I keep seeing stories about climbing and being over 30. Please have a thought for us that are on the wrong side of 40! Fortunately there are climbers in their 50′s leading 9a, which makes me feel a lot better.
Here’s my experiences of being a 40+ climber:
- Any muscle imbalances you had 20 years ago are now loads worse! To stop injuries occurring as a result make sure you train your wrist extensors, shoulder rotator cuff, lower traps and core. I’ve found training all my antagonist muscles and core with slings has helped me train harder.
- Weight doesn’t fall off you anymore! I used to eat what I wanted and was always 10.5 stone. My normal body weight is now 11.5 stone and have to watch everything I eat and do loads of cardio (intervals) to get my weight down to around 10.5 stone. Obviously the lack of food also makes me really grumpy!
- Your fingers feel really creaky, especially in the morning, when crimping a lot and when using a keyboard. I try and overcome this with lots of stretching of the fingers and finger/forearm massage daily.
- You lose a lot of flexibility. I now have to stretch my hips and legs daily, to try and overcome this.
- Your back hurts and has a habit of pulling in the morning when you put your socks on! Do lots of core conditioning to give your back a good basis for your training and get a foam roll to get yourself out of your hunchback posture.
- You have a lot less time available for climbing. As a result I spend more time focusing on short high quality training sessions, tailored towards specific route goals I may have.
Ok, so it sounds as things are heavily stacked against me! On a positive note I now know how to train a lot better and don’t just ignore any signs of over training. As a result I’m in better shape than I was when I was 20. The only problem is that getting into that shape involves so many more sacrifices than when I was younger. May be with all this wet weather I should just enjoy chocolate and cakes until things dry out