Half Dome Day Hike Training Plan

$49.00

  • 7-week, 6 day/week plan
  • Specifically designed to build your legs and lungs in preparation for the Half Dome Day Hike in Yosemite National Park. 
  • Also designed to use minimal equipment, and can be used by athletes living far from mountainous terrain. 
  • This training plan is one of the 250+ Plans included with an Athlete’s Subscription

Description

This 7-week, 6 day/week training program is sport-specifically designed to build your legs and lungs in preparation for the Half Dome Day Hike in Yosemite National Park. 

It is also designed to use minimal equipment, and can be used by athletes living far from mountainous terrain. 

Week 7 of the plan is an unload/taper week. So this plan is designed to be completed the 7 weeks directly before your Half Dome Day Hike.

This is Version 1 of the plan, designed in June 2022.

The Half Dome Day Hike is a 14-16 mile, round trip event, with a 4,800 foot elevation gain. The final 400 feet of the hike follows installed cables up the face of Half Dome. 

 

PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

This training program has a strong mountain aerobic endurance emphasis – uphill hiking under load, rucking (hiking/walking with loaded pack), and running – which reflects the major fitness demand of a long peak-bagging event like the Half Dome Day Hike. This plan also trains eccentric leg strength and strength endurance, calf strength and strength endurance and core strength and strength endurance.

Mountain Endurance
The mountain endurance training in this plan is built around 3 exercise modes:

(1) Step Ups train uphill hiking under load. Step ups are a basic, butt-kicking single mode exercise used to build sport-specific climbing leg strength and cardio in a controlled, gym environment. During this program, expect to do thousands of step ups with a 20# pack – which should be the weight of the daypack with gear, water and food, you’ll carry on your Half Dome Hike. This is the primary exercise I’ll use to get your legs and lungs ready for long hiking uphill. You can use any box, or bench, 15-18” high, for step ups.

(2) Rucking (hiking/walking with a pack) trains for the approach prior to the steep climbing, and egress back to the trailhead. “Rucking” is a military term which is simply fast walking with a pack. In this program you’ll ruck wearing a 20# pack. When possible, ruck on a trail over hilly terrain, but without significant elevation gain/loss

(3) Running trains overall leg-based, mountain-endurance. When possible, run hilly terrain or trails, but without significant elevation gain/loss.

Mountain Endurance training makes up the bulk of the training in this plan. You’ll do step ups, run or ruck, 6 days a week while completing this plan.

Strength Training
The Half Dome Hike Plan includes focused strength training for eccentric leg strength, calf strength and strength endurance, and core strength.

Eccentric Leg Strength is trained using MTI’s proven Leg Blaster progression.  Leg Blasters are an intense, body weight only, lower body complex of exercises which builds incredible leg strength, and lactate tolerance. Also, we’ve found it key to building eccentric leg strength. During your trip, you’ll be climbing to the top of Half Dome, but you’ll also be hiking down from it. Coming down forces your legs to work eccentrically, and can lead to crippling soreness in the next day. Leg Blasters will help you prepare for this.

Calf Strength & Strength Endurance – Often calves are the first to fail on steep hiking efforts. This training plan deploys calf raise intervals to build calf strength and strength endurance.

Core Strength – Mid-section strength plays a hidden, but key roll in not only Peak Bagging fitness, but also durability. This training plan deploys body weight exercises to train core and lower back strength.

 

REQUIRED EQUIPMENT

This is a limited equipment training plan. Below is the equipment required:

  1. 15-18” Box, bench, stool, box, cooler or whatever for step ups.
  2. 20# Backpack for step ups and rucking. Any filler can be used for weight.
  3. Foam Roller

 

WEEKLY SCHEDULE

  • Monday – Step Ups
  • Tuesday – 2-a-Day: AM – Leg Blasters, Calf Raise Intervals, Core; PM – Running (3-5 miles)
  • Wednesday – Rucking/Hiking with a 20# pack (4-6 miles).
  • Thursday – Step Ups
  • Friday – Leg Blasters, Calf Raise Intervals, Core
  • Saturday – Rucking/Hiking which starts at 5 miles week 1, and gradually progresses to 15 miles in week 6.

 

COMMON QUESTIONS

How long should the training sessions take?
Training Sessions run 45 minutes to 5 hours in duration, depending upon the day. Tuesday’s 2-a-Days, with gym-based training in the AM, and running in the PM. Saturdays are a long ruck/hike, culminating in 15 miles on Week 6. 

What if I can’t keep up the Monday through Saturday Training Schedule?
If for any reason you cannot keep training schedule, do not skip a training session. Rather, complete all the training sessions in order. Whatever the schedule, always take one day per week, as total rest.

