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Training for the New Alpinism: A Manual for the Climber as Athlete Paperback – March 18, 2014
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The book's easy-to-use format and scaleable training programs are accessible for anyone looking to improve their fitness through a new approach. coolhunting.com
About the Author
Scott Johnston, who grew up in Boulder, CO, has ski raced on a national and international level and is an avid climber. He currently coaches several of the nation's top cross country skiers, and climbs, establishing local climbing routes in and around his home town of Mazama, WA, in the North Cascades, where he lives.
Mark Twight has applied the light-and-fast tactics he first developed in Europe to climbs ranging from the Himalayas to Alaska. Mark is the author of two books: Extreme Alpinism - Climbing Light, Fast and High and Kiss or Kill - Confessions of a Serial Climber. He is the founder of GymJones.
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I've always wondered why some mountains went better than others. After reading this book it has become very clear to me what I did right training for certain mountains and what I've done wrong on others. It's all about developing that aerobic base, but in this book it shows you how to really build that aerobic base far beyond anything I've done before by coupling the aerobic training with max strength training. I have not gotten to that part of the training program yet and I'm a little nervous about how my joints will hold up moving that type of strength training. The book definitely seems more catered to alpinists that are already in excellent shape.
I bought this book a couple months ago and am on week 6 now of my tranisition period. My one complaint about this book is the starting volume one should begin with in their transition period is poorly described. For example, I estimated I trained about 5 hours per week last year, which works out to about 260 hours. This is slightly above what they estimate for working professionals. In the transition period it is suggested that we divide our training volume by 2 to get the number of hours per week that we train during transition. That works out to 2.5 hours per week, which isn't much. The strength training workouts last about 45 minutes for me and at twice a week that only leaves one hour for aerobic training, which is supposed to be where we're spending the bulk of our time. I found a post on [...]
where someone asks this question. Scott Johnston answered the question and said that 2.5 hours was not very much and he was wondering why someone would need to exercise that little. He did say that if one were to exercise that little each week then you would not count your strength training sessions towards your training time each week. He did clarify that it's very subjective what your initial training volume should be. However, the subjectivity here becomes so overwhelming that it is extremely difficult to determine a starting point. It would be helpful if there was a little more direction for the non-professional climber.
Overall though most of this book is excellent and will help assist the amateur climber to accomplish things that they once thought were only attainable when they were younger and missed the boat. For someone pushing 40 I find this book to be very encouraging as I now feel there is a way to train where my chances of getting injured are minimized. I would highly recommend this book to anyone I know that is serious about alpinism.
In summary, there is no climbing technique per se in this book. The focus is essentially on how to physically prepare for any alpine climbing objective at a multi-year level, and integrates the climbing in the whole plan, while using proven training methodology from similar sports and the experience of some of the world's top climbers.
As a bonus, the photographs are gorgeous. I have countless training book at home about multiple sports. Quite honestly, this is the most exciting and motivating book I read for years. I highly recommend it to anybody interested even remotely in alpine sports.