Forums: Climbing Information: Beginners:
Beginner here. Need climbers' advice.
RSS FeedRSS Feeds for Beginners

Premier Sponsor:

 


1climbergirl


Jan 7, 2014, 10:07 PM
Post #1 of 22 (5013 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 3, 2014
Posts: 30

Beginner here. Need climbers' advice.
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Hi, so basically I just started climbing last December and now is my 2nd time. I go to climbing on an indoor climbing gym, never rock climbed before actually. I loved to climb and wanted it to be my sport for the rest of my life. So here's my problem though. SUPER SKINNY LIMBS. Terribly skinny legs and VERY HORRIBLE SKINNY BABY-SIZED ARMS. Wrists are 4.5 inches around. They look like toothpicks literally. Unsure I'm 18 years old and my parents said I can't go climbing because I'm too skinny. Unsure

Yes, I admit I am underweight but I'm NOT anorexic. 4'11 and more or less 90 pounds. I suffer in hyperthyroidism so my doctor said even if I eat so much I won't gain weight unless I get cured. Basically I'm still under medication. I'm very very thin especially my arms. My wrist are very small just like baby's wrist, I'm not even exaggerating. (See the attachment). That's why MY ARMS are the WEAKEST part of my body. I went for a 2-hr climb today, climbed for 5-6 times and my arms became shaky to the point that I can't hold anymore. (Maybe it was because of my hyperthyroidism).

I love to climb. I suffer also in depression and it basically served as the temporary cure for it. When I climb, of course at first it was painful. At second time, which is now, I don't feel much pain at all.


Anyways, here is my question: IS THERE ANY CHANCE that I, a severely skinny twiggy person (girl) can do rock climbing? Will my arms have a chance to be bigger? Will I become stronger?

Hoping for your sincerest reply. Thanks!

[EDIT Here's another photo of my entire arm. Look how skinny and disgusting is. Need I say more why I'm being discouraged?


(This post was edited by 1climbergirl on Jan 9, 2014, 2:28 AM)
Attachments: Skinny Wrist.jpg (54.6 KB)
  Skinny Arms.jpg (56.1 KB)


sbaclimber


Jan 8, 2014, 2:07 AM
Post #2 of 22 (4952 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 21, 2004
Posts: 3091

Re: [1climbergirl] Beginner here. Need climbers' advice. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

1climbergirl wrote:
I went for a 2-hr climb today, climbed for 5-6 times and my arms became shaky to the point that I can't hold anymore. (Maybe it was because of my hyperthyroidism).
I am not a doctor, but I can tell you that it is perfectly normal to have shaky arms and not be able to hold on to anything after your first few times climbing. When I started, I couldn't even hold onto the steering wheel of my car to drive home after climbing.

Yes, you can go rock climbing! Yes, you will get stronger! As long as your doctor doesn't tell you to avoid sports, I don't see any reason why you shouldn't climb. (again...not a doctor)
If anything, even though you have no muscle mass, you will probably have a slightly easier time at the beginning compared to someone severely overweight.
And, yes, for many people, there is a definite psychological benefit to climbing. Smile


granite_grrl


Jan 8, 2014, 6:27 AM
Post #3 of 22 (4928 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 25, 2002
Posts: 14903

Re: [1climbergirl] Beginner here. Need climbers' advice. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I think it's awesome that you want to get into climbing.

So first of all: No, yo uare not too skinny. Explain to your parents that climbing is a strength to weight ratio thing. You don't have to be strong, you just have to be strong enough to pull with your arms and push with your legs your own body mass.

There are so many body types that get into climbing. The skinnier people are actually the ones that seem to excel, but there's no reason someone over weight can't have fun and improve doing it too!

Second: The more you climb the better and stronger you will become. It's not something that will happen over night, but if you climb on a regular basis it will happen!

Third: Don't be worried about how your arms feel. Climbing is such an odd ball activity that pretty much EVERYONE feels that way the first few times they go climbing. Doesn't seem to matter how in shape or out of shape they are, their forearms are going to fail and fail hard.


(This post was edited by granite_grrl on Jan 8, 2014, 6:27 AM)


lena_chita
Moderator

Jan 8, 2014, 7:01 AM
Post #4 of 22 (4915 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 27, 2006
Posts: 5861

Re: [1climbergirl] Beginner here. Need climbers' advice. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (2 ratings)  
Can't Post

Agree with responses above. There is nothing in what you describe that means you couldn't climb, or get good at it.

