Would you be able to Climb Harder if you were Lighter?

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johnr9q

Sport climber
Sacramento, Ca
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 25, 2007 - 09:42pm PT
Let's say you are a "normal" weight and you purposely lost 20 pounds, or so, to be able to climb harder. Does anyone have experience if this was effective or not?
WBraun

climber
Jan 25, 2007 - 09:47pm PT
Hidetaka Suzuki made that happen. Me, I'd be dead if I lost 20 pounds.
fear

Ice climber
hartford, ct
Jan 25, 2007 - 09:47pm PT
I'm checking in right now at 195. I'm 6'3".

I know for a fact that even just 10 pounds makes a huge difference. 20, if I could keep the muscle, would be an enormous improvement.

So if you're losing fat or trimming unneeded muscle mass(like huge quads), the more the better!



johnr9q

Sport climber
Sacramento, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 25, 2007 - 11:46pm PT
Fear: There used to be a great post on Rockclimbing.com about how to loose weight without losing muscle but it was deleted but the jest of it was eat plenty of good protein. Here it is with the best, initial post deleted: http://www.rockclimbing.com/cgi-bin/forum/gforum.cgi?post=442309;sb=post_latest_reply;so=ASC;forum_view=forum_view_collapsed;;page=unread#unread
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 26, 2007 - 12:04am PT
I've done it about a half dozen times over 25 years. It's not rocket science. It doesn't matter what weight you are now - put on a twenty pound vest and see if it makes a difference. You can get skinny ropes, tiny wiregates, ultalight stoppers and cams - but don't kid yourself - all that sh#t means nothing compared to losing ten pounds off your ass.
jbaker

Trad climber
Redwood City, CA
Jan 26, 2007 - 12:15am PT
I need to lose 20. Again. Last time I did, I gained about 2 full grades. My technique isn't good enough to haul my fat butt up anything hard. I thought my move back to California would get the weight off. I'm getting back in decent shape, but the weight is putting up a pretty good fight.
murcy

climber
San Fran Cisco
Jan 26, 2007 - 12:33am PT
yes, i would climb harder. but you see, i'm using the extra weight for training.
Mimi

climber
Jan 26, 2007 - 12:43am PT
I thought if you were light, you didn't climb hard.
Mighty Hiker

Social climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Jan 26, 2007 - 01:05am PT
One of Daryl's favourite remarks, used liberally on friend and foe alike, was "lightweight". It's possible that sometimes he meant it as a compliment. But I wouldn't bet on it.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
one pass away from the big ditch
Jan 26, 2007 - 02:00am PT
nice one mimi
goatboy smellz

climber
boulder county
Jan 26, 2007 - 02:28am PT
Life is right
Until fright makes light of
Heavenly delights
Standing Strong

Ice climber
still decidering
Jan 26, 2007 - 02:35am PT
if you were at a "normal weight" and then lost 20 pounds and wound up underweight, you wouldn't be healthy.
Blowboarder

Boulder climber
Back in the mix
Jan 26, 2007 - 02:35am PT
I bet you'd climb harder quicker learning to use your feet better than you would dropping twenty pounds.

Unless you're already crushing v13's.

Then lose the phat.
healyje

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Jan 26, 2007 - 02:36am PT
I'll take that risk (as risks go...).
Ragz

climber
Tartarus, black hole of the internet
Jan 26, 2007 - 03:07am PT
Your ideal weight and fat-lean ratio varies considerably for men and women and by age, but the minimum percent bodyfat considered safe for good health is 5% for males and 12% for females. The average adult body fat is closer to 15%-18% for men and 22%-25% for women.

Athletes tend to be at low end of this scale due to the increased lean weight (muscle mass) of top athletes. While low levels of bodyfat seem to be related to improved performance, body composition alone is not a great predictor of sports success. A linebacker needs to have enough body mass (lean and fat weight) to generate high forces and avoid injury. Bodyfat amoung elite athletes vary largely by sport. There is little evidence benefit when men drop under 8% and women drop under 14% bodyfat.

The correct question should be, "if I loose 20 pounds, will it be muscle mass or fat?" Loosing 20 pounds may seem an intuitively good idea, but it may in fact, be detrimental. Only, if you maintain muscle mass while loosing fat will you climb harder.

Summary: Muscle density is 1.06 g/ml and fat density is (about) 0.9 g/ml. Thus, one liter of muscle would weight 1.06 kg and one liter of fat would weight 0.9 kg. In other words, muscle is about 18% denses than fat. A loss of 20 pounds on an average 170 pound indivdual equates to 12% of the total body weight. Not likely this will be ONLY fat. There will be lean muscle loss as well. Therfore, just loosing 20 lbs would not be a good idea. Steps need to be taken to preserve the lean muscle, then it may be possible. This of course would not likely be maintained for long, as the body would be too lean or below that 8% threshold.

Read more here John,

http://www.newstarget.com/011285.html

http://healthfitness.com.au/articles/weights/weightloss.html
davidji

Social climber
CA
Jan 26, 2007 - 03:53am PT
Nice Riley! If I were 175 I doubt I'd be cruising 5.12 thin crack. Unless gaining 30 lbs made me climb harder...

Losing 5lbs OTOH would make me climb harder. Whatever.

Losing fat isn't always so good. A couple of years ago my doctor told me to increase the intercellular lipids part of my bodyfat analysis. I got a little fatter in the process (& gained half a percentage point body fat), but my health improved, so that's OK with me. My bodyfat percentage was low for my age, but porky for a sport climber.
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Jan 26, 2007 - 04:15am PT
Would you climb harder if you were lighter? Would you be richer if you had more money? Would you be drunker if you drank more beer? Would you be taller if you grew more? Would you be fatter if you ate more food? Would you be stronger if you lifted more weights? Would you get higher if you smoked more pot? Would you be poorer if you spent more money? Would you be more tired if you walked more miles? Would you get more tan if you layed out in the sun more? Would you go further if you biked more miles? Would it hurt more if you got more stitches? These are the kinds of questions that really boogle the mind, don't they?
RRK

Trad climber
Talladega, Al
Jan 26, 2007 - 09:38am PT
you will absolutely climb better. I climbed at 240-245 for a couple of years but was also lifting heavy and fighting 2 nights a week so had good power for a big-boy. I went on Atkins a few years ago and basically ate myself out of 30 pounds (seriously - I ate 15 porkchops in 2 days once and was consuming beef by the truckload while the weight was just falling off - great diet for carnivours-) To sum up the experience, my power-to-weight ratio shifted drastically in favor of power and I was climbing the best I have since I've been an adult. However my wife didn't like the new "skinny-me" and put me back on the Girl-scout-cookie diet. I'm back up around 225 now and performance has suffered. Another diet is apparently out of the question so I'm getting used to falling off of easy stuff (should be used to it by now - I've been doing it for 30 years) My advice - loose the weight

RRK
eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
Jan 26, 2007 - 09:57am PT
Is this some sort of trick question?
johnr9q

Sport climber
Sacramento, Ca
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 26, 2007 - 10:23am PT
Good message Ragz. I should have added, in my first message on this topic, that it is important to lose weight properly. (eating and exercising properly) My second message, however, did point out the importance of losing fat while maintaining muscle.
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