Lack of AeT improvement following UA approach

  • Creator
  • #82097

    Hey everyone,

    General question to see if anyone can help me determine what went wrong or what I’m doing incorrectly. Conducted a HR drift test on an incline treadmill at home according to the directions on UA and got an AeT of 135 bpm. Set my Z1 and Z2 accordingly and went about training strictly in Z1 and Z2 for 2 months (HR never >135 bpm during workouts), but I’m a new father and my training volume was only 5-6 hours a week. Conducted another HR drift test on the incline treadmill at home after the 2 months of training and saw no improvement in my AeT. Do you think the training volume was just too low to see any aerobic adaptation? Did I retest too soon?

    My primary activities are splitboard touring, summer mountaineering, and rock climbing. At this point, I’m considering going back to my Garmin default HR zones and working in harder long interval workouts in Z4 since I just don’t have the time right now to put in 10+ hours of low intensity training a week and those workouts had my feeling stronger and more aerobically “fit”. I’m a weekend athlete with no intention of setting FKTs or even personal bests; just want to go further / higher with less fatigue / effort to enjoy my time in the mountains as much as possible.

    Thanks and be well,


  • Participant
    zenaloha on #82117

    Neglected to mention that my AnT is 154 bpm, so have a slight case of ADS which is why I was expecting my AeT to improve over the 2 months of low intensity training.


    juskojj on #82121

    following with interest. pretty sure after losing any cardio i had prior to my hamstring injury i don’t have time to dedicate 10hrs of training for a weekend warrior….. who works a full time job with 2 kids in grade school….

    Bruno Schull on #82249

    Hi Chris,

    I don’t know your fitness history or age, which are two relevant factors I think, but I can share my experience.

    I am 50 years old, with a deep endurance traning background, and relatively less specific strength traning background.

    I’m also a father, work a stressfull job (high school teacher), and rarely train more then 5-6 hours a week during the “regular” semesters, but in the summer and vacation weeks I accumulate considerably more hours, especially when you factor in days in the mountains climbing, skiing, etc.

    For me, following 5-6 hours of very light aerobic exercise combined with regular strength training has yielded great results, with much more endurance than I hoped or expected. I think that’s because strength traning has an endurance component, while the oppposite is not true (low intensity aerobic training has leff effect on strength).

    I would reccomend sticking with the program. You did 2 months…why not do another 2 months? With a low volume such as this I expect changes to come slowly. I would also strongly advise doing strength traning of the uphill athlete kind, with a base phase, a general phase, slowly working toward a max phase, prioritizing strength without mass, and so on.

    I strongly suspect that if you keep up the low intensity base and add strength you will start feeling more like you want to feel in the mountains.

    Conversely, if you jump into the high intensity intervals and what not, I think you will see quick improvements and then a plateau or even a decline.

    Good luck, and let us know how it develops!

    hafjell on #82259

    This sounds like a good example of confusing the map with the territory. Can you ditch the heart rate monitor and just nose breathe? If you can carry a conversation, Z2. If you can carry a conversation really easily, Z1. For bc touring and mountaineering, ime, you’ll want to stick to Z1 and Z2 if you want to go farther. If you just want to repeat the same loop, you can get faster with Z3.
    Tl/dr don’t give up on the Z2.

    zenaloha on #82265

    Thanks for the encouragement Bruno. I plan to stick with the UA approach for at least another few months and work in some strength training as well. Everything you said makes sense.

    Hafjell – I can nose breathe and carry on conversation in medium length sentences into the upper range of Z3 (HR 145-148 bpm), so it appears I fall into that category of athlete for whom UA has realized the nose breathing test isn’t valid (

    Thanks all and enjoy the mountains this winter!

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