• The Truth About Caffeine and Climbing
  • Five Strategies to Sharpen Concentration and Climb Better
  • Five Ways to Get Better Without Training
  • Beat the Burnout: Only Ondra Should Train Like Ondra
  • Effective Gym Training Strategies (for Route Climbing)
  • Should You Add Weight or Use Smaller Holds on a Hangboard
  • Map Out a Plan with the Radar System
  • Managing the Fear of Falling
  • Projecting 101 – 6 Tips For Sending
  • Slowing the Pump Clock
  • Training on the Go
  • How to Train for Compression
  • Nutrition: Eating Your Way to Better Climbing
  • How to Dyno
  • General Conditioning for Climbers
  • Transitioning from Gym to Crag
  • How to Keep Your Job and Family and Still Climb at Your Limit
  • Staying Strong to Perform Your Best All Season
  • How to Lose Weight for Climbing
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 7
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 6
  • Building a Better Climber: Final Part
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 5 - Strength Phase II
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 4 - Power Endurance
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 3 - Strength Training
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 2 - Low-Intensity Endurance Phase
  • Building a Better Climber: Part 1 - Conditioning Phase
  • Gain Confidence by Learning Not to Fear Falling
  • The Unnatural Way to Climb
  • Get Better When You Are Scared and Pumped
  • Never Get Pumped Again
  • Pushing Past Your Training Plateau
  • How to Power Train for Climbing
  • How to Mentally Train
  • Boost Power With Eccentric Training
  • Tips for Better Onsighting
  • Should You Lose Weight or Get Stronger?
  • Is Protein Important?
  • Getting Strong After a Layoff
  • Does Running or Biking Improve Your Climbing?
  • Training While Hungry
  • How To Use Microcycles
  • Improving Slab Technique
  • How to Unlock a Crux
  • Using Your Hangboard the Right Way
  • Using a Weight Belt For Training
  • Training During Pregnancy
  • Maximizing a Small Home Wall
  • How to Stay Psyched
  • How to Prevent Bonking
  • Best Ratio of Resting to Bouldering
  • The Importance of Finger Strength
  • Regaining Confidence After a Fall
  • Overcome Anxiety and Send!
  • Maximum Training in Minimum Time
  • Dynamic vs. Static Stretching
  • Do Forearm Trainers Work?
  • Ultimate Strength
  • The Secrets of Warming Up
  • Periodized Training For the Year-round Approach
  • Resting the Perfect Amount
  • How To Recover On Route
  • Does Creatine Work?
  • Recovery Supplement Truths
  • Euro Training Secrets
  • Can Old Guys Get Stronger?
  • Training With an Injury
  • How to Beat Fear
  • How Often Should You Rest?
  • Warming Up Without Warm-Ups
  • How to Develop Sloper Strength
  • Beating the Lactic Acid Pump
  • Video Spotlight
    Baden Powell Route
    Baden Powell Route

    Rock Climbing Training: How To Recover On Route


    Does the G-Tox method for shaking out on routes work? Any other advice for getting the best recovery in a strenuous position, without waving your arms around like a nut?  —Jim Fletcher | Sydney, Australia


    In general there is very little direct research into climbing—however, this is one area that has been investigated. For those who aren’t acquainted, G-Tox is the term that has been coined to describe the technique of shaking your arm above your head for a second or two before lowering it. It is thought that the effect of gravity helps blood circulate through the forearm and clear lactate (the pump) more rapidly from the muscles. Luke Roberts, a friend of mine who was studying sports science in the U.K., carried out a survey on this subject in 2001. His study involved a group of climbers who were asked to shake first with the G-Tox method on one climb, and then without it on another equivalent climb. He measured blood lactate levels immediately post-exercise. The G-Tox method was measured to be slightly more effective in lowering blood lactate levels than shaking with the arm held down. However, he also noted certain limitations to the study and he felt that further research would be beneficial.

    I first witnessed the G-Tox method being used by the French competition team back in the early 1990s. There was much hype about it then, but if it really was significantly better, you would think it would be practiced universally by now. You will hear mixed opinions on the effectiveness of this method among experienced climbers, and I’m not convinced it makes any difference. It undoubtedly makes sense to experiment with the G-tox method, but if you’ve already done that and you’re still not convinced, blow it off.

    Here are some conventional tips for making the best use of rests. First, spot them—the best rests aren’t always in sequence with the climbing. For example, you may need to shift half a move to the side to rest off the holds. Similarly, on complex 3-D rock such as tufa or stalactite-infested limestone, there may be a hidden knee-bar or body-brace that won’t actually appear during the climbing sequence. You need sensitive visual radar to spot these rests. When you find one, quickly assess how good it is and decide whether it’s going to be just a quick flick of each arm or a half-hour shake-athon. On a steep wall, even if you have a jug for your hands, if the footholds are bad you may exhaust yourself by staying there too long. Monitor your breathing rate as well. When your breathing rate is no longer falling, press on. Keep your arms as straight as possible. You may need to twist-in with your hips on overhangs, but on vertical routes, simply bend your legs. Relax your body as much as possible and try to settle your weight on your feet. If your calves cramp, try using your heel on larger footholds to reduce the strain. Breathe slowly and deeply from your chest cavity rather than with rapid, thin gasps through your mouth. As you change arms, you will probably need to swap feet and reposition your hips to maintain optimal position for poise and balance. If the resting hold is positive, then try to hook your fingers over it and use friction to hang as passively as possible. If the hold projects outwards, cup your wrist around the side. A final tip is to look out for jams, which often save the day.

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