Most Popular Entries
February 18, 2013
Categories: Mountaineering Fitness & Training
|1||Rainier Dozen (*see below) / 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 (*see below)||38 min.||Hard|
|5||Rainier Dozen / Rest||12 min.||Recovery|
|6||Rainier Dozen / Cross Training (1 hr)||72 min.||Medium|
|7||Rainier Dozen / Hike (2 hrs)||132 min.||Medium|
1. Steam engine 2. Three quarter squats 3. Turkish Get Up 4. Lunge 5. Arm extender 6. Triceps Dip 7. Deep squat 8. Steam engine laying down 9. Mountain climber 10. Push up 11. Ranger crawl 12. 8 Point Body BuilderIf you have any concerns about performing these exercises, consider hiring a coach or fitness trainer to help you learn how to get the most from each movement. 1. Steam Engine How to do it: Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your hands clasped behind your head. Lift your left knee, simultaneously twisting your body to the right, while keeping the muscles of your core engaged. Alternate the movement, using your right knee and left elbow. 2. Three Quarter Squats How to do it: Stand with legs shoulder width apart and arms at your sides. Swing your arms forward and up, raising them above your head, palms facing forward. At the same time, bend your knees as if you were sitting in a chair. Hold the Squat briefly, then stand up by pushing through your heels, until you are in a full upright standing position. 3. Turkish Get Up How to do it: Step 1: Starting in a laying down position, with the right hand vertically toward the sky, bring the right knee into a bended position, while rolling towards your left. Placing the left hand on the ground, bring the right foot over the body and placing it on the floor. From here, keeping the right arm vertical, bring your body into the lunge position. From this position, push down on the right leg to bring your entire body into the standing-upright position. Step 2: Drop back to the lunge position, with your left foot back. Place your left arm on the ground. Simultaneously rotate your body towards the right, while extending the right leg. Place your bottom on the ground, proceeding to lay flat while the right arm remains vertical throughout. 4. Lunge How to do it: Stand upright, feet and legs together, hands on hips, elbows out to sides. Step your right leg backward. Bend your left knee until the kneecap is directly above your foot, causing the leg to form a 90-degree angle. Simultaneously lower your right leg until the knee almost rests on the ground, forming another 90-degree angle. Step back to starting position, and repeat, stepping backward with the left leg. Continue to alternate legs. 5. Arm Extender How to do it: Standing upright, start with the hands and elbows at shoulder level. Simultaneously extend elbows outwards three times, and on the fourth time, completely extend the arm to finish with arms completely straight out to the side. Pause, and repeat. 6. Triceps Dip How to do it: Find a solid object, such as a wall, stairs, or a bench. Facing outwards, place the hands behind your body on the edge of the object. Your legs can be straight, or to reduce the resistance, they can bent at the knees. With the core muscles engaged, simply lower your body until the angle behind your forearm and upper arm is approximately 100 degrees. Be careful to not lower yourself more than this, because to do so will place undue strain on the shoulders. Reverse movement to start position. 7. Deep Squat How to do it: Stand with your feet a little wider than hip distance apart, toes pointing out at 45-degree angles. Put your hands on your hips and bend your knees out to the sides, making sure to keep them in line with the toes. Lower your body in a Squat until your thighs are parallel to the ground, and then push up through your heels to a standing position. Repeat. 8. Steam Engine (on ground) How to do it: Lie on your back with your hands behind your head, head slightly raised, taking care not to pull on your neck. Extend your legs fully, holding them an inch or so off the ground. Bend the left knee in toward your body as you extend your right elbow to touch the left knee. Alternate the movement, touching your right knee to your left elbow as you extend the left leg fully. 9. Mountain Climber How could the mountain climber not be good for mountain climbing! Seriously though, the mountain climber is a great exercise for core strength, hip flexor extension, agility in the calves and strength in the feet and ankles. How this benefits the climber is through the improved flexibility, coordination, strength and endurance required during the stepping-up motion. How to do it: Starting in the plank position, bring the right foot forward as if you were in the starting blocks of a 100 meter sprint. From here, simply alternate your left and right legs between this position with a small hop or jump, as if running or bounding. The length of the movement can be shorter or longer depending on your level of ability. 