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ShannonT


Apr 4, 2012, 8:42 AM
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Woman climbers, arm strength
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I've just recently started climbing ALOT and find i have no pull strength which is a pain as i find it hard to do overhang bolder problems. Honestly i can hardly do 2 pull ups.

What shall i do, i'm kind of needing a training programme but don't know where to start.Frown


granite_grrl


Apr 4, 2012, 8:51 AM
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Re: [ShannonT] Woman climbers, arm strength [In reply to]
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ShannonT wrote:
I've just recently started climbing ALOT and find i have no pull strength which is a pain as i find it hard to do overhang bolder problems. Honestly i can hardly do 2 pull ups.

What shall i do, i'm kind of needing a training programme but don't know where to start.Frown

Basic pullups is not a great indication of climbing strength. If you can do two pullups you're WAY in front of the curve in terms of new female climbers.

So knowing that you can do as many pullups as I can I would say that it technique that's holding you back at this point. The Self Coached Climber would be good for you to read, but also take the time to watch other climbers on the steeps. They will incorperate a lot of twisting a turning with their shoulders and their hips to make the moves.

As far as getting stronger, I think you're on the right track by taking a strong interest in bouldering and getting on the steep walls. As you gain technique and start progressing to harder things you will also build muscle. Just don't shy away from the burly problems, they're often the most fun!


rtwilli4


Apr 4, 2012, 10:18 AM
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My wife can't even begin to do the pull up motion, let alone complete a full pull up. She climbs mid 10 sport with a bit of consistancy.


notapplicable


Apr 4, 2012, 12:12 PM
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Stop boulding and take up trad. You don't need muscles for that.


jeepnphreak


Apr 4, 2012, 1:53 PM
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ShannonT wrote:
I've just recently started climbing

Well there you problem right there. Just climb more and push your self on to harder problems. Gain technique first and strength will narutaly happen.

my wife cant evan do one pull up but she can lead a solid mid 11s clean.


redlude97


Apr 4, 2012, 3:15 PM
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granite_grrl wrote:
As far as getting stronger, I think you're on the right track by taking a strong interest in bouldering and getting on the steep walls. As you gain technique and start progressing to harder things you will also build muscle. Just don't shy away from the burly problems, they're often the most fun!
I would be careful making that assertion, yes you can get quite strong on burly problems, but with improper technique and not enough time to develop climbing specific strength in tendons and joints you are at an increased risk of injury IME.


mheyman


Apr 4, 2012, 8:50 PM
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Ditto to "Just climb more ... Gain technique first and strength will narutaly happen".


mikebee


Apr 5, 2012, 12:33 AM
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And because noone else has said it yet, be careful of your fingers early on. A lot of new climbers who go straight into bouldering end up trying to crank on tiny crimps and blow a pulley.


shotwell


Apr 5, 2012, 6:03 AM
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ShannonT wrote:
I've just recently started climbing ALOT and find i have no pull strength which is a pain as i find it hard to do overhang bolder problems. Honestly i can hardly do 2 pull ups.

What shall i do, i'm kind of needing a training programme but don't know where to start.Frown

My wife started climbing two years ago, unable to do a pull up. Her 'training program' has always been to climb. She puts in mileage, hits the boulders, and always challenges herself. She rests as needed (typically 2 days on, 1 off.)

After two years of this, she is bouldering V9 with powerful, dynamic movement. She can do several pull ups now. She can campus now. She never trained for either. The only reason I know she can do those is that she has done both on problems and routes.

If you really want to improve as a climber, start climbing. Work on developing great movement skills. Learn to watch better climbers and learn from them. Always challenge yourself, and keep climbing. You'll improve.


adelphos


Apr 5, 2012, 4:40 PM
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In addition to regular climbing, I recommend Crossfit for training. In addition to developing good pulling strength, Crossfit emphasizes core strength. Most people struggle with overhanging problems because they lack core strength.


Geekstar


Apr 5, 2012, 10:04 PM
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Today in the gym I saw an older dude teaching a younger dude to do a route that required pulling four 45* roofs. Younger dude was all muscles and pumped out and fell off the route.

