. You'll be glad you did.


mrssteventyler


May 16, 2007, 6:11 PM
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Fine, you win... you can say it's excuses or whatever as I know in my mind my options are limited. Also it's barely been 5 months for me so I'm not at the point where I'm so desperate I'll do anything to climb such as build a wall or even have the ability to set up my own stuff from a tree. I want to climb, and I miss it when I have to take time off, but it'll be waiting for me when I come back.

I do feel though that it's important to want to learn how to maintain in between so I can start good habits like that now and ensure a long and injury free career (or rather, less addled with injury... no one can stay injury free forever especially when I can injur myself walking through my home).


iwasasportweenie


May 16, 2007, 6:29 PM
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I still think that the most relevant question is how hard you're climbing.

If you're climbing below 5.10, don't worry about climbing-specific training. It sounds like your job keeps you in shape, but if you want to do extra, run and lift for climbing-specific muscles. Indoor climbing can also help, if you can find an indoor partner or an auto-belay.

If you can climb 5.10 (even on TR), then you should consider climbing-specific exercises.

I have a bunch of friends who are very serious, athletes, but who have only tried climbing a little bit. Although one of them is a former Olympian, it wouldn't help him to do climbing-specific training, because he still struggles with 5.8. His ability isn't lacking, he just needs practice.

-ER


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