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Do you ever take time off? Should you?

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darwined:
I been working real hard the last twelve months.  I have been losing weight, climbing often, eating "right",  and making progress as a result.  Long story short, I'm hungry to climb harder.

Lately I can't sleep through the night.  The pain in my joints(elbows and shoulders) keeps me out of a deep sleep.  The worst part is, I am unknowingly curling my arms tight to my chest and sleeping on them.   Each time this wakes me, the pain is worse.  I've been trying to knock down the pain with Ibuprofen, but that's not working anymore.

I work with my hands as a contractor, so I don't get a ton of rest when I'm not climbing.  I feel like I might be over doing it a bit lately and thinking of taking a short break from climbing.

Have you got any experience with this sort of thing?  How long did you take off?  Did it help? 



apbt1976:

--- Quote from: darwined on May 29, 2012, 09:12:29 PM ---I been working real hard the last twelve months.  I have been losing weight, climbing often, eating "right",  and making progress as a result.  Long story short, I'm hungry to climb harder.

Lately I can't sleep through the night.  The pain in my joints(elbows and shoulders) keeps me out of a deep sleep.  The worst part is, I am unknowingly curling my arms tight to my chest and sleeping on them.   Each time this wakes me, the pain is worse.  I've been trying to knock down the pain with Ibuprofen, but that's not working anymore.

I work with my hands as a contractor, so I don't get a ton of rest when I'm not climbing.  I feel like I might be over doing it a bit lately and thinking of taking a short break from climbing.

Have you got any experience with this sort of thing?  How long did you take off?  Did it help?

--- End quote ---

I just started climbing rock a couple months ago. Up to this point i have been climbing outdoors 2-3 days a week and another 1-2 days in the gym. I have progressed pretty fast imop as i am finishing 11's on the regular. Just a couple weeks ago that was not the case. I can see the progression happen week to week and even more so in two weeks blocks. 

My point with all that is just before i read this post i was massaging my big toe as the knuckle joint is pretty sore after 4-5 hrs at the gym today. On my last gym outing i had to call it quits after like a  hour as i was working some juggy dynoy stuff a full grade above what i can finish. My bicep was on fire just 20 minutes into my session and it felt like i had been given a Charley horse in the arm repeatedly. This was not the first time my bicep has felt this way. What you describe in regard to sleeping on your arm and shoulders plagued me a few weeks ago also. I taught/forced myself to not sleep with my arms under my head. After years and years of trying i can now sleep on my back. It is amazing the things you can do when you want something bad enough. I have for years tried to learn to sleep on my back to no avail for injury reasons so go figure? My fingers are often sore from the first knuckle forward. Something is always a little sore, tender, blistered or swollen.

I have some prior experience as a pretty high level competitive athlete. If you are doing any given physical activity upwards of 10-15 hours a week and more you are not some much recreating anymore as you are training. At least that is what it translates to the body as! Imop a little common sense and patients goes a long way when things get sore or injury occurs.

Pain is the bodies warning signal that something is wrong. Mild pain may be par for the course as climbing is hard work and hurts. Nagging persistent pain is another thing imop and if you choose to ignore it you will end up with a  injury and taking more than just a couple days off.

If something is sore i i give it a day or two and hope it clears. In the case of my shoulders i trained myself to sleep differently over the course of a week and i no longer have the shoulder issue. I also avoid stupid dynoy moves that are hard on the shoulders. Non the less if i wanna climb a route i climb the route, if it tweaks something i normally save it for another day and move onto something with different movements.

I love and hate Aleve... I buy it in the big bottle but that's cuz i have foot problems and like to run!! All this is much more easily said than done. Good luck and listen to your body.

How old are you ? If you are at all young and this is going on be careful. As you age this stuff only becomes more of a problem and forces you to listen and wish you had taken better care of your body when you were young.

sneoh:
To the OP - to err on the side of caution, I would suggest seeking proper medical diagnosis and advice if 600 mg of Ibuprofen is not giving you the pain relief you seek. 

Yes, I do take time off (two to three weeks) if my elbow flares up from too much steeply overhung climbing.


To apbt - I understand your motivation to improve quickly but as you must already know that there is such a thing as over-training, at least in climbing.  I happen to think 5 days a week is too much, esp if you do LONG sessions at the gym two of those days.  And please really careful with finger joint pain.  Take really good care of your fingers and wrists if you want to be climbing well 20 years from now.  I really wrecked my fingers in the first four or five years of my climbing.  I have been really careful for 16 years since but the damage had already been done.  Don't let that happen to you.

apbt1976:
I will add when i was training 15-30 hrs a week rest was worked in just as specific workouts were. If i was training 30 hrs a week it was the off season and prep for race season. Race season training was 5-20 hrs a week and then racing 2-5 days a week. Even at 30 hrs rest was worked in, normally legs up after training and a full on rest day once a week with only a 2-3 mile round trip ride to the coffee shop allowed.

Training was my job, at the start i also worked construction and as i progressed construction had to go. I went from full time work and full time training to part time work and full time training. The work being physical in nature "construction" ultimately led to me not being able to recover quickly enough. I am not suggesting you quit your job as too climb better but rather consider what you do for work also taxes your body big time and figure it into your climbing aspirations.

I no longer do construction but i do care for my own home. If i need a roof i do the work, if it needs painting i paint it, if it needs a deck i build it. Now a solid 5 years since i last swung a hammer for a living it still amazes me just how hard all that work is on the body when i comes time to do a big project around the house. I never gave it much credit as it was just what i had always done and had to do. Consider this info from a a guy that is def in good shape. In conjunction to my climbing i either run, swim or cycle or hike on average 1-2 hours a day on non climbing days. Bring some structure to your climbing and rest when you are tired or better before you are tired. If you are groggy, snappy or something is sore lay off a few days..

I am by no means one to tell you what do and as Sneo said if something hurts that bad go see a doctor. If you are at all like me though i lived without medical insurence most of my life. If that is the case REST until none of it hurts and start slow. When you resume always take one full day a week off from all physical activity and then stagger intensity/strenght days with endurence days.

ELM:
    Darwined...you need to rest if you expect to keep doing the activites you love.
    The symptoms you are having are from over-use as you suspected. Treating the pain is not working for you which tells me you have already begun to do some damage to your tendons and ligaments. Hydrate and take a few (at least 2-3) weeks off from climbing.
    What you are going through takes time to heal, longer than regular muscle issues. If you ignore it you will be doing sever damage that will take you out of the game. While you are working you need to focus on using good technique and not just pushing through tasks...let the hammer weight do the work don't pound. And don't hold weight for prolonged periods. Yes see an MD for better drugs but get a referral for a good PT too.

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