Forums: Climbing Information: Technique & Training:
what climbing-specific training to drop weight
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Technique & Training

Premier Sponsor:

 
First page Previous page 1 2 3 Next page Last page  View All


ghisino


Sep 7, 2010, 6:39 AM
Post #1 of 54 (8589 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 12, 2005
Posts: 245

what climbing-specific training to drop weight
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

So, two months ago i've decided to seriously try to get some weight off. (i have good reasons and i've already experimented the effect on my climbing of some weight fluctuations...)

I started at 5'8", 150lbs, body fat around 14-15%.
final objective would be somewhere close to 135 lbs and 5 to 10% fat...i'm not expecting to get there faster than in 6 months, but i'd like it to be a permanent change.

Started by watching my diet: moderating portions, eliminating most junk/energy-dense foods, eating more of those fruits&vegetables i appreciate, looked at the timing of my meals, calculated a caloric balance and set it for a moderate deficit etc...

until now it seems to work quite well, i dropped to 145 lbs and 12-13% fat. (And, i've already seen some climbing-related results, sweet)

i think that i've made all the changes i could in my diet, so i don't see the point of further optimizing it or making it too extreme. It is at a point where i actually enjoy it and could keep it for a long time.

So i'm curious if i can tweak something in my training routine as well. I usually climb outside on weekends and train 3 nights a week in a bouldering gym, so one session can definitely be dedicated to "weight loss climbing" if there's anything like that.
In the bouldering gym, my options are :
-bouldering at any combination of volume/intensity/rests (i'd mostly end up on slightly overhanging stuff. Find it hard and scary to do really hard moves on a 45°, big fear of injuries)
-Weird cave-like structure that allows 25-move ascending (i.e. straight-up, no traversing) boulder-routes on a very overhanging wall (my favourite, i like the steep when it's on the pumpy side)
-fingerboard, campus
-weights

I am particularly interested to know if anyone has a clue about what kind of work in the gym would help my weight-dropping objective the best, particularly in the sense of :
-burning the most possible calories over a given time (say a 2 hours session)
-minimizing loss of climbing-relevant muscle.

My common sense says the best would be running as many laps as possible in the cave structure (burly climbing->big muscles involved->more calories burnt).
But i'm not sure, especially since i like that kind of work and i might just be self-indulgent here...


any thoughts?


(This post was edited by ghisino on Sep 7, 2010, 6:47 AM)


jt512


Sep 7, 2010, 10:25 AM
Post #2 of 54 (8537 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 11, 2001
Posts: 21890

Re: [ghisino] what climbing-specific training to drop weight [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (11 ratings)  
Can't Post

ghisino wrote:
I am particularly interested to know if anyone has a clue about what kind of work in the gym would help my weight-dropping objective the best, particularly in the sense of :
-burning the most possible calories over a given time (say a 2 hours session)
-minimizing loss of climbing-relevant muscle.

My common sense says the best would be running as many laps as possible in the cave structure (burly climbing->big muscles involved->more calories burnt).
But i'm not sure, especially since i like that kind of work and i might just be self-indulgent here...

The literature on the energy cost of rock climbing is sparse, but what little there is suggests that, if your goal is to lose weight, then the volume of climbing you do is much more important than the difficulty.

Bertuzzi et al¹ found that climbing a 10-m gym route required 17 to 23 kcal, depending on the difficulty of the route and the skill of the climber. Watts et al.² found that climbers' total energy expenditure while climbing was in the range of 10.4–11.2 kcal/min. A reasonable estimate of resting metabolic rate is 1.2 kcal/min. Subtracting this figure from Watts' results gives a net energy of rock climbing of 9.2–10.0 kcal/min. If we assume that a 10-m gym route takes about 2 min. to climb, then Bertuzzi's and Watts' results are quite comparable.

