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Uphill Athlete 12 week Time Crunched Mountaineering Plan


Scott Johnston & Steve House

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4.56 (16)


12 Weeks

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Plan Description

The Uphill Athlete 12 week Time Crunched Mountaineering Plan is designed for climbers heading for a 2-day up to 2 week mountaineering objective who have very limited time to train. The plan progresses over 12 weeks and tops out at 7:40 hours of training in the final week. It does not include any technical training components so is best for those with either a good technical skill set or for those bound for non-technical objectives. The focus is 100% on climber fitness which in our experience is most amateur climber's biggest limitation on these sorts of climbs. This plan does not include a taper/easy week, so it is important to plan one very light week after completing the program before tackling your main objective.

You can't get something for nothing and this plan sacrifices the aerobic base building period. As such this plan should not be considered as a short cut to fitness. It is a compromise plan for those with strictly limited time to train and/or a short time horizon. While it is a stand alone plan It will give better results if it comes on top of a solid aerobic base. If you plan to stack 2 of these plans back to back it is important to separate them with a 4-6 week strictly aerobic base building period. This Aerobic base period is fully explained and outlined in our book, Training for the New Alpinism.

Guidelines: Rest when you are tired. If you miss a workout do not try to make it up. Move on to the next day. If you miss more than two workouts in any given week, then repeat that week.

For those with more time available each week we strongly recommend using our 16 week Big Mountain Training Plan or our 24 Week Expeditionary Mountaineering Training Plans. Following these longer, higher volume programs will result in a bigger fitness base.

The plan starts with a self-administered Anaerobic Threshold assessment test. From this you will establish the training intensity limit for most of the aerobic training that will dominate your training.

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Steve House and Scott Johnston

Training Plan Sample Week


Average Weekly Breakdown

Workouts Weekly Average Longest Workout
Other x4
3:25 hrs 1:30 hrs
Day Off x3
—— ——
Strength x2
2:09 hrs 2:30 hrs
Workouts Per Week Weekly Average Longest Workout
3:25 hrs 1:30 hrs
Day Off
—— ——
2:09 hrs 2:30 hrs

Training Load By Week

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, 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.

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