FitClimb

Mount Rainier Training Plan


This free training schedule created by Grant Story is specifically tailored to summiting Mt. Rainier.  Specifically tailored to climbing Mt. Rainier from the popular Camp Muir (DC) and Camp Schurman (Emmons glacier) routes. Also this plan doesn’t require you to use a heart rate monitor.

This information is to help set and reach fitness goals that will allow an individual to succeed in the sport of mountaineering. The ultimate goal of any perspective climber is to be physically and mentally prepared to fully engage in a mountaineering expedition with the ability to perform strong and steady throughout the adventure.

Example of Fitness requirements for a 3-day Summit Attempt:
  • Be able to carry a 30-45-pound pack for 5 to 8 hours a day.
  • Be able to ascend steadily for 5,000 ft on slopes up to 40 degrees.
  • Be able to descend 9,000 ft on slopes up to 40 degrees.
  • Be able to recover from a difficult day of climbing and repeat in consecutive days.
I.
It is important to understand what your training goals are in order to maximize the effectiveness of your workouts. In mountaineering the fitness requirements and training can be divided into three main categories: Cardiovascular endurance; Muscular strength; Flexibility training.

Cardiovascular Endurance:
Cardiovascular endurance refers to the body’s ability to perform any repetitive activity over long periods of time, requiring the use of large-muscle groups in addition to the heart and lungs. Some excellent activities for cardiovascular conditioning include running, walking on an inclined treadmill, stair stepping, working on an elliptical machine, walking up and down hills, and/or participating in a step aerobics class. The main goal is to be able to do a spinal-loading cardiovascular activity at a moderate intensity for 45-60 minutes five days a week. When starting a program begin with one of the above mentioned activities and try to get a 30 minute session three days a week. Then gradually increase the sessions to 45 to 60 minutes, and finally begin adding days to your regimen. It is important not to over-train, begin slowly and listen to your body. For example: If you start by running, but find that your knees, shins, or ankles begin to hurt. Try changing to the elliptical machine for a few sessions and remember to stretch, ice, and treat sore areas.

Muscular Strength:
The second vital component of physical conditioning is building muscular strength. Strength is needed for nearly every climbing task, including controlling and balancing heavy loads, hoisting yourself and gear, preparing and setting up camp, and assisting other team members. Training with free weights and doing “good ole” fashion push-ups, pull-ups, crunches, and dips will provide you with the functional, climbing-specific strength and balance needed most in the mountains. When starting a strength program, complete two full-body workouts a week of 30 to 45 minutes per session. Focus on compound exercises such as squats, lunges, step-ups, dips, pull-ups, dead lifts, bench press, and overhead press. At first use light weight, focus on good form and do two to three sets of 12-15 reps. As you gain strength and want to increase power and stamina switch to heavier weight and do 4 to 6 sets of eight to ten reps with only 20 seconds of rest between in each set.

Flexibility Training:
Stretching may help prevent or reduce muscle soreness of over the course of days of activity. Flexibility also increases the range of motion and reduces the strain of muscles when forced into certain positions. Activities that could increase flexibility are martial arts, yoga, and dance. Always include a 15 minute full body stretch, especially focusing on used muscles, after every exercise session whether it is cardiovascular or strength training.

Climbing Conditioning:
Nothing can prepare for the rigors of climbing better than climbing itself. It is critical in your training to get out and hike steep outdoor trails with a weighted pack. A good training option is to carry water in refillable containers (2-litre soda bottles) in your pack allowing you to gradually increase weight or dump weight if needed. A reasonable goal would to be able to ascend 3,500 ft with 65-pounds in 2 to 3 hours or 1,200 vertical feet in one hour.

II.
The weekly training plans in this packet are suggestive outlines of how to reach the required fitness goals described above. They provide a daily workout for each of the major fitness categories, and a section for personal notes. It is often helpful to log how one feels physically and mentally during the prescribed workout. This can be useful when identifying over-training injuries, when extra rest may be needed, or often just identifying what types of workouts lead to peak performance.

Climbing is an extremely rigorous and demanding activity requiring great physical conditioning. Before starting any exercise regime it is important to seek your physician’s approval and the advice of a physical/fitness expert.

