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Vitamins and supplements
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By Shawn Mitchell
From Broomfield
Oct 29, 2009
Splitter Jams on the Israel/Palestine Security Wall.

Jay Knower wrote:
What abut Creatine? Anyone use it?

Can't speak to climbing. I used it a little bit for weight lifting a couple years ago. It worked. I felt reps get easier and strength increase. Finally reached a goal to bench 300, but I also gained 15 or 20 pounds.

I don't know how it would translate to climbing, but the strength/bulk gains don't seem very transferable. One of the mags had an item a few months ago reporting performance gains for elite climbers who used creatine. But I don't remember the details or if the info was systematic/credible.

Btw, I'm 30 pounds lighter today, and probably couldn't press more than 250.

Hey...WATER. Anyone have help for Kayte or me?


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By Kayte Knower
Oct 29, 2009
paralysis by analysis

What are the benefits of magnesium?

What are the best supplements for supporting adrenal function?

What does the vinegar accomplish?

I know that some supplements are "sand in a pill," and other brands pay more attention to quality and absorption. What are the best types of vitamins/supplements to buy? In other words, which form or make reduces the likelihood that you are wasting your money on something illegitimate, and instead, supports "high quality" manufacturing and research? I'm assuming that the wal mart brand is probably low on the list...is there a difference between the ultra-organic versions in the health food stores and the wal-mart brand?

I realize that these are all matters of debate, and it is interesting to learn from the knowledgeable climbers out there.


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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Oct 29, 2009
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.

Shawn Mitchell wrote:
I have a water habit that seems to mess me up for real adventure. I drink lots. After even a light workout, I can easily chug a quart in one quaff. Then down another over a few minutes. I have a quart on my desk at work, and go through it frequently. Hydration baby!


+1..000! I have the same "issue"! Its not really a problem for me since I don't climb multi-pitch routes very often. Its my opinion that the benefits of drinking plenty outweigh the drawbacks. I would think for doing a wall or something you could just suck it up and suffer for a few days. You won't die, you'll just be uncomfortable, which is what wall climbing is all about anyway. This can be a problem if you need to free-climb near your limit, but if you're just aiding, you might as well be in a daze.

If you are free-climbing, obviously try to only exert yourself when its shady. That's what we did on Freerider. We planned pitches so we only climbed in the shade, then we brought a white sheet to setup a sun-shade for mid-day. Worked pretty well, but we were still totally worked by the third day.


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By Shawn Mitchell
From Broomfield
Oct 29, 2009
Splitter Jams on the Israel/Palestine Security Wall.

Monomaniac wrote:
This can be a problem if you need to free-climb near your limit, but if you're just aiding, you might as well be in a daze.

Ya gotta love that jerk! :)


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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Oct 29, 2009
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.

Regarding Glucosamine, I use the brand-name "Osteo Bi-flex Joint Shield Formula" which claims to be the "#1 Doctor recommended brand*...*Based on the results of the National Disease and Therapeutic Index syndicated report among physicians who recommend a branded Glucosamine/Chondroitin or Glucosamine supplement, March 2008."

The bottle says:

"Osteo Bi-Flex Advanced Triple Strength with Joint Shield is a potent synergistic combination of the latest in Joint Care Science specifically designed for those individuals who are serious about protecting and strengthening their joints.*...*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease."

Sure are a lot of buzzwords in there, no idea if any of that is legit.

The MSRP is very expensive ($40 for a 40-day supply?), but if you go to Walgreens or CVS every so often they have a buy one get one free sale that makes it the same price as the generic brand. When they have a sale, stock up. I think it works out to about $15 per month. That's a fair deal if it works. If it doesn't, that's a serious rip off. Of course, you could take a smaller dose (1 pill/day instead of two).


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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Oct 29, 2009
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.

Shawn Mitchell wrote:
Finally reached a goal to bench 300,


Damn! I was never able to bench more than my body weight (though I never trained specifically for it). However, in my AF days I once did 116 pushups in 120 seconds for my fitness test. Some people are pre-disposed for power, some for endurance.


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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Oct 29, 2009
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.

Shawn Mitchell wrote:
Ya gotta love that jerk! :)


Seriously! The first time I did El Cap we naively tried to do the Nose In A Day. At the time my hardest trad send was 5.10b. We brought only 2 nalgenes and no bivy gear. By hour 34, no sleep and no water for almost 24 hours, I was literally hallucinating while leading. At the belay I was falling asleep every 30 seconds or so, only waking when Mike jerked on the rope for slack. We made it to the top. Memorable, but not what you'd call fun.


