/ Cardio and body composition

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stp - on 11 Jul 2017
The simple (or simplistic?) idea that reducing ones calories leads to burning fat and getting leaner suggests that shouldn't be any need to do cardio if one just reduces calorie intake a bit more.

But quite a bit of anecdotal evidence suggests that maybe cardio is important. I remember one climber I know who she just can't get lean without some form of cardio and many of leanest athletes I've seen seem to do some kind.

So is cardio necessary to get to reach minimum body fat percentage?
AlanLittle - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to stp:

*Minimum* bodyfat percentage? You're on the wrong forum. Try here:

https://forum.bodybuilding.com/

Alternatively, if you just want "pretty damn low" then you could have a look at what any top sport climber does.
The Wild Scallion on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to stp:

minimum body fat percentage ?

For men essential body fat its between 2-4 % that cannot be lost without damaging the organs
For male athletes its 6-13%
I'm currently 10-11.0% (depending how you measure it ) and its very hard to maintain this level of body fat and live a normal life by most peoples standards. I'd like to get a little lower still.

That aside I think simply walking around, working and doing any activity is cardio ?
Nobody lies around all day without any activity (OK very few do).
Sensibly it's about checks and balances. I achieved my level through Keto and cardio/weight training and calorie restriction. Keto lost the bulk weight from 77 kg - 66Kg then I stay on top of it by calorie restriction and watching what I eat.

So cardio is required yes.
Unless your just going to starve and lie in bed all day in which will work but you'll have no muscles left to climb with before succumbing to disease and illness.


TWS



nutme - on 11 Jul 2017
It depends that is your target.
No cardio (or better no exercise at all) and starvation will lead you to anorexia. Very common method for fashion models.
stp - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to AlanLittle:

> Alternatively, if you just want "pretty damn low"

Sorry. I don't even know the hierarchy of the terminology.


> then you could have a look at what any top sport climber does.

Well not really sure and in climbing it seems like no one trains the same way or has the same opinion on these things. Complicating things more is that some people are naturally lower than others even before they start.

stp - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

> That aside I think simply walking around, working and doing any activity is cardio ?

I suppose I was thinking of the lowest intensity version being something like jogging, where you heart rate is elevated for a certain period or maybe HIIT training like sprinting, and that being in addition to whatever other climbing/training one might do.
stp - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to nutme:

The target is obviously climbing well. Excess fat will make you heavier and thus lower power to weight ratio.


> No cardio (or better no exercise at all) and starvation will lead you to anorexia.

Well I'd say starvation equals anorexia regardless of any exercise one does. But starvation isn't the best way to get lean anyway as the body tends to burn muscle as well as fat.
The Wild Scallion on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to stp:

>The simple (or simplistic?) idea that reducing ones calories leads to burning fat and getting leaner suggests that shouldn't be any need to do cardio if one just reduces calorie intake a bit more.

If you reduce specifically your carbohydrate intake to below 50 grams per day of net carbs after about 3 to 5 days most people enter ketosis and the body will start to produce ketone bodies from the liver and then you will burn fat as a preference to glucose.
In this scenario no extra cardio is needed, however most people don't want to leave it this long and so supplement the transition with HIIT and other such activities .

I personally did a lot of HIIT training such as 90 minutes on the cross trainer 3- 4 days a week as well as weight training and core work this helped boost the ketones in my system and made the loss occur over 12 weeks.

The key is depleting the glycogen stores held within the muscles and then eating enough fat and protein to not lose muscle as your progressing.

I used the following website to manage my body fat loss .

https://keto-calculator.ankerl.com/


Si dH - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to stp:

The problem with a lot of cardio is that you gain weight in large muscle groups. What you really need for climbing is not a low bodyfat %, but a low bodyfat mass. So in my view better to avoid any hard cardio (just keeping reasonably active through basic walking etc) and just keep climbing/training your climbing muscles, and eating a decent amount of protein, but simultaneously maintaining a small calorie defecit. This way you lose fat, and if you do lose muscle it'll mostly likely be off the groups you aren't training, which will also be a good thing.
Seems to have worked ok for me generally.
knighty - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to The Wild Scallion:

When I was diagnosed with diabetes, I had lost around a stone in a couple of months by living in ketosis. Be warned though, a fair chunk of this was muscle loss.

