Fit-climbing test: a field test for indoor rock climbing


Bertuzzi, Rômulo.; Franchini, E.; Tricoli, V.; Lima-Silva, A.E.; Pires, Fávio.De.Oliveira.; Okuno, N.M.; Kiss, M.A.P.D.M.

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 26(6): 1558-1563

2012


The aim of this study was to develop an indoor rock-climbing test on an artificial wall (Fit-climbing test). Thirteen climbers (elite group [EG] = 6; recreational group [RG] = 7) performed the following tests: (a) familiarization in the Fit-climbing test, (b) the Fit-climbing test, and (c) a retest to evaluate the Fit-climbing test's reliability. Gas exchange, blood lactate concentration, handgrip strength, and heart rate were measured during the test. Oxygen uptake during the Fit-climbing test was not different between groups (EG = 8.4 ± 1.1 L; RG = 7.9 ± 1.5 L, p > 0.05). The EG performance (120 ± 7 movements) was statistically higher than the RG climbers' performance (78 ± 13 movements) during the Fit-climbing test. Consequently, the oxygen cost per movement during the Fit-climbing test of the EG was significantly lower than that of the RG (p < 0.05). Handgrip strength was higher in the EG when compared with that in the RG in both pre-Fit- and post-Fit-climbing test (p < 0.05). There were no significant differences in any other variables analyzed during the Fit-climbing test (p > 0.05). Furthermore, the performance in the Fit-climbing test presented high reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.97). Therefore, the performance during the Fit-climbing test may be an alternative to evaluate rock climbers because of its specificity and relation to oxygen cost per movement during climbing.

FIT-CLIMBING
TEST:
A
FIELD
TEST
FOR
INDOOR
ROCK
CLIMBING
ROMULO
BERTUZZL
1
EMERSON
FRANCHINL
2
VALMOR
TRICOLL
1
ADRIANO
E.
LIMA-SILVA,
3
FLAVIO
DE
OLIVEIRA
PIRES,
1
'
4
NILO
M.
OKUN0,
1
AND
MARIA
A.P.D.M.
Kiss'
'Department
of
Spor4
School
ofPhysical
Education
and
Spor4
University
of
Selo
Paulo,
Sao
Paulo,
Brazil,.
'Martial
Arts
and
Combat
Sports
Research
Group,
Department
of
Spor6
School
of
Physical
Education
and
Sport
University
of
Selo
Paulo,
Sao
Paulo,
Brazil,.
.
1
Sports
Science
Research
Gimp,
Faculty
ofNutrition,
Federal
University
ofAlagoas,
Maceio,
Brazil,.
and
'School
of
Physical
Education,
Catholic
University
of
Brasilia,
Brasilia,
Brazil
ABSTRACT
Bertuzzi,
R,
Franchini,
E,
Tricoli,
V,
Lima-Silva,
AE,
Pires,
FDO,
Okuno,
NM,
and
Kiss,
MAPDM.
Fit-climbing
test:
A
field
test
for
indoor
rock
climbing.
J
Strength
Cond
Res
26(6):
1558-1563,
2012-The
aim
of
this
study
was
to
develop
an
indoor
rock-
climbing
test
on
an
artificial
wall
(Fit-climbing
test).
Thirteen
climbers
(elite
group
[EG]
=
6;
recreational
group
ERG]
=
7)
performed
the
following
tests:
(a)
familiarization
in
the
Fit-
climbing
test,
(b)
the
Fit-climbing
test,
and
(c)
a
retest
to
evaluate
the
Fit-climbing
test's
reliability.
Gas
exchange,
blood
lactate
concentration,
handgrip
strength,
and
heart
rate
were
measured
during
the
test.
Oxygen
uptake
during
the
Fit-climbing
test
was
not
different
between
groups
(EG
=
8.4
±
1.1
L;
RG
=
7.9
±
1.5
L,
p
>
0.05).
