Photo: Rigid Designator, Vail, CO. My first big ice lead in 1991.

This is Week Four: Strength Building phase of my Nine Week Periodization program. When creating a workout program for myself or my clients, I always keep in mind my goals. With my current program, I have four specific goals. I want to climb multiple 100 foot vertical pitches of waterfall ice without hanging on my protection or the rope; ascend and ski down 1000 to 2000 vertical feet of powder snow without having to stop; be able to do these activities for consecutive days; and most of all, I want to be clear headed, make good decisions and come home alive.

The purpose of this week’s training is to improve your mental and physical ability to handle increased workloads. Subjecting the body to stress prepares you for real time winter adventures. Not only can you do more and recover faster, but you make better decisions when you are mentally confident and physically fit.

I use equipment common in most gyms and classic exercises like squats and deadlifts that have stood the test of time. This week my squats and deadlifts were 50% heavier than where I started three weeks ago. You can’t do that overnight. It is important to let your muscles, tendons, ligaments and joints adapt to heavier weight over time. In addition, I never go heavy on the first set. I always add incremental weight each set. This week I am doing more sets, lower reps, and longer recoveries between sets.

On the spin bike and step mill I am pushing for higher power output as measured in watts. I am focused on increasing my VO2 max; my ability to deliver oxygen to my muscles. I do this by increasing the intensity and duration of my intervals.

The climbing gym is the workout where I continue to work on endurance. This week’s long duration climbing session is more difficult due to the higher workloads earlier in the week. This is good. I want to stress my body; to feel like I am pushing myself even when fatigued.

This week’s workout consisted of 10 hours of training. If you are doing this much work, be sure to get adequate rest, drink water to prevent dehydration, and pay attention to your diet. Try to get 20 to 40 grams of protein in your body within 30 minutes after working out. If you have weight loss or fat burning goals, make sure you are controlling your carbohydrate consumption. It is easy to over consume carbs during a heavy workout week.

Download this week’s workout: Week 4_Strength Training Part One 11_26_18

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