New Alpinism


Original Post
Jonathan C · · Austin, tx · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 0

Hey all, I've been coming here for a while mainly for the bouldering aspect of climbing, but it was really climbing mountains and thruhiking that got me into bouldering in the first place as the idea was to boulder in the winter to get stronger for the summers as my hiking routes got more inventive and tougher and I began making them more technical, longer, and more reliant on going off trail, using topos and a compass to try new routes between trails, etc. Anyway, I've never seen a need to post on this site before even though I've been visiting a for a while. Furthermore, I apologize if this topic has already been covered and/or is in the wrong section for this subject.

Has anyone picked up this yet?

http://books.google.com/books/about/Training_for_the_New_Alpinism.html?id=4dYsnQEACAAJ

I've got a whole thing I've developed to train for a trip this summer and wonder if any there are any others who are into this sort of thing. I love the idea of combining all of the free solo climbing styles (to expand the term, I guess) into one trip and it's even fun to train for (so far). Anyway, it's what I like do, and think it's really tricky to prepare for and was wondering if anyone else has seen this and would care to share their thoughts on it, because it sounds neat. It certainly sounds useful but it could just be sorta obvious stuff with a bunch of pretty pictures. It's got some great names attached to it and that it comes from Patagonia does not sound lame to me even though most of their stuff is actually useless to me. I still think they're a cool company and make neat stuff. My real question is, is this book worth owning? Most mountaineering books for me have been worth a read, but not worth spending money on and then having to live with it for forever, even if the pictures are really pretty.

Thanks a bunch, and I've enjoyed and continue to appreciate all of the advice on training, injury prevention, and even all of the dumbass shit that's been posted on this site even though I hope to not contribute to the latter category too much.

Jonathan

Cale Hoopes · · Sammamish, WA · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 10

I'm reading through it. I really like the approach Steve & Scott have. I'm "re" learning a ton about my own training and plan on putting much of their approach into practice. I'd like to figure out where I am and tweak my training. I have upcoming expeditions in 2015-16 that I'd like to get my base fitness and periodization figured out for (including my yearly cragging, mountaineering and ice climbing projects in the continental US).

Jay Bach · · Denver, CO · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 68

I bought it and have read through all of it. Great book. In certain ways it's geared towards hard core elite alpine climbers, but all of the information can be used and adapted to however intensely you want to train/climb. I have other training books that are very good including "Climbing Stronger, Faster, Healthier: Beyond the Basics" but New Alpinism can pretty much replace them all. It's not that New Alpinism contradicts what they say, but it's comprehensive and covers everything I've gotten from other books. Highly recommended.

divnamite · · New York, NY · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 170

Just looked at CC's post. Looks like it's shit ton of zone 1 training, with strength toss in between?

Cale, if you are using the book's plan. What's your training volume per week?

http://cascadeclimbers.com/forum/ubbthreads.php/ubb/showflat/Number/1122092/gonew/1/Training_for_the_New_Alpinism_#UNREAD

Dave Bn · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 10

I've been quite impressed with the book as well. Almost the quality of information you'd expect from a well written college-level textbook. A good mix of science and real world experience.

I also am quite surprised by the emphasis on zone 1 training and even more so by the note by Mark Twight which strays from the Cross-Fit, burpee-til-you-puke, high intensity go-go-go style. Recently, I've been following the Alpine Training Center/Mountain Athlete structure (which are certainly comparable to Cross-fit intensity). While I have felt gains, I've also felt pretty fatigued for going on 7 weeks now.

Anyways, moving forward I see adopting the New Alpinist approach a bit more. That is, being ok with a days worth of training just being a long zone 1 workout. Although I do feel I've felt the most gains from the work capacity work-outs posted on ATC, I'll probably use those for my zone 2 days.

BTW, my training volume would be ~10 hours/week. But that includes a 5-6 hour ski tour, hike or climb each weekend.

Jonny d · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2011 · Points: 40

Jonathan,
Just got the book last week and am making my way through it. So far, it's about the best book on athletic training that I've read, including the ACSM Instructor's training manual. Agree with the comment about the load of Zone 1 training. I've bought into the HIIT philosophy over the past few years and have experienced many of the effects that House/Johnston describe. So far, the logic seems very solid, and I'm re-checking it with my fitness/health trained wife. Assuming it keeps going the way it has and checks out, I'll be re-thinking my entire approach to mountain fitness. Bummer is that I've lost a lot with my HIIT training and resulting fatigue, so I've got some years ahead of me...

Jonathan C · · Austin, tx · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 0

Thanks, everybody, I appreciate the info. I'm gonna see if I can find one in town tomorrow to flip through, and comments on the book being a good resource are very encouraging. Basically, I'm training with the idea that I need to be able to carry 50 lbs or so as effortlessly as possible and still be able to climb well without turning into one of those gorilla dudes who stop improving and even having fun. What I've been doing is yielding very positive results so far. Nutrition is a thing I've gotten much better at over the years but more info on that is always appreciated. Same goes for altitude adjustments. I've learned a lot the hard way!