The
EG
performance
(120
±
7
movements)
was
statistically
higher
than
the
RG
climbers'
performance
(78
±
13
movements)
during
the
Fit-climbing
test.
Consequently,
the
oxygen
cost
per
movement
during
the
Fit-climbing
test
of
the
EG
was
significantly
lower
than
that
of
the
RG
(p
<
0.05).
Handgrip
strength
was
higher
in
the
EG
when
compared
with
that
in
the
RG
in
both
pre-Fit-
and
post-Fit-climbing
test
(p
<
0.05).
There
were
no
significant
differences
in
any
other
variables
analyzed
during
the
Fit-climbing
test
(p
>
0.05).
Furthermore,
the
performance
in
the
Fit-climbing
test
presented
high
reliability
(intraclass
correlation
coefficient
=
0.97).
Therefore,
the
performance
during
the
Fit-climbing
test
may
be
an
alternative
to
evaluate
rock
climbers
because
of
its
specificity
and
relation
to
oxygen
cost
per
movement
during
climbing.
KEY
WORDS
oxygen
uptake,
blood
lactate
concentration,
handgrip
strength,
validity,
reliability
Address
correspondence
to
Romulo
Bertuzzi,
bertuzzi@usp.br
.
26(6)/1558-1563
Journal
of
Strength
and
Conditioning
Research
©
2012
National
Strength
and
Conditioning
Association
1558
JO
h
irnal
of
Strength
and
Conditioning
Researdi
INTRODUCTION
T
he
popularity
of
rock
climbing
as
a
recreational
physical
activity
has
increased
over
recent
decades.
Estimates
based
on
the
climbing
market
indicate
that
the
number
of
climbers
in
the
U.S.A.
alone
is
approximately
300,000
people
(15).
Because
rock
climbing
depends
on
the
environmental
conditions,
indoor
climbing
evolved
as
an
option
for
physical
and
technical
training,
which
later
became
a
competitive
sport
(11).
According
to
the
International
Federation
of
Sport
Climbing,
>45
countries
regularly
participate
in
the
official
calendar
of
indoor
rock-
climbing
competitions,
which
includes
the
World
and
Continental
Championships.
Some
studies
have
analyzed
the
relationship
between
anthropometrical
(10,19),
biomechanical
(13),
and
physio-
logical
(1,12)
variables
and
climbing
performance.
However,
only
a
few
authors
have
used
specific
tests
to
evaluate
the
athletes
(2,5).
Probably,
the
need
for
expensive
and
highly
specialized
equipment
(e.g.,
climbing
treadwall)
has
discour-
aged
sport
scientists
and
coaches
to
use
more
specific
tests.
Alternatively,
it
has
been
suggested
that
field
tests
are
able
to
evaluate
sports
performance
in
a
specific
and
scientific
manner
(4).
In
fact,
previous
authors
have
shown
that
field
tests
predicted
the
performance
in
sports
such
as
soccer
(9),
rugby
(7),
and
tennis
(6).
Considering
rock
climbing,
this
seems
especially
important
because
the
multiple
elements
that
play
a
role
in
the
physical
demands
of
climbing
are
difficult
to
be
fully
simulated
in
traditional
laboratorial
tests
(18).
Thus,
more
practical
methods
that
are
able
to
determine
the
climbing
performance
are
required.
The
findings
of
a
recent
study
demonstrated
that
climbing
to
exhaustion
is
a
good
parameter
to
discriminate
climbers
with
different
training
status
(5).
This
study
showed
that
elite
climbers
had
time
to
exhaustion
that
was
4
times
longer
than
that
of
their
recreational
counterparts
during
a
climbing
treadwall
test.
Thus,
it
seems
plausible
to
assume
that
the
number
of
movements
completed
in
field
tests
performed
on
an
artificial
wall
would
be
a
specific
way
to
assess
rock
climbers'
performance.
