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How do You Train?
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Chad Miller

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Weight lifting 101 on 01/23/2008 12:18:19 MST Print View

With any type of weightlifting your goal is to isolate and work a primary muscle group and make it stronger. The concept behind lifting to prevent strength imbalances is to isolate your antagonist muscle groups and strengthen them to prevent injury.

This is not to say that other minor muscle groups will be worked when doing a particular exercise. In fact it is almost impossible to work a muscle group without also working the corresponding adjacent muscle groups. For example when doing bench press primarily works your pectorals but also works your triceps, front deltoids and abdominals.

No single lifting style (free weight or machine) will concentrate a muscle group more or less. The more intense isolation of a muscle group depends on the specific exercise and forum, not if it was done with free weights or a machine.

I feel free weights are the best possible choice when lifting weights. As long as you use proper form you are able to work many of the stabilizing muscle groups during a particular exercise. The key to this is using proper form when lifting. Unfortunately 80% of the people I see lifting free weights are using improper form and don't even know it.

Lifting using a weight machine is also a good alternative to free weights. While the machines won't work the stabilizing muscles as efficiently as free weights it is still an excellent method to work your anterior muscles to maintain a balanced muscular system. The bonus of weight machines is that is forces you to use proper form and isn't nearly as stressful on your joints.

In summary free weights or machines don’t make as much of a difference an lifting with proper form and having a routine that is specifically designed to balance your body.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Weight lifting 101 on 01/23/2008 12:43:59 MST Print View

If you do weight lifting, here are a couple of other important considerations for success:

(1) good nutrition
(2) adequate rest

Then you gonna get pumped up and be no girly (wo)man
: )

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Weight lifting 101 on 01/23/2008 12:44:44 MST Print View

thats pretty interesting, I have always assumed that machines did not provide as much of a benefit b/c they did not simulate real works movements. Thanks for the lowdown.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Re: Weight lifting 101 on 01/23/2008 12:53:49 MST Print View

Free vs machines

For me, using free weights would make both sides (arms, shoulders, etc) become equal in strength. With machines, your stronger side can cheat because you do not have to balance the bar.

Chad Miller

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Re: Re: Weight lifting 101 on 01/23/2008 13:14:19 MST Print View

Protein is the basic building bock that is used to build muscle, without it you cannot rebuild muscle or body tissue.

An active adult mail should consume about .6 grams of protein a day per pound of body weight. Generally your body can only process and use 40 grams of protein every two hours. Basically if you eat a meal don’t eat more than 40 grams of protein because you will simply just pass it out the other end.

Carbohydrate is just as important as protein when building muscle mass. Carbohydrates provide your muscles with glycogen, glycogen is the energy source used by your muscle. You’re body cannot use protein effetely without glycogen.

It is beneficial to consume a small meal (aka snack) within 30 minutes of weight training. This snack should consist of 20-35 gram of carbohydrate, 15-20 grams of protein, and 1-5 grams of fat.

Rest / Recovery
It takes approximately 48 hours for your muscle to partially recover (75%) from strenuous exercise (aka weight training).

It takes approximately four days for a muscle to completely recover (100%) from strenuous exercise (aka weight lifting).

Most weight lifting routines that incorporate the entire body are done 2-3 times a week with at least one day of rest in-between training sessions.

Muscular soreness the day after weight lifting is normal. If you are not sore the day after you lift but instead the first signs of muscle soreness occur two to three days after you lift you have strained your muscles due to overtraining. This means you have actually damaged your muscle and need to rest and scale back your weight lifting routine. Trying to train through the strained muscles will only cause more damage and eventually make you weaker!

During the physical process of weight training you cause microscopic tare muscle fibers. During your recovery (rest) days these microscopic tares heal and your muscle fibers grow back stronger and thicker. All of your strength gains from weight lifting occur during your rest days.

Chad Miller

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Proper lifting form on 01/23/2008 13:22:57 MST Print View

If you're having trouble with equalizing your body when doing an exercise (aka using the stronger side to push / pull more) than you are using improper form and need to reduce the weight you’re trying to move so that each side of your body is working equally.

Despite using free weights or machines you should always work to apply the same amount of exertion to each side of your body when you’re doing an exercise. Doing so is the basic foundation of proper weight lifting form.

On a side note it is quite common to be stronger on side of your body than the other. This naturally occurring strength inconsistence is primary reason why so many people lift with poor form. Unbalanced lifting is also the most common mistake people make in regards to proper form when lifting weights.

