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Balancing Hiking with Strength Training

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nikorock28
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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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nikorock28
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Re: Balancing Hiking with Strength Training

Post by nikorock28 » Oct 28 2015 11:34 pm

Thanks for your comments FOTG Lee. If anyone on this site is built for strength as well as hiking, it is probably you. But, aha, even you are unable to completely balance everything and only work legs every other week. I have too much write in response, but for now i will say that i might try prioritizing instead of trying to improve everything all at once.

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SpiderLegs
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Re: Balancing Hiking with Strength Training

Post by SpiderLegs » Oct 29 2015 7:00 am

If anyone is really trying hard to lose those last 10 pounds read "Racing Weight" by Matt Fitzgerald. Book is aimed at runners and cyclists trying to finesse their power to weight ratio. I also agree with FOTG that weight loss begins in the kitchen, you can't out-hike a donut or 6 pack of beer.

Most of the good stuff is behind a paywall, but Gym Jones up in SLC does some solid programming for outdoor athletes as well. Gym is run by a mountain climber/cyclist and they trained all the actors for the movie "300" a few years back. You can glean some good workout tips from the free stuff though.

Just to add from personal experience, once I started lifting seriously 8 years ago, my injury rate from running and hiking fell dramatically. I'm pushing 50 and I'm not as resilient as I used to be, lifting has helped me a lot.

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Jim_H
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Re: Balancing Hiking with Strength Training

Post by Jim_H » Oct 29 2015 7:30 am

big_load wrote:
Jim_H wrote:God, and to think that I went hiking for the enjoyment.
:lol:
:? I'm assuming you're laughing because of my AEG obsession.
I just feel better, when I eat a carbon based diet.

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tibber
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Re: Balancing Hiking with Strength Training

Post by tibber » Oct 29 2015 8:24 am

I am going to timidly jump in here. I know I'm not a good as hiker as any of you but for even a mediocre hiker like myself, I have to work out. I mostly work out to hike. I try to do two strength (full body) classes at the club per week and at least one hike per weekend during the summer. I am not one to go to the club every day; sad to say I just won't do that.

Now that the nice temps are here, I will workout twice at the club and try to get in a hike during the week as well. I also have a strength (full body) trainer every other week for 75 minutes. And every once in awhile I'll throw in a Barbell Strength class. And that's just so I can hike mediocre ;) .

This summer I didn't hike anything substantial for a month and so it's taking a lot of extra effort to hike even mediocre but I'm slowly getting my mojo back such as it is. However, that does require HIKING!
For me, sometimes it's just as much about the journey as the destination.
Oh, and once in awhile, don't forget to look back at the trail you've traveled.

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SpiderLegs
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Re: Balancing Hiking with Strength Training

Post by SpiderLegs » Oct 29 2015 9:05 am

@tibber Don't feel bad that you don't hit the gym everyday. From everything that I've read and experienced, once you hit your 40's recovery is more important than working out. If I do a hard workout in the gym it now takes me two days to recover instead of one day. Plus once you hit a certain age diet and sleep are just as important as working out. It's all a matter of balance.

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chumley
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Re: Balancing Hiking with Strength Training

Post by chumley » Oct 29 2015 9:46 am

SpiderLegs wrote:It's all a matter of balance.
I find holding one beer in each hand to be a good solution for this.
3-minute master!

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friendofThundergod
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Re: Balancing Hiking with Strength Training

Post by friendofThundergod » Oct 29 2015 10:52 am

@chumley
Wow a Chumley sighting on
the Hiking with Strength Training
thread, that is about as unlikely as an appearance by 9L on the weather thread :lol:

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nikorock28
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Re: Balancing Hiking with Strength Training

Post by nikorock28 » Oct 29 2015 12:56 pm

chumley wrote: I find holding one beer in each hand to be a good solution for this.
Do you alternate the gulps?

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nikorock28
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Re: Balancing Hiking with Strength Training

Post by nikorock28 » Oct 29 2015 12:56 pm

friendofThundergod wrote:@chumley
Wow a Chumley sighting on
the Hiking with Strength Training
thread, that is about as unlikely as an appearance by 9L on the weather thread :lol:
My thread has been officially hijacked.

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lindaagm
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Re: Balancing Hiking with Strength Training

Post by lindaagm » Oct 29 2015 1:10 pm

Well, you got about 25 quality comments before it went south...
Instagram: lindaagm

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big_load
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Re: Balancing Hiking with Strength Training

Post by big_load » Oct 29 2015 1:57 pm

Jim_H wrote:
big_load wrote:
Jim_H wrote:God, and to think that I went hiking for the enjoyment.
:lol:
:? I'm assuming you're laughing because of my AEG obsession.
Yes, you are the hill monster. There's nothing wrong with that. Mrs. big_load constantly accuses me of requiring misery to have fun.