In
addition,
because
movement
economy
has
been
considered
fundamental
to
climbers'
19
16
IS
14
St,r•t
IMP•in
Journal
of
Strength
and
Conditioning
Researdi
I
www.nsca-jscr.org
success
(1),
the
ability
to
sustain
high-intensity
effort
with
the
low
oxygen
cost
(0
2
C)
during
a
specific
rock-climbing
test
would
be
linked
with
the
0
2
C.
Therefore,
the
purpose
of
this
study
was
to
develop
and
analyze
the
validity
and
reliability
of
an
indoor
rock-climbing
field
test
performed
on
an
artificial
wall
(i.e.,
Fit-climbing
test).
Based
on
the
findings
that
time
to
exhaustion
(5)
and
movement
economy
(1)
are
the
main
determinants
of
rock-climbing
performance,
we
hypothesized
that
the
elite
rock
climbers
would
have
a
larger
number
of
movements
and
lower
0
2
C
measured
during
the
Fit-climbing
test
when
compared
with
that
of
recreational
rock
climbers.
METHODS
Experimental
Approach
to
the
Problem
Field
tests
can
be
considered
an
important
alternative
to
evaluate
athletes'
performance
because
of
the
need
of
expensive
and
highly
specialized
equipment
in
a
laboratorial
setup.
In
this
respect,
we
were
interested
in
developing
a
specific
field
test
to
measure
climbers'
performance
based
on
the
number
of
movements
completed
on
the
climbing
artificial
wall.
The
experiment
was
carried
out
in
3
sessions
in
the
following
order:
(a)
the
participants
were
familiarized
with
the
procedures
adopted
in
the
Fit-climbing
test;
(b)
elite
and
recreational
rock
climbers
performed
the
Fit-climbing
test;
and
(c)
4
recreational
and
3
elite
climbers
again
performed
the
Fit-climbing
test
to
evaluate
its
reliability.
All
the
tests
were
performed
at
the
same
time
of
the
day
with
similar
environmental
conditions
(temperature
between
20-
24°C
and
relative
humidity
between
55
and
60%)
and
at
least
2
hours
after
the
subject's
last
meal.
In
addition,
the
participants
were
asked
to
refrain
from
vigorous
exercise
during
the
24
hours
preceding
the
sessions
and
instructed
to
maintain
the
same
dietary
habits
and
consistent
training
program
throughout
the
study.
The
sessions
were
separated
by
a
minimum
of
48
hours
and
a
maximum
of
72
hours.
Subjects
Thirteen
climbers
(elite
group
[EG]
=
6;
recreational
group
[RG]
=
7),
who
had
been
practicing
indoor
rock
climbing
for
at
least
a
year,
voluntarily
participated
in
the
study.
The
EG
and
RG
consisted
of
subjects
able
to
climb
difficult
(>5.12c
Yosemite
Decimal
System
[YDS])
and
moderate
(<5.11d
YDS)
routes,
on-sight
climbing.
In
addition,
all
the
EG
subjects
were
classified
in
the
first
10
positions
of
the
Brazilian
Indoor
Rock-Climbing
Ranking.
The
participants
had
the
following
characteristics:
EG:
age,
20
±
4
years;
weight,
62.4
±
3.3
kg;
height,
173.1
±
0.4
cm,
and
their
climbing
ability
ranged
from
5.12d
to
5.13d
YDS;
RG:
age,
24
±
3
years;
weight,
64.0
±
7.2
kg;
height,
170.1
±
0.6
cm,
and
their
climbing
ability
ranged
from
5.10
to
5.11c
YDS.
All
the
participants
received
verbal
explanation
about
the
possible
benefits
and
risks
associated
with
the
study
and
signed
an
informed
consent
form
before
participation.
This
investigation
was
approved
by
the
local
Ethics
Committee
for
Human
Studies.
Field
Test
The
Fit-climbing
test
was
performed
in
a
gymnasium
specialized
in
indoor
rock
climbing.
An
experienced
route
setter
created
a
climbing
route
rated
5.10a
YDS,
which
was
subsequently
confirmed
by
3
skilled
climbers
who
did
not
participate
in
the
study.
