Muscular Endurance (ME) Max Duration

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  • #47048

    Hope the entire UA community have been keeping well and are training to the best of the available resources. I have been lucky enough to be training consistently and raring to go onto the mountain.

    I have completed the UA’s 24 week program twice now, adjusting the program per my need. However, the more I read the topics on the forums I keep getting some fundamental doubts. Some of which are listed below:

    Q.1) ME workouts are maxed out to 90 mins, at the highest intensity possible, primarily inducing fatigue in the legs. So, no matter what the intensity is, should all the ME workouts max out at 90 mins?

    Q.2) The program suggests that the time is only for the ‘uphill/ascent’ part of the exercise. So, basically does one has to pause the workouts during the descent phase? Especially in a situation where a 90 min steep uphill hike is not possible.

    Please share your experiences.

    Thank you.

Posted In: Mountaineering

  • Participant
    Dada on #47068


    jakedev on #47095

    I’ll take a stab at this because I was asking some of these questions earlier. I’m not familiar with the exact plan your doing so take this with a grain of salt.

    1. I’m not familiar with a max duration on ME workouts. Only that you want to try to keep the weekly volume of MAX/ME/Z3-4 cumulatively below 10% for the weekly volume. That is really hard when I get into the longer weighted hill climbs so I try to make up for it the week before or after.

    2. During the “downhill” portion I dump the water at the top and hike down leislurely with 20# (compared to 60# uphill) and count that toward my Z1-2 volume. So you should have 2 workouts for 1 session the uphill (ME) and the downhill (Z1-2). That is how it’s been explained to me.

    If I’m off on this someone please chime in. Thanks.

    Anonymous on #47767

    1) It depends on the objective. The important thing is the load, not the duration. It’s probably worth increasing the weight before the duration unless a goal event demands something more specific.

    2a) Count all training, up and down.

    2b) The ME workouts should be the uphill portion. Whether or not you carry extra weight down depends on what you need to train. Dumping water at the top is a good strategy to save your legs on the descent. (If you carry water down too, don’t over-do it.)

    kamal753 on #48014


    Thank you for providing some much needed clarification. I’d like to further specify the objective: 7000m + climbs, self supported. In such a situation we usually carry back the gear and trash back down, often with heavy rucksacks. I’m now comfortable to climb upto 6500m: guide, ferry loads up & down, the usual commercial work on a peak.

    So far, for the ME workouts I’ve trained carrying the weight both up and down, maxing out at 90 mins. Each progressive session I’ve only increased the weight, but not the volume(duration). I’ve used hiking poles all the times (ascent+descent). The resultant of these ME sessions has definitely given me a set of stronger legs, especially compared to pre-UA training days.

    In the next few years as I graduate from 7000m to 8000m climbs, do you think it would be better to slowly increase the volume(duration) of these ME workouts? IF yes, how? IF no, just maxing out the volume(90min duration) and going progressively heavy-heaviest loads will help?

    Please do share your valuable experience and guidance.

    Thank you.

    Anonymous on #48056

    I think that once you’re at the weight of a real pack, then it probably makes sense to extend the duration. And/or to do some intensity without any weight and then come back to ME later on.

    I’ll ask Scott J. to comment as well.

    Anonymous on #48064

    Here are some comments from Scott J.:

    It’s not necessary to increase the volume of the individual workouts. As a progression, he can increase the weight, find a steeper hill, wear stiff mountain boots, and increase the frequency of the workouts. [One of my pros] still does no more than 1000m in each of these workouts and often more like 700m with very good effect. He’s maxed out at 20kg but will often use challenging conditions of deep post-holing, crampons on steeper grassy terrain, etc.

    kamal753 on #48092

    There you go! The combined experience of the coaches at UA makes sure that athletes don’t reinvent the wheel. Thank you very much for this valuable piece of advice. Shall get back on this ME after few more bouts of training and hopefully, a climb.

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