Training Plans, Adaptability & Injury

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  • #28237

    Hello Everyone!

    As most folks here, I have split goals for winter and curious as to which plan I should seek. I figured a post was best for future reading rather than a direct email to the UA team.

    First up, Going into winter this year I’m moving back to the states from Germany. Mostly uneventful, only a few days rock climbing, 2 days of Alps skiing, otherwise no uphill anything. Going back to Colorado I want to up my ski game for 2019-2020 season with some uphill/AT skiing and some winter alpine climbing.

    Secondly, this year I’ve really focused on my overall strength and physique type workouts which have netted me about 30 lbs in gains at my best, and it’s really helped a lot of my military injury deficiencies. With that, I have hyperlordosis which essentially means my lower back curve is at an extreme angle which ended up in some disc bulging, stenosis, degenerative disc disease, etc. I’ve done well with training up to this point now 3 years post military to get back into overall decent shape. Knock on wood, no “real” back or hip episodes in over a year. BUT, I am overly cautious with weight belts, carrying limited weight short distances and low impact.

    That said, How is cardio, and workout best advantaged for activities such as things I’d need to do for either ski or alpine training? Not per-se allowed to run, although last time I tried it was OK- lower back was super super sore afterwards. I essentially limit myself to carrying around 35-40ish lbs right now for long distance at max. Short distances, typically with belt I can carry 75-80 lb dumbbells to and from the bench- (I’ve worked out with as much as 130 lbs overhead free weights; but axial weight is scary for my condition.) I feel like I could run again, but the repetitive impact I think would be an issue as well as jump rope, or hopping in general.

    Long winded, but complex idea— Thoughts?

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    Anonymous on #28297


    With ski touring as your main goal you should focus on the aerobic base work we advocate. If you are packing 30 extra pounds of meat up the hills that is going to seriously impact your ski touring enjoyment. Look at the build of most mountain athletes and you will see slight individuals. We do not advocate hypertrophic (physique or body building) training for athletes. Of course you need to maintain and build enough strength to protect your back.

    With my interpretation of your description I would place 80% of all strength focus on the core work. This is what will protect your back better than anything. For 35 years I’ve had severe spondylolisthesis in one of my lumbar vertebra (forget which one). This is the displacement of one vertebra 1/4″ forward causing hyperlordosis and sever strain on the discs above and below. I have to really work on my core strength all the time, really focusing on the Transverse Abdominus. The TA is like a big girdle around your mid section, besides containing your guts it does the lion’s share of core support for all movements. This makes it a top priority for an athlete to strengthen.

    With a back like your you should probably avoid heavy lifts like squat and deadlift and any overheard lifts.

    Being an uphill athlete means having a high power relative to weight ratio. Being a tactical athlete can mean just having absolute power.

    I hope this helps.

    cam.kelley04 on #28299

    Thanks Scott,

    Had no idea you had similar issues. That’s VERY encouraging. I’m just prior to the spondy stage, but i’m likely bound to be there at some point. For those reasons, I’ve always tried to protect core, but I remember flutter kicks being a huge flare-up for my lower back and I’ve gotten away from anything like “6-inch holds” or V-ups, etc. Which has left me with a few basic things for core. Just read and watched your skimo core circuit– I think i’ll toss that in for a try once I finish healing a wrist injury i’ve been babying.

    That said, 100%. I haven’t done squats for deadlifts for many years other than some lightweight ones on the Smith Machine making it very depressing in a sense. As for the current workouts, I’m probably painting a horrible picture by even mentioning bodybuilding but I’m relatively lean, in the 12% body fat range… 5’9″ and now 175lbs. Trying to explain mountaineer physique to my (Soon to be ex- lol) wife over the years was frustrating; Long and lean was a plus. I can definitely tell the weight difference in the few times I’ve rock climbed here.

    Starting at 145lbs I think I was a little underweight for my frame; I feel much healthier now than ever, so I’m thinking some of the water weight and fat will shred as the mountain fitness builds. I’d be happy settling in the 160 range.

    Can you run these days? How was recovery for you? I REALLY loved running in the military, 5-6 miles multiple days a week was average.

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    Anonymous on #28301


    I run about 30-40 miles/week on trails. I do this in the mountains often on very steep terrain so some of it ends up being steep hiking. I doubt I could handle 40 miles/week running on flat ground where every step is the same. This is on a total knee replacement 6 years ago that I wrote about on this site. Search My new knee. I’m 65 an have to do a ton of maintenance work to keep upright.


    cam.kelley04 on #28304

    Wow. Scott, that gives me a ton of hope. I’m returning to Colorado so I’ll have much better terrain to run on once I get back, but I’m now eager to get myself best off for running. I’m not sure what that “feels” like or how I’ll know… I guess one must try and see how it goes!

    Thanks for sharing, I’d love to at least get back to 20ish miles. Right now, I could effectively train morning, lunch and a couple hours at night before returning to the states. My career outlook for after 1st of the year has a few options which would be similar schedule, or working 6-10’s so a little more taxing. I guess I should get to finishing TFTNA and purchasing a plan for Ski Mountaineering since I know for sure i’m weakest there.

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