2012, Volume 8, Issue 3

Physiological and Kinanthropometrical Parameters of an Elite Climber. Single case study



Julio Calleja-González1, Nicolás Terrados2, Gaizka Mejuto3, Jose Antonio Lekue4, Xabier Leibar4, Ramón Gárate5, Jose Emparanza6, Julen Erauzkin4, Maialen Beldarrain4

1Sport Performance Center, Culture Department, Basque Government, Laboratory of Analysis of Sport Performance, Sport and Physical Education Department, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of the Basque Country, Spain
2Regional Unit of Sport Medicine- Avilés City-Council Foundation, Functional Biology Department, University of Oviedo, Spain
3Laboratory of Analysis of Sport Performance, Sport and Physical Education Department, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of the Basque Country, Spain
4Sport Performance Center, Culture Department, Basque Government, Spain
5Traumatology Department, Gipuzkoa Policlinic, Spain
6Clinical Epidemiology Unit, CASPE, CIBERESP, Donostia University Hospital


Author for correspondence: Julio Calleja-González; Sport Performance Center, Culture Department, Basque Government, Laboratory of Analysis of Sport Performance, Sport and Physical Education Department, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of the Basque Country, Spain

Author for correspondence: Gaizka Mejuto; Laboratory of Analysis of Sport Performance, Sport and Physical Education Department, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of the Basque Country, Spain; email: gaizka.mejuto[at]ehu.es


Full text

Abstract

Background and study aim. Extreme altitude climbing effects have been described in several studies. Usually these studies are carried out on expeditions but not longitudinally. The aim of this study is to describe physiological and kinanthropometrical changes over the time in a top-level climber.Material and Methods. This is a single-subject study on an individual career part (from ages 30 to 41). Some physiological and kinanthropometrical parameters were analysed in 3 different season parts at sea level; before (PRE), after (POST) and off climbing expeditions (OFF). All expeditions were > 7000 m.Results. No changes were found in physiological parameters during the period of study regarding to season part. Kinanthropometry in contrast, presented significant changes (P<0.01) in two skinfolds (PRE/OFF Vs. POST), whereas ∑ of SF showed differences between (PRE vs. OFF). Results also indicate some significant correlations (P<0.05) between both kinanthropometrical and physiological variables and the participant aging process.Conclusion. The high fitness level of the participant combined with his gift for acclimatization and a broad climbing career, maintain physiological and kinanthropometrical stability during the analysed period even after repeated exposure to extreme altitudes. However, aging process appears to be involved in maximal exercise cardiovascular capacity decline. Surprisingly, kinanthropometrical variables such as weight, BMI and fat percentage showed lower values through the time attributable probably to a high physical activity.


Key words: climbing, extreme altitude, kinanthropometry, physiology