Listen to this Episode:

We are thrilled to announce the launch of the Uphill Athlete Membership Program. In this episode, Alyssa, Steve, and coach Alexa Hasman reveal details about the program and what new members can expect. They break down the three tiers of the membership as well as the vision behind creating this new offering from Uphill Athlete. The three discuss training plan updates, the cost of the programs, and, best of all, what they are most excited about for the community. Check out the membership options on uphillathlete.com or visit our social channels to find out more.

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00:00.00
Alyssa
Welcome to a special and extremely exciting episode of the uphill athlete podcast. I am joined today by Steve and coach Alexa Hasman to tell you about what we’ve been brewing over here at Uphill Athlete. Steve you want to explain why we’re here?

00:19.68
Steve
We’re launching the Uphill Athlete membership and it’s been a long road to this lots of work. Yeah, lots of blood sweat and tears. And yeah, it’s finally here. It’s finally real and we’re super stoked about the end product here.

00:37.15
Alyssa
Definitely and we are going to get into more of what that means. But I think just to acknowledge the vision that you’ve had Steve in the amount of work, months and months of work probably years on your end of making this happen. It’s exciting to be at this moment where we are launching so Alexa can you explain to us what the membership program is.

00:55.96
Steve
Yeah.

01:02.34
Lex
Yeah I’ll break it down in a quick concise way hopefully because there is a lot to it. But basically there’s 3 tiers to the membership and tier one is called train and train gives you access to all of our training plans and right now that includes 53 training plans and you can expect everything you have always expected from uphill athlete training plans, which is amazing guidance to whatever your mountain objective is whether it’s mountaineering, ski touring, ultra running anything like that. Then we have connect which is our second level up from that and that includes not only all those training plans, but also the community chat aspect which I’m super excited about it’s basically a community network that we have created where you can interact with people of similar interests with you whether it’s somebody. If you want connect with just mountaineers or just trail runners or everybody in the uphill athlete community to share and learn and connect with each other and find little local groups around you that you might find new training partners. You also get access to our chamfit which is our strength training videos which I love them. And our yoga videos. So then you have elevate which is our third level and this is an iteration of what has been our training groups in the past and this is sort of an elevated version of that so you get the community chat. You get the training plans. You get the chamfit videos, the yoga videos but on top of that you have presentations from coaches biweekly. You have presentations by our physio team. Our medical team. Our nutrition team. All of those people. And you have biweekly question and answer with coaches, live question and answer sessions. We have special guest presentations from people in the community whether they are experts in a certain field or elite athletes in a certain sport or whether they’re just sharing some mountain adventure that is really interesting to our community. So it combines all of those things and makes it in a really good easy to use platform so that the training groups can be month to month rather than this twelve-week session that we have been doing previously.

03:24.84
Steve
And I think that one of the things you kind of glossed over but I want to circle back on is you know because we have listened to the athlete’s feedback over the years and one of the things among many that people asked for was for example. Having the workouts load in the training plans upload to their smart watches. We’re not all finished with them yet. But we’re well on the way to completing that across all our training plans. So all our workouts will be uploaded to smart watches. We went through all the descriptions and simplified them made them more clear I know Alyssa you were kind of the main driver in rewriting a lot of the copy the actual words and you as a former english teacher were perfectly positioned to do that. To make it so that people can follow these instructions. Some of them were really hard to follow and really hard to understand so we’ve been going back and we’ve heard this in the past I’ve especially been hearing this for a long time and it was finally time to kind of go through and like go through all the training plans and we literally like took the workouts from each training plan. You know, fixed them put them up in the workout library and then pulled those back down from the workout library when that same workout appeared in another plan. So there’s consistency across the whole brand with the language.

