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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Dec 5, 2009
Stabby

Mike Anderson wrote:
What? Do you have MS? That sounds extreme.

You'd have to see me in person. I probably exagerated a liuttle; but I am 5'-11"/200 lbs. with twiggy little legs. My daughter can't stand it when I wear shorts out in public.

Mike Anderson wrote:
If you are healthy, and what you say is true, then this: may already be happening. Remember, climbing movement should be initiated in the lower body.

I know that, I'm a 23 year climber/old guy too.
Aside from my freakish body proportions, my teens were spent training hard for football (D-line, linebacker) so the die was cast way back then. The guy who brought me into this sport was trainer at the old Nautilus clubs (and Cat 2 bike racer); he basically set me up with a training regimen that actually did assist with my climbing development.

For me, footwork and contact strength are not my weakness. What fails me first is my lats and biceps in high lock-offs. Clearly, the best remedy for that is rock/gym climbing where I can focus on the weaknesses. In the rare cases when I can somehow earn enough climbing time away from all the other crap that comes with marrying a house-proud, OCD chore-a-holic to actually start linking up outings, I see immediate progression.

However, I just spent the past summer putting in slab routes, thus not cranking on the steeps. Because of that, my torso is again weaker than normal; and a quick blast of a weight regimen is how I regain momentum in getting back on more vertical/harder routes. That only helps to a point, at which time I have to commit more fully to climbing/bouldering to keep the progression. Bottom line, it is all a proportional/fluid thing. Weight training helps best as previously mentioned as Pre-hab; I've never had an over use injury from climbing other than the occasional pulley pop in my early years.


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By Jay Samuelson
From Denver CO
Dec 5, 2009
sweet boulder

Hey Mike Lane, I think we may have met once out at castlewood canyon... I was climbing with cab and mark, i think we met you and tom hanson out there a couple of summers ago....how have you been?

Anyway, my advice for training would be work on footwork and technique. Usually i find this is what's limiting me on a climb - using what i have more efficently, not necessarily needing more raw power. Also, try getting on routes that are above your limit; i've found this can help in a number of ways. It helps you get outside your box or comfort zone, and really push you to try moves that you think you may not be able to do. It can help open your mind to the possiblility that you really can climb harder than you think, but you need to dig deeper in order to do it. Also, bouldering can greatly increase power, and improve technique quite a bit. I find good gains when i boulder a lot, and rotate days between hard bouldering and long endurance sessions.

Remember not to focuse so much on training that you stop having fun climbing, being syked is probably the most important aspect of all.


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By Mike Anderson
From Dayton, OH
Dec 5, 2009

Aerili wrote:
Edited to add: Viagra also dilates capillaries and it's been proven through research; why don't climbers want to take some of those little pills before climbing?? :)


I actually have thought about it, but since it's a prescription drug, and I have IN NO WAY any of the symptoms required to get a prescription, I can't try it. Maybe some of the older folks around here?? Raise your hand if....

It would be an interesting experiment because it may make you more pumped. Consider what it does to the "extremity" that it is designed to work on, and you certainly wouldn't want your forearms doing that while you were climbing.


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By jeff walker
Dec 5, 2009

nitric oxide (NO) is a naturally occurring substance in the body. it is released by the endothelium (cells lining the inside of blood vessels) to regulate the diameter of blood vessels: more NO = more dilation. a certain amount is released continuously but more is released if the flow of blood cells through the vessels increases in velocity (i.e., increase in sheer stress triggers endothelial NO production). aerobic exercise increases blood flow and thus increases endothelial NO production. frequent aerobic exercise alters the "set point", if you will, for continually produced endothelial NO and results in more NO production all the time. this is the mechanism by which regular aerobic exercise helps lower blood pressure.

so if you want more NO you don't need a pill, you just need to do more aerobic exercise more frequently or consistently.

as regards the question at the outset of this thread, "what should i do to train?", my response is that you do whatever you like to improve your overall fitness (weights + cardio, crossfit -- doesn't matter, just be consistent) and focus on moving smoothly as well as using your feet efficiently if you climb in a gym. and start working out on a hangboard. i've experimented with a lot of training ideas for climbing over a lot of years and the hangboard was definitely the biggest bang for the buck. so get fit or stay fit, work your footwork and work your fingers. bouldering is good exercise and it's fun but it's random, too. with a hangboard you can measure your progress.

have a good winter season and good luck to you.


