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TwistTheNeil


Jan 21, 2013, 8:02 PM
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How often should i climb?
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I'm relatively new to climbing, just been cilmbing for 3 weeks now.
I've got upto a 5.8 and a v1.
Although for the past two days, i've had a little pain in my elbow.
I've been climbing every other day until last weekend (mlk day gave me a day off) and i've been climbing for 6 days straight.

I know now i have to cut back.

Can anyone suggest how often i could climb?
A climbing instructor said that because i've been climbing a lot, i'm not allowing my tendons enough time to adjust to my new routines..
Edit: She also said that i should take a few days off while another one said that i should focus on push ups when i'm resting from climbing. Is that alright ?


(This post was edited by TwistTheNeil on Jan 21, 2013, 8:04 PM)


Syd


Jan 22, 2013, 3:07 PM
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Re: [TwistTheNeil] How often should i climb? [In reply to]
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Are you overweight ?
I would expect a beginner to be climbing much harder routes after so much climbing.


TwistTheNeil


Jan 22, 2013, 3:15 PM
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Re: [Syd] How often should i climb? [In reply to]
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Syd wrote:
Are you overweight ?
I would expect a beginner to be climbing much harder routes after so much climbing.
I am 120lbs which is just above being underweight. But i have no upper body/core strength and was corrected by someone that i should use my legs more than my hands just a couple days ago..(which could have caused the elbow pain..)


marc801


Jan 22, 2013, 5:34 PM
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Re: [Syd] How often should i climb? [In reply to]
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Syd wrote:
Are you overweight ?
I would expect a beginner to be climbing much harder routes after so much climbing.
It's always so much fun in the beginner's forum when someone gets all pompous and judgmental. Syd, does it just come naturally or did you have to take a special course?


SE_climber


Jan 22, 2013, 5:49 PM
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Re: [TwistTheNeil] How often should i climb? [In reply to]
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The instructor definitely had the right idea. Since you haven't been climbing very long, you'll notice that your biggest physical gains right now will be in muscle strength. The problem is that climbing requires not only muscles strength, but incredible tendon strength. Tendons take a lot longer to adjust to rigorous climbing and heavy training, but building good, strong tendons is going to prevent injury in the long run.

To do this, I would recommend climbing 2-3 times per week with rest days in between. This will give your tendons and muscles time to repair after strenuous activity. Also, don't get super focused on pushing grades--dedicate your energy to smooth easy movements and footwork. Finding your balance and putting your weight onto your feet can ease some of the strain on your upper body.

Also make sure to stretch before climbing. You may even want to start doing some basic yoga, not just pushups, on rest days to make sure that as your muscles and tendons develop, they don't become unbalanced and overly tight. Yoga will also help you work your core.

If you feel at all tweaky, stop. Take a couple rest days, then try some basic movements of the sore joint at home. If it still feels tweaky, rest a couple more days. Then try movements with resistance. Once that feels okay, start climbing again slowly.

Best of luck to ya!


olderic


Jan 22, 2013, 7:56 PM
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Re: [marc801] How often should i climb? [In reply to]
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marc801 wrote:
Syd wrote:
Are you overweight ?
I would expect a beginner to be climbing much harder routes after so much climbing.
It's always so much fun in the beginner's forum when someone gets all pompous and judgmental. Syd, does it just come naturally or did you have to take a special course?


Hook line and sinker.


TwistTheNeil


Jan 22, 2013, 8:14 PM
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SE_climber wrote:
Also make sure to stretch before climbing. You may even want to start doing some basic yoga, not just pushups, on rest days to make sure that as your muscles and tendons develop, they don't become unbalanced and overly tight. Yoga will also help you work your core.

If you feel at all tweaky, stop. Take a couple rest days, then try some basic movements of the sore joint at home. If it still feels tweaky, rest a couple more days. Then try movements with resistance. Once that feels okay, start climbing again slowly.

Best of luck to ya!

I usually do hamstring stretches almost everyday since i used to have knee problems a few years ago. Do i need to do upper body stretches like back stretches?
Also, what do you mean by tweaky ?


