The relationship between climbing ability and physiological responses to rock climbing


Baláš, Jří.; Panáčková, M.; Strejcová, B.; Martin, A.J.; Cochrane, D.J.; Kaláb, Mš.; Kodejška, J.; Draper, N.

Scientific World Journal 2014: 678387-678387

2014


Hindawi
Publishing
Corporation
The
Scientific
World
Journal
Volume
2014,
Article
ID
678387, 6
pages
http://adoi.org/10.1155/2014/678387
CS)
Hindawi
Research
Article
The
Relationship
between
Climbing
Ability
and
Physiological
Responses
to
Rock
Climbing
Jai
Michaela
Panakova,
1
Barbora
Strejcova,
1
Andrew
J.
Martin,
2
Darryl
J.
Cochrane,
2
Milos
Kakib,
1
Jan
Kodejika,
1
and
Nick
Draper
3
Faculty
of
Physical
Education
and
Sport,
Charles
University
in
Prague,
16252
Prague,
Czech
Republic
2
School
of
Sport
er
Exercise,
Massey
University,
Palmerston
North
4442,
New
Zealand
3
School
of
Sport
er
Physical
Education,
University
of
Canterbury,
Christchurch,
Canterbury
8140,
New
Zealand
Correspondence
should
be
addressed
to
Nick
Draper;
nickdraper@canterbury.ac.nz
Received
31
August
2013;
Accepted
20
October
2013;
Published
27
January
2014
Academic
Editors:
J.
McHowat
and
A.
Pushkin
Copyright
©
2014
Jiri
Bala§
et
al:This
is
an
open
access
article
distributed
under
the
Creative
Commons
Attribution
License,
which
permits
unrestricted
use,
distribution,
and
reproduction
in
any
medium,
provided
the
original
work
is
properly
cited.
Aim.
The
aim
of
this
study
was
to
examine
the
relationship
between
submaximal
and
maximal
physiological
responses
to
rock
climbing
for
climbers
of
differing
abilities.
Methods.
Twenty-six
male
climbers
performed
a
submaximal
climbing
test
on
a
known
circuit
at
90°
(vertical)
and
105°
(15°
overhanging)
inclination
and
speed
25
movements•min
-1
.
A
maximal
test
was
undertaken
on
a
similar
circuit
at
the
same
speed
with
inclination
increasing
by
10°
for
each
successive
3
min
stage.
Results.
Mean
oxygen
consumption
and
heart
rate
(HR)
increased
with
wall
inclination
and
climbers
reached
a
mean
(±SD)
peak
VO
2
of
40.3
±
3.5
mL•kg
-l
•min
-1
during
the
maximal
test.
Self-reported
climbing
ability
was
negatively
correlated
with
VO
2
and
HR
during
the
submaximal
test
at
90°
(V0
2
,
r
=
—0.82;
HR,
and
r
=
—0.66)
and
at
105°
(V0
2
,
r
=
—0.84;
HR,
and
r
=
—0.78)
suggesting
an
increased
exercise
economy
for
climbers
with
a
higher
ability
level.
Conclusion.
Findings
from
this
study
indicate
that
there
is
a
relationship
between
wall
inclination
and
the
physiological
demand
of
a
climb.
However,
the
increased
technical
ability
and
fitness
of
higher
level
climbers
appears
to
an
extent
to
offset
the
increased
demand
through
improved
exercise
economy
which
in
turn
leads
to
an
increased
time
to
exhaustion
and
an
improvement
in
performance.
1.
Introduction
Interest
in
the
physiology
of
sport
climbing
has
grown
among
sport
scientists
over
the
past
25
years.
Research
studies
have
examined
climbers'
anthropometric,
physio-
logical,
performance,
and
injury
profiles
[1-9]
and
focused
on
strength/endurance
characteristics
of
forearm
muscles
[10-14].
Further
research
has
shown
that
the
physiological
responses
during
climbing
have
varied
with
the
length
and
style
of
the
ascent
[15,
16],
the
speed
and
direction
of
the
movement
[17,
18],
the
inclination
and
the
surface
of
the
climbing
holds,
and
the
overall
difficulty
of
the
ascent
[1,
18
-
20].
