Climb, Rest, Climb, Rest: Deload weeks

Mount Everest is a big mountain.


so big

So big in fact, that if you tried to go directly from the bottom to the top in one shot, fluid starts to build up on your brain and your lungs and you will die a horrible death and some sherpa that gets paid 40 cents a day to take a bunch of rich white people up a mountain to get a picture taken at the top will have to try to retrieve your frozen, lifeless body so it can be flown back to the States where your friends and family will be sad but secretly think in their heads “how dumb” but not say out loud because you can’t say stuff like that at funerals.

So to avoid an embarrassing death, there’s a general rule of Everest. For every 1000m you climb, you stay a night. Climb, rest. Climb, rest. Climb, rest.

If it sounds like this will take a long time, you’re right. Somewhere around two months.

Could you get to the top without sooner by skipping the 1000m/one night rule? Maybe, but that’s almost certainly how things won’t turn out because it turns out human bodies tend to work the same way and need the same things.

Person A tries to climb the tallest mountain in the world without acclimitaizing to a lack of oxygen, and they die. Person B tries the same…dead. Person C thinks they’re exempt from physiology because they really, really want it really bad. DEAD. THE MOUNTAIN DOESN’T CARE WHAT YOU WANT.

But what if a climber is just a little bit greedy? Maybe they climb 1500m before stopping. Or maybe 1200m on one effort and 1800m on another?

They might make it to the top faster…but they also might die, just a little bit higher up the mountain. Climbing a mountain is a risk. So being greet is taking an additional risk on an already incredibly risky mountain. Might they make it and survive? Sure.  But chances are they won’t know whether or not they can handle it until they make it to the top or until it’s too late. If that’s a risk they can afford to take, they will take it – but hopefully that risk is based on a lot of expertise and experience, and not just because “they want to”.

Climb, rest, climb, rest.

It seems a slow waste of time, and it flies in the face of the ego that says “but I can handle more faster”. But despite the 40 cents that sherpa gets paid, he doesn’t want to scrape your lifeless body off a mountain (or a barbell), so as you climb, don’t forget to rest.


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