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SylviaSmile


May 22, 2012, 1:15 PM
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Women-Specific Training Regimes
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I was just wondering what regimes you ladies have for staying in top climbing shape. In particular, what forms of training do you do on non-climbing days? What has been most effective?


erisspirit


May 22, 2012, 4:57 PM
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Re: [SylviaSmile] Women-Specific Training Regimes [In reply to]
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I'm no top anything buuut I am strongest when my work out is...

more climbing...

buuuut other than that... I do like keeping my cardio up with either running or biking. I also do like doing workouts that target my core. My work provides circuit training, and I have found that it have seen a lot of improvement in my overall strength... I can't say it's made my climbing greatly improve or anything, but I do feel better in general.

I do need to work more on my flexibility Unsure


gblauer
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May 22, 2012, 8:03 PM
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Re: [SylviaSmile] Women-Specific Training Regimes [In reply to]
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This may not apply to you, since I am most likely much older than you.

I do 60 minutes of cardio 6 days per week. I push my heart in to the 140s for at least 40 minutes (my zone is 115-140). I work out with a personal trainer 1 day per week. Our sessions always include door jamb pullups, regular pullups and lots and lots of leg and core work with weight lifting. I try and climb 2-3 days per week (outdoors). Indoor climbing hurts my fingers, so I stopped doing it. I also meditate every day and try and go to yoga as often as I can get to a class.

Wish I could say that it's making me a kick ass climber, alas, it is not.


lena_chita
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May 23, 2012, 5:25 AM
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Re: [SylviaSmile] Women-Specific Training Regimes [In reply to]
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Very simplistically, to stay in top climbing shape, you need to:

--Climb enough (there is no substitute for having enough time, something like 3-4 times a week) and climb intelligently (e.i. spend your time wisely on climbing-specific training)

--maintain healthy weight, preferably on the low side of what is healthy for your height/frame.

--work opposing muscles to avoid imbalance and injury, and don't forget stretching to maintain flexibility.



From that list, it is pretty easy to figure out what you could be doing on your off days:

1) If you need to lose weight (IMO most people could stand to lose 5-10 pounds), cut calories in such a way that you still are keeping adequate protein intake and not losing muscle, and step up your cardio workouts (running, biking, rollerblading, swimming, etc. pick your favorite). If you don't need to lose weight, and don't particularly enjoy running or other such activities, do just enough of it to meet your general healthy lifestyle recommendations. Cardio is not going to improve your climbing, if you are at healthy weight and aren't puffing after a flight of stairs.

2) if you have never worked with weights, get a recommendation from a trainer or a physical therapist for good opposing muscle exercises. This is not a spend-hours-in-weight-gym sort of thing, more like doing a few sets of very specific exercises with hand weights.

3) do yoga. Keeps you flexible, relaxed, and otherwise happy.

4) don't forget that there is more to life than climbing. Just enjoy it.


SylviaSmile


May 23, 2012, 7:03 AM
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lena_chita wrote:
Very simplistically, to stay in top climbing shape, you need to:

--Climb enough (there is no substitute for having enough time, something like 3-4 times a week) and climb intelligently (e.i. spend your time wisely on climbing-specific training)

--maintain healthy weight, preferably on the low side of what is healthy for your height/frame.

--work opposing muscles to avoid imbalance and injury, and don't forget stretching to maintain flexibility.



From that list, it is pretty easy to figure out what you could be doing on your off days:

1) If you need to lose weight (IMO most people could stand to lose 5-10 pounds), cut calories in such a way that you still are keeping adequate protein intake and not losing muscle, and step up your cardio workouts (running, biking, rollerblading, swimming, etc. pick your favorite). If you don't need to lose weight, and don't particularly enjoy running or other such activities, do just enough of it to meet your general healthy lifestyle recommendations. Cardio is not going to improve your climbing, if you are at healthy weight and aren't puffing after a flight of stairs.

