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sticky_digits


Sep 18, 2012, 9:38 PM
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Healthy but heavy
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I'm 6'4 205lbs right now. While i have been casually climbing for a long time now i've decided to seriously work on bouldering. My goal is to do semi hard overhangs by spring so during my break between spring and summer semester i can do some camping in SO ILL and boulder a bit while i'm there (don't even know if there are any overhanging boulders around but its my goal regardless).

The first thing I've done is gone on a diet, however, i don't think it will be healthy for me to go below 180lbs. I am also running, biking, and swimming for cardio. It's really the core and finger/grip strength that is dragging me down.

I'm doing reverse pull-ups until i can do a significant amount of real ones (right now i can do 1 -.- this is actually a significant accomplishment for me) I also use a rowing machine for about a mile every day thinking it will help my back strength, however have done no research to justify that conclusion. I'm also working on abs 3 times a week. This is the really crappy part. I feel so pathetic doing abs I feel like i can't sufficiently strain myself to progress like i would like.

What i really want to know is how you healthy but heavier people have built up the core strength to achieve your goals in climbing. Also where is the happy medium between necessary muscle mass and light weight?

Am i asking to much of myself for just 6 months?


ngranger


Sep 19, 2012, 8:06 AM
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Re: [sticky_digits] Healthy but heavy [In reply to]
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Get a pull up training board. And if u aren't strong enough to do pullups use a chair to support some weight and work your way up. Also most sporting goods stores sell the squeezing grip excersizer things. There's one that has individual springs for each finger. I use it every couple days. Helps a lot with finger and forearm strength. Try p90x plyometrics for a really good all around workout!


shotwell


Sep 19, 2012, 12:56 PM
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Re: [sticky_digits] Healthy but heavy [In reply to]
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sticky_digits wrote:
I'm 6'4 205lbs right now. While i have been casually climbing for a long time now i've decided to seriously work on bouldering. My goal is to do semi hard overhangs by spring so during my break between spring and summer semester i can do some camping in SO ILL and boulder a bit while i'm there (don't even know if there are any overhanging boulders around but its my goal regardless).

The first thing I've done is gone on a diet, however, i don't think it will be healthy for me to go below 180lbs. I am also running, biking, and swimming for cardio. It's really the core and finger/grip strength that is dragging me down.

I'm doing reverse pull-ups until i can do a significant amount of real ones (right now i can do 1 -.- this is actually a significant accomplishment for me) I also use a rowing machine for about a mile every day thinking it will help my back strength, however have done no research to justify that conclusion. I'm also working on abs 3 times a week. This is the really crappy part. I feel so pathetic doing abs I feel like i can't sufficiently strain myself to progress like i would like.

What i really want to know is how you healthy but heavier people have built up the core strength to achieve your goals in climbing. Also where is the happy medium between necessary muscle mass and light weight?

Am i asking to much of myself for just 6 months?

How hard are you looking to climb?

For a point of reference, we have equal BMI. I'm 6' and 185 pounds. While that doesn't mean we have an equivalent strength to weight ratio, it does mean that you are certainly not too heavy to boulder at a moderate difficulty.

Give us some more information and share your actual goals. You'll get better advice for training that will actually help you reach them. I'm guessing that you're bouldering under v4, and would suggest that you put in a lot of mileage on overhanging boulders. You really just need to build up the specific strengths and skills your body needs. I could be way off base, but your core strength, foot work, and confidence are probably more at issue than anything else.


sticky_digits


Sep 19, 2012, 6:48 PM
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Re: [shotwell] Healthy but heavy [In reply to]
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shotwell wrote:
How hard are you looking to climb?

For a point of reference, we have equal BMI. I'm 6' and 185 pounds. While that doesn't mean we have an equivalent strength to weight ratio, it does mean that you are certainly not too heavy to boulder at a moderate difficulty.

Give us some more information and share your actual goals. You'll get better advice for training that will actually help you reach them. I'm guessing that you're bouldering under v4, and would suggest that you put in a lot of mileage on overhanging boulders. You really just need to build up the specific strengths and skills your body needs. I could be way off base, but your core strength, foot work, and confidence are probably more at issue than anything else.

As far as how hard am i wanting to climb. Very. I want to always be getting better.

Core strength is definitely holding me back. Also my forearms. I can hold myself up for sure... just not for very long.


I'm not planning on being a pro climber or anything ridiculous like that. For now i want to get to where it isn't strength that is holding me back. But the mental approach.
Thats what i really like about climbing anyway. Right now i really cant stop and think about the next move because i get too damned tired!

As far as what level i'm climbing at i can only say its low. As the gym i climb in is not very good about rating their problems.

Do you think i should focus less on losing weight and more on building strength for the time being? If i gave myself a little bit larger intake i could probably build strength faster however i would lose weight significantly slower or not at all. Like i said my target is 180.

Also my footwork could definitely improve as well... Pretty much everything could stand for improvement.


shotwell


Sep 20, 2012, 12:02 AM
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Re: [sticky_digits] Healthy but heavy [In reply to]
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sticky_digits wrote:
shotwell wrote:
How hard are you looking to climb?

For a point of reference, we have equal BMI. I'm 6' and 185 pounds. While that doesn't mean we have an equivalent strength to weight ratio, it does mean that you are certainly not too heavy to boulder at a moderate difficulty.

