Year: 2017

Training With A Weighted Backpack On Stairs

Training With A Weighted Backpack On Stairs

If you’re needing to improve your fitness for hiking, training with a weighted backpack on stairs is an excellent choice. In this video, created for one of my Mountaineering Fitness Programs, I demonstrate a simple routine of stair walking while wearing a lightly weighted backpack. Some things to consider before you attempt adding this into your own fitness routine are listed here.

Video: Training with a Weighted Backpack on Stairs

First of all, before you put on a backpack loaded with any weight, be sure you are able to walk the stairs without one. This almost goes without saying, but you’d be surprised at how some people want to run before they can walk.

Next, make sure the backpack you’ve selected works well with the motions of walking both up and down stairs. You don’t want the bag flopping around on your back, especially if the weight in the bag is an appreciable percentage of your weight. 10% or more is plenty of weight to start “The Tail Wagging the Dog” as they say.

If your stairs are outside, like these are, be sure that they are safe for use for training. This includes water, oil, or other slippery surfaces or coatings. Be careful of critters like mice, squirrels, unicorns and the like.

For most people, about 20 steps is a good number of stair treads for training. If the stairs are too short there are too many stops to turn around and it bogs down training quite a bit. More than 20 is fine, but if you want a more HITT-like session of weighted backpack training, 20 makes for a good sprint up, and great rest returning to the bottom slowly.

If You’re New to Weighted Backpack Stair Training

Start slow, without very much weight. See what you are able to recover from depending on your fitness goals. You might progress to sprinting up the stairs with 20% of your bodyweight in that pack. You might just walk up and down with your lunch in your pack. Each of us is in a different place.

Be sure to check out the other articles in the Weighted Backpack Training series.

NEW BOOK: Rucking Simple Treadmill Training Guide – NOW ON AMAZON


Fall 2017 Clearance on Hikercize Program Announced

http://hikercize.com/join-the-hikercize-program/ – get the world’s foremost Hiking Fitness Training Program for only $5 for the rest of 2017, and I’ll send you a free copy of my Amazon Best-Selling
“Summit Success: Training for Hiking” and a handful of other sweet bonuses.

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Under Armour Eyewear – Capture Sunglasses

These sweet sunglasses from UA have become my go-to eyewear for nearly all conditions in the outdoors. Here is a link to a video I put up on YouTube

  Box Opening UnderArmour Capture Shiny Black Blue Storm Polarized Sunglasses

Showing off my UA Capture Sunglasses – see that blue reflection?

I took these out just a couple days after I shot the box opening video linked above, and fell in love with them rather quickly. I have usually used a couple of other brands for when I’m outside in my contacts, but haven’t used anything except these now since I opened that box. They’re really that good. I’ll share more with you in the coming weeks.

If you want to read more about them, here is a link to check them out on Amazon below.


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Diamondback Recoil Upgrade – Air Shock

Last year, 2016, my son started mountain bike racing. Previously he’d done road racing with the FFKR jr. devo team up in Salt Lake City. He’d attended a couple of their training camps and got interested in cyclocross (CX) and even took state points leader in his age group in the 2015 fall racing season.

Dallin at the awards banquet for 2015 UTCX

For 2016 he decided to race Mountain Bike at the Lone Peak High School registered with the Utah High School Cycling League and NICA. I decided to become a NICA certified coach, and passed the requirements for the Ride Leader position. This has been upgraded to Level Two Coach for 2017. More on that later though.

The team was sponsored by Fezarri and we decided to get him a Wasatch Peak hardtail at the team discount. I found a really good deal on a Diamondback Recoil full suspension bike and ordered it. It
was heavy, somewhat clunky, but it would get the job done.

Diamondback Recoil 27.5

Now, I’d been a roadie for a good 40 years. Seriously. No kidding. In my wild teen years in California I’d hooked up with a friend who introduced me to sweet light brazed lug double butted tube construction. I was hooked. Over the years I ended up as a bicycle commuter, hitting 150 mile weeks regularly. So now this big knobby tire thing. Argh!

Pretty soon after getting it, even on the light duty trails we ran with the beginner team I was in charge of, it became apparent that at my weight the rear spring, a coil-over design similar to a dirt bike but without the hydraulics, wasn’t working out as nicely as I’d hoped.

Spring Coil – stock on Diamondback Recoil

I dug around on Amazon and found an air shock replacement from Asia that was way less than the “American” counterparts that you usually think of when imagining the perfect rear air suspension on a mountain bike. I won’t name names. Like less than $80. The ratings for the DNM Rear Air Shock were good, so I measured my spring shock to verify the fit and ordered it.

The inner diameter and width of the supplied bushings was slightly off, so I pressed them out (tough, but doable with a clamp and threaded hex head bolt) and used the Diamondback bushings, which fit perfectly in the shocks.

The hardest part was holding the rear triangle up in place while holding the end of the shock in place, while threading the bolt through while keeping the bushing centered. Alone. Fortunately I had a good Bikehand Pro Mechanic Bike Stand to hold the bike in place at waist level while working on it.

The DNM shock included a fairly readable manual to let you know what pressures to load the main and rebound cylinders with, and I messed around with it for about a half hour to get the bike to settle in at the right pressure.

Total time for this was about 3 hours, while answering the phone, checking email, verifying a thing or two on Youtube, etc. You could probably do it in an hour or less without the messing about.

NEXT: Derailleur replacement. Drat.


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Training Program Adjustment Phase Explained – Hikercize

One thing a lot of canned training programs skip or gloss over is the “Adjustment Phase” which is one short cycle, 3 to 6 weeks, during which you adjust from Non-Training Life to Training Life.

Check out the video for more, and how we address this issue in Hikercize at http://hikercize.com/take-the-challenge

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