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  • It really works

    I just came back from a 7 day trek through the High Sierra. It was a test of the idea that strength is a general adaptation applicable to nearly anything, and also a test that doing strength training alone (without sprints or long slow cardio) is enough to build adequate cardiovascular fitness. I strength train 3x a week (2x squats, 2x presses and 1x deadlift and pullups.) I hike once a week and take walks wearing my work clothes most days. That's it.

    I took one week off of heavy lifting in order to be recovered for the hike. The first two days were an adjustment getting used to the altitude and the intense sunlight and heat in the middle of the day. After the first two days bouncing around between 9000 and 11,000 feet, we did big passes every day. The first over 13,000ft, then a series around 12,000 feet. Up and then down to 8 or 9000 feet over and over every day.

    I never felt better. The thin air was not a problem. Hiking all day long was not a problem, although I did get pretty tired at the end of a long day. The ups and downs were not an issue. Descending the scary snow on the passes was no big deal. I felt strong, healthy and best of all HAPPY. The altitude sometimes messes with my mind.

    I didn't bring enough food, but being fat-adapted (plus the altitude probably) meant eating 3x a day, no snacks, wasn't really a problem. I had to split up my food to make an extra day so there was a little bit less than I wanted, but I just told myself whenever I felt a little hunger coming on to eat that sweet saturated fat around my thighs. I came back significantly smaller, that's for sure. The celebratory Louisiana hot sausage, eggs and hashbrowns and pint of ice cream was well-earned.

    Anyway, I was impressed with how much easier being stronger made this trip. That plus the health I've acquired eating Primal for so long, plus eating Primal on the trip. This shit works. I'm a believer.
    Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

  • #2
    Awesome!!!


    Sent from my iPhone using Marks Daily Apple Forum

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    • #3
      that is so cool and it is what the whole point is.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by sbhikes View Post
        This shit works. I'm a believer.
        I love this quote. Your story is very motivating.
        All time high weight 262 lbs
        Primal since Spring 2012
        Start PB Weight: 240 lbs ish
        Current Weight: 220lbs ish
        Goal Weight:190-200 lbs
        All on a 6ft. 1/2 inch frame.

        I can't wait to meet my abs for the first time in my life. We gotta lot of catching up to do.

        I love this way of eating and hope to be able to help others.

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        • #5
          Fantastic. Just fantastic.

          Originally posted by seaweed View Post
          that is so cool and it is what the whole point is.
          YESSS.
          Annie Ups the Ante
          http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread117711.html

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Grokdaddy View Post
            I love this quote. Your story is very motivating.
            I got a notice you tried to send a message. I emptied my mailbox.
            Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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            • #7
              P.S. Here's a picture of one of my typical backpacking meals:

              It's dried pork tenderloin and vegetables and a little Indian flattened rice (poha). I would usually drench this with olive oil. I also had chili that consisted of dehydrated cooked ground beef and beef liver plus veggies and dehydrated tomato paste with chili seasoning. That was delicious but I forgot to take a picture. For breakfast I made yogurt (stuffed a baggie with milk and leftover yogurt from the previous day down my tank top and in the morning it was yogurt!) and ate it with a trail mix I concocted of nuts, seeds, dried fruit all coated with cashew meal and coconut butter and spiced with allspice and cinnamon.
              Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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              • #8
                Sounds like you had a great adventure, good stuff !

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                • #9
                  Thanks for posting this! Great stuff.

                  I just wanted to back up what you said about increased cardio endurance without huge amounts of cardio excersise. I started a great gym back mid-February - a sad-sack 50 year old with rapidly decreasing strength and fitness. I worked up a huff and puff just on one flight of stairs at that point. My trainers don't push cardio at all, it's more of a quick warmup more than anything. My alternating programs are all strength training. About a month ago i took my daughter down the coast for lunch and we walked up a hill to the lighthouse. She power-walks. I can't exactly say I rose to her speed level, but I was right behind her and when I got to the top there was no "gawd I'm gonna die" feeling.

                  So yes...strength training does indeed build cardio endurance.

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                  • #10
                    I found that doing yoga exclusively did a lot for my overall cardio development. But, I had to do a regular practice (at least and hour) each day. Of course, that's not hard. But yeah, definitely set me up for Katadin and the white mountains (I didn't do hut to hut, but several days of up and down different mountains in the area).

                    Still, i'm finding that I like doing my cardio these days. It's just enjoyable.

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                    • #11
                      This is amazing! Thank you so much for sharing. I also love the info about what you packed for food for the trip. My boyfriend is always trying to bring crackers and PJ&J on our camping trips :/

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                      • #12
                        I try to avoid typical backpacking fare. However, some nuts and dried fruit and chocolate would have been welcome. I really didn't have enough food.

                        A friend of mine who quit eating flour and sugar taught me about homemade backpacking food and making yogurt on the trail and all that. He ate that way on the Continental Divide Trail and said he never felt better. A couple times he missed his supply boxes and had to buy gas station crap and said he did not feel as strong, healthy or happy then. He's now hiking the Appalachian Trail probably teaching everybody he meets about yogurt and sugar/flour-free food. Soon he will have his triple crown of hiking: PCT, CDT, AT.

                        Yesterday I pulled my plantains out of the dehydrator. I put ripe plantains in the blender and then smeared them on parchment in the dehydrator. It came out like a cracker. I'm thinking I could use this for crackers in real life as well as add it to backpacking food. I want to make some kind of Caribbean coconut spicy mixture. My food was way too bland and watery on this trip.
                        Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Shelli View Post
                          Thanks for posting this! Great stuff.

                          I just wanted to back up what you said about increased cardio endurance without huge amounts of cardio excersise. I started a great gym back mid-February - a sad-sack 50 year old with rapidly decreasing strength and fitness. I worked up a huff and puff just on one flight of stairs at that point. My trainers don't push cardio at all, it's more of a quick warmup more than anything. My alternating programs are all strength training. About a month ago i took my daughter down the coast for lunch and we walked up a hill to the lighthouse. She power-walks. I can't exactly say I rose to her speed level, but I was right behind her and when I got to the top there was no "gawd I'm gonna die" feeling.

                          So yes...strength training does indeed build cardio endurance.
                          It really does. I never had a lot of cardio endurance, and I hate cardio with a passion. But when I lift weights regularly, I find myself walking faster, sprinting up the stairs two at a time, and just generally tolerating a lot more cardio than I do otherwise.

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                          • #14
                            I was pretty skeptical that strength training alone could work. Even the first two days of my trip I was thinking oh, no, what a big mistake. It was not easy. But then I heard the PCT hikers who had been hiking every day for 6 weeks also were dying on the same two days as me. And then once we got higher in altitude and it wasn't so hot, bam, I felt awesome!
                            Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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