I'm trying a different tact. Next week I start on a month trial of a plant based whole food diet (read: healthy vegan). I'll be smashing the carbs down. I'll let you all know how I get on!
Shani - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to knighty:
> When I was diagnosed with diabetes, I had lost around a stone in a couple of months by living in ketosis. Be warned though, a fair chunk of this was muscle loss.

You protein intake was undoubtedly too low, as was your total calorie intake.

> I'm trying a different tact. Next week I start on a month trial of a plant based whole food diet (read: healthy vegan). I'll be smashing the carbs down. I'll let you all know how I get on!

From one badly implemented diet to the vegan fad? You CAN live on a vegan diet, but it comes at a cost. As for 'whole food', if your vegan diet is to be nutritonionally complete, you will end up eating a lot of processed food to make up the nutrition gap that comes from such a faddy diet. If you think you lost muscle mass before then you wait until you see what veganism does to your body composition without some protein supplementation (for which, read processed foodstuff).
Post edited at 19:42
knighty - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Shani:
> From one badly implemented diet to the vegan fad? You CAN live on a vegan diet, but it comes at a cost. If you think you lost muscle mass before then you wait until you see what veganism does to your body composition without some protein supplementation (for which, read processed foodstuff).

We'll see. I certainly don't know what will happen, which is why I'm trying it for a month. Have you ever tried it?
Post edited at 20:02
Shani - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to knighty:

Yep, veggie for best part of a decade and vegan for 3.
knighty - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Shani:

Any hints and tips then? Clearly you don't think it's great. What do I need to watch out for?
SenzuBean - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Shani:

> If you think you lost muscle mass before then you wait until you see what veganism does to your body composition without some protein supplementation (for which, read processed foodstuff).

I don't think protein supplementation needs to be processed foods. Nuts and legumes as often as required will be more than enough. Many nuts already have more protein than chicken anyway.

Shani - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to SenzuBean:

> I don't think protein supplementation needs to be processed foods. Nuts and legumes as often as required will be more than enough. Many nuts already have more protein than chicken anyway.

One cannot simply alude to 'protein'.
Shani - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to knighty:

> Any hints and tips then? Clearly you don't think it's great. What do I need to watch out for?

If you fail to supplement with protein, then expect body composition to suck over time. You body will be fulfilling its need for protein, but through autophagy.

My tip(s): Depends what your goals are, but - Just eat real food (this is generally food that spoils easily). Aim for plants and quality animal. Eat plenty of CHO on a training day. Keep it seasonal if you can - this ensures some variety. Let colour and texture be your guide - colours on your plate, reather than modern 'beige'. Eat nose to tail (organ meats and bone broths). 2g of PRO to kg LBM. Try to buy local (suppliers and retailers). Skip breakfast on occasion. Performance/Longevity/Health form a triagle in which there are trade-offs as you move towards each. Remember that the eating and expending of calories should be pleasurable!
SenzuBean - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Shani:

> One cannot simply alude to 'protein'.

If you're counting milligrams - sure. Otherwise - it's negligible.
knighty - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Shani:

Love the tips for being vegan. Basically, don't, haha! Ah well, I guess sometimes advice isn't what you want to hear!

Interesting what you say about the performance longevity health triangle, I'll look more into that.

My own goal isn't really a goal, it is inquisitiveness about how it will affect my diabetes. I've read a lot about how fats block insulin and I'm intrigued to see what happens when I significantly reduce the amount of fat consumed.