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By Shawn Mitchell
From Broomfield
Oct 29, 2009
Splitter Jams on the Israel/Palestine Security Wall.

Monomaniac wrote:
Damn! I was never able to bench more than my body weight (though I never trained specifically for it). However, in my AF days I once did 116 pushups in 120 seconds for my fitness test. Some people are pre-disposed for power, some for endurance.

Your very high finish in state wrestling is all the more impressive if you weren't benching more than body weight (though contraction is probably way more useful than extension in wrestling.)

Hot damn! Only because of Mono's sick pullboard pics, his gargantuan homemade climbing gym, his lucid posts on any subject, and his disgusting resume (To Bolt or Not to Be AND Cassin Ridge??) it's my pleasure to report beating him in some physical endeavor! Into my early 30's, I could do 130 push ups in less than two minutes. It was *very* useful while I settled in at 5.9 for about 15 years!


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By Jay Knower
Administrator
From Campton, NH
Oct 29, 2009
Technosurfing, Rumney. Photo by Seth Hamel.

Shawn Mitchell wrote:
Finally reached a goal to bench 300,


Uh, how much does the bar weigh? That would be my max bench. I did run a 4:35 mile in high school, though.


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By Shawn Mitchell
From Broomfield
Oct 29, 2009
Splitter Jams on the Israel/Palestine Security Wall.

Dude!
I'm not gonna show any of my pathetic cards in that game.


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By Jay Knower
Administrator
From Campton, NH
Oct 29, 2009
Technosurfing, Rumney. Photo by Seth Hamel.

“How much you wanna make a bet I can throw a football over them mountains?… Yeah… Coach woulda put me in fourth quarter, we would’ve been state champions. No doubt. No doubt in my mind.”


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By Shawn Mitchell
From Broomfield
Oct 29, 2009
Splitter Jams on the Israel/Palestine Security Wall.

"You got any chapstick? My lips hurt real bad!"


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By Mark Cushman
From Cumming, GA
Oct 29, 2009
Profiley Styley

"Take a look at what I'm wearing, people. You think anybody wants a roundhouse kick to the face while I'm wearing these bad boys? Forget about it."


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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Oct 29, 2009
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.

"You guys wanna watch my video?"


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By Calirado
Oct 29, 2009

"Grandma took a little spill at the sand dunes today. Broke her coccyx."


"You think anyone says I'm a failure because I go home to Starla? Forget about it!"


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By Brent Apgar
From Out of the Loop
Oct 29, 2009
Me and Spearhead

J-
When I get climbers coming to me asking about using supplements to increase performance gains I usually take a step back and ask them some questions about their overall eating and training/climbing habits.

I definitely think that there are some supplements that can be used as part of a training routine to help reach climbing goals. However, if you don't start w/ solid eating and training habits that provide the calories, raw materials, and time that allow your body to refuel, recover and adapt to the training/climbing that you're doing then it doesn't really matter what your taking, you'll tear your tissues down faster than they can repair and adapt.

The number one thing that I see most often, climbers don't eat enough food period. If you're not taking in enough calories then your body is trying to perform triage and make sure that all the tissues, organs and systems are getting what they need to keep functioning. If you don't have enough nutrients and building materials on board your body won't repair itself optimally.

Yes, I realize that strength to weight is certainly an issue in climbing. Some of this comes down to training... for example Shawn M's post about the creatine and bench press. I'd wager that more of the weight gain in that scenario was from muscle hypertrophy as the result of how he was training than from the creatine. The other fact is that part of how easily you gain muscle mass is simply a genetic factor. To take the nature side of this debate as a quick way out, some of us just weren't born to be high end boulderers and sport climbers...at least there's still forms of climbing where being able to carry a lot of weight all day and drag a huge rack up the side of the cliff is an advantage.

So here's my experience and opinion on the supps you mentioned.
(background: age:36, climbing for 12+ yrs, boulder/sport and trad climb regularly. Weight train 2-3 days a week. Best on-sights, Boudering V-6, Sport 12-, trad 11)

Anti inflammatories- Personally the only thing that I've had any success w/ (and it was mild/moderate) is using fish oil. Glucosamine, MSM or any other high sulfur containing compounds, Cissus, Bromelain/Proteases all have had no effect for me. I have talked w/ numerous other climbers that swear by glucosamine but these are usually folks that have about a decade on me.
I'll 2nd/3rd the opinion on the chronic use of Vit I, there just keeps being more and more data coming out that shows using it for anything other than acute injuries is a REALLY bad idea.

