T Nation

I Slayed A Dragon

…well, more exactly, I only climbed Mission Peak today, near Fremont, CA, a measly 2500 ft.

Apparently not related to bodybuilding at this point, but please bear with me.

Last time I did this was a few years ago, I was weighing 50 lb less (but about the same 10…12% BF), and that was before I started to lift weights, and before the accident 18 months ago that smashed my ankle (still not fully recovered, still got some robocop components in my foot).

So in the last few years I did mostly resistance training, and pretty much ZERO endurance after the accident (almost not even walking the first couple months or so).

So let’s see - 50lb more, no endurance training in ages, an ankle still not 100% functional. I fully expected to fail.

I almost chocked myself halfway through, I was going way too fast and I guess I just exceeded my body’s ability to absorb and process oxygen. I took a break, then resumed at a slower speed.

Around the 75% point was probably the worst, but by that time I was thinking I’d rather be food for the vultures than fail.

So I made it. I climbed all the way to the top.

A few observations:

  • When I did this some years ago, I was so tired after that, I was almost in shock. It was amazing how quickly I recovered today.
  • Even while climbing, a few quick stops and slightly slowing down was all I needed to enter a “steady state” which took me all the way to the top. Again, the recovery was very quick.
  • I just didn’t notice I was carrying 50lb more.
  • Climbing down was hard for my knees, just like leg extensions.

So it seems that even if you do just resistance training, something gets carried over to other kinds of effort - in this case, I was able to walk that steep trail for several hours and yes, it was hard, but I recovered very quickly.
I guess this is old news for the pros, but it was fascinating to do the experiment on my own body.

This is awesome. I’m gonna do it again a few times, then look for something harder.

Oh yeah, my “post-workout nutrition” was a super burrito and a large horchata, lol.

nice man.

Lifting is far better than no training but 2500 feet should be a pretty reasonable stroll for a fit man.

Good job getting it done but it may be time to add more cardio depending on your goals.

And downhill is hard on the knees!

[quote]florin wrote:

This is awesome. I’m gonna do it again a few times, then look for something harder.

Oh yeah, my “post-workout nutrition” was a super burrito and a large horchata, lol.[/quote]

It is always awesome eating after doing a hike like that.

Glad you are going to do it again. California probaby has some great hiking.

I hike regularly and love it. When you walk downhill, focus on using your “core” (re: abs, hip flexors, and abductor muscles) when stepping down. This will save your knees a lot of damage.

On the way up, concentrate on activating your glues and hamstrings. Occasionally, reach back and feel them to make sure they are flexing. Going uphill can be quad dominant, which, again, is hard on your knees.

If you pay good attention to what muscles are being used when hiking, you’ll save your knees a lot of damage.

you didnt happen to get that burrito at papa ponchos did you?

Hm, this is one day later and there’s almost no DOMS. This is pretty cool.

[quote]Zap Branigan wrote:
Good job getting it done but it may be time to add more cardio depending on your goals.[/quote]

My goal is to add more lean mass, but now I see I definitely need to do more cardio, no matter what my ankle might “prefer”. What’s the use of weighing a zillion pounds if a bunch of high-school kids are climbing the freaking hill faster than me?
(Well, no they didn’t actually, lol)

I guess I’ll just go hiking once a week or so, ride the bike when I’m not lifting, for a while, then I’ll see what happens and perhaps make adjustments.

[quote]CaliforniaLaw wrote:
On the way up, concentrate on activating your glues and hamstrings. Occasionally, reach back and feel them to make sure they are flexing.[/quote]

I know what you’re talking about. I find it easier to just focus on breathing when I do cardio - if I do otherwise, for some reason my performance gets worse.

But I do focus on the muscles when I lift weights. That works pretty well.

For some reason, uphill felt like it was glutes-dominant. This could be just the way my body works, for example my glutes grew fairly easy from squats, but I need to tailor my exercises so that I stimulate the quads enough to grow.

It could be related to the fact that, before I started to lift weights, my knees used to hurt pretty bad even when I was just walking. Oddly enough, the pain was greatly reduced when I became more active. My guess is that for several years I was trying, unconsciously, to protect my knees so any effort involving my legs became glute dominant.
I see this every day with my bad ankle, the muscles in my right leg and foot fire in a different way, in an attempt to avoid pain in the ankle (which by the way, is now almost gone, but the habits accrued in 18 months are still there).

[quote]florin wrote:
Oh yeah, my “post-workout nutrition” was a super burrito and a large horchata, lol.[/quote]

I just had to say this is my favorite PWO meal!

My friends do lots of hiking around big sur, I would like to go every now and than, just hard to fit in between lifting 3-4 days a week + strongman events on the weekend. Plus they always want to camp. I’d need to bring an extra pack just for food if I was camping!