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Consensus on Weight Lifting?

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Consensus on Weight Lifting?

Postby Castlereagh » Thu Apr 21, 2011 8:55 pm

After blowing out my back this winter and feeling the weight of some peer pressure from my roommates (meatheads)I started lifting weights regularly for the first time since high school. Surprisingly I've actually gotten in to it and kinda enjoy it these days. I'm just wondering if there's any kinda consensus with people here on whether lifting is conducive to hiking. So far I'm thinking...

Pro's...Back strength has to be conducive to lugging around a backpack, right?

Con's...Takes away a little bit from cardio time at the gym.

Does it really make a difference though, to be a little heavier on the trail?
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Re: Consensus on Weight Lifting?

Postby fluxlib » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:16 pm

Getting your back straightened out is conducive to everything really. You can cardio train by not resting as much between sets. Maybe get a cheap heartrate monitor and try to keep your heart within the correct zone.

And definitely become one of those guys whose upper bodies are massive and have toothpick legs.
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Re: Consensus on Weight Lifting?

Postby Dow Williams » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:17 pm

Cross training is critical no matter what kind of an athlete you are or what activities you enjoy. There are many folks who run to much (I use to be one), and likewise lift too much. I have a full Cybex gym built onto my home. I did so after a serious back injury. My time in the gym is equal to my time running on trail. Both are nothing more than full on cross training for my life as a climber in all disciplines, scrambling, alpine, waterfall ice, rock, backcountry skiing, etc. If you are a bit heavier, but only because you are giving up full cardio for a balance, then I suggest you aim your sights at your diet. Nothing controls weight better than watching what you eat. If you still have a potential back issue, it is important to stick more to controlled weight machines versus free weights, particularly if you are a bit older. Cheers and good luck.
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Re: Consensus on Weight Lifting?

Postby Sarah Simon » Thu Apr 21, 2011 9:20 pm

Personally, I have found the following to benefit my hiking, scrambling and climbing:

Any and all core strengthening
Squats & lunges
Moderate upper body strengthening for technical climbing & steeper scrambling

No need lugging around extra meathead body weight on the trail, but moderate sculpting will build muscle mass keeping middle-age fat in check and increase strength for the muscles I rely on the reach peaks.

Just my 2 cents.

Sarah
Go climb a mountain
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Re: Consensus on Weight Lifting?

Postby ExcitableBoy » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:23 pm

I had a serious spinal injury and have since returned to full activities. The head surgeon (it took four to put me back together) attributes my postive outcome to diligent physical therapy and weight training.
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Re: Consensus on Weight Lifting?

Postby lcarreau » Thu Apr 21, 2011 10:41 pm

Sorry, but I don't know what's WRONG with being a "meathead."

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Re: Consensus on Weight Lifting?

Postby MarkDidier » Fri Apr 22, 2011 12:33 am

Castlereagh wrote:After blowing out my back this winter and feeling the weight of some peer pressure from my roommates (meatheads)I started lifting weights regularly for the first time since high school. Surprisingly I've actually gotten in to it and kinda enjoy it these days. I'm just wondering if there's any kinda consensus with people here on whether lifting is conducive to hiking. So far I'm thinking...

Pro's...Back strength has to be conducive to lugging around a backpack, right?

Con's...Takes away a little bit from cardio time at the gym.

Does it really make a difference though, to be a little heavier on the trail?


You're sort of like me...a flatlander that heads to the high altitudes of Colorado each year! I think my strength training is just as important for my prep as my cardio. Leading up to my trips west I typically split my workouts - 2 to 3 cardio (running for me) sessions a week and 2 to 3 strength (total body) training sessions a week. I have been doing this for over 5 years and I know it has helped.

A few thoughts:
Yes, you are young, but unless you are a genetic freak and eat appropriately for mass building, even if you are lifting you are going to have a hard time putting on 10 or more pounds of muscle, so I wouldn't worry too much about being a little heavier on the trail . You can always "cut" leading up to your trip.

