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Physical prep for winter ascents for old fogeys

Info on gear, conditioning, and preparation for hiking/climbing. Gear Classifieds
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Re: Physical prep for winter ascents for old fogeys

Postby tlerunner » Fri Jan 18, 2013 8:17 am

I think the mental side of winter climbing is the real key. Everything takes longer. Heck, crossing a meadow in summer is a breeze and could take a couple of minutes. In winter with a couple feet of powder it could take an hour. Knowing that you will get there but it will take a little bit longer is important.

Also, dealing with discomfort is important. It is hard to truly be comfortable winter hiking. You will either be too hot or too cold. The more you do it the more used to it you become.

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Re: Physical prep for winter ascents for old fogeys

Postby pills2619 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 9:47 am

Well CrossFit actually does work, even those kipping pull-ups and anyone who says otherwise has obviously never stuck with crossfit long enough to reap the benefits. If you look at it from a pull-up perspective yes it seems funny but the point is not to isolate the pull-up muscles, the point is to activate those muscles while still keeping a very high metabolic output which is difficult to do while doing strict pull-ups. Anywho, for anyone who is training strictly for 14ers I think that traditional CrossFit contains too much weight lifting. So they have this thing called CrossFit Endurance which can be tailored for multiple different endurance sports. I would recommend you check that out. This is coming from someone who has been an elite level athlete all but this last year. I have trained with the NSCA under Mark Stevenson, Eric Lawson(ex-tampa bay lightning trainer), Peak acceleration, and multiple other styles of training as well as being a CrossFit coach. In my experience I would say that there are better more streamlined training methodologies than what CrossFit offers but they are really only for incredibly motivated elite athletes. The average person is traditionally not going to be able to train more that an hour a day and definitely not going to do multiple training sessions in a day so that leaves me with why I think CrossFit is one of the best training programs around. You can walk in and out of the gym in less than an hour and that entails a warm up as well as a cool down stretch and then a workout that improves both strength and endurance. On top of that its self motivating and self competitive which means you will actually want to continue doing it(this is the single most important thing). I reap no benefits from people starting crossfit, yes I'm a coach but I'm not currently working as one and don't plan on finding a job as one again but I can tell you that out of all the training programs I have been involved with during my athletic career CrossFit style has been the most rewarding and I urge everyone to try it for at least a month before making a judgement.
They forget that some crisis is necessary to hone skill. "Near misses," those brief encounters with the reality of mortality, are great learning tools if properly approached. -Denali Climbers Guidebook


Re: Physical prep for winter ascents for old fogeys

Postby MonGoose » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:05 am

Monte Meals wrote:While I agree with all of the above comments for climbing 14ers,
none of them really deal with the issues of winter ascents.

1) you really need to figure out your hydration strategy. From my experience, it is far
easier to get dehydrated in the winter rather the warmer seasons.

2) you really need to figure out your layering strategy. If you get wet (sweat) while climbing -
you will regret it on the way back down.



I agree with Monte, traveling in winter is a different animal, especially since staying dry and having plenty of water (without freezing) is essential. I think it's important to carry a small stove like the Snowpeak gigapower or MSR MicroRocket. If you get into trouble, you can always melt some snow and drink hot water (preferably tea) to stave off hypothermia.

As for a winter workout, I've been swimming laps in the pool every week as a way of maintaining cardio and muscle strength. It's a great way to maintain a weekly workout regardless of the weather conditions.

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Re: Physical prep for winter ascents for old fogeys

Postby Mindy » Fri Jan 18, 2013 10:06 am

dswink wrote:My other suggestion would be to get out to .... Mt Lady Washington when possible for some winter practice laps.



MLW in winter a "practice lap" - that made me laugh. :) A couple have touched on it, but don't forget the bitter cold and the winds that can take your breathe away and blister your skin if uncovered. So maybe do crossfit in a deep freeze.... o.k. just kidding. I have been exploring winter the past few weeks myself and although not in superwoman shape, nothing prepared me for the elements. From someone also new to winter, get out there and just do it! May the weather be on your side.

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Re: Physical prep for winter ascents for old fogeys

Postby DaveSwink » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:26 am

pills2619 wrote:This is coming from someone who has been an elite level athlete all but this last year. I have trained with the NSCA under Mark Stevenson, Eric Lawson(ex-tampa bay lightning trainer), Peak acceleration, and multiple other styles of training as well as being a CrossFit coach. In my experience I would say that there are better more streamlined training methodologies than what CrossFit offers but they are really only for incredibly motivated elite athletes. The average person is traditionally not going to be able to train more that an hour a day and definitely not going to do multiple training sessions in a day so that leaves me with why I think CrossFit is one of the best training programs around.


