T Nation

Rock Climbing

Hey guys…been trying out a few different things for training and such…and have started to try out Rock Climbing…

The original gym I was at had a rotating rock climbing wall that you could set to different angles and speeds…

Was great fun to play with I must admit hehe…

Anyway…started doing it about 3 weeks ago and have begun to notice an increase not only in strength but in my cardio as well…

Just wondered if anyone else would be willing to try Climbing as a more fun way of cardio training as alot of people find jogging very boring…

Look forward to hearing what you think

Many Thanks and Keep Lifting.

Yes. But I wouldn’t call it cardio per se. Great workout for endurance and grip strength though.

I would much prefer it to doing any “roadwork”. Unfortunately, the tendons in your arms will have some serious problems by jumping in to frequent or hard climbing in addition to heavy weight training right away. You should work up gradually. I found that out the hard way.

Balance is good. Watch your tendons. Those problems take a long time to fix.

Rock climbers by in large are ectos TERRIFIED of gaining muscle… wont be much use to people in a BODYBUILDING forum now will it :slight_smile:

I tried my hand at climbing when I Was in college. A ton of fun in hindsight, althought scarey as shit when you first start out. I honestly don’t think I would do very well at my current weight. It was a lot easier 50 lbs ago -lol. Actually, my cousin is an avid climber, and while he’s in great shape, it’s definitely not bodybuilder shape. His forearms are vascular as hell though.

S

[quote]Corkonian wrote:
Rock climbers by in large are ectos TERRIFIED of gaining muscle… wont be much use to people in a BODYBUILDING forum now will it :)[/quote]

this is true but doesn’t mean bodybuilders can’t use the sport to support our own goals.

[quote]Corkonian wrote:
Rock climbers by in large are ectos TERRIFIED of gaining muscle… wont be much use to people in a BODYBUILDING forum now will it :)[/quote]

Not in my experience, i spent a few years getting into it, and the majority of the lads i climbed with were stacked. Like gymnastic’s stacked… not BB Stacked its all the bodyweight action.

Climbing isnt really a cardio exercise - no more than weights are. It is much more muscular… muscular endurance in the forearms especially (massive forearms climbers possess) and then totally explosive pCr in dynamo jumps etc… then there is lots of pull up and pulling to the wall and hanging and getting the legs up anaerobic muscular action. It is hard work. it can be at least.

it is a good way to build strength and muscle if the calories are high enough. The shoulders, arms, back, core and lower legs are all worked intensely.

It is true that a professional rock climber would want to keep strong and light, but they always have great bodies. They are only interested in functional muscle (as most athletes are) - i wouldnt say “terrified of putting on muscle”

Joe

My training partner who I play rugby with revealed to me that he uses this rock climbing wall as a form of cardio/muscular endurance training for the rugby…

Any of you think this makes sense? or is it something hes forced himself into believing works…

Would love to tell him hes an arse for a reason and not for the sake of it HAHA

I think climbing is definitely a good form of a ‘total body workout’, although I doubt it will induce high degrees of hypertrophy (perhaps muscular endurance though), nor will it really improve cardio health.

S

I climbed all the time in college and it was a good and fun way to work out. I agree with Stu, as it would best be a way to train strength endurance.

I lot of the good climbers at the gym I climbed at were big, some amateur bodybuilder big, at least in the upper body. They would go work out, then do laps on the wall. Climb up, lower down, climb up, sometimes climb down, then climb up again.

A couple had more mass than you would assume a climber to have, and it made sense they climbed so well because they were all around athletes. That being said, there is an upper limit on BW where you can’t be pretty much doing pull-ups with one or two fingers and expect your tendons to support your bodyweight.

In my opinion, the best way to get a cardio work out with it is steep wall/overhanging bouldering. You have to keep your core tight the whole time, to avoid falling away from the wall, and most of the moves are harder and more sustained than some of the higher, roped routes people set. Bouldering is just climbing lower to the ground without a rope. Theres definitely a mental aspect to it too, where you put yourself in an awkward position where if you fall you probably aren’t going to land controlled, you know if you throw for a higher hold it will probably hurt your fingers, then you have to hang on, control the swing, reset your feet keeping tension the whole time lest your foot slips then your hand slips, then look for the next hold and do it over. Its definitely a pretty intense, total body, strength endurance kind of workout.

I also ripped more skin and callouses off my hand from climbing than from lifting weights, although I’m not deadlifting 500 lbs.

In short, its fun, better than slow cardio, but don’t neglect the weights if you want to get big.

I recently got into rock climbing and I really enjoy it. I just consider it a fun exercise type activity and it would never replace my workouts.

The first time I did it though, my grip was done! When I got in the shower the next morning and the hot water hit my hands, it was worse than hot water on a sunburn!

I have seen some carryover though with regards to grip and forearm strength, but not so much with my back.

I love to climb and don’t mind having the mobility and athleticism to do it while sacrificing some mass. I’m also trying to add muscle, and it’s working well.

But I’m not bodybuilding with solely the goal of having a lot of balanced mass, it is just an important goal that goes along with being able to do a lot of chinups and having strength in bodyweight exercises. And on a related note, www.beastskills.com is the shit.

I think you can build muscle for sure, with proper diet, but you won’t build as much because it doesn’t provide any advantage. I know a kettlebell lifter, Andrew Durniat, who would be very good at climbing and he is a big, strong guy.

He just has sick grip strength, is strong in the pullup and is tall. I just think being able to climb is very cool, perhaps badass, and while you won’t get up to 200 lbs doing it, you will build a lot of strength and your body will look better as well as a result, although I agree that most climbers I know are more on the side of being thin, including myself really, but most of them aren’t focusing on building muscle so it only happens insomuch as their bodies are forced to adapt.

And me and my friend who go climbing about twice a week, we also do short workouts, greasing the groove style, just doing towel chinups to work specific rock climbing muscles and strengthen the grip particularly, pushups and pistol squats.

We’ve been seeing results in those specific movements, and we’re stronger in all the movements. I’m gonna add a couple days of heavy lifting per week next semester and I think I’ll get much better at climbing and bodybuilding at the same time.

I enjoy climbing. I tend to really prefer bouldering though, instead of traditional climbing. If you’ve never heard of it, here you go:

I get more satisfaction from completing a new problem, than traditional climbing. It will definately work your forarms, and muscle endurance. At 230lbs, I’ll never be able to do the problems that these guys are doing, but despite my weight, my muscle has given me a very good advantage IMO.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
Yes. But I wouldn’t call it cardio per se. Great workout for endurance and grip strength though.

I would much prefer it to doing any “roadwork”. Unfortunately, the tendons in your arms will have some serious problems by jumping in to frequent or hard climbing in addition to heavy weight training right away. You should work up gradually. I found that out the hard way.

Balance is good. Watch your tendons. Those problems take a long time to fix.[/quote]

I’ll second the ‘be careful’ folks. I went out for a bit of fun climbing with a group of people a couple of years back. had a lot of fun, was surprisingly good at it for my size.

Two days later my shoulders were completely fucked, and stayed that way for a month. I’ve got problem shoulders anyway, and should have been smart about it, but wasn’t. Lesson learned.

I love rock climbing but I also wouldn’t really consider it cardio. Scrambling is fun too (my preference)