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Balancing Hiking with Strength Training

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nikorock28
Thumb Butte Bandito
Posts: 121
Joined: Nov 16 2010 11:52 pm
City, State: South Rim, AZ

Balancing Hiking with Strength Training

Post by nikorock28 » Oct 28 2015 2:02 pm

For any of you gym peeps out there, do you find it difficult to balance your hiking along with your strength training workouts? My background is as a gym rat and I primarily got into hiking for the cardiovascular benefits. I have found that pushing hard on high grade trails has done more for my cardio than anything I ever attempted in the gym. I say attempted because I was never able to continue my cardio day in the gym for more than a few weeks at a time.

Anyways, since I started hiking in 2010, it has been a continual challenge to balance gym workouts with hiking and vice a versa. I would like to be well rounded and find it hard to improve in all the various facets of hiking... fast on short Squaw Peak type hikes, maintain a fast pace on moderate type hikes and have endurance to complete long, death marches... while still maintaining/gaining strength, particularly in the upper body (since hiking does little, if anything, for those muscle groups). I find it difficult to train for all the above, and long hikes have assumed the lowest priority. But, I would like to have the ability to knock out a rim to rim or any other 20 miler and not extremely slow like I typically do on longer hikes. However, in order to train for such length hikes, I find it impossible to not neglect shorter, push 100% ones, along with a much decreased volume in strength building exercises. How do you guys and girls reconcile the varied goals?

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chumley
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Posts: 6322
Joined: Sep 18 2002 8:59 am
City, State: Tempe, AZ

Re: Balancing Hiking with Strength Training

Post by chumley » Mar 31 2016 3:01 pm

nikorock28 wrote:My thread has been officially hijacked.
Sort of still on track. This beast of a grandma can deadlift a bar with FOTG on one side and Blanco on the other! :app:
The 78-year-old grandma is a stalwart member of Club Fitness in Wood Lawn, where is known to most members of the club. Going several times a week, she can often be seen in the weights section working out. But the gym junkie recently reached quite a milestone on her favorite exercise - deadlifting - by picking up a bar loaded with 245 pounds of weights.... Amazingly, Webb had never stepped foot in a gym until two years ago. She had never lifted before.
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... ounds.html
3-minute master!

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up2top
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Joined: Aug 30 2008 8:42 am
City, State: Surface-of-the-Sun, AZ

Re: Balancing Hiking with Strength Training

Post by up2top » Mar 31 2016 6:37 pm

Functional fitness programs, like CrossFit, are a good match for those looking to be well rounded in all areas of fitness. I'm not in very good cardio condition right now but I find that doing metabolic conditioning 3x a week and strength training 3-4x a week puts me in good position to roll out of bed and tackle any physical challenge that presents itself (recreationally or otherwise).

I'm a life long gym rat like Spiderlegs, but I've also logged a LOT of long, hard miles on my legs with many years of backpacking and backcountry rock climbing. The wear & tear caught up to me the past several years and I ended up having bi-lateral knee replacement surgery in July of 2014. Recovery has been a much longer road than anticipated, but I'm finally getting to the point where 10 mile hikes with a pack don't kill me. I've put together a couple of decent three day trips in the Supes so far this year and I felt nearly as strong on day 3 as day 1, so I'm very happy with that kind of progress.

On the strength side I'm not yet back to pre-surgery numbers but I'm getting close. Last night was "totals" at the gym and I did a 1 rep max shoulder press at 185 lbs, back squat at 365 lbs, and pulled a 518 lb deadlift for a total of 1068 lbs lifted. Not bad for a 48 year old guy with two prosthetic knees.

Why does strength matter? Strong people are harder to kill, and are generally more useful. ;-)

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chumley
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Joined: Sep 18 2002 8:59 am
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Re: Balancing Hiking with Strength Training

Post by chumley » Mar 31 2016 7:10 pm

up2top wrote:Strong people are harder to kill, and are generally more useful. ;-)
I think that should say smart people... ;)
3-minute master!

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friendofThundergod
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Joined: Jan 21 2013 10:47 am
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Re: Balancing Hiking with Strength Training

Post by friendofThundergod » Mar 31 2016 8:07 pm

@up2top
Strong people are harder to kill
: rambo :

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SpiderLegs
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Re: Balancing Hiking with Strength Training

Post by SpiderLegs » Apr 01 2016 1:22 pm

up2top wrote: I'm a life long gym rat like Spiderlegs,
Well hate to break it to you, wish I had been a life long gym rat, I'd be a lot stronger. Didn't start hitting the weight room until I turned 40 and our family got a free membership to our local YMCA. But the benefits have really helped me out on the trail. I still get injured, but bounce back a lot faster.

Not a fan of CrossFit workouts, through much trial and error have narrowed things down to good old fashioned 5x5 workout if I hit the gym. Right now doing a pretty basic kettlebell routine of get ups, squats and lots of clean and presses. Throw in a bunch of pull-ups at the end of the workout.

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