Dietary habits and anthropometric characteristics of rock climbers

Primary investigator: Sarah Radman (senior, NUT)

Faculty Advisor: Laurel Wentz (NUT)

Co-investigator: Amy Perkinson (senior, NUT)

Sarah Radman and Amy Perkinson pictured with student subject

Amy Perkinson (left) and Sarah Radman (right) with subject. Photo submitted.

Western North Carolina is home to elite and sub-elite rock climbers who flock to the location’s outdoor challenges and indoor community. Climbers are a unique population characterized by muscular physiology and casual attitude toward the importance of nutrition. As the sport has gained notoriety by inclusion in the upcoming Olympic games, there is a need for more comprehensive talent identification and dietary practices to support high-intensity anaerobic performance. The International Society for the Advancement of Kinanthropometry (ISAK) protocol has been used worldwide to track body composition of elite athletes, and it has been gaining attention for use in American sport and military programs. In addition to measuring the amount and percentage of adipose tissue in the human body, the ISAK full profile provides sport-specific anthropometric measurements to consider when assessing physical performance. These measurements include muscle and bone proportionality, muscle to bone ratio, ideal performance body mass and somatotype comparisons. In addition to body composition via portable ISAK protocol, we will utilize a novel picture food diary to analyze nutrition intake. Thus, the goals of this project are to 1) Determine anthropometric characteristics and grip strength in rock climbers of varying abilities; 2) Characterize energy and macronutrient composition of climber dietary intake;  3) Determine if there is an association between body composition, diet, grip strength and performance of climbers.

Sarah Radman and student subject
Published: Oct 21, 2019 10:49am