Also, just to be clear, when I was in ketosis, it was because I was ill and undiagnosed, not that I was eating a silly diet. But the only way you know its a silly diet is by trying it and finding out what the effects are.
alx - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to stp:

I ate more, upping my calories from 2500 kcal to 5000 kcal with meats and fats and stuck with just strength training, dropped my body fat to 10%. No cardio, just compound movements with bodyweight or added weights through a chest harness. I keep my reps & sets low and resistance very high with longer rests between sets, you can pack a lot in a 1.5hr training session and do this 5 days a week if you cycle through different exercises so your not working similar groups more than one or two sessions in a row.

I have had a lot lower body fat in the past when chasing magic 8th grade boulders but it didn't really result in a performance boost. Ultimately 1-2% difference in body fat weight is negligible against a bad nights sleep, bad conditions on the day, fatigue or stress from work.

My training body weight is 92-95kg, performing weight is 90-91kg, any lower and I become tungry (tired &a hungry).
Ciro - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Si dH:

> The problem with a lot of cardio is that you gain weight in large muscle groups.

A lot of the wrong type of cardio perhaps, but I've yet to see a bulky elite marathon runner, and when I went from commuting 6 miles each way on the bike and not much else to training up to 20+hrs a week for a half ironman, my thighs shrunk considerably, and I ended up lighter than I'd been for 20 years.
Shani - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to knighty:

You sound like you've got your head screwed on. Good luck with your experiment and do please report back!
Shani - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to alx:

Solid post!
Like.
alx - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to Ciro:

Ciro! You are a blast from my Westway past, I remember you when you first started climbing. Are you still in London?
(Alex & Kath, boulderers)
SenzuBean - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to knighty:

> Love the tips for being vegan. Basically, don't, haha! Ah well, I guess sometimes advice isn't what you want to hear!

I don't think that's a good conclusion. I am vegan (for almost 2 years), and have lost no muscle mass (If it weren't for other changes, I would be the exact same weight and build the entire time). I still have the same tree-trunk legs that I've always had (sadly - it'd be great if they magically went lanky). I don't do anything special apart from taking eating nuts/beans with lunch and vitamin B12 - (that is the only thing you must do as a vegan). I have actually been struggling to lose a few pounds, but since starting intermittent fasting a few months ago (i.e. I don't eat breakfast on weekdays, and eat lunch at about 11:30am) I seem to have finally broken through and I've now lost about 4kg that I believe I can keep off forever. There is a lot of evidence emerging that intermittent fasting can be really good for insulin sensitivity. There are plenty of others who are vegan, have big muscles and climb hard - jsmacfarland is one who springs to mind.

I think it's definitely worth tinkering with your diet, especially with diabetes. My boss has type 1, and changed to a low carb diet and now only takes about 1/5th the insulin he used to take. He now also has a great climber's body!
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alx - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to knighty:

Hi knighty, I develop drugs for a living, rather I support drug development for endocrine disorders (gigantism, thyroid, diabetes etc).

If I were you I would sit down with your consultant or very experienced sports nutrition expert and explain exactly what you want to do (put on muscle, climb lots etc) and ask then to help plan your diet with specific regards to your condition and medication.

Basically in the short term you risk putting yourself into a hypoglycaemic coma if you get the combination of diet, exercise, medication wrong, in the long term you risk diabetic neuropathy . All the hormones are linked, you push one out of whack and the others take a hit too, this includes growth hormone and IGF-1 amongst other things which help you build your strength. Getting your diet right for you would mean performing well and living a long and happy life!

Ciro - on 11 Jul 2017
In reply to alx:

Hey man, how's it going... did you guys move up to sheffield? I quit london three years ago, currently lurking in the highlands and trying to pretend I don't need to go back to work
nufkin - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to stp:

This episode of High Intensity Health doesn't specifically relate to the thread, but watching it put me in mind of the cardio/calories topic - and there's probably some others that also are of relevance, if you search through Mike's posts:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2a0C1-l3D8
alx - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to Ciro:

We are doing well! Like you we bailed on London living and have never looked back. Stick it out for as long as possible, the quality of life is vastly improved outside the capital.
Goucho on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to stp:
> The simple (or simplistic?) idea that reducing ones calories leads to burning fat and getting leaner suggests that shouldn't be any need to do cardio if one just reduces calorie intake a bit more.

