Hemodynamic and cardiorespiratory predictors of sport rock climbing performance

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Abstract

Rock climbing performance has been suggested to involve a notable contribution from the aerobic metabolism. Previously it has been shown that forearm oxygenation kinetics can be used to distinguish ability groups and predict red-point sport climbing performance. Currently it is not known if forearm oxygenation kinetics, or a sport specific assessment of cardiorespiratory fitness best predicts sport rock climbing performance. The aim of the study was to determine whether forearm oxidative capacity index, maximal de-oxygenation (Δ score) during a treadwall V[Combining Dot Above]O[SUBSCRIPT TWO]peak test, treadwall V[Combining Dot Above]O[SUBSCRIPT TWO]peak, or running V[Combining Dot Above]O[SUBSCRIPT TWO]max best predicts self-reported sport climbing performance. Twenty-one male sport rock climbers completed a treadwall V[Combining Dot Above]O[SUBSCRIPT TWO]peak, running V[Combining Dot Above]O[SUBSCRIPT TWO]max and an assessment of near infrared spectroscopy derived oxidative capacity index. Linear regression, adjusted for age and experience (years), revealed that forearm oxidative capacity index, treadwall maximal de-oxygenation (Δ) and treadwall V[Combining Dot Above]O[SUBSCRIPT TWO]peak all significantly predicted self-reported red-point sport climbing ability (Adj R[SUBSCRIPT TWO] =-0.398; -0.255; 0.374 respectively), whereas treadmill running V[Combining Dot Above]O2max did not (Adj R[SUBSCRIPT TWO] =0.-0.052). Additionally, multiple regression suggested that the combined significant aerobic predictors accounted for 67% of the variance in red-point climbing ability. Findings suggest that training for sport rock climbing performance should look to incorporate modalities which focus on 1) improving local forearm aerobic capacity, and 2) improving whole body aerobic capacity using sport-specific apparatus such as treadwalls.

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