A friend recently ran the Boulder Half Marathon after training almost exclusively with CrossFit (very little running) for four months. She said her coach predicted she would better her PR by 10 minutes. I was intrigued that relatively short term aerobics (and non-specific to running) could produce that kind of improvement, but it did not work out as her time was actually five minutes slower. I know, her case is just anecdotal, but I was ready to be amazed.

BTW, what defines "elite athlete" as you are using the phrase?

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Re: Physical prep for winter ascents for old fogeys

Postby pills2619 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:44 am

AAA hockey through the age of 18 then 2 years of Junior A hockey. I would consider that competitive or elite however you want to put it. I personally wouldn't use crossfit for training for any competitive sport because it is to generalized which is what I was trying to portray about why I think it is perfect for the recreational athlete. If you are a comptative runner a crossfit program would probably not be what you should be doing because well in order to be a good runner you have to through balance out the window. Most good runners like Matt Carpenter are thin as a bone an look unhealthy(my opinion) and have very little balance in their training but thats what it takes to be a competitive runner so thats how you should train.

Did your friend use CrossFit or CrossFit Endurance?
Last edited by pills2619 on Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
They forget that some crisis is necessary to hone skill. "Near misses," those brief encounters with the reality of mortality, are great learning tools if properly approached. -Denali Climbers Guidebook

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Re: Physical prep for winter ascents for old fogeys

Postby Dave B » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:44 am

I'm surprised a Crossfit trainer would promote Crossfit as an ideal training regimen for running a marathon. I always heard the benefit of Crossfit was it's non-specialization but this is often seen as it's downfall for athletes looking for a sport specific training.

Again, I don't "do" Crossfit, but I follow several of their WODs at the gym and they usually involve a mixture of weight training, body weight and plyometric exercises, one after another to maintain a near maximum heart rate for 15-20 minutes without bringing on muscle failure that would be brought on by specific weight training. This is ideal for me as I want a training program that makes me more fit for climbing ice and rock, scrambling ridge routes, running, biking and ski-touring.

Doing things like Bean's gif posted above is how you get hurt and I agree, it's stupid. But it's also not Crossfit, at least not any exercise I've ever seen.

I think most importantly, and getting back to the OP, people seem to hold onto their opinions of "proper training" about as strongly as they do their opinions of politics. In reality, no one has "the" answer and anyone that claims to have "the" answer is full of crap and/or lacks the ability to differentiate opinion from fact.

Try different things, find out what you like and what seems to help you and then do that. Maybe invest the money into a couple sessions with a reputable personal trainer. That's always going to be better than the opinions on the internet.
"There is no cheating in climbing, only lying." - Semi-Rad

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Re: Physical prep for winter ascents for old fogeys

Postby TomPierce » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:47 am

Not trying to ignite any sort of Crossfit-bashing, but there was a lengthy article recently, I think in Outside..maybe Men's Journal (?) where a guy used Crossfit Endurance to train for a marathon (or was it a half marathon)? Anyway, same result, he said that he was comforatble only as long as his actual training runs and gutted it through to the end. Missed his goal by quite a bit. Just passing that along, Crossfit looks interesting and many apparently like it.

Back to the OP's question, as a certified "old fogey" I've found that increasing my long runs is the best prep, ideally with some rolling hills. Unless you're doing tech climbing I don't think you need much upper body strength, and additional mass may be a bit detrimental. I think running makes the most sense, you can get a great workout in less than 90 minutes, and the lower body impact I think simulates the muscles used in winter mountaineering. But lately I've been substituting a winter climb for my long runs (Sherman tomorrow, for example), doing that is the best training, albeit more of a time commitment than a run. Just my .02.
-Tom

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Re: Physical prep for winter ascents for old fogeys

Postby pills2619 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:48 am

"I think most importantly, and getting back to the OP, people seem to hold onto their opinions of "proper training" about as strongly as they do their opinions of politics. In reality, no one has "the" answer and anyone that claims to have "the" answer is full of crap and/or lacks the ability to differentiate opinion from fact."

+1
They forget that some crisis is necessary to hone skill. "Near misses," those brief encounters with the reality of mortality, are great learning tools if properly approached. -Denali Climbers Guidebook

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Re: Physical prep for winter ascents for old fogeys

Postby awilbur77 » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:04 pm

tlerunner wrote:I think the mental side of winter climbing is the real key. Everything takes longer. Heck, crossing a meadow in summer is a breeze and could take a couple of minutes. In winter with a couple feet of powder it could take an hour. Knowing that you will get there but it will take a little bit longer is important.

Also, dealing with discomfort is important. It is hard to truly be comfortable winter hiking. You will either be too hot or too cold. The more you do it the more used to it you become.


I couldn't have said it better myself. 100% agree with this.
"Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing." - Hellen Keller

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Re: Physical prep for winter ascents for old fogeys

Postby DaveSwink » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:20 pm

From reading this forum, I definitely had the impression that Crossfit had something to do with carrying kegs up mountains. :lol:

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