Give us some more information and share your actual goals. You'll get better advice for training that will actually help you reach them. I'm guessing that you're bouldering under v4, and would suggest that you put in a lot of mileage on overhanging boulders. You really just need to build up the specific strengths and skills your body needs. I could be way off base, but your core strength, foot work, and confidence are probably more at issue than anything else.

As far as how hard am i wanting to climb. Very. I want to always be getting better.

Core strength is definitely holding me back. Also my forearms. I can hold myself up for sure... just not for very long.


I'm not planning on being a pro climber or anything ridiculous like that. For now i want to get to where it isn't strength that is holding me back. But the mental approach.
Thats what i really like about climbing anyway. Right now i really cant stop and think about the next move because i get too damned tired!

As far as what level i'm climbing at i can only say its low. As the gym i climb in is not very good about rating their problems.

Do you think i should focus less on losing weight and more on building strength for the time being? If i gave myself a little bit larger intake i could probably build strength faster however i would lose weight significantly slower or not at all. Like i said my target is 180.

Also my footwork could definitely improve as well... Pretty much everything could stand for improvement.

The truth is that it is all interrelated. If you want be your best you will have to dedicate time to everything you mentioned as a weakness. Do it all together, starting now if you want results.


camhead


Sep 20, 2012, 7:49 AM
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Re: [sticky_digits] Healthy but heavy [In reply to]
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sticky_digits wrote:

Do you think i should focus less on losing weight and more on building strength for the time being? If i gave myself a little bit larger intake i could probably build strength faster however i would lose weight significantly slower or not at all. Like i said my target is 180.

At this point, I would put my priorities in this order:

1. Lose Weight
2. Work on technique
3. Work on strength

I know of several people who have made it into the 5.12 range with your height (not sure about body type), but they all were pretty lean. You will be amazed at how much more you can pull when you drop from the low 200s to 180. You are also much less likely to injure yourself by focusing on weight loss over strength training.

So yeah, do a lot of cardio, cut simple carbs and sugars from your diet, don't eat after 6pm, and keep your lean protein intake up so that you don't lose the muscle you have. But def. drop those pounds.

Although there is quite a bit of BS to sift through, this recent thread touches on some of the questions you were asking.

Oh, and find a heavy belayer, too.


desertwanderer81


Sep 20, 2012, 8:17 AM
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Re: [camhead] Healthy but heavy [In reply to]
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I would agree with everything camhead said except that I would prioritize technique slightly above weight loss. You will be amazed at how much less stress you put on your hands when you climb with good technique!

But yeah, if you drop your weight to 180, climbing will be so much easier. Your balance increases. Your hands have significantly less stress. It's pretty amazing!


sticky_digits


Sep 20, 2012, 9:33 AM
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Re: [camhead] Healthy but heavy [In reply to]
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So I will stick with what I've been doing. That is aggressive dieting, Running regularly, Climbing 3-4 times a week, and solid core work outs 1-2 times a week.

I tried to read the thread you linked but it is full of people flaming at each other. Thanks for not turning this into that :]

I definitely don't want to bulk up but I do recognize that i need more strength than i have. Perhaps if i weighed 180 now i would have sufficient strength but i doubt it. Plus i want to climb now as well as then. And 180 is a long ways away. I've been losing about a consistent amount of weight on the diet i'm on while still maintaining a hard daily workout but i don't think the weight loss will keep up at this rate passed 195 or so.


kwdrysdale


Sep 20, 2012, 7:15 PM
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Re: [camhead] Healthy but heavy [In reply to]
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camhead wrote:
At this point, I would put my priorities in this order:

1. Lose Weight
2. Work on technique
3. Work on strength

I know of several people who have made it into the 5.12 range with your height (not sure about body type), but they all were pretty lean. You will be amazed at how much more you can pull when you drop from the low 200s to 180. You are also much less likely to injure yourself by focusing on weight loss over strength training.

So yeah, do a lot of cardio, cut simple carbs and sugars from your diet, don't eat after 6pm, and keep your lean protein intake up so that you don't lose the muscle you have. But def. drop those pounds.

I am in a similar situation...need to drop about 20 pounds. It's not easy, but sure will be rewarding once it's all off. I had a job changed that dropped my activity level and it snuck up on me. :) I have never been exceptionally good at pull ups, but since gaining 20 pounds I can only do 2 or 3. As far as hangs go, my hands start to hurt on my chin up bar way before my muscles say I need to quit. I've been getting back into climbing again and already SLIGHTLY hurt one finger already. The point is once the extra weight is off it should really help reduce/prevent injury to our fingers. I love to climb, and getting more people into it in my area, so gotta succeed in the weight loss. :)


healyje


Sep 20, 2012, 7:27 PM
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Re: [sticky_digits] Healthy but heavy [In reply to]
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sticky_digits wrote:
i can do some camping in SO ILL and boulder a bit while i'm there (don't even know if there are any overhanging boulders around but its my goal regardless).

You could TR the old routes on Makanda Bluff in Giant City, most of which are overhanging.


east78


Sep 27, 2012, 12:31 PM
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Re: [sticky_digits] Healthy but heavy [In reply to]
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I was in the same boat as you last year but even worse. I was 6'2 and 260, i was a D1 offense line prospect. but choose to give that all up. I got down to about 195 this summer and my climbing has diffidently improved sense then. Im still trying to get lower. I know that my weight lifting helped my core strength.


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