This is the minimal plan that we recommend for those who have a goal of climbing a large mountain such as Denali or going on a Himalayan expedition for an extended period of time. This 16 week plan progresses gradually but will require considerable effort to complete. It is not for a novice as it starts off with over 6 hours of required training per week and culminates in 11 hours per week. Each of the 8 week periods serves a different purpose and is not meant to be a stand alone program. For best results stick with this plan and you will see great results.
For those with higher aspirations we strongly recommend using the 24 Week Mountaineering Training Plan. Following it will give the athlete a chance to utilize a more advanced periodization schedule.
For the best results: Familiarize yourself with the training concepts and principles described in the book "Training for the New Alpinism". Pay particular attention to the notions of Continuity, Gradualness and Modulation. Rest when you are tired. If you miss a workout do not try to make it up. Just move on. If you miss more than 2 in a week then repeat that week.
The plan starts an Aerobic Threshold assessment test. From this you will establish the training intensity limit for most of the aerobic base training that will dominate in the overall plan but especially in the first 8 weeks. The first 8weeks also includes a basic strength program to prepare you for the harder work to follow.
Do not increase the intensity and hope to gain more benefits or to squeeze a 1 hour workout into 30 minutes. There is no short cut when it comes to aerobic adaptation.
This plan has proven successful for a variety of climbers all over the world who successfully used it to prepare for moderate climbing objectives including guided ascents of Denali and Everest.