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abrock5


Feb 9, 2012, 7:43 PM
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Sudden and Complete Loss of Strength
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I was climbing at the gym tonight and had something happen to me that has never happened before, and it's REALLY starting to freak me out. My arms and hands COMPLETELY gave out when we had barely started climbing. I am wondering if this has ever happened to anyone before and what I can/should do about it. I'll provide all the specifics below in the hopes of giving a complete picture of what happened.

I have been climbing for almost 9 months now. Mostly gym time with some outdoor trad thrown in as well. For the last 3 months, my climbing partner and I have been training at our gym once per week for about 3 hours per session. We are limited to one day per week due to work and gym location. At the start of this, we were climbing about 6 routes per night and were nabbing the occasional 10a. (I realize grades in a gym are relatively meaningless; I am only including it as a reference.) More recently, we average about 10 routes per evening while regularly climbing into the 10b range. A typical evening involves 2 warm up routes, stretching, and then pretty much climbing at our limit the rest of the evening. Although only once per week, I have noticed a HUGE improvement in overall strength and endurance over the past 3 months. After warming up, I can pretty much climb at 10b the rest of the night.

Tonight started out like any other. 2 warm ups, stretching, a new 10a, and then my 10b project that I had worked on for 2 weeks now. On my fourth route of the evening, I climbed it while only hanging once. After about a 15 minute break, I tie in to climb it again, really feeling well about completing it cleanly and moving on to a new project.

As soon as I touched the wall, I knew something was wrong. I had absolutely no strength in my arms. The route started off with some easy jugs and I couldn't even grab those. Being kind of scared, I immediately shut it down and we left. Even now, almost 3 hours later, my grip feels very weak; I have never experienced this feeling before.

Has this ever happened to anyone else? I don't feel injured or sick. I didn't have a good night's sleep and was pretty tired today, but that has been the case before without these effects. Surely it's not a case of overtraining. I have actually cut back. I used to go pretty hard on the fingerboard, but haven't really been on that much since we started a regular training schedule at the gym. Just curious if this has happened to others and if anyone has any advice for me. Thanks!


maldaly


Feb 9, 2012, 8:30 PM
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Go to the hospital NOW! Don't wait, don't fuck around and don't make any excuses. You may be having a stroke or heart attack.


billcoe_


Feb 9, 2012, 8:52 PM
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abrock5 wrote:
I was climbing at the gym tonight and had something happen to me that has never happened before, and it's REALLY starting to freak me out. My arms and hands COMPLETELY gave out when we had barely started climbing. I am wondering if this has ever happened to anyone before and what I can/should do about it. I'll provide all the specifics below in the hopes of giving a complete picture of what happened.

I have been climbing for almost 9 months now. Mostly gym time with some outdoor trad thrown in as well. For the last 3 months, my climbing partner and I have been training at our gym once per week for about 3 hours per session. We are limited to one day per week due to work and gym location. At the start of this, we were climbing about 6 routes per night and were nabbing the occasional 10a. (I realize grades in a gym are relatively meaningless; I am only including it as a reference.) More recently, we average about 10 routes per evening while regularly climbing into the 10b range. A typical evening involves 2 warm up routes, stretching, and then pretty much climbing at our limit the rest of the evening. Although only once per week, I have noticed a HUGE improvement in overall strength and endurance over the past 3 months. After warming up, I can pretty much climb at 10b the rest of the night.

Tonight started out like any other. 2 warm ups, stretching, a new 10a, and then my 10b project that I had worked on for 2 weeks now. On my fourth route of the evening, I climbed it while only hanging once. After about a 15 minute break, I tie in to climb it again, really feeling well about completing it cleanly and moving on to a new project.

As soon as I touched the wall, I knew something was wrong. I had absolutely no strength in my arms. The route started off with some easy jugs and I couldn't even grab those. Being kind of scared, I immediately shut it down and we left. Even now, almost 3 hours later, my grip feels very weak; I have never experienced this feeling before.

Has this ever happened to anyone else? I don't feel injured or sick. I didn't have a good night's sleep and was pretty tired today, but that has been the case before without these effects. Surely it's not a case of overtraining. I have actually cut back. I used to go pretty hard on the fingerboard, but haven't really been on that much since we started a regular training schedule at the gym. Just curious if this has happened to others and if anyone has any advice for me. Thanks!


Go with Malcoms advise. That's just not anything close to normal dude.


flesh


Feb 9, 2012, 11:12 PM
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abrock5 wrote:
I was climbing at the gym tonight and had something happen to me that has never happened before, and it's REALLY starting to freak me out. My arms and hands COMPLETELY gave out when we had barely started climbing. I am wondering if this has ever happened to anyone before and what I can/should do about it. I'll provide all the specifics below in the hopes of giving a complete picture of what happened.

I have been climbing for almost 9 months now. Mostly gym time with some outdoor trad thrown in as well. For the last 3 months, my climbing partner and I have been training at our gym once per week for about 3 hours per session. We are limited to one day per week due to work and gym location. At the start of this, we were climbing about 6 routes per night and were nabbing the occasional 10a. (I realize grades in a gym are relatively meaningless; I am only including it as a reference.) More recently, we average about 10 routes per evening while regularly climbing into the 10b range. A typical evening involves 2 warm up routes, stretching, and then pretty much climbing at our limit the rest of the evening. Although only once per week, I have noticed a HUGE improvement in overall strength and endurance over the past 3 months. After warming up, I can pretty much climb at 10b the rest of the night.

Tonight started out like any other. 2 warm ups, stretching, a new 10a, and then my 10b project that I had worked on for 2 weeks now. On my fourth route of the evening, I climbed it while only hanging once. After about a 15 minute break, I tie in to climb it again, really feeling well about completing it cleanly and moving on to a new project.

As soon as I touched the wall, I knew something was wrong. I had absolutely no strength in my arms. The route started off with some easy jugs and I couldn't even grab those. Being kind of scared, I immediately shut it down and we left. Even now, almost 3 hours later, my grip feels very weak; I have never experienced this feeling before.

Has this ever happened to anyone else? I don't feel injured or sick. I didn't have a good night's sleep and was pretty tired today, but that has been the case before without these effects. Surely it's not a case of overtraining. I have actually cut back. I used to go pretty hard on the fingerboard, but haven't really been on that much since we started a regular training schedule at the gym. Just curious if this has happened to others and if anyone has any advice for me. Thanks!

I suspect part of it is psychological and part of it is the result of bonking. Combined, it might feel that way. I remember my third day climbing, afterwards, It was very difficult to hold the car door handle to shut the door.

Maybe you had a lack of sleep the night before or repeatedly. Maybe you didn't eat or drink enough before. Maybe you have a physical job that wore you out, etc.

I wouldn't worry about it, just go climb again and take it easy, start off with super easy routes and report back.


jt512


Feb 10, 2012, 12:16 AM
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flesh wrote:

I wouldn't worry about it, just go climb again and take it easy, start off with super easy routes and report back.

I always suspected that you were an idiot. Now I know for sure.

Jay


Partner j_ung


Feb 10, 2012, 5:09 AM
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What happened!?


dan2see


Feb 10, 2012, 7:00 AM
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I suspect your heart has a problem that you don't know about. So because you don't know about it already, your episode was a surprise and remains a complete mystery. So you don't know what is the condition of your heart, and you don't know if/when this will hit you again.

Get tested. You can get tests like an echo-gram to check the chamber volume, and how the valves work. You can get measurements of the thickness of the myocardial walls, at rest vs under stress. Maybe even coronary arteries, too.

These tests show conditions that you could never learn about yourself. It doesn't mean that your heart is going to fail and you'll drop dead while leading some route. But you'll know, one way or the other, if there's something you should do about it.


abrock5


Feb 10, 2012, 8:21 AM
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Thanks for the replies everyone. It's the next morning now and I spent a little time on my hangboard just to check everything out. I could hang on, but my arms just felt...weird. Not as weak as last night, but definitely not as strong as normal. I'll definitely visit my doc and get everything checked on. Since we're talking heart stuff here, I should mention that I'm only 30 years old. I actually did have my heart checked a few years ago due to unexplained racing. However, after in depth tests, it was determine to be work/stress related. Everything else looked great.

After last night's incident, I should also tell you guys everything else felt normal. No heart racing, legs felt fine, clear head. Just couldn't grip ANYTHING...not even beginner routes. We'll see what happens after a solid weekend of rest. Thanks again for the input. It helps to know that this is not at all a common occurance.


AnthonyATX


Feb 10, 2012, 8:39 AM
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Some medicines can have strange effects. I was on Lipitor for a while (due to genetically high cholesterol), until both my quadricepts tore from normal movement .

It could have also been a sugar crash, if you have not been eating properly.

But when in doubt, see a doctor, and the internet is not a doctor :)


flesh


Feb 10, 2012, 10:36 AM
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jt512 wrote:
flesh wrote:

I wouldn't worry about it, just go climb again and take it easy, start off with super easy routes and report back.

I always suspected that you were an idiot. Now I know for sure.

Jay

You're such an angry man Jay. You must be hurting inside.


Partner cracklover


Feb 10, 2012, 12:32 PM
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abrock5 wrote:
I was climbing at the gym tonight and had something happen to me that has never happened before, and it's REALLY starting to freak me out. My arms and hands COMPLETELY gave out when we had barely started climbing. I am wondering if this has ever happened to anyone before and what I can/should do about it. I'll provide all the specifics below in the hopes of giving a complete picture of what happened.

I have been climbing for almost 9 months now. Mostly gym time with some outdoor trad thrown in as well. For the last 3 months, my climbing partner and I have been training at our gym once per week for about 3 hours per session. We are limited to one day per week due to work and gym location. At the start of this, we were climbing about 6 routes per night and were nabbing the occasional 10a. (I realize grades in a gym are relatively meaningless; I am only including it as a reference.) More recently, we average about 10 routes per evening while regularly climbing into the 10b range. A typical evening involves 2 warm up routes, stretching, and then pretty much climbing at our limit the rest of the evening. Although only once per week, I have noticed a HUGE improvement in overall strength and endurance over the past 3 months. After warming up, I can pretty much climb at 10b the rest of the night.

Tonight started out like any other. 2 warm ups, stretching, a new 10a, and then my 10b project that I had worked on for 2 weeks now. On my fourth route of the evening, I climbed it while only hanging once. After about a 15 minute break, I tie in to climb it again, really feeling well about completing it cleanly and moving on to a new project.

As soon as I touched the wall, I knew something was wrong. I had absolutely no strength in my arms. The route started off with some easy jugs and I couldn't even grab those. Being kind of scared, I immediately shut it down and we left. Even now, almost 3 hours later, my grip feels very weak; I have never experienced this feeling before.

Has this ever happened to anyone else? I don't feel injured or sick. I didn't have a good night's sleep and was pretty tired today, but that has been the case before without these effects. Surely it's not a case of overtraining. I have actually cut back. I used to go pretty hard on the fingerboard, but haven't really been on that much since we started a regular training schedule at the gym. Just curious if this has happened to others and if anyone has any advice for me. Thanks!

Did your forearms feel super duper pumped, and like the pump just wouldn't go away? That might be functional compartment syndrome. But it doesn't sound like what you described. I really have no idea, and I'd second (fourth?) the idea to go see a doctor.

GO


jt512


Feb 10, 2012, 12:44 PM
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flesh wrote:
jt512 wrote:
flesh wrote:

I wouldn't worry about it, just go climb again and take it easy, start off with super easy routes and report back.

I always suspected that you were an idiot. Now I know for sure.

Jay

You're such an angry man Jay. You must be hurting inside.

I'd rather be angry at an idiot with no medical training who tells someone to ignore symptoms that may indicate a life-threatening condition than be the idiot giving such dangerous advice.

Jay


horseshoe


Feb 10, 2012, 3:28 PM
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So Abrock, what did the physician say?

Even if you start to feel better, please see someone. It may be nothing, in which case you will have peace of mind. Or it may be something that can be easily corrected if caught in time. Or it may be something that you need to know about now.

Regardless, get it checked out and let us know what you find out.


onceahardman


Feb 10, 2012, 3:37 PM
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I doubt cardiac. I'm thinking something neurological/neuromuscular. Are the symptoms absolutely equal bilaterally?

See a generalist first, and if he/she doesn't seem to have a good idea, I'd probably ask for a neuro referral next. I've had sudden, profound weakness in my left arm, but that was from a disc derangement in my c-spine. Equal bilaterally is weird, and potentially really evil. Please see a doc.

EDIT:

Ahead of seeing the doc, check each muscle group individually. Elbow flexors, elbow extensors. Shoulder flexors. Wrist extensors and flexors. Finger flexors and extensors. Finger adductors and abductors. Any numbness or paresthesias? All weak, and equal bilaterally, or is there a difference side to side?


(This post was edited by onceahardman on Feb 10, 2012, 3:48 PM)


onceahardman


Feb 10, 2012, 3:43 PM
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Re: [flesh] Sudden and Complete Loss of Strength [In reply to]
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flesh wrote:
jt512 wrote:
flesh wrote:

I wouldn't worry about it, just go climb again and take it easy, start off with super easy routes and report back.

I always suspected that you were an idiot. Now I know for sure.

Jay

You're such an angry man Jay. You must be hurting inside.

Please stick to subjects you know something about.

So far, though, I think there is scant evidence you have anything to contribute on any subject.