Jump to:

Week 1,week 2, week 3, week 4, week 5, week 6, week 7, week 8, week 9, week 10, week 11, week 12

Phase 1- Base Fitness

Week 1

Cardio

Strength

Flexibility

Sunday

Day of Rest (DOR)

Day of Rest (DOR)

Day of Rest (DOR)

Monday

20 min run: level 1

elliptical/Bike or stairs ok

3x15 pushups;

3x20 crunches (abdominals and obloquies);

3x15 dips

Basic Stretches

Tuesday

Day of Rest (DOR)

3x20 unweighted squats;

3x20 split squats (each leg);

3x20 skier squats;

3x20 bench leg lowers

Basic Stretches

Wednesday

20 min run: level 1 run

3x15 pushups;

3x20 crunches (abdominals and obloquies);

3x15 dips

Basic Stretches

Thursday

Day of Rest (DOR)

3x20 unweighted squats;

3x20 split squats (each leg);

3x20 skier squats;

3x20 bench leg lowers

Basic Stretches

Friday

20 min run: level 1 run

Day of Rest (DOR)

Basic Stretches

Saturday

Outdoor Hike(at least 3miles) Light weight, comfortable pace

Link to top

 

Week 2

Cardio

Strength

Flexibility

Sunday

Day of Rest (DOR)

Day of Rest (DOR)

Day of Rest (DOR)

Monday

30 min run: level 1 run or 15 min run +15 min stairs

3x15 pushups;

3x20 crunches (abdominals and obloquies);

3x15 dips

Basic Stretches

Tuesday

20 min: level 1 run or stairs

3x20 unweighted squats;

3x20 split squats (each leg);

3x20 skier squats;

3x20 bench leg lowers

Basic Stretches

Wednesday

Day of Rest (DOR)

Day of Rest (DOR)

Basic Stretches

Thursday

30 min: level 1 run

3x20 unweighted squats;

3x20 split squats (each leg);

3x20 skier squats;

3x20 bench leg lowers

Basic Stretches

Friday

20 min run: level 1 run

3x15 pushups;

3x20 crunches (abdominals and obloquies);

3x15 dips

Basic Stretches

Saturday

Outdoor Hike(4-5 miles) Light weight, comfortable pace

Link to top

 

Week 3

Cardio

Strength

Flexibility

Sunday

 

Day of Rest (DOR)

Day of Rest (DOR)

Monday

45 minute run: level 1

15 minute run+ 15minute elliptical or bike+15min stairs

3x20 pushups;

3x20 crunches( abdominals and oblique);

3x20 dips

Basic Stretches

Tuesday

20 min: level 1 run or stairs

3x10 Bench press;

3x10 cage squats; 3x10deadlift; 3x10dumbell shoulder flies to front raises;

3x10 lat pull downs

Basic Stretches

Wednesday

30 minute run: level 1 run or 15 minute run +15 minute stairs

3x20 pushups;

3x20 crunches (abdominals and obloquies);

3x20 dips

Basic Stretches

Thursday

30 minutes: level 1 run

Not optional:

3x20 squats;

3x20 split squats;

3x20 skier squats;

3x20 bench leg lowers

Basic Stretches

Friday

Optional: 30minute swim 15minute breast stroke+15minute frog kick

Not optional:

3x20 squats;

3x20 split squats;

3x20 skier squats;

3x20 bench leg lowers

Basic Stretches

Saturday

Outdoor Hike(5-6 mile flat hike) Light weight, comfortable pace


Link to top

 

Week 4

Cardio

Strength

Flexibility

Sunday

Day of Rest (DOR)

Day of Rest (DOR)

Day of Rest (DOR)

Monday

45 minute run: level 1

 

3x20 pushups;

3x20 crunches (abdominals and obloquies);

3x20 dips

Basic Stretches

Tuesday

30 minutes: level 1 stairs

3x25 pushups;

3x25 crunches (abdominals and obloquies);

3x25 dips

Basic Stretches

Wednesday

30 minute run: level 1 run or 15 minute run +15 minute stairs

3x10 back rows; 3x10shoulder press;

3x10 leg extension;

3x10 leg curl;

3x10 calf raises

Basic Stretches

Thursday

45 minutes: level 1 run

3x10 back rows; 3x10shoulder press;