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By Aerili
From Salt Lake City, UT
Dec 5, 2009
Get down from there! <br /> <br />May 2013 <br />Photo by Duc

Mike Anderson wrote:
It would be an interesting experiment because it may make you more pumped. Consider what it does to the "extremity" that it is designed to work on, and you certainly wouldn't want your forearms doing that while you were climbing.


Nah, Mike, your forearms do not have any erectile tissue in them; therefore, they would never feel like your, um, "other extremity" in such an experiment. ;)

Vasodilators like Viagra allow blood vessels to open to feed into erectile tissues so they can do their thing; but muscle tissue isn't the same and certainly doesn't operate the same way.




I've read that Viagra could benefit mountaineers' performance:

"...for those going mountain climbing, here’s a useful tip. do not forget to take some viagra along. scientists at hammersmith hospital in west london have shown that the drug that gives a lift to flagging sex lives, can also help people breathe more easily at high altitudes and on mountaineering expeditions where oxygen levels are low. when professor martin wilkins and scientists at the national center for cardiology in kyrgyzstan tested viagra on people breathing low levels of oxygen, they found that the same enzyme that constricts blood flow to the penis, preventing erections, also produced breathlessness at high altitudes by constricting the arteries in the lungs. viagra blocks the action of the enzyme. wilkins said it was an exciting discovery and could help people suffering from high blood pressure in the lungs. however, there is still a need for clinical trials." (--The Times of India)


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By Mike Anderson
From Dayton, OH
Dec 5, 2009

Ok, but isn't a pump caused by blood not being able to leave the muscle? If so, simply dilating the blood vessels wouldn't necessarily help. You may be letting in just as much blood as you're letting out.

Furthermore, the pump is caused by flexing muscles pinching down blood vessels, correct? If that is true, introducing a chemical doesn't necessarily alter that physical constraint. It's not an issue of the blood vessels wanting to dilate or not, it's that they are physically prevented from doing so.


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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Dec 6, 2009
Stabby

There is an article in todays Denver Post about Carmelo Anthony having hit the weights really hard this past offseason; and that the coaches therefore expect much more productivity. It is also well known that Tiger Woods weight trains, ushering in a new paradigm for golf.

It would thus seem logical that a cycle of weight training would improve performance with climbing. Since it has never been a collegiate/Olympic sport with actual coaching and training, this is a relatively unexplored avenue.

Wazzup Jay.


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By Bad Sock Puppet
Dec 6, 2009
Bad Sock Puppet

Mike,

Everyone here presents good ideas and make points which I believe are true. Understanding your body's physiology is important, but don't get caught up with it. When it all boils down if you want to climb better, than practice...climb more. I don't lift weights, take supplements, do yoga, or any of that hype many gym climbers swear by, and I climb just fine. Listen to your body; if you need a rest day, take a rest day. If you want to boulder harder, than boulder more. If you want to lead climb higher grades, than force yourself to lead at your limit more than what you currently do. Sure bouldering all winter will help you be able to develop better technique, but if you can lead in your local gym, than that'll be best.

Here's what I recommend to lead climb harder:

1. Sacrifice time from work and climb more.
2. Avoid top-roping at all costs, only lead climb
3. Boulder more and lead climb more
4. Eat well, get good rest, lead climb consistently and regularly
5. Avoid lead climbing the same routes over and over.
6. Hold on at all costs!

and most importantly,

7. Climb routes obviously too hard


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By Aerili
From Salt Lake City, UT
Dec 6, 2009
Get down from there! <br /> <br />May 2013 <br />Photo by Duc

Mike Anderson wrote:
Ok, but isn't a pump caused by blood not being able to leave the muscle?

