Climbing as Fitness

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To Climb is Sublime

Do you find “working out” unpleasant? You know you should do it, all the experts say so. Problem is, working out is just that – work. Treadmills, elliptical trainers, weight machines or the latest P90X system can be beneficial if you can stick with them, but therein lays the issue. They’re just downright boring. In addition these one-person-to-a-machine workouts tend to isolate individuals from their friends, each intent on his or her own little workout world. The Mayo Clinic recommends keeping exercise fun and joining forces with friends to maintain a consistent exercise program.1

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What if there was a way for you get the fitness workout you need while at the same time being fully engaged mentally and physically. And what if that same activity included social interaction with people like you in a supportive atmosphere? What if there was a great company that could offer you such a service? You’d have to take a look, wouldn’t you?

Climbing to the Rescue!

We’ve been teaching rock climbing indoors for almost 20 years, and we’ve seen the value of a climbing fitness program first hand. Toned physiques are a common result and all the while you’ve had fun getting there! Quite a different picture from how we normally perceive working out, isn’t it? And that’s just what we deliver – a fun workout that will challenge your mental and physical abilities no matter what your climbing level while you socialize with your friends.

Climbing is a full body workout that engages muscles from fingertips to toes and works four components of physical fitness:

  • Muscular strength – build muscle strength without building bulk. Tone instead of mass!
  • Muscular endurance – Last longer at any activity and feel better too!
  • body composition – A higher lean muscle mass to fat body composition means you’ll look toned and fit.
  • Flexibility – Climbing requires an infinite number of body positions that stretch muscles and connective tissue improving your range of motion.

Is weight loss an objective? According to a number of calorie counting sources including caloriecount.about.com, www.glamour.com/health-fitness, and www.healthstatus.com, indoor rock climbing can burn over 700 calories per hour rivaling many mainstream fitness activities such as running, swimming, and biking. In addition, climbing is simply resistance training using your bodyweight instead of external dumbbells or machines. Many weight loss experts maintain that building muscle is a great way to lose weight due to:

  • Resistance training and recovery burns a substantial number of calories, and
  • Muscle tissue burns more calories at rest than fat so as you build muscle your metabolic rate increases allowing you to use more calories all day long even when you’re asleep!

There are other benefits to climbing as well including

  • Balance – an improved ability to confidently move your body in space.
  • Coordination – Precise movement skills learned in climbing improve dexterity and hand-eye and foot-eye coordination.
  • Enhanced problem solving skill – climbing involves solving a problem while engaged in physical activity. Learn to use judgment and solve problems under stress!

Connections

Climbing at an indoor gym exposes you to a new social setting. Because roped climbing necessarily involves two people, one climbing and one belaying, social interaction is integral to the sport. Climbers routinely interact to solve the puzzles confronting them by discussing the various climbing moves that might allow a climber to efficiently ascend a given route. Encouragement for the climber is often provided by numerous others who may be watching.

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Who Can Benefit from Climbing?

The beauty of climbing is that you don’t need a powerful upper body to participate. In fact, you’re likely to see women and kids outperforming muscular men. That’s because climbing emphasizes movement skill over pure strength, and almost anyone can learn to move up the wall more efficiently.

So what are you waiting for? Get in shape and have fun at the same time – try climbing!

One Response to “Climbing as Fitness”

  1. Evan PavanNo Gravatar says:

    I just started reading through all the articles in this blog and just want to point out one thing real quick in this article so others are not misled:

    At rest every 1lb of muscle mass you carry burns 6 calories per hour and every pound of fat burns 2 calories per hour. If you lost 10lbs of fat and replaced it with 10lbs of muscle, while you sleep 8h that would mean you are now burning an extra 32 calories. The fact still holds up but when you run the numbers you can see that its not a big deal.

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