Looking at Bertuzzi's results more closely, they found that highly skilled climbers burned 17.1, 19.3, and 22.0 kcal climbing routes rated 5.10a, 5.11b, and 5.12b, respectively. So, say that in a day of climbing you can complete 10 5.11b routes. Then, in that day, you will have burned 193 kcal climbing. That's equivalent to jogging a whole 19 minutes. On the other hand, if dropping down to 5.10a would allow you to climb 20 routes in a day, then you would burn 20 × 17.1 = 342 kcal. That is still lousy compared with other forms of exercise, such as running, biking, or swimming, but it is a substantial improvement over climbing fewer harder routes. So, the bottom line is that, if you want to use rock climbing as a direct means of losing weight, you have to do a lot of volume.

Keep in mind that the above results are for 10-m routes. Results for longer routes would scale up proportionately, so if you can climb 20 20-m 5.10a routes in a day, you can burn about 680 kcal—equivalent to about an hour of easy jogging. Not bad.

A couple of clarifications. First, all of the above numbers apply only to the actual time climbing. Secondly, by climbing, I mean climbing up. I have seen no data for traversing, but I would presume that, for a given level of difficulty, traversing would require far less energy than climbing up. Secondly, outdoor climbing is better for weight loss than the above numbers suggest, because during a climbing day you spend energy on activities other than pure climbing, such as approaches, walks between routes, and belaying (assuming you bother to stand up). These ancillary activities all burn more energy than sitting at your desk does, and contribute to total energy expenditure during a climbing day.

Jay

¹ Bertuzzi RC, et al. Energy system contributions in indoor rock climbing. Eur J Appl Physiol (2007) 101:293-300.

² Watts PB and Drobish KM. Physiological responses to simulated rock climbing at different angles. Med Sci Sports Exerc (1998) 30(7):1118-22.


(This post was edited by jt512 on Sep 7, 2010, 1:10 PM)


viciado


Sep 7, 2010, 10:33 AM
Post #3 of 54 (8528 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 9, 2003
Posts: 413

Re: [ghisino] what climbing-specific training to drop weight [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I was going to say that you probably won't get the weight loss you are after with climbing. BUT Jay covered that pretty thouroughly. So, if not climbing? I would add some aerobic stuff that you enjoy.


Dip


Sep 7, 2010, 11:24 AM
Post #4 of 54 (8500 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 16, 2009
Posts: 269

Re: [viciado] what climbing-specific training to drop weight [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

i don't know. I've often wondered what the data was, and jay's post is informative for sure. That being said, i lost a pretty significant amount of weight just by climbing, although i guess it took a while. When i started i was around 200 lbs, 2 years in i was down to about 175, and now, coming up on my 3 year anniversary i check in at just under 170 (i'm 6 feet tall, not that that's relevant). I never ran or did a whole lot of extra aerobic activity aside from climbing 3-4 times a week, and didn't change my diet that much. I realize i could be the exception or i could be overlooking some subtle change, but I have to say it worked for me.


jt512


Sep 7, 2010, 11:43 AM
Post #5 of 54 (8490 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 11, 2001
Posts: 21890

Re: [Dip] what climbing-specific training to drop weight [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (3 ratings)  
Can't Post

Dip wrote:
i don't know. I've often wondered what the data was, and jay's post is informative for sure. That being said, i lost a pretty significant amount of weight just by climbing, although i guess it took a while. When i started i was around 200 lbs, 2 years in i was down to about 175, and now, coming up on my 3 year anniversary i check in at just under 170 (i'm 6 feet tall, not that that's relevant). I never ran or did a whole lot of extra aerobic activity aside from climbing 3-4 times a week, and didn't change my diet that much. I realize i could be the exception or i could be overlooking some subtle change, but I have to say it worked for me.

Your weight loss was very gradual: 1 lb per month for the first two years. Nothing exceptional about that.

