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120 Moves of Climbing

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I’ve started reading the book One Move Too Many as it was recommended to me by several different climbers. I’ll be posting my full thoughts when I’ve finished the book, but I can already tell you that this is a must have for any climber, especially those dealing with specific injuries.

One idea from the book really stands out to me. The authors discuss warming up and state that:

Scientific studies have shown that bringing the pulleys and tendons up to a perfect state of “readiness” requires about four routes or 120 moves of climbing.

Think about that statement. Do you warm up that effectively? Do you climb four easy routes as a warm up? I’d wager that the vast majority of climbers do two routes maximum and call themselves warmed up.

More thoughts on this book are forthcoming, but I thought that tidbit was too interesting to not share immediately.

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  1. That is really interesting – and what does it mean for boulderers – 40+ problems? I sometimes don’t feel properly warmed up till the end of the day – so, I would tend to agree. But finding a way to perform optimally on problem 5, 10, 20, or 50 is really the key.

  2. i think once you’ve dealt with a bunch of injuries you really start taking warming up seriously. most of my friends think one route does it, i usually go for 4 ideally, even if it means chucking a few laps on the same climb. great book, btw. some gnarly photos in there!

  3. Lee – I agree with you on warming up for bouldering. I think it’s even harder to figure out what that means. Last year I started trying to at least count the number of warm-up problems (especially in the gym) and tried to have a rule of doing at least 10 warm-ups before starting anything harder. But in reality, that was probably only 40-50 moves. And judging from my recent injuries, look where it got me…

    Mike – it’s cheaper than going to the doctor multiple times. Also ask yourself if you’d pay $50 to not stop climbing for 3-6 months. I think you know the answer to that!

    bj – I think just doing laps like you said may be the ticket. That was a nice tactic the past few seasons at the New especially when at an area that may have had fewer warm-up routes at your level.

  4. They also released a study a few years ago in a notable journal that found warming up provided no actual benefit and it some cases just fatigued the muscles you were going to be using, suggesting it may actually lead to injury. Go figure.