3x10 leg extension;

3x10 leg curl;

3x10 calf raises

Basic Stretches

Friday

45 minute swim 15minute breast stroke+15minute frog kick+15freestyle or 30minute level 1 stairs

3x25 squats;

3x25 split squats;

3x25 skier squats;

3x25 bench leg lowers

Basic Stretches

Saturday

Outdoor Hike(3-4 mile hike 1000 ft elevation gain) 25lb pack, comfortable pace

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Phase II- Power & Anaerobic threshold

 

Week 5

Cardio

Strength

Flexibility

Sunday

Day of Rest (DOR)

Day of Rest (DOR)

Day of Rest (DOR)

Monday

Day of Rest (DOR)

Day of Rest (DOR)

Basic Stretches

Tuesday

45 minute Interval run 15 minute warm-up; 3X alternating 2.5minute level 3 and 2.5 minute level 2; 15 minute level 1

3x4-6 Bench Press;

3x4-6 lat pull downs;

3x4-6 cage squats

Basic Stretches

Wednesday

30 minute turnover Elliptical/Bike alternate 7.5 minutes of hard resistance/low rpm with 7.5minute low resistance/ high rpm(iff ell. Switch directions

3x4-6 dead lift;

3x4-6 back rows;

3x4-6shoulder press

Basic Stretches

Thursday

30 minute run

3x25 pushups; 3x25crunches(abdominal and obliques);

3x25 dips;

3x5 pull-ups

Basic Stretches

Friday

45 minute Interval stairs 15 minute warm-up; 3X alternating 2.5minute level 3 and 2.5 minute level 2; 15 minute level 1

3x4-6 leg extensions;

3x4-6 leg curls;

3x4-6 leg press;

3x4-6 leg extension

Basic Stretches

Saturday

Outdoor Hike(equivalent of little Si 1150 ft elevation gain, 3.5 miles) Essentials only, fast as possibly safe

Link to top

 

Week 6

Cardio

Strength

Flexibility

 

Sunday

Day of Rest (DOR)

Day of Rest (DOR)

Day of Rest (DOR)

 

Monday

Sprint Interval run 15 minute warm-up 5x100m sprint + 25 mtn climbers+25 birpies+25 lunges+10 standing long jumps (400m recovery) +20 min Level 1

Incorporated in sprint interval

Basic Stretches

 

Tuesday

45 minute Level 1 run

3x4-6 Bench Press;

3x4-6 lat pull downs;

3x4-6 cage squats

Basic Stretches

 

Wednesday

Hill work 15 minute level 1 warm up 8x100m hill level 3 15 minute level 1 cool down

3x4-6 dead lift;

3x4-6 back rows;

3x4-6shoulder press

Basic Stretches

 

Thursday

30 minute run

3x4-6 Bench Press;

3x4-6 lat pull downs;

3x4-6 cage squats

Basic Stretches

 

Friday

45 minute run or elliptical/bike or stairs 10 minute lev. 1+ 5X1minlevel 4 alternating with 5x4min level 2+10 min cool down

3x25 pushups

3x25crunches(abdominal and obliques);

3x25 dips;

3x5 pull-ups;

3x25squats;

3x25split squats;

3x25skier squats;

3x25leg lowers

Basic Stretches

 

Saturday

Outdoor Hike(equivalent of little Si 1150 ft elevation gain, 3.5 miles) Essentials only, fast as possibly safe

Link to top

 

Week 7

Cardio

Strength

Flexibility

Sunday

Day of Rest (DOR)

Day of Rest (DOR)

Day of Rest (DOR)

Monday

45 minute swim 15 minute freestyle+15minute breast stroke+15minute frog kick

3x25 pushups

 

3x25crunches(abdominal and obliques);

 

3x25 dips;

 

3x5 pull-ups;

 

3x25squats;

 

3x25split squats;

 

3x25skier squats;

 

3x25leg lowers

Basic Stretches

Tuesday

45 minute Interval stairs or run 10 minute warm-up+ 5x3min level3 alternating with 2min level 2+10minute cool down

3x4-6 Bench Press;

3x4-6 lat pull downs;

3x4-6 cage squats

Basic Stretches

Wednesday

30 minute level 1 run or stairs

3x4-6 leg extensions;