> But quite a bit of anecdotal evidence suggests that maybe cardio is important. I remember one climber I know who she just can't get lean without some form of cardio and many of leanest athletes I've seen seem to do some kind.

> So is cardio necessary to get to reach minimum body fat percentage?

I'm not particularly knowledgeable regarding training and dietary stuff.

I've never really had any kind of structured or scientific training regime - even in my prime - or dietry wise, and what I have done has been erratic and haphazard.

However, over the last couple of years, I have been doing a lot more cardio stuff on a regular disciplined basis, and have really noticed the difference in my overall fitness, strength and endurance when climbing - not just on big alpine stuff, but rock too (trad & sport).

I've lost about 6lbs in weight, and my muscle tone has improved too. The only real strength and upper body training I do are press-ups, sit-ups/ab crunches and pull-ups.

Dietary wise, I still eat too much chocolate and ice cream - despite Mrs G's fervent attempts to shut down these avenues of pleasure - and I like my meat rare enough for a good vet to bring it back to life. I also eat loads of pasta and rich sauces (well I am married to an Italian).

I'm almost 60, and still managing to get up reasonably hard routes, although recent shoulder surgery has curtailed all this for the foreseeable future.

So whilst I haven't a clue as to its contribution to reducing body fat percentage, from my personal observations and experience, I think cardio exercise has certainly been a big part of improving and maintaining my physical and climbing fitness.

I just wish I'd realised its benefits thirty years earlier
Post edited at 19:28
stp - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to SenzuBean:

> There is a lot of evidence emerging that intermittent fasting can be really good for insulin sensitivity.

I tried intermittant fasting a few years back, a 5:2 plan. Not measured by insulin levels but I found that I definitely lost some of that ravenous hunger, have to eat right now, feeling. It seemed like by fasting I gained appreciation for what real hunger was, so lesser hunger seemed to disappear. Not fasted like that since then but the benefits seem to have stayed. Currently I follow a very slack 16.8 regime, often have a very late breakfast and early evening meal - though I trust my appetite too so I'm happy to eat differently some days if I feel I need too.
stp - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to nufkin:

> This episode of High Intensity Health doesn't specifically relate to the thread, but watching it put me in mind of the cardio/calories topic - and there's probably some others that also are of relevance, if you search through Mike's posts:



Looks like an interesting channel. Will check it out when I have a bit more time.
SenzuBean - on 12 Jul 2017
In reply to stp:

> I tried intermittant fasting a few years back, a 5:2 plan. Not measured by insulin levels but I found that I definitely lost some of that ravenous hunger, have to eat right now, feeling. It seemed like by fasting I gained appreciation for what real hunger was, so lesser hunger seemed to disappear. Not fasted like that since then but the benefits seem to have stayed. Currently I follow a very slack 16.8 regime, often have a very late breakfast and early evening meal - though I trust my appetite too so I'm happy to eat differently some days if I feel I need too.

Never before have I been able to control my hunger my entire life (except for the times I wasn't eating carbs, or I was crapping myself with adrenalin) - so it's been a big revelation to be able to sit at my desk and not want to eat constantly.
The old saying 'breakfast is the most important meal of the day' is I think just total nonsense. Maybe it was useful in the past when people ate tiny dinners that were totally burned off by the time they woke up, but nowadays I think most people wake up and have last night's dinner still burning (?)
stp - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Si dH:

> What you really need for climbing is not a low bodyfat %, but a low bodyfat mass.

Not sure I get the difference here.

