Research > Research Inventory > Bioenergetics: The Association of Physiology and Technique

The effect of technique and ability on the VO2–heart rate relationship in rock climbing

AUTHORS: Dickson, T., Draper, N., Eltom, M., Stoner, L., Blackwell, G. | Year: 2012
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers measured time spent in isometric contraction, rest time, pre-climb anxiety, heart rate, and VO2 responses in 22 intermediate and advanced climbers on climbs near maximum. While intermediate climbers appeared to be impacted more by the route based on the heart rate to oxygen consumption ratio, advanced climbers spent more time in isometric contraction, but also more time resting their arms. Researchers do not believe anxiety played a part in the differences between intermediate and advanced climbers, and further believe the increased rest and tactical route decisions mitigated the impact of the isometric contractions through increased forearm blood flow. Beta Angel note: follow-up to studies showing disproportionate heart rate rise vs. VO2, possibly due to increased time in isometric contraction, anxiety, and possible presence of enhanced blood flow and oxygen delivery
REFERENCE: Sports Technology, Volume 5, 2012 – Issue 3-4

Influence of climbing style on physiological responses during indoor rock climbing on routes with the same difficulty

AUTHORS: B. de Geus, S. Villaneuva O’Driscoll, R. Meeusen | Year: 2006
SUMMARY/RESULTS: Researchers looked at 15 expert climbers to compare the physical effect (cardiorespiratory) of a treadmill test and success on four routes with different environmental factors (e.g. steepness and vertical vs. horizontal movement) but a similar degree of difficulty. The traversing route requiring horizontal movement required less oxygen, while steeper routes with vertical movement increased the climbers’ heart rates but (surprisingly) overhanging routes did not appear to affect heart rate and oxygen uptake significantly over vertical routes.
REFERENCE: Eur J Appl Physiol. 2006 Nov;98(5):489-96.