T Nation

Heavy Finishers, Fat Loss and Muscle Mass

#1

Hello everyone,
long time lurker, finally came out of the closet looking for info.
My name is Lorenzo, I am Italian, I am 42 years old and I’m a rock climber.

I have trained for the last 21 years for climbing with very little knowledge, but have recently applied many techniques I read about here to my training for climbing, with really good results: contrast training for pull ups, front levers, front lever pulls, isometrics, snatch pulls for full body power, etc.

As you can imagine, bodyweight is very important in climbing: I am 172 cm tall and 65 kg, so ridiculously small for T-Nat’s standards, but a little heavy for a climber. It’s not uncommon to find adult climbers below 60 kg.
I don’t want to lose weight because I like to be muscular, but I’d like to shed some fat. Some very stubborn fat on my belly.

Of course I should watch what I eat, but being Italian it’s not that easy, match it with stressful jobs and unpredictable schedules, and you have lots of pizzas, sandwiches, restaurants, wine and the likes.

After reading one of the latest articles, I am very intrigued by the idea of fitting some heavy finishers into my training. The problem is: I don’t want to put on mass!
I tried some very short Sprints, like 10/15 meters, 6 reps with good rests in between. Fantastic. But then I broke my medial meniscus climbing, so that’s out for the moment.

What else would you suggest, that I could do at home?
I was thinking about matching some Spider Walks with the Pull ups routine of the Finishers’ article.
Which reps/times/rests combinations would you suggest?
The pull ups will affect my back muscles for the next climbing session, though.
Very open to other ideas!

Thanks a lot, ciao.
Lore.

#2

I would think some kind of HIIT cardio would benefit you. How fucked up is the meniscus? Can you do any cardio at all?

#3

Just because actual sprints (running) may be out of the question, perhaps other variations on interval work wouldn’t be an issue. I was told I had a partially torn meniscus years ago, and while sometimes I felt a bit better with light braces/wraps etc on the leg, I was still able to train, and do bike intervals just fine.

S

#4

Hey!
Thanks for the replies!
The meniscus isn’t badly broken, I can still squat to parallel without many issues. In fact, I was thinking also about doing finisher n. 3 of the article: Squat, Curl and Press.
I would like to avoid cycling and everything with big legs activation, because I tend to bulk very easily and in my legs especially. In any case, I’d like something with a heavy posterior chain activation, rather than anterior/quads.
So, apart for Sprints that really seemed te best, I’d like to concentrate on my upper body.

Still, absolutely open to suggestions.
Thanks again.

#5

Food choice is going to be your key for fat loss. Mass gain will come with a surplus of calories, sufficient load with volume and training frequency as well.
Any lower body training I would clear with your Dr.

Leopard crawls and Spiderman crawls will be hard work. Do you currently already do them?

Good luck healing. Hope you can get back to your sport soon.

#6

Hi again, thanks for the replies.
My meniscus isn’t completely broken, I can still squat to parallel WITH BODYWEIGHT, but anything even slightly jumpy is a pain…
I’m very concerned about gaining muscle mass in my legs, that’s definitely something I’d like to avoid, I have already big quads from years and years of cycling, basketball and lifting weights as a teenager.

In any case, I’d like to do something that activates the posterior chain, more than the anterior, so was also thinking about the third finisher in the article, the Squat-Curl-Press. I hope to get back to sprinting soon after the operation.

I have been doing the Spider Crawls for a while, doing 6 sets of 10" with 45" rests in between.
Should I change the sets/times/rests to get more gains?
I have also selected four excercises, that I perform one after the other in similar fashion of 6 sets of 10" max effort with 45" rests.
These four excercises are:
spider crawl
in situ sprinting (basically just moving my arms as if sprinting but not moving feet from the ground)
boxing (in front of mirror)
front levers

This leaves me exhausted. Is it good for my aim? Is the work time fine, or is it too short, or should I strip a couple of excercises and change the sets and times?
Thanks.