The
route
was
composed
of
18
movements
on
a
10-m
vertical
wall
with
an
inclination
angle
of
approximately
90°
in
the
first
3
m
and
110°
in
the
last
7
m
(Figure
1).
Before
climbing,
the
subjects
were
asked
to
perform
a
5-minute
warm-up,
which
consisted
of
stretching
and
climbing
an
easy
horizontal
route.
The
rock
climbers
were
allowed
5
minutes
to
evaluate
the
route
and
plan
a
strategy
to
ascend
it.
To
determine
the
number
of
movements
completed
during
the
Fit-climbing
test,
the
subjects
were
required
to
go
up
and
down
the
route
as
fast
as
possible
over
a
3-minute
duration.
This
protocol
was
based
on
the
following
factors:
(a)
previous
findings
suggested
great
aerobic
metabolism
contribution
during
climbing
(2),
(b)
the
ascent
of
a
route
usually
takes
a
3-minute
duration
(4),
and
(c)
downclimbing
was
employed
to
avoid
passive
rest
periods,
which
might
modify
the
physiological
responses
to
climbing.
The
Fit-climbing
test
performance
was
measured
by
the
total
and
partial
(every
30
seconds)
number
of
movements
that
were
performed
during
the
ascent
and
descent
parts
of
the
route.
Each
hold
touched
by
the
climbers
was
considered
as
one
movement.
All
the
participants
received
strong
verbal
encour-
agement
to
continue
climbing
as
quickly
as
possible.
Safety
7m
3m
Figure
1.
Diagram
of
the
wall
used
to
perform
the
Fit
-
climbing
test.
VOLUME
26
NUMBER
6
JUNE
2012
1559
Specific
Rock-Climbing
Test
140
-
*
120
100
-
80
-
60
-
40
-
20
-
Elite
group
Recreational
group
Figure
2.
Number
of
movements
performed
during
the
Fit-climbing
test.
*Different
from
recreational
climbers
(p
<
0.05).
during
the
test
was
assured
with
the
use
of
a
static
rope
fed
through
a
ring
bolt
at
the
top
of
the
wall
and
then
attached
to
the
climbers'
waist
harness
(15).
However,
they
were
not
allowed
to
support
themselves
on
any
part
of
the
security
system
to
facilitate climbing.
At
the
end
of
the
3-minute
period,
tension
was
applied
to
the
rope,
and
the
participants
were
lowered
to
the
ground
to
collect
their
blood
samples.
The
gas
exchange
and
heart
rate
were
also
measured
during
the
Fit-climbing
test.
The
mean
gas
exchange
obtained
over
the
last
30
seconds
was
used
to
calculate
the
respiratory
exchange
ratio
(RERp
ea
k_di
m
bi
ng
)
and
the
peak
oxygen
uptake
(VO2p
ea
k_di
m
bi
ng
).
The
oxygen
uptake
time
integral
obtained
in
the
field
test
was
used
to
determine
the
0
2
C
of
the
climbing.
Peak
heart
rate
was
defined
as
the
mean
of
5
seconds
obtained
at
the
end
of
the
climbing
session
(HR
peak
,
limbing
).
Blood
samples
(25
pl)
were
collected
from
the
earlobe
at
rest
and
in
the
first,
second,
and
third
minutes
postclimbing
to
determine
the
highest
blood
lactate
concentration
([La]„
,,
k
).
Similarly,
handgrip
strength
was
measured
at
rest
(HG
pre
)
and
in
the
first,
second,
and
third
minutes
postclimbing
(HG„„
s
).
Dominant
handgrip
strength
was
measured
3
times,
and
the
highest
value
was
expressed
relative
to
the
body
mass.
Measurement
Procedures
Gas
exchange
was
measured
breath
by
breath
with
a
portable
gas
analyzer
(K4b
2
,
Cosmed,
Rome,
Italy).
