Using resistance training to get you “fitter” for hiking and backpacking. That was and remains the focus of my little book Hillfit.
I am always trying to simplify though and strip away the unnecessary, of which there is a lot in the world of resistance training where the positions are held with religious zeal. It is almost as bad as the diet cults. It has been interesting to watch the research — things are not really that complicated.
I’ve tried to summarise things in a few points:
- Everything works — there are lots of methods of resistance training (RT). Many approaches. But it is simple really, even though we over-complicate things. Optimisation is a pointless pursuit.
- Choose safety; DFYU (Don’t F yourself Up) — How many recoveries are you capable of? Some injuries will change you permanently.
- Choose fun — RT has many benefits — it is not just an end in itself; for us it is about helping fitness for …. But if you enjoy training….train!
- Balance — Fit training around your life
- This is not complicated — It is not “physio-therapy” treating an injury …It is not “coaching” teaching skill (although there are skills in walking)
- Effort is the signal, not the weight that is lifted; safety may be best served by moderating or even removing weight; weight isn’t needed. Effort is.
- Reach the threshold, what some call failure, the point when form breaks down, not the point when you are incapable of coherent thought…
- Volition Effort requires intent; Effort implies decision and direction; What do you want?Progress always requires effort and intent, decision, direction
- Simplify Again it is not complicated; Pick safe movements to strengthen the main structures of the body; Train with a high degree of effort; Do it as often as you like….(frequency can help… and if you enjoy it once a week isn’t enough). Do other things for fun — this started about getting fit for the hiking and hill-walking after all
- Pushups, Body Rows, Wall sits, squats, planks with effort will take you a long way, probably just about as far as you are capable of going.
All this is developed more in Hillfit — the book
For some of the research on effort I’d point to recent posts from Chris Beardsley such as
Mechanical loading and *not* motor unit recruitment is the key to muscle growth
You have probably come across people who argue that reaching full “motor unit recruitment” is the key to muscle growth.
But this is also elsewhere such as