You’ve got to hand it over to sly. The guy ran full steam through a crowded market to train for the world heavyweight boxing title with a motivational song blaring in the background.
Ah, where would we be without Rocky?
That iconic scene somehow set the tone for training in the city around home for scenarios that are far more challenging.
But the mountain is a different beast altogether. It can hit you worse than Apollo Creed and you need to know every trick in the book to be able to survive out there.
Here are a few training tips that will help you tackle the terrain and the weather better.
Know the sport that you plan to undertake
If you plan to go mountain climbing, that 150 lbs. overhead barbell press is going to do nothing to help you. You need to train for the sport you plan to undertake. Don’t get us wrong here. You still need to be working on the fundamentals. But there’s a stark difference between concentric strength that you develop with these exercises and eccentric strength that you will encounter while skiing or snowboarding.
Think of it like landing on a bed of rocks every time your snowboard or ski hits the ground after a bounce. That’s the strength that you need to be focusing on.
The same goes true for other mountain sports. Have a rock climbing trip? Go work on the upper body strength, especially the shoulders, arms and the back which will do the bulk of the lifting. Work on gaining some amount of expertise on grip training.
Backpack hiking? Throw some weight into your backpack and walk a mile every week. Once you are ready, start climbing stairs with the same weight and then add weights progressively.
Train the major muscle groups the mountain loves
The mountain loves your legs. And it will tax them like never before. So, ensure that you train them hard. Squats, leg raises, calf raises, lunges, hinge lifts, wall squats and anything else that trains your leg is on your workout routine. Guess what the mountains love more? Your lungs! Time to sprint ala Rocky. Focus on core building exercises. Yoga is a very useful technique to build up lung strength.
Stair climbs and step ups
You might train the life out of yourself horizontally. But on the mountains, all the movement that you do will be vertical. You will go up and you will come down. Stair climbs and step ups are the best way to train your body for anything mountain related. And believe it or not, you will always find the descent more challenging. It will batter you. Better work on those leg blasters.
One of the most effective techniques is to train like a beast in short, doable sessions during the week and to club it together into an event during the weekend. Have been doing step ups and sprints during the week? Club them together into a mini-hike with a weighted backpack followed by an eight mile run.