Jay


roc_doc


Sep 7, 2010, 12:39 PM
Post #6 of 54 (8464 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 2, 2010
Posts: 2

Re: [jt512] what climbing-specific training to drop weight [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Jay,
Thanks for this post, great for all of us interested in the subject. I have to say, since it takes a science geek to know another, kudos to you my friend! This is epic good geekness you display, and please understand I mean that as the highest form of compliment! :)


Dip


Sep 7, 2010, 1:08 PM
Post #7 of 54 (8454 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 16, 2009
Posts: 269

Re: [jt512] what climbing-specific training to drop weight [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

i guess not. And losing weight never really was the goal, just a fortunate side effect. But, it sure was a lot more enjoyable than most diet/exercise programs, even if it was less effective.


Bag11s


Sep 7, 2010, 6:57 PM
Post #8 of 54 (8383 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 8, 2009
Posts: 98

Re: [Dip] what climbing-specific training to drop weight [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

Jay's post- really great summary. Your transition from 200 lbs to 170 lbs over three years is just great. I have no doubt that if you have an interest in climbing ever harder stuff then this trend is going to prove most helpful. Although Jay says not so extra-ordinary, it is still a nice solid trend.


ghisino


Sep 8, 2010, 5:08 AM
Post #9 of 54 (8320 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 12, 2005
Posts: 245

Re: [jt512] what climbing-specific training to drop weight [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

impressive j.

that's the kind of answer i was looking for, thank you!


viciado


Sep 8, 2010, 6:23 AM
Post #10 of 54 (8297 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 9, 2003
Posts: 413

Re: [Dip] what climbing-specific training to drop weight [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

A couple things regarding you weight loss and my comment above.

1) My comment was in relationship to the OP's situation and the desire to drop below a certain body fat percentage. I suspect that his already decent diet and the cardio level indicated will not be enough to trim the last ittle bit.

2) From your post, I am assuming that climbing was the single change in your habits. Your weight loss, while commendable, is not particularly remarkable. If your exercise regime changed from doing nothing to doing anything be it clmbing or walking or whatever, you would likely see similar results.

Enjoy pulling harder!


billl7


Sep 8, 2010, 6:55 AM
Post #11 of 54 (8286 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 13, 2005
Posts: 1888

Re: [Dip] what climbing-specific training to drop weight [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Dip wrote:
i guess not. And losing weight never really was the goal, just a fortunate side effect. But, it sure was a lot more enjoyable than most diet/exercise programs, even if it was less effective.

Enjoyable: Spot on from my perspective. Choose a form of exercise you are self-motivated to do. This is what's going to make a difference to your health year in, year out.

But I think the topic was short-term goals.Blush


glovedclimber413


Sep 8, 2010, 9:04 AM
Post #12 of 54 (8254 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 6, 2010
Posts: 33

Re: [ghisino] what climbing-specific training to drop weight [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

work on some endurance after you do your bouldering session...climb at a moderate to easy level for at least 15 minutes continuously

i usually finish my workouts by traversing across the gym a bunch of times with a watch to keep time...i also started to wear some weighted belts


jt512


Sep 8, 2010, 10:19 AM
Post #13 of 54 (8227 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 11, 2001
Posts: 21890

Re: [glovedclimber413] what climbing-specific training to drop weight [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (2 ratings)  
Can't Post

glovedclimber413 wrote:
work on some endurance after you do your bouldering session...climb at a moderate to easy level for at least 15 minutes continuously

i usually finish my workouts by traversing across the gym a bunch of times with a watch to keep time...i also started to wear some weighted belts

I don't mean to seem critical, but from a weight loss perspective, doing laps on routes would almost surely be far more effective than traversing. And wearing a weight belt while performing complex movement activities, like climbing, has the potential to ingrain poor movement habits.

Jay


Dip


Sep 8, 2010, 10:34 AM
Post #14 of 54 (8216 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 16, 2009
Posts: 269

Re: [viciado] what climbing-specific training to drop weight [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

In reply to:
From your post, I am assuming that climbing was the single change in your habits. Your weight loss, while commendable, is not particularly remarkable. If your exercise regime changed from doing nothing to doing anything be it clmbing or walking or whatever, you would likely see similar results.

Correct, it was, i mostly played video games and drank beer for the first 28 years of my life. I guess i read the "i wanna lose weight" part and ran with it.

