Disclaimer!: Do not attempt any of these workouts before getting warmed up or stretching; be sure to check the agilty and flexibility page of the website!
Before getting into those beneficial workouts I have compiled for mountaineering, it's good to get used to some new and essential terminology/vocab. Whoever wants to go up mountains has to focus on 3 specific areas (legs, lungs and core). When looking at mountaineering, outdoor exercises like hiking, climbing or running are all healthy cardiovascular endurance exercises that improve the lungs which is beneficial for enduring higher altitudes in mountain climbing. However, training lungs is not the only part. Having strength is just as important as having athletic agility. In the infographic below, I have compiled some basic information for the three basic categories of exercises. CLICK HERE for the aeroibic endurance source and HERE for the information about strength training that I found. I would first off recommend going to the "aerobic capacity" page of the website, as this provides information on how to fuel the body both with air (aerobic or anaerobic) and how nutrition affects respiration (breathing) in the first place.
This builds strength for muscles
This builds stronger lungs as well as heart and blood vessels
This builds endurance for muscles
Frequently asked questions
What is Set and a Rep?
Repetition or "Rep": the number of times you perform an exercise
Article 3: Published on climbing.com, this detailed article goes in depth for 10 unique workouts on how to strengthen the core for mountain climbing,
What is Aerobic and Anaerobic?
These terms seem kind of weird, but they pretty much just mean with oxygen and without oxygen during respiration of an exercise. Muscular strength exercises or extreme forms of cardio are typically anaerobic, as you will be exerting maximal force and the body will not be able to supply the body with enough oxygen during the workout (as you will be most likely panting). I've covered all of this in my aerobic capacity page, where you can learn how it relates to mountaineering.
What is the different Between Muscluar Strength and Muscular Endurance? Which is better?
How can these 3 sectors of exercise be beneficial towards being a healthy mountaineer?
Cardiovascular Endurance: For long expeditions in mountaineering, having good lungs will be crucial when reaching higher altitudes, as there will be less oxygen to fuel your body. If your regularly mountaineering and training at high atlitudes (2,400 metres above sea level), your lungs will be stronger than ever once you return to sea level, as oxygen intake is much higher than in the mountains; this will overall boost your cardiovascular performance drastically.
Three times a week (2 sets/day)
Three times a week (1 set/day)
Three times a week (1 set/day)
3 RECOMMENDED SECTIONS FOR TRAINING
Trainer of Video: Connie Sciolino
Trainer of Video: Eric Hörst
Effective for grabbing/gripping smaller holds and pockets
Can endure longer on submaximal holds
Can recover on smaller holds to rest in the middle of a climb
Overall provide better stamina (can endure and hold up over a rigorous session of climbing
Fingerboard that is preferably made of wood (smoothened). This is because there is less friction between the fingers and the surface of the board, therefore, there is no support (relying more on strength). It will also not wear your skin out as quick as plastic would (pain would be less of a factor).
Optional: a bag of chalk, used to help coat the hands and fingers, making them more rough for better grip support. This can be useful for beginners that are struggling and will make the stress on the fingers reduced.
Core and Leg Strength (The 3 workouts in depth)
Legs: The legs are going to be doing virtually all of the work as you will be traversing and switching between hiking and climbing.
Lungs: cardiovascular fitness will be important later on, especially at higher altitudes when the lungs will be important for respiration when doing intense and long term hiking or climbing (hence: it is an aerobic sport). - Check out the Aerboic Capacity page
Core: The core provides strength when carrying loads (backpack) and helps your body to optimize with a change in terrain
Eye & Foot coordination ( foot work)
Stability and balance (from upper arm, thus also building symetry as both arms are being used). Symetry will provide you with better foot work as both legs will be able to exert maximal and equal force.
- Trains legs and lungs
- The workout itself it versatile as it can be done without weight to amplify the difficulty and intensity (how fast you step up against the box and down).
- Encourages teamwork in the gym; a key part of mountaineering
Strengthens and trains your abdonminals (core)
Trains stability and symetry for the arms (with weight)
Encourages teamwork in the gym
Versatile (aerobic or anerobic)
Accessible from anywhere (without weights)
FINGER STRENGTH - GRIP POSITIONING: TAKE CARE OF THOSE FINGERS AND HANDS
Weighted hangs can deeply stress the nervous system and recovery should last a week at the least (hangboarding i not a training exercise that is meant to be done daily).
A warm up consisting of dynamic stretching and/cardio is good to loosen up any muscles or joints.
Avoid painful holds (self asses and do not push yourself) and do not do more than 3 days of sets a week. "Aggregate training consisting of 3 days of finger boarding is more than enough", says Eric Hörst.
Maintain good technique by keeping a slight bend in your elbows and engage the shoulders (no shrugging) to relieve tension. It is called a hang board, but you should not just be hanging; you need to be physically engaged with your joints and not let them hang around.