12-Week Mountaineering Training Program

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12-Week Mountaineering Training Program


Carrie Lane

All plans by this Coach


12 Weeks

Typical Week

3 Strength, 7 Other, 2 Run, 2 Brick, 1 Day Off

Longest Workout

2:00 hrs

Plan Specs

winter sports beginner intermediate

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Are you ready to tackle some big peaks? Train for your summit attempts armed with a periodized, consistent plan to make your experience on the mountain so much more rewarding. This 12-week plan is designed for flatlanders and altitude junkies alike. The workout schedule fits both those athletes with full time jobs or those with plenty of time to do all the "extras." It includes detailed instruction of endurance workouts and videos of all strength exercises.
If you have a decent base-level of fitness-- meaning, you are at least a recreational hiker, you have some basic rock climbing skills (if your summit attempt calls for it), and you have lifted weights in the last 3 months-- this training plan will work for you.

Features of the plan: The weekly training schedule addresses the body's various systems (aerobic, anaerobic, neuromuscular, endocrine, skeletal, etc), so you can train one system of the body while resting another. It includes videos of all strength training exercises. You will do workouts that target your aerobic and anaerobic capacity, improve your posture, and increase your strength, balance, and mobility.

What to expect: This 12-week program is broken up into three 4-week phases that gradually build in either volume or intensity, and then decrease to allow for recovery and rebuilding. The program culminates with a "taper" that should align with the start of your trip.

What you will need: You will need a pack or vest that you can add weight to, a small weight lifting area, and gear that simulates what you will need for your final trip. (i.e. crampons, climbing gear, sled, skis, etc.)
Contact me: For questions on the program, feel free to contact me at carrie@verticalpush.com. Also please feel free to visit my company's website at www.verticalpush.com for more training information.


Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Breakdown
Average Weekly Training Hours: 08:58
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours: 08:58
Average Weekly Breakdown

Carrie Lane

Vertical Push Training

I offer custom and standard strength training programs that complement most endurance training plans. Whether you are coming back from injury, preventing chronic injury, or looking to improve your performance, my planned approach to critical auxillary training can provide you the missing link you may need to achieve your training objective. Please visit my website at www.verticalpush.com and follow me at @coachcarrielane

Sample Day 1

K2 General Strength (GS) Circuit- Recovery

Day 1 of each week is normally an optional recovery circuit. We assume that Days 6 and 7 of each week were pretty hard crush-fests of endurance work. These Monday circuits are designed to stimulate your endocrine system into repairing your body from the weekend. For your first day, this is a good way to ease into the program. Click on the attachment (paperclip in upper right hand corner) to see further explanation of how these recovery circuits work.

1. Warmup jog, walk, or bike 5:00.

2. 30 sec on/ 15 sec rest. Twice through:
A Jump squats
B Pushups
C Supermans
D Lateral line hops (double leg)
E Narrow grip pushups
F Hip ups R
G Hip ups L
H Jumping jacks
I Tricep dips on bench
J Reverse crunch

3. Cooldown cardio 5:00-10:00

Videos of exercises in this circuit are available at the following link (you may need to cut and paste this link if viewing on a computer):

Sample Day 2

Mountaineer Weight Circuit 1

Your first weight circuit! It is multidirectional and introduces key movements to your training. 1. Warmup "muliti-directional walk," jog, ski, and/or bike 10:00 2. Floor getups (and back down) 10-30# DB 10:00 3. 2x10 circuit. Effort should be about 70-80%, meaning the last 2 reps should be slightly difficult. Rest 60" after each exercise. This may seem like an eternity, but the rest is necessary in order to get the recovery response. Remember to keep that intensity fairly high. A Standing DB press B DB lunge R * C DB lunge L * D Standing Russian twists E DB row R F DB row L G DB Backward lunge-return R * H DB Backward lunge-return L * I Seated Russian twist J Windmills 5. Cooldown walk and/or stretch 5:00

Sample Day 2

Mobility Circuit 1

Mobility is the key to maintaining balance and preventing injury. A light dynamic stretching routine a few times a week will pay dividends in helping you manage rough, uneven terrain in the mountains.

1 x 10 each way

1. Bar over/under
2. Bar forward/backward
3. 90-90-90
4. Child's pose with rotation

1. Scorpions
2. Eagles
3. Lunge walk with thoracic twist
4. Lunge walk with OH reach

1. Internal hip rotation
2. Seated IT band
3. Lateral bodyweight lunges R/L

Sample Day 3

Mountaineer Hill Fartlek 1

The Mountaineering Hill Fartlek focuses on:
1. Building your "climbing muscles."
2. Building your lactate threshold. Short bouts of intense activity mixed in with aerobic activity are vital toward improving your body's ability to work more efficiently.
3. During the first 4 weeks, you can adjust any part of the fartlek to be performed on a bike, run, or skis instead of hiking. During the last 8 weeks of the program, you should hike fartleks, as that is most specific to mountaineering.

1. Warmup jog, walk, ski or bike 10:00-15:00. * Zone 1
2. 6-8 x hill repeats Zone 3. Hike uphill for 30 sec at a brisk pace (Zone 3) Easy walk down, then repeat. No stopping. Use a pack weight that is 40% of the weight you will carry on your trip.
3. Cooldown jog, walk, ski or bike 10:00-15:00. * Zone 1

Sample Day 4

Rock climbing- Quantity

Lots of moderate routes. Lead or top rope. You can always substitute ice climbing for rock climbing sessions, if your project requires both skills. Down climbing should also be practiced during your climbing sessions.

Your goal with climbing in this phase is to build up your "work capacity." Meaning your body's ability to handle more QUANTITY. In this workout, do not push your grades (QUALITY). Just push your volume. However, you should always keep technique in mind. Pick one or two technical components to improve upon in your climbing but stay on the wall and clip draws as much as possible. If you don't have a partner, traversing the climbing wall is a great way to get a mellow pump going.

Sample Day 5

Mobility Circuit 2- Optional

Today's workouts are optional, as you may find you just need to rest to prep for the big workouts ahead. You can do one, both, or none of these recovery-focused workouts today.
1 x 10 each way

1. Table reach- through
2. Pec doorway stretch
3. Supine elbow-ups

1. Child's pose with rotation
2. Lunge walk with OH reach
3. Wall sit (1x30 seconds)

1. Cobra with R/L hip drop
2. Hurdler stretch
3. Lateral lunge stretch

Sample Day 5

Pillar Circuit 1- Optional

Today's workouts are optional, as you may find you just need to rest to prep for the big workouts ahead. You can do one, both, or none of these recovery-focused bodyweight circuits today.

1. Warmup cardio 5:00-10:00

2. 30 sec on/ 15 sec off. Twice through
A Bar hangs (flex and relax lower pelvic muscles. We will add leg lifts/lowers later in the circuit)
B Wall marches
C Supine plank
D Prone crunch R/L
E Hanging knee ups
F Crossover/lateral lunges R
G Crossover/lateral lunges L

3. Cooldown cardio 5:00-10:00

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