04:51.15
Steve
With how the plans work on your smartwatch. All everything we could do to make the training plans super dialed. I think it’s a really big deal now in the training groups people can train off of any plan they want. And that’s been something that people have wanted so basically essentially with this elevate level. We now have the ability for people to train off of a rock climbing training plan I just uploaded seventy-two weeks of rock climbing training programming. We have 9 how to train for rock climbing videos Josh Wharton and I created all this content and now people can use all of this and do the training for the sport that they want to train for right now and a lot of our athletes are training for different sports at different times of years. Maybe you’re training to do mountaineering in the summer so you’re in that kind of block in the late winter-spring. But then in the fall you want to transition. Maybe you want to like in August you want to switch to a rock climbing plan because you want to go on a road trip and go cragging in red rocks or something like that or you want to go ski you’re going to ski. A lot of trail runners are shifting between skiing and trail running so that’s another one like we wanted to allow that flexibility and we wanted to free people from being on our twelve-week schedule and allow them to be on their own schedule and the other piece of this is that people can come and go anytime they want and it’s always going to be pro-rated so this is all automatically. So if you sign up on the last day of the month you’re only going to pay for one day of that month’s fee and then the next month you’ll of course if you’re there for the whole month. You’ll continue to pay for the whole membership. But you know you can you can make this as easy as possible for people to kind of pick this up use the plans use the you know tap into the community tap into the knowledge. And all the inspiration that we have and these and energy we have in these groups and then you know shift out or shift up to coaching for six months to prepare for a really big objective and then have a place to come back down to stay fit to stay part of the community and stay active. So I mean.

07:10.74
Steve
For me the the memberships are really a continuum. It fills this whole space between purchasing a training plan which we will still support. We’ll still have you know it’s that still that buy it once, you’re going to own it forever. Promise we’re going to continue to support those we’ve upgraded those and all those upgrades are essentially free that purchase those plans in the past and it provides that continue all the way up to coaching. It’s that whole middle area where I think it’s been really a tough nut to crack I’ve been hearing people’s feedback for years but trying to put together all the right pieces so that people could actually train the way we hear that they want to train has I think really what this membership program is all about.

08:00.13
Alyssa
Love it. Yeah I would just add a couple of things. Yes, the training plans have been a labor of love and the exciting part is that we’re not done. We’re not just updating our training plans and saying hey, this is all the ones we’re gonna rreate. We are really working to innovate and create a lot of new training plans to suit the variety of sports that we’re supporting. So I think for me personally an exciting aspect is there’s a couple of training plans in the pipeline that I think haven’t been done before. So I think that’s pretty exciting.

08:38.34
Steve
Sorry to interrupt but I wanted to say we have already some new training plans in this program we have the plans that you guys worked on specifically these, what are we calling them all mountain?

08:47.76
Alyssa
Yeah.

08:56.80
Steve
All sport or general fitness I don’t know if we have a name quite worked out for them yet. But for that yeah like that all-mountain athlete that wants to be able to do weekend warrioring in a bunch of different sports. Maybe one weekend they’re going to be on a mountain bike tour and another weekend they’re going to be rock climbing.

09:14.97
Steve
We wanted to provide support for that person too.

09:18.88
Alyssa
Definitely yeah, the one caveat I did want to say is that we are working on upgrading the plans that are already out there which is a process. So if you have purchased a plan and you haven’t received an update. Don’t worry, we’re getting there. It’s just there are a lot of moving pieces going on and so we hope to have everything updated for those who purchased a plan. You’ll be good to go soon. But just not quite there yet.

09:52.54
Steve
Well and people have to reapply a plan to see the updates right? So if you’re on an existing plan just keep doing that plan even if it’s been updated since you started your plan. If it’s working for you. There’s no reason to change it. But I think that the plans are the basis of this like all this new rock climbing content those all mountain and all kind of general fitness plans are great. You know I think they really fit a big need that I’ve seen out there for years. And I think that it’s just a bunch of great new content and the workout library has like seven hundred or eight was it seven hundred or eight hundred workouts in it. So if you’re a do it yourselfer and you want to build your own plans. You can leverage all of that and there’s a ton of of knowledge baked into those. So you don’t have to figure out what your work rest interval should be for your intervals. It’s the workout’s done. You just know you’re supposed to do intervals generally at what phase of your training. You’re going to be able to figure it out with those workout libraries and make it happen and Alexa I’d I’d love to hear you talk a bit more about the elevate level of the training peaks or excuse me the training group’s evolution. Because there’s another big thing that we’ve been doing in that with regards to the new platform you want to tell people about that a little bit.

