Squamish Strength and Nutrition Coach Matteo Marra of Matteo Marra Training helps outdoor enthusiasts learn to train so they can go further, have more fun, feel more confident, and get injured less. He builds customized programs, and provides added accountability, to make strength training for outdoor enthusiasts simple.
Below you can find more information direct from Matteo about why he believes strength training is important for outdoor enthusiasts, and how you can begin or improve your efforts to enhance all your outdoor adventures like hiking.
More people have been getting out into the backcountry than ever before – especially now that having your friends over for some beers is out of the question…
For me – getting out into the outdoors has been a huge outlet to burn off some extra energy after working from home all day. It’s also been great for dealing with the added stressors that come along with COVID regulations in a positive way.
I want you to be able to enjoy all this as much as I have. Even better is to be able to do it safely, while having fun, and improving your health!
I’m hoping that some of this will resonate with you, whether this is your first year getting into the outdoors more, or your 10th.
Human Being Before Athlete
Is your aim to feel the sun on your face, smell warm dry pine needles underfoot, or look out to the horizon from the shores of an alpine lake?
To me, that indicates that you are at least somewhat interested in being a healthy person.
We’re talking about physical health in the ways of avoiding heart disease, aging without osteoporosis, and maintaining a favourable body composition.
You might also be interested in positive mental health. Things like lowered anxiety levels, higher self-esteem, lessened fatigue, lowered frequency of depression symptoms.
All of these things can be furthered by strength training on a regular basis. After all, you are a human being first – getting out and experiencing what nature has to offer is just a benefit of that.
The importance of your health extends even beyond your own personal happiness and wellbeing.
Recently I heard a great saying from someone who’s spent a ton of time in the mountains.
“Take care of the person at the end of your rope”
In order to do that properly, you have to be a competent, capable partner.
Put your own oxygen mask on first!
You will have more fun if you are stronger.
There is no question that being stronger will let you go further, faster.
You’ll get to see places:
- That you’ve never been.
- With less crowds.
- In less than perfect conditions (deeper snow, harder winds, etc.)
Being injured could leave a stain on your sport that may never fully wash out.
I’m not just talking about the immediate pain you feel the moment you roll an ankle, or even the 6+ weeks of pain you might feel after that…
Consider the realistic implications of an ankle sprain beyond acute pain.
- Potential long-term impacts on your enjoyment whenever you’re doing your sport.
- Time “off” where you could be learning new technical skills / improving your fitness.
- Mental challenges associated with being unable to participate in your activities.
What if I told you that you could enjoy all the beautiful things about hiking, skiing, bike riding, or whatever, without feeling the deep discomfort or burning in your muscles and lungs?
Would you honestly say that you’d rather keep them?
I’m not saying strength training will make those things go away entirely, but your perceived exertion will certainly decrease if you significantly increase your strength.
Less Discomfort = More Fun
(I heard that fun is the reason we got into this stuff in the first place)
Oh, did I mention that all your gear will feel lighter?
It SLAYS me to hear that a person would spend (insert stupid dollar value here) to upgrade their (insert piece of gear here) for a slightly lighter version WITHOUT ever attempting to become stronger in the first place.
Less SAR Calls
Before I get a bunch of keyboard warriors jumping on this, I’m not saying that all SAR calls happen because of weak people.
We KNOW that resistance training can reduce the likelihood of a variety of musculoskeletal injuries that could lead to a rescue situation if they happened at the wrong place/wrong time.
Fractures due to lower bone mineral density – yes, lifting heavy things makes your bones stronger.
Common injuries – ankle sprains, ACL tears, Fallen-on-Outstretched-Hand injuries… can be prevented.
If you’re willing to spend $700 on an avalanche backpack, ask yourself why are you not willing to do some squats for 15 minutes, twice per week?
Call me old-fashioned, but I’d say that the most important tool you’ve got is your body. So go spend some time sharpening it!
If you’d like an accelerated route to a stronger, fitter version of yourself – shoot Matteo an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Learn more about Matteo at: