shredthegnar10 wrote:+1. I know there's a lot of animosity, both on 14ers.com and in the climbing community in general, towards the paleo diet, but it has done wonders for me as a mountaineer. Granted, I've also been cardio training more, but here's something to consider: in August 2011, the hike from Paradise to Camp Muir (4500' with a 45lb pack) took me 6 hours. I've been about 85% paleo compliant since October 2011, and in August 2012, that hike took me just over 4 hours. Not only that, but the first time, I hated my life while hiking up there. This time, once I got past that initial 45 minutes of "warm-up," it was great fun.
Heck, while I don't necessarily adhere to a strict Paleo diet, as for bodybuilding things such as steel-cut oats, Ezekiel bread, extra virgin coconut oil, quinoa, nut butters and other things that are "frowned upon" with paleo can be great for performance and physical composition, I feel like for the basic "layman" (if you will,) the Paleo diet is terrific choice for daily living. We, as a human race, didn't evolve by eating Cheerios and Lean Cuisines... we ate food that was grown and/or produced by mother Earth. Denying this is simply wrong and misinformed (unless you're a hardcore bible thumper in which case, er, that's a whole different story.) The proof is in the pudding, and there's a direct correlation with diet to general health that simply can't be ignored. Being thin and being healthy are two toooootally different concepts, as I'm sure you're aware of.
Here's where I get skeptical. This may work for hiking Colorado 14ers in the summer, but I've seen several string-bean-physiques who cringe with a pack more than 30lbs. Mountaineering =/= marathon running. Some of the fundamental skills and fitness aspects are the same, but they're two vastly different activities and shouldn't necessarily be equated.
Very true, I agree. Looking back, I suppose my thoughts on the subject weren't accurately penned as well as what I was thinking. What I meant more was that yes, leg strength is of great importance on hikes and can't be understated but, I believe a lot of it is in a relative manner. I'm not trying to throw out numbers for ego stroking, but I can squat "@ss to grass" 405lbs+ for reps - This is great for bodybuilding and leg size but, has very little to NO carryover for hiking, I've discovered! In my humble opinion, I think that there is a very real point of diminished output when it actually comes to leg strength and hikes. For instance, my friend/former hiking partner was a compact 150 or so pounds. He had squatted mid-250s for some uglyish (lol) reps to parallel, and even box squatted 315 a couple times for good measure. He wasn't weak by any standards, but was by no measure in any danger of filling out pants sleeves for his size 31 jeans.
He did, though, possess a good balance between basic (if not slightly above-average) leg strength and "Functional ability" (hate the term, but it does apply,) and never had too many issues hiking. Myself, on the other hand, being 60-70 lbs heavier, but relatively stronger, would eventually find hikes to be a total slog of a mess due to my heavy and big freaking legs.
I guess what I'm trying to say is, YES, I agree with you, leg strength is of great use in climbing those mountains but also yes, there is such a thing as "too much of a good thing."
...not that I think the average climber/mountaineer is in any risk of eclipsing that point, to be fair.
If your gym has an actual stairmaster, that is infinitely better than the elliptical. But if not, the elliptical will get the job done, at least to start. I hate to admit [that ellipticals aren't totally useless], but for a lot of overweight people, they're alright.
Totally. Stairclimbing is flat-out amazing. I always used them "every once in a while," until I moved to Denver and worked out at Armbrust Gym. There's a ton of high, HIGH-level fitness professionals there and lo and behold, 90% of them did their regular cardio on the stairclimbers. Proof is in the pudding, I figure. Since switching to this, I've noticed the best overall impact on my physical appearance and cardiovascular capacity as well. The same 150er mentioned above^ also skimped on his cardio (due to wanting to gain weight, and being naturally thin.) Where he would surpass me hiking in terms of actual weight he had to worry about, my cardio endurance was always better, tenfold, than his when hiking, to which I attribute in large part to the stairmaster. I feel like it definitely has the most carry-over (other than 15 degree treadmill work) to hiking than any other form of cardio...!