Overall
climbing
difficulty
is
generally
classified
by
a
combination
of
factors
such
as
wall
inclination
and
the
num-
ber
of
holds,
as
well
as
their
size
and
shape.
Since
climbing
speed
is
chosen
by
personal
rhythm,
except
for
competitive
speed
climbing,
the
inclination
of
a
climb
should
be
con-
sidered
an
important
factor
resulting
in
an
increased
phys-
iological
response.
The
increase
in
physiological
responses
with
increasing
inclination
during
submaximal
climbing
was
first
demonstrated
in
studies
by
Mermier
et
al.
[19]
and
Watts
and
Drobish
[20].
However,
Mermier
et
al.
(1997)
did
not
indicate
the
speed
during
the
ascents
in
three
inclinations
(90°,
106°,
and
151°).
Watts
and
Drobish
(1998)
stated
that
with
increasing
inclination
there
was
a
decrease
in
climbing
rate.
As
the
speed
of
the
ascents
was
not
determined
in
their
study,
the
relationship
between
inclination
and
the
physiological
response
evoked
remains
to
be
determined.
In
a
summary
of
seven
climbing
studies,
Watts
[8]
indicated
that
after
80-100
s
of
climbing
oxygen
uptake
(V0
2
)
averaged
20-25
mL•kg
-1
-min
-1
and
peak
oxygen
uptake
occurred
at
a
point
slightly
over
30
mL•kg
-1
-min
-1
.
In
recent
studies,
de
Geus
et
al.
[17]
and
Draper
et
al.
[16]
reported
2
The
Scientific
World
Journal
peak
values
of
VO
2
exceeding
40
mL•kg
-1
-min
-1
underlining
the
role
of
the
aerobic
energy
system
when
climbing
near
an
individual's
maximum.
Additionally,
a
peak
oxygen
uptake
of
approximately
50
mL•kg+
1
-min+
1
has
been
documented
during
a
climbing
test
with
increasing
speed
until
exhaustion
[21].
However,
as
Espafia-Romero
et
al.
stated
that
the
specificity
of
their
chosen
protocol
could
be
realised
further
if
the
difficulty
of
the
route
intensified
gradually
due
to
an
increase
in
wall
inclination
rather
than
progressive
changes
in
climbing
rate/speed.
Discrepancies
in
physiological
responses
to
climbing
between
studies
may
be
due
to
differences
between
sample
groups
selected,
but
also
possibly
related
to
the
adoption
of
self-paced
climbing
protocols.
Therefore,
it
perhaps
remains
a
point
of
contention
as
to
whether
reported
climbing
peak
oxygen
uptakes
are
related
to
climbing
ability
and
physiological
adaptation
or
to
the
climbing
speed
employed
during
ascent.
Therefore,
the
aim
of
our
study,
with
climbing
speed
held
constant,
was
to
examine
the
relationship
between
climbing
ability
and
physiological
responses
to
submaximal
and
maximal
climbing.
2.
Materials
and
Methods
2.1.
Participants.
Twenty-six
male
climbers
with
mean
(±SD)
age
26.8
±
3.3
years;
body
mass
70.6
±
6.2
kg;
height
1.78
±
0.07
m
volunteered
to
participate
in
the
study.
The
self-reported
climbing
ability
of
participants
ranged
from
beginner
to
elite
level.
The
climbers
in
this
study
had
a
self-reported
red-point
climbing
ability
from
IV-X
on
UIAA
scale
(3-8b
Sport;
5.4-5.13d
YDS)
(UIAA
is
Union
Internationale
des
Associations
d'Alpinisme;
Sport
=
Sport
or
French
grade
system;
YDS
is
Yosemite
Decimal
System).
Previous
research
indicates
that
self-reported
climbing
ability
assessment
appears
to
provide
a
valid
and
reliable
measure
of
performance
[22].