2) if you have never worked with weights, get a recommendation from a trainer or a physical therapist for good opposing muscle exercises. This is not a spend-hours-in-weight-gym sort of thing, more like doing a few sets of very specific exercises with hand weights.

3) do yoga. Keeps you flexible, relaxed, and otherwise happy.

4) don't forget that there is more to life than climbing. Just enjoy it.

Are you saying I am fat and have no life?! *blinks back tears of butthurtz*

Ok, not really . . . but this is why your posts here are my favorite. Advice is spot on, of course. There is no way I am going to climb 3-4 days a week, unfortunately, due to the fact that the nearest climbing gym is an hour from me and I actually do have other commitments and activities outside of climbing. I should be doing some kind of daily workout, though, so I'm just trying to get ideas of what kinds of non-climbing workouts might serve the dual-purpose of keeping me from being fat/lazy and also helping with strength/conditioning I need to climb better. Obviously no substitute for the real thing.


More questions: Has anyone had good experiences with dance-based workouts, such as ballet or ballroom? For the yoga recommendation, is there any particular style or set of poses that you enjoy or find beneficial?


erisspirit


May 23, 2012, 9:27 AM
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I really like threads like this. it gives me inspiration to work harder


granite_grrl


May 23, 2012, 9:29 AM
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SylviaSmile wrote:
More questions: Has anyone had good experiences with dance-based workouts, such as ballet or ballroom? For the yoga recommendation, is there any particular style or set of poses that you enjoy or find beneficial?

I've known a few people who do higher pace dancing (like swing dancing) which keeps them incredibly trim. It doesn't seem that ballroom dancing is very high intensity though.

As for yoga, poses that people find benificial will depend on your weaknesses. In general though I do like a routine with more standing/balance poses. Beyond getting a good stretch, you also build the smaller stabalizer muscles.


erisspirit


May 23, 2012, 10:01 AM
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granite_grrl wrote:
SylviaSmile wrote:
More questions: Has anyone had good experiences with dance-based workouts, such as ballet or ballroom? For the yoga recommendation, is there any particular style or set of poses that you enjoy or find beneficial?

I've known a few people who do higher pace dancing (like swing dancing) which keeps them incredibly trim. It doesn't seem that ballroom dancing is very high intensity though.

As for yoga, poses that people find benificial will depend on your weaknesses. In general though I do like a routine with more standing/balance poses. Beyond getting a good stretch, you also build the smaller stabalizer muscles.


I definitely like the balance poses. I also find for me the moves that work with tightening the core help a lot. I am bad about dropping my rear on overhanging climbs, and I find practicing keeping that core nice and tight helps me fight that habit.


lena_chita
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May 23, 2012, 10:17 AM
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Re: [granite_grrl] Women-Specific Training Regimes [In reply to]
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granite_grrl wrote:
SylviaSmile wrote:
More questions: Has anyone had good experiences with dance-based workouts, such as ballet or ballroom?

I've known a few people who do higher pace dancing (like swing dancing) which keeps them incredibly trim. It doesn't seem that ballroom dancing is very high intensity though.

I was going to say the same thing. Unless you are breathing hard and your heart rate is elevated for significant period of time, it is unlikely that dancing would do much for cardio. Swing, and other rhythm dancing, especially dancing that involves some jumping, would be the best. But when I have tried zumba-- the dance/exercise combo that a lot of people swear by, as aerobic activity-- I didn't find that it was particularly strenuous, definitely nowhere near the heart rate increase I get when running. But OTOH, it was way more fun, because I hate running.

granite_grrl wrote:
SylviaSmile wrote:
For the yoga recommendation, is there any particular style or set of poses that you enjoy or find beneficial?
As for yoga, poses that people find benificial will depend on your weaknesses. In general though I do like a routine with more standing/balance poses. Beyond getting a good stretch, you also build the smaller stabalizer muscles.

I usually don't break down yoga into do this, don't do this set of poses. I like doing it all. The class that I take does a pretty good job of rotating through various poses and focusing on different aspects from class to class.

