This 8 month training plan is designed to get climbers and mountaineers in peak physical condition for summit bids and expeditions on major mountains below 7000 meters like Ama Dablam, The Matterhorn, Island Peak, Mt. Vinson, Mt. Elbrus, Aconcagua, Denali (Mt. McKinley). You can also adjust the number of weeks or months based on the mountain and your current fitness level. Realize, having a high fitness level does not guarantee you won’t suffer from the effects of altitude. If you’re in good physical condition (can climb 10,000 feet/3330 meters of elevation gain with 30 lb. pack in a weekend) it’s possible to jump to month two and condense to a 6 month training regimen.
1. It really helps to have a heart rate monitor and follow the sugested MHR. If you don’t have a heart rate monitor you can substitute perceived level of exertion from the Borg scale, start off low and work up slowly.
2. One of the most important aspects of this training plan is to get outdoors and climb as much as possible.
3. Train with friends and partners to motivate each other.
4. Bike to work whenever possible; always take the stairs instead of the elevator when in buildings.
5. It's ok to miss a day here and there if you need a break. Try and stay as consistent as possible and if you miss any of the critical workouts (called out in red and the notes) make sure you make them up by slotting in a different day.
6. For safety in the wilderness we recommend you try out Cairn which allows you to easily share your plans and allow family to track you while on your climbs, features also include "I'm Ok" and "I made it to the top" pre-filed messages that share your location and device battery life. Another cool feature is Cairn shows you exact spots of cell coverage. Note: Cairn is created by friends and a founder of FitClimb so we are a bit biased.
Note: This fitness plan assumes a good level of fitness and based on opinions and experience of the author. You should consult a physician before starting this exercise program.