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Training for climbing?

10:08:22 PM
Hello everyone, in full knowledge that there are members of this forum that are exceptional climbers i.e. way better than me! I was wondering if anyone has any tips regarding tendon soreness in ones forearms? At this time of the year Iím trying to train (mainly bouldering) three times a week. I warm up and stretch before sessions, and try to warm down and stretch after each climbing session. At this stage training consists of doing a lap of a single problem, then resting for the amount of time that it took to complete the problem. I repeat this four or five times per problem, an have rest periods after 3 problems. I have been reading literature on the Internet, and have been trying to incorporate climbing each problem one way and they repeating the problem in reverse.

Does anyone have any tips regarding recovery, or processes that they use to recover after a training session? Im looking to do a fair bit of climbing when I get time off from the Army and need to make sure that Iím doing the right things before embarking on a trip to Araps.

Any ideas would be appreciated


7:55:03 AM
If you're fairly new to climbing, your muscles can build up faster than your tendons. This can result in sore/injured tendons because your muscles allow you to pull off moves your puny tendons can't handle. Patience is the key. Don't over-do it. It may take quite a while before you can train as hard as you want without aquiring very sore tendons.
10:33:13 AM
What Iser said.

I had sore tendon issues (golfer's elbow i.e. on the inside of the elbow) on and off last year but they are really good now. I attribute the improvement to:
- less campusing and intense training on small and flat holds, more climbing instead and lower intensity exercises like plain pull-ups (with fingers curled).
- using complementary exercises to train the opposite (antagonist?) muscles. i.e. reverse wrist curls, a few times a month, with a modest weight.
- resting when I needed to. i.e. back off when they feel sore
- an overall buildup over the last 2 years i.e. the tendons are probably stronger now.

The issue was originally triggered by squeezing handgrips as posted elsewhere recently. The handgrips were consigned to the cupboard, never to be seen again.

11:05:51 AM
Hey Tristan
I'll show you some stretches Julian recommended when I had tendon pain from to much keyboard work, they might help. Pick up as many technique tips as you can so you can take the stress off your arms and be weary of over gripping. Being vego Iíve found making sure I get a good dose of protein after training also helps heaps with recovery. As Iser said be patient, donít over do it, Iíve seen heaps of people develop injuries when they get inspired and go too hard too soon. And stop eating so much chocolate!! :) You at Burnley on this weekend?

12:27:17 PM
Thanks Trish, I hope to be at Burnley on sunday, I know what you mean about eating a lot of protein afther training, I have been eating tonnes of beans and tofu. Do you have any better vegiterian sources of protien that I can munch on after climbing?

I have heard of some types of bean curd/tofu that are really high in protien, but have been unable to find them in Australia.



1:11:20 PM
The whole thing of your muscles getting stronger quicker than your tendons is sooooo unfortunately true and most people dont realise until there tendons are damaged and they cant climb for 6 weeks. With the need for protein, stay away from soy protein as its the most ineffective of the 4 main protein sources . The most effective (for many different reasons) is whey protein followed by eggs. Youll get your best whey protein from a health food shop in a container. or message me and i can supply a website contact for the stuff i use. Its really good for recovery.

5:01:43 PM
And another thing...
I did find that when I went through what you're going through regarding recovery time, taping a couple of magnets to my forearms (overnight) helped. Colour it strange/new age bullsh!t if you wish, but I found they helped (and they're well known to help arthritis sufferers etc). You can get appropriate magnets at a place like

The good Dr
5:38:19 PM

>Do you have any better vegiterian sources of protien that I can
>munch on after climbing?

Yes, cows!!

One of the main difficulties is not the amounts of proteins, but the types of amino acids that make up those proteins. It generally takes a combinations of foods to obtain all the essential amino acids.

5:47:19 PM
Thanks Doc,

What types of proteins are good in this situation? How does one gain the right amino acids?


6:14:16 PM
Since moving out of home, and having to fend for myself you quickly realise that a well balanced diet isn't as easy as what mum makes it out to be! I haven't been climbing much at all, but after the comp at lactic my whole body was sore for like a week, and I'd been doing a few sit-ups which also took me AGES to recover from (something close to a week also)
Quick Fix: Protein = Eggs and a couple of Tofu stir-fries a week. I've cut down the stir-fries to once every now and then cause i'm too lazy and have a lacking attention span to prepare them..
But throw an egg in a milkshake, or have scrambled eggs, or just plain egg on toast!
Now its not taking any more than a day to recover from situps and light exercises..

7:19:24 PM
Eggs are a great source of protein, but there has to be a better way to eat them. By that there has to be something that can be mixed with them to make ya body metabolise them more effectivly. Any suggestions?

11:51:08 PM
Yeah, interesting comments about the eggs, as one of the other factors I think is eating eggs - usually twice a week and often the morning after gym night.

