Science of climbing

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Choc07
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:09 pm
Real Name: Leon van der Spuy

Science of climbing

Post by Choc07 »

Hi all ,
As a preface , I’m relatively new to climbing (a year or so ) but have a keen intrest in physiology, pharmacology and sport . I have no formal training regarding this besides a flunked first year university module .

Why is supplementation in climbing not a big topic? And I’m not referring to performance enhancing drugs but things like creatine for increased energy and strength, nitric oxide for better vasodilation ( reduce the pump?) ,glutamine for recovery , pre workouts for increased focus and strength in training sessions(I know ,this is a broad brush) .

I simply feel that there is a lot of potential in this . also possibly incorporating different types of training for instance different types of resistance training instead of just for strength as is the general narrative, but maybe for increased vascularity or endurance in muscles that you may not be able to continue to fatigue in your local climbing gym.

Would be interested to hear your input as to why these aren’t the commonly discussed topics and if you think it should be ?

Side note :This is over and above good nutrition and sleep , you can only consume so much before gravity becomes stronger than your grip .
AndrewV
Posts: 81
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:40 pm
Real Name: Andrew Vermaak

Re: Science of climbing

Post by AndrewV »

I used to use creatine a lot, but it does cause a bit of water retention and it's best to be light as a climber. It may be useful on longer treks and multi pitches.

You can train to reduce, or rather better deal with pump. Its actually possible to see results pretty quickly in the gym. Start by picking a really easy grade in the gym and start by staying static on the grip for say 15s initially, then swap hands for another 15s then repeat on every grip. Use auto belays as even the most mild tempered belayer will rapidly lose their sense of humour. Gradually increase time and grades.

Caffeine seems to be a favorite with climbers and most good pre workouts should have a decent amount in.

Most importantly, these products are very expensive (top shelf pre workout plus creatine mono will set you back just shy of a grand per month) and most of us would rather train to overcome lack of strength or endurance and spend the cash on a set of nuts or cam etc.

Nothing beats your last line, good nutrition and rest!
Choc07
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:09 pm
Real Name: Leon van der Spuy

Re: Science of climbing

Post by Choc07 »

I hear you and agree some supplements are ridiculously priced , but regarding creatine a conservative 10% general strength gain should by far outweigh the 2% water weight increase and at R100 for 40 servings I think it may be worth it even if you use it in a training phase then stop taking two weeks before a climbing trip to get rid of the water weight, thus enabling you to get more out of your training . and regarding the pre work out no need to go for Mr Olympia grade stuff , I looked at the NPL website and something like "N.O. CHARGE" , damn these names are cringe, but said pre-workout ingredients (https://nplza.b-cdn.net/wp-content/uplo ... nels-1.jpg) would probably do a pretty good job of improving your time training at R389 for 20 servings, considering individuals training 4 days a week and dosing up on caffeine on Send day , that's a solid months worth for the diligent.

Obviously that all said this is just some examples of something someone may take not everything works the same for everyone .
Regarding the training I Strongly agree and yes its been proven time and time again to work , I'm just asking if it is the most effective, or is there something that someone just hasn't thought of yet ?




Links to some articles on creatine:

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/a ... via%3Dihub

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC155510/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14636102/
AndrewV
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Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:40 pm
Real Name: Andrew Vermaak

Re: Science of climbing

Post by AndrewV »

The clinical efficacy of creatine is well documented, this isnt in dispute. However, when you're literally counting and trying to shave grams off your rack, 2% increase in water can be substantial. In my case that's almost 2kg!

A mate of mine owns a few supplement stores and I've given most things a go. In the end I've found hard work and nutrition yield the best most sustainable results.
Choc07
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:09 pm
Real Name: Leon van der Spuy

Re: Science of climbing

Post by Choc07 »

AndrewV wrote: Sat Jun 12, 2021 8:46 pm The clinical efficacy of creatine is well documented, this isnt in dispute. However, when you're literally counting and trying to shave grams off your rack, 2% increase in water can be substantial. In my case that's almost 2kg!

