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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2019 April;59(4):561-8

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.18.08399-8

Copyright © 2018 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

The effects of 8 weeks of two different training methods on on-sight lead climbing performance

Marc PHILIPPE 1 , Ingo FILZWIESER 2, Veronika LEICHTFRIED 2, Cornelia BLANK 2, Simon HASLINGER 3, Johannes FLECKENSTEIN 1, Wolfgang SCHOBERSBERGER 2, 3

1 Department of Sports Science, Institute of Sports Medicine, Justus-Liebig-University, Giessen, Germany; 2 Department of Psychology and Medical Sciences, Institute of Sports Medicine, Alpine Medicine and Health Tourism, UMIT, Hall in Tirol, Austria; 3 Institute of Sports Medicine, Alpine Medicine and Health Tourism, Tirol Kliniken GmbH, Innsbruck, Austria



BACKGROUND: Despite climbing being an increasingly popular sporting pursuit, there have been very few scientific evaluations of appropriate training methods for competitive climbers. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of an 8-week climbing-specific muscular hypertrophy (MH) or muscular endurance (ME) resistance training program on the on-sight lead climbing performance in a similar setting to a World Cup.
METHODS: Twenty-three elite male and female climbers (age: 25.5±6.7 years; height: 1.72±0.08 m; body mass: 63.4±7.7 kg; measured on-sight level: 20.8±2.0 IRCRA [International Rock Climbing Research Association]) participated in 8 weeks’ worth of MH (N.=11) or ME (N.=12) training. Before the training (FT1), after 8 weeks of training (FT2), and after a 2-week tapering period (FT3), the participants climbed an on-sight lead route in a similar setting to a world cup.
RESULTS: Climbers were able to perform significantly more moves (P=0.019; P<0.001) and climbed significantly harder (P=0.014; P<0.001) with FT2 and FT3 versus FT1. Climbing moves per unit time increased significantly when comparing FT2 to FT1 (P=0.007) and showed a tendency to increase when comparing FT3 to FT1 (P=0.061). However, there was no interaction effect between the groups.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings demonstrated that climbing-specific ME, as well as MH resistance training, improved on-sight lead climbing performance in a similar setting to a world cup. For competing climbers and climbing coaches, we recommend inclusion of the same proportions of climbing-specific ME and MH resistance training in their training programs to enhance on-sight lead climbing performance.


KEY WORDS: Mountaineering - Resistance training - Muscle strength - Physical endurance - Endurance training

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