Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Weight training for climbing? WHAT DA?!?!

                                                                                                        JenElizabeth @ DeviantArt
Is weight training good for climbing?

I surfed a little bit on the Internet and the answer seems to be pretty simple: "no" and "why would you do that!?!?!".
Case close...

The first argument moved against weight training it is that it makes you bulk; as you can imagine more weight may make you climb more difficult..
Yet, I think most people assumes something like this: GYM = BIGGER.
Sure lifting weight makes you "bigger", it is the adaptation of the body to the training; but there is not only one way to train with weights. And I do believe that most of the climbers knows only one: gain mass (hypertrophy).

That kind of training will be unproductive for sure because "you train more the mass and less the strength" – in other words you get bigger. Which is cool when you walk around the beach asking girls if they would like to play beach-volley while you are showing off your enormous chest. True story bro.

… what if we follow a strength training?
It is quite self-explanatory; we are talking about a training focused on gaining strength. Because we work with sub-maximal weight, there will be less mass gain than an hypertrophy training and there will be an improvement of the central neural system. Why is that?
Working with sub-maximal weights, i.e. 2 set of 2 rep @ 90% of 1RM, the muscle fibres are not stressed enough to promote mass gain, compared to hypertrophy training; instead, most of the effort is focused on the motor units – neuron + the muscle that it innervates – and the central neural system, which includes:
  • Fiber Recruitment
  • Firing Rates
  • Intra-muscular Coordination
  • Inter-muscualr Coordination
  • Antagonist Disinhibition
  • Growth and Pruning

Moreover, a strong climber can climb longer and harder. It has been proven that sub-maximal training improves the muscle endurance (Hoof, Gran & Helgerud, 2002).

As my friend Joe The Climber writes here, why there are strength and conditioning programs for almost every sport and not for climbing?

We decide to try it out.

Second part coming soon; don't worry about that.

REFERENCE (like a pro)

Hoff, J., Gran, A., Helgerud, J. (2002).Maximal strength training improves aerobic endurance performance.
Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 12(5), 288-295.

No comments:

Post a Comment