I look forward to chiming in after I read it, and it'd be interesting to hear other folks' training approaches, though that is perhaps best in a different thread. The objectives and goals get very divergent depending on the game being played, and I would think that'd make for interesting differences in how training is approached.

Thanks again!

Jonathan

Optimistic · · New Paltz · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 300

On Amazon you can check out a very substantial excerpt from the book...looks great!
http://www.amazon.com/Training-New-Alpinism-Climber-Athlete/dp/193834023X/ref=sr_sp-atf_title_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395402040&sr=8-1&keywords=steve+house+training+new+alpinism
(yikes, that link is long! can always just go to amazon if it doesn't work...)

beytzim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2013 · Points: 30

I am surprised with the amount of zone1 training as well. I think it really depends on what your goals are. If you want to climb a multiple day route then their methodology is sound. However, I doubt a 3 hour speed climb is in zone 1. So when it comes down to it, you need to train in the intensity that you expect your climb to be.

I am personally training for Lib Ridge right now which according to the book requires me to climb 6000' several times over the next few weeks. Well, I have a 1000' hill near my house, so I'm looking at almost seven hours of hiking per session. My wife is going to love to hear that!

Jonathan C · · Austin, tx · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 0

Hey, all. I went and picked up a copy last week and as far as I'm concerned it was money well spent. I read it all in a few days. It was a relief to find out that some of my training ideas really aren't so crazy, and all of the science I found to be fun to read and backed up by actual scientists and studies.

Of particular interest to me was the conversion of ft to st as a means to achieve endurance and strength, and how it really works. At this stage of the game I'm not going to alter my training too much, but I will certainly be referring to it regularly, and of course adjustments are going to be made. Additionally, the thoughts on strength, nutrition, and acclimatizing are great to have all in one place.

There's a lot to like about this book, and anyone who likes to put in a lot of time in the mountains would most likely benefit from it. Of course, all of the contributions from so many amazing climbers from different disciplines is really awesome. I'm really glad this book exists.

Thanks, everybody, and it'd be fun to hear about others' approaches to training while staying multifaceted as a climber, which is really my goal. We'll see!

Jonathan

Jay Bach · · Denver, CO · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 68

Hey beytzim, I hear ya. I'm training for Liberty Ridge too, and since reading this book I'm now taking 2 hour trail runs multiple times a week, lifting, and hiking/climbing all day on the weekends. I have no other life now.

It's amazing what a difference staying in Zone 1 does though. Last weekend I did two long days in the Desolation Wilderness wearing a heart monitor, and by staying at the right HR I felt like I could've gone indefinitely. Also, I like how much discussion of physiology/biology is in the book because having that "why" in my head keeps me motivated and prevents me from rushing along in Zone 2, and then bonking, like I have in the past.

This is also definitely a book to be reread multiple times. I'm sure I'll be learning from it, and improving my training methods, for years.

Cale Hoopes · · Sammamish, WA · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 10

LOL. I'm also training for Lib Ridge. I have a pretty good aerobic base already. I'm just trying to improve. I think the problem I've discovered is that I've had years of overtraining so I'm trying to adjust for that.

FosterK · · Edmonton, AB · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 40

Very much like this book. It's a good mix of design, inspiration, physiology, exercise science, and alpine expertise. The organization is well thought out, and the recommendations solid. It's easy to digest.

Specific complaints?: a little more thought on how to train for technical objectives for people without regular and quick a access to mountains; insufficient explanation for using some of the training logs; and a little more information on training for technique would have been appreciated.

This is a must buy!

Optimistic · · New Paltz · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 300
Jay Bach wrote:Hey beytzim, I hear ya. I'm training for Liberty Ridge too, and since reading this book I'm now taking 2 hour trail runs multiple times a week, lifting, and hiking/climbing all day on the weekends. I have no other life now. It's amazing what a difference staying in Zone 1 does though. Last weekend I did two long days in the Desolation Wilderness wearing a heart monitor, and by staying at the right HR I felt like I could've gone indefinitely. Also, I like how much discussion of physiology/biology is in the book because having that "why" in my head keeps me motivated and prevents me from rushing along in Zone 2, and then bonking, like I have in the past. This is also definitely a book to be reread multiple times. I'm sure I'll be learning from it, and improving my training methods, for years.
I'm really enjoying the book as well, it's incredibly well-thought-out and makes very good physiologic sense to me.

I've done a couple of zone 1 workouts now (with a monitor) and also felt, after 6 miles, which would have normally been a long run for me, that I could have just gone and done the whole "run" again! At the end, just to compare, I bumped up to my normal pace to see what "real" running looks like on a monitor, and it turns out that 85-90% of max is where I normally hang out.