11:28.79
Lex
Yeah, sure. So basically previous to this our training groups had this community feel on Whatsapp chat group and we wanted to elevate that so that we could sort of make it a more organized version of that and also store our presentations. In that same platform. So that’s really the new version of it. So it’s this platform where you can access all of your training resources. You can access all the video presentations that we’re going to be creating as well as several of our older presentations that we put in there as well. And then on top of that be able to communicate with your fellow athletes about whatever it is that’s happening in your sport or whatever adventures you’re going on or even if it’s to ask questions about the presentations or sort of collaborate within each other and in this really organized platform all in one space.

12:27.68
Steve
Yeah I think one of the great features with that is these events whether it’s a q and a or a lecture from a dietician or an MD or we’re talking about high altitude adaptation for trail runners or mountaineers. These are really valuable, informative events and now with this new platform. All those events happen right in the platform, Zoom is essentially sort of ported right in and the calendar is there so you can look at all the events and it doesn’t matter if you’re in the training for a rock climbing training plan or you’re a trail runner or you’re a female athlete whatever training group you’re identifying with you can watch all the presentations and this also solves a problem because there’s often been an issue. There’s often been this comment like I’ll use the female uphill athlete group there’s been lectures with the female athlete group that I as a coach wanted to attend because I needed to understand certain aspects of female physiology affected training that things that were holes in my knowledge and I didn’t feel comfortable to do that now. It’s going to be possible. For some of those lectures to be viewable by anyone who wants to you can look through it. You can find what’s interesting. You can add it to your calendar right? There you can set up your own notifications. You can come back here this place to watch it if you didn’t watch it live.

14:05.11
Steve
Recordings going to be in the same place. Everything is centralized, the chat centralized and there’s a ton of support also for just the training plan usage. I mean that’s a whole other topic. So there’s a ton of value in this.

14:15.55
Alyssa
Yet.

14:18.19
Lex
Yeah, and to touch on also the female athlete aspect. We do also have a private group that you have to be not invited, but accepted into that’s like a really safe space for our female athletes to share that is private from the rest of the group. So we also offer that really special unique way of supporting female athletes in the mountains too as we want to really make sure that we represent that category too.

14:46.50
Steve
Yeah, and maybe the opposite example would have been better like there was maybe a presentation in the mountaineering group that a female athlete would want to see and they can now do that without having to or they might want to see a presentation in the rock climbing training group and they can now do that. They don’t have to be siloed only in their let’s say category of training group. They can learn from whatever coach whichever coach whichever lecture they want to attend. So I think it’s going to be super powerful for people.

15:16.48
Alyssa
I love it.

15:17.58
Lex
Yeah, it’s really exciting. It’s a really great platform I’m very excited about it.

15:22.40
Steve
Yeah, we’ve been beta testing it now for five days and we’ve had incredible feedback. Yeah, we’ve had I counted. We had this week so far 136

15:30.65
Alyssa
Feels longer.

15:40.96
Steve
Ah, pieces of feedback from our 25 beta testers and you know that’s basically 5 pieces of feedback per tester and the great thing about it is there’s been no show-stoppers. There are lots of things we can improve but they’re all I feel like small improvements that we can absolutely in most cases make. There was no like oh my gosh we didn’t think of that, this isn’t going to work the whole house is falling down kind of a thing so that’s been a big relief because when we launched the beta I didn’t really know like because you get so into it yourself like that you just have so many blind spots. So having people kind of onboard and go through the whole process themselves organically has been really good.