Creatine: Bottom line is that it works. It is not a miracle substance that's going to boost your redpoint grade overnight by a couple of numbers(but then nothing is, not even straight test) , but it will allow you to train harder. I'm in EVSs camp, some of it will cause GI upset (creatine malate in particular comes to mind) and some of the newer forms, the ethyl ester(though it tastes terrible straight) and alkaline seem to be more effective than the older monohydrate form.
Realistically you may retain a few pounds of water associated w/ creatine use, but it's unlikely that you'd suddenly retain more than 5 pounds.

In the big picture of training, my opinion is that supplements are useful only after you have a dialed eating and training routine, and even then they will only allow you to optimize your recovery process so that you can push a little harder w/ the training/climbing you are doing.
Unfortunately, the only way to continue to make performance gains in any discipline/activity is by being consistent, day in and day out w/ out getting too frustrated or burnt out. (I totally agree w/ what Dave McLeod has to say on this topic and that guy has the ability and drive to push himself far beyond what most of us will get to experience.)
Have fun w/ the journey of training,
BA
My favorite training supplement: Caffeine (you may actually want to check out some of the pre-workouts being marketed to bodybuilders, they work work pretty well for boosting endurance during long gym sessions, both pulling plastic and weight training. And expense-wise they're pricier than a cup of coffee but cheaper than any of the off the shelf energy drinks like red bull, go fast, monster...etc)


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By AJS
From Boulder, CO
Oct 29, 2009
In the sea of Cortez - Baja California, Mexico

Ahhh thread drift - I love it!

A bit more unsubstantiated advice:

-Go veggie! I went from 175 lbs to 160-165 lbs without losing any strength just by cutting meat (must be the fat content?) out of my diet. I'm pretty careful to get a lot of protein from eggs and veggies though! I've been veggie for 10 years and a lot of my joint problems from being a runner have gone away. During winters when I'm doing more weight training I am able to gain strength/muscle without gaining too much weight too...

-Just like with training you need to cycle your diet. If you're training a lot, then eat a lot (esp. protein) and make sure it's varied (important!!!), but then rest up and recouperate and don't eat as much! I have a couple friends - one is a dietician and one is a sports medicine guru - who have a 'meat week' every month to coincide with their hard week of training. I think the idea is that you train your body to be make efficient use of the veggie protein in non-meat weeks and then flood it with meaty protein during the meat week...

Hmmm, okay, maybe this doesn't really belong in the 'Vitamins and supplements' thread, but oh well. Maybe my advice is to supplement your diet with new foods that you don't usually eat!


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By Shawn Mitchell
From Broomfield
Oct 29, 2009
Splitter Jams on the Israel/Palestine Security Wall.

Interesting stuff Brent (and AJS).

...regarding this point:

brentapgar wrote:
for example Shawn M's post about the creatine and bench press. I'd wager that more of the weight gain in that scenario was from muscle hypertrophy as the result of how he was training than from the creatine.


Absolutely. I didn't mean to imply otherwise. Beyond modest creatine intake, I was lifting hard and eating like two pigs. And now that you mention it, the "strength" showed up more as recovery/endurance. Meaning, my first set or two would be normal, but later sets were easier to finish than in previous experience. I got stronger because I could work longer/more.

I guess that would apply to climbing if that's what you were training for (rather than huge lifting/eating). Something that helps your forearms recover for more reps on a route or boulder would logically improve your muscular--uh, Mike or Mono would know here if the right word is strength, power, power endurance, or endurance--so I'll just say: performance.


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By Darren Mabe
From Flagstaff, AZ
Oct 29, 2009
wham bam hand jam. Wrapping up the final moves of Twist of Fate, Oak Creek Canyon. <br /> <br />photo: Blake McCord

more thread drifting. i have been noticing that when i smoke less, i climb better. like, hugely better. when i dont have nicotine in my system, i dont get as pumped and i recover quickly! makes sense, bc it constricts the blood vessels. i have been sandbagging myself all this time. now i should see what happens if i go completely nicotine free!!


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By Shawn Mitchell
From Broomfield
Oct 29, 2009
Splitter Jams on the Israel/Palestine Security Wall.

Word!
...but you do look pretty damn cool and rugged with those self-rolleds.