My partner: hey, are you guys still on this?
Muscles: yeah, but I could use a rest
My partner: cool, you inspired her so she wants to try it
Muscles: go for it! Glad to be an inspiration
(I feel a teeny bit bad because my partner and I know I can climb this route, but I consider this exchange educational community service)
*I proceed to climb beautifully*

I cannot do one pull up, I bet Muscles can do quite a few. The moral I very humbly tried to teach him is that sure, muscles can make it easier, but experience, technique, and building up toes and fingers by climbing more are worth way more than that.

*I bailed on a 5.7 earlier in the day, so I was looking for the ego boost I'll admit


lithiummetalman


Apr 5, 2012, 11:09 PM
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pick up hog tying....

Climbed with a girl who did competition hog (or was it calf) .....tying and she is strong both on the rock and physically!

True story, once in a while, she'd chase me down in the gym, pin me, and tie me up with a climbing rope...

....you'd think that be sexy, but it wasn't.... way awkward, and entirely un-sexy trying to move with your right hand tied to your left ankle.

Morale of story: don't piss of someone who is a state champ in hog tying.


(This post was edited by lithiummetalman on Apr 5, 2012, 11:12 PM)


Partner rgold


Apr 6, 2012, 8:10 AM
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Shannon, I don't think you are getting very good advice here.

There is no question that technique reduces the need to apply pure strength, and that one can and should learn an enormous amount from texts like The Self-Coached Climber. But I also think it is irrational to insist that general conditioning is either irrelevant or can be acquired along the way. Its a mantra one hears more and more, and it doesn't make much sense to me, and seems to fly in the face of the accumulated experience of virtually all other sports.

I'm not talking here about non-sport specific things like the Crossfit cult, I'm thinking about specific combinations of basic physical training aimed at the kinds of strength climbers either need for certain types of moves or else could use to prevent the kinds of injuries that occur when, for example, dynamic moves are made without enough strength to control the consequences.

But don't listen to me. (The almost political nature of these debates means that very little listening is going on anyway.) Consider, for example, what a highly accomplished woman climber has to say. Responding in her blog to questions about building strength for women analogous to the questions in this thread, Steph Davis writes, (http://www.highinfatuation.com/blog/gymless-training/)

I think you’re on the right track with wanting to increase your upper body strength for climbing. As a woman, I notice that if I improve my upper body strength at all, I instantly see dramatic results in my climbing. Since women do not naturally build upper body muscle like men do, I think we are forced to climb with more technique in general. If we give any attention to strength building, it allows us to make use of that technique to an extremely gratifying degree.
I’ve also seen many posts written for climbers that play down the benefits of pullups and pullup workouts. I couldn’t disagree more, especially for women. If you start to do pullup workouts, and possibly fingerboard workouts, you will see a dramatic improvement in your climbing very quickly.


Her article has links to weight, hangboard, and pullup training regimens she uses. Might be worth checking out, if for no other reason than to balance the "just climb" chorus heard here.


shotwell


Apr 6, 2012, 10:13 AM
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rgold wrote:
Shannon, I don't think you are getting very good advice here.

There is no question that technique reduces the need to apply pure strength, and that one can and should learn an enormous amount from texts like The Self-Coached Climber. But I also think it is irrational to insist that general conditioning is either irrelevant or can be acquired along the way. Its a mantra one hears more and more, and it doesn't make much sense to me, and seems to fly in the face of the accumulated experience of virtually all other sports.

I'm not talking here about non-sport specific things like the Crossfit cult, I'm thinking about specific combinations of basic physical training aimed at the kinds of strength climbers either need for certain types of moves or else could use to prevent the kinds of injuries that occur when, for example, dynamic moves are made without enough strength to control the consequences.

But don't listen to me. (The almost political nature of these debates means that very little listening is going on anyway.) Consider, for example, what a highly accomplished woman climber has to say. Responding in her blog to questions about building strength for women analogous to the questions in this thread, Steph Davis writes, (http://www.highinfatuation.com/blog/gymless-training/)

I think you’re on the right track with wanting to increase your upper body strength for climbing. As a woman, I notice that if I improve my upper body strength at all, I instantly see dramatic results in my climbing. Since women do not naturally build upper body muscle like men do, I think we are forced to climb with more technique in general. If we give any attention to strength building, it allows us to make use of that technique to an extremely gratifying degree.
I’ve also seen many posts written for climbers that play down the benefits of pullups and pullup workouts. I couldn’t disagree more, especially for women. If you start to do pullup workouts, and possibly fingerboard workouts, you will see a dramatic improvement in your climbing very quickly.