Yes, I was thinking about this as I posted earlier, but this is a different topic from whether or not Viagra would make one 'more' pumped.



Mike Anderson wrote:
If so, simply dilating the blood vessels wouldn't necessarily help. You may be letting in just as much blood as you're letting out. Furthermore, the pump is caused by flexing muscles pinching down blood vessels, correct? If that is true, introducing a chemical doesn't necessarily alter that physical constraint. It's not an issue of the blood vessels wanting to dilate or not, it's that they are physically prevented from doing so.

So, from what I understand, I don't think this is the case.

I think 'pump' can be viewed as a form of something called active (or exercise) hyperemia. It sounds like it is probably not just the mechanical muscle pump effect that causes it (unclear in the research). There is evidence that the mechanical pumping effect might induce chemical vasodilators to activate (and de-activate) very rapidly.

I think you also aren't totally clear on how peripheral blood flow works (based on your statement "letting in as much blood as you're letting out"). You WANT to let blood in! It is what drives OUT the blood (and the metabolic by-products you want to get rid of) in the limb where you feel pumped.

I think the main problem for climbers is that we are not doing a series of constant isotonic (contract, relax, contract, relax) muscle contractions, but rather a series of isometric contractions (contract, hold). Isometric contractions definitely prevent the muscle from clearing out the metabolites produced during the contraction because no arterial flow is allowed in, which prevents a pressure gradient to drive blood out through the veins, leading to that pumped feeling.

However, once you relax, arterial inflow comes back and drives venous outflow. It doesn't totally shut down.


Whether taking things like Viagra or NO or whatever would impact this on a local level, I don't know. Perhaps there are some chemical mediators which could improve an individual's otherwise maximal vasodilation, thus allowing one to recover much more quickly and thus feel less pumped. So, in other words, I think the benefit of extra vasodilation is during recovery periods, not during actual contractions.



More on the fine science side of things if anyone wants to read:

Investigators in Canada "highlight new (or at least new versions of) ideas postulating a rapid, mechanically mediated release of vasodilating substance from the resistance vessels. In this case, they focus on recent observations from the Clifford laboratory, suggesting a key role for K+ ions. However, most importantly, Rogers and colleagues emphasize that what causes blood flow to go up must be reversible in a matter of seconds because the pattern of rise and fall in flow and vascular conductance is symmetrical. So, the signaling mechanism(s) responsible must be very fast and resistant to desensitization over time, and perhaps it is time for some version of mechanical/metabolic coupling to be thought about (again?) as a mechanism that plays a major role in exercise hyperemia."

Read more here if you want.


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By Court Bartholomew
From Clovis, CA
Dec 6, 2009

Mike D.

What a great thread. I asked myself that question about two months ago. I decided to do something during my gym climbing workouts that I had not done before: to only do lead climbs for two months and see if that would make a difference. Most of the lead routes at my climbing gym are overhanging and forced me to get stronger, think better and have better footwork. I did not tie into a top rope climb in at least 8 weeks at the gym and I did not boulder once. Yesterday I decided to top rope some climbs (after 8 weeks) at the gym and I was amazed at the efficiency and stamina I had during my session. Today, a friend of mine asked me to boulder with him at the gym and again I was amazed at my efficiency and stamina. I am able to climb longer, harder, and with less pump. I would say that my answer to your question about what works for us, would be to lead, lead, lead.


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By Mike Dudley
From Vegas
Dec 8, 2009
Cracker Jack on lead.

wow guys thanks for all the replies! Sorry I have not posted I was off climbing all weekend.

Yes I live in southern AZ, but it still gets cold enough to make your fingers numb and the climbing hard. This weekend in Queen Creek real cold. But honestly its not about the cold but more about the time I will have this winter. I feel it will be better spend in the gym for the most part.

With my abilities in the .10+ .11- range I think I am going to focus on just climbing in the gym all winter with off days spent working cardio and core. Ill stick to the bouldering for the technique and lots of route climbing for the stamina.

