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 Win-win strategies for climate and food security
02.10.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

nachricht The personality factor: How to foster the sharing of research data
06.09.2017 | ZBW – Leibniz-Informationszentrum Wirtschaft

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: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

Im Focus: Shrinking the proton again!

Scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, using high precision laser spectroscopy of atomic hydrogen, confirm the surprisingly small value of the proton radius determined from muonic hydrogen.

It was one of the breakthroughs of the year 2010: Laser spectroscopy of muonic hydrogen resulted in a value for the proton charge radius that was significantly...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

Climate Engineering Conference 2017 Opens in Berlin

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Ocean atmosphere rife with microbes

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Neutrons observe vitamin B6-dependent enzyme activity useful for drug development

17.10.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA finds newly formed tropical storm lan over open waters

17.10.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>