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The_Dude
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Re: Balancing Hiking with Strength Training

Post by The_Dude » Oct 29 2015 2:11 pm

I am a dad with two young kids, a full time job, and a house to take care of. I am glad to get one good hike in every week (6-8 miles and 2000-2500' AEG), and then mixing in one backpack or bigger hike on the weekend just about every month. I have not been inside a gym in many years, but I find lots of good strength training in landscaping, yard work, and DIY projects around the house. Regular hiking has kicked my metabolism in the butt like running/ biking never could. I would like to do more strength training, but alas available time is a fickle thing. Maybe when the girls are in high school...despite my penchant for beer and cookies (not generally at the same time, but sometimes) I manage to keep myself at a reasonable 170 lbs.

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nikorock28
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Re: Balancing Hiking with Strength Training

Post by nikorock28 » Oct 29 2015 2:53 pm

lindaagm wrote:Well, you got about 25 quality comments before it went south...
I think half of those were mine. :lol:

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nikorock28
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Re: Balancing Hiking with Strength Training

Post by nikorock28 » Oct 29 2015 2:59 pm

big_load wrote:
Jim_H wrote:
big_load wrote:
Jim_H wrote:God, and to think that I went hiking for the enjoyment.
:lol:
:? I'm assuming you're laughing because of my AEG obsession.
Yes, you are the hill monster. There's nothing wrong with that. Mrs. big_load constantly accuses me of requiring misery to have fun.
Hrmm, I thought Jim hiked to observe weather phenomenon.

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nikorock28
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Re: Balancing Hiking with Strength Training

Post by nikorock28 » Oct 29 2015 3:01 pm

The Dude wrote: in landscaping, yard work, and DIY projects
That is the kind of strength training that I despise... you know, actual work.

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MtnBart01
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Re: Balancing Hiking with Strength Training

Post by MtnBart01 » Oct 29 2015 4:46 pm

I found I had lots of injuries when I lifted weights regularly. I also carried around a lot more muscle than I needed.
Now, I spend a lot of time walking laps on the helideck, watching movies on treadmill on 15 % incline, and Pilates when I'm at work. I've been getting back into the Rock gym now that the threenager has taken an interest which I think a couple days a week does far more than any "strength training". My strength to weight ratio was never higher than the 5 years I climbed 3 days/ week at the gym and it was functional strength not worthless bulk. Having said that I didn't do a whole lot of anything at work before my pumpkin loop or my PP via Heizer, but I did prehydrate and fuel and paid a lot of attention to hydrating, eating, and breathing along the way. Those were my longest hikes and they felt pretty good. I think concentrating on AEG has certainly helped this year.
Or maybe because most of my hikes are at altitude and the air is thinner I'm just more aerodynamic and that has led to my increase in average speed on hikes with reasonable AEG. :)
Besides hiking is just off season training for the ski season.
LET IT SNOW! Let it SNOW! Let it Snow!

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outdoor_lover
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Re: Balancing Hiking with Strength Training

Post by outdoor_lover » Oct 29 2015 5:10 pm

chumley wrote:I find holding one beer in each hand to be a good solution for this.
You will find that as you get Older, the Recovery Time for that gets longer too....

Sorry Nick, I couldn't resist...lol
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty & well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming, "Wow What a Ride!"

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azbackpackr
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Re: Balancing Hiking with Strength Training

Post by azbackpackr » Oct 31 2015 6:18 am

I'd just like something I could do to improve flexibility and core strength. I found when I went to a river guide school I can't get back into a raft that is sitting in the deep end of the swimming pool. If I wanted to be a paddle raft guide one summer I'd have to be able to get back into the raft. All the guys could, a few of the gals could not. I think that is a core strength ability, plus arms.

I paddle a kayak fairly frequently which helps my arms. I used to enjoy swimming laps regularly, but nowadays most small towns keep their pools open for only a few months of the year. I'd have to go to a bigger town to find a pool open all year.

I have gone to gyms before, and I may go again, but I find the experience to be very tedious. I tend to want to leave very soon after I get there. I think I would have to hire a personal trainer, because the people who work in those places are never very interested in showing me how to do much of anything. I would also like to find a very beginner-beginner senior yoga class, for the flexibility. I have found I can't just walk into an existing class. Every single posture is very painful to various joints.
There is a point of no return unremarked at the time in most lives. Graham Greene The Comedians
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big_load
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Re: Balancing Hiking with Strength Training

Post by big_load » Oct 31 2015 10:35 am

MtnBart01 wrote:I found I had lots of injuries when I lifted weights regularly.
I wonder if that has anything to do with your tendency to go all-out. :whistle:

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Re: Balancing Hiking with Strength Training

Post by Sun_Ray » Oct 31 2015 11:23 am

For years I did not do 'legs' with my gym workout as why should I.... I hike a lot. Then during knee replacement rehab I learned many leg exercises and started doing them on a routine bases. I found that my hiking strength greatly improved as I continued to do a 'legs' once or twice a week. I hike just enough to keep a base, then ramp it up as I near a planned longer/harder hike.
Brian
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday......there is no SOMEDAY!

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