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Old 10-20-06, 10:48 PM   #1
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Any Climbers here?

They have this outdoors climbing program at my university which I want to try. The only excercise I do at the moment is running and the ocassional cycling. Can somebody give me more info of the benefits of climbing(to cycling or running or to the body in general?) I heard it gives you a really good workout and makes you sore in all different places.
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Old 10-21-06, 12:40 AM   #2
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browse around if you haven't already.
I climbed for a little, but not so much that it had a lasting effect on my health/physique.
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Old 10-21-06, 06:59 AM   #3
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It depends on what you climb. Most indoor climbing is at least dead vertical to 180 degree roofs, with holds ranging from full hand size to tiny crimpers... 1/8" edge. For most, grip fails first, then lats.

Depending on the kind of rock and formations, outdoor climbing can range from 45 degree slabs to 180 degree roofs. Slabs are mostly friction. The good routes are often glacier polished and have very very tiny handholds, so tiny that most people use them for balance only.

"Workouts" are always to failure, until you fall, or until you top out, unless it's traversing low to the ground.
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Old 10-21-06, 07:10 PM   #4
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Indoor climbing gives you a great workout, in that you'll build forearm/grip strength fairly quickly since it's usually all vertical, or past vertical (in the bouldering areas). Outdoor climbing, on many climbs you can at least rest in parts, depending on the climb of course.

I started getting into rock climbing a few years back, took a toproping course and what was fun, but since I'm short (5'7"), I found it a bit challenging on the harder routes. I used to go with my gf's brother, but he got married a few years back so no more climbing partner. CT doesn't exactly have any mountains, but there are quite a few crags around - and have at least 3 within a 5-10 minute drive from my house.

I kinda like ice climbing better.

*edit* Oh wanted the benefits of climbing.... can develop some decent cardio fitness and work different muscle groups in the legs from hauling in your climbing gear if it's a long hike in/out. On some of the harder climbs where you're really putting out a lot of effort and can't rest much, you'll notice your heart rate begin to climb a little, so you get a bit of a cardio benefit as well, but nothing major (nothing like climbing hills on a bike, for example).

You can gain a bit of core strength (lower back), but if you climb "properly", you'll use your legs for the most part to push yourself up the rock rather than pulling yourself up with your arms. Bouldering would be good for getting more muscles involved.

Last edited by GuitarWizard; 10-21-06 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 11-12-06, 02:39 AM   #5
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I rock-climb and ice-climb, and I have to say neither of them are as cardio-intensive as cycling, so for stamina improvement they're not the best activities. Ice climbing is more cardio-intensive than rock climbing because you have to kick/hammer out your own handholds/footholds at each step. I also doubt they are much good for building upper body strength -- certainly good climbers have good upper body strength, but the upper body should only be used to get past the most difficult obstacles. The legs should still be the principal means of balance and motion.

The best benefit of climbing is balance and agility, which cycling, which essentially involves repetitive movements in a fixed position, absolutely does not train. Only when I started climbing did I find that I have horrific balance and poor agility -- amongst other things, my ankle stabilizers were practically non-existent. Bouldering is terrific for improving balance.

That's not to say you don't get a cardio workout climbing -- you do, but you can get much more intensive workouts running or cycling or climbing stairs. With climbing, you have to hit a limit at which you can't climb any faster because you need some breathing space to think about your next moves. If you don't think you'll find yourself falling and that will just be rest time as well. You can't keep hammering out the same movements automatically the way you can with running or cycling.
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Old 11-12-06, 07:53 AM   #6
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I go here. Helps with nothing cycling-wise.
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Old 11-12-06, 09:04 AM   #7
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the benefits of climbing is in the cross training and different biomechanical movement

bicycling can be a big aid in training for high grade(duration) mountain climbing, where you slog uphill for hours and hours at a stretch.

Bicycling helps if you're into climbing volcanos- Adams,Hood, St. Helens, Shasta or Rainier, for example. Less so at the 'Gunks.
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Old 12-13-06, 02:48 PM   #8
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I rock climb a lot. (In fact it sometimes gets in the way of my biking. As far as getting a good workout in, climbing indoors can serve the same function as weight-lifting. I often bike, then go to the rock gym. Gyming definitely helps burn fat. Also, note that even the steepest rock routes are more about strength-to-weight ratio than brute strength, so you will not bulk up too much by climbing a lot.

And climbing outside is just awesome. Few activities combine such kinesthetic awareness with mental stimulation. As a big plus, few places are more beautiful than a route hundreds of feet off the deck, with a beautiful view.

I agree that climbing does not do much to help cardiovascular strength, however.
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