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Application to rock climbing?

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Application to rock climbing?

Postby chrisformoso » February 1st, 2011, 8:04 pm


I believe rock climbing to be a complicated sport with many different moves using a different set of muscles compared to say running or skating. We need an abundance of strength with our forearms, lats, core, legs and even individual fingers to carry ourselves through "problems" or routes.

With that said would doing the 3x a week workout (bench press, deadlift, core) in the Superhuman chapter translate to big gains in our specific sport of rock climbing? Or could I tweak and change the exercises for more climbing specific muscles like Pull-ups and Fingerboard training but still using the same rule of 10 reps and 15 secs?

And when practicing the sport 6x a week (I'm guessing this would mean climbing routes and practicing moves) I would have to stop early so I could climb the following day?

My normal climbing day is about 4 hours with mostly climbing then some climbing specific exercises (pullups core fingerboard etc) 3x per week.
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Re: Application to rock climbing?

Postby boattraveller78 » March 10th, 2011, 4:05 am


not an expert, but with rock climbing, you are looking for as high a strength to weight ratio as possible. I don't think the slow reps, and high reps will help you. Rather, the workouts which Pavel T talks about (high frequency, low reps, and keeping fresh) would likely be preferred. You probably have no need for a bench press, and maybe you don't even need really strong legs?
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Re: Application to rock climbing?

Postby ranger » December 15th, 2011, 11:32 pm


In climbing you want a very high strength to body weight ratio. I would say that any program that is well designed for maximum strength with minimum weight is going to be preferential. I would suggest a full body approach. Climbing is very dynamic and you need strong pulling, pressing and leg muscles. Without any one of these you will be limited in your climbing. You definitely want squats, deadlifts as these two exercises have greater affects than any other set of exercises. Then add something like bench, weighted pull-ups, and military press. You might want to look into a Wendler 5/3/1 program set up. I have used it with great success.

Beyond that... The best thing you can do for your climbing is to climb. Get out on some real rock, tear your fingers up, and push yourself. If you are serious about climbing you must remember that the gym should be secondary, used to enhance your climbing.

Rock On!
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Re: Application to rock climbing?

Postby GThorp » January 25th, 2012, 10:55 am


As ranger and boattraveller mentioned above, strength-to-weight ratio is key. Muscle size isn't necessarily as important as muscle density when it comes to rock climbing. I start climbing about 6 months ago, and personally, bodyweight exercises helped me because they don't isolate the muscles. It's all compound.
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Re: Application to rock climbing?

Postby samsea » July 5th, 2012, 9:22 am


Hey, I would definitely recommend doing the routine. I've been doing it for 4 months (incl 1 month break) and the difference is blowing my mind. I've added pull ups (open grip)and it seems to be working brilliantly.

But, any suggestions for increasing grip strength? I think that's holding back both my climbing and my dead lifts :)
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