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By Darren Mabe
From Flagstaff, AZ
Oct 29, 2009
wham bam hand jam. Wrapping up the final moves of Twist of Fate, Oak Creek Canyon. <br /> <br />photo: Blake McCord

Shawn Mitchell wrote:
Word! ...but you do look pretty damn cool and rugged with those self-rolleds.

it'll be cooler when i send. :)


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By Tradster
From Phoenix, AZ
Oct 29, 2009

I take plenty of vitamins/supplements, too. My question is this: a place like Hi-Health charges a ton for the supposedly same stuff I could get at a Trader Joes for a fraction of the cost..so what really is the difference in these products that warrant such a price disparity?


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By Brent Apgar
From Out of the Loop
Oct 29, 2009
Me and Spearhead

Tradster-
Ahh, Trader Joes, not such luck out this way in Rado, I have to look elsewhere for my dark chocolate covered raisins.
Maybe EVS will chime in, since he works in the industry.

There are definitely differences in companies as far as their quality control and production standards which certainly makes some brands better than others and also more expensive.

I don't know about the Phoenix area but in Boulder stuff like multi vitamins and individual vitamins are probably the least expensive at places like Costco, regular grocery stores and then I also use The Vitamin Cottage and Whole Foods.
As far as things like Creatine, Whey Protein, Glucosamine, Tribulus, Pre-workout formulas and the like the best place here, hands down is
The Nutrition Company
cheers,
BA


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By Monomaniac
Administrator
From Morrison, CO
Oct 29, 2009
Insurrection, 5.14c.  Photo Adam Sanders.

This talk about creatine was making me think it would be best to take it while you were in training mode, when the weight gain doesn't matter, but the benefits would allow you to train harder & theoretically maximize muscle hypertrophy. Then when you're in redpoint mode, cut out the creatine, loose the extra creatine-induced water weight to send.

But Shawn's latest post makes it sound like it might be just as useful when redpointing, though you would need to consider the trade-off with any weight gain.


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By Aerili
From Salt Lake City, UT
Oct 29, 2009
Get down from there! <br /> <br />May 2013 <br />Photo by Duc

Jay Knower wrote:
Aerili, what do you take? I'm assuming nothing. From what I gathered from what has been said above, taking these things can't hurt you. Ok, maybe a lot of creatine, and ibuprofen will hurt you, but the other stuff seems pretty benign. Plus there's the placebo effect that Mono mentioned above. That's got to be worth something.

Placebo effect isn't exactly guaranteed. Plus how much $$ are you willing to dish out for a placebo effect? Money is the biggest thing you have to lose buying 10 different supplements a month. Good quality supps can cost you a pretty penny to be honest.

I have taken numerous different supplements myself, including glucosamine, bromelain, fish oil, magnesium (for migraines, which has actual studies backing it up), some kind of tendon/ligament support stuff (due to my connective tissue disorder), BCAA, all with varying effects, usually I found most of them seemed to do nothing, and/or the benefit could not be outweighed by the cost long term. I've also put many a client on various supplements, ones I knew to be high quality and which I felt either had good science backing them up...OR some with marginal science--and left the choice up to the client to try those. I did feel I saw anecdotal positive results with some of these, but I really can't be sure. However, they were also very expensive, which was a big downside.

Generally I think a multi-vitamin is good for most people. I have used creatine with clients; it does work. Although I have never used this personally with body weight athletes, Jay, I've read that there is a way to take creatine in order to get gains w/out the associated water weight gain.




Shawn Mitchell wrote:
Aerili, you didn't specifically criticize glucosamine and MSM. The mass hysteria for them seems pretty universal, and I think I remember reading about substantiating studies(?)

Yeah, there are some good studies backing it up, but mostly JUST for knee arthritis, I think. Nothing else, really.



EVS wrote:
According to who? Many people get the RDA of Mg, but are you sure that is the ODA? Not even close. In the future this era will be known as "the great magnesium drought." I'm sure you have your own sources of information that you "trust," but so do I. I base all my claims on PERSONAL experimentation and experience, not just what I paid someone to tell me. Thank you very much...


You can get this info from Medline, National Institutes of Health.

Sorry, I don't agree that "personal experimentation" is a good method for declaring this era to be the "great magnesium drought." Or to declare anything else of such a sweeping nature across all populations.

I find people who shun peer-reviewed research don't seem to actually understand the scientific method.


EVS wrote:
You're awfully cynical for being so young, maybe you'll grow out of that.

It's not cynicism whatsoever. Perhaps your own view is skewed: you seem to think it's a fault to demand some sort of evidence that something works. Can you imagine a world where we all just accepted everything that other people told us with nothing to back it up?

And, not really sure what your criteria for being "so young" is. I guess if I qualify, you are "really, really young"??


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