10. Push Up How to do it: Start with palms and toes on the ground, body in the air, as straight and strong as possible. Your arms should be directly underneath your shoulders, and you can spread your fingers wide for stability. (If this is more of a challenge than you’d like right now, do a modified Push-up with your knees on the ground.) Keeping the back and neck straight, inhale, bend your elbows and lower yourself until you are about 2 inches off the ground. Exhale as you push back up into the starting position. Repeat. 11. Ranger Crawl How to do it: Starting in the plank position, bring the right knee towards the right elbow. Pause, then return to the start position. Then, switch feet and bring the left knee towards the left elbow, again, pausing, before returning to the start position. Repeat. What’s important with this exercise is to engage the core muscles and the arm and shoulder muscles prior to beginning the movements. Keep the hips low to maintain the plank position. 12. 8 Point Bodybuilder How to do it: Starting in the standing position, drop to the ground and then thrust both legs back to the plank position. Perform a push up. Then, perform a scissor, spreading the legs wide, then returning them to the start position. From here, bring the feet forward into a position to be able to perform a power jump. Finally, perform the power jump, finishing with a hand clap before returning to the start position (see this video for an explanation). STRENGTH CIRCUIT TRAINING A. (Rainier Dozen to warm up) - 12 minutes B. The 8 exercises for this circuit (40 seconds on, 20 seconds rest) x 2 - 16 minutes, based on the Rainier Dozen, are:
1. Stem Engine 2. Push Up 3. Squat 4. Lunge 5. Plank 6. Jump rope / Jumping Jack 7. Mountain Climber 8. Side LungeC. (10 Minute Cool Down) - 10 minutes. See the Home Stretch for exercises. - 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.
Rick had a similar question several years ago. We couldn’t find a video of the Arm Extender but here is an alternative description from Colver’s Book Fit By Nature:
“This is a 4-count exercise to warm up the arms and upper/middle back. Bend your elbows and move them as far behind your back as you can, looking for a squeezing sensation in your shoulder blades. Do this three times. On the fourth count, perform the same movement but with arms fully extended.”
You are essentially raising your hands to chest level and holding your elbows parallel with the ground, then holding that position and squeezing your shoulder blades together three times - bringing your elbows out and backwards, on the fourth time you extend your arms while still squeezing your shoulders together.
- The RMI Team
Posted by: RMI Expeditions on 11/1/2019 at 11:38 am
Please explain arm extender more precisely or send a video link. Thanks
Posted by: Mark wilde on 10/31/2019 at 5:52 pm
April 27, 2015
It is beyond words the devastation, and yet I am so glad to hear you are safely down off the mountain and pray for a continued safe journey to you and the many others involved. Thanks for communicating.
Posted by: michele on 4/29/2015 at 11:39 am
As Hemingway once said in defining a “hero”, it is one who shows Grace Under Pressure. You guys are all Heroes in my book. Have a safe trip home.
Posted by: John Hawkins on 4/28/2015 at 6:26 pm
From RMI Guide Pete Van Deventer
This season brought about a different approach to training for me, as for so many of our guides and climbers. In a typical year, the summer guiding season counts for the vast majority of my “training” time. Multiple 12+ hour days a week in the mountains is a great way to build a deep aerobic base, and that leaves me free to fill in around workdays with activities that I enjoy (trail running, mountain biking, and ski touring top that list). While many of our climbers are training for a specific climb and many of our guides are counting those same climbs as training, the training principles between groups aren’t actually that different. Our climbers are trying to be at peak fitness for their climb to give themselves the best chance of reaching the summit, for guides the same training gives us the durability to do 10, 20, even 30 climbs a season without our bodies falling apart.
The cancellation of the climbing season this year necessitated a different approach for me. I count myself extremely lucky to live amongst Colorado’s Elk Mountains, with miles of trail running, mountain biking, ski touring, and peaks immediately accessible. With local trails one of the few outlets left to us this spring, I happily was putting in miles, finding new trails, and generally filling the aerobic base hole that the loss of the season brought. Just like everyone, I have my preferred activities, things that I count as training, but bring me personal joy as well. Ripping through swoopy single track on a mountain bike makes me grin, even if my heart is jumping out of my chest. Other activities aren’t so enjoyable, and they feel like training. I do them out of a sense of duty to the training plan, but I’m not smiling. Weight rooms top this list. I found as spring bled into summer, that I was putting a lot of time into the training activities that I liked, while totally dropping the ones I didn’t, and that was leaving a big hole in my fitness. I needed some structure.
