Doing this one thing will help you complete your climb!

Updated: Jun 22




Are inclines leaving you breathless?

Love the views from the top but huff and puff on the ascent?

There’s one way to improve your experience and performance. Sure, endurance training is important. It provides your muscles and heart with the staying power to go the distance. But if the switchbacks leave your quads burning and your heart racing, it’s time to add some HIIT training into your program.

HIIT stands for high intensity interval training. I’ve talked a bit about integrating power intervals into your endurance training. This type of workout, known as a fartlek workout, challenges your speed and endurance, and trains your heart to work more efficiently during long hauls. HIIT, on the other hand, is a relatively quick but intense workout that simulates the intensity of a sudden incline.

Think about the rhythm of a climb. Most hikes start out with a flat initial trail giving way to a gentle rise. Then, there’s the sudden incline which challenges your heart rate and muscles. If the ascent is significant, there will be a relatively flat switch-back during which your heart rate recovers. This then follows with another section of incline.

HIIT workouts mirror these kinds of trails by providing intense cardio activity interspersed with periods of brief rest. What’s more, HIIT workouts build strength and power, exactly what you need when tackling the next uphill.

Sample workout

Because HIIT workouts are so intense, you only need a brief workout to reap the benefits – 30 minutes tops! But you need to make those 30 minutes count by giving it all you’ve got during each exercise. As an added bonus, HIIT workouts also help with overall conditioning, which means your endurance activities will improve too.

3 minute dynamic warmup:

Perform each of the following for 30 seconds each at moderate intensity. Repeat the whole circuit two times.

· Jumping jacks

· Monster walk

· Windmills

Workout sequence:






Rest for one minute.


Perform each item in the sequence for one minute. Repeat the sequence 3 times.

· Pushups

· High knees running in place (See picture - bringing knees to chest rapidly as if sprinting.)

· Bodyweight squat with arms extended









Rest for one minute.


Perform each item in the sequence for one minute. Repeat the sequence 3 times.

· Triceps bench or chair dips

· Low side to side lunge (See picture - perform on each side.)

· Bird dog with opposite arm and leg


Rest for one minute.


Perform each item in the sequence for one minute. Repeat the sequence 2 times.

· Walking forward lunges

· Mountain climbers (See picture - in plank position bring knees to chest rapidly alternating legs.)

· Bicycles

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