/ Will weight loss make you a better climber
Whilst I am not overweight (at 12stone and 5 10) I don't possess a 6 pack and have a smallish muffin top. A mini moobs.
Just wondering if losing weight through running etc will help
I'm trying to work on technique and going to the climbing wall. Climbing regularly outside is difficult as I have nowhere local
For me, 5kg account for about one UIAA degree (not rigorously tested, just an estimate..)
I've lost a lot of weight lately (30lbs since March), I'm now 10st 3lbs at 5'8. It's impossible for me to say how it's affected my trad grade as I've been nursing a couple of injuries over the same time period, leading isn't on the cards for me right now. I have top roped/seconded a few routes though and I will say I am amazed at how much easier they feel, moves that were previously right at the top of my limit now feel like a walk in the park.
Same goes for bouldering indoors, before I found anything with even a small dyno in it practically impossible but with a better power/weight ratio they're no longer an issue. I wouldn't say my bouldering grade has actually changed but given that I had two full months off because of the aforementioned injuries I'm pleased not to have gone down. Maybe after another month back on it I'll see some actual gains.
Anything over 10% body fat is overweight for a male climber in the sense that it is weight you don't need to be carrying. If you have a muffin top and moobs you wont be 10%. There are different weight loss strategies that dont compromise fitness/strength. Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald is essential reading: www.davemacleod.com/shop/racingweight.html
I'd say yes.
Will give you a better power/weight ratio
Less for your arms to carry up will make them last longer
and you'll feel better cos running's good.
Personally, I found losing a similar amount of weight affected my confidence as much as anything - and I think it's this that led to getting up more stuff successfully.
And if you make good use of the climbing wall you should get stronger, fitter, and technically better..... no?
> and you'll feel better cos running's good.
Running is so not good. I once went for a run - and I managed 3 strides before I thought, "this is shite," and went back in my house.
I cannot find the empirical evidence to support, however it has been, recently, reported that men do need to have more than 10% body fat.
It was a once in a life time thing, and I'm sure my face would have been a right picture!
It's weird though, I could happily cycle around on my own for hours. But running is just a total turn off.
Anyways, back to the OP, but still on the subject of running: Most of the lit on improving suggests that climbing specific training is your best bet for getting better, and that cross training (ie. running) is much less effective. I guess if climbing more's not an option though.....
I'm the same weight and height. I found when I went from 12st 7lbs, I basically jumped a grade. Least it was much easier. I reckon that loosing about 1/2 a stone seems to roughly equate to an extra grade. So if I was 11st, I reckon I'd be cruising HVS and probably ok on E1.
Running is good as a weight loss tool, but you might be surprised that a decent diet will probably do the job. Running will build up your legs, which you don't really want. If you dump all the crap that you probably eat (basically stop eating process/sugary carbs, they're the enemy) and eat lots more veg. And stop drinking if you do. Then you'll probably find you'll loose weight.
As has been mentioned Matt Fiztgerald's Racing Weight is a great book.
As for diet I'm trying really hard but I love eating crap. Having got to starting out leading HVS in just over a year all I want is to get solid leading HVS/E1 and that will do me.
So maybe 11.5 stone with give me those E1s
I'd say it makes climbing easier as opposed to making you a better climber. I'm not an E grade climber but when I lost a couple of stone a few years back my grade limit did go up noticeably (about a grade per stone) as a result. I think that my climbing is still affected by relatively small changes in my weight but so much changes week to week that I couldn't claim any empirical basis for that.
I suspect the scale of the change would depend on the characteristics of the routes (balancy vs strenuous) and how good your technique was, i.e. is your climbing more limited by technical ability or power-to-weight ratio.
It's certainly worth having a go. Even if you don't notice a huge increase in your grade it won't go down as a result and you'll end up healthier anyway.
Unless your legs are really skinny to start with, I wouldn't worry too much about running bulking your legs up. I hav the legs of a prop forward as a consequence of genetics, running has actually reduced the size of my legs.
The more miles you do the more calories you burn, mix it up try and enjoy it. Don't run a couple of miles then stuff your face afterwards to compensate.
Weight loss = starvation. Take your time, don't try and do it in 2 weeks but go hungry. Think of all the things you like to eat and don't buy them or have them in the house. Don't give up ever or you bung it all back on in 2 weeks over christmas!
Run if you want to, its fun, but don't expect to lose weight if you don't restrict what you eat.
some daft equation like one kitkat = 5 miles of running
Daft because it is wrong. A standard sized kit kat (4 piece) is 214 kcalories, which is less then two miles running for all but the lightest of people.
Loosing weight is pretty simple you need to take in less calories than you need.
I ate about half what I needed for about 2-3 weeks on and off and lost a stone. Now I'm back to eating crap but I've been (or was) doing a bit of running and going to the gym and doing 30 min hard cardio. My weight has been going up and down but I'm still a stone lighter.
I doubt losing a stone will make much difference going from say hvs to e1 or from 6a to 6b. I've onsighted 7a as a scrawny bstard and also as a fat one.
Having said all that,running and cardio are definitely good for climbing regardless of whether it results in weight loss or not.
Yes! I think in any case it will not *hurt* your climbing. Whilst you may not be overweight per se, if you at that weight for your height and still have muffin top/moobs etc then your bodyfat % will be quite high compared to your muscle. Just keep climbing hard and powerful stuff for keeping strength and do some jogging/reduce carbs a bit and you'll get lighter.
A few months after I started climbing, after I'd got to 6a+/6b in grade, I decided to lose some weight. Did some jogging and ate high protein diet and I lost about a stone. I was getting pretty lean. Climbing seemed a bit easier for me "pump" wise (technique was still shoddy but I got less tired). Problem is now, I went home for Summer to work where there is no climbing mates/no time to climb, so I got demotivated. I started lifting weights to keep my strength up, and ended up gaining about 3/4 of a stone of muscle! Whilst I may look a bit prettier (lol)climbing is now harder again. Bugger!
I was at a Dave MacLeod talk last Novem,ber, and he said then that the perfect climbing physique is super strong fingers and forearms, decent biceps, ok shoulders, strong core, and then as little fat and muscle as possible.
> Weight loss = starvation. Take your time, don't try and do it in 2 weeks but go hungry. Think of all the things you like to eat and don't buy them or have them in the house. Don't give up ever or you bung it all back on in 2 weeks over christmas!
Ridiculous advice. You're not exactly going to climb well if your energy levels are low.
However..... not snacking between meals, and not eating stuff like cheese, biscuits, crisps, full breakfasts, etc, will certainly help........... in the medium/long term.
> Daft because it is wrong. A standard sized kit kat (4 piece) is 214 kcalories, which is less then two miles running for all but the lightest of people.
so how many miles to lose 1 stone in fat?
always assuming that extra appetite from all that running doesn't make you sneak an extra kitkat or twoalong the way....!
> Ridiculous advice. You're not exactly going to climb well if your energy levels are low.
Absolutely agree with that. Looking to speed up your metabolism through training, and then lose the weight slowly will allow you to train for climbing effectively while you're dropping the weight. Plus, starvation slows the metabolism, so as soon as you increase the calories (and you will, nobody enjoys starvation) you'll pile the weight back on again.
Slightly disagree here though, obviously avoiding processed snacks is good, but snacking on good stuff between meals - fruit, nuts, seeds, vegetables - allows you to keep steady blood sugar levels throughout the day, so your metabolism keeps running high, and stopping you feeling hungry so you don't need to pig out at meal times.
I've got fairly low body fat already, and do a lot of exercise, but since I moved to pretty much exclusively whole foods a couple of months ago (due to being told I had high cholesterol) I've dropped another couple of kilos whilst snacking between meals and always eating till I'm full on main meals.
> Slightly disagree here though, obviously avoiding processed snacks is good, but snacking on good stuff between meals - fruit, nuts, seeds, vegetables - allows you to keep steady blood sugar levels throughout the day, so your metabolism keeps running high, and stopping you feeling hungry so you don't need to pig out at meal times.
> I've got fairly low body fat already, and do a lot of exercise, but since I moved to pretty much exclusively whole foods a couple of months ago (due to being told I had high cholesterol) I've dropped another couple of kilos whilst snacking between meals and always eating till I'm full on main meals.
Fair dincum - For me I find the between meals stuff generally tends to be the crappy stuff, and that it doesn't reduce my tendency to be hungry at meal time. The stuff you list would obviously be a wiser option - I may well give it a bash.
> Whilst I am not overweight (at 12stone and 5 10) I don't possess a 6 pack and have a smallish muffin top. A mini moobs.
> Just wondering if losing weight through running etc will help
> I'm trying to work on technique and going to the climbing wall. Climbing regularly outside is difficult as I have nowhere local
Well it wouldn't hurt but there are other things which may help as much if not more. Climbing outside at a variety of venues and on different rock types might be very useful for your technique.
> Plus, starvation slows the metabolism, so as soon as you increase the calories (and you will, nobody enjoys starvation) you'll pile the weight back on again.
oh and of course eating loads of burgers raises your metabolism so you lose weight thats another great one.
Let me tell you the one about the bloke in a red suit that comes down your chimney and nicks your teeth..........
A stone equates to about 40,000 KCals, so let's say 400 miles.
> A stone equates to about 40,000 KCals
I think the moral of this is - don't eat stones!
Put it this way, losing weight won't make you a worse climber.
Still plan to lose another half a stone or so, then start bulking up a bit from their.
The myfitnesspal website/app is a good tool if you want to lose weight - to track calories in vs calories out etc.
Losing weight makes a massive difference as soon as you are climbing routes where your arms get pumped.
But my friend who was short and fairly overweight was climbing solidly 6b onsight 6c redpoint. He kept his training regime exactly the same but focused on losing weight. He dropped a bunch of weight and went to onsighting 7a redpointing 7b in 6/8 months? He also worked on technique a lot but was adamant it was mostly the weight lost. Said he felt way more powerful.
> I'm trying to work on technique and going to the climbing wall. Climbing regularly outside is difficult as I have nowhere local
Reducing weight (while maintaining strength) can make pretty big difference on steep or sustained ground, less so where the weight is generally on your feet as your legs are well able to cope. As you've identified mid grade trad is generally in the latter category.
Getting fit through running really helped me with more sustained routes, not in keeping the pump at bay nor through losing weight but through generally being in better control of my breathing and more able to concentrate on the climbing toward the top.
That said, time spent running would probably be better spent climbing where possible if it's the climbing you want to improve. Running is a good recovery day supplement to your training if you enjoy it. It's not likely to make a big difference to your climbing and I find it's rubbish for losing weight, I just run then eat like two horses instead of one!
Please dont take this as insulting, but I suspect its not your actual weight that is the issue, much more likely that you are not generally in good shape.
Im 2 stone heavier and only 2 inches taller than you, but have no moobs and no muffin top.
Rather than worrying overly about your actual weight, focus on tone and muscle gain in place of what would appear (based on what you said) to be a little too much fat.
At 14 stone and 6 foot you surely either have fat still to lose or are stacked like an advert from a bodybuilding magazine? I split the difference between your heights but currently clock in at 11 stone 3, and I know I've still got a few kilos of fat I could lose to get to what I would think of as my ideal climbers physique (ie I don't think I need to bulk up massively, as you don't need big muscles to climb hard, and so the main area of improvement is losing fat).
In terms of the original topic, if you are pushing yourself hard when climbing to a level where you power:weight ratio is the limiting factor then losing weight will help. If you're climbing and your main limiting factor is a weak lead head or shocking technique then the impact you will see will be far smaller.
Personally, I came down not far off 10kg over the last few years and went from probably 6b/7a+/7b onsight/quick redpoint/max redpoint to 7a/7b+/7c+. Also, my ability on steep ground has improved considerably, whereas previously i struggled with burly powerful climbing far more than I did balancey fingery stuff where you can keep more weight on your feet. Now obviously I did plenty of training and climbing over that time too, but losing over 10% of my body weight can't have hindered this process.
A note of caution: make sure if you do lose a few lbs it's fat you're losing, not muscle.
Just restricting your food intake may end up losing the wrong sort of weight.
Would like to be just under 11 stone
I've never dieted but generally don't eat crap
If I didn't drink 2 beers a day, without fail, I'd be back to target weight in a week.
Owen at 6' and 11 stone your lower than my target weight or 12st!! im 6'1 and about 13st now i guess (not any scales out here) but not exactly climbing badly, worked all the moves on a 7b the other day. Im pretty much all muscle with a bit of jiggly flab to go and have been getting a lot slimmer in my frame (although i have shoulders and upper back mad for lifting fridges) not far off a 6 pack if i step up the cardio, think i would have to loose a leg to get down to 11st
Recently lost a stone, down to 12st, am 6'1". Definitely climbing better, but no idea if the weight loss has helped, or if it's down to:better technique, more practice, or more nerve.
I think it probably depends upon your style of climbing - balance & footwork vs brute strength. For myself, I was climbing at least 2 full grades harder at 10st than I am at over 12st. Heavier, I can lift a lot more in the gym - its not all fat!
Any way I lost 4 stone in constapation and now im climbin F72 in Dog years!!!
Its complicated, two years ago I dropped three stone and went from struggling at HVS to solid on E2 (6a to 6c sport) I have since put on half a stone but my grade hasn't decreased. I think this is because it took a while to learn the techniques required for the harder grades.
In common with several of the other posters I am now climbing the same grade I did 20 years ago when I was two stone lighter. This is all due to having 20 more years technique and experience under my belt.
What I think is important is maintaining or increasing your climbing at the same time I went from one session a week to two a week whilst losing the weight which ensure I never lost any climbing strength.
At 51 I'm probably in better shape than I've ever been (general age related stuff aside) and I'm also not far off of the weight I was when I ran the London Marathon back in 2005.
It's just that to get rid of that last bit of chub is gonna be really tough. I completely gave up any alcohol for over a month and could see the effects - I've also been going great guns at the climbing wall (tending to favour thuggish overhanging jug pulling).
I run and Mtb a number of times a week and also get to the wall once or twice a week. After nearly six months off of rock I did some trad down at Swanage last weekend and was really pleased with how I was going (leading up to and inc long and exposed VS with no problems at all).
Just gonna concentrate on technique at the wall over winter and keep going with the weight decrease (playing the long game) and hopefully come the spring/summer next year a few Swanage HVS/E1s will be mine.
But one thing I've noticed: some climbers go to great lengths to lose a few pounds, to the point where they're really not able to enjoy the good things of life much at all. And then go and start a trad route with gigantic racks including items - great bunches of hexes and big size cams - that, with a little thought, they'd realise they simply won't need. Or you'll see them start a 20 metre pitch with 12 quick draws. Trust me: metal - even lightweight alloy - is a whole lot denser than body fat.
And there are two words we should all remember. John Dunne. Even when he was doing the hardest trad routes of his time, he was quite a big chap.
Have you read Dave McLeods point about Dunne in his book? He points out that whilst Dunne was quite a big lad at times, he also used to drop weight dramatically (30-40lbs reputedly, says the book) when the time came to perform on projects. If you effectively train with a weight belt on the whole time and then drop it you will end up beast strong and able to crush. The trick is being able to lose it on demand at the right time for when you want to peak.
That's about my position too. Recently, I noticed that I was gradually losing the exercise vs food as entertainment battle (I work at home some of the time - ironically when I'm working overseas staying in flash hotels I barely eat anything!)
I saw the Horizon about diet recently and I'm trying to stick to the fasting regime they recommended. I find it easier to just decide to eat nothing all day. They recommend fasting two days a week and I can't claim to always manage that, but one day a week is pretty easy.
That, plus having a coffee and 10 pull-ups every time you are tempted to raid the biscuit tin seems to be doing the trick!
> At 51 I'm probably in better shape than I've ever been (general age related stuff aside) and I'm also not far off of the weight I was when I ran the London Marathon back in 2005.
> It's just that to get rid of that last bit of chub is gonna be really tough. I completely gave up any alcohol for over a month and could see the effects - I've also been going great guns at the climbing wall (tending to favour thuggish overhanging jug pulling).
> I run and Mtb a number of times a week and also get to the wall once or twice a week. After nearly six months off of rock I did some trad down at Swanage last weekend and was really pleased with how I was going (leading up to and inc long and exposed VS with no problems at all).
> Just gonna concentrate on technique at the wall over winter and keep going with the weight decrease (playing the long game) and hopefully come the spring/summer next year a few Swanage HVS/E1s will be mine.
Ok, so with that other info youve provided here, you sound to be in very good shape. I still dont think your weight should be too much of an issue for your size, but without seeing you its hard to say.
As others have said they are similar in height to me, yet are somehow 3 stone lighter. I dont believe it would be realistically possible for someone my "size" to weigh 11 stone, and thats the point, that the actual weight isnt too much of an issue and its about your body shape. Everyone is different.
I think your weight for your height is fine, and you are doing a really good amount of regular exercise. It can sometimes, once past a certain age, become very difficult to attain a high level of muscle tone, perhaps hence the muffin top and moobs or whatever.
In short, I dont think your weight is stopping you achieving the grades you desire, and rather than worrying about it, efforts would be better directed elsewhere (such as head games, more practice on rock etc).
Not that it's on topic whatsoever, but it's amazing how my perception of that has changed over time, I have friends my height who have always been dead skinny and weighed about 65kg (under 10.5 stone), and I figured I was always destined to be far far heavier than them because I was built more heavily and would look like a concentration camp victim at their weight. I figured I could get to 75kg or so but that would be about as much as I could manage. It didn't turn out to be true, I'm still perfectly healthy at 71, and whilst I don't know that 65 would be possible (without losing some muscle, and more importantly giving more willpower than I am prepared to give, which is the crucial point) I reckon sub-70 should be possible given my known willpower which I can apply when I'm close to a redpoint or a trip.
Do you know what body fat percentage you are? They are usually quite crude but I remember some very surprising results when a load of us on Fit Club got scales and started using them.
I hear what youre saying, and I agree to a point, I could lose a stone easily enough, but the max drop would be to 12 1/2 stone, at which point I would be borderline very skinny, and I dont want to be very skinny.
For the record, the Doctor's scales said I'm 5'11.6" - so similar to you.
I have a fairly large chest, so at 12st, starting to look a bit skinny.
Around 12.6% bodyfat or something - so still not right down and annoyingly still have a bit of a belly!
I reckon I could get to 11 stone just about, but would be really pushing it as far as looking like a concentration camp survivor goes - however would still only be talking the sort of BF percentage that bodybuilders aim for.
Changing your diet might be all it takes to loose a stone.
Also doing some running and improving your cardiorespiratory fitness in general will help you perform better in daily life and climbing.
If your motivation is towards climbing then great, but look at the long-term health benefits as well.
Elsewhere on the site
The release of Peter Jackson's new film The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies on 12th December may not appear to link to... Read more