The
study
received
approval
from
the
local
ethics
committee
and
written
informed
consent
was
obtained
from
all
participants.
All
experimental procedures
were
conducted
in
accordance
with
the
Declaration
of
Helsinki
(1964).
2.2.
Climbing
Test.
The
climbing
was
undertaken
on
a
3
m
high
and
3
m
wide
bouldering
wall
that
permitted
progressive
changes
of
inclination
from
vertical
(90°)
to
overhanging
profile
(135°).
Large
mattresses
placed
on
the
floor
under
the
wall
enabled
climbing
without
the
need
for
harnesses
or
belaying
equipment.
The
test
started
with
submaximal
climbing
on
a
known
circuit
at
90°
and
105°
inclination
at
a
speed
of
25
movements-min+
1
.
The
speed
was
determined
after
prior
trials
and
consultation
with
the
climbers
and
enabled
climbing
at
all
inclinations
without
any
limitation
in
technical
execution
of
the
climbing
movements.
Each
movement
was
counted
when
a
hand
changed
position
from
one
hold
to
another,
climbers
individually
moved
their
feet
between
holds
as
required.
The
circuit
contained
15
climbing
movements
where
the
starting
and
the
final
hold
were
the
same.
The
circuit
contained
upclimbing,
traversing,
and
downclimbing.
Each
climber
had
to
perform
5
circuits
at
90°
immediately
followed
by
5
circuits
at
105°
during
submaximal
climbing
(5
circuits
x
15
movements
=
75
movements
during
3
minutes
at
a
speed
of
25
movements-min+
1
).
The
speed
of
climbing
was
led
by
a
digital
metronome
and
controlled
by
the
researcher
for
the
duration
of
the
circuit.
The
difficulty
of
the
climbs
at
90°
and
105°
were
estimated
as
III
and
IV+
on
the
UIAA
scale,
respectively
(3
+
and
4
Sport;
5.4
and
5.5
YDS).
After
submaximal
climbing,
all
climbers
received
a
4-
minute
rest
before
undertaking
the
maximal
test
on
a
second
known
circuit.
However,
there
was
an
exception,
two
climbers
with
the
lowest
climbing
abilities
did
not
recover
after
the
submaximal
test
and
were
allowed
to
complete
the
maximal
test
2
days
later.
The
maximal
test
started
for
less
advanced
climbers
(climbing
ability
<7
UIAA/6b
Sport/5.10c
YDS)
at
95°
inclination,
for
more
advanced
at
105°
(climbing
ability
UIAA/6b
Sport/5.10c
YDS),
and
after
every
3
minutes
the
wall
was
inclined
by
10°
without
any
climbing
interruption.
The
more
advanced
climbers
started
at
a
higher
inclination
so
that
the
maximal
test
would
not
last
too
long
and
the
results
would
not
be
affected
by
a
decline
in
motivation.
The
test
was
finished
by
the
fall
of
the
climber
due
to
the
accumulated
fatigue
when
the
climber
could
not
follow
the
given
speed.
When
a
fall
occurred
after
a
technical
mistake,
the
climber
could
immediately
continue
with
the
test.
2.3.
Treadmill
Test.
Maximal
running
performance
was
determined
by
a
graded
exercise
test
on
a
treadmill
(Quasar,
H/P/Cosmos,
Germany).
The
test
started
with
two
submax-
imal
speeds
(10,
12
km•h
-1
)
at
0%
inclination
lasting
for
8
minutes
(2
x
4
min)
followed
by
a
4-minute
rest
period.
The
maximal
test
was
performed
at
5%
constant
inclination
and
at
a
starting
speed
of
12
km•h+
1
,
which
was
increased
every
minute
by
1
km•h
-1
until
voluntary
exhaustion.
All
participants
attained
at
least
two
of
the
following
criteria
at
the
end
of
the
test:
respiratory
exchange
ratio
(RER)
higher
than
1.1,
oxygen
uptake
plateau,
and
heart
rate
(HR)
higher
than
90%
of
age
predicted-maximal
HR
(HR
max
).
2.4.
Respiratory
and
Heart
Rate
Analysis.
Minute
ventilation
(V
E
),
oxygen
uptake
(V0
2
),
and
carbon
dioxide
production
(VCO
2
)
were
measured
during
the
climbing
and
treadmill
tests
by
a
portable
breath-by-breath
indirect
calorimetry
system
(MetaMax
3B,
Cortex
Biophysic,
Germany).
The
MetaMax
3B
was
secured
onto
the
chest
by
a
harness.
Before
each
test,
gas
and
volume
calibration
was
performed
accord-
ing
to
manufacturer's
guidelines.
The
volume
calibration
was
performed
using
a
known
3L
syringe
and
gas
calibration
was
performed
with
a
known
gas
mixture
of
15%
0
2
and
5%
CO
2
.
Data
was
averaged
over
20
s
intervals;
the
mean
of
the
last
minute
from
submaximal
climbing
and
the
highest
values
from
the
maximal
test
were
taken
into
analysis.
RER
was
computed
by
dividing
measured
CO
2
by
measured
0
2
.
HR
was
monitored
by
the
MetaMax
3B
using
a
polar
heart
transmitter
belt
(Polar
Electro
OY,
Finland).
Heart
rate
maximum
(HR
max
)
was
defined
as
the
highest
value
attained
during
the
test
(recorded
from
20
s
averaged
data).
$
*
R
2
=
0.71
O
The
Scientific
World
Journal
3
TABLE
1:
Mean
(±SD)
oxygen
uptake
(VO
2
),
heart
rate
(HR),
minute
ventilation
(V
E
),
and
respiratory
exchange
ratio
(RER)
in
the
submaximal
test.
Submaximal
climbing
test
(90°)
Submaximal
climbing
test
(105°)
Maximal
climbing
test
Maximal
treadmill
test
%
of
treadmill
maximum
VO
2
28.5
±
3.6
32.4
±
4.3
40.3
±
3.5
59.7
±
5.1
0.68
±
0.07
HR
(beats•min
-1
)
130
±
17
146
±
19
178
±
11
193
±
8
0.92
±
0.04
V
E
(1.,•min
-1
)
41.3
±
6.9
49.7
±
11.5
74.9
±
10.1
139.3
±
11.9
0.54
±
0.09
RER
0.79
±
0.06
0.86
±
0.06
0.98
±
0.07
1.16
±
0.04
0.85
±
0.07
Time
(min:s)
6:43
±
2:35
5:11
±
1:04
200
-
190
-
180
-
170
-
O
O
160
P:I
150
-
a
140
-
130
-
120
-
110
-
O
R
2
=
0.68
R
2
=
0.43
50.0
-
R
2
=
0.60
45.0
-
O
40.0
-
.5
E
35.0
-
O
E
30.0
-
25.0
-
20.0
100
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
Climbing
performance
RP
(UIAA
scale)
Climbing
105°
Climbing
90°
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
Climbing
performance
RP
(UIAA
scale)
Climbing
105°
Climbing
90°
FIGURE
1:
The
relationship
between
climbing
ability
and
oxygen
uptake
(VO
2
)
and
heart
rate
(HR)
during
submaximal
climbing
test
2.5.
Statistical
Analysis.
All
variables
demonstrated
normal-
ity
of
distribution
as
assessed
by
one
sample
Kolmogorov-
Smirnov
goodness
of
fit
testing.
Descriptive
statistics
(means
and
SD)
were
used
to
characterize
the
physiological
responses
during
climbing
and
treadmill
tests.
The
relationship
between
climbing
ability
and
cardiopulmonary
variables
was
verified
by
Pearson
product
moment
correlation.
We
considered
the
strength
of
the
relationship
(R
2
)
according
to
Ferguson
[23]
to
be
0.2
minimum
practical
effect;
0.5
moderate
effect;
0.8
strong
effect.
To
calculate
the
climbing
relative
intensity,
the
individual
climbing
maximal
values
were
related
to
corresponding
values
from
the
treadmill
test.
An
a
level
of
0.05
was
set
to
accept
significance
for
each
inferential
test.
All
statistical
analyses
were
performed
using
statistical
software
SPSS
for
Windows
Version
19
(Chicago,
IL,
USA).
3.
Results
Descriptive
data
for
the
climbers
are
presented
in
Table
1.
As
can
be
seen
from
this
table,
trends
were
as
expected,
with
mean
HR,
V
E
,
V0
2
,
and
RER
rising with
increased
wall
inclination.
The
mean
climbing
specific
oxygen
consump-
tion
(VO
2
dim
b
ing
_
peak
)
was
40.3
±
3.5
mL4kg
-1
-min
-1
,
which
represented
-68%
of
the
treadmill
VO
2
max
.
The
nature
of
the
relationship
of
climbing
ability
with
oxygen
consumption
and
HR,
along
with
meaningfulness
of
each
relationship,
is
shown
in
Figure
1.
There
was
a
significant
negative
correlation
between
climbing
ability
and
VO
2
at
90°
and
at
105°
(r
=
-0.82,
P
<
0.05;
r
=
-0.84,
P
<
0.05)
and
HR
(r
=
-0.43,
P
<
0.05;
r
=
-0.78,
P
<
0.05),
respectively.
These
results
suggest
that
the
higher
the
ability
of
the
climber
the
lower
the
phys-
iological
response
(V0
2
and
HR)
to
climbing
at
a
submax-
imal
intensity.
Interestingly,
climbing
ability
most
strongly
predicted
the
level
of
wall
inclination
attained
by
each
climber
at
the
moment
of
exhaustion
(r
=
0.89,
R
2
=
0.79).
4.
Discussion
The
main
aim
of
our
study
was
to
determine
physiological
responses
to
climbing
with
progressive
inclination
during
submaximal
and
maximal
climbing
tests
and
to
examine
their
relationship
with
climbing
ability.
The
selected
participants
4
The
Scientific
World
Journal
represented
all
levels
of
climbing
abilities
from
beginners
to
elite
level
climbers.
To
the
best
of
our
knowledge,
this
is
the
first
study
to
assess
the
effect
of
inclination
where
the
speed
and
the
route
were
held
constant.
During
the
submaximal
test,
climbers
with
higher
ability
demonstrated
lower
VO
2
and
HR
and
as
a
consequence
a
greater
economy
of
movement,
which
is
consistent
with
the
findings
of
previous
research
[24,
25].
The
mean
VO
2
for
more
advanced
climbers
was
-26
and
-30
mL•kg
-1
-min
-1
,
and
for
lower
grade
climbers
the
mean
was
-31
and
-36
mL•kg
-1
-min
-1
at
90°
and
105°,
respectively,
indicating
that
the
more
advanced
climbers
were
able
to
expend
approximately
one
fifth
of
the
energy
less
than
expended
by
the
lower
grade
climbers.
Mermier
et
al.
[19]
evaluated
physiological
responses
during
self-paced
climbing
at
three
inclinations
(90°,
106°,
and
151°),
where
the
first
two
angles
are
comparable
to
our
study.
In
experienced
climbers (climbing
ability
not
defined),
the
authors
reported
a
VO
2
of
20.7
±
8.1
mL•kg
-1
-min
-1
at
90°
and
21.9
±
5.3
mL•kg
-1
-min
-1
at
106°,
which
is
lower
than
in
the
more
advanced
climbers
in
our
study.
The
lower
VO
2
in
the
Mermier
et
al.
[19]
study
may
be
explained
by
the
self-
selected
speed
and
probably
slower
rate
of
ascent
or
by
the
fact
that
climbers
were
top-roping
up
and
down,
where
the
down
climbing
would
have
been
much
easier
than
the
ascents.
Watts
and
Drobish
[20]
assessed
the
effect
of
five
incli-
nations
(80°,
86°,
91°,
96°,
and
102°)
on
a
special
climbing
treadmill
in
novice
climbers
(climbing
ability
not
defined).