Keep climbing regularly, your body will adjust, and you will get stronger. If anything, it seems to me that exercise should be encouraged, in your case, to strengthen the bones and help you gain some muscle in your arms.

You haven't mentioned if osteoporosis is a concern (untreated hyperthyroid can cause brittle bones), but I am guessing since you are only 18, and are being treated, it is not a major problem. And you are pretty safe on topropes, anyway.

Btw, i was curious, so I just measured my own wrist. it is 5.5 inches around. I am 5ft tall and around 105lb. Hopefully, once your hyperthyroidism is under control you will be able to gain a little bit of weight, to get into the healthy range. And then you will be enjoying the benefits of being light and climbing strong. Good luck!


1climbergirl


Jan 8, 2014, 8:23 AM
Post #5 of 22 (4892 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 3, 2014
Posts: 30

Re: [lena_chita] Beginner here. Need climbers' advice. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

thanks to all the replies. I actually expected that Im going to get discouraged by everyone. I appriciate all the replies.

lena_chita wrote:
You haven't mentioned if osteoporosis is a concern (untreated hyperthyroid can cause brittle bones)Blush

that is what I'm worried too. My doctor never told me about if I had osteoporosis but my bones in my own judgement may be terribly small and thin, but I think they are strong enough (maybe) I never broke a bone in my life despite of little accidents. But I also have a mild to moderate scoliosis but I don't think that's should be a problem when I climb.
Anyways, can I ask you guys how long should one's body adjust before it can't feel pain anymore after climbing? The first time when I climbed, like after 2 hours later my arms start to be really painful but surprisingly NOT MY legs! How was that possible. I was thinking that I climbed inappropriately because I was using my arms more instead of my legs (if my instructor is right arms areonly for support and the legs should have the weight.) maybe also my shoes are terrible because it was for running and too big. The second time was the opposite. My legs are the ones that're painful only a little pain in my arms.

So I was thinking possibly how long will my body endure the pain or before it adjust? thanks


(This post was edited by 1climbergirl on Jan 8, 2014, 8:24 AM)


lena_chita
Moderator

Jan 8, 2014, 8:58 AM
Post #6 of 22 (4885 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 27, 2006
Posts: 5861

Re: [1climbergirl] Beginner here. Need climbers' advice. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (4 ratings)  
Can't Post

1climbergirl wrote:
thanks to all the replies. I actually expected that Im going to get discouraged by everyone. I appriciate all the replies.

lena_chita wrote:
You haven't mentioned if osteoporosis is a concern (untreated hyperthyroid can cause brittle bones)Blush

that is what I'm worried too. My doctor never told me about if I had osteoporosis but my bones in my own judgement may be terribly small and thin, but I think they are strong enough (maybe) I never broke a bone in my life despite of little accidents. But I also have a mild to moderate scoliosis but I don't think that's should be a problem when I climb.
Anyways, can I ask you guys how long should one's body adjust before it can't feel pain anymore after climbing? The first time when I climbed, like after 2 hours later my arms start to be really painful but surprisingly NOT MY legs! How was that possible. I was thinking that I climbed inappropriately because I was using my arms more instead of my legs (if my instructor is right arms areonly for support and the legs should have the weight.) maybe also my shoes are terrible because it was for running and too big. The second time was the opposite. My legs are the ones that're painful only a little pain in my arms.

So I was thinking possibly how long will my body endure the pain or before it adjust? thanks

As far as osteoporosis, your best bet is to ask your doctor directly. Nobody can say just by looking at you. I am assuming that if your condition made it imperative to avoid certain things, like impact sports, or something, the doctor would have mentioned it, but it is possible that he/she didn't specifically address it, because you didn't ask about it, or maybe you specifically said that you weren't participating in sports at the time of your last doctor's visit, so it was not a concern they thought they needed to discuss.

My opinion is that you are not subjected, in a a gym toprope settings with careful belayer, to anything worse than you would encounter in your daily life, but i am not your doctor.

And really, things you are describing are very typical of a new climber, male or female, with no health issues. Your legs are always stronger than your arms, unless you are paralyzed from the waist down and in a wheelchair, because you walk on those legs every day, they are used to bearing your weight. You don't walk on your arms. And every new climber overgrips and uses arms too much, and gets pumped, and gets sore, painful arms.