3x4-6 leg curls;

3x4-6 leg press;

3x4-6 leg press

Basic Stretches

Thursday

400m Intervals run 15 min warm-up+ 6x400m(200m recovery-level 4)

3x4-6 dead lift;

3x4-6 back rows;

3x4-6shoulder press

Basic Stretches

Friday

45 minute stairs 10 minute level 1+ 2x5min level 3 followed by 2min level 2 followed by 3min level 2+ 15 minute level 1

Day of Rest (DOR)

Basic Stretches

Saturday

Outdoor Hike(equivalent of Mailbox peak 4000-4500ft elevation gain 5-6 miles) Essentials only, fast as possibly safe

Link to top

 

Week 8

Cardio

Strength

Flexibility

Sunday

Day of Rest (DOR)

Day of Rest (DOR)

Day of Rest (DOR)

Monday

Big stairs 2 to 3 flights of stairs

15 minute run to warm up + 4x sprint up+4xskip a step up+2xjump up+2x down and hold +10 minute cool down

3x25 pushups

 

3x25crunches(abdominal and obliques);

 

3x25 dips;

 

3x5 pull-ups;

 

3x25squats;

 

3x25split squats;

 

3x25skier squats;

 

3x25leg lowers

Basic Stretches

Tuesday

30 minute easy elliptical/bike or swim

3x4-6 dead lift;

3x4-6 back rows;

3x4-6shoulder press

Basic Stretches

Wednesday

200m Interval circuit 15 minute warm-up+ 8x200m level 4(on 4 intervals 25 mtn climbers; 25birpies;25 lunges; 10standing long jumps)+10 minute cool down

3x4-6 leg extensions;

3x4-6 leg curls;

3x4-6 leg press;

3x4-6 leg press

Basic Stretches

Thursday

400m Intervals run 15 min warm-up+ 6x400m(200m recovery-level 4)

3x4-6 Bench Press;

3x4-6 lat pull downs;

3x4-6 cage squats

Basic Stretches

Friday

45 minute stairs 10 minute level 1+ 2x5min level 3 followed by 2min level 2 followed by 3min level 2+ 15 minute level 1

3x4-6 leg extensions;

3x4-6 leg curls;

3x4-6 leg press;

3x4-6 leg press

Basic Stretches

Saturday

Outdoor Hike (equivalent of Camp Muir or Rock Mt 5000ft elevation gain 5-6 miles) Essentials only, fast as possibly safe.

Link to top

 

Phase III- Sustained effort

 

Week 9

Cardio

Strength

Flexibility

Sunday

Day of Rest (DOR)

Day of Rest (DOR)

Day of Rest (DOR)

Monday

Day of Rest (DOR)

Day of Rest (DOR)

Basic Stretches

Tuesday

60 minute run or stairs level 1

6x8 Bench-press;

6x8 back rows;

6x8shoulder press;

6x8leg curl;

6x8legextension;

6x8leg press

(30 sec rest between each set)

Basic Stretches

Wednesday

45 minute stairs 10 minute warmup+25 minute level 3+10 minute cool down

Failure workout

Basic Stretches

Thursday

45 minute run 10 minute level 1+25 minute level 3+level 4 as long as possible 10 minute cool down

Core workout

Basic Stretches

Friday

60 minute easy run, stairs, elliptical

6x8 Bench-press;

6x8 back rows;

6x8shoulder press;

6x8leg curl;

6x8legextension;

6x8leg press

(30 sec rest between each set)

Basic Stretches

Saturday

Outdoor Hike(equivalent of little si) 30-45lb pack, take as long as is needed

Link to top

 

Week 10

Cardio

Strength

Flexibility

Sunday

45 minute swim 15 minute freestyle+15 minute breast stroke+15 minute frog kick

Day of Rest (DOR)

Day of Rest (DOR)

Monday

75 minute easy run or stairs

1x20 big arm circles;

 

1x20 Russian twist;

 

1x20 wall squat to press;

 

1x20 wood choppers(abs

and obliques);

 

1x20 rocky twist;

 

1x20 toe crunches;

 

1x20 45 degree twists;

 