#7

[quote]lorenzino wrote:
I don’t want to lose weight because I like to be muscular, but I’d like to shed some fat. Some very stubborn fat on my belly.

Of course I should watch what I eat, but being Italian it’s not that easy, match it with stressful jobs and unpredictable schedules, and you have lots of pizzas, sandwiches, restaurants, wine and the likes.
[/quote]

(A) is not gonna happen without (B) in your case. Talking about “fat loss training” without getting the diet right/consistent is mental masturbation.

#8

[quote]infinite_shore wrote:

[quote]lorenzino wrote:
I don’t want to lose weight because I like to be muscular, but I’d like to shed some fat. Some very stubborn fat on my belly.

Of course I should watch what I eat, but being Italian it’s not that easy, match it with stressful jobs and unpredictable schedules, and you have lots of pizzas, sandwiches, restaurants, wine and the likes.
[/quote]

(A) is not gonna happen without (B) in your case. Talking about “fat loss training” without getting the diet right/consistent is mental masturbation.[/quote]

I agree with this response.

And by the way, being Italian is a creative excuse to avoid manning up and cleaning up your diet.

It’s not easy, no matter where you live. Shit, I was just watching a documentary about tribal people in the Amazon and they were all a bit on the soft side…
[had to edit the end of that statement]

#9

As climbing is my main hobby also, I can relate. sprints are great for fat loss without added mass in the legs, and to a degree, unless you are climbing above V12, 5.14a, weight doesn’t play a big of a factor as some think. I weighed 144 in mid 2012, and 154 now, similar bodyfat levels, and I am climbing stronger now (12d/13a) than then (12b/c). It is how you train.

Also, to your comment about not wanting to work your back before a day of climbing, I have never failed a climb because of a tired back or biceps, it is always forearm failure. ALWAYS!

Diet will be the easiest way to get rid of the extra fat, and small changes can make a big difference.

#10

Lookin beastly Serge!

#11

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
Lookin beastly Serge![/quote]

Thanks! I’ve been mixing MAG-10 and Superfood, it must be working!

(Kidding, you are probably the only one in history to ever try that)

#12

[quote]Serge A. Storms wrote:

[quote]usmccds423 wrote:
Lookin beastly Serge![/quote]

Thanks! I’ve been mixing MAG-10 and Superfood, it must be working!

(Kidding, you are probably the only one in history to ever try that)[/quote]

Lol, that shit was just awful…

#13

Rowing intervals

Loaded carries/farmers walk

Both are great, both stress the muscles relating to climbing (I think).

#14

I would think something that’ll build strength/endurance in the dedired areas like tabata battle ropes, towel chinup ladders and countdowns, heavy farmers walks, things like that.

#15

[quote]lorenzino wrote:
Hello everyone,
long time lurker, finally came out of the closet looking for info.
My name is Lorenzo, I am Italian, I am 42 years old and I’m a rock climber.

I have trained for the last 21 years for climbing with very little knowledge, but have recently applied many techniques I read about here to my training for climbing, with really good results: contrast training for pull ups, front levers, front lever pulls, isometrics, snatch pulls for full body power, etc.

As you can imagine, bodyweight is very important in climbing: I am 172 cm tall and 65 kg, so ridiculously small for T-Nat’s standards, but a little heavy for a climber. It’s not uncommon to find adult climbers below 60 kg.
I don’t want to lose weight because I like to be muscular, but I’d like to shed some fat. Some very stubborn fat on my belly.

Of course I should watch what I eat, but being Italian it’s not that easy, match it with stressful jobs and unpredictable schedules, and you have lots of pizzas, sandwiches, restaurants, wine and the likes.

After reading one of the latest articles, I am very intrigued by the idea of fitting some heavy finishers into my training. The problem is: I don’t want to put on mass!
I tried some very short Sprints, like 10/15 meters, 6 reps with good rests in between. Fantastic. But then I broke my medial meniscus climbing, so that’s out for the moment.