Air
was
collected
using
a
face
mask
(Hans
Rudolph,
Kansas
City,
MO,
USA)
covering
the
nose
and
the
mouth.
The
device
responsible
for
gas
analyses
was
fixed
immediately
above
the
abdomen
of
the
subject,
and
the
battery
was
placed
on
the
lower
back.
Before
each
test,
the
gas
analyzer
was
calibrated
using
ambient
air
and
a
gas
of
a
known
composition
(16%
0
2
and
5%
CO
2
).
The
turbine
flowmeter
was
calibrated
with
a
3-L
syringe
(Quinton
Instruments,
Seattle,
WA,
USA).
Time-
delay
calibration
for
the
analysis
of
the
expired
air
sample
was
performed
according
to
manufacturer
specifications
(K4b
2
instruction
manual).
This
time
delay
was
approximately
500
milliseconds
and
was
automatically
considered
in
the
gas
exchange
calculations.
The
validity
of
the
Cosmed
K4b
2
telemetry
system
at
various
exercise
intensities
has
been
previously
demonstrated
(8).
Blood
lactate
concentrations
were
measured
with
an
automatic
analyzer
(Yellow
Springs
1500
Sport,
Yellow
Springs,
OH,
USA),
heart
rate
with
a
specific
monitor
coupled
with
the
gas
analyzer
(Polar,
Kempele,
Finland),
and
handgrip
strength
with
a
hydraulic
dynamometer
(Jamar,
model
5030J1,
Chicago,
IL,
USA).
Statistical
Analyses
All
analyses
were
performed
using
SPSS
(version
13.0,
Chicago,
IL,
USA).
Data
distribution
was
verified
using
the
Nu
m
ber
o
f
m
o
TABLE
1.
Physiological
variables
and
handgrip
strength
measured
during
the
Fit-climbing
test
for
recreational
and
elite
rock
climbers.*
EG
=
6)
RG
(n
=
7)
Mean
(SD)
CI
95%
Mean
(SD)
CI
95%
VO2peak-climbing
(mfmin
—l
•kg
-1
)
51.76
(7.28)
37.42-66.01
47.69
(8.88)
30.44-64.93
RERpeak-climbing
1.02
(0.17)
0.6-1.35
0.94
(0.12)
0.70-1.17
HRpeak-climbing
(b•min
1
)
188
(6)
176-199
183
(6)
171-194
[La]peak
(mmol•L
-1
)
7.77
(1.07)
5.67-9.87
7.42
(2.12)
11.57-3.26
HG
pre
(N•kg•body
weight
-1
)
8.3
(0.8)
6.7-9.8
6.4
(0.2)t
6.0-6.8
HGp
ost
(N•kg•body
weight
-1
)
7.5
(1.1)f
5.3-9.6
4.9
(0.5)tf
3.9-5.8
*EG
=
elite
group;
RG
=
recreational
group;
CI
95%
=
95%
confidence
interval;
).
/
0
2peak-climbing
=
peak
oxygen
uptake
in
the
rock
climbing
test;
RER
peok
.
c
ii
rn
bi
ng
=
peak
respiratory
exchange
ratio
in
the
rock
climbing
test;
HRpeak-climbing
=
peak
heart
rate
in
the
rock
climbing
test;
[La]peak
=
highest
post
rock
climbing
test;
HG
pre
=
handgrip
strength
before
the
rock
climbing
test;
HG
post
=
handgrip
strength
after
the
rock
climbing
test.
I•Different
from
elite
climbers
(p
<
0.05).
$Different
from
HG
pr
„,
(p
<
0.05).
1560
JO
h
irnal
of
Strength
and
Conditioning
Researdi
Pe
r
fo
rma
nce
(
nu
m
be
r
o
f
move
me
n
ts)
32
30
-
28
-
26
-
24
-
22
-
20
-
18-
16-
14-
12-
10
8
6
-
Journal
of
Strength
and
Conditioning
Researdi
I
www.nsca-jscr.org
*
*
0
30
60
90
120
65
-
60
-
55
-
0)
-
50-
E
x
0
30
-
25
,
30
60
90
120
Shapiro-Wilk
test,
and
the
results
showed
a
Gaussian
distribution.