Her article has links to weight, hangboard, and pullup training regimens she uses. Might be worth checking out, if for no other reason than to balance the "just climb" chorus heard here.

Well, to play my token part of this 'politicized' debate and directly comparing anecdotal evidence, I still don't think it is necessary to do specific strength or power training for either gender.

Without any training whatsoever but climbing and hiking, my wife did this in her first two years.
http://www.youtube.com/...x=3&feature=plcp

She is fit, but she has tiny arms. Again, at the beginning she couldn't do a pull up. She can campus moves now, though I've only watched her do it on a route, not a board.

Eventually she might find benefits from campus training, hang boarding, pull ups, etc. Right now, she continues to keep a steady rate of improvement without them. For the vast majority of female climbers, V9 is a long way away. How you get there doesn't much matter to me, but I think that climbing is way more enjoyable than working on pull ups, hang boards, or other training apparatus.

I do see that you mention that specific strength is required for some moves. Feet off campusing, compression, lock offs, etc. can all be trained through climbing. While a climber with my wife's general muscle tone may never climb with Fred Nicole's style, she can probably find a way to climb in the style of Dave Graham.

For what it is worth, I work out on a campus board, a hangboard for warm up, and do pull ups to warm up for the campus boards. I see far more benefit from training motion than I do training either strength or power. This begs the question of why I would waste my time doing anything but climbing, with the simplest answer being that I am targeting some specific weaknesses that I've identified through reflection of my movement. I'm actually using the campus board to train movement, not strength or power.

I do appreciate the counterpoint you've offered, and see how and why it works for some climbers. I read through Steph's links and sent them to my wife. While I don't see the benefit of doing workouts like that, I know it works for many climbers. I will continue to do what I enjoy, for now. One day may find me a training junkie, especially if I ever have less consistent access to rock.

Finally, to paraphrase Eric Hörst, movement training pays off with a far greater level of efficiency than strength or power training for all but the elite. Make of that what you will.


BClear


Apr 6, 2012, 10:26 AM
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http://www.lamarineofficerprograms.com/The_Armstrong_Workout.pdf

You can't beat Armstrong's pullup routine for gaining pullups. Countless Marines achieved their PFT scores because of the program. I know it gained results for me faster than I could have imagined. Substitute flexed arm hangs initially if need be.


ceebo


Apr 6, 2012, 3:51 PM
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rgold wrote:
Shannon, I don't think you are getting very good advice here.

There is no question that technique reduces the need to apply pure strength, and that one can and should learn an enormous amount from texts like The Self-Coached Climber. But I also think it is irrational to insist that general conditioning is either irrelevant or can be acquired along the way. Its a mantra one hears more and more, and it doesn't make much sense to me, and seems to fly in the face of the accumulated experience of virtually all other sports.

I'm not talking here about non-sport specific things like the Crossfit cult, I'm thinking about specific combinations of basic physical training aimed at the kinds of strength climbers either need for certain types of moves or else could use to prevent the kinds of injuries that occur when, for example, dynamic moves are made without enough strength to control the consequences.

But don't listen to me. (The almost political nature of these debates means that very little listening is going on anyway.) Consider, for example, what a highly accomplished woman climber has to say. Responding in her blog to questions about building strength for women analogous to the questions in this thread, Steph Davis writes, (http://www.highinfatuation.com/blog/gymless-training/)

I think you’re on the right track with wanting to increase your upper body strength for climbing. As a woman, I notice that if I improve my upper body strength at all, I instantly see dramatic results in my climbing. Since women do not naturally build upper body muscle like men do, I think we are forced to climb with more technique in general. If we give any attention to strength building, it allows us to make use of that technique to an extremely gratifying degree.
I’ve also seen many posts written for climbers that play down the benefits of pullups and pullup workouts. I couldn’t disagree more, especially for women. If you start to do pullup workouts, and possibly fingerboard workouts, you will see a dramatic improvement in your climbing very quickly.


