Climbing 14ers: Coaching Suggestions and Workout routines


There are a number of issues you are able to do to make your journey up a 14er (a mountain that meets or exceeds 14,000 toes) each profitable and pleasing. Being hydrated and fueled, pacing your self appropriately and having correct coaching and gear are important. When making ready to sort out a 14er, probably the most important coaching elements to deal with are cardiovascular endurance, energy and stability, and adaptability.

Eighty-nine peaks in america meet or exceed 14,000 toes. Many are technical, requiring glacier journey or vertical climbing abilities. This text focuses on coaching for the non-technical 14ers, which check your mettle in opposition to an extended day (or two) of mountain climbing at altitude.

Take into account that even non-technical 14ers could contain snow journey relying on the time of 12 months, so make sure you’re conversant in the gear and strategies you’ll require in addition to the route and circumstances of your chosen peak.

As at all times, you’ll want to seek the advice of together with your physician earlier than beginning any new coaching routine.

Coaching Schedule for Climbing 14ers

In making ready to sort out a 14er, intention to work out at the least 5 days per week, with at the least someday of lively relaxation that features gentle strolling or a stretching/foam-rolling session. Three of the times deal with interval coaching and full-body energy exercises, two days will embrace longer steady-state cardiac-output exercises, and someday may be designated as a coaching hike day or bonus steady-state cardio day.

Pattern week

Cardio Coaching for Climbing 14ers

The cardiovascular coaching part of this program focuses on maximizing your capacity to make use of oxygen. That’s as a result of as you achieve elevation, atmospheric strain decreases, which suggests you aren’t in a position to get the identical quantity of oxygen into your lungs as you’ll at decrease elevations. Individuals can begin feeling the consequences of altitude at elevations as little as 5,000 toes.

Regular-State Cardio Coaching

Average-intensity steady-state cardio improves your cardiac output by growing the amount of blood your coronary heart pumps with every beat. Your cardiac-output days ought to embrace 45 to 90 minutes of low- to moderate-intensity cardio exercise similar to swimming, biking, jogging or rowing. You need to work at a cushty tempo, however onerous sufficient to make you break a sweat.

All through your coaching, you’ll want to embrace some coaching hikes to elevation, as effectively:

Hike Progressions

Excessive-Depth Interval Coaching

Excessive-intensity interval coaching will enhance your VO2max, which is the maximal quantity of oxygen your physique is ready to soak up, transport and, in the end, use throughout train.

For optimum interval coaching, it’s necessary to know and calculate your heart-rate coaching zones, ideally utilizing a coronary heart price monitor. For details about how to decide on and use coronary heart price screens, see our Skilled Recommendation Articles, Health Electronics: The best way to Select and Coronary heart Price Screens: The best way to Use.

Your interval days will problem you each bodily and mentally. You’ll be combating the need to give up on the high-intensity intervals. After a radical warm-up, push your depth to about 85 to 90 % or your max coronary heart price (HR), or a 9 on a scale of 1 to 10.

When you attain your goal HR, keep it for 2 minutes. The clock begins if you attain that coronary heart price (not if you begin the hassle). Over the course of your coaching program, ultimately work your manner as much as sustaining it for 4 to 5 minutes.

Interval coaching is all in regards to the ratio of relaxation to work, so you’ll want to maintain a interval of lively relaxation after every high-intensity burst. In the event you work onerous for one minute at the start of your coaching program, two-to-three minutes of lively relaxation ought to comply with to permit for restoration earlier than the subsequent interval.

As you progress in your coaching, improve the quantity of labor time and reduce the quantity of lively relaxation. A 15-minute interval coaching session that consists of a 1:three ratio (one minute of labor adopted by three minutes of lively relaxation) is a superb place to start out. Nearing the tip of your program, you could work towards 30 whole minutes of intervals with a ratio of four:1 (4 minutes of labor adopted by one minute of lively relaxation).

