Mixing in hypertrophy w/ training plan

  • Creator
  • #62523

    Hi, I’m doing the 24-week mountaineering program and out of some admitted vanity, I’d like to have some of the strength workouts to move a bit towards muscle hypertrophy rather than max strength and endurance. Not wanting to bulk up, mind you, but I’d rather be maintaining muscle mass/volume or slightly increasing instead of losing muscle mass. I’m doing this program for general mountain fitness/preparedness rather than a big objective, so I’m not so singularly focused. Thoughts on how to proceed? Thanks!

  • Participant
    Cory from Wisconsin on #62559

    Cstrach – perfect timing for this post as I was having the exact same thought today. I’m coming to the end of one cycle through the 24 week program and have had great results, but as I cycle back through the max strength/ME phases I would like to mix in some hypertrophy. Part of it is vanity and part is the thought that as I get older I will have to fight muscle loss, so perhaps I could have a bit more now to help offset future losses with age.

    I was thinking about switching the max strength workouts from 6×4 to 3×8 with a slightly lighter weight. I figure I might need to add in a mini max every couple of weeks to keep the max strength.

    I look forward to hearing what the coaches and other participants say/recommend. Have any of the coaches experimented with this or observed size gains as an unintended consequence of other training experiences? I.e. We had an athlete try x and normally recommend against it because it causes muscle mass gains.

    cstrach on #62563

    Cory, thanks for posting! Yeah I was thinking 3×6-8 reps as well, and dividing up the strength exercises so each group (except legs) was worked 1x per week as per general weight training methods. My concern I guess would be in timing and keeping it so that overall volume isn’t too much and the body can work on either gains in muscle mass or gains in overall endurance; trying to do both at the same time would result in no gains in either. But I guess that’s addressed in the timing of max strength workouts and replacing those with hypertrophy workouts. Anyway, looking forward to others offering valuable input.

    brandon.macmullin on #62591

    I was a gym bro before I discovered mountain sports and balancing my gym habits with my mountain performance goals has been a long time struggle for me as well.

    A template training plan is a road map to an event based peak performance of an objective. The 22 week mountaineering plan is designed for multi day expeditionary mountain objectives and exists in a vacuum that assumes you have no other goal. Mixing in other elements/training goals is counter productive, a recipe for sh*t stew at the end of the day.

    I found it helpful to look at the different components of training like pots on a stove. Having more than one pot on full boil at the same time can quickly lead to chaos. For best results, it is best to choose your focus and put the pots on simmer.

    If you are just going hiking on the weekend / not doing an expeditionary mountain objective and hypertrophy is the goal, I would focus on hypertrophy and just pack in as much easy cardio/hiking as possible for days out in the mountains. A lot of people I go to the mountains with just go hiking on the weekends. They aren’t going to set a record/win a race but they do just fine.

    Also I just got back to lifting after a two years of doing mostly running and doing body weight stuff due to the gym being closed because of the pandemic and I haven’t lost any muscle… Losing “my gains” would really help my running/climbing goals but nothing I do seems to work. Long story short is everything will be ok if you take a break from hypertrophy for 6 months to focus on mountaineering training. I totally get the sentiment of your post tho, kicking my old gym habits was a struggle for sure.

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