16:23.17
Alyssa
Love it I would just add. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before that with the training plans and addition as well is that we have created rate of perceived exertion plans. So we have our traditional heart rate based plans but we have also created versions of our most popular plans and our running plans in particular with rpe because we are trying to help our athletes learn another tool that is useful in different environments in different modalities of exercise. Often RPE can be a really useful tool in trail running for example and so also heart rate not always as helpful in strength training. So we wanted to help our athletes to expand on learning about themselves learning about how we judge effort and just adding another tool to our training tool chest and so I’m personally really excited to give people who, a lot of people find heart rate kind of stressful, and so there’s a way that we can help people. To bridge the gap between the two or to learn based on 1 and then be able to expand on another and vice versa.

17:42.28
Steve
Yeah that’s a great and I think I want to dig into that a little more Alyssa because I don’t want people to think that we’re changing our philosophy or something like that. That’s absolutely not the case. It’s just simply another tool. Another example of this is also I would take from mountaineering. For example, if you’re doing altitude acclimatization or you’re using a hypoxico mask or something like that, heart rate becomes inaccurate if you’re, doing that kind of training in addition to your normal training so you actually have to use RPE. Some of this is just a natural evolution as we learn how to use some of these tools like the nomobaric Hypoxic training better over our years of experience it’s like okay heart rate isn’t working in this case, we’ve got to shift. So that’s why we’re offering all our plans in both modalities and in both ways of ranking the zones and setting up the zones but all of the basic fundamentals of training remain the same. It’s simply just another way of interpreting the same thing just instead of a heart rate number you’re going to use a rating of your perceived exertion and try to dial that in. So yeah, really good evolution and a way to give people more options to find the training that works for them and that still follows all the basic principles.

19:15.73
Steve
Of endurance training that we know and love so well.

19:21.18
Alyssa
No, it’s fantastic, I’m quite excited about it, of adding this to our toolbox. We’ll say so I think one of the most important aspects of this membership program is the reason behind it. Why we created this program? So Steve can you tell us what inspired you to develop this membership? What was the catalyst?

19:47.71
Steve
Yeah I think there’s two things. One there are probably more, but one of them is that as great as coaching is, it’s not affordable for many people and I understand that but it’s really difficult to scale a coach’s time. A coach can only coach so many people in a day or in a week or in a month or in a year so that needs to be compensated and our professionalism and knowledge and expertise so there was always this little bit of attention with that. I don’t want to take anything away from coaching. We’re still 100% committed to our coaches and to coaching and it’s still and always will be our sort of best way of helping people with training. But there’s obviously budgets that just simply can’t afford that. So how do we accommodate people? Another user case that has stuck with me is we’ve had a lot of athletes who have successfully used coaching and they’ve gone off and done their objective or climbed their mountain or run their race. They come back and they’re like yeah I don’t really feel like I need coaching anymore. But I want to take a break from that and what do I do? Where do I go? How do I stay fit like well all we really had was training plans. So this kind of gives our coached athletes a bit of a better place to go for that off-season training or times when they’re not so worried about really making the most of every minute of their day or those kinds of things or they just don’t or athletes that just simply don’t have too many sort of special use cases I mean coaching is what you need if you have a unique set of challenges as an athlete whatever that might be could be age, it could be injury, it could be to really increase your fitness for a big objective that really means a lot to you. There are a lot of reasons for coaching but I think that’s one of the reasons. The other reason is that I always held in my mind the 25 year old version of myself that lived in the back of the mazda pick up and would have just gone to the library and knew the internet and tried to figure it out for myself because I had no money and had lots of time and had a lot of curiosity and had a lot of motivation and you know I’ve also worked with coaches and gotten a lot out of that so you know I want to be able to accommodate people at different points in their lives and in different levels of interest, different levels of commitment, different levels of budget and make training more widely available to all mountain athletes. So our mission is of course to. educate and inspire all mountain athletes and this is a way to underline that all we can really help a lot more people with these 3 new levels of training and I think it also gives us a way. Ah, you pointed this out the other day Alyssa and I think this is really good. It gives us a path to creating more training plans which is something we absolutely intend to do. We’re already doing actually and you know we can create plans now that would never sort of let’s say pay for themselves if we tried to create them to sell.