The
authors
found
similar
VO
2
at
all
angles,
ranging
from
29.7
to
31.5
mL•kg
-1
-min
-1
and
increasing
mean
HR
rising
from
156
to
171
beats-min
-1
.
The
self-selected
climbing
speed
decreased
with
higher
angle
from
89.9
m
to
27.0
m
over
4
min.
The
authors
stated
that
some
combined
effect
of
climbing
difficulty
and
rate
of
ascent
balanced
the
overall
energy
requirement
such
that
VO
2
remained
constant.
The
increasing
HR
despite
similar
VO
2
was
explained
by
greater
stress
on
the
upper
body
and
increased
sympathetic
drive
during
arm
exercise.
Our
results
confirmed
a
significant
effect
of
the
inclination
on
V0
2
,
V
E
,
RER,
and
HR,
when
climbing
speed
is
held
constant.
During
the
maximal
climbing
test,
the
attained
VO
2
corresponded
to
the
peak
values
of
de
Geus
et
al.
[17]
and
Draper
et
al.
[16].
de
Geus
et
al.
[17]
reported
VO
2
of
41.3
±
4.9
mL•kg
-1
-min
-1
during
top-rope
climbing
and
bouldering
at
self-selected
speed
and
near-maximal
difficulty
(79
±
11%
of
the
running
maximum,
52.2
±
5.1
mL•kg
-1
The
percentage
of
climbing
VO
2
to
the
running
maximum
was
higher
than
our
value
(68
±
7%),
probably
due
to
the
higher
aerobic
fitness
of
our
climbers.
This
perhaps
suggests
that
the
V0
2
dim
b
ing
_
peak
is
not
influenced
by
the
level
of
aerobic
fitness.
However,
climbers
with
low
aerobic
fitness
(less
than
45
mL•kg
-1
-min
-1
)
may
be
limited
during
climb-
ing
to
exhaustion
by
the
cardiorespiratory
system.
Draper
et
al.
[16]
found
a
peak
VO
2
during
top
rope
climbing
of
38.3
±
5.9
mL•kg
-1
-min
-1
and
lead
climbing
of
40.9
±
6.6
mL•kg
-1
-min
-1
at
a
level
of
difficulty
"that
failure
to
complete
the
climb
was
a
realistic
possibility
for
all
partici-
pants"
[16].
These
authors
found
the
speed
in
lead
climbing
significantly
slower
than
in
top
rope
climbing,
3.1
min
versus
1.3
min,
respectively,
for
a
9.38
m
high
climb.
It
is
noted
that
a
plateau
around
40
mL•kg
-1
-min
-1
appeared
during
climbing
at
near-maximal
difficulty
and
is
independent
of
self-selected
speed.
In
contrast,
Magalhaes
et
al.
[26]
reported
an
oxygen
uptake
during
self-paced
lead
climbing
of
near-maximal
difficulty
of
33.4
±
2.1
mL•kg
-1
-min
-1
which
represented
61%
of
running
maximum
(54.5
±
2.1
mL•kg
-1
-min
-1
).
The
discrepancy
may
be
explained
by
the
methodology
of
the
climbing
protocol,
which
could
have
included
a
short
rest
from
lowering
the
climbers
from
the
top
anchor,
where
authors
have
used
mean
VO
2
for
the
whole
climb
instead
of
peak
values.
Although
the
role
of
self-paced
speed
does
not
apparently
have
an
effect
on
peak
VO
2
during
climbing
at
near
maximal
difficulty,
the
effect
of
a
given
speed
may
have
a
substantial
role
[18,
21].
Booth
et
al.
[18]
used
increasing
speed,
instead
of
inclination,
on
a
motorized
climbing
treadwall
to
determine
VO
2peak
where
novice
climbers
achieved
43.8
±
2.2
mL•kg
-1
-min
-1
.
The
same
protocol
was
used
by
Espana-
Romero
et
al.
[21]
with
highly
experienced
climbers
and
the
peak VO
2
ranged
from
49.2
±
3.5
mL•kg
-1
-min
-1
for
women
to
53.6
±
3.7
mL•kg
-1
-min
-1
for
men.