Data
are
reported
as
means
and
SDs.
The
EG
and
RG
data
were
compared
with
an
unpaired
t-test.
The
performance
in
the
Fit-climbing
test
(number
of
movements)
was
used
to
calculate
the
effect
size
and
power
analysis.
A
paired
t-test
was
used
to
compare
pre-Fit-
and
post-Fit-climbing
test
results.
The
ANOVA
for
re-
peated
measures
with
Bonferroni
correction
was
used
to
compare
Vo
l
and
performance
during
the
30-second
intervals.
Intraclass
correlation
coefficient
(ICC)
was
used
to
verify
the
reliability
of
the
performance
during
test
and
retest
situations.
Statistical
significance
was
set
at
p
0.05.
RESULTS
The
EG
number
of
movements
during
the
Fit-climbing
test
was
statistically
greater
than
the
RG
number
(p
<
0.05)
(Figure
2).
The
power
analysis
and
effect
size
for
the
number
of
move-
ments
performed
were
0.99
and
0.83,
respectively.
The
ICC
showed
that
the
number
of
movements
executed
during
the
Fit-climbing
test
was
highly
reliable
(test:
96
±
28;
retest:
98
±
32,
ICC
=
0.97).
Table
1
presents
the
physio-
logical
variables
and
handgrip
strength
values
pre-Fit-
and
150 180
post-Fit-climbing
test.
Nonsig-
nificant
differences
were
detected
between
groups
in
VO2peak-clirnbing,
RERpeak-clirnbing,
HR
pea
k_di
m
bi
ng
,
and
[La]
p
ea
k
(p
>
0.05).
Handgrip
strength
pre-Fit-
and
post-Fit-climbing
test
were
higher
in
the
EG
than
in
the
RG
(p
<
0.05).
In
addition,
the
percentage
of
reduction
in
handgrip
strength
after
climbing
was
significantly
higher
in
the
RG
(22
±
9%)
than
in
the
EG
(10
±
7%)
(p
<
0.05).
Partial
Vo
l
(measured
every
30-second
periods)
during
the
150
180
Fit-climbing
test
was
not
differ-
ent
between
groups
(p
>
0.05),
whereas
the
EG
partial
number
of
movements
was
statically
higher
compared
to
the
RG
<
0.05)
(Figure
3).
The
0
2
C
was
not
different
between
the
groups
(EG
=
8.4
±
1.0
L;
RG
=
7.9
±
1.5
L;p
<
0.05).
Consequently,
the
EG
had
a
significantly
smaller
0
2
C
per
number
of
movements
(70.6
±
10.3
mlper
movement)
compared
with
the
RG
(103.7
±
24.7
mlper
movement)
<
0.05).
There
was
no
significant
difference
in
the
Vo
2
response
among
30-second
multiple
intervals
in
either
groups
(p
>
0.05).
The
RG
performance
measured
every
30-second
interval
was
significantly
reduced
from
the
second
minute,
but
it
was
not
altered
in
the
EG
>
0.05).
DISCUSSION
The
purpose
of
this
study
was
to
develop
and
analyze
the
validity
and
reliability
of
an
indoor
rock-climbing
field
test
45
-
-
as
"al
40
-
C
-
0)
a)
35-
*
0
Figure
3.
Oxygen
uptake
(lower
panel)
and
performance
(upper
panel)
responses
of
the
elite
(N)
and
recreational
(0)
rock
climbers
during
the
Fit-climbing
test.
Mean
(-±
SD)
values
of
both
variables
were
calculated
for
every
30-
second
interval.
*Different
from
recreational
climbers
(p
<
0.05).
*Different
from
the
30-second
interval
(p
<
0.05).
