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Advice for Plus Size climbers
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Jun 5, 2016
I'm a fat climber. I'm 32 y/o female 195 lbs and 4'11".

Are there any other plus size climbers out there that have advice or encouragement to share?

I'm not looking to lose weight. I climb to feel good and be challenged.

Thanks in advance.

From Brooklyn, NY
Joined Jan 23, 2016
16 points
Jun 5, 2016
Not a woman or plus size, but my advise is, go for it! Enjoy, have fun, and as long as your happy with your climbing don't be discouraged by what people think climbers should look like or be able to climb. I'm 43, getting back into the sport with two kids in tow. I don't care about anything other than getting out and climbing fun routes. The most wonderful thing about climbing is that it's all about you. That's the best path to follow and no one can tell you what is right wrong bad good easy or difficult. keithconn
From LI, NY
Joined Jan 1, 2015
35 points
Jun 5, 2016
What Keith said. As long as you're having fun, you're doing it right. SinRopa
From parts unknown
Joined Sep 4, 2013
107 points
Jun 5, 2016
Yep, what the other guys said. If you decide you want to climb harder grades, you know what needs to happen. Have fun and stay safe. FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Joined Nov 19, 2009
309 points
Jun 5, 2016
I'm 6'4"/225lbs and my advice for climbing heavier is to do a lot of strength training in the hand/forearm/elbow dept to avoid injury, especially if you end up in a move that requires hanging full body weight on the upper body.

Aside from that, keep at it and don't let anyone tell you you cannot. At one point I was pushing 300lbs and just kept showing up and training. Folks who were/still are in way better shape than me at the climbing gym took total notice of my consistency and weight dropping over time, and were some of my greatest encouragement.

Keep climbing for the fun of it.
Ben Woods
Joined Feb 4, 2010
23 points
Jun 5, 2016
I agree with the others. Climb, have fun, be safe.

As far as becoming a better climber (if that's a goal) as a bigger guy I can tell you that nothing will help you improve more then loosing weight. I'm 6'2" and I was almost 260 pounds, now down to 230, and hoping to loose another 30. Loosing that 30 and retaining the strength I had from hauling it around gave me an instant climbing boost.

But in reality if you're really into climbing and climb a lot you will get in better shape whether you want to or not.
From Granby, CT
Joined Mar 9, 2010
3 points
Jun 5, 2016
You really couldn't have picked up a better activity to lose weight. Keep having fun and you'll be with everyone else before you know it! Hunter McPherson
From Denver, CO
Joined Jul 7, 2015
17 points
Jun 5, 2016
How does your harness fit? Depending on your weight distribution, there could be a chance of falling out of it if you get flipped.

I did a rappelling course for some Raleigh international students and some needed a full body harness.

Otherwise, have fun. Dont be surprised if you shed a little weight without trying.
From Colorado
Joined Oct 29, 2012
43 points
Jun 5, 2016
Ben Woods wrote:
I'm 6'4"/225lbs ....

From Red Rock, NV
Joined Feb 18, 2015
311 points
Jun 5, 2016
Just have fun! Climbing is, after all, a recreational activity. Just imagine climbing your way to 125 lbs. You'd be a 5.14 climber! Don Ferris
From Eldorado Springs
Joined Nov 27, 2012
178 points
Jun 5, 2016
You will be forced to learn and rely on good technique. Climbing with good technique is much more fun than just muscling your way up a climb. Have fun!

As I get older, I care less and less what other people think. I wear socks with my climbing shoes! (Hell has frozen over! No worries, I climb ice, too.).
Joined Nov 26, 2011
1 points
Jun 5, 2016
Stay away from squeeze chimneys. mediocre
Joined Jul 18, 2013
0 points
Jun 6, 2016
Hey I'm fat too! 6'3" 260. Just do your thing and have fun. Bill Kirby
From Baltimore Maryland
Joined Jul 21, 2012
463 points
Jun 6, 2016
Paging Daddy Burch BigB
From Red Rock, NV
Joined Feb 18, 2015
311 points
Jun 6, 2016
most safety equipment is tested with a 175lb test weight, so keep that in mind and avoid factor 2 falls Andrew Wood
Joined Jul 26, 2015
63 points
Jun 6, 2016
Here is my advice, though I'm not plus-sized, I'm a female climber who is med-short. I'm also a dancer and several of the women I dance with are plus-size, and they are amazing!

Work your flexibility as well as your strength. Being flexible can give you moves like putting your hand and a foot on the same hold, high stepping, keeping your hips close to the wall even when you're in a squat position - a plie.

I think flexibility helps people who are shorter make different kinds of moves than a taller person might, but still get up a reachy route.

Also, keeping your body close to the wall reduces the weight that your arms have to deal with. It requires core strength and technique, and sometimes flexibility.

For height, develop your foot strength - if you can rise up on your toes, you've gained half a foot or more of reach. Dance classes or barre classes can help with this.

Go slow on your progression into overhangs to protect your shoulders. Work opposing muscle groups to balance the development you get through climbing.

Have fun!
From New Jersey
Joined Jan 8, 2014
25 points
Jun 6, 2016
Do cardio a couple times a week grog m aka Greg McKee
Joined Aug 29, 2012
114 points
Jun 6, 2016
I see folks of all sizes climbing both at crags and gyms.
Don't worry what others think - this activity is about your personal enjoyment. If someone gives you a hard time because of your weight, move on - they are not worth your time.
The only recommendations - take it slow, keep it safe. It is really tempting to jump on overhanging terrain and start pulling on tiny crimps, but you need to let your body get used to this activity.
Joined Feb 23, 2012
23 points
Jun 6, 2016
You're ganna snap your rope and die!! J.k who cares have fun do your thing don't worry about climbing grades or about other people at the crag I enjoy seeing all types of people climbing and just diggin life Jaredsup
From Donora
Joined May 4, 2016
0 points
Jun 6, 2016
Hi, my name is Clint and I am a beanpole. For me adding muscle has always been difficult. Do what you love and give it your all. There are a few locals who have strengthened themselves in many ways through climbing, and have completely changed their body physique as well.

As stated above, just go easy on the tendons -- they take much longer to strengthen than muscles do, and much longer to heal.

Also add yoga, cycling, and backpacking to the mix to diversify. All will strengthen the core and balance life.
Faulted Geologist
From Lawrence, KS
Joined Jan 7, 2015
161 points
Jun 6, 2016
Not from my personal experience, but for advice look up John Dunne and his thoughts on the subject.

Here's him on an 8c+ (!!!) at Malham. Not exactly Adam Ondra.

I think his approach was to perfect footwork. I remember reading a quote of his that basically said that if fitter climbers had his footwork, they'd be climbing way harder routes. Amazing that it can take you so far, especially on steep routes.
From Evanston, IL
Joined Dec 16, 2011
0 points
Jun 6, 2016
I'm heavier than you. Taller too, but that height just lets me make reachy moves. Being short can also have advantages with certain moves. In the end, your hands, arms, and legs have to do the same amount of work that mine do. Just climb and your strength will develop. When you're doing 5.10s or higher and you realize that the fastest way to climb that next grade is to lose weight you'll do it. Before that though you be fitter and feel a lot better about your body. Fortuna Wolf
From Durham, NC
Joined Mar 27, 2016
20 points

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