As others have said, get your back issue straightened out...or at least know how to work around your injuries (take it from someone who knows :wink: ).

Don't ignore your legs. People tend to lift for the "show" muscles and ignore the legs. Lower body training is a great benefit from a hiking/climbing standpoint, and it will help you improve your cardio IMO...not take away from it.
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Re: Consensus on Weight Lifting?

Postby bird » Fri Apr 22, 2011 2:00 am

There's body building which is weight lifting with the goal of increasing mass. This is probably not the best idea for hiking and climbing, though it will take a lot of lifting and a lot of eating to put on a lot of mass.
Then there's strength training, you can make huge gains in strength without adding a lot of mass. Check out www.mtnathlete.com. These guys lift weights like crazy and are badasses in the mountains. Crossfit is also a good resource.
By incorporating mtnathlete/crossfit style workouts, you'll discover there is no more "cardio time". It's all combined. Work capacity is a way to sum it up. And I've found that work capacity in the gym translates well to work capacity in the mountains for a flatlander like me.
Also check out www.startingstrength.com. An amazing resource.
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Re: Consensus on Weight Lifting?

Postby Ze » Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:32 am

Castlereagh wrote:After blowing out my back this winter and feeling the weight of some peer pressure from my roommates (meatheads)I started lifting weights regularly for the first time since high school. Surprisingly I've actually gotten in to it and kinda enjoy it these days. I'm just wondering if there's any kinda consensus with people here on whether lifting is conducive to hiking. So far I'm thinking...

Pro's...Back strength has to be conducive to lugging around a backpack, right?

Con's...Takes away a little bit from cardio time at the gym.

Does it really make a difference though, to be a little heavier on the trail?


Well first, if you are really concerned about hiking performance, then your entire workout should be structured around 2-3 days that involve uphill walking specific cardio (i.e. inclined treadmill, stairclimber, and best of course- hiking). And then you should add other exercise techniques in to what extent time, recovery, and motivation allow.

The best way to improve lugging around a backpack is...lugging around a backpack. Get a sturdy packpack, walk into the gym, put in 40 lbs of weights (ok start smaller), and get on the stairclimber. Progressively increase with small % increments speed or duration or weight with each workout.

Now, if you do weightlifting at reasonable high resistances and eat a caloric surplus, you may hypertrophy, which of course is mainly aesthetic but does has some function. But, if you want to be some extremely fast hiker, it will likely be a cost, not a benefit.

Weighttraining lighter weights or not having a caloric surplus will tend to remove the chance of much hypertrophy. So you can add a little bit of function with less cost. Focus on compound movements.

Increasing "work capacity" can occur at many different intensities and durations all of which do not cross over 100%. You can do some 1 min interval stuff, but that isn't going to increase your hiking "work capacity" (unless you hiking short distances in 1 min intervals) like doing longer duration activity would (and "longer" can mean 6 min, 30 min, 3 hr...).

Unless you want hypertrophy, you can add some resistance training (whatever modes you want) on your cardio days. Seriously, 3 days a week (30-40 min for cardio, 20-30 min for weight training) could get you into awesome condition if done correctly.
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Re: Consensus on Weight Lifting?

Postby Alpynisto » Tue Apr 26, 2011 2:53 pm

Ze wrote:The best way to improve lugging around a backpack is...lugging around a backpack. Get a sturdy packpack, walk into the gym, put in 40 lbs of weights (ok start smaller), and get on the stairclimber. Progressively increase with small % increments speed or duration or weight with each workout.


Worst. Advice. Ever. This outdated nonsense has got to stop! Yes, you do look like a moron in the gym. No, it doesn't make you a better hiker. Yes, it does put a lot of strain on the knees and creates imbalances. No, it doesn't effectively train the legs or hip flexors. Yes, it does train you to be a slow plodder clogging up the trails. No, it doesn't help you move fast in the mountains. Yes, you *really* do look like a moron in the gym wearing a pack on a stairmaster.