12:25:36 AM
if ya wanna get heaps of eggs into ya, try julian saunders sending-slice recipe (available from his chockers interview), its got like 10 eggs in it
and gimme feedback on how they go in the field... i made a batch to test them and then ended up eating them all before i got to go climbing.
3:08:31 AM
G'Day Tristan/Peacey. Some of this isnít 100% on resting but the extra helps for context. If you havenít got it already pick up ę One Move Too Many Ľ (Sam Lightner Jnr?), I found it via a Petzl dealer ISBN 3-928026-20-8. A pretty good guide on training, resting, the time it takes for the differing tissue types to develop adequate resistance to the new stresses induced through training, dealing with inevitable injuries, diet and additives like caffeine. There's training tips galore around which usually incorporate something on resting (Neil Gresham's tips in the Planet Fear website for example). For me, this past winter I started thinking of training cycles: hypertrophy 6-8 weeks, maximum strength 2-3 weeks and then endurance 1-3 weeks rounding out with a couple of weeks off. During each stage of the cycle I dosed up 1-3 times max per week on the focus item but still maintained a short session of the other 2 in the regime. Resting wise I took some Gresham advice and waited a further day from the point where I felt recovered before retraining. I took more than a month off at the end of winter. That's worked OK for me but I have to report that it still takes a toll on the joints/tendons and, now 6 weeks into the euro summer season on rock, its personally obvious that there's only so much that you can achieve by improving the physical aspect anyway. Finally, read our tales of woe about elbows in the Chockstone forum under accident and injuries thread title starts with Screwed Elbows...Beefy and Dalai's are probably the most appropriate cautionary tales I've heard to any forearm development training. Good luck with it.
3:11:39 PM
G'Day Rod.

I haven't read the book you are speaking of, so I can't comment on the advice, and whether you may or may not be following it correctly. As someone earlier in this thread wrote, you need to spend a lot of time at low to moderate training activity in order to give your tendons time to grown in conjunction with your muscle, otherwise your muscular growth will outstrip your tendon growth and you will do yourself damage.

This goes for all sports. If you want to start a training program, you should start with about half of what you think you are capable of. Then you should do a very long endurance phase at low to medium intensity. I'm talking up to 3 months. Then you can start getting into some periodisation as Rod mentions, although I would be more inclined to do 4 to 6 weeks endurance, 2 to 3 weeks strength, 1 to 2 weeks power, then two weeks off and start again.

Many books on training are directed at athletes who already have a good basis of training and strength, and are probably climbing at grades 24 and above. For the average Joe, climbing at grades 16 to 21, take your time. You have many years of climbing enjoyment ahead, and there is no need to rush into it to be the best in a short period of time. Don't compare yourself to the guy on the route next to you. He may have been climbing at a high level and training hard for the past 4 years. Or he might be 15 years old!

Muscular growth will only occur during rest, and when the muscles have protein to grow. But you also need to replace vitamins and flush out all the nasty stuff that is created as a by-product of muscle use. So I recommend that a combination protein / complex carb meal for recovery is taken after climbing, and that anti-oxidants are also taken, either as a suppliment or through veges such as broccoli, tomatoes, peas, and beans.


3:20:44 PM
Thanks Rod/gravitychaser,

Thanks for your input, it is good to see people that are willing to share their training. I have been training for about 9 weeks at this stage and have seen considerable increases in my strength and stamina, and only a small injury. Thanks for the tips


8:08:07 PM
Steveís Training Tips
Well there is certainly much advice to read here, and Iím sure some of it is well intentioned. But if you want the true, valuable and trusted training tips, go no further than this list here:

1. Beer is not a beverage, it is a concentrated carbo-loading training supplement. One litre of beer contains enough energy to power you up Tiptoe Ridge 9 times. Two litres are enough to do Denim twice. Seven litres will allow you to get off the ground at the Golden Streak boulder and set a fastest lap time on the 100m crawl back through the dirt to your campsite, assuming you make it that far.

2. Pull ups are like lead ingestion in that they are accumulative, so it is only the 99th one that does you any good. Hence I recommend not counting from 1, but perhaps, say, starting from 90. To save time, count by threes. For a mind as well as body workout, count in prime numbers.

3. Taping fingers will save skin and tendons, Ďtis true. The problem is that most keen climbers lack the mental agility to take this advice to its ultimate conclusion. Hence, make sure you tape your entire hand. Continue up the forearm to the armpits. Use gaffer tape for maximum adhesion and strength. Benefit: as well as waxing suitable unsightly body parts, this cuts off all blood flow to the arms, hence avoiding that nasty Ďpumpedí feeling.

4. Climbing is the best training for climbing, and training is the best training for training. So go train. Or climb. To quote the famed Prophet Dan Quayle, "What a waste it is to lose one's mind. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is."

Climb and enjoy,

9:44:33 PM

That is gold mate, I wish that I could drink beer. But because I'm just about to start my new life in the army, I can't put on too much more weight (stupid BMI stuff..). Oh how I miss having a beer on a Friday night ...

9:17:02 AM
G'Day Tristan.

I am Army, and there are probably a few more on chockstone.

Nothing interrupts climbing and training for climbing more than a job. But working pays better than climbing. Damned if you do and damned if you don't I suppose..........

9:20:15 AM

>I am Army, and there are probably a few more on chockstone.

don't shoot!!

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There are 30 messages in this topic.


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