Her article has links to weight, hangboard, and pullup training regimens she uses. Might be worth checking out, if for no other reason than to balance the "just climb" chorus heard here.

I agree with you.

Campusing is the ultimate tool i have found so far. Going through the differant styles of campusing and rung size it will immediately tell you what your upper physical weaknesses are.

Personally i realised i was very strong on doubles but very weak on laddering. That had a real connection to my climbing since i have a heavy dynamic style. After working on ladders im now doing weighted 1-3-5. The obvius connection to climbing is that i do much better on strengthy slow pull through moves that use to be quite a weakness. I find myself going dynamic out of choice rather than ''dynamic or nothing''.

If people look for physical weaknesses the gains are their to be made. If they think campusing and the sorts wont help climbing then they can enjoy the limited choice on the next road trip Sly.

I realise this was slightly off topic to the womens arm strength issue... or was it?. Depends who you ask.

OP, the first few sessions of what ever you choose to do to target the bigger muscles will be very hard and demorolising. Keep at it and you will brake through to see gains. I do admit men seem to start off at a higher level in terms of reps etc.. but trust me we also get the same horrible feeling of being weak.


(This post was edited by ceebo on Apr 6, 2012, 4:06 PM)


onceahardman


Apr 6, 2012, 4:29 PM
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With all due respect, you are not taking on Rich's argument. You are talking around it.

Nobody thinks that more gains will be made by generalized strength training than by specific training for climbing.

But using strength training as an adjunct, as well as a means of lowering the likelihood that you will be injured, can lead to improvements.

I think that is why this issue becomes "political", or even "religious". People "believe" in their own side. Clearly someone with zero strength (say, a quadriplegic) can't climb anything. Someone who manually muscle tests as "fair", or 3/5, isn't going to climb anything. You need some strength to climb hard. It follows there must be some optimal strength level, or more properly, strength/weight ratio.

BTW, the biomechanical differences between training pullups and campusing are pretty trivial, especially if you train pullups on an edge or sloper of some sort, rather than a bar. So, if you train campusing, you'd expect your ability to do pullups to improve, and probably vice versa.


shotwell


Apr 6, 2012, 4:50 PM
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onceahardman wrote:
With all due respect, you are not taking on Rich's argument. You are talking around it.

Nobody thinks that more gains will be made by generalized strength training than by specific training for climbing.

But using strength training as an adjunct, as well as a means of lowering the likelihood that you will be injured, can lead to improvements.

I think that is why this issue becomes "political", or even "religious". People "believe" in their own side. Clearly someone with zero strength (say, a quadriplegic) can't climb anything. Someone who manually muscle tests as "fair", or 3/5, isn't going to climb anything. You need some strength to climb hard. It follows there must be some optimal strength level, or more properly, strength/weight ratio.

BTW, the biomechanical differences between training pullups and campusing are pretty trivial, especially if you train pullups on an edge or sloper of some sort, rather than a bar. So, if you train campusing, you'd expect your ability to do pullups to improve, and probably vice versa.

I never said you can't improve with sport specific strength training, just that you won't be as efficient as if you're using that time to climb. Again, some strength is necessary, but you can certainly build it by sport climbing or bouldering.

As far as the bio-mechanical differences between campusing and pull-ups, I'll restate that I am using campusing to train movement skills, not either strength or power. Believe it or not, there are times you need to be able to campus to complete a problem. While I can get through these problems now, I'm burning a lot more energy than I need to by throwing my lower body around to build momentum. I want to learn how to do large moves using only my upper body. Two sessions of campus work have me confident skipping two rungs on the small Metolius rungs. For me, it seemed to be mainly a question of confidence.

Finally, I'm not saying you don't need strength to climb. What I am saying is that my wife started climbing, unable to do a pull-up. She was able to build the strength to both pull-up, dyno, and campus by simply climbing. I'm suggesting that other people can do the same.

I'm NOT saying that people can't pursue improvement through alternative means. I'm just saying that movement skill training is considered to have a greater rate of payoff than sport specific strength training.