Exercise is doing activities that stress the body and make our body work, while training is the programmed and strategic arrangement of patterns of exercise to increase performance and achieve a predetermined goal. It is difficult to put together a training plan if you do not have a goal. My goal became to build a base of specific strength and endurance to give me durability through the ski season, and I turned to our partners at Uphill Athlete for a 12-week Ski Mountaineering plan. Much of the plan involves activities that I enjoy: lots of trail running and some mountain biking for recovery workouts. There are also some twists that I usually don’t incorporate, but are fun: level 3 long interval workouts, and very short, all out hill sprints. There is also a strong focus on strength work, and though I struggle to be engaged by gyms, a different take on strength has actually been pretty fun and interesting. I’ve been doing a mixture of max strength, very low rep lifting work, as well as very high rep, very low weight muscular endurance work. Both are interesting in how the workout doesn’t necessarily feel taxing during, but for days after I find myself feeling the aftereffects. A bit sore, a bit depleted, but also seeing pretty quick improvements and results.
In Colorado, we got our first snow early, the last week of October. This kicks off the few weeks every year that feel awkward as an athlete. There is too much snow and mud on the trails to ride a mountain bike, but there isn’t enough snow to skin yet (my bar for this is pretty low, as skiing on grass still feels like skiing, but there isn’t enough even for me!). I went for a run up one of my favorite local mountain bike trails, and though the details of getting out the door were complicated (do I wear shorts because it’s in the 60s, or pants because I’ll be running through 4 or 5 inches of snow) I found a simple joy in picking my way through snow and mud and moving fast on foot on a trail that no one else seemed to be interested in taking.
I came back with renewed energy to train, running my local snowy, muddy trails until enough snow lands to allow me to ski. It has been a strange year to train, with gyms alternately open, closed, then open again, restrictions on our ability to get out and travel to our favorite places. I’d encourage everyone to set a training goal (or multiple), lean into what you can do, and blend the activities that leave you smiling with the others that are necessary to reach your goal.
I too followed Uphill Athlete’s 12-week program and then some. Never trained harder in my life. Still unable to summit Rainier after a second attempt. The fitness requirements to summit that mountain truly elude me. I had a great time being up there, but when you put in the months of hard work and dedication and still come up short, it is monumentally frustrating. Bottom line mountaineering is no joke, and it demands a level of fitness that despite targeted training and motivated commitment, I still have not achieved. I have immense respect for those who seem to have cracked the code and have made their goals a reality. I only wish I knew where I am going wrong.
Posted by: Jordan Cook on 7/6/2021 at 7:34 pm
Thank you for the insight and your schedule for training is inspiring. For me training begins with not only the physical endurance aspect, but really the mental. Learning that the best physical in shape climber doesn’t summit in many cases just because of their mental training isn’t in the right place.
I just love Ed Viesturs quote “Reaching the summit is optional - getting back down is mandatory.” That is mental conditioning and smart climbing at it’s finest! He is my role model.
Posted by: J Osborn on 11/29/2020 at 7:47 pm
February 4, 2013
Categories: Mountaineering Fitness & Training
|1||Daily Dozen (Crux Workout)||12 min.||Recovery|
|2||30 Minute Hike||30 min.||Medium|
|3||Daily Dozen / Rest||12 min.||Recovery|
|4||30 Minute Hike||30 min.||Medium|
|5||Daily Dozen / Rest||12 min.||Recovery|
|6||1 Hour Hike||60 min.||Medium|
|Total||2 hrs 36 mins|
This is so helpful, I am planning to go visit after this outbreak is control. Really missing trekking. These should be so helpful.
Posted by: Alice R. Birch on 9/6/2020 at 7:51 pm
The link to the Daily Dozen is the last word “here” of paragraph 2 at the top.
Busted not reading the introduction.
Posted by: Barry Reese on 12/17/2016 at 11:25 am
September 27, 2016
Colin, feel excited for you. Nice photo looks like you guys in Mars or the moon with snow
Posted by: Janet on 9/28/2016 at 1:02 am
Posted by: Carlos de Andres on 9/27/2016 at 11:38 pm
April 26, 2015
RMI Guide Dave Hahn calls in from Camp One with an update.