The
high
VO
2peak
in
the
Esparia-Romero
et
al.
study
[21]
can
be
explained
by
a
longer
time
to
exhaustion
and
higher
climbing
ability
compared
to
Booth
et
al.'s
study
[18].
Esparia-Romero
et
al.
[21]
found
the
time
to
exhaustion
significant
to
the
climbing
performance
but
not
the
value
of
VO
2peak
(Spearmen
correlation
coefficient
for
both
sexes,
p
=
0.32).
However,
if
the
sample
of
climbers
was
more
heterogeneous
in
climbing
abilities,
we
might
expect
a
stronger
relationship.
Neither
the
study
of
Booth
et
al.
[18]
or
the
study
of
Esparia-Romero
et
al.
[21]
evaluated
the
nonspecific
VO
2peak
on
treadmill
or
cycle
ergometer..Thus
the
relationship
of
climbing
specific
V
and
nonspecific
O
2peak
cannot
be
evaluated.
Studies
by
Booth
et
al.
[18]
and
Esparia-Romero
et
al.
[21]
suggest
that
a
climbing
protocol
with
increasing
speed
elicits
a
higher
specific
VO
2
than
climbing
protocols
with
increasing
difficulty
(inclination,
holds
configuration).
There
are
several
explanations.
For example,
overhanging
climbing
involves
a
considerable
degree
of
time
spent
in
static
contraction
of
the
upper
limbs
and
upper
body
which
can
deteriorate
the
pulmonary
ventilation
and
therefore
transport
of
oxygen.
In
that
study,
the
Vain
during
climbing
(74.9
±
10.1
L•min
-1
,
53%
of
the
running
maximum)
was
substantially
lower
than
the
VE
,nax
[21]
in
the
climbing
protocol
with
increasing
speed
(138.7
±
25.6
L•min
-1
).
The
difference
perhaps
reveals
the
effect
of
lower
speed
and
inclination
on
the
pulmonary
ventilation
volume
when
climbing
to
exhaustion.
There
was
an
interesting
finding
in
V
E
/V0
2
ratio.
A
moderate
relationship
(r
=
0.61,
R
2
=
0.38)
was
found
between
V
E
/V0
2
in
the
maximal
climbing
test
and
the
treadmill
test.
In
addition,
climbers
with
higher
climbing
ability
tended
to
achieve
higher
V
E
/V0
2
ratio
(hyperventi-
lation)
than
lower
level
climbers
and
attained
a
higher
RER.
The
following
questions
arise,
are
advanced
climbers
able
to
exceed
their
ventilatory
anaerobic
threshold
by
having
a
stronger
upper
body
or
are
less
advanced
climbers
lim-
ited
in
their
breathing
rate
during
climbing
due
to
their
The
Scientific
World
Journal
5
weaker
upper
body
strength?
Often,
climbers
are
found
not
breathing
during
the
difficult
moves
in
the
ascent.
However,
the
coupling
between
respiration
and
locomotion
could
provide
favourable
conditions
for
improvement
in
athletic
performance
[27,
28].
Further
study
is
required
to
examine
if
induced
breathing
during
overhanging
climbing
can
enhance
climbing
performance.
In
conclusion,
we
found
a
significant
relationship
between
climbing
ability
and
the
physiological
response
to
submaximal
climbing.
Our
data
suggest
that
the
VO
2
during
submaximal
climbing
perhaps
provides
a
useful
parameter
with
which
to
estimate
climbing
economy.
There
was
a
strong
correlation
between
climbing
ability
and
the
climbing
test
with
progressive
inclination
and
a
constant
speed
of
25
movements-min
-1
until
exhaustion.
This
suggests
that
this
test
may
represent
a
suitable
method
through
which
to
assess
the
aerobic
component
of
climbing
performance.
Conflict
of
Interests
The
authors
declare
that
there
is
no
conflict
of
interests
regarding
the
publication
of
this
paper.
Acknowledgment
The
study
was
supported
by
a
Grant
from
the
Czech
Ministry
of
Education
MSM
0021620864.
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