Nat Lim
(LithiumMetalman) - F

Locale: Cesspool Central!
rack, rope, gear, ugh.... on 01/24/2008 23:45:25 MST Print View

I find for backpacking the best workout that has helped prepped me for carrying loads is carrying my climbing gear on my climbing trips.
About 8lbs for the rack, it was about 15lbs when I first started, rope(s) (about 8-10lbs), and/or leaders pack (anywhere from 5-15lbs. The approaches can be short or long (a few feet to a few miles...ugh). Nonetheless, that's anywhere from 16-36lbs of gear I'm lugging, and that's for a day trip!
On top that I get lug that weight up a wall, spend anywhere from 1-6 hours on the wall, then the hike back to the car or tent.
Plus I'm lightweight 5,8" about 128lbs, that''s almost 1/5 my weight right there!

So when backpacking season comes around, carrying my weeklong 16lb pack or 10lb 2-3 day pack feels like a dream!!!

As in terms of core workouts, I don't use weights, but use a series of bodyweight exercises (one-arm push-ups, one legged squats, etc), pilates /yoga combined with an intense climbing regime.

Depending on the season if not climbing, I replace the climbing regime with a gymnastic ring regime which is alot fun!

Used to run, but now these days just walk everywhere and so far that has been working pretty well.

Nat Lim
(LithiumMetalman) - F

Locale: Cesspool Central!
free weight vs machine on 01/25/2008 00:04:21 MST Print View

Great info Chad, quite insightful!

-At one point I used to lift, but when I was, it was always free weights!

-Stretching, found this has helped my strength and flexibility immensely

-One of my favorite work out quotes I've heard: "Workout hard, REST even harder."

John Schafer
(jdshiker) - F
Re: Re: Re: Weight lifting 101 on 01/25/2008 10:31:19 MST Print View

Yes, great stuff - very helpful.

Chad (or anybody else), can you give an example/description of a "30 minute weight lifting routine done twice a week to keep your body in balance"? i.e. a list of exercises?


Chad Miller

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
My routine on 01/25/2008 11:18:44 MST Print View

Well here is what I do. It’s important to note that I also rock and ice climb throughout the year so my workout it tailored around that. I also hike throughout the year so I keep those muscles in shape through activity.

You will notice that certain exercises are paired up. These paired exercises work antagonist muscle groups so while doing one set of exercises my antagonist muscle group is recovering. That is to say I do one exercise and then immediately do another without any rest in-between.

I do three sets of ten reps for each exercise unless noted otherwise. With any weight lifting routine I strongly suggest you get professional instruction on how to all exercise. It is important that you use proper form when lifting. All lifting should be done in a smooth controlled manner with no jerky movements. A typical repetition should consist of you lowering the weight for a count of 3-4 seconds and a contraction (forcibly moving the weight) for a 1-2 second count.

Bench Press or Peck Fly’s
Seated row or lat pull down

Shoulder Press
Internal and external shoulder rotation

Lower back extension
Ball sit ups (three sets of 25 reps)

VO leg extension (look this exercise up)

Single calf raise with toe pointed in
Reverse wrist curls

Edited by chadnsc on 01/25/2008 11:20:56 MST.

Dave .
(Ramapo) - F
Internal and external shoulder rotation on 01/25/2008 12:22:22 MST Print View

Chad, can you describe what you mean by this exercise? I'm not sure I know what you mean.


Chad Miller

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Re: Internal and external shoulder rotation on 01/25/2008 13:18:43 MST Print View

Do a Google search for 'internal shoulder rotation exercises'. The site won't let me upload an image right now.

Michael Chamoun
(snowchief) - F

Locale: SoCal
Training on 01/27/2008 00:35:32 MST Print View

Stick to sports specific training. If you're going hiking, go hiking! Put a backpack on with books inside or something heavy. Get used to the imperfections of the trail, go at a consistent pace whether up or down or flat. If you wanted to incorporate some strength training stick with core exercises as they will help you most especially with stability. Discover a stretch routine for the end of your training sessions and incorporate them in your backpacking trips. Weightlifting for long distance backpacking is more or less total crap. The body does not singularly move in the limited planes weight lifting provides. Stick to functional exercises that include weight bearing, increase core muscular strength and endurance, and flexibility.

Edited by snowchief on 01/27/2008 00:46:03 MST.

