TCT Workout Plan
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KeyCheckpointThe most important part of the plan! Designed to build the confidence, endurance and skills you need to complete the Teton Crest Trail (TCT). I am comfortable hiking this trail with a team who has hit all the checkpoints; I would consider it dangerous to take beginners directly onto the TCT who have not accomplished these checkpoints. This hike demands a level of respect and dedication. Please ensure that you devote the time in preparation that an undertaking like this deserves. I'm confident that with the right attitude and preparation, we can all accomplish this goal together! This is what I'll be doing to prepare. Much love to you all, please reach out for support and encouragement along the way (304-716-1076), and I'm stoked to take on this epic adventure with you! [Scroll down to the bottom of the page for notes and further guidance.]
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Lift/StrengthFocused on building the strength you need to carry a heavy pack over mountain passes for five days in the Wyoming backcountry
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Cardio/EnduranceIncrease heart and lung capacity to handle the demands we'll be placing on our cardiovascular system at 10K feet
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ClimbingWorkouts directly focused on building the stamina to climb from the 6,400 ft valley to 10,700 ft Paintbrush Divide
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IMPORTANT NOTE:
Please ensure that you know how to do exercises properly. This plan incorporates lifts like barbell squats, deadlifts, etc. Seek professional guidance if needed to avoid injury and get the most out of your lifts.
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MonthWeekWeek DayWeekend
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MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturday-Sunday
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AprilApril 8-12(Make sure you know how to do exercices properly - get expert advice! Replace with another exercise if necessary.)
20 min cardio
30 min cardio
3x2 ab exercises (dealer's choice)
15 min warmup^^
3x10 bodyweight squat
3x10 bodyweight lunge (each leg)
2x30 sec plank
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April 15-195x10-12 B/D squat^ ____
5x10-12 B/D lunge ____
3x8-10 deadlift
3x10 hip thrust
5x10-12 leg extensions
5x10-12 hamstring curls
3x5 burpees
3x10-15 glute kick back
10 min cardio
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April 22-26Climb 50 floors on stairmaster (FYI this is equivalent to climbing 500 vertical feet. We'll climb 2,700 feet, with packs, at 9-10K feet. Keep that in mind...you can do this!)
30 min cardio
3x2 ab exercises (dealer's choice)
Checkpoint: Day Hike with fully loaded pack. Packs will probably be 35-45 pounds on the trail. Longest day we'll do is 11 miles. Take it easy on your first hike with a heavy pack, but keep those numbers in the back of your mind and work toward them during training.*
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MayApr 29- May 3
15 min warmup/cardio^^
5x5 B/D front squat^____
5x5 B/D lunge ____
3x45 sec plank ____
4x45 sec plank
3x____ hanging knee raise
3x20 russian twists
3x10 burpees
Cardio if you feel up to it!
Anything fun and active!
Go for a run, walk, swim, etc.
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6-10climb 100 floors on stairmaster
Warmup^^
3x15 B/D squat^____
3x15 B/D lunge ____
3x15 step-ups (each leg)
2x1 min plank ____
2x10 deadlift ____
3x8 burpees
Checkpoint: Day Hike or stadium climb with fully loaded pack. Look for a point locally with some hills, and try to climb at least 1000 vertical feet with a pack. (Call me if you can't find an appropriate place, I'll help you research your area online - 304-716-1076). OR, find a place to to stadium climbs and rack up those vertical feet.*
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13-17
15 min warmup^^
5x5 B/D squat^____
5x5 B/D lunge ____
3x1min plank ____
4x45 sec plank
3x____ hanging knee raise
3x20 russian twists
3x10 burpees
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20-24
15 min warmup^^
3x8 B/D front squat^____
3x15 B/D lunge ____
3x15 step-ups (each leg)
3x1 min plank ____
2x10 deadlift ____
3x8 burpees
climb 150 floors on stairmasterCheckpoint: Practice trip - test your gear on a one night trip. Try to do each of the following: hike 3-4 miles each day, set up tent, filter water, prepare food, put on rain gear, use the bathroom... ;) Call/txt/email for any advice - 304-716-1076, I'm here to help!
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27-31
15 min warmup^^
3x8 B/D front squat^____
3x15 step-ups (each leg)
2x10 deadlift ____
3x8 burpees
30 min incline walk at 15%30 min cardio1000 meter row or other cardio (5 min)
50 thrusters w/ 25-35# weight (Make sure you know how to do thrusters properly - get expert advice! Replace with another exercise if preferred.)
500 meter row or other cardio (3 min)
Anything fun and active!
Go for a run, walk, roller skate, etc.
