Training Program for a Flatlander

FAQ and threads for those just starting to hike the Colorado 14ers.
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CheapCigarMan
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Re: Training Program for a Flatlander

Post by CheapCigarMan » Thu Dec 27, 2018 4:20 pm

My conditioning included:

Putting 30+ lbs. of sandbags in my backpack then:
- Hiking 5 miles
- Climbing bleachers
- Etc.

Cardio:
- Determine your maximum heart rate:
208 - (0.7 x your age) = MHR
Work to obtain 85% of your MHR for 30 minutes at least 3 times a week by:
- Running treadmill or outdoors
- Stairs
- Walking on treadmill at say around 3mph with incline set at max
- Etc.

Don't forget leg day:
- Barbell squats
- Lunges
- Reverse lunges
- Body squats / Body squats with kettle bell
- Leg extensions
- Etc.

Finally:
- Eating clean and lean

Nothing can imitate getting your blood cells acclimated to high altitude (Well, there are high altitude training tents and apparatuses) except being active in high altitudes. However, being in shape and in good condition absolutely helps.

Hiking with sandbags got me in hiking condition to carry my pack on longer approaches.
Cardio program was taken from the best book I've read on Nutrition and Cardio, Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle. Was instrumental in helping my lungs and cardio conditioning.
I can't emphasize enough how leg day in the gym has helped my endurance as a pack mule for climbing, as well as protecting and supporting my knees on the descents. Many others complain of hurting and aching knees on descents. I attribute pain free descents to leg days in the gym. I got my program plan from a book I love called, Evolution by Joe Manganiello.
Eating clean keeps the fat off and my body energized with real nutrients.
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Re: Training Program for a Flatlander

Post by cougar » Thu Dec 27, 2018 4:46 pm

Step-ups (box steps if you don't have a stair master or hill). You can do these body weight for speed, then mix in some slower reps with weights. Try reverse step-ups with weight as well to work all the leg muscles. You can also try a resistance band around your body attached to an anchor.

Versa-climber : this is big for cardio - you don't have to go long, but it's the best cardio equipment if you don't have access to the thin air, it will prep you if you go fast for short bursts (like 200 step/min pace anaerobic for 20-30s). Then longer strides at a slower pace. This is better cardio training than flat running - I've met people who trained by running for miles on flat distances, but weren't used to inclines or altitude, so I ended up beating them walking uphill. Different muscle groups. Any running/jogging look for an incline (treadmill or outside).

If you don't have access to a VC at the gym, try mountain climbers or 'chasing the rabbit' - with or without sliders. Inverted squats are also good. There's a lot of exercises/training program in Freedom of the Hills.

I used to do EFX elliptical on max incline and high resistance also - about an hour on that. It's boring, but low impact on knees, etc.. vs treadmill or stair climber.

The easier 14ers shouldn't be a problem if you're in decent shape and not going for speed. Lots of people do them with no training and average fitness. Just stay hydrated.

Lots of different types of squats, deadlifts, and RDLs can help with your balance and stability. This also helps with skiing.
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Re: Training Program for a Flatlander

Post by Flatlander2 » Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:04 pm

Rollie Free wrote:When you say June, do you mean the last part of June?

As a fellow flatlander I have made the mistake of think my summer is Colorado's summer. Even mid June can be questionable. However, I have made it somewhat a tradition going the last week in June. Its still snowy in areas but usually fun and manageable if so.
Good to know! Thanks for the heads up!
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Re: Training Program for a Flatlander

Post by Flatlander2 » Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:05 pm

cougar wrote:Step-ups (box steps if you don't have a stair master or hill). You can do these body weight for speed, then mix in some slower reps with weights. Try reverse step-ups with weight as well to work all the leg muscles. You can also try a resistance band around your body attached to an anchor.

Versa-climber : this is big for cardio - you don't have to go long, but it's the best cardio equipment if you don't have access to the thin air, it will prep you if you go fast for short bursts (like 200 step/min pace anaerobic for 20-30s). Then longer strides at a slower pace. This is better cardio training than flat running - I've met people who trained by running for miles on flat distances, but weren't used to inclines or altitude, so I ended up beating them walking uphill. Different muscle groups. Any running/jogging look for an incline (treadmill or outside).

If you don't have access to a VC at the gym, try mountain climbers or 'chasing the rabbit' - with or without sliders. Inverted squats are also good. There's a lot of exercises/training program in Freedom of the Hills.

I used to do EFX elliptical on max incline and high resistance also - about an hour on that. It's boring, but low impact on knees, etc.. vs treadmill or stair climber.

The easier 14ers shouldn't be a problem if you're in decent shape and not going for speed. Lots of people do them with no training and average fitness. Just stay hydrated.

Lots of different types of squats, deadlifts, and RDLs can help with your balance and stability. This also helps with skiing.

clueless.jpg
Thanks for the image. I'll be sure to stay away from those!! LOL!!
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Re: Training Program for a Flatlander

Post by Flatlander2 » Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:06 pm

RhodoRose wrote:Is there a nearby stadium where you can do bleachers?
Yes! I should have thought of going over there. I'll have to head over there later this week. Thanks for the reminder.
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Re: Training Program for a Flatlander

Post by Flatlander2 » Thu Dec 27, 2018 5:11 pm

Thanks everyone for all of the suggestions :)

I'm currently on the mill or out walking 6-7 days a week for 45-60 min. Sounds like I just need to ramp it up a bit.

Thank you for the encouragement and quick responses!
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Re: Training Program for a Flatlander

Post by Conor » Thu Dec 27, 2018 6:07 pm

These threads boil down to a good, better, best approach. Good meaning doing something is better than nothing (non specific, "I will only work out with bros at the local box crossfitting"). Better being adding in specificity, but doing it in a non-ideal way (e.g. 85% of MHR). Best being an optimized training plan. The good news is the "bible" of training for mountain climbing (TFTNA) is out and the secret is easy - Long time, slow pace. If wanting to optimize your flat lander plan, I would urge you to get a HRM and keep your HR at 125-130 bpm while "jogging" (meaning, not walking, if you think it is how your grandma runs). I personally skip the weights and I hold off on the pack carries until a couple weeks out from "event" day. Often, I skip the pack carries all together. The most important thing is your aerobic (muscle) system being robust (don't confuse that "cardio"). I do ~35% of my training on a treadmill, 25% on the stairs in my building (55 flights, ~700 ft) and the rest on my whimpy trail behind my house (in peak condition I lay down a 13 miler w/ only ~1000' of vert before work and 40-60 mpw).
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Re: Training Program for a Flatlander

Post by CheapCigarMan » Thu Dec 27, 2018 7:10 pm

Conor wrote:These threads boil down to a good, better, best approach. Good meaning doing something is better than nothing (non specific, "I will only work out with bros at the local box crossfitting"). Better being adding in specificity, but doing it in a non-ideal way (e.g. 85% of MHR). Best being an optimized training plan. The good news is the "bible" of training for mountain climbing (TFTNA) is out and the secret is easy - Long time, slow pace. If wanting to optimize your flat lander plan, I would urge you to get a HRM and keep your HR at 125-130 bpm while "jogging" (meaning, not walking, if you think it is how your grandma runs). I personally skip the weights and I hold off on the pack carries until a couple weeks out from "event" day. Often, I skip the pack carries all together. The most important thing is your aerobic (muscle) system being robust (don't confuse that "cardio"). I do ~35% of my training on a treadmill, 25% on the stairs in my building (55 flights, ~700 ft) and the rest on my whimpy trail behind my house (in peak condition I lay down a 13 miler w/ only ~1000' of vert before work and 40-60 mpw).
Good advice however with my age all I have to do is walk down the hall and my heart rate hits 125-130 bpm, jogging gets me into the 150's. 85% of your MHR increases your cardio, instead of maintaining what cardio you have. And yes, you build up to it. Determining your MHR adjusts for your age. Advocating 125-130 is a one size fits all approach. But overall I agree with you, it's good advice.
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Re: Training Program for a Flatlander

Post by Conor » Thu Dec 27, 2018 10:39 pm

CheapCigarMan wrote:
Conor wrote:These threads boil down to a good, better, best approach. Good meaning doing something is better than nothing (non specific, "I will only work out with bros at the local box crossfitting"). Better being adding in specificity, but doing it in a non-ideal way (e.g. 85% of MHR). Best being an optimized training plan. The good news is the "bible" of training for mountain climbing (TFTNA) is out and the secret is easy - Long time, slow pace. If wanting to optimize your flat lander plan, I would urge you to get a HRM and keep your HR at 125-130 bpm while "jogging" (meaning, not walking, if you think it is how your grandma runs). I personally skip the weights and I hold off on the pack carries until a couple weeks out from "event" day. Often, I skip the pack carries all together. The most important thing is your aerobic (muscle) system being robust (don't confuse that "cardio"). I do ~35% of my training on a treadmill, 25% on the stairs in my building (55 flights, ~700 ft) and the rest on my whimpy trail behind my house (in peak condition I lay down a 13 miler w/ only ~1000' of vert before work and 40-60 mpw).
Good advice however with my age all I have to do is walk down the hall and my heart rate hits 125-130 bpm, jogging gets me into the 150's. 85% of your MHR increases your cardio, instead of maintaining what cardio you have. And yes, you build up to it. Determining your MHR adjusts for your age. Advocating 125-130 is a one size fits all approach. But overall I agree with you, it's good advice.
If walking down the hall gets your hr up to 125-130, I would suggest you have a case of ADS.
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Re: Training Program for a Flatlander

Post by Bill G » Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:41 am

There is absolutely no training required to hike 14ers! I read these responses and what came to mind was John Belushi's "Little chocolate donuts".

Either your body is capable of handling elevation or it isn't.

Thanks for the laughs!
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Re: Training Program for a Flatlander

Post by LURE » Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:45 am

Bill G wrote:There is absolutely no training required to hike 14ers! I read these responses and what came to mind was John Belushi's "Little chocolate donuts".

Either your body is capable of handling elevation or it isn't.

Thanks for the laughs!
There's no training required to be a dumbass either. Though some are better at it than others.
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Re: Training Program for a Flatlander

Post by pw » Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:25 am

schlefkm wrote:I'm looking for a training program for a flatlander. I'm hoping to hike my first 14er in June. I'm looking for something calendar style. TIA
I guess the first thought is do some sort of cardiovascular exercise you like so it isn't a chore. Bike riding is good for me, stair steppers, elliptical trainers are good, and I think jogging probably works (that's one that is a chore for me so I don't do it). You are going to be getting your heart rate up to maybe 130? for 4 or 5 or 6 hours when you are doing a fourteener, so the idea is to be able to sustain that. You don't have to exercise that long of course, but you should be at a point where you can do that for an hour or an hour and half without any difficulty before you come out here.

(the guy who said you don't need to exercise appears to not know anything)
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