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In shape or not in shape?



 
 
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  #1  
Old July 5th 03, 04:04 PM
foobar
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Default In shape or not in shape?

Recently I've heard the phrase "Make sure your in top physical shape" quite
frequently. One day I was thinking, well what exactly does that mean....

Does it mean your body is ripped (big or small), no I don't believe so, I
know a few people who if you looked at them would think they were in perfect
shape but smoke, drink, and probably cant run a mile.

Does it mean your slim with a long stamina? Well, some of those people cant
do 3 pushups.

On the flip side I know some people who are chunky and can outrun and
outlift me (I'm not fat, and run daily). Are they in better shape?

So my question is, hw can you define what is top/good physical shape or
determine if someone is in top/good physical shape?



  #2  
Old July 7th 03, 12:05 AM
Bill Bradshaw
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Default In shape or not in shape?

Some people are tougher mentally and thus can go further. As somebody that
does consider them self to be in good physical condition I consider mental
toughness to be worth 30% to 40% of my physical capabilities.
--
Bill

Brought to you from beautiful Unalaska/Dutch Harbor, Alaska.
N 53 51.140' W 166 30.228' (WGS 84)

foobar wrote:
Recently I've heard the phrase "Make sure your in top physical shape"
quite frequently. One day I was thinking, well what exactly does that
mean....

Does it mean your body is ripped (big or small), no I don't believe
so, I know a few people who if you looked at them would think they
were in perfect shape but smoke, drink, and probably cant run a mile.

Does it mean your slim with a long stamina? Well, some of those
people cant do 3 pushups.

On the flip side I know some people who are chunky and can outrun and
outlift me (I'm not fat, and run daily). Are they in better shape?

So my question is, hw can you define what is top/good physical shape
or determine if someone is in top/good physical shape?



  #3  
Old July 7th 03, 03:54 PM
nafod40
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Posts: n/a
Default In shape or not in shape?

foobar wrote:

Recently I've heard the phrase "Make sure you're in top physical shape"
quite frequently. One day I was thinking, well what exactly does that
mean....

Does it mean your body is ripped (big or small), no I don't believe
so, I know a few people who if you looked at them would think they
were in perfect shape but smoke, drink, and probably cant run a mile.

Does it mean your slim with a long stamina? Well, some of those people
cant do 3 pushups.

On the flip side I know some people who are chunky and can outrun and
outlift me (I'm not fat, and run daily). Are they in better shape?

So my question is, hw can you define what is top/good physical shape
or determine if someone is in top/good physical shape?


I think better advice is "make sure you're tough enough."

Toughness is something that often goes unmentioned. The ability to
operate at some decent percentage of your max for hours on end, and days
on end with some sleep. The ability to take a pounding. A combination of
physical adaptation and mental strength.

  #4  
Old July 8th 03, 08:17 AM
Tom Lindemuth
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Default In shape or not in shape?

"Captain Dondo" wrote in message
news[email protected] com...
On Sat, 05 Jul 2003 10:04:18 +0000, foobar wrote:

Recently I've heard the phrase "Make sure your in top physical shape"
quite frequently. One day I was thinking, well what exactly does that
mean....
(snip)

IMHO, there are 2 aspects to this:

1. You need to be able to do the task you set out to do. In other words,
when you toss the kitchen sink into the backpack, you need to be able to
hoist it on your shoulders, and get it where it needs to go. (I once -
many years ago - carried about 150# on a porter frame. I learned the hard
way that you ***can't*** put that kind of weight on by yourself.)
Realizing that you're beyond your physical abilities is not a good
feeling.
(snip)


Amen to that. And the important point to take out of it is that
being in shape to haul 30-50 lbs (or more, God help you) of
gear for several hours on end, for several days running, looks
nothing like being able to run a mile without stopping. If you
want to put your muscles into shape for backpacking, don't
try to get there on a stationary bike. Weight lifting might help
some, if you are doing endurance workouts instead of muscle
mass-building ones, but by far the best training is to put on a
backpack with some amount of weight in it and get out the door.

2. You need to know your limitations. The vast majority of people
overestimate their physical abilities. We (most of us, anyway) believe
that we're better, faster, stronger than we were 20 years ago.


