Double duty – Ice Max Strength and Recovery

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  • #73188
    Cory from Wisconsin

    Hello fellow uphill athletes and coaches. I’m curious on your thoughts about how to pack the most into a workout without giving up the desired training result and thought this might be the appropriate post to tag onto.

    Background: in addition to the prescribed intermediate workouts, I am also trying to systematically mix in some max strength (and ultimately ME) for ice climbs. Usually I will just supplement the extra time needed (such as doing a prescribed workout in morning and adding the ice specific workout to the evening), but there are weeks where work or family won’t permit that.

    Example A: What are your thoughts on breaking up a Z2 recovery walk/jog and adding in some ice strength (from Steve’s article on training for Ice/Mixed). As in warm up on treadmill, keep treadmill running and jump off to do a set of weighted pull up’s and max hangs on tools, then jump back on treadmill for 3 min while strength recovers. Repeat for 6 sets. Then do sets of incline pull ups and leg raises, hopping on the treadmill for the 3 min recovery for 6 sets, then a final couplet would consist of lock-offs and toe raises with time on treadmill between sets.

    I’m pretty sure it ticks the box on the max strength component, but how much does this approach ding me on the recovery? Other than calf raises it’s really upper body focused.

    Example B: Thoughts on same type of couplet max strength work, but added to the lower body gym based ME work.

    This would require adding more rest than prescribed between the ME exercises (2-3 min vs 60 seconds and dropping as we progress).

    My gut tells this may be compromising the leg based ME. I also wonder if the total load/global fatigue may be a bit high.

    Thoughts? Have others experimented with this?


  • Participant
    george.peridas on #73347

    Cory, I am no coach, but jumping on and off the treadmill (Example A) sounds like a recipe for low quality movement and mental focus drift to me. Why not do the two back to back or just decrease one to make room for the other if the total stress is too much?

    From what I’ve gathered from UA teachings, if you have to do both strength and cardio, do them in that order. Doing the cardio first will compromise the maximum muscle recruitment you can achieve and the benefit of your strength workout. If you are not well fueled, your strength performance won’t be what could be.

    Even tried bouldering after a run? It’s not the prettiest. I know we have to cope with the reverse order in the alpine (approach, then climb), but in training keeping it the other way and maximizing body freshness and mental focus seem desirable to make the most out of your session.

    There is a really good discussion with Steve and Mark near the end (just before 50min?) of the 10/19/22 lecture recording that touches on your Example B above and in general how to incorporate extra strength/climbing work in a cardio/leg focused training plan.

    Anonymous on #73371

    Sorry missed this first time around. For the most part I generally try and avoid this kind of programming if possible for a lot of the reasons George mentions here. It is OK to mix energy systems in the same day certainly but I tend not to prescribe them mixed into the same workout like this if possible. As far as order of operations I do tend to have folks perform activities that have a high intensity component, big strength demand, or a technical movement/learning component first and easier Low intensity sessions second if possible. A really short aerobic session can be done first as a glorified warmup but if its over about 20-30 minutes I will usually put it second or split them entirely and separate them by 6+ hours.
    For the example B I encourage athletes to stick to the rest intervals fairly strictly when possible as that’s the E in the ME. Its also one of the primary ways that workout is progressed over time is by reducing the rest intervals and creating more density.

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