As to how long before you "adjust"-- it depends on how often you climb, and how hard you push yourself. Do you have any background in any sport activities at all, or is this the first time you are doing something strenuous? Muscle soreness is normal when starting new type of exercise/activity, and nothing to worry about, if it goes away after couple days after you exercised. I'd say that if you go climbing about twice a week, you will see noticeably less soreness after climbing in 3-4 weeks.

But even people who have been climbing for years could (and do) get sore if they are pushing the limit of their ability, training hard, or climbing too much (for them). But you will get better at it and things that are hard now will not feel hard in couple months.


potreroed


Jan 8, 2014, 3:49 PM
Post #7 of 22 (4822 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Sep 30, 2001
Posts: 1454

Re: [1climbergirl] Beginner here. Need climbers' advice. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

Start on easy routes and stay on easy routes as you develop strength and technique. At this point balance and finesse (ie good footwork) is more important than strength. Don't let anyone tell you you can't climb. You can do anything you set your mind on.


JAB


Jan 9, 2014, 1:31 AM
Post #8 of 22 (4776 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 26, 2007
Posts: 373

Re: [1climbergirl] Beginner here. Need climbers' advice. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

It's hard to tell from the picture as there is no reference, but your arm looks perfectly ok. There is no need to have beefy muscles in climbing.

Have a look at some of the best climbers in the world. Go to images.google.com and search for:

Adam Ondra
Ashima shiraishi
Sasha Digiulian


1climbergirl


Jan 9, 2014, 2:20 AM
Post #9 of 22 (4757 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 3, 2014
Posts: 30

Re: [JAB] Beginner here. Need climbers' advice. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

JAB wrote:
It's hard to tell from the picture as there is no reference, but your arm looks perfectly ok.
No, my arms are so definetly not PERFECTLY OK. What's attached is my actual arms. See another attachment. They are really thin, but I can pull myself up. PLEASE HAVE A LOOK HOW MY ARMS ARE DISGUSTINGLY THIN. If I climb regularly, will my arms change "for the better"?

Again, thanks for all the replies.


(This post was edited by 1climbergirl on Jan 9, 2014, 2:26 AM)
Attachments: Skinny Arms.jpg (56.1 KB)


JAB


Jan 9, 2014, 2:52 AM
Post #10 of 22 (4749 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 26, 2007
Posts: 373

Re: [1climbergirl] Beginner here. Need climbers' advice. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

1climbergirl wrote:
JAB wrote:
It's hard to tell from the picture as there is no reference, but your arm looks perfectly ok.
No, my arms are so definetly not PERFECTLY OK. What's attached is my actual arms. See another attachment. They are really thin, but I can pull myself up. PLEASE HAVE A LOOK HOW MY ARMS ARE DISGUSTINGLY THIN. If I climb regularly, will my arms change "for the better"?

Again, thanks for all the replies.

Without a full body picture it's really hard to tell if it's "disgustingly" thin or not, but it seems you have a quite clear opinion anyway. You clearly feel they are too thin, and hope that climbing might help to beef them up? The answer is yes and no. Climbing will give a bit of upper arm muscle, but far less than what you get by pumping iron. For your lower arm & wrist, you will not see a big difference in overall thickness of the arm, but it will definitely get more defined. So instead of your "baby" arm, it will look more fit and strong, even though the circumference in inches will not change much.


1climbergirl


Jan 9, 2014, 3:58 AM
Post #11 of 22 (4737 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 3, 2014
Posts: 30

Re: [JAB] Beginner here. Need climbers' advice. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Oh, okay I got your point thanks. I have another question, I hope you wouldn't mind answering.
( I'm a beginner so I don't know any technical climbing words to say but still I hope you would understand what I mean.)

So you already saw the photo my whole arm, obviously it's very very thin. I would like to try the SMALL JUMP-and-Hang stuff so I could pass the inclined parts of the wall but I don't trust my skinny arms to support my whole body while hanging in the air (with the whole body in the air with just the arms to support the body, like in monkey bars or something?) .
As I've said my arms cam support my body with my legs and feet in the rock stuff but I don't know if I can wjhen hanging especially in the inclined part. I want to do the small jump and hang thing, can you please give me advices, I really want to try to climb at the part of the wall (in the different inclined angle).