23:21.10
Steve
And on the Training Peaks Training Plan Marketplace, I think that gives us some room for creativity as coaches. We can start to fill in some of these more niche things we can start to write plans for Nordic skiing or mountain biking or postmenopausal women that want to have a general fitness plan or you know like there’s a lot of sort of niche use cases or relatively niche use cases that we can work with now that we can build plans for and it makes sense with this model. So that’s I think a positive for the whole community.

24:00.55
Alyssa
Yeah, I’m really excited about that aspect I think it allows us like I said to be innovators in the realm of training plans and whether that helps 7-8 people. That’s fantastic. Whereas before we needed to consider the ability to sell the plans I think a little bit more and now it’s just kind of a bigger bundle. One other piece that I wanted to touch on is just what are our cost points. So we’re saying that they’re cheaper, but we haven’t rolled out what they actually cost yet, Alexa.

24:51.73
Lex
All right? Yeah, so our train option is $29 a month and so that’s the training plans option and then we have the connect option is gonna be $59 a month and then elevate is gonna be one $149 a month. So all amazing deals. But then we have a special price going on this weekend if you want to touch on that Steve.

25:14.89
Steve
Yeah, yeah, I mean just check the socials and the newsletters but we’ll be doing a promotional launch of 20% off as long as you’re subscribed. You’ll get that price for any of these levels and these also all include training peaks premium. And training peaks premium itself is $19 a month so that’s one of the reasons we couldn’t go really much below $29 because we’re a chunk of that is going to training peaks and so that also I think has an added value to all of this because you really need training peaks premium to be able to properly implement a training plan and I think that this is another possible use case is somebody comes in at the training level for $29 a month and they can try and they can really like shop our plans from the inside out they can see which ones they like and they might decide like hey I’ve got this figured out, I know I just need this one plan and I know which one that is now. They might just only be a member for like a few weeks and then exit the membership and then buy that plan and then use that for the next three years that’s also fine like. We don’t want to gatekeep how people use the training plan so much we want to just make sure that people are getting the right plan for themselves and doing what they need to do to improve their fitness for mountain sports.

26:36.31
Alyssa
Excellent. So when is this launching?

26:45.12
Steve
Today, it is launching November 24th. It went into beta November 6th and that’s been going really well. So yeah November 24th and fingers crossed it goes well and for all of you who have reached out about, who a lot of people were actually upset. They didn’t get into beta because we limited it to 25 and we sold out in less than 24 hours and a lot of people were kind of upset about that and so if you did reach out about being upset about. I will be reaching out to you with a special offer to thank you for that interest and enthusiasm I really want this to be something that the community is excited about. They help us improve this is by no means one and done like this is going to be just another chapter and another innovation and we’re just going to keep on making it better and better and better. It really depends on the community members and the athletes telling us what they need, how they want to train, what sports they’re using, what problems they’re having, what hiccups they’re having in their training and we’ll just keep making it better for everyone as best we can as long as we can.

28:11.28
Alyssa
We’re just the Taylor Swift of mountain sports selling out. Oh she just sells out.

28:17.90
Steve
Is that what she does just oh selling her stadium? Yeah right $1000000000

28:25.53
Alyssa
Yeah, well she cracked like the sites would crash and then everyone was so upset with her so sorry we’re just the Taylor Swift what could we do. Now it will be available to everyone very soon. We’re excited to have you all to wrap us up.

28:42.84
Alyssa
What is one aspect of the program that most excites both of you and I have one as well. If you want me to start off. Okay, so yeah, so mine and this is something that Steve along with when we were talking about the training plans is that I think our mission is to inspire and elevate all mountain athletes and oftentimes I think we see a mentality of people that train really hard and really well for a short period of time. They do their climb and then they kind of forget about fitness or there’s not a structure to it and it’s not that you need structure all the time. But, they just kind of like they do six months, and then it kind of disappears and we want people to be lifelong athletes and to have fitness be a part of the every day and so I think that whereas before there would be this kind of actual you know, summit and then decline we want people to keep going and to embrace this as a lifestyle. Not just a one off and so I’m really hopeful with the membership program with the price points et cetera that people find a home where they are athletes and part of a community, our community, the mountain community etc. for as long as they wish to be. So that’s an aspect I’m quite excited about.