What does “40/60#” mean? How about “3/5x”?
“40/60# = women use 40#, men use 60#. 3/5x = women do 3x reps, men do 5 reps.

What if I miss a day?
Begin where you left off when you return to training. This program is progressed – each session builds upon the prior session – so don’t skip a session or skip around. Follow the training sessions in order, regardless.

Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE. The Run/Ruck Calculator is listed as an exercise.

What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE.

Can I see sample training? 
Yes. Click the “Sample Training” tab to see the entire first week of programming.

How do I access the plan?
Access is online, via username and password. You can log in either through our website or through our app (Mtn Tactical Fitness) available for IOS and Android.

Can I print out sessions to take to the gym?
Yes – you can print a week of programming at a time.

More Questions? Email: coach@mtntactical.com

DISCLAIMER
Before beginning any exercise program, consult with your physician to ensure that you are in proper health. Physical training contains inherent risks including, but not limited to, muscle strains, tears, physical and bodily injury up to and including death. This training program is not meant to provide medical advice; you should obtain medical advice from your private health care practitioner. If you are unable to assume these risks then you should not engage in this training program. No liability is assumed by Mountain Tactical Institute, Inc, its owners or employees, and you train at your own risk. Mountain Tactical Institute makes no warranty, express or implied, of any kind in connection with this training program.

Required Equipment

This is a limited equipment training plan. Below is the equipment required:




  1. 15-18” Box, bench, stool, box, cooler or whatever for step ups.

  2. 20# Backpack for step ups and rucking. Any filler can be used for weight.

  3. Foam Roller


 

Sample Training

Below is the First Week from this Training Plan:


MONDAY
SESSION 1
Obj: Uphill Endurance - 45 min


Warm Up: 


3 Rounds
5x Walking Lunges
20x Step Ups
5x Hand Release Push Ups
Instep Stretch


Training:


(1) 1 Round
300x Step Ups @ 20#, Moderate Pace
Run 400m
300x Step Ups @ 20#, Moderate Pace


“Moderate Pace” = Comfortable, but not easy


(2) Foam Roll Legs, Low Back


******************************


 

TUESDAY
SESSION 2
Obj: 2-A-Day, Leg Strength, Low Back, Running


AM SESSION:


Warm Up:


3 Rounds
10x Squats
8x Hand Release Push Ups
5x Walking Lunges
Instep Stretch


Training: 


(1) 10 Rounds
Mini Leg Blaster


(2) 3 Rounds
30/5/30 Sean Special
20x Sit Ups
10x EO's


(3) 3 Rounds
20 second rapid calf raise
10 second hold in up position
20 second rapid calf raise
10 second hold in up position
30 second rest between rounds


See Example HERE


PM SESSION:  (30 min)


(1) Run 3 Miles, Moderate Pace


“Moderate Pace” = Comfortable, but not easy


Trail run if possible.


******************************


 

WEDNESDAY
SESSION 3
Obj: Ruck/Hike Endurance


Training:


(1) Ruck 4 Miles @ 20#, Moderate Pace


“Moderate” = Comfortable but not easy


Comments: Ruck/Hike trails, if possible. 


******************************


 

THURSDAY
SESSION 4
Obj: Uphill Endurance - 55 min


Warm Up: 


3 Rounds
5x Walking Lunges
20x Step Ups
5x Hand Release Push Ups
Instep Stretch


Training:


(1) 1 Round
400x Step Ups @ 20#, Moderate Pace
Run 400m
400x Step Ups @ 20#, Moderate Pace


“Moderate Pace” = Comfortable, but not easy


(2) Foam Roll Legs, Low Back


******************************


 

FRIDAY
SESSION 5
Obj: Leg Strength, Low Back


Warm Up:


3 Rounds
10x Squats
8x Hand Release Push Ups
5x Walking Lunges
Instep Stretch


Training: 


(1) 10 Rounds
Mini Leg Blaster


(2) 3 Rounds
15/15 Standing Founder
15/15 Kneeling Founder
10x Face Down Back Ext
10x 1-Leg Poor Man's Leg Curl


(3) 3 Rounds
20 second rapid calf raise
10 second hold in up position
20 second rapid calf raise
10 second hold in up position
30 second rest between rounds


See Example HERE


(4) Foam Roll Legs, Low Back


******************************

 

SATURDAY
SESSION 6
Obj: Ruck/Hike Endurance


Training:


(1) Ruck 5 Miles @ 20#, Moderate Pace


“Moderate” = Comfortable but not easy


Comments: Ruck/Hike trails, if possible. 


 
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Gym numbers mean nothing. All that matters is mission performance. 

To this end, MTI’s fitness solutions and programming are not boxed in by convention, tradition, orthodoxy, public opinion or any other artificial constraint driven by inside or outside forces.