There seems to be a divide between those who believe building muscle is worthwhile because the strength gains far outweigh the added weight gains and those who believe more in fixed body weights are optimal and shouldn't be exceeded. From what I've seen it seems (roughly) like Americans favour the former and Europeans favour the latter philosophy.
Si dH - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to stp:
I mean that you want low mass in the muscles that are relatively little-used for climbing. It's fair to say that I am focusing on hard, steep rock climbing here. If you want to be good in the Alps, the requirements are different.
The most obvious example is that many people get big legs through cycling and are somehow surprised that this is a problem.

(Edit: Hopefully it was obvious that low bodyfat % can be achieved by gaining muscle as well as by gaining fat, which isn't what is necessary.

Probably also worth mentioning that most of the weight training I have seen/heard recommended for climbing in the US - the benefits or otherwise of which is a whole separate topic - is focused on strength rather than bulk and is certainly not cardio. It is also generally focussed on important muscle groups of climbing - shoulders and core mostly.)

(edit 2: recent trainingbeta podcast also thought running translated badly to sport climbing, primarily because the high energy usage ultimately translated to lost musculature in the upper body, ie where it is important for climbing.)
Post edited at 07:11
stp - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to knighty:

The vegan diet sounds really positive. I wouldn't be put off by potential muscle loss as quite a few people seem to be able to make it work and still get pretty muscular. One of the most famous is Frank Medrano, a calisthenics wad, and I think there's a video of him on Youtube discussing his diet.

Less well know but with tons of videos is Simnett Nutrition. Again a calisthenics / vegan theme.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCpyhJZhJQWKDdJCR07jPY-Q

And finally check out Mani the Monkey (formally known as Vegan Rockclimbing). He looks in pretty good shape and climbs 8c.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCvkGOw5JmJ3TPdXNiEFwq6Q
stp - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Si dH:

Thanks and yeah that's clearer now.

> Hopefully it was obvious that low bodyfat % can be achieved by gaining muscle as well as by gaining fat, which isn't what is necessary.

Hadn't thought of it in those terms but yes I can see how you're thinking of it now.

The approach to climbing training and muscle development seems to have changed over the years. When I started it climbing it was pretty much pull ups and fingerboarding. These days it seems more accepted that you need a lot more than just that and climbing requires decent strength in almost all parts of the body.

Climbstrong.com has a bunch of benchmarks in various classic exercises like deadlifts, single leg squats and bench press that climbers should aim for.

https://climbstrong.com/articles/20161002

Add to that the need to do some antagonist training and it seems like there's not really much of the body we don't need to train.
Alun - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to stp:

My personal experience is that by controlling diet (within reason, I still drink beer and eat cake, just not a lot) and doing plenty of climbing, I can easily maintain around 15% body fat (I'm 5'9" and 11 stone). If I go on holiday and put on half a stone, using the same regime I can lose it within a few weeks. But I struggle to get it lower (mostly because I like beer and cake).

If I add a lot of cycling into the mix though (say 15 hours a week), then I can very easily lose a further half-stone and get down to 10% body fat. However, I found that if I substitute running (say 5-7 hours a week) for cycling, I don't really lose any weight.

So in answer to your question, diet and climbing maintains me at a healthy weight, running doesn't make much difference, but cycling turns my body into a calorie furnace and I lose weight easily.
Tyler - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Si dH:

> (edit 2: recent trainingbeta podcast also thought running translated badly to sport climbing, primarily because the high energy usage ultimately translated to lost musculature in the upper body, ie where it is important for climbing.)

Which particular training beta podcast was that as I've stopped listening to them all?
Paulos - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to stp:

Calorie intake is by far more important than exercise for body weight - you need to jog for something like an hour to burn off calories from a chocolate bar. For losing weight don't try low-carb nonsense or any other fads; just stick to healthy balanced diet. For me personally, i tried to lose weight for climbing but always found it has detrimental effects on climbing through loss of strength/energy levels - in my case I think i generally have low body fat so not worth worrying about weight.
Goucho on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Alun:

> My personal experience is that by controlling diet (within reason, I still drink beer and eat cake, just not a lot) and doing plenty of climbing, I can easily maintain around 15% body fat (I'm 5'9" and 11 stone). If I go on holiday and put on half a stone, using the same regime I can lose it within a few weeks. But I struggle to get it lower (mostly because I like beer and cake).

