Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

How high can a climber go?

08.01.2010
The maximum time an athlete is able to continue climbing to exhaustion may be the only determinant of his/her performance. A new European study, led by researchers from the University of Granada, the objective of which is to help trainers and climbers design training programmes for this type of sport, shows this to be the case.

Until now, performance indicators for climbing have been low body fat percentage and grip strength. Furthermore, existing research was based on the comparison of amateur and expert climbers. Now, a new study carried out with 16 high-level climbers breaks with this approach and reveals that the time it takes for an athlete to become exhausted is the only indicator of his/her performance.

Vanesa España Romero, the main author of the work and researcher at the University of Granada explains to SINC how "these findings could help trainers or athletes in the design of sport climbing training programmes so that Spain can continue to lead the way in this sporting activity throughout the world".

The study, published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology, analyses the physiological parameters that determine performance in this sport at its highest level. The participants, eight women with an average rating of 7a (the scale of difficulty of a climbing route is graded from 5 to 9, with sub-grades of a, b and c) and eight men with an average rating of 8a, were divided into an "expert group" and an "elite group".

The researchers assessed the climbers with body composition tests (weight, height, body mass index, body fat %, bone mineral density, and bone mineral content), kinanthropometry (length of arms, hands and fingers, bone mineral density and bone mineral content of the forearm), and physical fitness tests (flexibility, strength of the upper and lower body and aerobic capacity measured at a climbing centre).

The results show there to be no significant differences between expert and elite climbers in any of the tests performed, except in climbing time to exhaustion and in bone mineral density, both of which were higher in the elite group. "Therefore, the maximum climbing time to exhaustion of an athlete is the sole determinant of performance", the researcher confirms.

A demanding and vertical practice

Sport climbing began as a form of traditional climbing in the mid 80s, and is now a sport in its own right. The International Federation of Sport Climbing is currently requesting its inclusion as an Olympic sport.

The increase in the number of climbers and the proliferation of climbing centres and competitions have contributed to its interest in recent years, although there is limited scientific literature on climbing effort.

The most important research relates to energy consumption (ergospirometry, heart rate and lactic acid blood concentrations), the designation of maximum strength and local muscular resistance of climbers (dynamometry and electromyography), and to establishing anthropometric characteristics.

According to experts, a fundamental characteristic of sport climbing is its "vertical dimension", making it unique given its postural organisation in space, and from a physiological point of view, the effect a gravitational load has on movements.

In short, to complete a climb successfully, athletes should maintain their effort for as long as possible to improve their chances of reaching the ultimate goal.

References:
Vanesa España-Romero, Francisco B. Ortega Porcel, Enrique G. Artero,
David Jiménez-Pavón, Ángel Gutiérrez Sainz, Manuel J. Castillo Garzón y Jonatan R. Ruiz. "Climbing time to exhaustion is a determinant of climbing performance in high-level sport climbers". European Journal of Applied Physiology (2009) 107:517-525, noviembre de 2009.

SINC | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.plataformasinc.es

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

nachricht Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study
30.03.2017 | Rochester Institute of Technology

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

DGIST develops 20 times faster biosensor

24.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Nanoimprinted hyperlens array: Paving the way for practical super-resolution imaging

24.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Atomic-level motion may drive bacteria's ability to evade immune system defenses

24.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>