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How to Train for Vert Without Mountains

You can still train for vert and to play BIG in the mountains even if you don’t live near the mountains! I promise. 😉

Not everyone has easy access to varying elevation profiles and stout summits, but need to train for a race or outdoor objective that requires them to go UP.

So, how does one train for that?!

To start – I strongly believe that strength training is a MASSIVE attribute to feeling STRONG on trail, especially when ascending.

You’ve likely heard this called “hybrid training” which essentially combines (2) modalities – strength and endurance.

💪 Strength training alone (combined with your endurance training) can already add SO much to your performance on trail. Even starting out with 2x a week (full-body) is a great baseline.

Think about it… your body/muscles are under TENSION while hiking and trail running. By building STRENGTH and loading your muscles, joints, and tendons regularly, this provides you with an opportunity to move longer, farther, and feel BETTER while out there.

It gives your body the capacity to handle more. Freakin’ cool, huh?

How to train for vert without mountains

Alright, you’re still probably wondering – how the heck do I mimic training in the mountains without them?

The below activities are some of my favorite ways to train going UP... without actually going up.

You may have to get creative with your approach, but hey, that’s half the fun! Right?

It won’t be super sexy either, but’s it’s damn effective.

Try adding 1 of these modalities into your training 1x per week.

The goal is to train your engine AND build strong stems (and core + upper body) to carry you up mountain sides and down the other side with power, stability and confidence.

If you’re training for hiking or backpacking, wearing your pack while doing things like step-ups or walking on the treadmill incline will be super helpful to get you used to carrying the load of your water/gear and get your body acclimated to movement patterns with a pack.

🚨 If you’re looking to taking the guesswork out of adding step-ups into your training? You’ll want to check out my step-up programming eBook – Chasing Summits!

Or send me an email and let’s talk about Mountain-Ready 1:1 Coaching!

Other Helpful Resources:

🚀 How to Train Going DOWNHILL

🚀 Various Ways to Load the Lunge

🚀 Importance of HIGH Box Step-Ups

🚀 Training to Get Comfortable Wearing a Pack

🚀 Exercise to Help You Feeling Stronger with a Pack On

Meet the author

Bethany Taylor

I’m a PNW-based outdoor educator, adventure athlete, highly-caffeinated creative, all-women adventure trip host, safety advocate, and obsessed dog mom. I am here to help you chase more stoke-filled days outdoors with confidence through education and empowerment.

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