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By mattnorville
Apr 9, 2013
Ship's Prow.

I finally just got the release from my surgeon and said I can start climbing again. It has been over 7 months since I've climbed and I had ACL and menisci surgery in October. I went to the climbing gym yesterday and today and I didn't lose too much surprisingly. The past 6 months has been filled with rehab, weight lifting, and homebrewing. As a consequence, I did gain some weight so I am looking for general conditioning advice with a focus on climbing. Now:220lb Was:200lb Want to be in a year or so:180lb I am 6ft.

I've been reading Erick J. Horst "Conditioning for Climbing" and read the general conditioning section along with most of the rest. He talks about doing either circuit training or body weight training after climbing sessions. I have access to the circuit machines and was wondering what would be better for weight loss and body weight:strength?

I am also watching my nutrition and doing cardio(mtn. bike, hike, run, splitboard, gym machines when weather sucks) on days I am not climbing and ~20 mins (elliptical) on days I climb.


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By Robert D.
From Boulder, CO
Apr 10, 2013
Yargh, Pirate Rob do be in Yosemite

Your primary focus should be nutrition--I would even suggest setting up an appointment with a nutritionist and getting on a program, if you have the cash. You are talking about losing a substantial amount of weight and honing your nutrition will be, by far, the most important factor in your success. Training is for a couple of hours is easy, what you do the rest of the day determines what sort of athlete you become. Eat well, sleep enough, keep stress low, and the pounds will fall away. It sounds simple but it f'ing hard. Get 'er done!

While I think it should definitely take a back seat, I'll also answer your main question: circuits are great and you can do them with machines or with bodyweight. I would just say make sure each movement is a "whole body" movement using several joints and muscle groups. For your goals, I would keep the rests short and the focus on "cardio" endurance, not muscular endurance. If you shed forty pounds your strength:weight will be great, so don't worry too much about getting strong while you're trying to lose the weight. Know what I'm saying?


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By mattnorville
Apr 10, 2013
Ship's Prow.

Robert,

Thanks for the reply. No cash for the nutritionists. I have taken a few classes in nutrition when I was younger so I have a small amount of info. I'm tracking the foods and drinks I'm consuming. I've been using my juicer, eating chicken, fish, eggs, rice, lentils, nuts, apples, salad, bread with jellies, oats, tea, lots of water, etc... Staying away from going out (saving money too!). I try to sleep a decent amount also. I've loss the weight before so I'm not too worried about it, I know its a process.

Got it, focus on "cardio endurance" I've also noticed the high reps (20-25reps/2sets about 13 exercises) make it a lot harder then my typical < 12 reps. I don't rest more than 45 seconds between exercises. Good to know it doesn't matter the machines or body weight exercises as long as it incorporates multiple muscle groups.

What is the best way to increase my pull up strength besides doing pullups? I'm doing lat pull downs and rows at 3setsX7reps 180lbs, but still have difficult cranking out more than 1 pull-up. I've also been using the pull-up machine to gain that. Any other ideas?


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By Daniel A Miller
From Portland, OR
Apr 10, 2013

A lot has been said on training and oftentimes by people far more knowledgeable than myself but one thing I have tested and feel comfortbale helping with is increasing pull up strength. I was able to go from 2-3 pullups to 9-10 strong ones in less than 3 months.

The secret is the negative rep. This is where you step up to the bar using a chair or something and then hold on and SLOWLY lower yourself down. If you can do 5 sets of 5 these every other day you will notice some significant gains, it should help with climbing too.

As you get better throw in real pull ups to the 5x5 set. So after about a month you should be able to do 2-3 pullups on your first set and do negative reps to finish off the set.

Seriously, try it for a month and I promise you will thank me.


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By Brendan Blanchard
From Strafford, NH
Apr 10, 2013
Obi Wan Ryobi - Darth Vader Crag, Rumney NH

When planning to lose weight, you'll often get told to just run/cardio. I personally know this is hard/ill advised after knee surgery (round 2 out of 3 knee surgeries in the last year for me)and I would suggest a bike/elliptical for your cardio, which can be boring but there are other things to be done.

Do some research on ARC Training for climbing. It's essentially the base phase for climbing, long sets of 20-45 minutes of sub-anaerobic climbing, several sets in a workout. These raise the level of climbing you can sustain for long periods of time, and is a form of cardio/low intensity high volume workout. A great alternative to running/bikes etc if you just want to climb.


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By mattnorville
Apr 17, 2013
Ship's Prow.

Thanks for all the recommendations! I am going to head to the gym today! If I'm lucky get in some BC riding. Watching my nutrition has helped me lose weight already. Can't wait to keep cranking


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By david doucette
May 9, 2013
Top of Intersection Rock, Joshua Tree NP.

hi mattnorville,

i think the answer is in your nutrition. once you get down to 180, you can focus on other techniques. i'm 6' and maintain 175, although, i'd like to shed another 8 pounds.

i was 194 last summer when i hiked whitney. sitting in a pub in bishop, eating a burger the day before whitney was the last piece of meat i've had. i lost 5 pounds shortly after finishing whitney by eating better.

i then did a 10 day juice cleanse (first time last august) and lost 10 pounds in 10 days. i also did another 5 day juice cleanse in the fall and lost another 5 lbs. i've kept the 20 pounds i lost last fall off fairly easily.

now i eat lots of fruits and veggies, no meat, no fast food. i shop mainly at trader joes. i also get some of their frozen dishes on nights i don't feel like cooking. i don't eat a ton of carbs but do it some.

download the my fitness pal app, it is awesome and track what you are eating, it's a great app. once you get it down, you won't need to use it as much, but initially, you should use it everyday for a couple of months.

dial your nutrition in, the rest will follow,

hope that helps,

david


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By Brandon H - SC
From Jackson SC
Nov 1, 2013
cover

sigh... fruits and veggies are carbs genius

and to the O/P I am not knocking the vegetarian lifestyle (to each their own) but lean meats and seafood will not keep you from loosing weight.

I'd be cautious taking nutrition advice from folks on a climbing website... just my humble opinon


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By Ryan Nevius
From The Range of Light
Nov 1, 2013
Mt. Agassiz

This post is a half a year old...and you just (appropriately) also gave nutrition advice.


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