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Climbing and getting older (Read 2446 times)

mark s

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Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 10:47:19 am
I know a fair few of us on here are similar sort of age, im 45 now. Do you all feel like you are falling to bits after a few days out?
I know the muscles im now using as im climbing lots again are not the same as when doing weights. On tuesday i had a day out with gus then yesterday i went to ramshaw and shunted up and down untouchable (only e1) today i feel knackered.




SA Chris

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#1 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 11:48:28 am
I never manage more than 1 day in a row so can't tell you!

But yes, after a full day I feel utterly broken the next day. I guess the decline after your long break must feel even more marked, I've not had a break of much more than 6 months at a time dealing with newborns, pursuing other interests, or being injured, and the comeback feels hard each time. I was never than good anyway though, so usually get close to previous benchmarks.

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#2 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 12:19:06 pm
I think there's a pretty high correlation between having a background in / maintenance of intense fitness / athletic activities (quite possibly including trips to the greater ranges as well as fell-running etc) and maintaining a physically high climbing standard into older age. Look at almost any good older climber you see at the wall / sport crag / in the news for doing their first 9b at 55 etc... They are all wizened bags of bone and sinew who think Kinder is a 20 minute approach. Think more like Gollum crossed with Will Hunt (so pretty much just a taller Gollum with a blonde mop) than a 50 year old Eddie Hall.  This may make it disproportionately harder for the gentleman with a recent background in more Herculean exploits.

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#3 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 12:22:48 pm
I just gave Simon a breakdown of my Lockdown training bonanza, on Facebook:

ď Iíve dropped from 89kg at start of Lockdown, to 83kg yesterday. Calorie counting, board training, weights, load bearing yomping around the cliff paths and for the last two weeks, swimming a couple of miles along the coast and paddle boarding everyday.
Masses of heavy gardening, built a ton of decking, ripped out the downstairs laundry and put in a shower room and currently ripping out the family bathroom to instal a new one (if delivery arrives tomorrow).

Boredom drives me nuts, I cannot even seem to sit through a movie at the moment.Ē

But what I didnít mention, is that each evening, around 8, I collapse on the couch. At around 9:30pm, we do the rounds of the brats bedrooms to check in/ say goodnight etc. Each time, I can hardly get off the couch. DOMS like a barsteward, nothing will straighten, things twang and click and I have a Brufen habit.

And I havenít even got out climbing outdoors yet (that which I described as a ďboard sessionĒ above is actually my thrice weekly session at the wall, so it might be bouldering, Campusing, Lattice or Moonboard, depending on my schedule).
Everything wrecks me now. I fucking hate it.

SA Chris

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#4 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 12:32:31 pm
"What a drag it is getting old"

Rob F

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#5 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 12:58:06 pm
Give the youngsters some hope!

They want to be reading about legends who are still ticking into their 90's...

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#6 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 01:00:42 pm
I get tired just by listening to podcasts about Bill Ramseyís training.

SA Chris

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#7 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 02:15:19 pm
Yeah, a full time job and two full time children put paid to anything like that.

webbo

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#8 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 02:17:04 pm
What a bunch of fucking lightweights :whip:
So from 13th May when could go climbing again.
13th weights/ finger board
14th bike one hour intervals
15th Ravenswick quarry lapped 20 problems twice.
16th bike 30 miles
17th bike 67 miles
18th weights/ finger board
19th bike 1 hour intervals
20th Ravenswick lapped 21 problems twice
21st bike 73 miles
22nd weights finger board
23rd Ravenswick 31 problems in total including one that took two sessions 2 years ago. It went first go.
24th rest day
25th bike 100 miles
26th DIY all day.
27th Finish off DIY weights fingerbord.
All this and if there was any justice in the world I should be getting my bus pass in less than two weeks. :dance1:
When do I get my medal. :lol:

SA Chris

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#9 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 02:22:16 pm
How many hours a week do you work then webbo?

webbo

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#10 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 02:23:40 pm
Whatís work.

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#11 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 02:34:20 pm
I think it makes a massive difference how consistent youíve been in climbing/training over the years.

If youíve dipped in and out of climbing itís going to make your body much less resilient than if youíve kept up a high volume over the years.

I find i feel clunky in general - so Iím much more cautious about jump moves and anything that shock loads the joints - but that I can still climb or train 5-6 days a week without feeling wrecked.

My job is non physical which helps too.

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#12 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 02:47:39 pm
What stu said (tho I still feel fairly bouncy). I'll be 43 next month and have never had more than 4 months off. Am still about as good as I've ever been (though that probably has at least something to do with never reaching my potential). Coming back from a big break, esp if you've changed body comp significantly in the interim, is probably harder. I'd hazard a guess that it's just a matter of time though, I've found I'm still able to do stuff and recover from injuries etc, just takes longer than it used to.