My body fat is around 12% - 6'2", 12 stone. Like you, I eat a normal reasonably healthy diet (if you don't count the chocolate and ice cream) and don't have much difficulty maintaining this level.

> If I add a lot of cycling into the mix though (say 15 hours a week), then I can very easily lose a further half-stone and get down to 10% body fat. However, I found that if I substitute running (say 5-7 hours a week) for cycling, I don't really lose any weight.

I've found running off road with plenty of ascent and descent, over a distance of around 6 - 7 miles in under an hour, certainly burns the calories - more so than when I give the bike a good thrashing for a couple hours.

> So in answer to your question, diet and climbing maintains me at a healthy weight, running doesn't make much difference, but cycling turns my body into a calorie furnace and I lose weight easily.

I sometimes think people can obsess over a diet, weight/body fat and training regime, which doesn't necessarily translate into an increase in climbing performance/grade?
Shani - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to stp:

> So is cardio necessary to get to reach minimum body fat percentage?

There are a mix of answers above. But ask yourself, what is the body composition of sprinters? Also, if you look at the BF levels of athletes in sports with lots of stop/start sprints, you'll find the players are pretty ripped.
Alun - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Goucho:

> doesn't necessarily translate into an increase in climbing performance/grade?

Maybe, maybe not. For me when i dropped from 12.5 to 11 stone my redpoint grade jumped from 7a+ to 7c, and my bouldering grade from 6C+ to 7B.
Goucho on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Alun:

> Maybe, maybe not. For me when i dropped from 12.5 to 11 stone my redpoint grade jumped from 7a+ to 7c, and my bouldering grade from 6C+ to 7B.

Well obviously dropping 1.5 stone is going to make a substantial difference.

But I'm talking about people looking to drop a couple of lbs or a couple of percent off their body fat.

While that might make a slight difference on 8a+ routes, I very much doubt in itself, it's going to transform a 6c/7a climber into an 8a+ wad?
Alun - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Goucho:

> I very much doubt in itself, it's going to transform a 6c/7a climber into an 8a+ wad?

no of course not, I agree. On the other hand, you don't see many fat people climbing 8-something, so weight is clearly part of the picture. but I agree it's not the be-all and end-all
Goucho on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Alun:

> no of course not, I agree. On the other hand, you don't see many fat people climbing 8-something, so weight is clearly part of the picture. but I agree it's not the be-all and end-all

Power to weight ratio is the most important factor. You can be a 9 stone whippet or a 13 stone power house, and still climb the same grades.
TheFasting on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to stp:

Besides what everyone else has said (with regards to what is minimum body fat, calories in/calories out, etc.), cardio does have a role if you want to get to a very low body fat percentage.

But when saying "very low body fat percentage" I'm thinking 10% or less, which is not something most people can sustain for very long. It will help at any body fat percentage, but it's not strictly speaking necessary before you're at that level based on what I've read.

I've read a few books and articles about this. The most comprehensive one so far has been Lyle McDonald's Ultimate Diet 2.0. It's a diet + program kind of book, but goes into the processes in a very detailed way. I think there's a PDF here actually: http://biblioteca.usv.ro/Carti/Nutrition/The%20Ultimate%20Diet%202.0.pdf

In a nutshell:

You need a caloric deficit to burn fat. If you do cardio without a caloric deficit, you'll burn some fat but most of it will be replenished. If you are in a caloric deficit the body produces compounds (enzymes, if I recall correctly) to start fat mobilisation, and these bind to receptors in fat cells. There are more of these receptors in your extremities and upper back, which is why they tend to get leaner faster. There are few of them on your belly and around your kidneys if you're a guy.

