General Strength and Specific Strength

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  • #67962

    Hello Everyone.

    Prior to starting the 12 week Mountaineering Program i was doing my own simple general strength program consisting of basic squats, deadlift, Shoulder Press, Bench, Pull ups. After starting the Charfit in the 12 week program I stopped the general strength i was doing? (I really find the Chamfit great creating a different kind of more useful strength than im used to.)

    From what ive read in the books you progress from a general strength to more specific strength. My question is do you incorporate general strength throughout the year? Do you drop it for the more specific strength? Or do you come back to it periodically?

    How do you incorporate(if at all?) the general strength in your fitness/mountaineering goals?



  • Moderator
    MarkPostle on #67973

    Jeremy, Hopefully a few other folks will chime in but I’ll expand a bit on what I’ve seen work. The first thing I look at is the goal of the athlete and if strength (and what kind) will really help move the needle in their ability or not. A naturally not very strong person going to Denali will benefit way more than a total gym beast climbing Killimanjaro for instance. Personally I think a nice middle ground for folks that really like gym work is 1 session/week of things like deadlift, a pressing movement a pulling movement and some additional single leg strength work, then Chamfit as the second session in the week. As the goal approaches you may well want to pull one of them out and do an ME session instead. This is more sport specific usually and allow adequate recovery. Post goal climb you can go back to general strength for a while.

    Mariner_9 on #67995

    Hi Jeremy,

    FWIW, I’ve always followed the TFNA prescription:
    – general strength in the transition period
    – then a max strength period
    – then reduced frequency of max strength workouts (for maintenance) during the muscular endurance period.

    There is a some overlap between the general and max strength workouts; quoting TFNA, “Pick two to four exercises from the General Strength Routine you were doing during the Transition Period to use for your Max Strength workouts. These should be ones that you feel need the most improvement or will be most useful in your climbing”. I picked three single leg exercises (split bench squats, lunges, step ups) and squats.

    HTH and I’m not muddying the waters!

    Jeremy on #67999

    I dont recall reading that part – im going to look right now!

    Jim Prager on #68050

    I’ve followed the same prescription that Mariner outlined above. However, I include a little maintenance general strength exercises in my max strength routine. This was on the advice of my physical therapist to help prevent some reoccurring problems. So my max strength routine looks like the following:

    -Core Warmup (2 times through a circuit of four exercise)
    -General Strength Maintenance/Warmup (2-3 exercises 10 reps each 1 set)
    -Max Strength Component

    Right now, my general strength maintenance is single-leg RDLs, push-ups, and side squats. During the max strength phase, I don’t increase the weight over what I ended my general strength routine with. I just want to maintain these exercises, not push myself.

    Then I move on to max strength couplets: pull-ups/Bulgarian split squats, dips/box steps, rows/lunges

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