Why do you need to do an assessment? 1. The training program design and adaptation needs to match the needs of the individual training to adapt to the mountain. 2. There is a need to verify the individual has the strength and endurance to make it back down because the muscles working to take you up are the same ones preventing you from falling down the mountain, so we need to check in with them to verify they can take on the task. How do we design an assessment? 1. Assessing their strength, then going through a long bout of cardio and repeating the initial assessment of strength to determine any loss of strength capacity.
2. Design Knowing the attributes of the desired route and how it can impact the body's adaptation.
a. Slope b. Elevation change c. Distance d. Rock, snow, ice e. Technical aspects f. Approach time to base camp g. Pack load h. Sleep and recovery times i. Footwear and footwork
Choosing exercises matching the route's attributes to the individual's current abilities
How do perform an assessment? 1. Strength part 1 a. 3-4 strength exercises listed from easiest to hardest and chosen by individual's current ability b. Performing exercises in order and repeating three times c. Recording reps and time
2. Cardio a. Must have route preplanned or treadmill b. Use a full pack equivalent to what is expected on the route c. Use a full incline d. The speed should match the capability of the individual to breathe through their nose throughout the duration of time e. A minimum of 60 minutes as well as a minimum of 1000 feet in elevation change. Yes, you must surpass both
3. Strength part 2 a. Repeat the initial strength exercises with matching load and trying to achieve the same number of reps
How do I perform the training plan? Basic layout 1. AM and PM Sessions a. AM is biased toward building a fat adapted aerobic base. Do not eat prior to the AM session. b. PM is designed for strength, skills training (footwork) and recovery
2. Trail Hikes a. Day 6 each week is devoted to putting the work all together. b. The design is to see weekly progress and mental toughness in carrying a load in outdoor terrain with the other sessions building the weak parts
3. Measurements a. AM HRV/CV Using Polar H10 and EliteHRV app to measure for 5 minutes. It offers details on how the body is handling the training and information on what to expect when climbing the goal route b. Pre and Post Lung Volume Using a spirometer to measure how much air you can breathe in consistently before and after a round of exercise. It offers details on how your muscular system, especially the trunk musculature, is handling the loads c. Time d. Avg HR and Peak HR Offers insight over time to see how the cardiovascular system efficiency is developing with training and what to expect on the climb e. Elevation A macro measurement to see how the number of feet per minute are achieved compared to previous phases
AM Sessions 1. Conditioning parameters include: a. Using nasal breathing throughout the session while at a low zone heart rate preferably 1-2 b. Maintaining a pace equating to a consistent heart rate c. If either of these are lost, then the pace needs to be reduced 2. Foundation in building an efficient ability to walk on an incline not just focused on a conditioning base. a. The more efficient you walk to less energy you expend, so be intentional in every step. b. This perspective includes normal gait, duck walk gait, side step and cross-over steps 3. Running/jogging at a low heart rate is used to challenge muscles at a higher level, such as the hip flexors and their need for optimal foot placement. a. If an individual is concerned about running, then walking at a faster pace on an incline is a decent alternative. 4. Footwork
PM Sessions 1. Trunk Isometrics a. Designed to verify the body has range in all the paths of trunk motion and enhance recovery from previous rounds of training 2. Core Training a. Designed to develop strength in the ranges of motions in the trunk 3. Footwork a. Designed to improve foot strength in various positions to gain function while wearing boots 4. Strength training a. 2 to 3 sets with 13 to 23 reps each sets at a weight allowing the 13 reps, but not more than 23 reps b. No rest between sets. Try to do multiple exercises in a row, then repeat for 2 to 3 sets. c. Increasing the strength of the muscles related to pushing us up and preventing us from falling down. d. The work begins with the bigger muscles and greater motions and end with the muscles often fatiguing toward the end of a climb.
Trail Hikes 1. Performed on day 6 each week to allow for optimal recovery until next heavy round of training 2. Increase in pack load by 10 pounds each phase 3. Seek challenging terrain matching capability to place great load on back, hips, knees and feet 4. Alternatives a. Train on treadmill with pack load and varying inclines and step patterns b. Train on stairs with pack load and varying step patterns
Recording and Tracking Data 1. Record your strength training data at the end of the plan a. The exercises listed are based in what is needed for you climb. Each exercise following in parentheses are listed in order of challenge from left (easiest) to the right (hardest). 2. Record your trunk isometrics, footwork and core training in the final chart a. The exercises listed are based in what is needed for you climb. Each exercise following in parentheses are listed in order of challenge from left (easiest) to the right (hardest). 3. You can tabulate the totals for each week in the right column, then calculate the weekly averages at the bottom of each week.
Disclaimer: Rich Rife and Mountain Fitness Research, Inc are neither physicians, healthcare providers, physical therapists nor dieticians and the information presented on this site written, in video or in audio are experimental, experiential, and exploratory in nature. Before beginning any diet or fitness program, you should visit your primary healthcare provider to determine your status to proceed.