Looking for feedback on city-based training

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Looking for feedback on city-based training

by AlexParadox » Tue Nov 08, 2016 2:05 am

Hi Summit Post community.

I'm a recent transplant from Vancouver to Toronto (7 mos ago). Back home I was always a 'casual' mountaineer: mostly overnighters to some of the mainstream-follow-the-trail summits: e.g. Elk Mountain, Mt McFarlane, sport climbing in squamish, etc.. A few months ago I did a 3 day overnight sea kayak tour of the Bay of Fundy. While on that trip I realized that being outdoors really makes me happy (something I took for granted back out West), but as a young finance professional in a big city I'll have to get my fix maybe once a quarter on paid vacation time. I've decided I want to dip my toe into getting more serious about my mountaineering pursuits. In Jan/Feb I hope to go down to Mount Washington in New Hampshire and do 3 days of mountaineering training. In the meantime I hope to train my heart out so I can get the most out of my excursions (this trip and future trips).

Cardio/conditioning is something that I haven't focused on in a long time, I've mostly stuck to power-lifting/strength routines. I apologize if this isn't the place to get feedback on training (didn't see a relevant sticky with any rules), but I'd love feedback on a program I've developed for myself that pretty much ads on a bunch of cardio to my current strength program. From what I've read so far, training should focus on strength , cardio (long distance and short intensity), and functional exercises. Due to my limitations living downtown and no car, I'm forced to be creative. I feel I have a decent strength base, so the concern is more on cardio and possibly bringing in more body-weight conditioning, but I also want to keep the risk of over training in mind. FYI I have Training for the New Alpinism on the way at the moment from amazon.


24 years old, male. 6'3", 206lbs
If I was to estimate, I think I'm about 14% BF (I was at 18% BF at the end of my most recent bulk at the start of summer when I was 222lbs)

Diet is currently at a caloric deficit, therefore my progression on powerlifts has slowed down but I have maintained all lift numbers. Heavy on protein in order to minimize strength loss.

I'm making an active effort to scale back my weekend binge drinking (I'm a young single male, its inevitable hahah) - going to try to do no more than 2 drinks per night. Really feel like this is impacting my training negatively.

My current routine:
Please note this is all on a linear progression, therefore each week weights/distance/intensity is increasing incrementally.

Strength training rotates on a A/B schedule:
Deadlift (3 sets x 5 reps) - currently @ 315lb
Over Head Press (5x5) - @ 120lb
Barbell Curls (3x8) - @ 90lb
Weighted Dips (3x8) - @50lb

Squat (3x5) - @ 260lb
Bench (5x5) - @ 245 lb
Barbell Rows (5x5) - @ 215lb
barbell Curls (3x8) - @90lb
Body weight pull ups (3x to failure)

-After my strength work outs I go for a brief run (currently at about 15-20ish minutes, incrementally increasing each time) followed by up-hill sprints (at maximum intensity, couple minute break in between). I hope to increase length/time of run each week. Doing this immediately after my strength training makes this even more difficult and taxing, which I think is good for training.
-Yoga at least once a week

Functional training
Going to try modifying marathon training for this: one 'big' workout on weekend, 2 'light' workouts during the week. For this, since I have no hills but live in a big condo I am going into the stairwell and scaling all 56 floors, then walking back down to complete one set. On the 'big' workout I will use a 45 litre backpack filled with weight, during the week on the 'light' workouts I will go without a backpack. This past weekend I did 3 'sets' with the backpack (will need to weigh how much I put in there) in roughly 50 minutes, will focus on increasing amount of sets and bettering the time.


M: Strength training, cardio
T: Yoga, 'light' functional
W: Strength, cardio
T: 'light' functional
F: Strength, yoga
S: 'heavy' functional
Sun: rest day

I have a hot tub in the condo I will be using more and more with all the leg training I will be doing


-Should I be taking into consideration more conditioning focused strength workouts? E.g. higher rep counts on all the lifts or more body weight focused exercises like rock climber pushups / pistol squats?
-Will having a lower BF be a detriment for me on the mountain (I'm currently working my way down to 10-12%)? The two things that come to mind are: would be warmer with higher BF in colder weather, also wouldn't it be better to have fat reserve for energy when body needs it due to the high calorie demands of mountaineering (as opposed to eating into muscle mass)?
-In general: too much? any gaps? Any amendments?

Thanks in advance for the feedback/critique/trolling!


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Re: Looking for feedback on city-based training

by Yank-Tank » Sun Nov 20, 2016 7:44 am

Run an off road trail Marathon. Remember that Mountaineering is 90% hiking and 10% climbing. Run a trail marathon or two and go to the rock climbing gym and learn how to rock climb. Cross train on a bike and by lifting weights.

Then once you have the trail sussed and the rock and ice climbing sorted then come to New Zealand and check out some of the many new lakes that have formed in the southern alps after our 7.8 magnitude earthquake and maybe climb a route or two that you can hike, rock climb and ice climb all on the one route in Summer.

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Re: Looking for feedback on city-based training

by IagosGhost » Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:48 pm

Check out the folks at Moutain Athlete for some great information, ideas, and training plans. Rob Shaul is very accessible via email, and he will gladly answer any questions you have.

Training for the New Alpinism is a great book that should answer most of your questions. (You've probably received it by now. What did you think?)

The general consensus seems to be train for general fitness throughout the off season or in between climbing events. Then train specifically for that event before hand--the time before depends on the event but may be as short as six weeks or as long at six months.
R.I.P. 2LT Michael E. McGahan 1985-2010
"It's time to be immortal 'cause heroes never die!"

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