weightlifting and mountain activities

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  • #76436
    Hannah Vickers


    Keen to hear from folk who are keen weightlifters as well as mountaineers. I started lifting weights in january last year as I am approaching 40 and have been hearing how women in their 40s should start lifting heavy stuff, but what started out as some general strength training to build some good habits has now become a proper second hobby which I really enjoy doing and I train 2-3 times a week (mostly deadlifts, front/back squats, some single leg work and olympic lifts) usually 2 hours per session. Before I started strength training I basically spent the last 10 years or so just spending time going up mountains several times a week, before/after work and at the weekends – ski touring in winter and hiking/scrambling in summer.
    However now I find that while I’ve been making good progress in weightlifting and achieving new PBs more or less every month, my legs are always feeling fatigued when I go out for a ski tour with friends, and I often have to take breaks on the ski down now whereas I would have just cruised straight down the mountain before I got into weightlifting. Especially when the days with good weather and snow conditions happen to be 1-2 days after a heavy lifting session. I thought weightlifting would give me stronger legs overall but to be honest they just feel knackered on the uphill and downhill stuff now!
    Does anyone here have experience with being able to progress in both weightlifting but at the same time still keep legs fresh for the mountains?

  • Participant
    paul.otlet on #76538

    I’m in the same situation overall, although I focus more on strength training.

    Physiologically, there is a competition between power/speed on one side and endurance on the other. That’s why 100m runners or elite weightlifters are bad at endurance. And why endurance athletes are bad at speed and power. One study showed that elite marathon runners had a lower vertical jump (yes lower) than healthy sedentary people. These are extreme cases, but this is seen in all athletic clubs, even at the junior level. The one who will be the best in 100m or long jump will be in the last on a 1500m.

    These are different metabolic adaptations, but also mechanical adaptations in the muscle fibers.

    It’s quite possible that the adaptations in power training can decrease your endurance performance. That being said, I think that in your case, the major reason is that your muscles are still tired after the sessions. And as a result, when you do your skiing, you have less energy. Maybe try to space out your sessions and not do one right before your ski outings.

    Hannah Vickers on #76545

    Thanks for your thoughts! Yeah I have arrived at a similar conclusion that maybe I need to lift several days before a ski tour, or at least well below my max during weeks when I’m expecting some epic powder ski touring 😉 Still sucks a bit though because lifting heavy is very satisfying!

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