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I'm thinking about joining a climbing gym.

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Sunset is just after 4 pm, and it's cold and wet. I'm not riding much lately, and ski season is a few weeks off. That leaves me with some time to fill. It's been a few years since I've climbed, and this could be a way to meet new partners and take it outside in the spring.

The one thing I'm concerned about and would love to hear an opinion on is whether/how much this will affect my lifting. I'm going to the gym for size and strength, mostly upper body (program designed by my PT). Climbing is mostly lower body and balance, but I'm 40 now and need a little longer to recover than I used to.

Replies

  • Duck_Puddle
    Duck_Puddle Posts: 3,237 Member
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    Not trying to be sarcastic-but can you talk to your PT? I know when I want to try different things that might affect my current plan, my coach adjusts things so it all works out (or he tells me doing x is going to affect y in such and such a way so decide which is my priority and/or be OK with the consequences).

    I know nothing about climbing, but have a lot of experience with deciding I want to do x, y, z (even if just last week I launched on a giant diatribe that I’m never doing x, y, or z ever again) on top of a,b & c. Sometimes it’s not as big a deal as I think. Sometimes it is but we (he-idk what I’m doing) can figure out the best option.
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,968 Member
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    I don't have insurance for the time being, so it would be expensive to go back to my PT. I should probably go give it a try. I'm feeling indecisive.
  • mom23mangos
    mom23mangos Posts: 3,069 Member
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    I do climbing on my "active recovery" days. I belong to a bouldering only gym though and I find that my grip/forearms strength gives out before anything else since most of the problems are overhangs or a negative slope. Although if my technique was better, I might get a better lower body workout. ;)
  • mbaker566
    mbaker566 Posts: 11,233 Member
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    I don't have insurance for the time being, so it would be expensive to go back to my PT. I should probably go give it a try. I'm feeling indecisive.

    can you message or call your pt? a message would avoid the whole insurance thing.

    my uneducated opinion is to give it a go, go slow, take time for recovery.
  • middlehaitch
    middlehaitch Posts: 8,487 Member
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    Golly gosh, do it!
    I am actually surprised you don't.

    I haven't rock climbed in decades and did it very casually even then, but I think it would really round out your outdoor adventures. And, you are in the right place for some good climbs.

    As far as it affecting your lifting. Go check out the wall studio you are thinking of joining and see what is offered. Then see how and when you can fit it in with your lifting, or if you want to make your lifting fit in with the climbing.

    A couple of trial climbs will give you a good idea of what you need for recovery between the two activities.

    Do it! You'll love it.

    Cheers, h.
  • debrakgoogins
    debrakgoogins Posts: 2,033 Member
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    Go for it. Take it slow. My son is a climber and he is in the best shape of anyone I know. I (am NOT in the best of shape) go climbing with him when he is home on breaks from college. It's a full body workout depending on the level of the climb. You can make it as easy or as hard as you want to. Bouldering is a great upper body workout. The gym near our home also offers yoga which is a great compliment to climbing.
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,968 Member
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    Golly gosh, do it!
    I am actually surprised you don't.

    I haven't rock climbed in decades and did it very casually even then, but I think it would really round out your outdoor adventures. And, you are in the right place for some good climbs.

    As far as it affecting your lifting. Go check out the wall studio you are thinking of joining and see what is offered. Then see how and when you can fit it in with your lifting, or if you want to make your lifting fit in with the climbing.

    A couple of trial climbs will give you a good idea of what you need for recovery between the two activities.

    Do it! You'll love it.

    Cheers, h.

    I actually used to be a member, years ago, but I moved and Seattle traffic is horrible. I'm going to give it a try with a day pass and see how it goes. My motivation is climbing outdoors, and the season for that has passed.

    I've lost weight since the last time I climbed, and I've been working very hard in the gym for a year. I'm hoping I'll find it easier this time around. I enjoyed it immensely before, and starting to climb again will make me immensely happy.

    Here's a photo of me in the Icicle.

    28046618180_0c3c21cc6a_o_d.jpg
  • KBClimber
    KBClimber Posts: 20 Member
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    I climb several times per week and lift weights as well. Depending on what types of routes you are climbing (slab, overhanging, etc) it will effect what part of the body you are working the most. My experience is that most people when they start out will use a LOT of upper body strength and don't end up using their legs that much. You use a lot of your "pulling" muscles in your back and it can definitely add to a lifting program. However, when I lift and climb in the same day, I try to do mostly antagonist and "pushing" exercises to keep from getting injured.

    And as someone said above, your hands and forearms will probably give out before any of your larger muscles.
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 28,028 Member
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    Sunset is just after 4 pm, and it's cold and wet. I'm not riding much lately, and ski season is a few weeks off. That leaves me with some time to fill. It's been a few years since I've climbed, and this could be a way to meet new partners and take it outside in the spring.

    The one thing I'm concerned about and would love to hear an opinion on is whether/how much this will affect my lifting. I'm going to the gym for size and strength, mostly upper body (program designed by my PT). Climbing is mostly lower body and balance, but I'm 40 now and need a little longer to recover than I used to.

    I have no opinion about paragraph 2 but think you should definitely give this a shot!

    Sounds like just the thing to fill the seasonal void, plus IIRC you've had some environmental and other challenges recently.
  • middlehaitch
    middlehaitch Posts: 8,487 Member
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    That pic on the Icicle looks more like you.

    Just looked at your avatar and it's you climbing. Silly me, I MFP on a small iPhone so I recognize your avatar as grey with white stripe.
    I rarely get as far as looking at the big picture :(

    Cheers, h.

    PS, report back after you have done a session or two, I'm curious.
  • NorthCascades
    NorthCascades Posts: 10,968 Member
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    KBClimber wrote: »
    I climb several times per week and lift weights as well. Depending on what types of routes you are climbing (slab, overhanging, etc) it will effect what part of the body you are working the most. My experience is that most people when they start out will use a LOT of upper body strength and don't end up using their legs that much. You use a lot of your "pulling" muscles in your back and it can definitely add to a lifting program. However, when I lift and climb in the same day, I try to do mostly antagonist and "pushing" exercises to keep from getting injured.

    And as someone said above, your hands and forearms will probably give out before any of your larger muscles.

    Outdoors, I did best on slab routes, worst on laybacks. I've lost a lot of weight since then and gained strength. But I know indoor climbing is a different kind of world.
  • julie_broadhead
    julie_broadhead Posts: 347 Member
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    Climbing didn’t effect my lifting, lifting effected my climbing. I gained weight while I was lifting. Specifically, I put muscle on my lower body. As a result, climbing became a bit harder. You’ve become lighter, so I don’t think that will happen to you.

    I think if you choose more vertical routes at the climbing gym that focus on balance, foot work, and clever hold usage it isn’t going to hit your upper body that hard. It will hit your hands (ice baths for your hands post climbing gym are awesome for quicker recovery). If you work lie backs, that will hit your lats and shoulders so plan accordingly. Remember that you are going back with a completely different body than what you had before. Be kind and patient with yourself.