On a side note, it is nice to see jay's post regarding the calories climbing burns and the studies to back that up. I find it hard to balance the right amount of food/caloric intake with my climbing sessions. I either find i don't eat enough and am screaming hungry all day, or i eat too much and feel like shit for doing it. So this leads me to believe i should not be taking in all that much more than the rda for my age/weight? Its a subject i can never seem to wrap my brain around. Don't mean to hijack the post...


viciado


Sep 8, 2010, 10:43 AM
Post #15 of 54 (8206 views)
Shortcut

Registered: May 9, 2003
Posts: 413

Re: [Dip] what climbing-specific training to drop weight [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Eating right is probably the greatest American obsession in which we excel at failing.

You have to make the choice to eat right. Once you get a handle on it, you can have some latitude. In my experience, the main thing is self discipline, YMMV


noahfor


Sep 8, 2010, 3:16 PM
Post #16 of 54 (8161 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 15, 2006
Posts: 61

Re: [viciado] what climbing-specific training to drop weight [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I would just diet. I'm in the same position as you. I'm 5'8, started at 160 with ~15% about 3 months ago, and I'm down to about 145 at ~11%. I have done nothing but diet and whatever climbing I would have done even if I weren't trying to lose weight.

You don't have to stick to the diet that got you down to your desired weight once you're there. You get there with a pretty substantial caloric deficit, and once you're where you want to be you can go back up to maintenance without gaining any weight back.

Do you track your calories?


bearbreeder


Sep 8, 2010, 3:55 PM
Post #17 of 54 (8145 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 1, 2009
Posts: 1960

Re: [ghisino] what climbing-specific training to drop weight [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

do laps as said ... find something well below your grade and climb it ... then climb another one with no break

for karma points downclimb it as well then climb again without yr feet touching the ground

it does 3 things

1. its great excersize ... like a super stairmaster

2. itll improve yr technique ... after the first few climbs you dont be able to haul yrself up ... itll be all footwork or you cant do it

3. it force you to look for good rest spots


glovedclimber413


Sep 8, 2010, 4:40 PM
Post #18 of 54 (8128 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Feb 6, 2010
Posts: 33

Re: [jt512] what climbing-specific training to drop weight [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

i understand that laps is preferably but the question is whether he could find someone to belay him while he does a bunch of laps or if there is one of those auto belay things...traversing is usually easier for me since more people i climb with either dont do endurance training when they are done or really wouldnt want to belay for 20 minutes straight unless they were going to do it right after

i could see the weight belt causing some bad habits but i use very little weight (2.5 - 5 pounds) and while i am traversing i am almost completely focused on the way i am making moves


ghisino


Sep 9, 2010, 1:44 AM
Post #19 of 54 (8076 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 12, 2005
Posts: 245

Re: [glovedclimber413] what climbing-specific training to drop weight [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

glovedclimber413 wrote:
i understand that laps is preferably but the question is whether he could find someone to belay him while he does a bunch of laps or if there is one of those auto belay things...

the question is answered when your gym has something like this (see attachment)...Cool


(This post was edited by ghisino on Sep 9, 2010, 1:45 AM)
Attachments: Tunnel.JPG (8.88 KB)


gunkiemike


Sep 12, 2010, 4:07 AM
Post #20 of 54 (7907 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 1, 2002
Posts: 2263

Re: [ghisino] what climbing-specific training to drop weight [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

How easy is going to be to maintain sub 10% body fat? Aren't we talking about a level of leanness that most bodies just don't want to be at? IOW, making this "permanent" will mean dieting and aerobic work in large volumes...forever.


mheyman


Sep 12, 2010, 5:15 AM
Post #21 of 54 (7901 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 25, 2002
Posts: 607

Re: [gunkiemike] what climbing-specific training to drop weight [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

And the aerobic part will make you far hungrier, just maintaining your current caloric intake will be at diet level. Two hours of running a week turns me into a glutton.

The op didn't ask about aerobic activity but from his description I think adding it would be far greater health benefit than climbing more. It's probably least effective as bouldering training than other forms of climbing, but it makes a big difference for me even on "long" indoor routes.


