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That's a good summary. The 4x4 intervals suck if you do them right.


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Interesting video. I can see her points for folks who are "casual" exercisers possibly needing more HIIT type training to improve VO2. As you become less casual, it appears less likely you'll be a "non-responder". She was talking ~ 2.5 hours of Zone 2 stuff and the study reflected that by simply increasing that frequency/duration pretty much nullified the "non-responder" designation for increasing VO2.

[Linked Image from imgur.com]

Personally am a big advocate of Zone 2 training, but I also have the luxury of being fully retired. On a normal week (no big trips, non-hunting season) I'm getting about 10 hours of hiking/week. Just by casual observation, I'm very close to the 80:20 rule she brings up. The areas I hike locally have a lot of elevation gain/loss, so pretty much every hike I'm getting into at least some Zone 3 and sometime Zone 4 stuff climbing.

My observations are that a lot of hunters want a quick fix- the 6 week "Monster Mulie" routine, the 8 week "Big Bull" routine, etc. The vast majority of those programs are HIIT training (w/ some strength training as well). While these type of programs will make you fitter than when you started you're missing a huge chunk of what is needed on backpacking hunts (this is the backpacking forum! :D)- endurance. Endurance is gained slowly, measured in years, not weeks. Zone 2 training is proven out and the most elite endurance athletes subscribe to this.

Do you need Zone 3 & 4 training mixed in with your Zone 2 stuff- absolutely; should it be 50:50- if you're only able to exercise a short amount of time/week, possibly that is accurate????

Nothing to do w/ the video, but obviously adding a good strength training component to any regime is going to pay dividends as well.

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Agree 100% with you on all counts. I do about 4-6 hrs zone 2 this time of year, 8-10 in summer. 3 to 5 hours of HIIT sounds like a good way to get hurt, and over-trained.


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Originally Posted by bwinters
Agree 100% with you. I do about 4-6 hrs zone 2 this time of year, 8-10 in summer. 3 to 5 hours of HIIT sounds like a good way to get hurt, and over-trained.


Exactly, probably even more so as we age (I'm not a Spring chicken :)).

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I get my HIIT in cycling. It's low impact on older knees. It's not hard to get in 3-5 hours in intermittent all-out effort. Combine that with some kettle bell lifting and calisthenics with yoga on off days to stay limber. It's about the best I can do for an older body.

Just as an FYI, dragging a weight like a big log backwards is a great leg exercise that is much safer than squats, especially for older folks.

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A largely ignored factor is time on your feet. Covering 10-12 miles/day carrying even a light pack where the Elk live is very much an endurance event. An 8 hour hike once a week wearing/carrying what you will be using is a valuable training and learning tool. Many do not have altitude and mountains where they live but most have access to uneven ground on which to perform a valuable reality check.


mike r


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Another thing I'd add to this thread I've learned in recent years - having a good aerobic base speeds recovery between workouts, and more importantly hunts. I first starting to hear this from Joel Jamison, then Todd Bumgardner. I did a deep dive into the topic and came across Andy Galpin as well. I find I recover between workouts and hikes/hunts given a good night sleep and adequate nutrition. I have a routine I go through after workouts and hunting day - pound 20-30-40 grams high quality protein (tenderloin is my favorite <G>), take a magnesium supplement right before bed, and get 8 hours sleep. It almost feels like magic in the AM. As long as I don't try to run to the top of the mountain every day, I can hunt every day of a week long season, and have gone as long as 7 straight days using that formula. But it takes time and effort, oftentimes mind numbing to keep your HR below a certain threshold for 1-2-3 hours at a stretch. I'm glad there is a bunch of good podcasts these days.


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Originally Posted by lvmiker
A largely ignored factor is time on your feet. Covering 10-12 miles/day carrying even a light pack where the Elk live is very much an endurance event. An 8 hour hike once a week wearing/carrying what you will be using is a valuable training and learning tool. Many do not have altitude and mountains where they live but most have access to uneven ground on which to perform a valuable reality check.


mike r

I agree with this 100%. The soft tissues in your feet, ankles, knees, hips, all need conditioned as well. Time spent on your feet is invaluable. I used to have issues with my feet on long hikes (10+ miles). Once I started spending alot more time on my feet during workouts (running and rucking), my feet issues went way down. My feet are still my weak spot but don't hold me back unless I do a monster packout with alot of weight or ALOT of miles (17-18+).


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