VOLUME
26
I
NUMBER
61
JUNE
2012
I
1561
Specific
Rock-Climbing
Test
(Fit-climbing
test)
performed
on
an
artificial
wall.
The
main
finding
was
that
the
number
of
movements
performed
during
the
Fit-climbing
test
can
discriminate
rock
climbers
of
different
training
statuses
mainly
because
of
its
relationship
with
the
0
2
C.
In
addition,
the
reliability
of
the
Fit-climbing
test
was
high.
To
the
best
of
our
knowledge,
this
is
the
first
study
to
propose
a
field
test
for
indoor
rock
climbing.
Previous
studies
had
evaluated
rock
climbers'
physical
fitness
using
isolated
tasks,
such
as
the
arm
lock-off
(17)
or
using
a
special
rock-climbing
treadwall
(5).
However,
it
should
be
mentioned
that
the
use
of
isolated
tasks
does
not
simulate
the
rock-climbing
technique,
whereas
the
use
of
a
special
rock-climbing
treadwall
presents
financial
and
equipment
constraints.
Our
results
demonstrated
the
construct
validity
of
the
Fit-climbing
test,
because
it
could
distinguish
the
performance
of
elite
from
that
of
recreational
climbers
(2).
Therefore,
the
Fit-climbing
test
is
composed
of
specific
movements
similar
to
that
in
the
rock-climbing
treadwall,
but
it
has
the
additional
advantage
of
being
simpler
and
having
great
practical
applications.
Before
the
field
test,
the
climbers
were
told
to
use
all
route
holds
to
score
movements.
Interestingly,
although
the
EG
climbers
performed
better
in
the
Fit-climbing
test,
their
0
2
C
was
not
significantly
different
from
that
of
the
RG.
Considering
that
climbers
moved
around
10
m
for
each
18
movements
on
the
climbing
wall
(Figure
1),
it
is
possible
that
the
EG
moved
vertically
approximately
50%
further
than
did
the
RG,
but
with
a
similar
0
2
C.
This
information
corroborates
recent
findings
that
demonstrated
that
climbing
time
to
exhaustion
and,
consequently,
the
number
of
movements
performed
in
a
rock-
climbing
treadwall
can
be
used
to
discriminate
climbers
with
different
training
statuses
(5).
In
addition,
it
seems
that
the
precision
with
which
the
Fit-climbing
test
can
discriminate
climbers
with
different
training
statuses
may
be
attributed
to
lesser
0
2
C
per
number
ofmovements
(i.e.,
climbing
economy),
which
also
has
been
considered
to
be
a
fundamental
variable
for
indoor
rock-climbing
performance
(1).
Our
results
revealed
that
elite
climbers
had
their
handgrip
strength
reduced
by
only
approximately
10%
after
the
Fit-
climbing
test,
whereas
their
recreational
counterparts
pre-
sented
a
decrease
of
approximately
22%.
It
is
attractive
to
suggest
that
the
differences
detected
between
groups
in
handgrip
strength
after
the
Fit-climbing
test
may
be
because
of
the
posture
control
during
climbing.
Quaine
et
al.
(13)
observed
that
highly
trained
climbers displace
their
center
of
mass
before
changing
from
a
4-support
to
a
3-support
stable
position,
in
comparison
to
less-skilled
climbers.
This
change
in
position
may
provide
stronger
body
support
using
the
lower
limbs,
resulting
in
less
stress
to
the
upper
body.
Because
isometric
contractions
at
higher
intensities
decrease
blood
flow
through
active
muscles
(14),
it
would
be
possible
to
suppose
that
oxygen
supply
to
the
fingers
flexor
muscles
was
less
affected
in
EG
than
in
RG.
Therefore,
elite
rock
climbers
would
have
a
higher
ability
to
optimize
posture
control,
resulting
in
a
smaller
decrease
in
handgrip
strength
and,
consequently,
better
performance
during
the
Fit-climbing
test
1562
JO
h
irnal
of
Strength
and
Conditioning
Researdi
Some
studies
have
measured
VO2peakclimbing
using
pro-
gressive
tests
performed
in
a
rock-climbing
treadwall
(2,5).