BClear


Apr 6, 2012, 5:30 PM
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Thought the OP asked for programs to help her pullups, not opinions on why you think they're needed. Anyways if you do use Armstrongs plan you should focus on the pullups/straight arm hangs over the pushups if your unable to do both. I'll be honest it's no cakewalk for the first two weeks but I had massive gains in week three. Also lookup Ranger Ron's program, which is a popular alternative to the Armstrong routine. Armstrongs routine is literally handed out by Marine recruiters to assist prospects with their pft, there is something to be said for that.


shotwell


Apr 6, 2012, 6:38 PM
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onceahardman wrote:
It follows there must be some optimal strength level, or more properly, strength/weight ratio.

Missed this in the first go 'round. I couldn't agree more, but I think we have differing opinions on how to hit that proper strength:weight.


Partner rgold


Apr 7, 2012, 12:33 AM
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shotwell wrote:
I never said you can't improve with sport specific strength training, just that you won't be as efficient as if you're using that time to climb. Again, some strength is necessary, but you can certainly build it by sport climbing or bouldering….I'm NOT saying that people can't pursue improvement through alternative means. I'm just saying that movement skill training is considered to have a greater rate of payoff than sport specific strength training.

I don't know what "efficient" or "rate of payoff" is supposed to mean here. It seems to me that both are based on an assumption that no time spent not climbing can possibly be as effective as climbing. Obviously, Steph Davis doesn't believe this, and if this claim were true, then climbing might be the only athletic activity in the world for which it is true. In every other sport I know of, beginning to advanced participants have found it advantageous to spend some time in strength training targeted to the needs of the sport but not developed through simply practicing the sport.

Here's another way to think about it: if you get hurt and need to rehab, you'll be doing all kinds of supplementary training before you get back to climbing, at least if you ever want to recover. Climbing by itself is neither efficient nor does it offer a high payoff in this case.

The rehab analogy is neither far-fetched nor irrelevant. The advantage of supplementary training is control. First, control of the loads imposed on the body, and second, control of the progress of those loads. By contrast, training via climbing has neither form of control. Individual moves, most especially dynamic ones, will place highly variable and unpredictable loads on the body, and although one can go from easier to harder problems, the level of control over the resistances applied to the body isn't even remotely comparable to the fine-tuned ability to adjust supplementary training loads.

Training isn't an either-or situation in any other sport and I don't see any reason why it should be an either-or situation in climbing. Climbing training, involving technique, movement, strength, endurance, and coordination drills, supplemented by weight and/or gymnastic training that targets weaknesses relevant to either climbing moves or injury prevention makes more sense than trying to do it all through climbing. That approach doesn't work for other sports, you can't rehab injuries that way, and there is no reason I can see why climbing should be radically different.

Shotwell's sample of one is contradicted by the considerably more experienced Steph Davis sample of one, and in any case tells us nothing about what the best, safest, and most efficient approach might be, because we can't run Shotwell's wife through an alternate program to see how she would have done, and we can't run clones of her through the same experiences to see what injury potential she may have dodged by building strength via relatively uncontrollable means.

By the way, campusing does not meet the kind of control criteria I mentioned above, which makes it a relatively risky training procedure that is only appropriate for advanced climbers for whom the potential gains outweigh the injury risks.

Many years ago, I had some friendly arguments with a famous climber who insisted that the best way to climbing was just to climb. He developed into a fantastic climber, but I think the lack of supplementary training together with a steady diet of very strenuous climbing resulted in the shoulder instabilities that essentially ended his career.

Getting back to the topic at hand, there are controllable progressive pulling exercises Shannon could do that would double or triple her pullup ability. (Most definitely not the Armstrong program, however. Once she can do, say, six to ten pullups, she'd be far better off building higher pulling strength rather than shooting for pointless high repetition numbers.) Add to the pullups a few simple exercises to strengthen and protect the shoulder girdle and she will be a better and more injury-resistant climber with a better shot at a long career. I'd guess she could make significant progress in an hour a week (split into three 20-minute sessions). That is hardly going to take a big bite out of her climbing opportunities or decrease the "efficiency" of her climbing training.


