Heavy weights sessions?

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  • #59483

    I’m used to lifting heavy (squat, deadlift, push press and accessories) 2 or 3 times a week and missing it already. The Chamfit work outs are challenging in a different way – the focus on single leg balanced based exercise for example. On other UA plans I’ve followed weighted squat, step ups and step downs were part of the program – as were the ME water carries.

    I’m just interested in the thinking behind using the body weight (BW) work on Chamfit and the weighted strength work I’m used to. And I guess I’m slightly concerned about losing strength; or at least the ability to deadlift and squat 2 x BW over the next 12 to 24 weeks.

  • Participant
    John Malec on #59491

    mattmay3s, I am in the same boat and I was thinking the exact same thing.

    Edgar Carby on #59492

    Do you have a copy of Training for the New Alpinism? It spends a lot of time talking about the concept of strength as it applies to a given sport. Worth your time I think.

    Let me start by saying that I’m speaking from my experience and don’t know your background or history so this may not apply to you, but here are my thoughts on it.

    I am a former longtime Starting Strength follower and in those books, Mark Rippetoe talks about the opposite issue – how to add conditioning when your focus is 5RM and 1RM in the big three lifts. He says you can’t do both max strength and heavy cardio at the same time effectively. What they do allow is sprinting and HIIT which is the opposite of the UA philosophy. Mark Twight talks about this at length in the intro to TFNA

    I remember how hard I worked to get to 2xBW on the squat, breaking 4 plates on DL, etc, at 185# but I think if you are running 8 hours or more a week (which you must do and then some to drive your CTL to 80+, remember to get to 80, you’d have to get 80 TSS 42 day in a row, or approximately 2 hours a day of AeT for six weeks), you are going to lose 1RM strength almost inevitably (I doubt even the most sophisticated hormonal supplementation plan could preserve max strength in the face of all that running). Plus the neurological toll of all that heavy lifting is extremely taxing too.

    But you will already be more than strong enough to handle anything a mountain would throw at you by virtue of your strength reserve (ie, 365 x 5 = BW x 20+, depending on your BW of course).

    Just my thoughts of course. But the two goals are kinda incompatible. You end up progressing in neither although you’re working your ass off.

    mattmay3s on #59508

    @ Edgar – thanks for your thoughts buddy; appreciate that.

    Yep my intro to UA was buying TFNA after it was recommended by a guide whilst was breathing out of my ass during a blizzard on Aneto 🙂 What I ‘usually’ do is do a 12 week strength block up to Christmas and then switch to the 24 week UA Mountaineering plan in build up to a summer expeds and then back into strength after that. Recognise its a compromise but the variety of challenges keeps me engaged.

    CV19 blown that plan apart this year – cancelled a trip to Spantik and ended up supporting a mate running 48 marathons in the 48 English Counties in 48 days – I only did 2 marathons and a 50km run in a 10 day period – that gave me a CTL of 75 about 6 weeks ago.

    When I saw this group forming was too good an opportunity to miss with Denali coming up in May next year.

    Also thinking about 2023 when I have Gasherbrum II plus possible Broad Peak 🙂

    Edgar Carby on #59511

    Ha. I need to be getting advice from you!

    MarkPostle on #59526

    Matt and Edgar – Some good comments here. As mentioned you obviously can’t focus on all the things at once and improve upon them all. Your already well trained aerobic capacity for mountaineering, your 5k time and 1 RM max DL arent all going to improve at once with some magic programming. That’s not to say they’re 100% unrelated or that you can’t do a little work to hold ground. For folks that have a long history of lifting heavy in the gym I doubt that any more improvement there will be the thing that gets you to the summit. You will actually want to backslide a little on some of your lifting numbers to donate that time and recovery capacity to more sport specific Zone 1/2 aerobic work. I have had athletes before experiment with the minimum amount of heavy lifting they can do during times of other focus that they can do to hold some ground there if that’s important to them. I have seen pretty good results with even 1 session every 9-10 days for holding quite a bit of ground there. As for the things like heavy ME water carries they are coming in the next session of the training group as most folks goals are a bit closer. We have found the best result in running those type of ME workouts later in the training cycle then tapering off before the goal. (They tend to have a pretty high recovery cost so we don’t run them forever) That being the case you may want to supplement the current training with a maintenance dose of squats and DL during this current cycle. Very dependent on the individual but many well trained mountaineers can recover from 2 Chamfit workouts/week and still mix in a low volume of heavy lifts to keep some of that stimuli going.

    mattmay3s on #59543

    Thanks Mark – I found the heavy ME water carries brutal and took some recovering from! Cant say I’m looking forward to them 🙂 Will add 1 heavy lift session every other week during this block and kep an eye on recovery. I can definitely see the value of all the SL work.

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