Physiological and psychological responses to lead and top rope climbing for intermediate rock climbers

Draper, Nick and Jones, Glenys A. and Fryer, Simon M and Hodgson, Christopher I. and Blackwell, Gavin (2010) Physiological and psychological responses to lead and top rope climbing for intermediate rock climbers. European Journal of Sport Science, 10 (1). pp. 13-20. ISSN 1746-1391

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Abstract

Rock climbing is a popular adventure sport with an increasing research base. Early studies in the field did not make comparisons of ascents using different styles of climbing. More recently, differences in the physiological responses for an on-sight lead climb and subsequent lead climb have been reported. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of style of climb (lead climb or top rope climb) on the physiological and psychological responses to rock climbing. Nine intermediate climbers volunteered for, and completed, two randomly assigned climbing trials and a maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) test on a separate occasion. The climbers ascended the same 6a (sport grade) climb for both trials. Before climbing, heart rate, perception of anxiety (Revised Competitive State Anxiety Inventory-2), and blood lactate concentration were measured. Climb time, heart rate, VO2, lactate concentrations, and task load (National Aeronautics and Space Administration Task Load Index) in response to each trial were also recorded. Results indicated significant differences (P<0.05) between the trials for climb time, blood lactate concentration immediately after and 15 min after climbing, and heart rate 1 min after climbing. During lead and top rope climbing, mean VO2 and represented 44% and 42% of treadmill VO2max and mean heart rate represented 81% and 77% of maximum heart rate, respectively. There were no significant differences in feelings of anxiety before either climb, although climbers reported the lead climb to be physically and mentally more demanding, requiring more effort and resulting in greater frustration (P<0.05) than the top rope climb. Our results indicate that the physiological and psychological responses of intermediate climbers are different for a lead climb and top rope climb.

Item Type: Article
Article Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Rock climbing, lead climbing, top rope climbing, anxiety, oxygen uptake, heart rate
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure > GV191.2 Outdoor Life. Outdoor recreation. > GV199.44 Rock climbing.
Q Science > QP Physiology > QP301.H75 Physiology. Sport
Divisions: Faculty of Business, Computing and Applied Sciences > School of Sport & Exercise > Sport and Exercise
Research Priority Areas: Sport, Exercise, Health & Wellbeing
Depositing User: Anne Pengelly
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2015 13:04
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2016 13:08
URI: http://eprints.glos.ac.uk/id/eprint/2484

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