BClear


Apr 7, 2012, 1:48 AM
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Tell ya what. You hit over 1500 pullups in one session then talk about "pointless" repetitions. Its called endurance. But hey I'd listen to you over a two time world record holder and the United States Marine Corp any day. They get results, period. But what do they know? I mean who's ever heard of a physically fit United States Marine? Thousands of people getting results from a proven system adopted by our branch of service that prides itself on being the most physically fit period vs. an internet opinion. And we're not even talking about anything hardcore here. This is standard fare pre entry to OCS routine we're talking here. Bottom line is pullups are a job requirement for Marines. Not so sure its like that with math profs these days. Its like top rope anchors had sex with hangboards and delivered a child named pullup routines.


(This post was edited by BClear on Apr 7, 2012, 2:30 AM)


BClear


Apr 7, 2012, 1:53 AM
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Re: [BClear] Woman climbers, arm strength [In reply to]
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And most folks start adding weight to their routines after they're able to hit 20-25 for 3 sets. See http://relativestrengthadvantage.com/7-ways-to-add-resistance-to-pull-ups-chin-ups-and-dips/ for ideas on how to add weight for the strength gains.


shotwell


Apr 7, 2012, 6:54 AM
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Re: [rgold] Woman climbers, arm strength [In reply to]
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rgold wrote:
shotwell wrote:
I never said you can't improve with sport specific strength training, just that you won't be as efficient as if you're using that time to climb. Again, some strength is necessary, but you can certainly build it by sport climbing or bouldering….I'm NOT saying that people can't pursue improvement through alternative means. I'm just saying that movement skill training is considered to have a greater rate of payoff than sport specific strength training.



I don't know what "efficient" or "rate of payoff" is supposed to mean here. It seems to me that both are based on an assumption that no time spent not climbing can possibly be as effective as climbing. Obviously, Steph Davis doesn't believe this, and if this claim were true, then climbing might be the only athletic activity in the world for which it is true. In every other sport I know of, beginning to advanced participants have found it advantageous to spend some time in strength training targeted to the needs of the sport but not developed through simply practicing the sport.

Here's another way to think about it: if you get hurt and need to rehab, you'll be doing all kinds of supplementary training before you get back to climbing, at least if you ever want to recover. Climbing by itself is neither efficient nor does it offer a high payoff in this case.

The rehab analogy is neither far-fetched nor irrelevant. The advantage of supplementary training is control. First, control of the loads imposed on the body, and second, control of the progress of those loads. By contrast, training via climbing has neither form of control. Individual moves, most especially dynamic ones, will place highly variable and unpredictable loads on the body, and although one can go from easier to harder problems, the level of control over the resistances applied to the body isn't even remotely comparable to the fine-tuned ability to adjust supplementary training loads.

Training isn't an either-or situation in any other sport and I don't see any reason why it should be an either-or situation in climbing. Climbing training, involving technique, movement, strength, endurance, and coordination drills, supplemented by weight and/or gymnastic training that targets weaknesses relevant to either climbing moves or injury prevention makes more sense than trying to do it all through climbing. That approach doesn't work for other sports, you can't rehab injuries that way, and there is no reason I can see why climbing should be radically different.

Shotwell's sample of one is contradicted by the considerably more experienced Steph Davis sample of one, and in any case tells us nothing about what the best, safest, and most efficient approach might be, because we can't run Shotwell's wife through an alternate program to see how she would have done, and we can't run clones of her through the same experiences to see what injury potential she may have dodged by building strength via relatively uncontrollable means.

By the way, campusing does not meet the kind of control criteria I mentioned above, which makes it a relatively risky training procedure that is only appropriate for advanced climbers for whom the potential gains outweigh the injury risks.

Many years ago, I had some friendly arguments with a famous climber who insisted that the best way to climbing was just to climb. He developed into a fantastic climber, but I think the lack of supplementary training together with a steady diet of very strenuous climbing resulted in the shoulder instabilities that essentially ended his career.

