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How to take a break from Climbing and/or Slow my Growth?

Original Post
Michael Jung · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2019 · Points: 0

Hi ya'll.

Background: I've been climbing seriously for about 4-5 months now, 2-3 times a week with a supplemental workout or two during the week (pullups, antagonistic muscle training).

Progress hasn't been astronomical, but I'm getting comfortable with V4's (flash once in a while, but mostly finishing within the session), and I'm starting to project V5's.
I'm a little concerned, because I'm starting to get a few nagging pains here and there.
Many of them clear up with a few days rest, but the front part of my extensor area hurts (toward the wrist, not the elbow) when I have to hold using maximal effort on slopers. A tendon strain/injury of some sort, maybe? Doesn't really hurt when I'm not cranking down. Haven't really been able to diagnose this one, so if anyone's got an answer, please shoot me your best guess.

I've also had a numbness in my thumb (not accompanied by pain) for a couple of days now, which I've self diagnosed as the beginning of carpal tunnel, or a pinched nerve in my neck, causing the thumb+ness. Apparently that can cause carpal-tunnel-like symptoms.

Thankfully, my fingers feel great.

ANYWAY, all this to say, I think I need to slow down and do some injury-proofing or just climb less/week so my tendons can catch up to the rest of my growth. So...

Question: What's my best option here? Do I just take a week or two off so my body can heal and get back into my normal routine? Or should I change my weekly regimen?

Please share your experience with me; I might go a little stir crazy if I can't boulder as much, but I don't want to take myself out of commission by being impetuous.

Stiles · · the Mountains · Joined May 2003 · Points: 840

Check out 'Training for the New Alpinism', and maximize your potential. 

Matt Hostetler · · Oakland, CA · Joined May 2016 · Points: 116

A lot of people have to learn the hard way but you will improve less and climb much less if you keep pushing and injure yourself. My personal rule is to immediately stop for the day if I feel the "bad" sort of pain, and if it persists to take a week or more off until I feel good. Your alternative is getting injured and taking months off or worse. Some injuries can stay with you for the rest of your life.

I recommend trying an activity or two that you enjoy besides climbing. Some ideas: skiing, mountain biking, surfing, kiteboarding, trail running, cycling.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

General Climbing
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