Climbing 14ers: Coaching Ideas and Workouts



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 gratifying. Being hydrated and fueled, pacing your self accurately and having correct coaching and gear are important. When getting ready to deal with a 14er, essentially the most important coaching points to give attention to 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 take a look at your mettle in opposition to an extended day (or two) of mountain climbing at altitude.

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

As all the time, make sure you seek the advice of along with your physician earlier than beginning any new coaching routine.

Coaching Schedule for Climbing 14ers

In getting ready to deal with a 14er, intention to work out not less than 5 days per week, with not less than in the future of energetic relaxation that features mild strolling or a stretching/foam-rolling session. Three of the times give attention to interval coaching and full-body energy exercises, two days will embrace longer steady-state cardiac-output exercises, and in the future may be designated as a coaching hike day or bonus steady-state cardio day.

Pattern week

Cardio Coaching for Climbing 14ers

The cardiovascular coaching element 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 implies you aren’t in a position to get the identical quantity of oxygen into your lungs as you’d at decrease elevations. Folks 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 rising the quantity 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 resembling swimming, biking, jogging or rowing. It is best to work at a cushty tempo, however arduous sufficient to make you break a sweat.

All through your coaching, make sure you 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, finally, use throughout train.

For optimum interval coaching, it’s necessary to grasp 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 displays, see our Skilled Recommendation Articles, Health Electronics: How one can Select and Coronary heart Price Displays: How one can Use.

Your interval days will problem you each bodily and mentally. You’ll be preventing the need to stop 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, finally work your method as much as sustaining it for 4 to 5 minutes.

Interval coaching is all in regards to the ratio of relaxation to work, so make sure you maintain a interval of energetic relaxation after every high-intensity burst. Should you work arduous for one minute in the beginning of your coaching program, two-to-three minutes of energetic relaxation ought to comply with to permit for restoration earlier than the following interval.

As you progress in your coaching, improve the quantity of labor time and reduce the quantity of energetic relaxation. A 15-minute interval coaching session that consists of a 1:three ratio (one minute of labor adopted by three minutes of energetic relaxation) is a good place to begin. Nearing the top of your program, chances are you’ll work towards 30 whole minutes of intervals with a ratio of four:1 (4 minutes of labor adopted by one minute of energetic relaxation).

Energy Exercise for Climbing 14ers

The next coaching program features a sequence of full-body energy and stability workout routines to assist your legs climb for hours at a time. Plus, a powerful core might help maintain you steady, and with the usage of mountain climbing poles, a strong higher physique might help drive you uphill or switch a number of the affect 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 peak.
  • 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 fastened 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 affect 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 affect to make the touchdown as comfortable as you’ll be able to.
  • Fastidiously convey the opposite foot down, get again on step and repeat 10 to 20 instances per leg.

Anti-Rotation Squats

  • Connect the middle of a resistance band to a stable anchor level. Face away from the anchor level and route each side of the band to at least one aspect of your physique. Maintain each handles with each palms instantly in entrance of your stomach button, with a slight bend in your elbows and the band stretched.
  • Hold your palms on the similar 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 preventing to maintain the band from rotating your torso.
  • Carry out 15 to 20 reps with the band pulling from both the left or the fitting after which change sides.

Cut up Squat With Band Row



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

Single-Leg Romanian Useless Lifts



  • Start by holding a dumbell within the reverse hand to the planted foot.
  • Hold a impartial backbone and solely a slight bend within the planted leg as you hinge ahead whereas lifting your different leg and preserving it straight from the hip.
  • Upon getting achieved your finish vary of movement (your physique ought to type a capital T if in case you have 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 type, take away the burden and first grasp the hip hinge.




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

Stretching for Flexibility

After finishing your cardio and energy coaching periods, take a while to totally stretch the entire physique. If time is brief, carry out not less than one static stretch for every of those main areas: hamstrings, quadriceps, hips and calves. Maintain every stretch for 30 seconds to obtain essentially the most profit, and don’t neglect to breathe whereas stretching. This dedication to restoration will assist put together your physique on 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 will not be meant to offer medical recommendation on private well being points, which ought to be obtained instantly from a doctor.


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