A mate of mine owns a few supplement stores and I've given most things a go. In the end I've found hard work and nutrition yield the best most sustainable results.
Fair argument I was just trying to get to that , yes you carry more weight but your bodies capacity to carry that weight and more is theoretically eased i.e. nullifying that weight and possibly a large chunk of the weight on your rack ,I will admit that this is all theoretical with next to no practical experience from my side, Making your input and experience allot more valuable than mine.
I agree that hard work and nutrition is the fundamental basis of any form of athletic performance
AndrewV
Posts: 81
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 10:40 pm
Real Name: Andrew Vermaak

Re: Science of climbing

Post by AndrewV »

Work hard, eat well, save cash and buy trad gear https://www.mountainmailorder.co.za/

Also remember, that extra 2% is water weight, not necessarily contractile tissue. So actual gains may not be as much as you think
Choc07
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:09 pm
Real Name: Leon van der Spuy

Re: Science of climbing

Post by Choc07 »

Interesting insight regarding this topic @ https://www.climbingnutrition.com/
Unfortunately there are no citation which doesn’t help for further reading
stingrei
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 11:11 pm

Re: Science of climbing

Post by stingrei »

Climbing nutrition and supplements is not neglected. It’s a big part of climbing and recovery.
Choc07
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:09 pm
Real Name: Leon van der Spuy

Re: Science of climbing

Post by Choc07 »

stingrei wrote: Sun Jun 13, 2021 5:41 pm Climbing nutrition and supplements is not neglected. It’s a big part of climbing and recovery.
Please do elaborate , also I’m talking over and beyond just general good nutrition.
BruceDaniel
Posts: 16
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2009 8:47 am

Re: Science of climbing

Post by BruceDaniel »

Nutrition - or rather supplementation - is a big topic in the climbing community right now.

Eric Horst, a climbing coach of many years has formed a company https://physivantage.com/ and is selling supplements targeted to climbers.
His products have about 15 different ingredients, from beetroot to creatine. He claims that it is all backed up by research but of course, as he is flogging the stuff, there is a potential conflict of interest at play. Time will tell on his products as new research emerges.

I recently attended a climbing coaching conference (https://performanceclimbingcoach.com/) and the takeaway for me on the nutrition section was :
- first and foremost a well planned and executed training and nutitional plan.
- Protein supplementation is worth looking at if you are not getting sufficient amounts with appropriate timing in your diet (skim milk is cheaper than whey and cassien powder)
- Creatine is the gold standard supplement in strength and power sports. It will help you to do a higher volume of strength training - it in of itself will not make you stronger . Climbers can use it tactically within a "climbers periodized" training plan to manage the weight gain caused by water and muscle fibre size increase
- Beta Alanine has some benefit in managing the forearm burning pump - think 4X4 type training
- Collagen has potential for tendon/ligament strength but the industry and their big marketing bucks is way ahead of the body of research
Apart from mentioning vitamins and minerals, they did not go into detail on any other products.

This book gives a good big picture with links to the published research:
NSCA's Guide to Sport and Excercise Nutrition

The https://theiopn.com/ has free podcasts that dig into all of the above in great depth with the authors of many different sports nutrition scientific papers.
Choc07
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:09 pm
Real Name: Leon van der Spuy

Re: Science of climbing

Post by Choc07 »

Thanks for the info , All the more reason to be discussing it. I will definitely try and experiment with some of the things on that list.
For interest sake relating to the mentioned beetroot : its a natural vasodilator due to the nitrate content so are carrots to some extent.
Choc07
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:09 pm
Real Name: Leon van der Spuy

Re: Science of climbing

Post by Choc07 »

Bouldering and speed might benefit from training for explosivity which Probably gets trained to some extent anyway , not sure how much carry over there is to route climbing and how it might affect endurance ?
https://www.trainheroic.com/blog/4-scie ... gram-each/
stingrei
Posts: 39
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 11:11 pm

Re: Science of climbing

Post by stingrei »

https://www.trainingbeta.com/media/shannon-ogrady/
As an example

Podcasts are the best as you can scroll thru the titles and content before listening. then follow up with the invited experts to see what else they have online
Choc07
Posts: 17
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2020 12:09 pm
Real Name: Leon van der Spuy

Re: Science of climbing

Post by Choc07 »

stingrei wrote: Sat Jun 26, 2021 11:58 am https://www.trainingbeta.com/media/shannon-ogrady/
As an example

Podcasts are the best as you can scroll thru the titles and content before listening. then follow up with the invited experts to see what else they have online

Thats really insightful, thanks for sharing
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