Training plans, Basic Fitness Test and Weight Loss

  • Creator
  • #8323

    Good Afternoon,

    This is my first time posting here but have been lurking through the forum and have found a wealth of information but I do still have a few questions that I am hoping can be answered.

    This year I have set a number of goals that will include ascending Toubkal in February 2019 and then hopefully Elbrus later in the year. Having read through a good part of The Training for New Alpinism book I am finding it hugely interesting. I have completed the Basic fitness test but want to confirm a number of points to ensure I am completing it correctly.

    1. At the moment I am doing the Box Step 1000′ with 20% of BW pack instead of the 1000′ vertical ascent on terrain with my timing falling within the good area. This can be improved upon but then my confusion is with the box step further down. I am completing this in the same way as the first box step minus the pack and stepping both feet up on to the platform then both feet down and counting that as one step but reading the text above it says box jumps in sixty seconds. Now a box jump to me is both feet on the ground, jumping with both feet together and landing on the box before jumping back off. Should it be Box Steps or Box Jumps? If it is Box Jumps then I have a lot of improving to do.

    2. I have been looking at the training plans and will be looking to purchase the 8 week mountaineering plan but at the moment I need to lose about 2.5 stone in body weight prior to Toubkal next year(Siitng at an office desk too long and not keeping on top of my fitness). Should I prioritise the weight lose before the Training plan? I was hoping that by purchasing the plan and following it that not only would I lose the weight but it would also improve my fitness for hillwalking in Scotland this summer. What are peoples thoughts on it? Weight lose first then training plan?

    Sorry for the long winded questions but hopefully with the answers I can make better use of my training and prospects of completing my goals.


  • Participant
    Mariner_9 on #8326

    The box steps with weight *and* the box jumps (without weight) are both separate parts of the “alpine combine”.

    maxf on #8330

    No reason not to train and lose weight at once. Get consistent with your training, then gradually increase your volume, sort your diet and losing the weight will happen.

    Toubkal is a great peak and not too challenging. I can’t speak for Elbrus.

    Anonymous on #8333


    Mariner is correct that the box step and box jump are different thing altogether. I have yet to meet anyone who could do 30 minutes of box jumps 🙂

    realize that the 24 week plan is by far the best plan we sell for big mountain preparation. The shorter plans are not some magic short cut to fitness. They are compromises from the ideal for people who find themselves too close to their objective to really do the best job. They will work and the less fit you are the better they will but they are not ideal. The 24 week plan is based on the the plans ideas from the book TftNA.

    Loosing weight will benefit your fitness because you’ll be hauling less of YOU uphill. But as Max says you should combine the training and weight lose.


    ryanmcneil01 on #8362

    Thank you for your replies. Box jumps for 30 minutes does not sound a pleasant experience.

    I may have read the text in the book wrong and my description above not the best as on Page 176 & 177 it gives the description and duration of the exercises and then on the table on Page 177 the number achieved beside each exercise. In the descriptive text above the table it says Number of box jumps in 60 secs but the table below says box step ups (point 5 in the text and table). At the moment I am doing the following exercises for the Alpine Combine:

    1. Box step, 1,000′ with 20% of BW pack
    2. Dips in 60 sec
    3. Sit ups in 60 sec
    4. Pull ups in 60 sec
    5. Box jumps in 60 sec
    6. Push ups in 60 sec

    I will look at purchasing the 24 week plan and that will give me a better build up and along with diet and general hill walking during the summer my weight loss should be achievable and my base fitness at a good standard for heading to Toubkal.

    Rich on #8849

    I just completed a 5 day mountaineering course with Colorado Mountain School. Guide told me my fitness level was poor. I bought a copy of TftNA and am about halfway through. I am thinking about buying the 24 week training plan even though I have no plans of doing a big mountain. But, I won’t decide until I finish the book.
    I was planning on doing the Alpine Combine fitness test today and then going to the gym later to try the Killer Core Routine.
    I think I understand what a box step is, but what is a box jump? I assume jump up on the box and back down with both feet at the same time? Is that right? With no pack? And in running shoes, no boots?
    Next question, I have no idea what my training volume should be. I was thinking I should go for a bike ride and see how I feel after an hour, then two hours, in Zone 1. Noting the time during the ride when my fatigue became excessive and then using this time as 25% of my weekly volume.
    The book is excellent. I wish I had done this 30 years ago.

    Mariner_9 on #8863

    “what is a box jump? I assume jump up on the box and back down with both feet at the same time? Is that right? With no pack? And in running shoes, no boots?”

    Correct. See this:

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