T Nation

Climber Looking for Supplement Advice

Hey gang,

I don’t lift anymore, but I take climbing seriously along with bodyweight workouts and still play ball 5-6 days a week. I’m in pretty good shape (5’10" 165# ~10% BF) but looking to ramp up training and get back into really great shape. I’m a FFB and was looking to start taking either I-3G or Plazma but I’m not sure I train hard enough to warrant taking Plazma if I’m not using weights. My diet is always dialed in, something I’m proud of. I’ve been using Biotest supplements for over 10 years now (ZMA, Superfood, Surge) and love them, I just haven’t had the confidence to make the investment in some of the more hardcore training products.

Any thoughts? Cheers!

Steak. Whole eggs. Wild salmon. Salt. Potassium. No need to supplement i.m.o. Perhaps collagen for joint and ligaments.

@A_Dizz I’m a climber also. I second @marine77 but would elaborate a bit,

Collagen, or gelatin. Maybe some glycine.

If you go the gelatin route, I always have a small pre-bed cottage-cheese/gelatin pudding before bed on climbing days. You can add glycine to this to aid with sleep (works that way for most people, 20% of the people experience a non-calming effect on glycine).

Save the Plazma for multi-hour competition events. Or bring finibars (and food, you just want convenient items with you in reserve just in case you receive too small breaks), haven’t tried them myself.

Avoid anything that aids with experiencing a pump.


Very important. Especially on multi-hour climbing sessions outdoors when you are drinking a lot of water and sweating. I just put salt in my water bottles and hide the taste with a few grams of EAAs but I’m sure you can find salt tablets and stuff.

Alston, @A_Dizz, what level are you climbing and what’s an FFB?

@mr.v3lv3t another climber appears!

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I’ve arrived! Just back from the climbing gym as it turns out.

I think you and @marine77 have it covered though. A solid diet seems like all that’d be necessary for climbing.

The only supplements I take are creatine, glucosamine/chondroitin, and fish oils, so my experience with using supplements is pretty limited.

Thanks everyone! I appreciate the feedback, sorry I haven’t gotten back to you sooner as I’ve been quite busy.

I’m not gunna lie, I want to take Plazma/I-3G strictly for vanity, I’m lat 10% BF and looking to get back around 7 or 8%.

Also, are there any vegetarian options for collagen supplements or is that just inherently a stupid question? Thanks for chiming in, y’all!


FFB = Former Fat Boy

Living in New Orleans, the flattest city in the flattest state, I am relegated to climbing indoors at our only gym which is just boulders. On sport routes I range the gamut of 5.10 depending on the holds and have achieved 5.11a+, but for bouldering I hover in the V5 range.

Again, Plazma isn’t the right fit really for climbing. On second thought, I might have to eat my previous suggestion,

I’d try it out in a non-competition scenario first so see that your forearms don’t get too pumped.

Save the Indigo-3G for gym workouts. It’ll be a better return on investment. Climbing sessions aren’t ideal from a muscle-building standpoint.

I’ve had countless good climbing days without carbs, it’s more like energy system work than a gym session. Bouldering is a closer to a gym session than trad climbing is but if you’re climbing with decent technique I believe your fingers will fail far earlier than your muscles.

YMMV. Feel free to experiment. Some people like climbing with a low-GI carb beforehand. Some bring fruits and nuts to the crag and excel.

Thanks dude!

I just ordered some Power Drive for the first time in…wow, 10 years? Anyway, hopefully it’ll help a bit with my intense boulder sessions and comps. If not I’ll use it for my basketball/workout days.

Any diet/supplement advice you’ve gained over the years in general?