In
this
study,
the
Vo
2
„,„,
k
,
limbing
was
substantially
greater
than
the
values
reported
by
Booth
et
al.
(2)
who
used
a
high
speed
(16
m•rnin
-1
)
rock-climbing
treadwall
test.
Nevertheless,
it
is
important
to
emphasize
that
the
training
status
of
the
Booth
et
al.
(2)
subjects
was
lower
than
that
of
the
EG
and
the
RG.
On
the
other
hand,
Espana-Romero
et
al.
(5)
demonstrated
that
climbers
with
a
training
status
similar
to
ours
elicited
Vo
2
„,,
k
_
dimbing
values
(51.3
±
4.5
ml•min
-1
•kg
-1
)
close
to
the
values
obtained
in
the
EG
and
RG,
when
they
were
evaluated
on
a
rock-climbing
treadwall.
Thus,
the
Fit-climbing
test
seems
to
be
able
to
produce
Vo
2
„,,
k
,
limbing
values
close
to
those
reported
in
tests
involving
more
sophisticated
equipment.
It
should
be
mentioned
that
before
using
a
new
perfor-
mance
test,
it
is
important
to
determine
its
reliability.
A
reliable
test
is
one
that
has
small
changes
in
mean
values,
a
small
within-individual
variation,
and
a
high
test-retest
correlation
(16).
In
this
respect,
the
reliability
can
be
statistically
determined
in
different
ways.
It
has
been
suggested
that
when
the
ICC
is
used,
values
between
0.7
and
0.8
should
be
treated
with
caution,
whereas
values
>0.9
can
be
considered
as
highly
reliable
(3).
Our
results
revealed
that
the
Fit-climbing
test's
ICC
was
0.97,
which
can
be
considered
a
highly
reliable
test
(3).
Therefore,
the
Fit-
climbing
test
is
a
specific
and
reliable
test
for
detecting
the
performance
status
in
indoor
rock
climbers.
In
summary,
the
results
of
the
present
investigation
demonstrate
that
the
Fit-climbing
test
was
able
to
distinguish
rock
climbers
with
different
training
statuses.
From
the
physiological
standpoint,
the
capacity
of
this
test
to
discrim-
inate
the
training
status
may
be
attributed
to
the
0
2
C
(i.e.,
climbing
economy),
which
has
been
considered
one
of
the
most
important
parameters
for
the
success
of
rock
climbers
(1).
PRACTICAL
APPLICATIONS
Field
tests
seem
to
be
very
important
in
assessing
climbers'
performance
because
laboratorial
tests
require
expensive
and
highly
specialized
equipment.
In
this
regard,
we
developed
a
field
test
specific
for
indoor
rock
climbing
denominated
Fit-
climbing
test.
Our
results
showed
that
the
Fit-climbing
test
is
a
valid
and
reliable
field
test
that
can
be
performed
using
only
an
artificial
wall.
Consequently,
this
test
may
be
applied
by
sport
scientists
and
coaches
as
a
training-status
monitoring
tool
or
to
analyze
the
effects
of
different
strategies
used
to
improve
the
performance
during
rock-climbing
activities
(i.e.,
ergogenic
supplements,
warm-up
routines,
training
periodization).
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
The
authors
wish
to
acknowledge
the
whole
team
of
Ginfisio
Noventa
Graus
de
Escalada
Esportiva
(Sao
Paulo,
Brazil),
especially
the
rock
climber
Paulo
GiL
We
also
wish
to
acknowledge
the
rock
climbers
involved
in
this
study
for
their
committed
participation.
Journal
of
Strength
and
Conditioning
Researdi
I
www.nsca-jscr.org
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VOLUME
26
I
NUMBER
6
I
JUNE
2012
1
1563