My question: my normal pace is about 7:45-8:00 min/mi (hardly world-beating) but with this zone 1 run I was down at about a 13 minute mile! Is part of the plan that this is going to get faster if I stick with it? I don't feel like they really talked much about pace in the book, but maybe I was just reading too fast?
Brady Deal · · Anchorage, AK · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 110
Optimistic wrote: I'm really enjoying the book as well, it's incredibly well-thought-out and makes very good physiologic sense to me. I've done a couple of zone 1 workouts now (with a monitor) and also felt, after 6 miles, which would have normally been a long run for me, that I could have just gone and done the whole "run" again! At the end, just to compare, I bumped up to my normal pace to see what "real" running looks like on a monitor, and it turns out that 85-90% of max is where I normally hang out. My question: my normal pace is about 7:45-8:00 min/mi (hardly world-beating) but with this zone 1 run I was down at about a 13 minute mile! Is part of the plan that this is going to get faster if I stick with it? I don't feel like they really talked much about pace in the book, but maybe I was just reading too fast?
I was interested in that as well. I dont own a heart rate monitor so I was just guessing my zones on how I felt. Your heart rate in zone one shouldnt be very high, so that sounds somewhat accurate. It does seem like you have to restart your training and go through the paces; especially for me since I have already been running for a lot of my life. I adjusted the training more for my needs and it is working better now considering where I am at with my fitness.
Scott Robertson · · Portland, OR · Joined Jun 2002 · Points: 110

I love the new book, pretty damn comprehensive and well thought out.

Optimistic · · New Paltz · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 300
Brady Deal wrote: I was interested in that as well. I dont own a heart rate monitor so I was just guessing my zones on how I felt. Your heart rate in zone one shouldnt be very high, so that sounds somewhat accurate. It does seem like you have to restart your training and go through the paces; especially for me since I have already been running for a lot of my life. I adjusted the training more for my needs and it is working better now considering where I am at with my fitness.
For me their "nose breathing" pace seems to line up pretty well with my about 70-75% on my HRM. I can only get below 70% by walking, and as I said, have to run WAAAAY slower than my normal comfortable pace to stay below 75%. I'm super curious to see how it things change over the next few weeks. I'm happy to do the experiment, though: as others have noted, I feel sort of "charged up" by the Zone 1 training rather than slammed by it, which is how my usual zone 3 pace sometimes feels (in a good way).
cjdrover · · Watertown, MA · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 355
Optimistic wrote: My question: my normal pace is about 7:45-8:00 min/mi (hardly world-beating) but with this zone 1 run I was down at about a 13 minute mile! Is part of the plan that this is going to get faster if I stick with it? I don't feel like they really talked much about pace in the book, but maybe I was just reading too fast?
Similar here. My "natural" pace for running 3-6 miles had been about 8:20/mile, sub 8 if I was trying harder. I have found 12:30 to be my limit for nose breathing - monitor puts me at about 140 bpm.
Optimistic · · New Paltz · Joined Aug 2007 · Points: 300

I'd be psyched if you guys and other Zone 1 explorers would post up here as you go along.

Re-reading the section on the zones in the book, they do say that your speed should increase in Zone 1 as you train it (that's about as specific as they get), and they further contend that even folks who train for anaerobic events (eg Usain Bolt) will spend significant training time in Zone 1 and very little time in Zone 5(ie, they do NOT train solely at the load at which they compete...this is one of the major points of the book). Part of the rationale for that is the lactate shuttle that they discuss: the aerobic fibers (ST) can be trained to suck lactate right out of the anaerobic (FT)fibers for use in aerobic respiration, making both fiber types happier at higher loads.

Todd Cook · · Hawthorne, CA · Joined Nov 2011 · Points: 230

For you people following the book and heart rate monitor advice, did you do the true maximum heart rate fitness test recommended or are you still using that old bullshit rule 220 - your age?

If you did the test, what's the difference between the two numbers?

Me:
bullshit rule = 175
true test = 192 (+ maybe 9)

Todd

David Coley · · UK · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 70

This is a book written by people who know their stuff and know how to climb, however on a personal note, it is interesting how in climbing the word "training" has come only to mean stuff about getting stronger or fitter. In most sports this isn't so. In tennis, training is partly about tendons and stuff, but just as much about hitting the ball in the right place.

I think many climbers, especially those (like me) that are not good at sticking to a physical training programme, might get as much out of seeing "training" as a MUCH broader collection of activities. E.g. building belays fast, moving together, climbing a 500m route in 3 hours, soloing a big wall, learning to do simple aid fast, building rap stations, bivving on a mountain ledge, top-roping hard ice, being super-organised on belays, videoing change-overs to find out how to save a few minutes, cleaning a pitch fast whilst keeping the rack organised. Most of us know how to do this stuff well enough, but can we do it as efficiently as possible? Treating some of this stuff as training can, I think, help build the confidence needed to do longer and harder routes.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply

Log In to Reply