SE_climber


Jan 22, 2013, 8:42 PM
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Re: [TwistTheNeil] How often should i climb? [In reply to]
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I stretch my upper body too--upper back and poses that work my shoulders (gently!). My right shoulder sometimes gives me trouble and stretching/resting helps a lot.

Tweaky means that your tendons/ligaments feels achy or painful--usually because of an odd twisting movement that puts pressure on the joints. It's not a sore/burning muscle feeling like when you get pumped, but more like the instant pinching feeling of pulling a muscle. For me, I know that there's a couple of movements that I try to stay away from because they tend to make me feel an instant "tweak" in my shoulder.


TwistTheNeil


Jan 23, 2013, 4:40 AM
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Is this set of yoga techniques alright?
http://matadornetwork.com/sports/6-yoga-poses-for-rock-climbers/
And this shoulder warmup video ?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=2y_A4xfbGUU


JAB


Jan 23, 2013, 6:25 AM
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Re: [TwistTheNeil] How often should i climb? [In reply to]
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TwistTheNeil wrote:
I'm relatively new to climbing, just been cilmbing for 3 weeks now.
I've got upto a 5.8 and a v1.
Although for the past two days, i've had a little pain in my elbow.
I've been climbing every other day until last weekend (mlk day gave me a day off) and i've been climbing for 6 days straight.

I know now i have to cut back.

Can anyone suggest how often i could climb?
A climbing instructor said that because i've been climbing a lot, i'm not allowing my tendons enough time to adjust to my new routines..
Edit: She also said that i should take a few days off while another one said that i should focus on push ups when i'm resting from climbing. Is that alright ?

I know this sounds harsh, but it takes your tendons years to adapt. Gym climbing and bouldering focus a lot on strength and not much on technique, so if you climb inside you will have to keep it to max 3 times a week. Your other option is to climb every day, then take 2-6 month rest periods to heal your tendonisis or similar problems. Your call. Wink


TwistTheNeil


Jan 23, 2013, 8:26 AM
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Re: [JAB] How often should i climb? [In reply to]
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JAB wrote:
Gym climbing and bouldering focus a lot on strength and not much on technique
I'm not going to climb more than thrice a week now. But why do you say that gym climbing is more about strength?

Edit:
Also, can i use a squeeze ball to increase arm strength ?


(This post was edited by TwistTheNeil on Jan 23, 2013, 9:58 AM)


saint_john


Jan 23, 2013, 12:23 PM
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Re: [TwistTheNeil] How often should i climb? [In reply to]
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TwistTheNeil wrote:
I'm relatively new to climbing, just been cilmbing for 3 weeks now.
I've got upto a 5.8 and a v1.
Although for the past two days, i've had a little pain in my elbow.
I've been climbing every other day until last weekend (mlk day gave me a day off) and i've been climbing for 6 days straight.

I know now i have to cut back.

Can anyone suggest how often i could climb?
A climbing instructor said that because i've been climbing a lot, i'm not allowing my tendons enough time to adjust to my new routines..
Edit: She also said that i should take a few days off while another one said that i should focus on push ups when i'm resting from climbing. Is that alright ?

Listne to your body. If you've got pain in your joints, you may want to slow things down. As an enthusiastic new climber it's easy to hurt your tendons.


JAB


Jan 24, 2013, 1:48 AM
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Re: [TwistTheNeil] How often should i climb? [In reply to]
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TwistTheNeil wrote:
JAB wrote:
Gym climbing and bouldering focus a lot on strength and not much on technique
I'm not going to climb more than thrice a week now. But why do you say that gym climbing is more about strength?

Edit:
Also, can i use a squeeze ball to increase arm strength ?

The very nature of gym climbing is in hold climbing, i.e. there is a blank wall with holds for your hands and feet, with no hands-off rests at any point. This means you need to hold on with your hands in order to get to the top. Outside, the routes are much more varied, with cracks, slabs, ledges and rests, meaning good technique is much more important, since smart climbing will get a weaker climber past the hard fingery cruxes to the next rest.

A squeeze ball will not improve your climbing. You don't squeeze anything on a climb (staying on a hold requires static locking off, not squeezing), so you'd be much better off doing lockoffs on a pullup bar.