You could do this silliness and get some training effect because anything is better than nothing. Heck, even CrossHype will be as effective. Or you could be smart and build strength with serious, focused resistance training and speed with a lot of activities, trail running being the ideal.
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Re: Consensus on Weight Lifting?

Postby Ze » Tue Apr 26, 2011 3:36 pm

Alpynisto wrote:
Ze wrote:The best way to improve lugging around a backpack is...lugging around a backpack. Get a sturdy packpack, walk into the gym, put in 40 lbs of weights (ok start smaller), and get on the stairclimber. Progressively increase with small % increments speed or duration or weight with each workout.


Worst. Advice. Ever. This outdated nonsense has got to stop! Yes, you do look like a moron in the gym. No, it doesn't make you a better hiker. Yes, it does put a lot of strain on the knees and creates imbalances. No, it doesn't effectively train the legs or hip flexors. Yes, it does train you to be a slow plodder clogging up the trails. No, it doesn't help you move fast in the mountains. Yes, you *really* do look like a moron in the gym wearing a pack on a stairmaster.

You could do this silliness and get some training effect because anything is better than nothing. Heck, even CrossHype will be as effective. Or you could be smart and build strength with serious, focused resistance training and speed with a lot of activities, trail running being the ideal.


Oh yeah I remember you, you're the guy who says muscle glycogen is bad because you'll weigh too much :P

Seriously, I realize you know nothing about exercise physiology, so it's hard to have an actual discussion. But I would love to hear an actual basis for how improving conditioning will make you slower on the trail. Let me clarify, I am not saying stack 40 lbs on your back to train if you are not going to carry that weight when actually hiking. Train only up to the weight you would actually use.

Trailrunning is a good workout, with a good crossover for steep hiking but not good as simulating steep hiking.
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Re: Consensus on Weight Lifting?

Postby AlexeyD » Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:38 pm

As someone already mentioned, it actually takes a pretty long time to gain pure muscle mass through weight training. Most likely, if you combine moderate weight training a couple times a week with cardio, you will gain little if any weight, and if you are overweight (not to imply that you are), you will lose weight. At any rate, in my experience when it comes to hiking, a couple pounds of body weight (whether fat or muscle) plus or minus makes little difference in performance - overall cardiovascular fitness is much more important. Rock climbing is a different story. At the same time, weight training isn't going to help much in terms of hiking performance either, and as you correctly mentioned it does take away cardio time. It probably does help a bit when it comes to handling heavy packs, especially if you focus on core muscles (lower back, abs). Ultimately it all comes down to how much time you have to devote do training and what is important to you. There are certainly health benefits to both strength and cardio training, and if you can find the time to incorporate both this will probably result in the best overall level.
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Re: Consensus on Weight Lifting?

Postby Josh Lewis » Tue Apr 26, 2011 6:54 pm

For me personally I had no interest a year ago for weight training. Then my friend Mark got me into rock climbing which changed my perspecive on it. Now I'm working out every day in the morning during school. It's always now the time of day I say "Hammer Time!" 8)
My Websites: Alpine Josh · Alpine Ascent · AceMaps
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Re: Consensus on Weight Lifting?

Postby bird » Wed Apr 27, 2011 12:02 am

http://www.mensjournal.com/everything-y ... s-is-a-lie
O.P. Read this, maybe try some of it and decide yourself...
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Re: Consensus on Weight Lifting?

Postby Skateboards2Scrapers » Mon Jul 18, 2011 6:23 pm

the consensus on weight lifting is.....












there is no consensus

it is a perpetually evolving set of 'rules' relating to the game of weight lifting, preferred methodological sequences, as well as pertinent values of quantity of movements performed. Ostensibly, everybody is an expert in these things.
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