30:16.18
Steve
Absolutely, That’s a great one.

30:21.74
Lex
Yeah I’ll go next. My excitement is based around the community aspect I think that’s the pillar of any really good membership program is having this community feel and I think that our platform really allows that and collaboration with fellow athletes. So that’s going to be really exciting to see the little communities that form out of that. So that’s what I’m excited about.

30:47.85
Steve
Yeah I have a couple of things I’m excited about. One of the detailed nitty gritty things I’m really excited about is the rock climbing training plans and the whole structure around that.

30:55.54
Alyssa
That’s been there for a while I know you’ve been working on that.

31:02.89
Steve
Yeah I’ve been working on that for a while and this membership platform provides a structure where we’ve built essentially I think of it like an online course where it walks people through the whole process of doing that and then you have the training plans. There but it’s sort of combining the right amount of education to execute like a good training plan, a good training block. So I think that’s one thing, but on a bigger scale.

31:37.59
Steve
To zoom out a little bit, I think the thing that I’m really excited about is that we’re working together really well as a team with our athletes with one another as coaches. It’s just been an incredible process. It’s for sure, been hard sometimes. These lasts seven months we’ve really been digging into this but it’s been so rewarding, especially this last sort of eight weeks to see you know you Alyssa and you Alexa you know Laura our web designer, Brian who’s kind of heading up our our marketing and branding. The other coaches Chantelle, I feel like we’re really working incredibly well together as a team and that’s super cool to see and I think that for me one of the things I’ve realized from this is I really love about uphill athlete is the same thing I loved about climbing I just loved exploring and trying to figure out new things and this is what we’re doing. We’re like figuring out something new. We’re doing something that nobody’s ever done before honestly and it’s hard and it’s a lot of work and we’re not perfect, but we’re engaged and we’re a team and we’re doing incredible work and we’ve got an incredible community that to work with, to partner with, and that’s just like for me, it’s just like the same feeling I get from doing a new route or something like we’re literally creating something new and that’s just so fun. I just love that I don’t care like if it’s anything else. It’s already a success for me because we did that together and I’m so psyched about that and that feels so good.

33:22.20
Alyssa
I love it.

33:24.61
Steve
Thanks to each of you for your part in that. It’s been a really great process for me to work more and more with you but it’s done. Yeah, and then that’s the other day like its not done yet. We’ve hit a milestone but for sure.

33:42.51
Steve
But it’s never done like and that’s part of why it’s so fun. You know we’re you know twelve months from now. It’s probably going to be vastly different than it is right now and that’s that’s a good thing and that’s what I love. That’s what I love about how we’re working together is we’re just building on one another’s ideas and really everybody’s really engaged and the athletes are really engaged and you know it’s just like that continuous refinement making tweaks changing little things on the training descriptions. Some of the changes we’ve made the training plan nobody would ever see if we didn’t tell them we did them because they’re essentially invisible because you were just changing wording to make it more clear. But that can have a huge impact when you’re like standing there in the gym trying to figure out what the heck you’re supposed to do and you scale that up to a thousand people using that plan or whatever so it’s been really cool and I’m really grateful for the opportunity to work with this community of coaches and athletes. It’s really fun.

34:38.83
Alyssa
I can say that my English Grammar heart, English teacher is so much happier with the status of the training plans now. Yeah that’s truly helped. Well you’ve heard it here first. So now go check it.

34:51.41
Steve
That’s good I’m glad.

34:59.30
Alyssa
I don’t think you’ll be able to miss it. It’s going to be everywhere our our socials, our website, our email. So if you miss it go to the Uphill athlete website and you will find it right there. Psyched on this. This has been truly a passion project for everyone.

35:18.59
Alyssa
Thank you so much for listening and Steve I think our tagline really sums it up.

35:25.68
Steve
It’s not just one but a community together. We are uphill athlete.

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