I'm so sorry if I have a hard time to state what I want to say, I don't know anything about climbing terms, still hope you understand. Thanks again!

[EDIT] I already know what it's called. DYNO. So generally how do I do dyno with my very skinny arms?


(This post was edited by 1climbergirl on Jan 9, 2014, 4:20 AM)


JAB


Jan 9, 2014, 4:46 AM
Post #12 of 22 (4725 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Apr 26, 2007
Posts: 373

Re: [1climbergirl] Beginner here. Need climbers' advice. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I assume you are rope climbing and not bouldering? In rope climbing, dynoing is very rarely needed. In fact, it is preferable to keep your feet to the wall as much as possible (even on full-on horizontal roofs), as letting your legs swing out will drain your power very quickly. So you climb overhanging stuff just like vertical stuff. If your legs keeping swinging out, you need to work on your core strenght (i.e abs).

That said, dynoing can be fun and is of course a good excerise to improve arm strenght. I would suggest you try bouldering (in a gym) for this, as it allows you to try jumps in a safe environment. Start by simply hanging on holds (or a hangboard) and work your way up until you feel comfortable taking small lunges to the next holds.


1climbergirl


Jan 9, 2014, 6:15 AM
Post #13 of 22 (4715 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 3, 2014
Posts: 30

Re: [JAB] Beginner here. Need climbers' advice. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I do climbing on walls on a gym. I just want to try dynoing. I am not allowed by my parents to go rock climbing yet so I go on gyms. Yes I would definitely try this. Correct me if I'm wrong, you are suggesting me to do monkey bars. Thanks a lot for your advices.


mojomonkey


Jan 9, 2014, 6:35 AM
Post #14 of 22 (4712 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 13, 2006
Posts: 854

Re: [1climbergirl] Beginner here. Need climbers' advice. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (1 rating)  
Can't Post

You seem pretty focused on how skinny you feel your limbs are - try to not focus on it so much? I know a few women climbers around that weight and height and they climb well. I've never measured them, but imagine their wrists are similar to yours and are sufficient to hold them climbing (as granite_grrl mentioned, strength to weight ratio is important). My sister, though she is taller than you, was similarly skin and bones through high school and was teased because of it. She was active (running) and her legs held up just fine. She even filled out after high school. Her arms, like yours, were not disgusting. They were just how her arms were.

Just start easy and build up volume / intensity and listen to your body and/or doctor. Nothing you've mentioned seems like a major impediment to being able to climb. Perhaps your parents worry a lot and you've adopted the habit?


rocknice2


Jan 9, 2014, 7:50 AM
Post #15 of 22 (4683 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jul 13, 2006
Posts: 1213

Re: [1climbergirl] Beginner here. Need climbers' advice. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Best advise is to go see a doctor and see what they say. I know your parents have concerns as they should but it may or may not be warranted.

Unless you have some bone disease or something else, skinny arms should not be a problem.

If you can gym climb you can rock climb there is not difference in terms of how you work your body. Actually rock climbing will be easier on the limbs and joints outside than inside. Easy outdoor climbs tend to be slabby where as inside they are near vertical.


lena_chita
Moderator

Jan 9, 2014, 9:20 AM
Post #16 of 22 (4658 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jun 27, 2006
Posts: 5861

Re: [1climbergirl] Beginner here. Need climbers' advice. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (2 ratings)  
Can't Post

1climbergirl wrote:
Oh, okay I got your point thanks. I have another question, I hope you wouldn't mind answering.
( I'm a beginner so I don't know any technical climbing words to say but still I hope you would understand what I mean.)

So you already saw the photo my whole arm, obviously it's very very thin. I would like to try the SMALL JUMP-and-Hang stuff so I could pass the inclined parts of the wall but I don't trust my skinny arms to support my whole body while hanging in the air (with the whole body in the air with just the arms to support the body, like in monkey bars or something?) .
As I've said my arms cam support my body with my legs and feet in the rock stuff but I don't know if I can wjhen hanging especially in the inclined part. I want to do the small jump and hang thing, can you please give me advices, I really want to try to climb at the part of the wall (in the different inclined angle).

I'm so sorry if I have a hard time to state what I want to say, I don't know anything about climbing terms, still hope you understand. Thanks again!

