Choosing a program to combine with Cham Mtn Fit

  • Creator
  • #67219

    Hi, new member here, will try and make this short.

    36 yo, dad, former elite cyclist 7-8 years ago, used to have a huge base, now far gone but still fit and strong in the gym.
    Im struggling with imbalance/knee problem. My wife is a physio so we try and handle this bu I definitly need to correct right leg imbalance especially for going UP and mostly DOWN hill. Been training in the gym for a long time. Been running a bit too, hill reps, hiking, etc.

    no performance goal per se. I just want to be able to log long alpine rock days (read long approach and easy multi pitch) in the 5.4 – 5.6 range. I want to be build strong and to back to back days without having knee swell or problem. Spent 1 day last week end in a multi pitch rock climb, 9h total and my knee was trashed the day after probably from standing still on hard rock with climbing shoes for too long.

    been programming my own stuff for a while (work in the field of physical activity) but I hate it and always question my choices.

    I want to give a go to chamonix mountain fit program but I want to couple it with another program. I was thinking about Steve House 5 week alpine rock program but im not sure this is doable. I have plenty of time to train as im off work for 2 months during the summer months here in Canada.

    Any help would be appreciated in picking the correct combo.

    thank you

  • Participant
    John H on #67239

    For what it’s worth, the recent UA podcast on the Cham Mountain Fit program teed it up as a “transition strength” routine. Based on my understanding of the book and from that discussion, it’s basically something to do in the early stages of structured training. I believe that in TFNA they state that if you’re regularly in the gym doing a diverse array of strength work, you can keep the transition period to a few weeks before moving on to a max strength phase.

    For me, I’d been out of the gym for about two years so did a longer (8+ weeks) transition strength phase, using the routines in TFNA. It looks like the 5 week alpine rock program includes a general strength day each week, for which you could substitute a CMF workout.

    Vincent on #67244

    John, thanks for your reply

    its interesting and I should go back and listen to that podcast again. I was under the impression the CMF program was more of a rehab/injury prevention/motor control program.

    I’ve just finished 8 weeks of transition strength training focussing on hypertrophy altough I was lifting pretty heavy loads. I had my first week of base/max strength last week untill the knee bugger came in.

    Thanks for your suggestion, I need to consider that 5 weeks program just not sure the CMF is what im looking for.

    axjms1 on #67250

    Hi Vincent,

    Please take my thoughts with a grain of salt. I have never been an elite athlete in any discipline but I have been fortunate to be very durable. I started my first uphill athlete training plan in January of 2018 and have been consistent since then. I haven’t been using the Chamonix Mountain Fit as long because it just hasn’t been around that long. It sounds to me like you are pretty solid as far as your gym fitness goes but have some real knee issues. The first thing to decide is what your goals are. You mentioned multi pitch climbs of moderate grade. Are you wanting to increase your climbing grade or just get more comfortable on multi-pitches? Is the climbing actually hurting your knee or is it the approach and just being on your feet that long? The CMF program is great for addressing imbalances as it is almost exclusively unilateral work. But its not going to happen by magic, you will have to pause the video and do extra sets on the weak side. Overall, I find the CMF workouts to be heavy on balance and core work but if you are looking for hypertrophy this isn’t the right plan or even the right website.

    If you are wanting to get more durable for your long approaches I would just start the expeditionary plan. All of the plans are pretty similar but with the longest plan you are just going to be able build a more solid base. If you aren’t in a rush for a certain goal this is going to be the best plan. I would also suggest being patient with your knee. In the plan there are a lot of workouts that call for a walk or run. Your knee is the limiter here so do them all as walks as you build up your ability to do those long back to back days in the mountains.

    Good luck!

    Vincent on #67253

    thanks for your reply

    the reason I mentionned hypertrophy is simply because I did a block to get back into the swing of things after Ice season in preparation for maximal strength. Not really looking at getting bigger.

    Your comment is pretty insightful! I dont want to push grades as im having fun in the easier stuff and want to acquire experience. You nailed it: I want to be durable to spend long days on my feet and be able to handle long approaches on a few consecutive days. Im already running and doing weighted hill reps but always need to account for that knee, although its been real bad since that long multi pitch.

    The climbing will hurt my knee when I need to pull a single leg squat-ish type move.

    In your experience would the expedition plan suffice or should I combine both expediton and CMF?

    axjms1 on #67274

    Hi Vincent,

    I think combining both would really be the ideal. In the expedition plan you start out with two strength workouts a week and as the aerobic volume increases the strength training goes down to once per week for maintenance. But as an older athlete (I am 47) I have always stuck with the two strength workouts a week because I felt so much better with that routine and recovered better as long as I didn’t go crazy with the weights.

    When the CMF plan first came out I ran the idea by the coaches here about doing the CMF workout once per week and the general strength from the expedition plan once per week to try and thread the needle. They thought that would work well for me and I imagine it would be worth a shot for you. If you are used to going to the gym and moving plates around the CMF plan will feel pretty strange. You spend so much time on balance to begin with you may worry about losing strength. I did anyway. I feel like getting both types of workouts in once a week allows me to progress along both tracks just a little slower than if I would focus on one.

    Does that make sense?

    Vincent on #67296

    It sure does make sense. I might start with the expedition plan and see how it goes before I add CMF. Still pondering all the options but im fairly convinced one of these plan is the way to go. I’ve done MTI plan in the past and saw good results and im sure an UA plan would be at least as good to build durability.

    Shashi on #67353

    Vincent – Chamonix Mountain Fit has different levels (Level 1-3) that you can use in combination with the 24-week mountaineering plan. You can progress through different levels of Chamonix Mountain Fit. Check out this article for a sample progression –

    Free Pre-Season Training Plan for Skiers

    Chamonix Mountain Fit also offers Lite versions (about 30 minutes) that you can use in-season for maintenance.

    Hope this is helpful.

    Vincent on #67421

    thanks guys

    I ended up going for the CMF program. Im going to alternate level 1 lite and level 1 with my current base training max strength. After doing level 1 I can already tell it will make a difference for proper knee tracking and rehab

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