HOW DO THE PHYSIOLOGICAL RESPONSES DIFFER BETWEEN UPPER AND LOWER BODY IN CLIMBING
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The aim of this study was to examine and compare the peak aerobic capacity (VO2peak) in both upper and lower body with climbing performance from an incremental climbing test, to identify if peak aerobic capacity as an individual body segment component (upper or lower) or combined can determine climbing performance. Five participants volunteered to participate in this study. Their mean (±SD) values of age (yrs), height (m) and body mass (kg) were 20.4 (±0.4), 1.81 (±1.1), and 72.5 (±7.3), respectively. Participants completed an arm crank ergometry and leg cycling VO2peak/max test, followed by an incremental climbing route test at a local indoor climbing centre. The incremental climbing route test was designed to increase in difficulty to the point of exhaustion to measure the participants climbing ability. Mean (±SD) climbing performance parameters- total climbing time (s) to exhaustion, total distance (m) climbed and rate of ascent (m•s-1) were 539 (±294) s, 545 (±269) m and 0.24 (±0.04) m•s-1, following the incremental climbing route test. Mean (±SD) peak VO2 (l•kg-1•min-1) responses elicited from arm crank ergometry were significantly lower (P<0.05) 42.2 (±3.7) than that of leg cycling ergometry responses 56.2 (±3.8), respectively. Similar (P>0.05) mean values of HRpeak were achieved during the LC and ACE tests (193 ± 7.1 vs. 191.3 ± 28.3 b•min-1, respectively). Significant negative correlations (P<0.05) were found between all physiological measures and performance parameters. The results of the study reveal that peak aerobic capacity as a combined or individual body segment are not a determinant of climbing performance, however, having a greater aerobic and anaerobic capacity can somewhat influence climbing performance and give an increased ability to delay the effects of fatigue and enable stamina and technique to be maintained for an extended period of time. The findings also demonstrate that climbing time to exhaustion is a good measure of climbing performance and coaches/instructors should implement some form of long intensity training to develop climbing time to exhaustion and climbing performance on a whole.
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