Mountaineering Training | Fit To Climb: Week 4

Posted by: | February 25, 2013
Categories: *Mountaineering Fitness & Training

By the end of this week you’ll be a quarter of the way through Fit To Climb! This week’s should be familiar, except we will add a Fitness Test on Day 6.

Fit to Climb: Week 4 Schedule

1 Rainier Dozen / Easy Hiking ( 30 min) 42 min. Medium
2 Rainier Dozen / Stair Interval Training (40 min) 52 min. Hard
3 Rainier Dozen / Rest 12 min. Recovery
4 Strength Circuit Training x 2 38 min. Hard
5 Rainier Dozen / Rest 12 min. Recovery
6 Rainier Dozen / Cross Training (1 hr) 72 min. Hard
7 Hike (3 hrs) 182 min. Medium
Total 6 hrs 46 mins


In Fit To Climb we’ll do the test every four weeks to act as a measurement of overall fitness as well as specific core muscle endurance and agility. The repeated test is designed to show progress and these sessions should also be fun. Be sure to record your results from this week’s test and we can compare them to the results of the next test. As with all training, there should be an emphasis on safety and self care. Push your limits but don’t place undue stress or strain on your body. Rather than go all out, try to nudge your results forward in a controlled and sensible way, much like a successful mountain climb.

Complete the Fitness Test as follows:

After a good ten-minute warm-up followed by the Rainier Dozen, first do the timed run. Go at a speed that feels like an intense effort. Record your time. Then, rest for 5 minutes by gently walking or just pacing slowly back and forth.

For the strength test portion, find an area that has a solid, level, and soft surface. Grass is perfect but you can also do this indoors if you prefer. During this test, you will perform four exercises for 2 minutes each, with 3 minutes of rest between each exercise.

For the first three exercises, the goal is to count the number of perfect repetitions you can complete in 2 minutes. For a reminder on good form for these exercises, refer to the Rainier Dozen post (Week 3). If you do this with a partner, you can rest while counting their repetitions—along with providing encouragement! For the fourth exercise, the Shuttle Run, simply time yourself. Write down your scores for each test.

Perform the strength test as follows:

1. Push-ups—2 minutes, followed by 3 minutes of rest
2. Steam Engines on Back—2 minutes, followed by 3 minutes of rest
3. 3/4 Squats—2 minutes, followed by 3 minutes of rest
4. 20-yard Shuttle Run—Set up your shuttle run course with some cones or water bottles. If you aren’t sure of measurement use 25 normal paces as a guide. Run back and forth between your markers for 2 minutes, counting each loop as one.

- John Colver

Have a question? See the Fit To Climb FAQ for explanations of specific exercises and general pointers to help you through the Fit To Climb Program.

John Colver is a longtime climber, former mountain guide, and certified personal trainer with the American Council of Exercise. Colver introduced outdoor fitness classes to athletic clubs throughout the greater Puget Sound region before creating his adventX brand. Currently, adventX leads training programs in Seattle and Colver presents clinics on outdoor fitness at companies such as Microsoft, Boeing, the American Lung Association, and REI. Colver lives in Seattle, and is working on his second book, Fit to Climb - a 16 week Mount Rainier Fitness Program.



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