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#13 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 02:54:47 pm
Itís about build too.

Iím just so much bigger than I was at my (climbing) prime. Iím 83kg, but only 19% body fat.
If I even look at a weight, I build muscle.
When I was in my first prime (19- ~30) I was a steady 75kg. When I had my come back (2010/11, so 40) I got down to that again.
When I got back to that weight, in 2017, I looked ill. Really gaunt.
If I was as good as I can get, now, Iíd be 80kg.

Just too damn solid/heavy for performance and itís way harder to lug around a cliff face all day.

SA Chris

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#14 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 03:07:02 pm
Whatís work.

Exactly. I think also as Fiend said, that it's good to maintain a fairly high level of athletic activity, for overall CV fitness as well as burning calories. I've bounced between climbing, swimming, surfing, road biking, mountain biking, snowboarding, ski touring, running and SUPing over the years, as well as moving a few weights about lately.

Saying that I'm currently well over the 14 st mark right now, due to inactivity, lack of free time, and raiding the sweetie box a few times a day. This time last year I'd just come back from London Marathon training and was a nudge over 13 st.

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#15 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 03:17:58 pm
What a bunch of fucking lightweights :whip:

Amen to that from a fellow old fart. Get a fucking grip lads. Honestly, the youth of today... :slap:
If it ain't hurting it ain't working.

I'm off for my nap now...

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#16 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 03:21:53 pm
Once (if) I'll get back to outdoor climbing I'll let you know.
Surely bouldering falls are not a treat in general, let alone for over 40 people.

SA Chris

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#17 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 03:24:09 pm
Pads are waaaay better than what we had to deal with in our youth, so it balances out. Highballing with a spotter and beer mat, what the fuck were we thinking.

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#18 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 03:57:02 pm
Half way through my 51st year - and Iím climbing better than I ever had.

I had a c. 8 year break until 12 years ago (or so) and came back a much better climber (started to use technique instead of lank)

Just finished my first ever block of proper training (9 weeks lockdown forced) and feeling stronger than ever and moving well on rock....

I just canít do too much volume. If I train every day itís for an hour or even 45 min. Even doing 20-30 min of Joe Wicks HIIT in the morning can make me have a crapper session later in the day..

Buy a decent pad - I did a few fairly high falls on an oldish organic pad last night (bornally used for shuffles) and my backs feeling it today. Normally use one of those snap air pads.

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#19 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 07:56:57 pm
I've found the key to climbing as well as ever into my mid 40s is that I didn't start climbing until my late 20s, and spent the previous 10 years drinking 6+ pints or two bottles of wine every night, and doing no exercise at all.  So build a time machine, get crapulent, and start climbing from a very low base!

More seriously though, in the last few years I'm climbing as well as ever, and can still climb pretty well for days at a time.  But I have noticed that I am far more affected by harsh landings when bouldering (seem more readily "jolted"), and if I overdo it, the fatigue lasts longer and I might spend a day or two feeling a bit wiped-out (almost "post-viral).  But, I've now learned to recognise when continuing will do me more harm than good, so that's pretty unusual.  Basically I've learnt the wisdom of the Dad's advice, when used to give me slightly bemused and pitying looks on hearing accounts of gruelling days on rock "why don't you just treat yer'self nice and maybe have a drink and a good meal?"

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#20 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 08:40:16 pm
I know a fair few of us on here are similar sort of age, im 45 now. Do you all feel like you are falling to bits after a few days out?
I know the muscles im now using as im climbing lots again are not the same as when doing weights. On tuesday i had a day out with gus then yesterday i went to ramshaw and shunted up and down untouchable (only e1) today i feel knackered.

45 is not old any more.  :rtfm:

Reckon youíll be fine by the end of the summer. I find that building up each week for 3 weeks and hammering it in the 3rd week followed by an easy or rest week works well.

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#21 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 09:01:07 pm
I know a fair few of us on here are similar sort of age, im 45 now. Do you all feel like you are falling to bits after a few days out?
I know the muscles im now using as im climbing lots again are not the same as when doing weights. On tuesday i had a day out with gus then yesterday i went to ramshaw and shunted up and down untouchable (only e1) today i feel knackered.

45 is not old any more.  :rtfm:

Reckon youíll be fine by the end of the summer. I find that building up each week for 3 weeks and hammering it in the 3rd week followed by an easy or rest week works well.

You know what, the virus is going to change that, isnít it.

I bet employers will start thinking hard now about employing the over 50ís even more than they already did.

