Crushing Tip #24

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metabolic

Climb Better with Metabolic Training

by: Marissa Lyons

The term “metabolic training” is thrown around quite a bit in the fitness industry but what does it mean, how does it work, and what does it have to do with climbing?  In simplest terms, metabolic training or conditioning refers to exercise methods that will improve or enhance the body’s two main energy systems: aerobic and anaerobic. Use of different work-to-rest ratios during training can call upon these energy systems and cause specific adaptations to improve performance; climbing is a sport that requires use of all three metabolic systems.

Most often when a trainer refers to metabolic training they are referring to high-intensity intervals which target the anaerobic system. While climbing in itself is an effective anaerobic workout it is sometimes difficult to climb routes hard enough, due to technique barriers, to fully challenge your metabolic system and improve your strength and power. Further, the harder and more powerful the route the more often your anaerobic system is needed. Therefore, it is necessary to train your anaerobic system in order to improve your climbing.

Not only is metabolic training important for performance goals, but high-intensity interval training is also the most effective way to burn calories and stay slim. Exercise physiologists have discovered that the traditional long sustained cardio workout only improves the aerobic system while a medium to high-intensity anaerobic workout improves overall metabolism and continues to work long after you leave the gym; often burning extra calories up to two days post workout. By adding full-body interval training to your schedule you will slim down, increase power and endurance. So next time you are thinking of going for a jog, tryout one of our strength classes or ClimbFit workouts instead.

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