Again, agreed. Start out a little on the light side, then you can
increase the weight you carry as you get comfortable with the
current load. Heck, if playing with weight plates is too annoying,
just throw your gear in the pack, and go have a nice picnic lunch
someplace. (One can always use a little more field practice
priming and lighting that dang stove, too...)

You probably won't end up looking like Mr. Universe with
this regimen, but you unquestionably will develop your ability
to carry a pack.

--Tom

(crossposts to misc.fitness.misc, rec.climbing removed, as the
answers pertinent to those activities will be very different...)


  #5  
Old July 8th 03, 05:10 PM
SPeacock
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Posts: n/a
Default In shape or not in shape?

Recently I've heard the phrase "Make sure your in top physical shape" quite
frequently. One day I was thinking, well what exactly does that mean....

Does it mean your body is ripped (big or small), no I don't believe so, I
know a few people who if you looked at them would think they were in perfect
shape but smoke, drink, and probably cant run a mile.

Does it mean your slim with a long stamina? Well, some of those people cant
do 3 pushups.

On the flip side I know some people who are chunky and can outrun and
outlift me (I'm not fat, and run daily). Are they in better shape?

So my question is, hw can you define what is top/good physical shape or
determine if someone is in top/good physical shape?


http://www.exrx.net/Calculators.html

Is a fairly good source of fitness info. The calculators indicate how you fit
in with the rest of us.

For the most part, good aerobic condition is required for our sport. When
somebody says they are 'out of shape', they usually mean they are not
aerobically 'fit'. They can't do much exercise (any kind) without being
'breathless'.

Before heading out for a long backpack trip in the mountains, I usually suggest
that a person be able to jog/run for 20 minutes and still be able to carry on a
conversation (while jogging) as an indicator. Another is, while on a long stair
case, adjust your heart rate and rate of climb so that you can breath in on one
foot and exhale on the other step. You should be going at a rate that is faster
than two seconds a step. You should be able to maintain this rate for 40
minutes. Give yourself lots of bonus points if you can do this with a weighted
pack on.

Another indication of fitness has to do with how much fat you are lugging
around. A below average BMI (Body Mass Index) is a fairly good indicator.
Fitness and size are not the same, but generally people with a below average BMI
are more fit than the ones who are borderline fat.

If you are backpacking you also need a few more muscles than just in the legs.
If you can't/won't join a gym to throw iron around then you will have to be
creative. In the 'off season', I walk almost daily in the neighborhood lugging
around 1 gallon plastic bags of kitty litter stuffed in my pack. Liter water
bottles are a good replacement. Each bag is about 5 lbs. Start out with a
comfortable load and add a bag every 10 days or so. Every mile (15-20 minutes)
do as many sets of 10 full squats as you can. You can up the ante by dragging an
old automobile tire around behind you too. It does add to the eccentricity of
the endeavor, however.

I've seen really large, overweight people huffing and puffing up a trail with a
gargantuan load on their backs fully involved in enjoying the outdoors. I've
also seen some really fit, lean, taunt runners that were 5 days (60 miles) into
the back country that really didn't look like they were having any fun at all.

The better physical shape one is in, the more enjoyable the trip. The trade off
is that you spend several months of 'pain' getting that way instead of just
suffering for a few days.

If you are in the Sierra, for example, chugging along with a 30-40lb pack at
over 9,000' you would want to be able to gain 1000-2000' in altitude an hour on
a well maintained trail for most of an 8 hour day. AND we would like you to be
sociable at the end of the day. That is help making camp, cooking, cleaning,
chatting and doing other activities. And if the weather really dumps on us or
if there is an emergency we'd like you to be able to do whatever is necessary
and not be a zombie.

That is, we'd like you to be able to do your share and be an enjoyable trail
partner at the same time. The less 'fit' you are the more you have to be able
to smile.

It is important if you are planning on doing more than just the routine backpack
trip, that you know just how far you can stretch your reserves and when you
can't.

NOW, if you want to go play with the big boys....

http://www.alpineascents.com/denali-train.asp

 




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