Training for Mount Whitney Climb

Training for Mount Whitney Climb

Training for Mount Whitney Climb

super pop family run
Super Pop family run


20 miles of hiking and climbing to a 14,000ft elevation takes some conditioning to say the least. In this post I'll briefly give you a little insight on what I was doing prior to taking on the Mount Whitney challenge and what I have been doing since joining in on the adventure.

Prior to joining the adventure and upon entering into the pandemic, I committed to getting back into better shape. Had I not started this journey, I probably would not of accepted Ron's, my friend in charge, invitation. I did grow up as an athlete but over the last few years focused on family and work I let myself go a bit.


So how did I get started? Well, I started with what my goal was... It wasn't just to loose weight, instead it was to turn my current weight into muscle and build my cardiovascular rate back up. Referencing workouts from my past and searching youtube and instagram I put together a routine to commit to cause I know it takes awhile to see any results, it's a journey. 

Bench press for strength training
Strength training with deadlift and bench press.

During the pandemic, the routine I put together consisted of compound ladders, calisthenics, biking or running 3 - 5 times a week building up in each area over a few months. For ladders I had a couple interchangeable dumbbell blocks (15 - 45 lbs) and did 5 compounding exercises 1-7 reps and 7-1, a total of 14 sets. For calisthenics I hung gym rings from the rafters in the garage and did ring pull-ups, dips, rows and push-ups with them. For biking I would ride once a week 10 - 20 miles. For running I ran 1-3 miles 2 times a week. I definitely was getting more fit but wasn't quit getting the results I was hoping for and eventually swapped the ladders & calisthenics for a weight training program. 3 months into adding in the weight program I saw results. Writing this, I am 10 months in from adding in the weights along with keeping the cardio and the weight has transformed into muscle. My cardio is way up (a sad 13 min mile has turned into a 7 min mile) and I'm increasing my weight in compounding lifts on the bench, deadlift, row and squats. So with this great head start, I felt I had some decent prep work to properly take on Mount Whitney.

Solid 5k in the Los Angeles Mountains




After accepting the challenge, I switched up my routine a bit to be more focused around the backpacking, hiking and climbing we would be doing. First off was finding a pair of boots to immediately break in and get use to. Then, finding a routine to start getting some serious incline and decline hiking in. Fortunately we have some very steep hills near us, that are perfect for getting a good leg pump and getting some elevation in. Instead of running or biking a couple times a week, I traded up with hiking up and down these hills 2 - 3 times a week. Over the last couple of months we have added our packs and weight. We are all now carrying anywhere from 30 to 50 lbs up  and down these hills. We also added in a few hiking tests out in the wild. These have been difficult to coordinate with all of our family kid weekend activities. We managed to get a Nike Base hike in, I actually missed this one due to my vaccination, but joined the Mount Baldy summit hike for a good test. I'll follow up this post with our Mount Baldy summit hike. The hills, these tests and some family hikes are all getting me prepared and excited for the big backpacking trip.

family hiking
Super Pop Family hike


As for nutrition, I'm not a pro here and still learning what is right for me. This is a tough one, there is a lot of information out there and everyone's body is different. After a lot of testing and learning, what works so far for me is intermitting fasting. My window is usually 12 pm - 8 pm to get my food in, giving me a fast of 16 hours. I have only coffee with a splash of heavy cream in the mornings, a solid meal for lunch, either almond blueberry or almond chocolate super pop bar for a filling snack in the afternoon, and a solid dinner (plus dessert :) ) in the evenings. I'm not too strict, or a calorie counter, just consistent in my routine. I have removed carbs and refined sugars like white bread and simple sugars. My goal is to increase my protein intake, get in good solid fats and reduce carbs but get them in by means of veggies and the occasional sweet potato. Overall, this routine has revealed the makings of a six pack that once existed, ha ha... 

Steak, salmon and salad mealsuper pop almond chocolate bar

Steak, salmon and salad meal and almond chocolate bar afternoon snack

As of now we are 2 weeks out and squeezing in the work to make sure we get up and down in one piece. We're focused and getting excited for the big climb quickly approaching! Stay tuned! 

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