Getting back to the topic at hand, there are controllable progressive pulling exercises Shannon could do that would double or triple her pullup ability. (Most definitely not the Armstrong program, however. Once she can do, say, six to ten pullups, she'd be far better off building higher pulling strength rather than shooting for pointless high repetition numbers.) Add to the pullups a few simple exercises to strengthen and protect the shoulder girdle and she will be a better and more injury-resistant climber with a better shot at a long career. I'd guess she could make significant progress in an hour a week (split into three 20-minute sessions). That is hardly going to take a big bite out of her climbing opportunities or decrease the "efficiency" of her climbing training.

I agree absolutely that if you have time for both, and you don't do so much conditioning that you reduce the quality of your climbing opportunities there is not much to lose.

To quote Hörst this time instead of paraphrasing, "The learning curve for skill training is steeper and continues upward for longer and more steadily than a curve showing climbing gains in climbing strength from fitness training. Period." He goes on to say, "Elite climbers with highly trained skills are the exception."

While he doesn't express his reasons for suggesting this, I do trust his opinion. I trust it even more because Hörst at least appears to be a total conditioning junkie.

Using Steph as a metric to compare against a beginner is disingenuous. Steph is of the elite, she isn't just getting started. I can't say absolutely why Steph sees payoffs from strength training, but a plausible explanation is that she has learned properly to apply those strength gains through a keen understanding of how her body interacts with the stone.

I also agree that my wife could have gained her current level of climbing skill in another way. Is the way she did things the best? I don't honestly know. But according to Hörst, it could be.

As far as injury prevention exercises are concerned, it was never my intention to argue against them. Your posts make it clear that I'm ignoring pull exercises and general strength exercises that may extend careers. I primarily stretch for injury prevention, but I'd always be willing to expand my repertoire if it meant extending my career. I've probably been too blase in my decade of climbing about this. Upon reflection, I should probably make some changes here. Thanks for the well thought out argument.

It is also clear that climbers need to have a general baseline of fitness. If you're overweight or a long term couch potato, you'll need to get your strength up and your weight down. Even people that are relatively fit (for America) may need some general conditioning. I'm not sure pulling exercises would be my preferred method of altering a strength:weight ratio, but it is one option.

Thanks again Rich, your skilled debate and wealth of experience make this a fun conversation.


(This post was edited by shotwell on Apr 7, 2012, 7:50 AM)


Partner rgold


Apr 7, 2012, 8:40 AM
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Re: [BClear] Woman climbers, arm strength [In reply to]
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BClear wrote:
Tell ya what. You hit over 1500 pullups in one session then talk about "pointless" repetitions. Its called endurance.

From the perspective of climbing it is called totally irrelevant and pointless endurance.

BClear wrote:
But hey I'd listen to you over a two time world record holder and the United States Marine Corp any day. They get results, period. But what do they know? I mean who's ever heard of a physically fit United States Marine? Thousands of people getting results from a proven system adopted by our branch of service that prides itself on being the most physically fit period vs. an internet opinion.

The marines don't know squat about climbing fitness. You want to fight the bad guys? Train like a marine. You want to climb long and hard? There are far more relevant approaches.

As for trusting an internet opinion, you have a point there. What I'm saying has to make its own internal sense, because I'm not a marine instructor whose knowledge, regardless of its applicability, is supposed to be beyond questioning.

BClear wrote:
And we're not even talking about anything hardcore here. This is standard fare pre entry to OCS routine we're talking here. Bottom line is pullups are a job requirement for Marines. Not so sure its like that with math profs these days. Its like top rope anchors had sex with hangboards and delivered a child named pullup routines.

Insults aren't arguments. In fact, they're an attempt to avoid discussing the real issues.

For what it is worth, this particular math prof trained to seven one-arm pullups on each arm, the ability to climb a gym climbing rope strictly one arm at a time, settling into a full hang before each stride, and regularly did routines involving combinations of one-arm pullups, muscle-ups, and front levers. In climbing-related strength, I'd have blown 99% of the marines, totally out of the water, and I use that phrase advisedly. Which is neither here not there. Their training goals are different ones.

But if the marines want that kind of fitness, then they're going to have to try some home-brewed hangboard and top-rope anchor sex themselves.

[Edited to clarify that the rope-climbing was a gym rope, not a climbing rope.]


(This post was edited by rgold on Apr 7, 2012, 8:45 AM)

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