TwistTheNeil


Jan 24, 2013, 8:38 AM
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Is a lock off when you do a pull up and stay up for a few seconds?


lena_chita
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Jan 24, 2013, 9:06 AM
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Re: [JAB] How often should i climb? [In reply to]
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JAB wrote:
TwistTheNeil wrote:
JAB wrote:
Gym climbing and bouldering focus a lot on strength and not much on technique
I'm not going to climb more than thrice a week now. But why do you say that gym climbing is more about strength?

Edit:
Also, can i use a squeeze ball to increase arm strength ?

The very nature of gym climbing is in hold climbing, i.e. there is a blank wall with holds for your hands and feet, with no hands-off rests at any point. This means you need to hold on with your hands in order to get to the top. Outside, the routes are much more varied, with cracks, slabs, ledges and rests, meaning good technique is much more important, since smart climbing will get a weaker climber past the hard fingery cruxes to the next rest.

A squeeze ball will not improve your climbing. You don't squeeze anything on a climb (staying on a hold requires static locking off, not squeezing), so you'd be much better off doing lockoffs on a pullup bar.

Except, the OP is already having elbow pain. This sort of thing is going to only make it worse.


climber511


Jan 24, 2013, 10:34 AM
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Re: [lena_chita] How often should i climb? [In reply to]
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As a beginner - your climbing can be compared somewhat to weight training in that you use your strength more than necessary. As a sort of very general rule, you should climb (lift) every other day if its "strength" work as a beginner or until you know your recovery abilities better. But the best rule for beginner or advanced is to never out work your recovery ability. It's hard I know but back off before you create a condition where you have to stop for an extended period of time.


6pacfershur


Jan 24, 2013, 9:02 PM
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Re: [JAB] How often should i climb? [In reply to]
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JAB wrote:
The very nature of gym climbing....with no hands-off rests at any point....

strange, i find hands-off rests quite often when i climb at the gym....


JAB


Jan 24, 2013, 11:58 PM
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lena_chita wrote:
JAB wrote:
TwistTheNeil wrote:
JAB wrote:
Gym climbing and bouldering focus a lot on strength and not much on technique
I'm not going to climb more than thrice a week now. But why do you say that gym climbing is more about strength?

Edit:
Also, can i use a squeeze ball to increase arm strength ?

The very nature of gym climbing is in hold climbing, i.e. there is a blank wall with holds for your hands and feet, with no hands-off rests at any point. This means you need to hold on with your hands in order to get to the top. Outside, the routes are much more varied, with cracks, slabs, ledges and rests, meaning good technique is much more important, since smart climbing will get a weaker climber past the hard fingery cruxes to the next rest.

A squeeze ball will not improve your climbing. You don't squeeze anything on a climb (staying on a hold requires static locking off, not squeezing), so you'd be much better off doing lockoffs on a pullup bar.

Except, the OP is already having elbow pain. This sort of thing is going to only make it worse.

You are right of course. Totally forgot about the original problem when replying to the new question...


EdBustamante


Jan 25, 2013, 8:19 AM
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Re: [TwistTheNeil] How often should i climb? [In reply to]
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if your fealing pain rest and strech . work on your foot work if the elbo hurts .slab climbing with no hands or hands just for balance.
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TwistTheNeil


Jan 25, 2013, 9:03 AM
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Re: [JAB] How often should i climb? [In reply to]
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JAB wrote:
You are right of course. Totally forgot about the original problem when replying to the new question...
Well, my pain is mostly gone now. I can try climbing again in a day or two.
What about those lock offs ?
Can i do start them in a week or so ?
Also, how do you do lock offs using a pull up bar ?


Shanna


Jan 25, 2013, 11:26 AM
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Re: [TwistTheNeil] How often should i climb? [In reply to]
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I have not seen you climb, so it is hard to judge your strengths and weaknesses. My guess (based on experience) is your main weakness at this point is basic skill and technique (foot placement, weighting the feet properly, hip movement, etc, using straight arms). My advise is to work on this for a few months before adding in something like lock-off training.