You guys are right everyone has different methods and Im really glad you all shared them. Keep them coming! Im sure Im not the only one with these questions.

At the end of the winter we will have to start a thread of what we did to train and how much we improved.


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By Kevin Stricker
From Evergreen, CO
Dec 9, 2009

Mike Lane wrote:
Aside from my freakish body proportions, my teens were spent training hard for football (D-line, linebacker) so the die was cast way back then. The guy who brought me into this sport was trainer at the old Nautilus clubs (and Cat 2 bike racer); he basically set me up with a training regimen that actually did assist with my climbing development. For me, footwork and contact strength are not my weakness. What fails me first is my lats and biceps in high lock-offs.


Just a comment on this Mike. I think it is important to remember that we are what we do, meaning our body will adapt to whatever stresses we give it. I used to climb with a guy who was a bodybuilder and powerlifter in his youth, now he climbs .12+ and the NIAD in sub 12 hours. He is still pretty ripped, but never lifts weights and weighs about 50 pounds less than he used to. I know another climber who used to be shaped like a gorilla until he started biking all the time. Now he is shaped like a road biker, with average upper body and huge legs. My point is that maybe if you spent less time working your upper body you might actually climb stronger. Of course you would have to change your beliefs first.

Many climbers limit their climbing development by thinking they have to be strong to climb well. Many of the same climbers constantly flirt with injury because they think climbing hard is all about power.

I say learn to climb hard while weak, then when you gain strength you become unstoppable. It is much easier to gain strength than technique.


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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Dec 9, 2009
Stabby

I thoroughly agree with what you are saying Kevin. There was a time when I was able to string together a long period of climbing 4x's a week, altered my diet, AND still hit the gym. I was down to 175 and able to at least work on mid-12's (I also had a few 12+ projects).

I am the biggest proponent here of the best training for climbing is climbing, no doubt about it. That includes hangboard time (which I have but rarely use). I just have this thing about pointing out alternatives. It actually gets me in trouble a lot, especially at work.

I previously mentioned my old climbing/weights partner. Being a Cat 2 bike racer, he knew how to train past normal limits. We were friends with the muscleheads at our gym, and often they would disparagingly comment on our workout style because it was not the same at all to a typical weightlifter. One time we challenged a couple to tag along and mimic our workout. Both of them vomited within 30 minutes.

My point being here is that weights can play a developmental role in climbing training. But it is not by merely performing a body-builder, standard workout. And, there would be regimens that could assist someone break out of 5.7-.8 plateau to 5.10-.11; but probably an entirely different mode for moving from .11 upwards. Since climbing is not an collegiate/Olympic level type sport, the only research done has been individuals, like Horst and Petro; and with them it was all personal.


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By Shawn Mitchell
From Broomfield
Dec 9, 2009
Splitter Jams on the Israel/Palestine Security Wall.

Mike Lane wrote:
One time we challenged a couple to tag along and mimic our workout. Both of them vomited within 30 minutes.

That triggers fun memories of the time a couple burly linemen came into high school wrestling practice to show us what's what. They also crawled out puking in short order.


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By JCM
From Henderson, NV
Dec 10, 2011

Mike Dudley wrote:
With my abilities in the .10+ .11- range I think I am going to focus on just climbing in the gym all winter with off days spent working cardio and core. Ill stick to the bouldering for the technique and lots of route climbing for the stamina.


This is a good, sensible basic plan. It may make you stronger/better, and at the very least will help maintain fitness so that you can hit the ground running in the spring. Just make sure that you don't injure yourself, so take lots of rest and work on antagonistic muscles. Keep an eye on the forecast, too; you'll probably have plenty of opportunities to get outside during warm spells.


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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Dec 10, 2011
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.

Jon Moen wrote:
Keep an eye on the forecast, too; you'll probably have plenty of opportunities to get outside during warm spells.


No, he should look at an Almanac, the 2010 Almanac in particular.


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