Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2017

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Integrative Physiology

First Advisor

William C. Byrnes

Second Advisor

Alena M. Grabowski

Third Advisor

Rodger Kram

Fourth Advisor

Gary McCall

Abstract

Cross, Alexander Joseph (M.S., Integrative Physiology)

A COMPARISON OF TWO SPORT-CLIMBING SPECIFIC AEROBIC POWER PROTOCOLS AND THEIR RELATIONSHIP TO SPORT-CLIMBING ABILITY

Thesis directed by Associate Professor William C. Byrnes

Aerobic power has been proposed as an important determinant of rock climbing performance but how to access aerobic power and relate it to climbing performance remains controversial. PURPOSE: To contrast how two sport climbing-specific aerobic power protocols (SCAPP) discriminate sport climbers differing in climbing ability. Parameters from the two SCAPPs (peak aerobic power (VO2peak), time to exhaustion (TTE), relative peak power output (PPOrel), time spent at RER ≥ 1.00 (RER1.0), and economy) were used to discriminate climbers differing in their on-sight (OS) and redpoint (RP) climbing abilities. METHODS: Twenty-two healthy, active, rock climbers (14M, 8F) performed treadwall (SCAPP-CT) and vertically mounted rowing ergometer (SCAPP-AE) graded exercise tests. SCAPP-CT RESULTS: TTE and RER1.0 both correlated significantly (P ≤ 0.05) with climbing ability and were both significantly greater in the high ability groups (P ≤ 0.05). TTE was the most consistent correlate for the full SCAPP-CT sample (n=21). VO2peak was significantly higher (P ≤ 0.05) in the high ability group (52.8 ± 3.0 vs. 47.0 ± 6.2 mL/kg/min). SCAPP-AE RESULTS: PPOrel correlated significantly (P ≤ 0.05) with climbing ability and was significantly greater (P ≤ 0.05) in the high ability group. VO2peak correlated significantly (P ≤ 0.05) with climbing ability and was significantly greater (P ≤ 0.05) in the high ability group (35.9 ± 4.4 vs. 30.0 ± 4.1 mL/kg/min). TTE was significantly greater (P ≤ 0.05) in the high ability groups. BETWEEN TEST COMPARISONS: As expected, due to the larger amount of activated muscle mass, VO2peak (+58.0%), HRpeak (+12.8%), and VEpeak (+18.3%) values were significantly greater (P ≤ 0.05) for the SCAPP-CT than the SCAPP-AE. CONCLUSION: The SCAPP-CT is a better protocol for testing potential aerobic predictors of sport-climbing performance. TTE and RER1.0 appear to be the best predictors of sport-climbing performance measured in this study, and a SCAPP: CT VO2peak of 50-55 mL/kg/min for males (45-50 mL/kg/min for females) is beneficial to sport climb at more advanced levels.

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