Energy Exercise for Climbing 14ers

The next coaching program features a collection of full-body energy and stability workout routines to assist your legs climb for hours at a time. Plus, a powerful core may also help maintain you steady, and with the usage of mountain climbing poles, a strong higher physique may also help drive you uphill or switch a number of the impression when descending the mountain.

Repeater Step-Ups With Overhead Press



  • Stand in entrance of an 18-inch bench, step or plyobox whereas holding two dumbbells at shoulder top.
  • Place one foot solidly up on the bench and step up and thru with the again foot as if stepping on to a different step whereas driving the weights straight up overhead; straighten the mounted leg. Return the weights and again leg down collectively to the beginning place.
  • Repeat at a fast however managed tempo for 12 to 15 reps.
  • Relaxation briefly (lower than 30 seconds) after which do the identical motion whereas main with the other leg up.

Exaggerated Step-downs

This train helps put together the physique for the impression that comes with descending the mountain.

  • Stand on a 12- to 18-inch step.
  • Step off with an exaggerated step, touchdown on the bottom and absorbing the impression to make the touchdown as gentle as you may.
  • Rigorously deliver the opposite foot down, get again on step and repeat 10 to 20 occasions per leg.

Anti-Rotation Squats

  • Connect the middle of a resistance band to a strong anchor level. Face away from the anchor level and route either side of the band to 1 facet of your physique. Maintain each handles with each arms instantly in entrance of your stomach button, with a slight bend in your elbows and the band stretched.
  • Maintain your arms on the identical level and don’t let the band rotate your torso as you press your hips down and again right into a squat. Cease when your thighs are roughly parallel with the bottom.
  • Drive your hips and torso again as much as the upright place once more, nonetheless combating to maintain the band from rotating your torso.
  • Carry out 15 to 20 reps with the band pulling from both the left or the precise after which change sides.

Cut up Squat With Band Row



  • Wrap a resistance band round a strong anchor level and maintain one deal with in every hand whereas going through the anchor level.
  • Stand in a cut up stance with one foot ahead and one foot again. Once you decrease your physique, your ahead leg will probably be simply barely angled ahead (with out having the knee go previous the toes) and the again knee will probably be bent roughly 90 levels, with the knee hovering 2 to three inches above the bottom. Carry out a cut up squat, pulling your elbows simply previous your ribs as you come up; you’ll want to maintain the torso in a tall, upright place.
  • Full 10 to 15 reps with every leg ahead.

Single-Leg Romanian Lifeless Lifts



  • Start by holding a dumbell within the reverse hand to the planted foot.
  • Maintain a impartial backbone and solely a slight bend within the planted leg as you hinge ahead whereas lifting your different leg and holding it straight from the hip.
  • After getting achieved your finish vary of movement (your physique ought to kind a capital T when you’ve got the mobility), decrease that leg again to the bottom.
  • Carry out 10 to 15 reps on every leg.

Modification: In case you are combating good kind, take away the burden and first grasp the hip hinge.




  • Lie face down on the ground together with your with arms positioned at mid chest, a couple of inches away out of your sides.
  • Place your toes on the bottom and brace your core tightly as when you’re going to get punched within the intestine.
  • Press your complete physique up in a single clean movement. If that is too difficult, place the knees on the ground and intention to carry your hips and torso collectively.

Stretching for Flexibility

After finishing your cardio and energy coaching classes, take a while to completely stretch the entire physique. If time is brief, carry out at the least one static stretch for every of those main areas: hamstrings, quadriceps, hips and calves. Maintain every stretch for 30 seconds to obtain probably the most profit, and don’t neglect to breathe whereas stretching. This dedication to restoration will assist put together your physique in your subsequent exercise.

The nonprofit American Council on Train (ACE) educates, certifies, and represents greater than 53,000 health professionals, well being coaches, and different allied well being professionals.

This publication isn’t supposed to supply medical recommendation on private well being points, which needs to be obtained instantly from a doctor.


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