Recruiting Participants for Study On Strength Training with Recreational Climbers

Effects of a Supplemental Strength Training Intervention on Climbing Performance in Recreational Climbers

Chad Palmer, graduate student in Kinesiology (719-298-6337,


Rock climbing is a young sport on the competitive scene. Due to the youth of the sport, there is insufficient research on the strength training needs for climbers, and researchers are calling for more research to be performed on the topic. The present study aims to implement a strength training program that focuses on the specific energy needs and muscles used during rock climbing performance.

The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of a sport specific supplemental strength training program on rock climbing performance in recreational climbers. A secondary purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between climbing performance factors and actual climbing performance. The factors that will be examined are grip strength and body composition, specifically lean mass, and strength to mass ratio.

This study will be examining recreational rock climbers defined as climbers with a minimal climbing age of six months and who climb a minimum of one to two times a week.

Pre-testing and post-testing will be conducted through three appointments. The first appointment will be used for the climbing assessment, the second will be used for the 1RM pull-up test and measuring grip strength using hand grip dynamometry, and a third appointment will be used to measure body composition using a hydrostatic weighing tank.

Participants in the present study will be encouraged to maintain their current level of climbing in addition to performing an eight week strength training intervention. The strength training intervention will require two sessions per week of supervised strength training exercises. The experimental group will be given sport specific strength training exercises while the control group will receive general strength training exercises. The experimental and control groups will be randomly selected.

In addition to receiving supervised strength training session, participants in this study will experience other benefits. Through participation in this study, participants will have their body composition measured which will allow them to know their body fat percentage and strength to mass ratio in relation to the strength tests that participants will undergo as well. Participants may experience an increase in their climbing performance as a result of participation in this study. Participation in this study will assist the researcher in examining the strength training needs of rock climbers, and help with the development of standardized strength training protocols.



Students Present at and Attend Rocky Mountain Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine (RMACSM) Conference

The Adams State University Human Performance and Physical Education (HPPE) department travelled to Denver, amidst a snowy forecast in early March for the regional exercise science annual conference.  The Rocky Mountain Chapter of the American College of Sports Medicine (RMACSM) conference was held at Metro State University of Denver March 1st and 2nd.   The conference was attended by universities across Colorado, Wyoming, and New Mexico to showcase recent research with a handful of keynote speakers discussing all things exercise science and human performance related.

There were great speaker presentations on both days including Dr. Dave Hydock, an ASU alumni, who talked about the future of cancer drug treatment research related to the benefits of exercise which is ongoing at the University of Northern Colorado.  For now, this research is being conducted on rats with the hopes to move to human subjects.  The keynote speaker was Dr. Len Kravitz from the University of New Mexico.  Dr. Kravitz talked about a hot topic in the fitness industry, high intensity interval training, aka HIIT, and the different methods that have been studied which are being utilized by world-class athletes everywhere to improve fitness.  Another speaker in attendance was Max Schmarzo who works for a Denver training facility called Strong by Science.  His talk had a science base, but he moved into how he works every day to make what is learned in the classroom very applicable to athletes.  As a certified strength and conditioning coach working with some of the amazing professional and college athletes across Colorado, Max expressed in his talk how proud he was to utilize science and the newest research in order to get the best training possible for those athletes.

Led by professors of HPPE, Dr. Tracey Robinson and Maria Martinez, a group of 25 ASU students from HPPE attended the conference together.  Ten of the 25 students were in the HPPE graduate program, and five were first-year undergraduate students.  This was the largest group from the department to attend the RMACSM conference in years and the students represented ASU well.

Four graduate students were able to present their research while at the conference.  The presented research from the universities in attendance showcased the variety of work in this field ranging from police officer strength training programs to the effect of a chemotherapy drug during exercise on rats.  Each presenter created a poster that was judged by either members of the RMACSM board or professors from the different universities.

HPPE graduate students presented three posters: David Sheppard presented his thesis research titled “Variations on Wingate load to optimize peak power output in NCAA II collegiate athletes”.  Danielle Smith was also able to present her thesis research, “Effect of an 8-week supervised, physical activity program on cancer survivor’s health, fitness, and QOL”. Alexis Colwell and Shelby McBain presented research from an ongoing study in the HPPE department, “Effect of a physical activity intervention on fitness and quality of life in cancer survivors”.  All the ASU posters generated questions from the conference attendees and were well received.

Raven Langosh Coaches National Powerlifting Champion

Raven Langosh is a recent graduate from Adams State University, having earned a B.S. in Exercise Science as a student in Human Performance and Physical Education. During Raven’s last year as an undergraduate at Adams, Raven also coached local athletes in the sport of powerlifting.

In her first coaching season, Raven helped one of her athletes to a national championship title. Competing in the United States Powerlifting Association 2018 Drug Tested IPL World Championships, Santana Sandoval won the 15-19 age group Raw category 52 kg weight class while under Raven’s direction.

Raven was first introduced to the sport of powerlifting as a competitor in 2016. Since then, her interest in the sport and in its relationship with her studies in exercise science has grown, leading to her recent explorations in coaching. Raven cited course work in Biomechanics, Kinesiology, Methods of Coaching, Sport Psychology, Sport Nutrition, Strength and Conditioning and many others as resources for her as a coach.

One incident in which Raven says she drew heavily upon her Sport Psychology and Methods of Coaching courses was at the USPA Championships in Las Vegas, Nevada. Raven said that her athlete, Santana, had failed on two of the three attempts for one of the required competition lifts. As Raven could see Santana becoming anxious and agitated, she decided to model calm behavior for the athlete, and to help direct Santana’s attention to what was important in completing the lift. On her third and final attempt, Santana completed the lift successfully, securing her national title.

Throughout the training season, Raven said that her studies in Sport Nutrition were extremely helpful. In powerlifting, athletes have sometimes been known to engage in unhealthy dieting and calorie restriction due to weight class regulations and the desire to maintain a certain body composition. Raven wanted her athletes to avoid unhealthy eating habits, and used her knowledge of sport nutrition to create balanced diet plans that provided the athletes with enough nutrients. She believes that being able to maintain a healthy and balanced diet throughout the season greatly added to her athletes’ success.

After a successful first year, Raven will continue to coach athletes in powerlifting. She also plans to attend graduate school, studying to be a physical therapist.

Raven Langosh, far right, and athlete Santana Sandoval, second from right

Author: Brian Glassey, Applied Sport Psychology graduate student

Adams State’s Lukus Klawitter continues his success in the triathlon

Adams State professor Lukus Klawitter is a full time instructor in the HPPE Department, and also finds time to train and compete as an elite triathlete. His endeavors were covered in-depth in this article from 2017. Recently, Lukus once again competed at the Xterra Pan-American Championships, where he repeated last year’s performance as a Pan-American and national age group champion. He improved on his overall finish from 2017 to place 17th overall in 2018, in a field of professional and amateur triathletes. Lukus covered the race, which consisted of a 10 kilometer trail run, 28 kilometer mountain bike course, and 1.5 kilometer open water swim, in 2 hours, 51 minutes. He will race at the Xterra World Championships on October 28th in Lahaina, Hawaii.


Brian Glassey