If you are male and have a healthy weight, you can probably climb sport 5.12 and V5 by learning technique and movement. If you are female, you may need to develop some upper body strength to achieve 5.12, but I would not know for sure without watching.

I never do lock off training. I find other training is much more important.
Lock-off training is a good way to ruin your elbows, IMO.


(This post was edited by Shanna on Jan 25, 2013, 11:28 AM)


Shanna


Jan 25, 2013, 11:33 AM
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Re: [Shanna] How often should i climb? [In reply to]
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I re-read the thread and noted you said you are underweight (120) and have no upper body strength. Can you do a pull-up?
It may be a good idea to do some general fitness and build some overall body strength before focusing so much on one exercise.


TwistTheNeil


Jan 25, 2013, 12:11 PM
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I can do 2 pull ups before i need to rest..
Also, yes! I started doing push ups and leg exercises like squats, ankle balancing and some stretches.


kobaz


Jan 25, 2013, 9:07 PM
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TwistTheNeil wrote:
How often should i climb?

All the time!

TwistTheNeil wrote:
JAB wrote:
You are right of course. Totally forgot about the original problem when replying to the new question...
Well, my pain is mostly gone now. I can try climbing again in a day or two.
What about those lock offs ?
Can i do start them in a week or so ?
Also, how do you do lock offs using a pull up bar ?

On a more serious note... having been climbing more than ten years now, I've gone through several iterations of refinement in climbing training and learned a thing or two about what works and what doesn't for myself.

One of the keys here is 'works for myself'. Each person can tolerate a different level of intensity and recovers at different a rate. In the end you'll need to find out what works for you. In the meantime here's some good tips:

- Since you've just jumped on the bandwagon, I would seriously take it easy and not focus on climbing-specific strength training. Skip the lockoffs for now, you'll thank me. One of the worst things in the climbing training world is popping a tendon and having it take 6-12 months to properly heal. You don't want that.

- Like some others mentioned, do yoga or even better take a strength building yoga class. This by itself will do wonders for your climbing ability.

- Don't chase the grades. You'll get your chance, but three weeks into it is not the time. Unless you have an uber-body, you're going to break yourself sooner or later (probably sooner).

- Ignore the pullup bar, ignore the hangboard, and ignore the campus board. If you want to play around and do some hang based training, find some rock rings and use those. They are *much* nicer to your shoulders and elbows. Work more on core rather than arms. The arm strength will come as you work your core on the rock rings. And don't overdo it. Work on things that don't put extra strain on the elbows and you'll encourage a nice active recovery.

- Throw in a mix of climbing: Boulder some, toprope some, wash, rinse, and repeat. Try and alternate 'hard' days and 'easy' days. Don't focus on pulling hard moves, focus on clean, controlled, and precise footwork and hand movements (in that order). Precise footwork means that your feet should be *quiet*. If you're slapping your feet around while climbing and thumping around, you're working too hard. Either focus more, or do an easier route if you're still thumping. A key component to climbing effectively is footwork, footwork, and more footwork. You may not realize it now, but even on the 45/60 degree walls footwork is critical even though it's going to seem like 100% arms.

- Try a few hard things here and there, and then back off and work on endurance. Say you're still maxing out at 5.8... try the opening moves of a 5.9 once or twice in a single session, but no more... patience is a virtue.

- Keep tabs on how you feel when you're not climbing. If you feel sore the next day to the point where you may pull a climbing muscle, it's not the end of the world to skip the next planned climbing day. Go jogging instead.

- Cross train: Running, paddling, cycling, etc... it all helps the core body conditioning. I know people who can barely do 2 pullups, but can cruse a 5.10 no problem, it's fitness, fitness, and more fitness that gets you climbing better.

- Climb outside. You'll notice that the more your climb outside, the better your indoor footwork will get. Those little footholds in the gym are enormous compared to the little dimples that you wind up standing on outside.

- And in conclusion, have fun. Play games like elimination and add-on. Again don't push to the point of injury, it sucks, trust me.


TwistTheNeil


Jan 26, 2013, 4:09 PM
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Alrighty, Thanks for your input everyone!
I appreciate it!

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