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rock climbing calories

girlinahatgirlinahat Member Posts: 2,966 Member Member Posts: 2,966 Member
Hi,

I do indoor climbing up a climbing wall. I am usually at the centre for about an hour or so, and in that time will do about 8/9 climbs to a height of about 10 metres. The routine is that I will climb then my buddy will climb and I will belay him. Usually in fairly quick succession.

Now, when I look on the calorie counter for MFP it tells me I am burning 500 odd calories in 45 minutes. Now, I am not continuously climbing for that time, so I reduced it by half. but even then I don't believe I am using 300 calories.

I climb because I enjoy it, and it is great for strengthening your limbs and a good all round fitness. It's hard work and challenging on a mental and physical level. I'd climb even if I wasn't using MFP, but I would like to count SOME of the calories. Does anyone have a clue how many calories would be about right? Does anyone else climb and perhaps use an HRM to count calories?

thanks

Replies

  • girlinahatgirlinahat Member Posts: 2,966 Member Member Posts: 2,966 Member
  • FlyntiggrFlyntiggr Member Posts: 907 Member Member Posts: 907 Member
    Hey - I had the same question about climbing, as I don't climb continuously for 3 hours. ;)

    So a a couple of weeks ago I wore my HRM to the gym. Can't tell you how many routes I did for certain, but we had three of us climbing and alternating belay for about 2.5 hours. I burned just over 600 calories for the night. I'll wear it again tonight and count my routes this time. ;)

    Glad to see another climber on here. Was beginning to think I was the only one. ;)
  • foreverjadeforeverjade Member Posts: 213 Member Member Posts: 213 Member
    There is actually a MFP calorie count for rock climbing...

    The way I usually measure is the total time i am at the gym - 3/4 hours, divided by 2 - for when i'm belaying... Usually works out to about 10 mins a wall. Then I use that as the actual "ascending rock" time. Usually is a SICK calorie burn!! I don't even count the time that I am belaying.

    As for the HRM thing, I have heard that strength training calories burned is not accurate just using a HRM (more designed for cardio), so I would think it's even higher than the 600 you got..
  • darinfdarinf Member Posts: 2 Member Member Posts: 2 Member
    I time myself by starting and stopping my wrist stop watch when I start and stop climbing. I don't count belay time. I have found that my typical route is only 2-3 minutes of actual climbing. For more challenging routes, maybe 5 minutes.

    Then I enter the total time spent climbing under the MFP Rock climbing calories burned.

    So when I go with my two kids and we take turns climbing, I only get about 6-8 climbs in an hour depending on how fast my kids climb while I am belaying them. Not really a cardio workout per se since my heart rate only goes up while climbing which isn't for very long.
  • girlinahatgirlinahat Member Posts: 2,966 Member Member Posts: 2,966 Member
    thanks,

    that's what I was thinking - the actual CLIMB bit isn't very long (depends on the route I suppose) and I really don't feel like I've had a big heart workout, but I do feel my muscles have had some good stretches. I guess I'm on the right track - if I multiply the number of routes done by approximately 2/3 minutes and add that into the MFP counter.

    good to find there are some climbers here. I've been a beginner for many years now and one of my aims on MFP is to get physically stronger and fitter so I feel I can achieve more on the wall. Now, if I can just get over the fear factor (need jumping practice.......)
  • FlyntiggrFlyntiggr Member Posts: 907 Member Member Posts: 907 Member
    Ok, so I climbed last night. Probably not my best night in the gym (my head was just not in the game after a long day at work), but I'll give you the stats.

    6-8 routes between 5.6 and 5.9 (a couple of them I did not finish as I couldn't master the crux of the route. grrrr!)
    438 calories
  • girlinahatgirlinahat Member Posts: 2,966 Member Member Posts: 2,966 Member
    Ok, so I climbed last night. Probably not my best night in the gym (my head was just not in the game after a long day at work), but I'll give you the stats.

    6-8 routes between 5.6 and 5.9 (a couple of them I did not finish as I couldn't master the crux of the route. grrrr!)
    438 calories

    hmm - okay, I'm climbing 5a's and 5b's including lead climbs and I think I have found a conversion table. SO judging from this probably putting in 20 minutes actual climb time for an hour spent doing the 8 routes is probably right using the MFP calculator, thanks.

    just need to get my climbing buddy fit to climb again and I can swing from the walls!!!
  • FlyntiggrFlyntiggr Member Posts: 907 Member Member Posts: 907 Member
    looks like your 5a, 5b are my 5.8s and 5.9s. This gym won't let us do the sport routes unless we take their class first. I've done it on real rock - I don't need no stinkin' class. ;)

    I may go again tomorrow. If I do, I'll report again if you'd like?
  • melhammelham Member Posts: 233 Member Member Posts: 233 Member
    I climb at a rock gym three days a week. I log 2 minutes per route, regardless of whether I'm warming up at well below my grade (YDS 5.7 - 5.8) or working on a project (YDS 5.10c/d - 5.11a). I realize that's an overly simplified way to track it, but it seems to work. Sometimes it's a challenge to keep track of how many I climb, but if I forget I'll just err on the low side of what I remember doing.

    And yes, great to see other climbers on MFP. You'll find that your climbing improves as you lose, which creates a lovely cycle of climbing even harder, burning even more calories, and losing even more weight.

    Since we're talking about climbing, do any of you guys log food or exercise when you climb outdoors? I'm at least 3 hours away from real rock, so real rock is usually only under my hands on 3-5 day trips, when I usually don't bother logging. I have yet to return from a climbing trip heavier than when I left, though. Of course, since I've put that in writing, I'll come back from my next trip three pounds up, you watch! :laugh:
  • FlyntiggrFlyntiggr Member Posts: 907 Member Member Posts: 907 Member
    I haven't been on here long enough to track any backpacking trips, but if you think for a minute I'm not logging every calorie in and out, you're nuts! Considering the hike in is usually the hard work, I can still wear my HRM and track it. :)
  • ChessRoninChessRonin Member Posts: 160 Member Member Posts: 160 Member
    This post is very old (two months now), but I have answers. I've worn a heart rate monitor to see exactly how many calories I burn climbing/belaying, and the MFP number is more or less accurate.

    See my previous post on the topic: http://www.myfitnesspal.com/topics/show/196717-rock-climbing-just-how-many-calories-does-it-burn?hl=rock+climbing#posts-2603500

    Since then, I've worn my HRM during numerous additional climbing sessions, and the results for me (5'7" 180-185lbs, muscular, 25 years old) are relatively consistent. I average 600 calories per hour when I top-rope, alternating climb/belay, and taking ample rest. I've burned well over 800 calories per hour when I climb harder and with less rest, but the average I use for myself is 600 calories per hour (or 10 calories per minute).

    The MFP number for Rock Climbing is 15 calories per minute. If you exclude rest time only (not time spent belaying) this number is quite close to being accurate.
  • kitinbootskitinboots Member Posts: 590 Member Member Posts: 590 Member
    There was an article on livestrong that gave an average calories per hour depending on ascending or descending. I spent maybe 2 hours at the crag today, paired with my dad. So divided by 2, half of the tine I will have been actively on the rock. Now the livestrong article said a safe average estimate of calories burned is 540 an hour for time both up and down. This sounds about right, except it doesn't give waver room depending on difficulty. I found today rather easy, and scrambled up the rockface with a fair speed so I don't feel right claiming 540 calories. It didn't feel like a workout. I only entered 30min ascending into MFP.
    I wish I had a HRM to measure for myself.
  • pharja4pharja4 Member Posts: 4 Member Posts: 4
    I'm a climber too! I just had an amazing time and the gym and we were discussing how to count climb time. I usually go for 3 hrs and only count 60 minutes or so. So a third, I'm a slow climber 'cause I'm new, but I felt like I was over claiming on the calorie end as well. Good to know it is more or less accurate.
  • GuyChaterGuyChater Member Posts: 1 Member Posts: 1
    Good to see climbers on here also interested in nutrition. some interesting posts!

    I'm also a climber, the gym that i use is exclusively bouldering. Can anyone give me some advice as how to calculate my calorie expenditure from an hours session bouldering. Elements of bouldering differ in that the routes are much sorter but of higher intensity and more powerful moves, still with plenty of rest in between goes (about 1 minute between each route). I tend to finish my session with about 10 minutes of continues stamina training linking numerous routes via traversing. Can anyone give me a good formula as to how many calories I'm Burning?

    Thanks
  • ZylaheZylahe Member Posts: 775 Member Member Posts: 775 Member
    hey another climber here.
    I usually just log as 300 calories for a session (and only eat back 1/2 the calories)

    That way i get the same if i do lots of easy climbs or a few hard ones.

    and hopefully i'm being conservative so I'll just be pleasently surprised.
  • ZylaheZylahe Member Posts: 775 Member Member Posts: 775 Member
    Good to see climbers on here also interested in nutrition. some interesting posts!

    I'm also a climber, the gym that i use is exclusively bouldering. Can anyone give me some advice as how to calculate my calorie expenditure from an hours session bouldering. Elements of bouldering differ in that the routes are much sorter but of higher intensity and more powerful moves, still with plenty of rest in between goes (about 1 minute between each route). I tend to finish my session with about 10 minutes of continues stamina training linking numerous routes via traversing. Can anyone give me a good formula as to how many calories I'm Burning?

    Thanks
    I can't bouler anymore (dodgy knee) but I wonder if it might be better logged as strength training (chin ups/ pull ups)

    You could try by comparing how exausted you are after a bouldering session compared to something else like cycling or running where you can get an accurate measure.
    and bouldering varies alot depending on how much time you spend looking at the route, if youre part of a group or if you just keep moving.
  • emlustriemlustri Member Posts: 2 Member Posts: 2
    I had the same question. I am a reasonably inexperienced climber only really doing 4s and 5s indoors plus belaying. Wondered how much to log
  • bedelia37bedelia37 Member Posts: 1 Member Posts: 1
    A quick google tells me that for someone my height and weight (I mainly boulder and just started top roping) I burn 607 calories in 60 minutes.
    But that's if I'm climbing up up up for a whole hour - so taking in to account resting, belying, planning the route, stretching, etc, I'm actually only actively climbing for about 20 minutes of that hour so I figure I burn about 200 calories in a hour at the climbing gym.
  • Andy__DaneAndy__Dane Member Posts: 46 Member Member Posts: 46 Member
    I'm a climber as well :)

    The MFP calorie burn does seem a bit excessive. Especially when I'm mainly bouldering these days, I just tend to stick a couple of hundred in there for good measure, rather than worry about specific totals.
  • jaaullNYCjaaullNYC Member Posts: 1 Member Member Posts: 1 Member
    I am also a rock climber and am trying to balance out my protein in my diet.

    I am one of those climbers however, that is a gym and climbing rat. I often spend 2 hours stretching and bouldering to warm up and then another 4 hours on Lead Climbing or Top Roping anywhere from a 5.10a- 5.11a

    Most of the climbs that I do are at an incline with double roofs to go over. My gym has 50 foot walls so endurance is the name of the game when you are trying to climb at a continuous incline. I usually set the goal of climbing at LEAST 6-10 routes or until I continually fall off the wall and struggle. There are those days when I go home sleep on a heating pad to help the pain along with skin care.

    It would be interesting to see what kind calorie burn I do have. I am always hungry but need to figure out how to either stay hungry or up the protein up so I can level up to doing 5.12's but am seriously looking at my nutrition as a pescatarian with vegetables---so adding supplements such as isolated whey protein or more veggies.
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