Steve House's 8 Week Advanced Rock-Alpinist Training Plan.

Author

Uphill Athlete by Steve House and Scott Johnston

All plans by this Coach

Length

8 Weeks

Typical Week

1 Day Off, 3 Run, 5 Other

Longest Workout

1:40 hrs

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Summary

I wrote this program with several friends in mind. The typical goal I had in mind for this plan was long summer alpine rock routes in the Mont Blanc Massif, Bugaboos, North Cascades, or Sierra. In each of these places long approaches are commonly followed by demanding rock climbs. This would also be an excellent plan for a climber bound for Argentine Patagonia.

This plan is designed for the already fit and functional climber that wants to achieve peak fitness for a specific alpine rock climbing objective. If you have not engaged in recent training, you will need to complete a four-week-foundation training plan prior to this plan. To jump straight into this plan will cause your gains to be minimal and put you at risk of injury. If you have doubts, I highly encourage you to do a four-week-foundation training plan before embarking on this advanced training plan.

This plan is designed with the working climber in mind. To follow this training plan you will need access to a climbing gym, a hangboard, a weight gym, and you must have the ability to train via a weight-bearing modality such as hiking or running (indoors or out). The program assumes you have one day per week to climb outside.

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Train smart. Climb well. Have fun.
-Steve House

Stats

Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Average Weekly Training Hours: 08:32
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 08:32
Average Weekly Breakdown

Uphill Athlete by Steve House and Scott Johnston

Uphill Athlete LLC.

What originally inspired us to write Training for the New Alpinism, and what inspires us to continue to share the things we’ve discovered through Uphillatlete.com, is the information void when it comes to specialized training for endurance mountain sports. We have successfully demonstrated a more systematic approach, using proven principles, to help you improve both your chances of achieving your goals, and your long-term fitness and safety in whatever mountain sport you are practicing.

Back to Plan Details

Sample Day 1

0:30:00
Optional Stretching or Yoga

This is an optional workout. For some climbers flexibility is not an issue, for other climbers it might be a significant one. If you are particularly stiff, have nagging injuries, or climb at an area/have projects where flexibility is critical (Devil's Tower, Yosemite stem corners, etc) this is an important use of your time, and should not be neglected.

Sample Day 1

0:45:00
Trail Run

Zone 2 after 10 minute warm up.

Sample Day 1

1:15:00
Aerobic Threshold Test for Zone 1 and 2 determination

If you do not have a good idea of your aerobic threshold heart rate you need to establish that first thing before beginning training as this will set the upper limit for your aerobic base training. Since this is most important training you will be doing it is a good idea to get it dialed. One way to do this (the best) is with an expensive lag test.
https://www.uphillathlete.com/getting-tested-part-2-how-to-interpret-your-test-results/
It can be tricky to find a good lab as detailed here.
https://www.uphillathlete.com/lab-metabolic-test/
If you are careful and diligent you can do your own test using Training Peaks Premium edition. 
Thats what we are going to explain now. Read this article to understand this test better.
https://www.uphillathlete.com/heart-rate-drift/

This test can be done on either on a treadmill, stair machine or a flat to very gentle loop course outdoors.  It can not be done on an uphill/downhill out and back course.

1) TREADMILL: Set treadmill to 10% and begin running slowly. Gradually build speed till HR stabilizes at what you FEEL is an easy aerobic effort. Allow 10 min to find the speed allow you HR to stabilize there.
Once that is dialed in do not adjust speed or grade. Run continuously for 60 min at this speed. Record HR and upload to TP

2) OUTDOORS: Run, preferably on a flat (or very gently rolling) course, at what feels like an easy aerobic pace. Once your HR stabilizes start the recording feature on your GPS enabled HR monitor watch. Record for one hour while you do your best to keep the HR as close to that initial HR number. Upload the data to TP.

If the Pa:Hr is greater than 5% your initial HR/pace was above your Aerobic Threshold and you should do the test again at a lower HR. This may take several attempts to find a Pa:Hr decoupling of less that 5%.

Once you determine your AeT HR set that as the top of your Zone 2 in your Training Peaks Zones. Subtract 10% from this and set that as the top of your Zone 1.

Sample Day 2

1:00:00
Aerobic Capacity - Long

Zone 2 run. Warm up slowly, taking 10 minutes or so to get to your zone 2 heart rate.

Sample Day 3

0:30:00
Optional Stretching or Yoga

This is an optional workout. For some climbers flexibility is not an issue, for other climbers it might be a significant one. If you are particularly stiff, have nagging injuries, or climb at an area/have projects where flexibility is critical (Devil's Tower, Yosemite stem corners, etc) this is an important use of your time, and should not be neglected.

Sample Day 4

1:00:00
Hike for vertical meters

Ideally this is done on an actual steep hillside, but stairs are often an option. A treadmill set to max incline is also a good substitute.
Progression is with weight. HR in zone 2, with occasional hits of zone 3 being fine. But stay in zone two 75% of the time.

Sample Day 4

1:00:00
Continuous Climbing

2nd priority workout for today:
Continuous Climbing
2 x 20 minutes split by a 20 minute rest


Choose a section of the gym that has routes or boulder problems well within your limit that you can climb without falling, or hanging on the rope. The climbing should generate a light but manageable forearm pump.


Climb up and down the wall continuously.


This workout is ideally done with a partner, or an Auto Belay, but can be completed on a bouldering wall, or Treadwall if necessary.

Steve House's 8 Week Advanced Rock-Alpinist Training Plan.

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