Sunday, February 20, 2011

Hillfit thoughts

I have been asked to write a series of articles in a UK backpacking magazine on fitness.  I might use this blog as a place to record some of the ideas that I want to remember to include.  It is hard because there is so much to say.  Yet the focus I want is simplicity. 

The template I am using is
  • Efficiency - best bang for buck, do more with less
  • Fun -  fitness facilitates fun, more important than fancy gear
  • Nature - doing what we are built for / designed for (the whole EvFt / paleo thing)
In effect it will be sprints / simple calisthenics (slow or statics) for metabolic conditioning / strength and then developing the skill of walking.....and it is a skill.

There will also be something on looking at what works, not what the successful do.  The successful can be such despite their training.

I am taking some ideas from lightweight backpacking too:

  • use of appropriate technology (e.g sprints)
  • efficiency - use what you need, multipurpose gear
  • challenges the mainstream
  • independence
  • fun - it is about enjoyment of the outdoors ultimately gear and fitnes only facilitate that
  • realistic - ignore the adverts!

All my interests are coming out in this stuff:   Body by Science, HIIT, MovNat, CrossFit endurance, posture.  I may not address diet - it is too challenging to the mainstream. .... we'll see

The hardest thing is condensing all these ideas into a useful article.

I am having to cut my reading back and go more in depth into things.  Blogs and twitter are great and immediate  but you rarely get any depth.  I am getting overwhelmed by the information.  It is time for some independent thought I think.

There will also be a  vibe here  simplifying and minimalism in general with respect to consumerism.  I like shiny new things as much as the next guy but gear is nowhere near as important as fitness for a good day out.  I've seen guys togged up in the latest kit struggling to get up a hill while others in older kit wander up with no trouble.  if you are not fit the gear doesn't matter much.  The magazines however rely on advertising income so they will not really tell you that too readily.  They sell us an image of what we need to own to be successful.


Dan said...

Counter balance complexity with simplicity high shares of low impact and low shares of high impact mother nature is of higher intelligence than any human mind have variability of both

Jake said...

You are right. Interval sprint training, HIT strength workouts and lots of hiking is the secret to success.

I believe that developing leg strength is very important to developing good balance. In my case, once I could leg press 400 lbs, my balance improved dramatically.

Chris said...

Dan - great comment. You have been reading DeVany!

Dan said...

Thanx Chris by the way I enjoy this site yes I have read DeVany also Taleb and others Stability in itself which is defined as fixed or one way is a set up for volatility whatever we may be trying to accomplish we would want to be well versed in all fields that's what makes us strong animals to adapt in any situation Thanx again Dan

Anonymous said...

I am in my 60th yr
I love your work on the site.
2009 I lightweighted across the Scottish Highlands and
2010 I did my version of the Cambrian Way.
I eat Paleo and offer my library of photos and any other support you may need on your project.

Chris G said...

Diet will be the tricky one! I know a lot of walkers and outdoors people who are either veggie/vegetarians or who follow the high carb CW diets. I can just imagine the letters to TGO after an article on primal eating for hillwalking asking "where does the energy for an all day walk come from", "what about the carbon footprint/harm to animals" etc?

Then again why not challenge their way of thinking? One idea may be to do an article on a hillfit packed lunch or a typicals days meals/food intake for a day in the hills. You see this often enough from the high carb sports nutritionists or vegetarian writers, often with no footnotes of evidence to justify their claims. Obviously your call Chris.

Chris said...

Fred - thanks for your email. I'll get in touch.

Did you eat paleo on your crossing of SCotland?

Chris said...

Chris G

thanks for the comment. I'll think on the diet idea but hoepfully I'll have lots of columns to write so will get around to diet at some point. A hillfit lunch sounds like a great idea - hard boiled egg, sardines and celery for me......and maybe some dark chocolate!

The Fitness Enthusiast said...

Magazines rarely go into any depth. Some blogs offer information much better than I have ever read in any fitness mag. The health and fitness industry is a joke because it barely covers the basics. This is why majority of the U.S. (where I am from) is overweight. Its sad.

chris said...

Hey Chris long time listener, first time caller.
I live in Nor Cal and hike and backpack as often as I can.

Lunges are the best training for downhill muscles IMHO, yet most of the outdoor types I've talked to don't do them. I train with a pack heavier than what I'll be using plus a weighted vest.

In terms of food I take whey powder, 85% chocolate and several pre-boiled potatoes. I'm 40, low carb Paleo most of the time and I consistently out-march my younger, pasta fueled comrades. Anywho there's my unsolicited $.02. Cheers!

Flowerdew Onehundred said...

I'm an ultralight long-distance hiker. I spend a couple of weeks a year on the Appalachian Trail, and I have about 500 miles left to complete it (mid-VT to ME).

I do crossfit, and I found that having core strength and upper body strength was immensely helpful. I thought that leg strength, running and hiking mountains (I live on the Blue Ridge) was the best prep, but my last two hikes were so much more fun after developing more muscle!

I used to have a hard time with bouldering and rock hopping, and it was a ton of fun this time. I used to take a spill every trip (the footing on the AT all rocks and roots, FYI), and the last two...not one. I used to have problems with my shoulders and upper back after long days (even though my pack weighs 22lbs. at a maximum), and had none of that either.