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#22 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 09:03:51 pm
My hunch is that a lot of Ďageingí - up to age 50-60 and in the context of non-elite level recreation - is mental changes rather than changes in physical ability. The body is still capable even when the mind isnít willing, or unbelieving of something being possible. But obviously the body decays too, eventually. Anyway Iím only a sprightly 44 so wtf would I know.
Beyond 70, more at the mercy of genetics and medical science.
Elite level, of course itís physical too. And at a much younger age. See pro footballers retired by mid-thirties.
So as others have implied - get to a high level and sustain it, and your level should drop off slowly like a coronavirus..
« Last Edit: May 28, 2020, 09:13:00 pm by petejh »

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#23 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 09:21:17 pm
My hunch is that a lot of Ďageingí - up to age 50-60 and in the context of non-elite level recreation - is mental changes rather than changes in physical ability. The body is still capable even when the mind isnít willing, or unbelieving of something being possible. But obviously the body decays too, eventually. Anyway Iím only a sprightly 44 so wtf would I know.
Beyond 70, more at the mercy of genetics and medical science.
Elite level, of course itís physical too. And at a much younger age. See pro footballers retired by mid-thirties.
So as others have implied, get to a high level and sustain it, and your level should drop off slowly like a coronavirus..

Yeah, that all seems to be consistent with the anecdotal data in this thread. Performances at the top global level are unlikely past mid-30s (Sharma sent Dura Dura aged 31) but performances just below the top level are being achieved up to ~50 (McClure doing Rainman in his mid-40s, various 9a's been climbed by 50 year olds). Not much drop off in performance up to 60 ... there have been several 5.14a/ 8b+ sends by 60 year olds now.

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#24 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 09:28:17 pm
Interesting looking at this across different sports... Many runners continue well into their late 30ís at elite level. Didnít Lyndford Christie win his gold at 39?

Whatís the age/elite/drop off in weightlifting?

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#25 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 09:42:00 pm
I think Lyndford was seeking spiritual help from his pharmacist at that time.

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#26 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 09:42:20 pm
Elite level, of course itís physical too. And at a much younger age. See pro footballers retired by mid-thirties.

I agree in part, but in many sports there are economic factors that don't exist in climbing.  Elite performance in professional sports requires both that the player is physically capable of elite performance, and that a team is willing to pay for it.

Player salaries tend to climb with age, and even if an older player is still productive, there is a pressure to replace them with a younger, cheaper model.  It happens in football to a degree (although, age curves by various analytics firms suggest players in speed positions, like wingers, really do become less productive after ~28 y.o.).  The most brutal example is the NFL market for running backs - very few, no matter how productive, get a decent contract after their cost-controlled rookie deal.  The talent pool is so deep that as soon as a running back's rookie contract expires, they are shipped out and replaced with a cheap, young new rookie, even if they are still capable of elite performance.  Professional sports probably also have more injury issues than people climbing for their own pleasure.  A team will be unwilling to keep paying a player with an injury history, whereas if you are doing it for yourself you can rest and then resume at a high level. 

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#27 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 09:45:59 pm
The simple answer is to be mediocre at the start, then itís not so hard to maintain that standard to an old age.

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#28 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 09:48:22 pm
Interesting looking at this across different sports... Many runners continue well into their late 30ís at elite level. Didnít Lyndford Christie win his gold at 39?

He also tested positive for nandrolone, with around 100x the "natural" level of its metabolites and promptly retired.  Perhaps the key for performance in middle age is "better living through chemistry".

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#29 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 09:52:11 pm
Elite level, of course itís physical too. And at a much younger age. See pro footballers retired by mid-thirties.

I agree in part, but in many sports there are economic factors that don't exist in climbing.  Elite performance in professional sports requires both that the player is physically capable of elite performance, and that a team is willing to pay for it.

Player salaries tend to climb with age, and even if an older player is still productive, there is a pressure to replace them with a younger, cheaper model.  It happens in football to a degree (although, age curves by various analytics firms suggest players in speed positions, like wingers, really do become less productive after ~28 y.o.).  The most brutal example is the NFL market for running backs - very few, no matter how productive, get a decent contract after their cost-controlled rookie deal.  The talent pool is so deep that as soon as a running back's rookie contract expires, they are shipped out and replaced with a cheap, young new rookie, even if they are still capable of elite performance.  Professional sports probably also have more injury issues than people climbing for their own pleasure.  A team will be unwilling to keep paying a player with an injury history, whereas if you are doing it for yourself you can rest and then resume at a high level.

ďProfessional sports have more injury issuesĒ?

Yer haviní a laugh mate! Let me tell you.

Iíll compile a list of my debilitating, persistent and chronic (just the bad ones) and post it here.