I am not doing it for climbing improvement. I am just doing it because I feel good after it.


granite_grrl


May 23, 2012, 10:32 AM
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Re: [lena_chita] Women-Specific Training Regimes [In reply to]
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lena_chita wrote:
granite_grrl wrote:
SylviaSmile wrote:
For the yoga recommendation, is there any particular style or set of poses that you enjoy or find beneficial?
As for yoga, poses that people find benificial will depend on your weaknesses. In general though I do like a routine with more standing/balance poses. Beyond getting a good stretch, you also build the smaller stabalizer muscles.

I usually don't break down yoga into do this, don't do this set of poses. I like doing it all. The class that I take does a pretty good job of rotating through various poses and focusing on different aspects from class to class.

I am not doing it for climbing improvement. I am just doing it because I feel good after it.

I would agree that yoga isn't any better than running for climbing improvment (ie - good general fitness, but not climbing specific). But I have found that the standing and balance poses have really helped me regain stability in my leg after I broke it and the stetching part helps my lower back by streching out my hips.

When talking about a class with more standing poses I guess I'm more talking about an active class, one where you're not sitting for most of the poses. I'm not saying that poses like this are bad, I prefer to have a well rounded class, but I don't get a lot of bennefit if it is one of these more "gentle" classes.

Of course there is a hige range of classes and styles out there. Perhaps the meditative focused sessions would be better for the OP. She will have to explore what's out there and figures out what works for her.


granite_grrl


May 23, 2012, 10:40 AM
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Re: [gblauer] Women-Specific Training Regimes [In reply to]
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gblauer wrote:
This may not apply to you, since I am most likely much older than you.

I do 60 minutes of cardio 6 days per week. I push my heart in to the 140s for at least 40 minutes (my zone is 115-140). I work out with a personal trainer 1 day per week. Our sessions always include door jamb pullups, regular pullups and lots and lots of leg and core work with weight lifting. I try and climb 2-3 days per week (outdoors). Indoor climbing hurts my fingers, so I stopped doing it. I also meditate every day and try and go to yoga as often as I can get to a class.

Wish I could say that it's making me a kick ass climber, alas, it is not.

You are in awesome shape and pretty awesome at climbing. One person's kick-ass is another one's dissapointment. Wink

I think focusing on some strength training is usually good advice for most women. A personal trainer would be awesome, but most women could be well off spending time with some burley bouldering at least.


SylviaSmile


May 23, 2012, 10:44 AM
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Re: [granite_grrl] Women-Specific Training Regimes [In reply to]
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I actually tend to dislike both yoga and running. I know they are meant to be good for you, though, so I can make myself do both for the overall benefits (even in one day!). I guess I am looking for some examples of crossover benefits for climbing--the core-strength and standing-stability being some of these, which I will try to take advantage of with the yoga. I know there is nothing like real climbing, but surely there must be some exercises "like" climbing, right? As in, training some of the same muscles you would use in the motions of climbing. So I mentioned dance and ballet because I thought maybe some of these muscle groups would be the same, as in grande plies or moves where you step on the ball of your foot and balance. Cardio I can get any which way (I agree high-intensity dance is more fun than running), but I guess I'm thinking more along the lines of strength training.


SylviaSmile


May 23, 2012, 10:46 AM
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The thought just occurred to me, though, that I can probably go traverse or boulder on some real rock that's closer than the gym and might work well with the daylight left after work during the week . . .


Laney


Jun 11, 2012, 3:00 PM
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I think most women could improve their climbing by strengthening their upper body. Losing weight might help a little, but the end goal should be to improve your strength to weight ratio. Exercises that work muscle groups used in climbing are going to have the most direct correlation to improved climbing. Men naturally have more upper body strength than women, so it might not be as crucial to their improvement to put on a little more upper body muscle. I traded running and yoga for crossfit and hangboard exercises, and the improvement in my climbing has been pretty awesome. Now that I am stronger, I am not sure why I used to focus so much on being smaller.


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