1x20 suitcase crunch

Basic Stretches

Tuesday

1200m workout mile warm-up+ 6x1200m Level 3.5( on 3 intervals-25 mtn climbers, 25birpies ,25lunges, 10 long jumps)+mile cool down ( 1lap rest)

Day of Rest (DOR)

Basic Stretches

Wednesday

60 minute stairs 20minute level 1+20 minute level 3+20 minute level 1

6x8 Bench-press;

6x8 back rows;

6x8shoulder press;

6x8leg curl; 6x8legextension;

6x8leg press

(30 sec rest between each set)

Basic Stretches

Thursday

long Hill 15 minute warm up + 2x 1mile + hill at level 3+ 10 minute cool down(downhill rest)

1x20 big arm circles;

1x20 Russian twist;

1x20 wall squat to press;

1x20 wood choppers(abs and obliques);

1x20 rocky twist;

1x20 toe crunches;

1x20 45 degree twists;

1x20 suitcase crunch

Basic Stretches

Friday

75 minute easy run, stairs, elliptical

6x8 Bench-press;

6x8 back rows; 6x8shoulder press; 6x8leg curl; 6x8legextension;

6x8leg press

(30 sec rest between each set)

Basic Stretches

Saturday

Outdoor Hike(equivalent of Mt Si) 30-45lb pack, take as long as is needed

Link to top

 

Week 11

Cardio

Strength

Flexibility

Sunday

Day of Rest (DOR)

Day of Rest (DOR)

Day of Rest (DOR)

Monday

90 minute bike 20minute warm-up level 1+20 minute high resistance, low rpm+20minlow resistance high rpm+30 minute comfortable

6x8 Bench-press;

6x8 back rows; 6x8shoulder press; 6x8leg curl; 6x8legextension;

6x8leg press

(30 sec rest between each set)

Basic Stretches

Tuesday

60 minute run or stairs 10 minute warmup+15 minute level 3+15 minute level 1+20 minute level 2

Ab workout

Basic Stretches

Wednesday

75 minute run or stairs

6x8 Bench-press;

6x8 back rows;

6x8shoulder press;

6x8leg curl; 6x8legextension;

6x8leg press

(30 sec rest between each set)

Basic Stretches

Thursday

60 minute stairs or long hill running workout

failure workout

Basic Stretches

Friday

50 minute break down run 10 minute warmup+10min level 4+10 minute 1 level 3+10minute 2 Level

2+10 level 1

6x8 Bench-press;

6x8 back rows;

6x8shoulder press;

6x8leg curl; 6x8legextension;

6x8leg press

(30 sec rest between each set)

Basic Stretches

Saturday

Outdoor Hike(mailbox peak equivalent) 30-45lb pack, take as long as is needed

Link to top

 

Week 12

Cardio

Strength

Flexibility

Sunday

45 minute swim 15 minute freestyle+15 minute breast stroke+15 minute frog kick

Day of Rest (DOR)

Day of Rest (DOR)

Monday

Day of Rest (DOR)

1X20 workout

Basic Stretches

Tuesday

Mile repeat workout: run mile warm-up 3x1mile fast as can be sustained(after each 25 mtc climbers,

25 birpies,

25 lunges,

10 long jumps)

Ab workout

Basic Stretches

Wednesday

60 minute elliptical/Bike turnover intervals(7.5 minute high resistance low rpm alternating with 7.5 minute low resistance high rpm

6x8 Bench-press;

6x8 back rows;

6x8shoulder press;

6x8leg curl; 6x8legextension;

6x8leg press

(30 sec rest between each set)

Basic Stretches

Thursday

45 minute run level 2

Ab work out

Basic Stretches

Friday

60 minute stairs and run 30 minute level 2/3 run+ 30 minute stairs level 2/3

Failure workout

Basic Stretches

Saturday

Outdoor Hike( Rock Mtn or camp muir equivalent) 30-45lb pack, take as long as is needed

Link to top

 

 

Free Training plans:
Hiking and Backpacking
6 week beginner plan


General Mountaineering:
Intermediate Plan 12 weeks

Mt. Rainier 12 week plan:

Mount Rainier Training Plan

New! 

8 Month Mountaineering Training & Fitness Plan

Meal Plans:
Backpacking and Climbing Meal Plans

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