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First time Whitney Climb

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First time Whitney Climb

Postby Mwhist » Sat Mar 16, 2013 2:45 pm

Hello all, my wife, daughter, and myself are planning on doing a 3 day climb of Whitney this coming summer. Can anyone suggest an example of a maximum training week as we build toward or climb date? We live in Pasadena and will be spending a week up at Mammoth Mountain before we climb.

I appreciate any information. Thank you!

M
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Re: First time Whitney Climb

Postby WyomingSummits » Sat Mar 16, 2013 4:22 pm

The first thing is, what kind of base shape are you in now? The primary thing you need to consider is taking it slow and acclimatizing. With the 3 days you're allowing, this should be plenty. What type of mountain experience do you have? Gear? Knowledge of weather and signs of AMS? Many of those things are more important than what shape you're in....that's the main reason I'm asking. Your conditioning affects your ability to make it to the top.....those other things allow you to stay alive. :)

I'm kind of a conditioning nut, but I do some unconventional things. Here is a sample of my typical training week. Please keep in mind that I'm also an alpine wall climber so I've tailored this for upper body work as well. For a moderately strenuous hike like Whitney and a lot of the 14ers, the upper body work isn't necessary. Also, the amount of weight used in these movements purely depends on what you can handle.....work up to this slowly if you're in average to slightly below average shape. I'd recommend 4 weeks of general cardio and light weights to get your body used to movement and handling the load, before getting into more strenuous power and endurance training. The last thing you want is to hurt yourself.

Monday- 45mins on indoor climbing wall
30mins strength -- Chest/Back
45mins stairmaster

Tuesday- Step ups with loaded barbell/pack. I setup two heavy metal steps, one 18" the other 24", I walk up both and then back down it. Then I do the 18" laterally. I do this with 120lbs on the barbell, but the weight is subjective. I do 6 sets of thirty. I do the lateral movement to simulate scrambling on scree with a heavy pack. I also do these in intervals. One set will be slow and methodical, the next set will be borderline sprinting.

20yd sprints pulling/pushing 150lb sled. Again, the weight is subjective. I do this down and back four times, take a 45second break, and then do another set. 6 sets of these. Great for conditioning the lungs for high exertion.

Then I do 30mins on the incline treadmill doing intervals. 5 mins on max incline at 3.5mph, and then 1 min at max incline at 6mph.

Climbing wall

Wed- Biceps, triceps, shoulder weight training.

45 mins stairmaster

Sprint intervals on indoor track

Thurs- Same as Tuesdays workout

Fri- Leg weight training. Leg press, squats, calf raises, lunges, step ups.

45mins rowing

45 mins stairmaster

Sat- Rest/casual biking or hiking

Sun- Total rest

You can also bike/swim for cardio conditioning, but those exercises don't quite prepare your body in the same way for hiking up hill with a loaded pack. The best exercise is to hike uphill at altitude with a loaded pack, but that can be harder to do due to time constraints/work/family. Everyone is different, just find something that works for you. The best thing to do is have a target goal to track your progress. Find something that really wears you out and test yourself on that activity every 2 weeks. Write down how you felt 2 weeks ago, and then compare it to your current results. This way you can see what areas you're really progressing in, and which need some more work. A good example is finding a long hilly hike/mountain nearby. Hike it with a 10lb pack and see how you feel. Write down how your calves, hamstrings, quads, back, and breathing felt during this test. Then after 2weeks of training, go back and compare. Again, write down how you feel. If you notice you're lagging in a certain area, focus your workouts to target that area. I noticed my calves were lagging behind in terms of conditioning, so I started doing more weights and other movements to target them. I went back after two weeks and noticed a huge improvement in how they felt. It's all about keeping your muscles in balance as imbalances can lead to injury.

Nutrition is extremely important. Make sure you're getting lean protein. Eat a lot of leafy greens and veggies. Carbs are very important. Stay away from white processed flour and artificial sugars. Focus on getting your carbs from whole grains, fruit, oatmeal, etc. DRINK ALOT OF WATER. It's estimated that 70% of Americans walk around partially dehydrated every day.
I hope this helps....I know it was long. :)
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Re: First time Whitney Climb

Postby mtndonkey » Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:40 am

Living in Pasadena, you have mountains and trails less than 10 mins away. The best training for a hike is hiking. Get out 3-4 times a week on the trail and after the first weeks, start carrying the pack you plan to use on the trip and progressively add more weight until you are training with the full amount you intend to carry. For one of your weekly hikes, try and hit up a different location like Mt Baldy or something longer than your everyday training.