Chad Miller

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Training on 01/28/2008 08:14:05 MST Print View

I think you have misunderstood the discussion about the potential benefits of weight training as part of your backpacking routine. It was never stated or implied that strength training was a substitute for backpacking. It was also never suggested that strength training alone should be used as a form of training for backpacking.

If anyone is obtuse enough to think that limiting themselves to a single form of training will prepare someone for long distant backpacking then they are in for a great deal of disappointment, frustration, and injury.

I agree that sport specific training is the best possible way to train for backpacking (aka backpack to get better at backpacking). As previously stated in this thread no type of weight training will efficiently independently train you for backpacking or any other sport for that matter.

In any sports specific training program you should incorporate specific strength training exercises to help strengthen antagonistic muscle groups that aren't used during the activity you're training for. Sports specific strength training should also incorporate exercises to increase stability and prevent injury caused from overuse syndrome and strength imbalances (knee pain anyone?)

Strength training alone will not get you into shape for backpacking. Strength training is intended to be a complementary training routine that when combined with an overall routine including backpacking, cross training, stretching, proper diet, and sufficient rest time will help to improve your backpacking.

Edited by chadnsc on 01/28/2008 11:13:58 MST.

Anitra Kass
(Anitraten) - F

Locale: SoCal
Training on 01/28/2008 13:04:56 MST Print View

Well said Chad! I concur.

George Matthews
(gmatthews) - MLife
Re: Training on 01/28/2008 16:01:35 MST Print View

For most I my life I'd pumped iron. Starting high school and then on and off until towards the end of my 40's. It you have not tried it, then you're missing out on a great natural high. Physically you become stronger, but you also develop a mental toughness.

I started backpacking a four years ago. In the beginning, I found carrying a pack up a steep slope was very difficult. But I just kept on going. I don't think I would have stuck with it if I had not trained with weights so much. Weight lifting and backpacking are cousins. Your reps are your steps.

The only reason I quit my weight training is to keep my body weight down. The old saying, 'Train like an animal. Eat like an animal' applied to me. Maybe I will start up again after I hit my 60's : )

shawn weld
(Spoon) - F

Locale: NorthEast
Training on 01/28/2008 16:15:06 MST Print View

1. Weights 2 - 3 times a week (pullups, bench press, overhead press and squats).

2. Cardio - 20 minutes a couple days a week.

3. Hike as often as possible (weekends).

4. Eat right.

5. Drinks Coors Light.

Chad Miller

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Tranning and Beer on 01/29/2008 07:23:05 MST Print View

Coors Light, ewww!

If I where you I'd up your cardio to 35 minutes so you can enjoy an actual beer! :)

Nat Lim
(LithiumMetalman) - F

Locale: Cesspool Central!
Train like a rabid ninja on 01/29/2008 16:50:40 MST Print View

Ummm.... anyways

Regime depending on season, and like Chad my workouts are centralized around my climbing

-Climb 3-4 days a week (mixture btw recruitment, power, power-edurance and endurance, highly dependent on what I am training for)

-2 days a week of core-ish exercises, 30 minuteish routines (this will vary depending on my cycling stage in climbing):

One-arm push-ups (never to failure)
One legged squats (never to failure)

combined with

A cycle(s) of Vinyasa style yoga

-Off days stretching (including on days) and breathing exercises.

-Not much for cardio, though I know I should, I just walk everywhere with a pack!

Off-season training (rare, but is does happen)

Almost the same deal as above except replace climbing with gymnastic rings

3-4 days a week: gymnastic ring regime consisting of front levers, psuedo plances, dips, pull-ups, extensions, pull-ups, ring flyes, planks. regime is usually split up btw the 3-4 days focusing on "grouped exercises"

It's alot of fun, but has been somewhat useless for climbing...but at least keeps me in shape!

-Everyday stretching, same deal as before cycle(s) of Vinyasa style yoga and breathing exercises

-Cardio wise, same deal as before....walk with my pack everywhere!

Not sure if this helps, So far this has been working for me (well for the last 3 years so far, and mostly injury free, unless I try being a ninja....) insights, thoughts, advice?


Edited by LithiumMetalman on 01/29/2008 16:53:07 MST.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F

Locale: British Columbia
How do You Train? on 01/30/2008 01:41:26 MST Print View


Edited by skopeo on 04/24/2015 23:32:29 MDT.