Unique work schedule–ideas?

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  • #14640

    Hi, first post here. Am almost finished reading TFNA and getting ready to transition from exercise to training. I exercise by running, hiking, and bouldering all at a very novice level. In July I am attending my first alpinism course, which I am very excited for. However, I work as a commercial fisherman. As such, my schedule involves roughly 8 week stretches at sea where I am on my feet for 16 hours per day hauling gear and processing fish. This is followed by 8 weeks or so at home doing whatever I want. My idea is that I am basically stuck with say, an 8 week plan, such as 8 week mountaineering plan, and then just repeat that every time I go home. Does anyone smarter and with more experience have a better idea? Is it possible to move beyond the transition period? Despite the taxing nature of my job, I always see increases in strength and aerobic capacity as my job involves heavy lifting and moving steadily for long hours. Just wondering from the experts how best to plan for getting in shape for the mountains. Thanks

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    Anonymous on #15023

    Since no one has leapt to answer your question you are, no doubt, beginning to suspect that this might be a rather tricky situation. Steve and I have for years tried to help mountain guides with their training. Like you, they have physically demanding jobs and unusual working schedules that makes adhering to the “Three Cardinal Principles” that separate Training form Exercise. Those principles are:
    Continuity: Regular with no breaks
    Gradualness:Gentle progression in overload
    Modulation: Variations in load

    Without these 3 things it is almost impossible to construct a viable training plan. All is not lost though. Exercise and well crafted exercise can still get you a long way. In your case you need to make the most of the time off the boat to train specific climbing skills/fitness that you need for whatever your goals are. Hopefully your hard work on the boot will serve to maintain some of that fitness.

    There is just no magic.

    Attacruce on #15026

    Thanks Scott. I am definitely in the transition phase. Given the caveats described in your and Steve’s shorter training plans, would you have a recommendation for using the 5 week beginner alpine plan vs the 8 week mountaineering plan? For my extremely novice technical ability, simply increasing my general strength and aerobic capacity is enough for me.

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