Hi Dave! Praying for you and everyone else on Mount Everest and the people of Nepal.. Safe descent.
Posted by: Jean Tanner on 4/27/2015 at 9:27 pm
Where is the rest of the blog that was there a few days ago. It had a lot of detail that I would like to read again.
Posted by: Greg on 4/27/2015 at 7:27 am
April 25, 2015
RMI Guide Dave Hahn calls from Camp One with update on the RMI team.
On The Map
Our family has been praying for Mark and all of you since the news broke. Mark, you guided us up Kili in 2012 and I have no doubt were one of the best to deal with the tragedy you faced. Continued prayers for your safe return. Dennis
Posted by: Dennis Mulherin on 4/28/2015 at 4:42 am
JJ, glad to hear you are safe! Worried when we heard the news. We’re sad to hear about all the casualties, and our hearts are with everyone in Nepal!
Posted by: Leslie on 4/27/2015 at 11:02 am
November 5, 2012
Categories: Mountaineering Fitness & Training
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June 17, 2020
Categories: Responsible Climbing
Black Lives Matter. This isn’t a belief or personal opinion; it is a fact. And here at RMI we feel it is time for us to speak up about it. The last few weeks have been incredibly painful and emotional, but for the Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) communities in our nation, the last few weeks are representative of daily life – this is just one of the times the rest of us decide to tune in. The murders of George Floyd, Brianna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and countless others are not isolated events. They are the painful and violent windows into the systemic racism that underlies nearly every part of our lives. It is especially noticeable in the outdoors.
We have always seen nature, and specifically the mountains, as the ultimate equalizers. The mountains do not care about your race, ethnicity, gender, economic background, sexuality, or disability. If the mountains do not want you to summit, no amount of wealth or privilege will get you to the top. But the mountains, and their equalizing power, come at the end of the approach, and what we often forget is that the approach is much longer for some of us than for others. So many of us take our privilege for granted, the privilege that allows us to simply put on our boots and start climbing. But for millions of Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color, there are countless barriers between them and the mountains. Economic restraints, white-washed media, a lack of outdoor education, subtle racism on trails and in parks, and a plethora of other issues conspire to keep BIPOC out of the outdoors. According to a 2014 national park study, 91% of all national park visitors in the Pacific Northwest are white. This needs to change.
We have been asked, rightly so, why we have not released a statement clarifying our position sooner. We did not feel it was right to say something without first educating ourselves and understanding the barriers faced by BIPOC in the outdoors. The need for this education can be seen as an indictment of our own complacency over the years. A few weeks is not enough time to call ourselves fully educated on the topic, but we are trying. Here at RMI Expeditions, Whittaker Mountaineering, and Bight Gear we are now in the process of gaining that education with the goal of taking significant actions to reduce barriers and increase representation of BIPOC in the outdoors.
We want to use our voice and our capital in a more meaningful way than a one-time donation or post, because this issue is endemic. To design and implement the kind of long-term, high impact program we have in mind, we need time. We will be releasing an action plan in the coming weeks and look forward to your suggestions and ideas, as we still have a lot to learn about our privilege and the ways we can best help our BIPOC outdoor community. And once our action plan is released, we ask that you check in on us and hold us accountable, whether that is in two months, two years, or two decades.
The mountains have the potential to provide adventure, fulfilment, growth, and wonder to people of all races, ethnicities, genders, and sexualities. It is high time we help BIPOC communities grasp that potential.
Owner of Bight Gear, RMI Expeditions, and Whittaker Mountaineering
February 28, 2013
Categories: Mountaineering Fitness & Training
Regarding the stair climbing interval training, would it be acceptable to use a steep hill as a substitute for stairs? Where I live there are several nice long steep hills that would be perfect for running, but no long flights of stairs.
Posted by: Rob on 3/6/2018 at 7:37 am
Any specific exercises you would recommend for the strength circuit training? I have an elliptical at home but no weight set to use. Are there some weight-free or gym-free strength circuits I can use as supplement?
Posted by: Greg Duncan on 1/12/2016 at 8:34 am