I honestly wouldn't bother with a gym, weight training, etc. You will get the biggest bang for your buck by hiking on moderately steep trails and working on increasing your mileage and pack weight. I regularly train for mountaineering trips by hiking here in the foothills after work. An hour or so a day will do the trick and you will be used to the pack weight by the time of your actual trip.
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Re: First time Whitney Climb

Postby WyomingSummits » Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:23 am

mtndonkey wrote:Living in Pasadena, you have mountains and trails less than 10 mins away. The best training for a hike is hiking. Get out 3-4 times a week on the trail and after the first weeks, start carrying the pack you plan to use on the trip and progressively add more weight until you are training with the full amount you intend to carry. For one of your weekly hikes, try and hit up a different location like Mt Baldy or something longer than your everyday training.

I honestly wouldn't bother with a gym, weight training, etc. You will get the biggest bang for your buck by hiking on moderately steep trails and working on increasing your mileage and pack weight. I regularly train for mountaineering trips by hiking here in the foothills after work. An hour or so a day will do the trick and you will be used to the pack weight by the time of your actual trip.


Moutainathlete.com in Jackson, WY took a bunch of professional guides and offered to train them fir free. 80% of those guides noticed a SUBSTANTIAL increase in their fitness level....and these guys hike with a pack every day. Simply hiking with a pack can get you there....but adding other training elements can take you further.
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Re: First time Whitney Climb

Postby mconnell » Sun Mar 17, 2013 4:55 pm

WyomingSummits - You did read the part about him just wanting to hike up Whitney? And to take 3 days to do it?
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Re: First time Whitney Climb

Postby WyomingSummits » Sun Mar 17, 2013 8:37 pm

mconnell wrote:WyomingSummits - You did read the part about him just wanting to hike up Whitney? And to take 3 days to do it?


Yeah......in hindsight my response was probably overkill considering the peak they are attempting and allotted time. :) Sometimes I get carried away with this topic. :) And, my program would get him to the top pretty comfortably I might add! :)
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Re: First time Whitney Climb

Postby 2600fromatari » Sun Mar 17, 2013 9:38 pm

I agree with you. I see a lot of recommendations out there for the minimum regimen, and even a few who tell would-be hikers that they're doing too much and that it's not necessary. Better to train more than less if you have the time. Others' experiences may vary but I see more people on that mountain turning into zombies shuffling along lifelessly than smiling faces.

WyomingSummits wrote:
mconnell wrote:WyomingSummits - You did read the part about him just wanting to hike up Whitney? And to take 3 days to do it?


Yeah......in hindsight my response was probably overkill considering the peak they are attempting and allotted time. :) Sometimes I get carried away with this topic. :) And, my program would get him to the top pretty comfortably I might add! :)
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Re: First time Whitney Climb

Postby SeanReedy » Sun Mar 17, 2013 10:10 pm

:)

WyomingSummits' plan would fit better in the "Do You Run?" thread, or a thread on training for maximum mountaineering fitness. Well, I guess the OP did ask for a maximum plan and caveats were provided. Completing that plan with my wife and kids might be a much better survival test than Mt. Whitney. I think I'd be a goner on Tuesday, or at least be wishing that I was. :wink:


It sounds like Mwhist is thinking ahead in an attempt to avoid a doomed quest for fun. Good luck! Staying and hiking around Mammoth should help and be a great time.


Image


Maybe my kids will do Whitney or a nearby peak with me someday, but steep hills are a deal breaker for my wife. Sometimes my ideas for fun leave her feeling extremely P.O.'d! That may be an understatement.
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Re: First time Whitney Climb

Postby WyomingSummits » Mon Mar 18, 2013 12:40 am

SeanReedy wrote::)

WyomingSummits' plan would fit better in the "Do You Run?" thread, or a thread on training for maximum mountaineering fitness. Well, I guess the OP did ask for a maximum plan and caveats were provided. Completing that plan with my wife and kids might be a much better survival test than Mt. Whitney. I think I'd be a goner on Tuesday, or at least be wishing that I was. :wink:


It sounds like Mwhist is thinking ahead in an attempt to avoid a doomed quest for fun. Good luck! Staying and hiking around Mammoth should help and be a great time.


Image


Maybe my kids will do Whitney or a nearby peak with me someday, but steep hills are a deal breaker for my wife. Sometimes my ideas for fun leave her feeling extremely P.O.'d! That may be an understatement.