We begin with the raw fitness demands of the mission and build a fitness solution which directly prepares the athlete for those demands.

 

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→ Research: MTI begins program design with extensive research of the fitness demands of the mission, sport or event, identifies the exercises and progressions which sport-specifically meet those demands, chose end-of-cycle goals, and program backward to design the training plan.

→ Deploy & Assess: We deploy the training plan “Lab Rats” at our Wyoming facility. Training session and cycle issues are identified and fixed as we work through the training plan. Post cycle we assess the programming’s effectiveness and efficiency. We keep the stuff that works, and fix or toss the stuff that doesn’t.

→ Publish & Assess Again: Plan is published for purchase as an individual training plan and made available to our subscribers. Feedback/results are assessed.

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Over the past decade, MTI has partnered with hundreds of athletes throughout their individual mountain and tactical careers, and provided fitness solutions as they face new mountain objectives, tactical schools, selections, PFTs and deployments, and came back from injury.

 

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Our work is not limited to US Athletes.

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Canadian, Australian, UK and western European law enforcement and fire/rescue athletes have used MTI programming for mission-direct fitness.

On the mountain side, Alpinists from Japan to Slovakia have consulted with MTI and used MTI’s programming to prepare for mountain objectives.

 

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This focus on “mission direct” solutions, enhancements and improvements drives our work and research and extends beyond fitness solutions to include training, leadership, gear, team culture, and safety. 

Fitness is just one area of our work.

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Our work on defining what it means to be a Quiet Professional has had penetrating influence and driven healthy conversations with both mountain and tactical professionals.

 

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– Rob Shaul, Founder

 


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Our Stuff Works. Guaranteed.

By Rob Shaul

I received notes frequently from athletes hesitant to purchase a subscription or training plans asking me to sell them on why they should make the purchase.

While I understand the question, I’m not a salesman – so I can’t put a hard sale on anyone for our programming.

I can tell them the process we go through to design our programming.

We begin with extensive research on the fitness demands of the event, identify the exercises and progressions which sport specifically meet those demands, chose end-of-cycle goals, and program backward to design the plan.

Then we test the cycle on ourselves and our lab rats here in Wyoming. We document, note what works and doesn’t work, re-assess, and make changes and modifications.

Then we publish the programming in the form of one of our plans or as part of our subscription daily training sessions for tactical and mountain athletes.
We don’t stop there – our daily programming is the “tip of the spear” for our programming evolution. We use these sessions to learn and make continuous improvement.

As we learn more and improve, we go back, and update the sport-specific training plans on the website. For example, we’re currently on Version 5 of our Ruck Based Selection Training Plan and Version 3 of our Dryland Ski Training Plan and Version 4 of our Big Game Back Country Hunting Training Plan.

We understand our programing isn’t cheap, but we believe it’s a great value. The $79 for the Ruck Based Selection Training Plan, and $39 for the Dryland Ski Training Plan reflect the, research, work, innovative theory, iteration, testing and feedback we’ve put in and received to make these plans effective.

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If you purchase an individual training plan, follow it as prescribed before your season/event/pft/selection, and if you don’t feel you were physically ready for your season/event/pft/selection, and/or didn’t see dramatic improvements in your early season performance, we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.

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If you purchase an Athletes’ Subscription, follow the training sessions as prescribed, and are not satisfied with the quality of the programming, notify us within 30 days of purchase, and we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.

Questions?
Email: rob@mtntactical.com

COMMON QUESTIONS:

Do you have any reviews or testimonials from athletes who have used your Athlete’s Subscription
Yes. Click HERE.

Is it true you guarantee your stuff works?
Yes. If you purchase an Athletes’ Subscription, follow the training sessions as prescribed, and are not satisfied with the quality of the programming, notify us within 30 days of purchase, and we’ll refund your money, no questions asked.

How is MTI programming different than CrossFit?
This is a common question. Read our answer HERE.

You have a lot of competitors. Why should I choose MTI?
MTI is driven to improve mountain and tactical athletes’ mission performance and keep them safe. This emphasis and focus on mission performance sets us apart. Read about more that sets us apart HERE.

If I purchase a plan or subscription, how do I access the programming?
All of our plans are online, accessible via username and password.
You can log in through our →Website  or Mobile App →IOS and Android.

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No. But you can print the programming, by week, from your browser. You access individual training plans online via a username and password.

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What Equipment is Required?
Click the “Required Equipment” tab to find out what equipment is required for the specific plan you are interested in.

Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE. The Run and Ruck Calculators are listed as exercises.

What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE.

Can I see sample training?
Click the “Sample Training” tab to see the entire first week of programming.
You are encouraged to do it before purchasing.

What if I have more questions?
Email rob@mtntactical.com

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