(This post was edited by onceahardman on Feb 10, 2012, 3:44 PM)


abrock5


Feb 10, 2012, 5:40 PM
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Thanks for the continued posts everyone. I was unable to go to a general physician today, but plan to do so on Monday. As today has progressed, my right arm feels back to normal. When I make a fist with my left, I feel tightness and soreness in my forearm and bicep. Strength is definitely returning to the left though; last night I could barely even make a fist. If this is strictly muscular, shouldn't I have distinctly felt something if it was a pull or a strain (I'm very seriously doubting a tear)? There was no popping or discomfort last night, just an inability to grip. Also, to answer a previous post, it wasn't a case of being pumped; I actually thought my arms were pretty fresh until I tried that last route. Oh well, we'll see what the doc says Monday and I'll keep you guys up to date


danabart


Feb 10, 2012, 7:44 PM
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Re: [abrock5] Sudden and Complete Loss of Strength [In reply to]
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In this situation Jay had a very good reason to be angry. I may regret writing this, and it's not intended as an insult, but what you wrote was really stupid.


(This post was edited by danabart on Feb 10, 2012, 7:50 PM)


flesh


Feb 11, 2012, 10:35 PM
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danabart wrote:
In this situation Jay had a very good reason to be angry. I may regret writing this, and it's not intended as an insult, but what you wrote was really stupid.

You guys are right. I responded without considering the facts, it could have been dangerous for the op. I apologize. Similar things have happened to me and I never worried about it, I didn't stop to think. I quick posted.

Calling someone an idiot is rude. Why not make a suggestion that a mistake was made? Jay has a history of going after people and it doesn't benefit our community. He's a bully, an internet bully.

Originally, I came here because I thought I could help struggling climbers. It seems this isn't the place for that.


jt512


Feb 11, 2012, 10:51 PM
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flesh wrote:
danabart wrote:
In this situation Jay had a very good reason to be angry. I may regret writing this, and it's not intended as an insult, but what you wrote was really stupid.

You guys are right. I responded without considering the facts, it could have been dangerous for the op. I apologize. Similar things have happened to me and I never worried about it, I didn't stop to think. I quick posted.

Calling someone an idiot is rude. Why not make a suggestion that a mistake was made? Jay has a history of going after people and it doesn't benefit our community. He's a bully, an internet bully.

Originally, I came here because I thought I could help struggling climbers. It seems this isn't the place for that.

You really should have stopped after the first paragraph.

Jay


shockabuku


Feb 12, 2012, 8:33 AM
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flesh wrote:
danabart wrote:
In this situation Jay had a very good reason to be angry. I may regret writing this, and it's not intended as an insult, but what you wrote was really stupid.

You guys are right. I responded without considering the facts, it could have been dangerous for the op. I apologize. Similar things have happened to me and I never worried about it, I didn't stop to think. I quick posted.

Calling someone an idiot is rude. Why not make a suggestion that a mistake was made? Jay has a history of going after people and it doesn't benefit our community. He's a bully, an internet bully.

Originally, I came here because I thought I could help struggling climbers. It seems this isn't the place for that.

Quitting and/or complaining don't accomplish much; which is not to say that's all you're doing but, if that's where you leave it...


onceahardman


Feb 12, 2012, 4:50 PM
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Nice of you to apologize.

Sure, Jay can be a bully sometimes. But toughen up. Bullies can be bested. Jay can be beat in an argument, but you'd better know what you're talking about. He's a pretty smart cookie.

If you don't, you are better off just walking away. Bullies seek attention. If you ignore them, they lose interest.

Presently, you are outgunned.


NeedMoreCowbell


Feb 12, 2012, 8:41 PM
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OP: I did have a similar experience. I climb about 1.5 hrs a day, 3 or 4 times a week in the gym. I started experiencing sever bicep pain, and it would dissipate a few hours after I stopped climbing. One day, I lost almost all strength in my arm, and could not even lift my arm to shoulder height. I went to my ortho and he diagnosed me with shoulder impingement syndrome (This was my diagnosis, may not be yours). It is caused by repeated overhead movements, or other forceful overhead actions. I am not a medical professional, so I will not try to get into the specifics, but my healthcare provider instructed me on several exercises to relieve the stress on my tendons, and gave me a week of anti-inflammatories. That was four months ago, and I have not had any symptoms since.

Please seek medical attention - your symptoms sound serious. A Dr. or other trained medical professional will be able to help you more than anyone on a forum.


boadman


Feb 13, 2012, 1:37 PM
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Sounds like flash pump to me.


billl7


Feb 13, 2012, 4:03 PM
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Sounds pretty weird to me, worth getting checked out. I am not saying it is the same thing by any stretch but ...

Bachar took his last fall not so long after complaining about periodic and unexpected loss of arm / hand strength, one-sided if I recall correctly.


squierbypetzl
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Feb 13, 2012, 5:26 PM
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Damn, didn't know that about Bachar.

Either you greatly exagerated your symptoms or you potentially have a life threatening medical condition. I hope it's the former but if it's the latter then don't put off getting medical attention.

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