• The Training Effect: Methods by Steve House
  • Building a Better Climber: Part Four
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 3
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 2
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 1
  • Catch of the Day
  • The Unnatural Way to Climb
  • Too Hard for a Caveman
  • Never Get Pumped Again
  • Should You Add Weight or Use Smaller Holds on a Hangboard
  • Injured? Train Your Core!
  • Cheap Tricks
  • How to Mentally Train
  • How to Power Train for Climbing
  • Boost Power With Eccentric Training
  • Tips for Better Onsighting
  • Should You Lose Weight or Get Stronger?
  • Does Running or Biking Improve Your Climbing?
  • Is Protein Important?
  • Getting Strong After a Layoff
  • Training While Hungry
  • HowTo Use Microcycles
  • Improving Slab Technique
  • How to Unlock a Crux
  • Best Ratio of Resting to Bouldering
  • Training During Pregnancy
  • Using Your Hangboard the Right Way
  • Maximizing a Small Home Wall
  • How to Stay Psyched
  • How to Prevent Bonking
  • Using a Weight Belt For Training
  • Regaining Confidence After a Fall
  • Dynamic vs. Static Stretching
  • Overcome Anxiety and Send!
  • The Importance of Finger Strength
  • Do Forearm Trainers Work?
  • Maximum Training in Minimum Time
  • Dialing in Crampon Technique
  • Ultimate Strength
  • Periodized Training For the Year-round Approach
  • The Secrets of Warming Up
  • Beat the Ice-Climbing Pump
  • Resting the Perfect Amount
  • How To Recover On Route
  • Does Creatine Work?
  • Can Old Guys Get Stronger?
  • Recovery Supplement Truths
  • Euro Training Secrets
  • How to Beat Fear
  • How Often Should You Rest?
  • Training With an Injury
  • Avoiding the Gear-Placement Pump
  • How to Develop Sloper Strength
  • Warming Up Without Warm-Ups
  • Beating the Lactic Acid Pump
  • Video Spotlight
    Brazilian Bouldering Championship
    Brazilian Bouldering Championship

    Is Protein Important?

    09-Apr-2010
    By

    Some of my buddies swear by protein shakes for getting strong, but surely these just cause you to bulk up?
                                                                                                                         —Paul Blumer, West Bloomfield, MI

    When it comes to gaining muscle bulk, the type of training you do will always have far more influence than what you eat. Hitting the weights hard three or four times a week, rather than whether or not you drink a protein shake, is what will cause you to look like an aspirant Schwarzenegger. The sports that cause vast quantities of muscle tissue to break down all over the body, such as bodybuilding or powerlifting, require significant increases in dietary protein. Other sports, like climbing, only require power from a smaller and more limited range of muscles and therefore require a proportionately smaller component of dietary protein. If you ingest too much protein after climbing it will simply end up in the toilet and drain your bank balance. After a typical endurance-based session on routes, your body really needs carbohydrates, not protein, for glycogen replenishment. After endurance sessions, go for one of the recovery formulas that blends protein with carbohydrates on a 1:3 or a 1:4 ratio. It is only after higher-intensity sessions such as hard bouldering, campusing or fingerboarding that you might consider a pure protein supplement—but you don’t need anything like the quantities consumed by a bodybuilder. The main concern with protein shakes is that they may cause you to take on excess calories and put on fat. Go for the ones that are low in added sugar, and if you make them with milk, use skim milk, and dilute it with water. For climbing, amino-acid capsules probably make more sense. To summarize, don’t bother with protein supplements after routes, but a little extra protein is a good idea after strength/power sessions, or more generally during strength-building phases.

    Reader's Commentary:

    Don't want to use Facebook, but still want to comment? We have you covered:

    Add Your Comments to this article:
    Hello