Mountain Guide and strength coach Brian Harder pulls a heavy deadlift.
Frequently asked questions:
WHAT IS YOUR TRAINING PHILOSOPHY?
We believe in purposeful, planned, periodized, and progressed training. Improvement in any endeavor happens for a reason, so nothing here is accidental, capricious, or unnecessary. We train inside to perform outside. Outside performance is paramount and we adjust our training programming and philosphy accordingly.
WHAT MAKES YOUR PROGRAM DIFFERENT?
1) We train for performance outside the gym. Our programming is focused on training which transfers to mountain performance. Gym numbers are meaningless. All that matters is outside performance. This means we are not wed to any one programming theory, set of exercises or approach. Our programming is constantly improving and evolving with the goal of better and more complete transfer to outside/mountain performance.
2) Strength Bias. The best thing we can do for our athletes is make them stronger. Strength is the foundation of performance and durability. We train full body strength heavy, hard and often, using classic, proven barbell and strongman exercises. Beyond full body strength, we hammer the core and midsection daily, and often dedicate whole training sessions to building our athlete's core strength. Our strength training is aimed at the athlete's “Mountain Chassis” - legs, hips and core.
3) We build durability. By developing overall strength, core strength and hip and shoulder mobility, we aim to make our athletes more durable. Stronger athletes are harder to injure, if they do get injured, don’t get as injured as bad, and recover faster.
4) Our training sessions are periodized and programmed. We are uncomfortable with random training. We like to know where we are going.
5) Constant improvement. Our programming today is much different then 12 months ago, and will be different again 12 months from now. The more we coach, the more we learn, and that increased knowledge is continually folded into training programming and training session design. We are constantly making changes to improve. We can always do better.
8) We use “Lab Rats” to test, evolve and improve program design. The sessions and training plans we publish aren’t “theory.” We’ve completed, improved and tested these training sessions and plans and know they work.
HOW DOES MOUNTAIN ATHLETE PROGRAMMING DIFFER FROM CROSSFIT?
- Focus in on field performance, not gym performance: CrossFit is "the sport of fitness" - and gym numbers/exercises are paramount. We understand that for Mounain Athletes, all that matters is outside performance. This allows us to constantly modify/change/improve our programing as we learn and evolve.
- Programming Detail: Military Athlete training sessions are thoroughly periodized, programmed and designed. Nothing is random about our training sessions.
- Fluid Periodization: Military Athlete mesocycles have a cyclic emphasis which rotates between strength, work capacity, stamina, endurance, climbing fitness and durability. To our knowledge, typcial CrossFit programming does not deploy periodization or mesocycles of any type.
- Bias toward Strength: Mountain Athlete programming has a bias towards relative strength, as opposed to the work capacity emphasis of CrossFit programming.
- Volume and Training Session Length: Mountain Athlete programming pushes more volume, and its training sessions are longer than typical CrossFit WOD’s. Strength, Work Capacity, and Climbing sessions are designed to be 60 minutes long. Stamina and Endurance Sessions can be 60-120 minutes long, and include 2-a-days.
- Durability Included: Mobility and durability drills are included in these training sessions, sometimes worked into strength circuits, and sometimes worked into durability-only circuits.
- Focused Core Strength Training: Several sessions included dedicated and focused core strength training circuits. We believe a strong midsection is essential to durability and our programming reflects this.
- Not every training session or circuit is a race: Circuits or other training session parts which are “for time” or are to be sprinted through are clearly indicated in this training plan. Unless the training plan calls for “for time” or “sprint effort” work briskly, not frantically. In general, these sprint efforts will be relegated to parts of Work Capacity training sessions.
I'M NOT A MOUNTAIN ATHLETE. CAN I STILL TRAIN AT YOUR GYM?
Yes. Our programming and training will benefit any athlete. In addition to mountaineers, we train endurance runners, motocross racers, triathletes, Nordic skiers, weekend warriors and house wives. You do not have to be an accomplished mountaineer, athlete, or even in shape to train at our gym. But you do have to work hard.
HOW DO YOUR TRAINING SESSIONS WORK?
We coach small groups (up to 8 athletes at a time). Sessions begin on time, and generally, all the athletes in the session do the same workout under the guidance of a coach. Training sessions, however, are not "walk-in," though you can drop-in for a session if you give us a heads up. Please email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com to schedule a session.
HOW DO I SIGN UP FOR YOUR ONLINE SESSIONS?
Go to our Base Fitness tab and click sign up for membership. If at anytime you want to cancel your membership you can by canceling your paypal account with us or emailing Rob directly Rob@mtnathlete.com.
HOW DO YOUR ONLINE TRAINING SESSIONS WORK?
When you subscribe to our online sessions you have access to not only our current cycle but our past training sessions as well. These sessions are designed to be completed in order and, unless otherwise noted, within an hour. We discourage doing the sessions out of order as that defeats the purpose of periodized and progressed training. After each session there is an area with our comments concerning the sessions and how our athletes performed, any thoughts our concerns we had or just training guidelines in general. All of our sessions have been performed by us and our athletes to insure safety and success with each session.
HOW DO I KNOW WHICH TAB TO USE?
On the left of the site, at the top, you see Mountain Guide Fitness and Base Fitness. Base Fitness is for the general athlete who wants to achieve an elite level of general physical preparedness for mountain sports. Above Base is Mountain Guide Fitness, which is designed for professionals or recreational athletes who always want to be prepared for the demands of the mountain, be it long days backcountry skiing, peak bagging effort, or a long approach followed by a day of rock climbing.
Below those, you'll see links to pages for specific sports (e.g.: Freeski, Ice Climbing) or sport modes (e.g.: Ski Strength).
Once you subscribe, you will have access to all of the training sessions for all sports and their archives. So which is for you? Let's look at an example:
Let's say you're an avid skier, rock climber, and backpacker. You subscribe to the site in May.
Start with following the Mountain Guide Fitness. Click on the link in the side bar, then on the current date. That will take you to that day's session.
In August, we'll start our sport-specific ski training. Since you're a skier, start following the Freeski Training sessions and stick with those through November.
After November, go back to Mountain Guide Fitness to increase your general level of fitness. If you're skiing a bunch, you don't have to train every session, but still do the sessions in the order they appear on the site, don't skip around.
Around mid-February, the ski season is winding down, but the rock climbing season is approaching. You'll switch to Rock Climbing Training to train sport specifically for that season.
In April, you'll be ready for rock climbing and you can switch back to Mountain Guide Fitness through the summer until August, when you'll start the process over.
This is the same process each athlete will use for their chosen sports. In this way, you'll use the timing of your seasons to design your own training flow.
If you're looking to build general fitness, follow Base Fitness, which is our approach to building a strong, well-rounded athlete.
If you only like to ski or rock climb, and don't do anthing else in the mountains, follow Base Fitness until we begin the sport-specific training for your sport.
HOW IS MOUNTAIN ATHLETE DIFFERENT THAN A COMMERCIAL GYM?
1. We provide the athlete's programming. This means we design each workout with the ultimate goal of developing the athlete's absolute strength, relative strength, explosive power and muscular endurance.
2. You are professionally coached. Rob and Jordan teach exercises, critique techniques, record weights lifted, and push the athletes. Unlike a commercial gym, athletes can't come in and start doing their own workout.
3. Our workouts are killer. You've never worked this hard.
4. We don't have any weight lifting machines. We only use free weights.
5. Have you ever thrown a sandbag around, tossed a med ball, carried a 60-pound rock, climbed a rope, done wind sprints, run while shouldering a sand bag, or done a power clean at a commercial gym? You will here.
6. Lastly and perhaps most importantly, you will be invested in your own fitness like never before. You will be immersed in a goal-driven culture of hard work, perseverance, and continual progress.
WHAT ARE YOUR STRENGTH STANDARDS?
LIFT MEN WOMEN
Front Squat 1.25x BW 1.0x BW
Hinge Lift 1.75x BW 1.25xBW
Bench Press 1.25xBW .9xBW
Push Press 1.10x BW .7xBW
Hang Squat Clean 1.1x BW .9xBW
"BW" = body weight
I'M NOT IN SHAPE. CAN I STILL TRAIN THERE?
Yes. Workouts are scaled down with lighter weights, less reps, fewer rounds, etc. to meet the fitness levels of beginning athletes. It's still not going to be easy, but new athletes are not expected to perform as well or lift as much as experienced athletes.
I'VE NEVER LIFTED WEIGHTS. CAN I STILL TRAIN THERE?
Yes. Many of our current athletes had little to no weight lifting experience before starting with us. Don't be intimidated by the photos on the website. You too can do this stuff.
I HAVE AN INJURY. WILL YOU STILL TRAIN ME?
Yes. We have trained athletes with broken shoulders, busted up knees, back problems and other injuries. We simply train around the injuries by choosing exercise and programming which avoid the injured area, but work the rest of the body. Just because you are injured doesn't mean you have to lie around getting fat and lazy. The rest of your body can stay in shape while the injured area recovers.
DO YOU PROVIDE PERSONAL TRAINING?
Yes. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for details.
WHAT DOES A TYPICAL WORKOUT LOOK LIKE?
We strive to enhance four primary athletic attributes: Abolute Strength, Relative Strength, Explosive Power, and Muscular Endurance. A typical workout will be designed to address one to two of these attributes. Please surf to the free workouts page for examples, photos and video.
WHEN DO YOU TRAIN?
Please click the Training Session Schedule link on the homepage for the current schedule.
WHERE IS THE GYM LOCATED?
3535 South Park Drive: Drive south of town approx 2 miles past Smiths. Turn left on South Park Drive. Drive up the hill past the Motorcycle dealership, and follow the road as it turns left. At the top of the hill, take the first left. Look for the sign.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
We have two pricing options to train at our Jackson Location. A full month of unlimited training sessions costs $200. Individual session workouts cost $30. Drop-in fee is $20.
HOW DO I CANCEL MY ONLINE GYM DUES SUBCRIPTION?
You can cancel your subscription at any time through your paypal account. Follow the directions below:
1. Log in to your PayPal account.
2. Click the My Account tab.
3. Click the History subtab.
4. Click More filters, select Subscriptions and agreements, and then click Subscriptions.
5. Change the date back to the year the subscription was created, and then click Show.
6. Click Details next to the subscription.
7. Click Cancel Subscription.