So the way cardio comes in to this picture is that the area with the belly and back fat has less bloodflow. Cardio increases bloodflow throughout your body, so more of the enzymes reaches the few receptors in your hard-to-burn fat deposits, and it burns off faster. That's why most bodybuilders do some form of cardio often when they cut weight.

Of course, if you diet enough that fat will be metabolised anyway. Doing cardio makes it more efficient, and you also won't have to keep cutting calories as much.
TheFasting on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Shani:

> There are a mix of answers above. But ask yourself, what is the body composition of sprinters? Also, if you look at the BF levels of athletes in sports with lots of stop/start sprints, you'll find the players are pretty ripped.

They look ripped because their sports require muscle mass + moving their bodyweight, so they have as little fat as possible and as much muscle as needed. That doesn't mean only sprinting is the way to look ripped.

If you look at Alex Viada (does ultramarathons and squats 700 lbs), Dean Karnazes and David Goggins, you see ultramarathoners don't have to have no muscle mass. Just depends on how you train.
Shani - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

> They look ripped because their sports require muscle mass + moving their bodyweight, so they have as little fat as possible and as much muscle as needed.

Rooney?

> That doesn't mean only sprinting is the way to look ripped.

This isn't a claim I am making. I am suggesting that 'cardio' isn't necessary in response to the OP ("So is cardio necessary to get to reach minimum body fat percentage?") - although 'cardio' is a continuum rather than the discrete pursuit we commonly see it as.

> If you look at Alex Viada (does ultramarathons and squats 700 lbs), Dean Karnazes and David Goggins, you see ultramarathoners don't have to have no muscle mass. Just depends on how you train.

Agreed. Form follows function.
TheFasting on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Shani:

Okey sorry, I agree.
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Shani - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to TheFasting:

Have a 'like' for posting about Lyle McDonald. I have 'The Ultimate Diet 2.0" and "The Ketogenic Diet". Both are great.
Si dH - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Tyler:
The most recent one with Lee Sheftel, I think.
It was only a short throwaway part of the discussion. Having said that, an interesting one for other reasons - the guy is still climbing 5.13 at 71!
Post edited at 19:13
Si dH - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Goucho:
> Power to weight ratio is the most important factor. You can be a 9 stone whippet or a 13 stone power house, and still climb the same grades.

The other thing no-one has mentioned here is that it also depends on the rock you are trying to climb.
Obviously everyone is an individual, but in general if one takes the two climbers you describe above, if their top grades are the same, I'm fairly confident that the big guy will boulder a grade harder on grit and that it will be the other way around on peak lime. Some styles are all about finger strength/weight whereas other rock/styles benefit much more from super strong shoulders, triceps, core etc, where the extra muscular weight becomes worth it.
Post edited at 19:25
SenzuBean - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to stp:

> The vegan diet sounds really positive. I wouldn't be put off by potential muscle loss as quite a few people seem to be able to make it work and still get pretty muscular. One of the most famous is Frank Medrano, a calisthenics wad, and I think there's a video of him on Youtube discussing his diet.

Alex Honnold is also basically now a vegan (in his own words a 'transitioning vegan'), and Adam Ondra is a vegetarian (he seems to mostly eat vegetables and doesn't seem to use dairy products as a crutch).

Si dH - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to SenzuBean:

Ondra isn't vegetarian unless that's happened in the last year? It's true he doesn't eat that much meat though. From climbing mag May 2016:

"What about diet?

Diet is important. I don’t feel like my diet is very special, but I suppose some people would think that it is. The most important thing is how I eat during the time when I’m training hard. Right now I’m climbing outdoors, and in comparison I don’t climb as much. So diet is still important, but less so. I try to eat as much natural food as possible. For breakfast I have porridge or a smoothie. Throughout the day I eat only fruit, nuts, and seeds, as well as some vegetables and good spices like turmeric, curry, and cumin mixed with rice, buckwheat, or millet. In the evening I have some protein. It can be meat, eggs, lentils, or legumes. I don’t eat that much meat. I find that if I eat too much meat I’m not as strong. But at the same time if I go two weeks without any meat—I also feel weak. So I eat meat once or twice a week."
SenzuBean - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Si dH:

> Ondra isn't vegetarian unless that's happened in the last year? It's true he doesn't eat that much meat though. From climbing mag May 2016:

It seems you may be correct - I have just read it a few times that he's vegetarian (some old references, some new ones) Could just be a misconception though.