[EDIT] I already know what it's called. DYNO. So generally how do I do dyno with my very skinny arms?


Listen, you are starting to sound slightly paranoid. Maybe you are a hypochondriac? :) It happens sometimes when you have a medical condition or injury that you get hyper-aware and hyper-worried about it. Every twinge, every ache is magnified. try to let go of it.

Really, you are not a fragile glass vase that is going to break from the slightest jostle. You are not wearing braces because your bones are not able to support your body. Your arms are thin, but it is O.K. (and by the way, you are not disgusting, and neither are your arms, just because they are thin. Stop that already!)

If you want to do a tiny dyno, just do it. What would happen, if you are on a toprope? You will fall and swing a little bit. Have you ever been on a playground swing? Have you ever hopped to grab monkey bars on a playground? No different!

Stop worrying so much about whether your arms will hold. If they won't, you will fall. If they will -- hurray!


marc801


Jan 9, 2014, 10:48 AM
Post #17 of 22 (4642 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Aug 1, 2005
Posts: 2770

Re: [1climbergirl] Beginner here. Need climbers' advice. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

1climbergirl wrote:
I'm so sorry if I have a hard time to state what I want to say, I don't know anything about climbing terms, still hope you understand.
So, get a book and learn already. This kind of excuse has a real limited life-span.


brooklynclimber


Jan 9, 2014, 8:56 PM
Post #18 of 22 (4565 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 6, 2012
Posts: 94

Re: [marc801] Beginner here. Need climbers' advice. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

All the advice so far has been pretty good. Many climbers have skinny arms - I've been judging climbing competitions and many of the best climbers are skinny young girls who look like a strong gust of wind would knock over. Strength to weight ratio is more important than muscle bulk.

There are a lot of good blogs out there about climbing, and many which focus on women's climbing in particular. Do a little searching and you'll find plenty.

Good luck, and keep it up!


rightarmbad


Jan 10, 2014, 3:20 AM
Post #19 of 22 (4524 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Mar 21, 2005
Posts: 217

Re: [brooklynclimber] Beginner here. Need climbers' advice. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

I'd go so far as to say that strength to weight is only important once you go past vertical into overhanging territory or start doing chin up type moves.
Your absolute weight will decide how small the things you can stand on are, so you are at no disadvantage and in reality have a huge advantage because of your light weight until the walls get very steep or the moves thugy.
Just remember, your hands only have to hold you in to the wall, not carry your weight.
That's what your feet are for.


1climbergirl


Jan 12, 2014, 5:52 PM
Post #20 of 22 (4377 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Jan 3, 2014
Posts: 30

Re: Beginner here. Need climbers' advice. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

Thanks you guys. But still I'm scared to go climbing because I still am afraid of criticisms and very insecure. By all means I should try my best.


brooklynclimber


Jan 12, 2014, 9:14 PM
Post #21 of 22 (4340 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Oct 6, 2012
Posts: 94

Re: [1climbergirl] Beginner here. Need climbers' advice. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (0 ratings)  
Can't Post

You should go! I'm a fairly new climber and have found that the climbing community is in general very friendly and encouraging of new and experienced climbers alike. Both of my daughters climb, and were a little nervous at first, but quickly became addicted and we go whenever we can.

PS, my avatar picture is my daughter climbing on a small wall in my office.


(This post was edited by brooklynclimber on Jan 12, 2014, 9:15 PM)


Eclipze


Jan 12, 2014, 9:14 PM
Post #22 of 22 (4338 views)
Shortcut

Registered: Dec 19, 2013
Posts: 13

Re: [1climbergirl] Beginner here. Need climbers' advice. [In reply to]
Report this Post
Average: avg_1 avg_2 avg_3 avg_4 avg_5 (2 ratings)  
Can't Post

I've been Climbing for much less time than most posting here I can tell you shaky arms and difficulty gripping stuff is normal when you aren't used to it. I'm a weightlifter so I'm used to sore muscles and such but Climbing takes a toll just as much if not moreso. Just keep Climbing and itd impressive to see someone so determined. As long as you stay safe and make sure not to overdo it Climbing can be an awesome way to relieve stress and depression. Good Luck!


Forums : Climbing Information : Beginners

 


Search for (options)

Log In:

Username:
Password: Remember me:

Go Register
Go Lost Password?



Follow us on Twiter Become a Fan on Facebook