Itíll take me a week to write it and Iíll need a pad with more memory for the file, but you check back here in a week and Iíll show you injuries that would make a pro faint.

* Mental scars not included.
* Offer subject to change.

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#30 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 10:08:40 pm
ďProfessional sports have more injury issuesĒ?
Yer haviní a laugh mate! Let me tell you.

Iíll compile a list of my debilitating, persistent and chronic (just the bad ones) and post it here.

Itíll take me a week to write it and Iíll need a pad with more memory for the file, but you check back here in a week and Iíll show you injuries that would make a pro faint.

* Mental scars not included.
* Offer subject to change.

Anecdote does not equal analysis.   Perhaps there are lots of footballers etc who went "all in" for the game and ended up with knackered knee ligaments, released by their teams, and broke and adrift in their early twenties.

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#31 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 10:13:22 pm
I think Lyndford was seeking spiritual help from his pharmacist at that time.

:D before I go full Will Hunt and dig an even deeper hole... wasnít everyone else at that time??

And (asking for a friend...) would drugs help the performance reducing effects of age..

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#32 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 10:17:40 pm
Beetroot and creatine is all you need! (maybe some prostrate support..)

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#33 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 28, 2020, 11:14:05 pm
Around 40 my back started giving me gyp. Turns out a groundfall I'd taken at around 30 had knocked my pelvis out of alignment and all the muscles had compensated weirdly. Got cracked back into shape, but now I need to keep up a lot of pilates to redress the imbalances, and my leg flexibility is dire.

So more aches and pains, but hard work and dedication should put me right (yep.. I'm screwed)

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#34 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 29, 2020, 10:50:10 am
Around 40 my back started giving me gyp. Turns out a groundfall I'd taken at around 30 had knocked my pelvis out of alignment and all the muscles had compensated weirdly. Got cracked back into shape, but now I need to keep up a lot of pilates to redress the imbalances, and my leg flexibility is dire.

It's interesting you say that. I broke my leg (in style, right foot touched right knee  :sick:) about a decade ago and I started having shoulder issues a few years ago (they're unstable AF). The physio I saw instantly started asking questions about whether or not I'd damaged my lower body after watching my movement.

WRT Webbo's and TC's comments, I look at the volume many people pack in on a Lattice plan (from what I've seen there's often a large increase for people) I'm always astounded they don't break almost immediately! Perhaps it's time to request a username change to Mr. Glass?

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#35 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 29, 2020, 11:15:32 am
Yep. Slate quarries. 15ft onto a right angle edged boulder that I managed to get my left foot to before the rest of me (probably preventing a spinal). If we stood side by side Paul pre osteopath we'd have probably made a nice mirror image.
My main issue is I'm indisciplined towards stretching. I could say that this is because I was diligent in the past and it made no difference. However that was with a wonky body and wasted bum muscles needed to take over from the overworked hammies.
No excuse now, just lazy

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#36 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 29, 2020, 12:36:38 pm
I think Lyndford was seeking spiritual help from his pharmacist at that time.

:D before I go full Will Hunt and dig an even deeper hole... wasnít everyone else at that time??

And (asking for a friend...) would drugs help the performance reducing effects of age..

Everyone of them in Johnsons infamous race when he got collared for winstrol. 

As for drugs, yes they would 100 percent help climbers recover once you reach your golden years. More lance armstrongs plan rather than dorian yates

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#37 Re: Climbing and getting older
May 29, 2020, 02:30:13 pm
More lance armstrongs plan rather than dorian yates

Iím going with Dorian Grayís plan myself.

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#38 Re: Climbing and getting older
June 16, 2020, 05:02:49 pm
More lance armstrongs plan rather than dorian yates

Iím going with Dorian Grayís plan myself.

Hm... I hoped I could make the Cabernet Sauvignon plan work for me, but there isn't probably enough chemistry involved in this to be really effective.
But apart from this, it is VERY pleasant, let me tell you.

And it definitely helps with the "next-day-man-I-am-too-old-for-this-shit" sensation after a gloriorus extended bouldering session  ;)

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#39 Re: Climbing and getting older
June 16, 2020, 05:24:46 pm
More lance armstrongs plan rather than dorian yates

Iím going with Dorian Grayís plan myself.

Hm... I hoped I could make the Cabernet Sauvignon plan work for me, but there isn't probably enough chemistry involved in this to be really effective.
But apart from this, it is VERY pleasant, let me tell you.

And it definitely helps with the "next-day-man-I-am-too-old-for-this-shit" sensation after a gloriorus extended bouldering session  ;)

I find that living in France, it's often hard to avoid a glass of wine with lunch at the weekends. As long as I have a nap and a coffee I find it doesn't impair my training at all.

 

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