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June3-7
5x10-12 leg extensions
5x10-12 hamstring curls
2x10 sumo deadlift ____
3x10 burpees
15 min cardio
5x10-12 B/D squat ____
5x10-12 B/D lunge ____
3x8-10 deadlift ____
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10-1445 min incline walk at 15%
climb 100 floors on stairmaster
500 meter row or other cardio (5 min)
30 thrusters w/ 35-45# weight
500 meter row or other cardio (3 min)
Checkpoint: by this point, should be able to climb 1500 ft
w/ fully loaded pack. Stadium-climb, hike, etc. to get those vertical feet! Note: As a reference point, we generally shoot for about 1,000 vertical feet per hour on the trail. I expect our 2,700 ft climb up to Paintbrush Divide to take a little over 3 hours.*
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17-215x10-12 B/D squat ____
5x10-12 B/D lunge ____
3x8-10 deadlift ____
3x10 B/D row
5x10-12 leg extensions
5x10-12 hamstring curls
2x10 sumo deadlift ____
3x10 burpees
15 min cardio
3x1 min plank
3x____ hanging knee raise
3x20 russian twists
3x10 burpees
3x15 kettlebell swings _______
20 min cardio
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24-28
15 min warmup^^
3x8 B/D front squat^____
3x15 step-ups (each leg)
2x10 deadlift ____
3x8 burpees
30 min cardio
30 min incline walk or stairmaster
1000 meter row or other cardio (5 min)
50 thrusters w/ 35-45# weight
500 meter row or other cario (3 min)
Checkpoint: Practice trip. Here you will get more comfortable backpacking on a two night trip. Try to do the following: hike 1-2 miles on day one and set up camp. Focus on getting comfortable with the rythm of trail life, setting up your tent, prepping dinner, filtering water. On day two, get up, have coffee, break down camp, and try to hike at least five miles. Hike out on day three, and congratulate yourself for your first two night backpacking trip!*
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July1-545 min cardio
15 min incline walk or stairmaster
5x10-12 leg extensions
5x10-12 hamstring curls
2x10 sumo deadlift ____
3x10 burpees
15 min cardio
30 min cardio
30 min incline walk or stairmaster
3x1:15 min plank
3x____ hanging knee raise
3x25 russian twists
3x10 burpees
20 min cardio
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8-12climb 150 floors on stairmaster
15 min warmup^^
3x15 B/D squat^____
3x15 B/D lunge ____
3x15 step-ups (each leg)
3x1 min plank ____
2x10 deadlift ____
3x8 burpees
incline walk: 1 hour at 15% grade on treadmillAnything fun and active!
Go for a run, walk, roller skate, etc.
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15-19
15 min warmup^^
3x15 B/D squat^____
3x8 B/D front squat^____
3x15 B/D lunge ____
3x15 step-ups (each leg)
3x1 min plank ____
2x10 deadlift ____
3x8 burpees
25 min incline walk at 15%
climb 100 floors on stairmaster
500 meter row or other cardio (5 min)
30 thrusters w/ 45# weight
500 meter row or other cario (3 min)
Checkpoint: hike 9 miles w/ fully loaded pack*
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22-26
15 min warmup^^
3x8 B/D front squat^____
3x15 step-ups (each leg)
2x10 deadlift ____
3x8 burpees
30 min cardio
1000 meter row or other cardio (5 min)
50 thrusters w/ 35-45# weight
500 meter row or other cario (3 min)
Anything fun and active!
Go for a run, walk, roller skate, etc.
Packing for trip!
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29-31You Are READY!Travel to Jackson Hole, WY!
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NOTES
^^Stretch/do light cardio (should be able to hold conversation)
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^B/D = barbell or dumbell (whatever is more comfortable)
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GuidanceThis workout plan is designed to be a framework. If you can successfully accomplish the checkpoints, I'm confident you can complete the trail.  The trail will require a 2700 climb with a 40 pound pack on our toughest day! This is what you're aiming for in your training. On our big days (day 3&4), we'll get an early start (wake up at 0430, on the trail by 0600) in order to make the top of the divides before afternoon thunderstorms. This will allow us to take it slow! There's no rush, no reason to get stressed out or doubt your ability. The key to climbing mountains is to take one slow, small step after another. We'll go at a pace that will allow you to talk comfortable, this is not like running a sprint for 6 hours straight! With all that said, please understand that this program is a framework which I'm confident can get you where you need to be to complete the trail. If you don't like the setup of the workouts, or find that they're too strenous or too easy feel free to modify the plan and do what you need to do to hit the checkpoints. Stay strong. When the workouts are tough or you have a bad day, be gentle with yourself. This is a slow, methodical journey. You may have a bad morning on the trail, but that won't ruin the whole journey. In the same way, don't stress it if you have a bad day! Encourage yourself along the way and stay confident...You can do this! Let's do this thing together! :) - C and M
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IMPORTANT NOTE: Please ensure that you know how to do the exercises properly. This plan incorporates lifts like barbell squats, deadlifts, etc. If you are not comfortable with those movements, seek professional guidance to avoid injury and get the most out of your lifts, if you choose to use this plan.
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