Strength is required to summit
As well as a good fitness base and general health, strength is an important factor that contributes to achieving a goal such as summiting a mountain. When the incline really cranks up, having a strong core and leg muscles will provide the necessary power to reach the top. But where can you develop this strength in the first place?
On a weekly basis, The Altitude Centre have provided ‘Summit Circuit’ sessions which are structured to include various body weight- and resistance-based exercises to target functional strength development. To increase the structure of these sessions, we have now adapted these sessions and renamed them ‘Kettlebells’, ‘Bodyweight’ and ‘Cardio-Strength’. This will allow a more focused structure to the classes, and some knowledge of what to expect when booking in!
But what is the purpose of doing these sorts of sessions in the chamber? A recent study provided a group of participants with some leg training exercises. Some completed these at simulated altitude (2000-3250 m), and the remaining group in sea level conditions, 3 times per week for 8 weeks. The results showed that those who completed the training at altitude had a two-fold improvement in leg strength compared to the sea level training group (8% vs. 4%). Therefore, completing strength training in an altitude environment is twice as beneficial! This is likely from the added benefit of being in an altitude chamber, and training in a more demanding environment.
So, if you’re looking to prepare for a summit challenge, and want to arrive at the top in the best physical condition possible, strength training is an important factor and the Summit Circuits are for you!
De Smet et al. (2017). Frontiers in Physiology, DOI: 10.3389.