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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 678387, 6 pages
Research Article

The Relationship between Climbing Ability and Physiological Responses to Rock Climbing

1Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Charles University in Prague, 16252 Prague, Czech Republic
2School of Sport & Exercise, Massey University, Palmerston North 4442, New Zealand
3School of Sport & Physical Education, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, Canterbury 8140, New Zealand

Received 31 August 2013; Accepted 20 October 2013; Published 27 January 2014

Academic Editors: J. McHowat and A. Pushkin

Copyright © 2014 Jiří Baláš 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 of 40.3 ± 3.5 mL·kg−1·min−1 during the maximal test. Self-reported climbing ability was negatively correlated with and HR during the submaximal test at 90° ( , ; HR, and ) and at 105° ( , ; HR, and ) 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.