counting small volumes

  • Creator
  • #4069

    I’m just curious about what people use as a cut-off for counting small volumes of exercise?

    Coming from a background of competitive running I only counted minutes spent doing that activity. Now that I’m training for alpine climbing I count any type of activity towards volume but I still feel like I need a cut-off. If I walk for 20 minutes I count that as easy aerobic, but what if I walk 10 min to the store, buy something and walk 10 min home? What if I ride my bike to the store and it’s only 5 min but I do a trip of that length 5 times throughout the day? Again, what if I bike to that store but I sprint there because I’m running late?

    Personally I’ve been assuming that anything involving close to and above 20 min somewhat continuous exercise counts, OR if it’s less but its part of a warm-up or cool-down for a bigger workout then it also counts. Of course this runs into problems like days that I have to walk around at work, or run lots of errands, which are obviously a physical stress compared to days where I can just train and then go sit down.

    So, what do other people do about these small volumes?

  • Participant
    Mariner_9 on #4070

    I count all these small volumes as active recovery rather than training. For me, the small volumes add up about 6 hours per week (I count them via a fitness tracker).

    I’m sure they have some benefit but I don’t think that the volume or intensity merits counting them as training.

    Anonymous on #4072

    These short and very low intensity activities may contribute to your overall health but unless you are very unfit to start with it is very unlikely that they are going to contribute anything to your alpine climbing fitness. Durations under 30 minutes at intensities below your aerobic threshold provide very little stimulus unless you are very unfit. But how you count training volume is is up to you. Just be consistent from year to year so you are comparing apples to apples.


    Anonymous on #4103

    One other thought: Although the stimulus is low, I guess they could add up in terms of “life stress” if they’re very frequent. For example, a bike messenger would have to take work into account.

    I wouldn’t count these activities as training, but if you feel like they’re having an impact, you may want to bucket them in with other general life stress that you’ll have to acknowledge and work around.

    Anonymous on #4105

    Over the years that I’ve been advising professional mountain guides on their training I’ve found that they present a huge coaching challenge. More so than most people working in white collar jobs. Working guides are carrying a large load of physical activity on a daily and weekly basis. In general it is low intensity because they are much fitter than their clients and only move at the clients pace. However they do this day after day and usually with a heavy pack and covering much vertical distance and it can add up to 30 hours a week of strenuous physical activity. This physical activity does not take into account the stress of ensuring the safety of everyone in the party. This occupational load can be very high at times and makes it nearly impossible for guides to actually train. I have to develop special workarounds for them. The point is, as Scott Semple says above you need to factor in your over all life stress coming from both the physical as well as mental sides of things. If you are a bike messenger, or an ER doctor you may find it difficult to handle a lot of additional stress.


    sambedell on #4121

    Thanks guys. That is kind of what I thought but it’s good to hear your rationale.

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