Rock climbing is one of the exciting hobbies and has become a great pastime for many people across the globe.
However, you probably wonder if it is possible to engage in rock climbing as an overweight individual because of its challenging nature.
So, Can You Rock Climb If You’re Overweight?
Yes! You can engage in rock climbing even if you are overweight. However, as overweight or obese, you will face an extra set of difficulties. And while the additional challenges don’t make rock climbing a bad idea, you will need extra preparation than an individual with an idea, standard weight. But the good news is that with practice, your body will adapt to the required strength, and you can end up becoming a great climber regardless of your weight.
If you wonder whether rock climbing as an overweight person is for you, read on for the advantages and disadvantages of rock climbing.
Although we recommend that you should go for it if you are interested, you can freely make your conclusion at the end.
Why Are There Not Many Overweight Climbers?
According to statistics, there are not many overweight rock climbers.
There are several reasons why overweight rock climbers decide not to engage in this hobby.
Some of these include;
1. Fear To Fail
While this is the main reason many people don’t go rock climbing, it is particularly true among overweight people as most of them feel like they won’t pull it through.
This is in addition to the fact that overweight people will have to compete with other more bodied and healthier people.
With many people perceiving rock climbing as an extreme sport, this further creates the impression that it is tough for people who are not fit to try.
2. Low Self Confidence
Most overweight people don’t have the confidence to go out and engage in rock climbing.
Most of them feel like they will be judged and don’t see it as a worthwhile effort.
3. Lack Of Motivation
Many overweight people are obese because they have no motivation to stay physically fit.
They lack the desire to participate in any sport, let alone rock climbing.
Even overweight individuals interested in engaging in the sport actively may not believe it will effectively help them in their weight loss journey.
There is also a general misconception that overweight people cannot rock climb due to their weight.
Some overweight individuals feel it is too dangerous or the rock-climbing equipment will not effectively keep them safe.
Five Benefits Of Rock Climbing for Overweight People
Some of the benefits of rock climbing for overweight people include;
1. Keeping More Active
Rock climbing is a fantastic way of getting away from everyday stress offering a thrilling and fun adventure.
You will be able to keep active with a social group of other rock-climbing enthusiasts with similar interests and passions.
By going out with your friends and sharing a relaxing day actively, you won’t have time to feel bad about yourself.
2. Lose Extra Pounds
One of the apparent benefits of rock climbing for overweight people is burning extra pounds.
It provides an extreme workout for your body and muscles and requires a lot of energy hence helping in the weight loss journey.
According to Harvard Health Publications, a person burns more than 500 calories per hour during rock climbing.
3. Chronic Disease Prevention
Rock climbing regularly is an excellent way of reducing your risk for various chronic diseases such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and high blood cholesterol.
Rock climbing is a high-intensity workout.
Therefore, by engaging in rock climbing for about two hours a day, you will lessen your chances of getting chronic diseases.
4. Psychological Aid
Another pro of engaging in rock climbing is helping in improving your mood as well as decreasing depression.
According to scientific studies, different workouts, including rock climbing, helps to better the perspective of patients suffering from depression.
5. Provides Healthy Competition
Although you don’t need to ever compete with anyone, rock climbing provides an excellent way of challenging yourself to meet specific goals.
As you practice rock climbing more, you can gradually challenge yourself to climb more tough walls or mountains to progress your skills reliably.
Looking forward to accomplishing your goals will improve your physical and mental strength and make you more motivated, responsible, and successful.
Disadvantages Of Rock Climbing While Overweight
Like anything else, rock climbing while overweight also has some disadvantages.
Some of the drawbacks to keeping in mind include;
1. It’s Hard To Find Suitable Equipment
Many overweight rock climbers have found it hard to find suitable equipment for their large bodies.
For instance, gears such as harnesses and helmets might be challenging to find based on your size.
You might even be forced to purchase specialty gears that go for a higher cost.
2. It Can Be Too Much To Take
While rock climbing is a rewarding and fun activity, it can be overwhelming for overweight people with self-esteem issues.
Most people who rock climbing will likely have a better physical shape, so if it makes you feel insecure and uncomfortable, ensure to start by taking care of your self-esteem issues before you take on rock climbing.
3. Easier To Be Injured
Overweight people who don’t engage in physical exercise are at an increased risk of being injured than those who rock climb regularly.
You will need to be more careful not to slip and fall or hurt your muscles because you are not used to an intense workout.
More so, you will be more likely to get sorer than your slimmer counterparts, so the first few weeks will likely hurt.
Other Things to Consider If You Plan to Rock Climb as An Overweight
In addition to the pros and cons of rock climbing, there are other considerations if you are planning to start up rock climbing when overweight.
Firstly, ensure you are purchasing equipment that can comfortably support your weight.
Get a carabiner that can support you when climbing and if you slip and fall.
As a rule, for most climbers, the gear should conveniently support ten percent more than your total body weight.
The extra percentage will account for the force applied by gravity.
In addition, when you choose your rock-climbing partner, ensure they are experienced and heavy enough to support your size.
If your body sizes don’t match, you can injure yourself and the partner in case you fall because they will be tossed and upended into the rock wall if not well anchored down.
This can also affect you negatively as the belayer won’t catch your fall if they are in the air.
Therefore, keep in mind that this will occur with extreme size mismatches.
Consequently, you won’t have to find someone that exactly matches your weight. Just ensure your partner is in the collect ballpark so they can protect you in case of an emergency.
Ultimately, rock climbing is a great hobby, and there is no reason not to practice even if you are overweight.
Although it might be more challenging for an overweight person, you don’t need to be scared.
Start by choosing the easy routes first and go your way up.
The more you practice, the more your physique will adjust to rock climbing and begin losing extra weight. Get started today!