What else would you suggest, that I could do at home?
I was thinking about matching some Spider Walks with the Pull ups routine of the Finishers’ article.
Which reps/times/rests combinations would you suggest?
The pull ups will affect my back muscles for the next climbing session, though.
Very open to other ideas!

Thanks a lot, ciao.
Lore. [/quote]

You say you’ve been climbing for 21 years. So it’s a safe bet this is your passion.

What grade do you climb now and what is your short term goal and long term goal? Feel free to provide information in the French system and I’ll convert to YDS.

Have you had your body fat tested? If so, what was the method and number?

What training methods do you currently employ for climbing? Do you train indoors as well as on real rock?

#16

Cheers for all the replies!
I obviously know that I have to watch my diet, and to some degree I always do it; I mentioned it because I wanted to make clear that it will be very difficult to shed some fat just with diet, for the reasons that I explained. That’s why I was asking about the finishers.

When I had a less busy schedule, I was a bit leaner because I could always eat at home and cook my food.
But of course, watching my diet is a must do anyway, even though I want to be very careful, because years ago I got super obsessed and basically developed an eating disorder that gave me hell. So I want to take it a bit easy as well.

I want to make it clear that I probably don’t need to lose much weight, my main purpose is to look better when I watch myself: the mirror never lies!
Using many training tips that I found here, I managed to progress in my climbing, and that’s my main goal, but also I would not mind being a bit more cut. I want to do this also because I’m 42 and I notice that my body responds differently to training, and I want to keep fit also in the future!

I don’t do much sport climbing, I mainly just boulder, so in general forearms fatigue is not an issue, but pure power sometimes is: that’s why I was concerned about the pull ups finisher being too heavy for my training session. I would love to be able to do some farmer’s walks!!! Must find a good gym though. You can’t imagine how behind we are in Italy, with modern training. I bet there aren’t more than five gyms in Italy with a push sled!
Anyway…

As per last post:
I train basically bouldering on my home wall, doing some fingerboarding and some campusing.
Very little climbing on rock due to lack of time and lack of projects in the surrounding areas (most of which I have developed).

Current level is a bit difficult to assess due to lack of “real” climbing on rock, especially new areas, but in my home areas I can boulder V11/12 and redpoint 5.12d.
Current medium term goals are: climbing an established, confirmed V13 and redpointing a 5.14b route that I’m working.

I test my body fat using calipers. I don’t know the % because the charts I’ve found on the Net gave me very different results that went from 7 to 14%… But I do know that over the winter two folds (belly and iliac) gained 1 mm.
I want to shed that millimeter! and maybe another one!

I hope this helps, many thanks again.
Keep 'em coming!

#17

[quote]lorenzino wrote:

Current level is a bit difficult to assess due to lack of “real” climbing on rock, especially new areas, but in my home areas I can boulder V11/12 and redpoint 5.12d.
Current medium term goals are: climbing an established, confirmed V13 and redpointing a 5.14b route that I’m working.

I test my body fat using calipers. I don’t know the % because the charts I’ve found on the Net gave me very different results that went from 7 to 14%… But I do know that over the winter two folds (belly and iliac) gained 1 mm.
I want to shed that millimeter! and maybe another one!

I hope this helps, many thanks again.
Keep 'em coming! [/quote]
For some reason, I doubt you are bouldering anywhere near the grades you say. That is the equivalent of claiming a 4:17 mile time and asking a random forum on how to improve to 4:12. I don’t believe you. I make that comparison, because only a handful of women have ever broke a 4:17 mile, and only a handful of women have bouldered V12. Also, do you really think you can go from 12d to 14b without hitting all of the grades in between, If you haven’t gotten there in 21 yrs of climbing, you won’t. And the difference between 7 and 14% is huge, you would know the difference.

#18

Hey, hey, easy man!
I am not asking about how to progress in my climbing, I already know how to do it!
I am asking how to lose some fat and keep my muscles and power.

