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Trying to get a strong upper body(ANY ADVICE IS GOOD)

FisherGTFisherGT Member Posts: 55 Member Member Posts: 55 Member
Hi, I am trying to gain strength and endurance for climbing. I am not sure what to do to gain strength without getting fat. Currently I eat a low carb diet and I normally eat 1400-2000 calories a day. I have been gaining strength, but slower than I'd like. I am wondering if I should try to put on mass.

I am 5'8"
I weight 132lb
BF 22%

Replies

  • BadNew54uBadNew54u Member, Premium Posts: 8 Member Member, Premium Posts: 8 Member
    I heard Calisthenic routines are great for climbing and building upper body strength. You can combine it with a HIIT routine to take care of any extra fat you gain while eating more calories.
  • RepswithRyanRepswithRyan Member, Premium Posts: 168 Member Member, Premium Posts: 168 Member
    Static pull-up hangs for time
    One arm pull-up hangs for time
    Switch grip pull-ups
    Stagger pull-upds
    Lateral swings
    Around the world pull-ups
    Zig Zag pull-ups

    There are a lot of different variations of pull-ups that will develop strength for climbing.
  • DevilsFan1DevilsFan1 Member, Premium Posts: 342 Member Member, Premium Posts: 342 Member
    If you want to be a better climber, get as lean as possible. You're already pretty lean at 22% BF (if accurate), but every pound of fat you lose will help.
  • ChieflrgChieflrg Member Posts: 8,676 Member Member Posts: 8,676 Member
    Strength doesn't equate fat.

    Find ways to train that involve progressive overload and practice at the skill of your goal.

    I wouldn't have a goal of adding mass unless that was the deciding factor why you can't climb.

    I would just train with your goal in mind under a well written resistance program
  • FisherGTFisherGT Member Posts: 55 Member Member Posts: 55 Member
    I am concerned about getting any leaner since any lighter than 130 and I start to have trouble keeping body temp in sub-0F temps. Alpine mornings can be a *kitten* for hypothermia for me.
  • yukfooyukfoo Member Posts: 753 Member Member Posts: 753 Member
    Grab a chin/pullup bar. all upper body.
  • JondurredJondurred Member Posts: 5 Member Member Posts: 5 Member
    Have you got a beastmaker or other fingerboard? You can do all the pull up variations but then you can really work your forearms and fingers (warm up well first!) and get stupid Popeye-sized forearms!

  • IronIsMyTherapyIronIsMyTherapy Member Posts: 463 Member Member Posts: 463 Member
    Don't be mad but strength and endurance don't typically fare well with low carbs.
  • MT1134MT1134 Member Posts: 177 Member Member Posts: 177 Member
    What are you doing training wise? Perhaps we could offer better advice if you give a little more background on yourself.
  • gabrielcurran2243gabrielcurran2243 Member Posts: 29 Member Member Posts: 29 Member
    Pull-up/dip station is all you need
  • sutralotussutralotus Member, Premium Posts: 10 Member Member, Premium Posts: 10 Member
    Lift heavy!
  • mom23mangosmom23mangos Member Posts: 3,037 Member Member Posts: 3,037 Member
    DevilsFan1 wrote: »
    If you want to be a better climber, get as lean as possible. You're already pretty lean at 22% BF (if accurate), but every pound of fat you lose will help.

    I'm not sure why this got 2 disagrees. It's accurate. I don't think the poster meant to encourage anyone to be unhealthy. The difference in the number of pullups I can do almost doubles with just a 5lb drop in weight. I would NOT recommend adding more mass as the more mass you put on the harder you will have to work for climbing. If you look at most successful climbers they have very little mass. They are small and lean. You can be incredibly strong (% of bw-wise) without much muscle mass.

    I think the suggestions to work on your pullups and get a fingerboard are the best suggestions. There are several pullup regimens online that you can use to quickly add strength. Don't forget to work pushing as well as that doesn't get worked in climbing. There are several free and paid calisthenics programs that are great for building upper body as well.
  • sgt1372sgt1372 Member Posts: 3,734 Member Member Posts: 3,734 Member
    DevilsFan1 wrote: »
    If you want to be a better climber, get as lean as possible. You're already pretty lean at 22% BF (if accurate), but every pound of fat you lose will help.

    I'm not sure why this got 2 disagrees. It's accurate.

    Don't worry about it.

    Some ppl on MFP will disagree just to be disagreeable and it's often unclear what they disagree with when what is stated is stated in a compound or conditional statement.

    There is no doubt that CLIMBERS are lean low BF folks who are"wirey" strong with amazing grip and upper body strength.

    There is also no doubt that the less FAT MASS that you carry the easier it will be to lift that mass w/the same muscle mass & strength while climbing.

    However, as to the OP's inquiry, it is nigh on impossible to gain additional muscle mass w/o fat and gaining additional muscle mass (which weighs more than fat) is not a guarantee of gaining sufficient strength to carry the additional wt (both muscle and fat) while climbing, even if heavy upper body lifting exercises are incorporated in the training program.

    Also, climbing does not just involve the upper body. Core and lower body strength and overall body flexibility are also very important.

    So, it's hard to say what the OP "needs to do" but my thought is to focus on what others have already suggested, including doing more pullups, fingerboard/wall and pegboard climbs based on the OP's current diet ASSUMING that it has the proper macro ratio to maintain the OP's current muscle mass/strength level.
    edited October 12
  • MT1134MT1134 Member Posts: 177 Member Member Posts: 177 Member
    FisherGT wrote: »
    Hi, I am trying to gain strength and endurance for climbing. I am not sure what to do to gain strength without getting fat. Currently I eat a low carb diet and I normally eat 1400-2000 calories a day. I have been gaining strength, but slower than I'd like. I am wondering if I should try to put on mass.

    I am 5'8"
    I weight 132lb
    BF 22%

    There's a lot to be considered here but for educational purposes in hopes of steering you in the right direction, you don't have to gain a single pound of muscle or fat to get stronger.

    Strength is neurological. Meaning it's about how hard your muscles contract, not the size of them.

    The caveat there is that adding size to one's frame does help but it must be strategic and properly coordinated. It's not simply for the sake of it. I say that because people often mistake the by product of strength as the primary goal and reason for their strength. They are not the same.

    Muscles grow from a variety of stimulus. One of the main ones being Time Under Tension (TUT). Research shows that your muscles require a certain amount of stimulus to grow and generally speaking when working pure strength with proper rest times to support that, you're not doing enough to stimulate that growth but you are infact still able to get much stronger with this training.

    Now for endurance...
    Endurance is on the opposite side of the spectrum from strength. They are not mutually exclusive, so it's now an act of balance to gain the necessary strength to carry out your tasks but also maintain that strength while building the endurance needed to keep going.

    Our success waits on the other side of our limitations.
    To that point, this is why it's important to have an individual needs assessment because none of which I've discussed here will do you much good without first addressing underlying limiting factors and then having an intelligent program that's monitored and flexible to your own needs towards progress or set backs.

    I hesitate to give out any further advice without knowing more about you but I would say adding weight to your body in the hopes of getting stronger doesn't sound conducive to your end goal of being a successful climber.

    It's important to define exactly what it means to get stronger for you because adding muscle and even lifting heavier in the gym doesn't mean it directly transfers to your goals of climbing.

    All of that stuff will help to a point but it also comes with a price to be paid which is why it's more of a balancing act than it is a "just get stronger" act.

    If you're willing to give more details about yourself and your goals then I would be happy to try to help you some more.

    Things I would need to know more about:
    1)How long have you been climbing?
    2)How long have you been consistently working out?
    3)What kind of workouts have you been doing and do you feel they have been helping with your climbing?
    4) What's the duration of your climbing events?
    5)While climbing what's the biggest challenge you face personally (grip gives out, lack of strength in the legs)?
    6)When is your next climb?
    7)How often do you climb?

    I know this is a lot but if it were a straight forward answer then we would all be Gods amongst Gods.
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