of rock climbing and aerobic capacity in competitive sport rock climbers
Source: Journal of
Sports Medicine & Physical Fitness. 35(1):20-4, 1995 Mar.
Authors: Billat V. Palleja P. Charlaix T. Rizzardo P. Janel N.
Institution:Department in Physical Activity Science, University Paris 12, Creteil,
OBJECTIVES: Over the past
few years, competitive rock climbing has experienced increased popularity world
wide. In 1989, the first six-event World Cup competition was held with all events
contested on artificial modular walls. The
aim of this study was to determine the extent to which oxidative metabolism
is utilized in competitive rock climbing with regard to the climber's maximal
O2 consumption (VO2max).
METHODS: VO2max was measured
with two direct triangular protocols: the first from running ("running"
VO2max) and the second from pull offs performed with arms and before arms ("pulling"
VO2). Moreover, VO2 was also before measured during two competitive climbing
routes difficulty quantified 7b on the European numerical scale ranging from
5 to 9.
However these routes had
different profiles: route 1 was more complex from the informational aspect,
holds being smaller and more difficult to see even though the second route was
presumed harder from the physical point of view, the holds being bigger but
the profile being steeper.
RESULTS: The first and the
second route involved only 45.6% and 37.7% of the "running" VO2max
but 111.6% and 92.3% of the "pulling" VO2max. Heart rates (HR) were
equal to 176 bpm and 159 bpm i.e. 85.5% and 77% of maximal HR respectively.
Blood lactate collected three minutes after the end of the two ascents were
5.7 mmol.1(-1) and 4.3 mmol.1(-1).
CONCLUSION: The paired "t"
test indicated no significant differences in heart rates for the two exercises
condition i.e. climbing route. These results suggest that the competitive rock
climbing elicit particularly arms since heart rate is high for a relatively
low value of VO2.