Shani - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to SenzuBean:

It's tempting to do, but you can't cherry pick examples to support the health benefit of a diet.
SenzuBean - on 13 Jul 2017
In reply to Shani:

> It's tempting to do, but you can't cherry pick examples to support the health benefit of a diet.

There's nothing wrong with drawing appropriate conclusions from single examples. An appropriate conclusion, if we use Alex Honnold as an example, is that a vegan diet will not stop you from performing at the highest level. An inappropriate conclusion would be that a vegan diet is the best diet there is (the inverse is also an inappropriate conclusion).
Si dH - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to SenzuBean:

> There's nothing wrong with drawing appropriate conclusions from single examples. An appropriate conclusion, if we use Alex Honnold as an example, is that a vegan diet will not stop you from performing at the highest level. An inappropriate conclusion would be that a vegan diet is the best diet there is (the inverse is also an inappropriate conclusion).

Being pedantic, neither of those conclusions is correct because physically Honnold is operating several levels below Ondra, Megos etc. He is definitely not at the 'highest level' albeit being extremely good. His strengths are in his his head. Whether a vegan diet helps one stay calmer, who knows.
MischaHY - on 14 Jul 2017
Marek - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to SenzuBean:

>... An appropriate conclusion, if we use Alex Honnold as an example, is that a vegan diet will not stop you from performing at the highest level....


Not really. An appropriate conclusion from a single data point like this is that AH is not significantly hampered at this time by a vegan diet. Whether that would apply to any other individual is speculation with no data. For your conclusion to be defensible you need a statistically significant sample of people. And that's a lot more than one.

Shani - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Marek:

Yep - in fact Alex Hannold and Medrano are notable outliers. They are way outside the normal distribution be several SDs.
Goucho on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Si dH:

> The other thing no-one has mentioned here is that it also depends on the rock you are trying to climb.

> Obviously everyone is an individual, but in general if one takes the two climbers you describe above, if their top grades are the same, I'm fairly confident that the big guy will boulder a grade harder on grit and that it will be the other way around on peak lime. Some styles are all about finger strength/weight whereas other rock/styles benefit much more from super strong shoulders, triceps, core etc, where the extra muscular weight becomes worth it.

Exactly. There's no one regime suits all.

Tony Yanairo, a leading American climber from the 70's/ early 80's, who's first ascents include Tales Of Power (considered the hardest pitch in Yosemite at the time) and Davey Jones Locker, reportedly lived on a diet of chocolate milk shakes and Hershey Bars
L pandapanda - on 14 Jul 2017
wahh.. lots of important information here.. since im looking to climb.. i guess the upper body is more important in climbing, is it?
Shani - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Shani:

This just popped up in my feed:

Www.fitfolk.com/11-lessons-from-bodybuilders
alx - on 14 Jul 2017
In reply to Goucho:

The gaps s em to get bigger the higher the grades, the different between 7C and 7C+ is perhaps doing the crux difficulties on a 7C twice, the jump from 7C to 8A is like to trying to get to the moon on a flat early learning centre space hopper with a dysentery .

Optimised weight helps, but having big guns is better. This is all relative unless you are a pro climber in which case your mid twenties and still have a body like a ripped 7 year old boy and weigh 60kg in which case 8C/the sky is the limit which is setting false expectations, really do you want to look like you have pubertal arrested development?

Show me a man or woman with normal fat percentage crushing 7C and holding down a full time job with a mortgage on a house and making regular pension contributions, now that is inspirational.

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