Of course I know the difference between 7 and 14% body fat, that was only to say that I don’t care about charts and numbers, I know how I want to look and that’s all. I do know that I gained 1 mm on two folds, regardless of %.

Sorry for the typo, I wanted to write 5.13d instead of 5.12d! I know the YDS but am not extremely familiar with it!
And, by the way, I am a man! :slight_smile:

#19

[quote]lorenzino wrote:
I want to make it clear that I probably don’t need to lose much weight, my main purpose is to look better when I watch myself…[/quote]

[quote]lorenzino wrote:
…progress in my climbing, and that’s my main goal…[/quote]

[quote]lorenzino wrote:
I test my body fat using calipers. I don’t know the % because the charts I’ve found on the Net gave me very different results that went from 7 to 14%…[/quote]

I realize that English isn’t your first language but it’s still unclear what your primary goal is. By definition, there can be only one primary goal. So which is it?

Fortunately, in climbing the two are not necessarily mutually exclusive. However, total body weight in relation to height is ABSOLUTELY CRITICAL IF you plan to climb to your genetic potential.

Over 90% of 14 climbers I’ve met (myself included) fit into a specific range of body weight per height. (I’m currently 5’10" 187. My winter weight is low to mid 190s. And my 2015 goal is to have a summer weight of low 190s. When I was climbing, I was between 150-155 and I honestly should’ve been sub 150).

[quote]lorenzino wrote:
Of course I know the difference between 7 and 14% body fat, that was only to say that I don’t care about charts and numbers, I know how I want to look and that’s all.[/quote]

In your chosen sport IT DOES MATTER. In addition to the weight (in relation to height) I mentioned, there is a sweet spot in terms of body fat percentage for success on hard routes. A talented climber can have a high fat percentage AND/OR carry extraneous muscle and still send 12s and easy 13s. (Hell, I’ve seen gifted guys run laps on 13b hungover and stoned.) But as he gets closer to his ceiling, EVERYTHING has to be more disciplined and focused.

You should stick to just one type of measuring system and chart. This will give more consistency in your readings. And yes, how you look in the mirror and photos is also a good indicator.

But make no mistake: in your chosen sport, the scale and calipers matter. If you ignore this advice, you’ll never climb to your potential and you’ll create a higher risk of injury because the fingers and elbows will be supporting more weight than necessary. And you’re at an age in which recovery from injury will take longer and have a greater possibility of complications.

[quote]lorenzino wrote:
Current level is a bit difficult to assess due to lack of “real” climbing on rock, especially new areas, but in my home areas I can boulder V11/12 and redpoint 5.12d.
Current medium term goals are: climbing an established, confirmed V13 and redpointing a 5.14b route that I’m working.

Sorry for the typo, I wanted to write 5.13d instead of 5.12d! I know the YDS but am not extremely familiar with it![/quote]

That’s why I asked for the French rating as I have no problem converting to YDS.

Okay, let’s say your current level is V11/12 and 13d.

How many 13b’s have you sent? And what was the average height and moves?

How many 13c’s have you sent? And what was the average height and moves?

How many 13d’s have you sent? And what was the average height and moves?

Have you done ANY 14a’s?

This 14b that you’re projecting, approximately how many moves is it?

EDITED for clarity

#20

I’ll try to be as clear as possible.
My main goal is getting stronger at climbing. But this is NOT the subject of the topic. How to climb my projects and how to improve my climbing is not what I’d like to discuss here.
I came here to get info about excercises that could help me lose some fat, and the reason for losing that fat is not my climbing, the reason is just to be leaner and to look better in the mirror.

I’m asking info here, because what I read here had a big impact on how I train; also, I’m looking for excercises that will make me lose that little bit of fat that I put up over the winter (as I said 1 mm on two folds), but I don’t want to put on muscle mass, neither I want to lose weight other than the little of that fat. Maybe I’m looking for the Holy Grail, I don’t know, but why not trying asking?

Thanks for the replies, have a nice day. It’s sunny here, and after a few months, I’m going climbing! :slight_smile: