The Alpinist Fitness Assessment

image (1)
Rob G. works his way up Fitz Roy, January 2015. Designing Rob’s training plan for Fitz Roy prompted me to create an Alpinist Fitness Assessment.

The Alpinist Fitness Assessment
By Rob Shaul

Last November I began working with two groups of alpinists on pure climbing events. I designed “event-specific” training plans for each, including initial assessments, and this started me thinking about what a “Alpinist Fitness Assessment” would look like.

By “Alpinist” I’m speaking here in terms of an athlete who climbs high, glaciated peaks – think the Himalayas, Alps, Canadian Rockies and Tetons.

Alpine climbs have several fitness demands including basic endurance, mode-specific endurance for uphill hiking, under load, upper, lower and core strength, climbing-specific fitness and proficiency. Work capacity for short, intense, events, and stamina for long pushes.

This assessment will take 3.5 – 5 hours to complete, and can be completed in a typical climbing gym with a bouldering area.

Required Equipment:
– Measured 25m area for shuttles
– Pull up Bar
– Dip Station
– 17”/43 cm box or step for step ups
– 40#/18 Kg pack for step ups
– GPS watch for measuring distance and time, and or a known 15 km (9.3 mile) running course and stopwatch to time final run

The assessment description is below. In June, 2015 we ran several local alpinists through the assessment. Read the results HERE.

Please send any comments/questions to rob@mountainathlete.com.

– Rob Shaul

*********************
ALPINIST FITNESS ASSESSMENT

Warm Up:
3 Rounds
25x Step ups (unloaded)
10x Push ups
3/5x Pull ups
10x Situps
Instep Stretch
Lat + Pec Stretch

Assessment:

(1) Max Rep Bodyweight Bar Dips
Bodyweight bar dips test upper body pushing strength.

     **Rest 3 Minutes

(2) 40 Minute Step Ups at 17”/43 cm Box, 40-pound/18 kg  Pack, for Total Reps
Loaded step ups test lower body strength, and uphill hiking fitness and endurance.

      **Rest 10 Minutes

(3) Max Rep Bodyweight Pull ups
Strict, bodyweight pull ups test upper body pulling strength.

     **Rest 3 Minutes

(4) 300 meter Shuttle, for Time
Common test of anaerobic capacity (12x 25m)

      ** Rest 10 Minutes

(5) Bouldering V-Sum (50 Minute)
Test of climbing proficiency and fitness

    ** Transition to Run – 10-15 minutes

(6) Run 15 kilometers for Time
Overall test of aerobic base, endurance, stamina and mental fitness – when placed at the end of this full assessment.

HOW TO SCORE:

(1) Step Ups (30 points possible)

Total Reps               Score
1100+                            30
1050-1099                   27
1000-1049                   24
950-999                        21
900-949                        18
850-899                        15
800-849                        12
750-799                          9
700-749                          6
650-699                          3
600-649                          0

(2) Dips – Each rep counts as .5 point

(3) Pull ups – Each rep counts as .5 point

(4) 300m Shuttle

Finish Time (sec)          Score
< 60                                    30
60.1-62                              27
62.1-64                             24
64.1-66                             21
66.1-68                             18
68.0-70                             15
70.1-72                             12
72.1-74                               9
74.1-76                               6
76.1-78                               3
78+                                       0

(5) Bouldering V-Sum (click here for explanation)
Final score = points

(6) Run 15 Kilometers for Time (30 points possible)

Finish Time
(hr:min:sec)          Score
< 1:05:00                 30
1:05:01-1:08:00    27
1:08:01-1:11:00    24
1:11:01-1:14:00    21
1:14:01-1:17:00    18
1:18:01-1:21:00    15
1:21:01-1:24:00    12
1:24:01-1:27:00     9
1:27:01-1:30:00     6
1:30:01-1:33:00     3
1:33:01 +                  0

Here’s an example of how to score the test:
Step Ups = 1,005 reps                           = 27 points
Dips – 15 reps                                           = 7.5 points
Pull ups – 21 reps                                   = 10.5 points
300m Shuttle – 65 sec                           = 21 points
Bouldering V-Sum – 28                        = 28 points
15 km Run finish time – 1:12:23       = 21 points

Total                                                           = 115 Points

SCORING STANDARDS

For Male Athletes ….
70 is a poor score
105 is a good score
140 is a great score

For Female Athletes …
50 is a poor score
80 is a good score
110 is great score

**********************
Want More? Click HERE for our Alpinist Fitness Assessment Training Plan