(This post was edited by mheyman on Sep 12, 2010, 5:23 AM)


jaablink


Sep 12, 2010, 7:01 AM
Post #22 of 54 (7888 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 1, 2004
Posts: 537

Re: [ghisino] what climbing-specific training to drop weight [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

The body burns something like 2500 to 3000 calories during a 26 mile marathon run.

Diet trumps exercise….

Loose 150 calories a day from your diet, coupled with a healthy training program , and you will loose the weight fast, as long as you do not cheat.


camhead


Sep 12, 2010, 7:28 AM
Post #23 of 54 (7878 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 9, 2001
Posts: 20704

Re: [jaablink] what climbing-specific training to drop weight [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

jaablink wrote:
The body burns something like 2500 to 3000 calories during a 26 mile marathon run.

Diet trumps exercise….

Loose 150 calories a day from your diet, coupled with a healthy training program , and you will loose the weight fast, as long as you do not cheat.

This is true. However, the real challenge is when your training requires additional calories. If you are trying to build lean muscle mass climbing, you don't just need to cut 150 calories from your diet; you need to increase the amount of lean protein that you consume.

Jay's original post about calories burned climbing was excellent; I think it just shows that, if you are trying to find the best exercise for losing weight, climbing is not it.

Personally, I try to cycle as a way of keeping weight down, and climb in a gym only to improve my climbing, not for weight loss.


jaablink


Sep 12, 2010, 8:43 AM
Post #24 of 54 (7870 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 1, 2004
Posts: 537

Re: [camhead] what climbing-specific training to drop weight [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I don’t understand what you are saying…?.what i am getting at in short... You need to burn off more than you take in to loose weight. If you take in more than you need the body stores it.

Body movement is very efficient, because of this it takes allot to burn off ones stored reserves. A good diet will get you there faster than exercise alone . Recognizing the right windows of when and when not to eat, eating smaller portions more times a day instead of large meals few times a day, and loosing 150c a day by taking a smaller portion or loosing all together that bag of chips, candy bar , or can of soda, you will get the desired results .

I also cycle, avg. 200 miles a week. I am entered in a century for charity next Sunday where I will do my best to use as much mechanical advantage to keep the rpm at a constant and conserve as much energy as possible.

Cycling is to help keep me in good cardio shape. Proper diet relative to activity, environment, and individuals' goals, keeps your weight where you want it.

Diet still trumps exercise.


granite_grrl


Sep 12, 2010, 10:25 AM
Post #25 of 54 (7856 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 25, 2002
Posts: 14703

Re: [camhead] what climbing-specific training to drop weight [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

camhead wrote:
jaablink wrote:
The body burns something like 2500 to 3000 calories during a 26 mile marathon run.

Diet trumps exercise….

Loose 150 calories a day from your diet, coupled with a healthy training program , and you will loose the weight fast, as long as you do not cheat.

This is true. However, the real challenge is when your training requires additional calories. If you are trying to build lean muscle mass climbing, you don't just need to cut 150 calories from your diet; you need to increase the amount of lean protein that you consume.

Jay's original post about calories burned climbing was excellent; I think it just shows that, if you are trying to find the best exercise for losing weight, climbing is not it.

Personally, I try to cycle as a way of keeping weight down, and climb in a gym only to improve my climbing, not for weight loss.
I'm finally back down to a regular weight for me after putting on almost 10lbs last winter. Key for me was eating well. Very diligent about not eating too much and not going for the little treats that I love (soooo easy to say "oh, this one little thing won't make me put on weight", and it might be true but I don't lose weight with this attitude).

With work and other commitments it's hard for me to get much more exercise in than what I'm already doing. Seems that diet is key for me.

First page Previous page 1 2 3 Next page Last page  View All

Forums : Climbing Information : Technique & Training

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?
$10.76 (10% off)
$89.96 (10% off)
$4.05 (10% off)
$7.16 (10% off)



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook