/ Wall training with weights - worth it?

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philhilo - on 28 Jun 2014
I have several weight vests containing around 5-7kg from my skydiving days, and have started wearing one for indoor wall sessions from bouldering warm up all the way through stamina and strength training. It feels like I have already done 30m of steep trad by the time I finish a 15m route. Is there any point or should I just climb harder routes? Anybody have any knowledge/experience around this?
ow arm - on 28 Jun 2014
In reply to philhilo:

I suppose it could be useful if you want to train for longer routes but only have short indoor ones available. Theres always the risk that youll injure yourself by unnaturally loading your body, but then if you trad climb you will probably have a rucksack on anyway so it may help simulate real conditions?
Coel Hellier - on 28 Jun 2014
In reply to philhilo:

Be careful, I know one acquaintance who permanently wrecked his finger joints by fingery training while wearing a weight belt.
Sally Bustyerface - on 28 Jun 2014
In reply to ow arm:

> if you trad climb you will probably have a rucksack on anyway so it may help simulate real conditions?

Yup, because almost all trad climbing is done with a rucksack. Led 20ft crack on Burbage North the other day with a 25kg rucksack. And a portaledge (just in case).
Sally Bustyerface - on 28 Jun 2014
In reply to Coel Hellier:

> Be careful, I know one acquaintance who permanently wrecked his finger joints by fingery training while wearing a weight belt.

You're lucky. I don't know any of my acquaintances.
Ffion Blethyn - on 28 Jun 2014
In reply to philhilo:

I'd imagine it would upset your balance and hamper any gains you might make in technique.
philhilo - on 29 Jun 2014
In reply to philhilo:

Not sure about rucksacks but pulling through steep ground I.e overhanging you notice either a full rack or two full ropes.
Scrump - on 29 Jun 2014
In reply to philhilo:

I dont think its worth it. Climb harder stuff, youll get stronger and fitter and it work on harder technique. Plus added weight is a good way of hurting your fingers.
geomac - on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to philhilo:

I know more than one well known climber who does reps with a weight belt on a wall. It definitely improves strength and stamina and if nothing else simulates the weight of a full rack and or small rucksack if carried on longer routes.
As an advanced technique definitely worth it but a proper level of fitness is a must prior, and down climbing with it can damage elbows if not well controlled.
luke obrien - on 01 Jul 2014
In reply to philhilo:

I think adding weights probably has some benefits when you are trying to increase intensity for training power, I'm not sure of the value if training stamina etc though others might have different experiences?. It seems to be a way of adding a new stimulus if you are plateauing or have reached the limits in other training methods available to you. From what I've read the basic principles are (I) only train this way if you have a lot of training under your belt or you will damage yourself (ii) make sure you maintain good technique and are fresh, stop immediately when it starts getting messy as you will get injured - (do less, but doing it well) (iii) don't do it for extended periods (more than a few sessions a week for 2-3 weeks) as the gains will drop off and the chance of injury will increase. I can't get out climbing as often as I'd like (outdoor or indoor) so I have to use my system board and campus rungs in my garage to keep strong ish. I wear a weight vest every now and then when I feel I am fit enough and I am not pushing my strength but I keep the moves simple to avoid knackering my fingers.
stp - on 07 Jul 2014
In reply to philhilo:

Increasing weight on problems/routes you can already do will of course make them harder and up the intensity which is the essence of progressive training.

However most people just up the difficulty which is exactly what you're aim is on the rock. Doing harder routes will make you more able to see what you can and can't do. It'll teach you do harder moves. Part of progressing is knowing that you're capable of pulling on certain sized holds in certain positions. Also adding weights will alter you're centre of balance which you might have to relearn when you take the weights off.

In short it'll help but probably not the best way. However just to confuse things even more I have a friend who boulders with a weight belt. He's very strong and reckons its great way to train.
philhilo - on 18 Jul 2014
In reply to philhilo:

Thanks all, bit of a mixed bag of answers - yes, no, maybe. Time for a 1-2-1 training session with a coach.
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AlanLittle - on 18 Jul 2014
In reply to philhilo:

Depends what you want to train for. A trad rack weighs a few kilos, as do 50 metres of rope + rope drag, and for longer routes you'll often be wearing a rucksack.

So climbing with a rack/rucksack - *really slowly* in order to realistically spend 30-40 minutes on a fifteen minute wall route - might be relevant to trad/alpine climbing. I doubt if it would do much for your sport climbing.

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