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What's the deal with P90X for climbing?
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By Crimp Junkie
From New Britain, CT
Mar 31, 2011
Profile

Dustin Roth wrote:
Its kind of expensive and being a climber you could pry make something extremely close out of webbing and small hardware for under 75 but the workout books and dvd are really great


I made two of these for a grand total of $7.83.

Ring
Ring


That said, having come from a very diverse general conditioning background, I largely agree with the school of thought that general conditioning programs like P90X won't have a directly positive impact on climbing strength (assuming were talking pure rock climbing here, and not technical alpine climbing, big walling, etc). However, its easily conceivable that a highly anaerobic program like P90X could help those carrying around a few extra pounds to lose them. For those without a weight issue, though, it seems to me that a program like P90X would be eating into valuable time better used for rock climbing specific training & recovery.


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By mattm
From TX
Mar 31, 2011
Grande Grotto

The P90X will benefit you're climbing primarily in a weight loss and general fitness way. You'll be a Pull-Up CHAMP at the end as well but that doesn't do a whole lot for climbing hard routes. I'd do P90X during a non-climbing cycle (eg winter) It's HARD. Especially if you've been out of the cardio-fitness game for a while I used to be Div 1 Track and Field. It's been a while other than some casual 5Ks and when I started I felt like I had been run over by a train. It really open my eyes to how FAR I had let my self go general fitness wise.

Eventually I incorporated PARTS of the P90X into my training. It's usually low weight reps so not a lot of bulking of the muscles.

Really, what I need to do is just run and do the P90X general cross training to loose weight and train my antagonistic muscles.


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By steve edwards
From SLC, UT
Apr 4, 2011

P90X was not designed in any way for climbers, nor was it designed for any athletes. It was a graduate degree for our customers who had completed things like Power 90 and Slim in 6 who were natrually evolving to a place where they needed a higher-level training program. It's a good, sound, training program for building a fitness base and, as many of you have pointed out, will help some climbers but not most climbers. But the fact that professional athletes are using it means, to me, that many pro teams could use a better training staff.

In the Deadpoint article I tried to assess this, as they originally wanted an article on the effectiveness of general conditioning for climbers, which required a reference point. And while there is a group of climbers that would benefit from a program like 90X--mainly those who've created too much imbalance by training too specifically and are being slowed down by constant injury--it would not be appropriate for most climbers trying to improve at their sport. It was meant to be very basic because before going into specific training points for climbing you need an overall strategy. This is the main problem with training articles in magazines, which tend to provide a solution for part of the puzzle without addressing what the puzzle is.

I would agree with Mike's assessment of the piece. I know/knew the climbers in the into and my perspectives are correct but perhaps brushed over too quickly to stand up to analysis as it wasn't meant to. That bit was written as entertainment to show that there are many different perspectives on training as a lead in for the more techie bits. I needed to cover a lot of somewhat boring ground in as few words as possible so that subsequent articles on training will all have a reference point.

We did just shoot a program that will be much better for climbers. It's the sequal to 90x and uses a lot more advanced techiniques to improve movement patterns that can be abridged in a way where hypertrophy won't be such a hinderance. I'll be writing more for Deadpoint and my blog will continue to explore ways to integrate different training systems to be sports specific. Hopefully this will help our approach to training for climbing become a bit more logical and systematic, keeping us less injuried and on the rock more.


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By JayDee
Jun 10, 2011

Mike, i had to chime in on this subject. P90X was perfect for me, i work in an office job and climb steep rock and only get to climb one day a week. with the program you get the workout videos,12 of them and all you have to do is plug in the one for the day and copy what they do. As people say it is hard, i stuck to the diet plan about 80% and the workouts about 90%. At the end of the 90days i lost about 18 pounds and tripled my pushups and almost tripled pullups. As mentioned it has cardio and weight training, but it also has yoga and stretch which is incorperated in the program and helps prevent you from getting injured. It's overal result is lighter, stronger, more flexable, and stronger core, how could it not help your climbing? During the program the first three weeks my climbing suffered, but after that it began to improve. After doing the 90days i usually take a month or two off and only do some cardio and core before i start it again. I did P90X 3 years ago, i've repeated it about 5 times, did P90X+ 2 times, i started climbing when i was 17, i am now 50 and climbing better than i ever have due to the program. So my advice, if you're not on a training program, do it.


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By Camp
From Santa Fe, NM
Oct 25, 2011

Two words: Mountain Athlete

mountainathlete.com


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By Copperhead
Oct 25, 2011

Mike Anderson wrote:
I think what he means to say is that you CAN'T increase your strength and weight equally only through hypertrophy. Muscle strength scales with the muscle cross sectional area, while muscle weight scales with it's volume. So, if you increased a muscle's strength 10%, it's area would increase 10%, so it's volume would increase 15%. SQRT(1.1)*1.1 = 1.15 --> 15%



Your reasoning has an error here. If the strength of a single muscle increases with cross-sectional area, then the volume will also increase propotionally with increased cross-sectional area. The muscle doesn't get 10% longer, after all, which is what you appear to have assumed above.


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By Sir Wanksalot
From County Jail
Oct 25, 2011

Shamus Gaffney wrote:
Get yourself a Shake Weight. Even if your climbing doesn"t improve, you'll hone other valuable skills.


+1. YEESSS!


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By germsauce
Oct 25, 2011
Hippos kill people

I've been doing circuit classes (i assume the workout is similar to what P90x does for you, hard aerobic x's reps of body weight exercises targeting various muscle groups) it hasn't helped a ton with my sport/face climbing and/or bouldering, but where i have noticed it helped is with more physical full body climbing like pure crack/OW at Indian Creek. I seem to be able to catch my breath better and maintain my endurance to the top of routes there.
In any case, the limiting factor in most of my climbing has been forearm endurance and technique, i think those are more important to train than anything else. i.e. your better off spending time climbing 25-50 routes a week and on the hangboard/campus board than wailing on your pecs while some guy in spandex shorts yells at you.

If you need to lose weight, that's another story. FYI i lost about 8 pounds last month due to Giardia, been sending harder than ever since. i don't recommend Giardia as a program in and of itself, but coupled with a good cardio and climbing schedule it can work wonders. wear a diaper.


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By slim
Administrator
Nov 7, 2011
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

Copperhead wrote:
Your reasoning has an error here. If the strength of a single muscle increases with cross-sectional area, then the volume will also increase propotionally with increased cross-sectional area. The muscle doesn't get 10% longer, after all, which is what you appear to have assumed above.


i wondered that also. another interesting thing that i read today on the self coached climber website said that to double strength, a muscle needs to increase in volume 4 times - which doesn't seem right. i had always read/heard that strength is generally related to cross sectional area, and that doubling the area would double the strength. to increase the volume of the muscle you would also hvae to double the length, which probably isn't happening.


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