-----------------------------------------
There are a lot of asterisks one could throw in when recommending a training program. A person's base fitness is a huge factor. If the OP is extremely out of shape, and doing whitney in 12 weeks, a few hikes a week isn't going to get him to where he's going to be comfy and enjoying a hike with his family. Also, his family could be a wife and two teenagers who are in great shape and he's the only one who needs the work? There a lot of variables of which we don't know. I just know I see a lot of "how should I train" questions, they get a very general response, and then the OP asks question after question in order to get specifics. I just figured I'd save him the hassle and show him what I do. If he does it, fine. If not, there are plenty of different ways to get there. :) As for the family plans backfiring......I've been there all too often! I want to share what I enjoy, and the rest of the fam ends up miserable and pissed. :) And yeah, I've seen TONS of people out on hikes/peaks that look miserable because they're out of shape and maybe didn't train as much as they could have. A few hikes a week might work for some of us who may have grown up doing this stuff, took a couple years off, and then went out on a number of hikes and voila....we're back in shape again! That's called muscle memory.....our bodies adapt quicker because it's been there and done that before. If the OP doesn't have that background, then his body simply won't react the same.
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Re: First time Whitney Climb

Postby WyomingSummits » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:12 am

The Chief wrote:
and doing whitney in 12 weeks, a few hikes a week isn't going to get him to where he's going to be comfy and enjoying a hike with his family. His... Him...If the OP doesn't have that background, then his body simply won't react the same.


Again, this is a FAMILY affair.

When recommending any type training for any event, we need to consider the entire TEAM and not just one individual.

Like I posted above, the subsequent training plan posted by mtndonkey is more than adequate for preparing for this types FAMILY endeavor and succeeding as a Family.

The really cool deal about mtndonke's simple but efficient training plan is that the family can in fact do it ALL together. Start to finish... regardless if they make the summit or not. That is the most important deal in this entire OP.


Then why ask for a "maximum" training plan? Do ya think he's going to put a 5yr old on a treadmill? His daughter could be 17....could be 30! Maybe they're all competitive and want a big family challenge they can train for and tackle as a team? Donkey answered for the minimum, I answered for the maximum. I'm not saying anyone is right or wrong.....just figured that since he asked for a maximum, I'd answer in such a manner.
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Re: First time Whitney Climb

Postby MichaelRyanSD » Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:12 am

I did it in May, so I hade to take the chute, not the switchbacks. This was the first time I had ever climbed a mountain of that height, and used crampons for part of it.

To be honest even then it was still pretty easy, most people quit long before there bodies do.

Best advice I can give, take the family out for some trips in the local area like Baldy or San Jacinto.
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Re: First time Whitney Climb

Postby SeanReedy » Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:01 am

WyomingSummits wrote:
The Chief wrote:
When recommending any type training for any event, we need to consider the entire TEAM and not just one individual.

Like I posted above, the subsequent training plan posted by mtndonkey is more than adequate for preparing for this types FAMILY endeavor and succeeding as a Family.

The really cool deal about mtndonke's simple but efficient training plan is that the family can in fact do it ALL together. Start to finish... regardless if they make the summit or not. That is the most important deal in this entire OP.


WyomingSummits wrote: Then why ask for a "maximum" training plan? Do ya think he's going to put a 5yr old on a treadmill? His daughter could be 17....could be 30! Maybe they're all competitive and want a big family challenge they can train for and tackle as a team? Donkey answered for the minimum, I answered for the maximum. I'm not saying anyone is right or wrong.....just figured that since he asked for a maximum, I'd answer in such a manner.


WyomingSummits, I think your plan is good for mountaineering fitness and sounds fun for some people, especially if a gym workout is what fits for a person's circumstances. If I needed to go to a gym, I would give it a try. I see why you shared it, but I also felt like joking around and think finding a family that would do it is less likely than an individual/pair. A person who isn't already kind of nutty about fitness would have to be extremely motivated to do some aspects mentioned, even with the caveats.

Chief is giving great advice. If the suggested plan from mtndonkey goes well for all 3, they will know fitness and desire won't be problems doing Whitney over 3 days (furthermore, summitting is not mandatory). They will have fun training and, if not, they will have time to reconsider their goal/plan. Additionally, they will get some exposure to altitude near home (if that is new to them). When it is time for the goal event, staying in and hiking near Mammoth for a week and then taking three days to do Whitney should make chances of altitude related problems very small.

Maximum training would depend on many variables, but any group members being frequently miserable, or showing signs of impending injury would mean they need to take it easier. Hiking/backpacking trips to Baldy area, San Gorgonio, and/or San Jacinto once a week and 1-2 hour hikes 3-4 other days per week would be the maximum without more information from the OP.

However, doing more than mtndonkey suggested (2-3 60 minute hikes with increasing weight and 1 longer hike per week) would not be necessary. Building up to to a hike of the same mileage and gain they will experience on the hardest Whitney day would be a good goal. Throwing in a tad more mileage to account for training at a lower altitude would be the maximum without more info. Take it easy for the last day or two in Mammoth to rest for the Whitney trip & don't go beyond the training mileage and intensity experienced near home while in Mammoth.
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