mind & mountain annual training cycle


our programs are made to support your outdoor adventures, no matter what time of year!

Instead of the same program year-round, we offer training plans made specially for winter, summer, and shoulder seasons.

Let’s talk about what these programs look like, and when they happen throughout the year.

training in cycles & peaks:
how our programs work

The fitness industry is filled with messages around pushing yourself as hard as you can all the time. The “no pain, no gain” thinking simply doesn’t work over the long-term. Instead, we know that we need to build gradually and take time to rest in order to grow without burnout.

Instead, at Mind & Mountain we train using six-week build cycles. Another word for this is periodization (more on that below).

Those six-week cycles build on each other within a season and across the year. 

Here's how it looks:

One Six-Week Cycle 

Our programs utilize six-week build cycles. Inside each six-week cycle, we'll step up the difficulty of the workouts every other week. 

That means that you'll start with a foundation-level set of workouts and work them for two weeks; after that you move into a new set of workouts with a bit more challenge. 

Inside the workouts you'll follow a pattern similar to this too — start with the foundation move, then add complexity, then add intensity. Then rest! 

Full Season (three cycles)

Training cycles build on each other to create a larger seasonal cycle.

Notice that each peak has a little rest period afterward, before building to an even higher peak. Looking at each round of training, Phase One begins a little higher in Round Two, and even higher in Round Three. The starting point and the peak of each round are a little more challenging than the last one.

After three rounds (or more!) of building, peaking, and recovering, you’ll build a solid foundation of strength.

For more on our training theory and structure, visit this page to learn about Mindful Interval Training.



why do we train this way?

Our training plans use a method called periodization. Fancy word, but what does it mean? Periodization is a way of training where we switch up the intensity, volume, frequency, and types of movement. This way of doing things is made for long-term growth.

In our training programs, we start easy, build the challenge up to a peak, recover, and then start again. As we go through more cycles of this, our starting point is a bit stronger, and each peak is a bit higher, too.

We all have a natural need for both challenge and recovery, so our workouts should be the same way! Making space for rest and intensity supports healthy growth of both our brains and bodies. This helps us avoid the breakdown, burnout, and injury that come with going all-out all the time.

Our programs are based in periodized training cycles, six weeks at a time. Both Ski Babes and Summer Strong include three cycles of six weeks each, while our shorter Balance Training program is just one six-week cycle.

how our training cycles fit into the year

seasonal training programs:
ski babes and summer strong

Our programs follow the weather patterns of the Northern Hemisphere. Ski Babes focuses on training for winter snow sports–it’s not just for skiers! We start Ski Babes in early-mid October.

Summer Strong is designed for warm-weather adventures like backpacking, paddling, and biking. This program kicks off each year in early-mid April.

By starting a bit before the peak of winter and summer, you’ll enter the season with a solid foundation of strength. With 18 weeks of training in each program, they’re long enough to carry you through the entire season. You’ll build the strength and resilience you need to support all your adventures before the season comes to an end.

We also believe that shoulder seasons are an important part of training without burnout. We intentionally build in these breaks between Ski Babes and Summer Strong. These short, six-week periods are meant for rest or low-intensity training.

lower-intensity, year-round program: balance training

If those longer programs don’t seem right for you, we have a shorter option perfect for anytime of the year. Balance Training is a six-week program that’s both shorter and gentler than Ski Babes or Summer Strong.

The Balance Training program might be a good fit for you if you are:

  • New to outdoor recreation and are looking for a lower-intensity, beginner-friendly program
  • Interested in building the foundation of the mind-body connection
  • Coming back to training after an injury or long break
  • Wanting to work on base strength in the shoulder seasons to bridge the gap between the longer, seasonally-specific programs





how to get started!

No matter what time of year it is, we’re here to support your adventures. And you don’t have to wait until the beginning of the cycle to join us.

If the start of Summer Strong or Ski Babes is still a little ways away, you can sign up for Balance Training to bridge the gap and get you ready for the start of the new program.

If you want to jump right into Ski Babes or Summer Strong, the best time to join is during our pre-season launches. Get on the M&M email list to be notified of these launches.

And if you're finding this after the season has begun, don’t worry! You can always join in midseason at the start of each training cycle. And if you can't wait until the next cycle starts, send us an email and we'll let you know what your options are. 

If you join Ski Babes or Summer Strong during the Mid or Late Season, you'll get access to multiple rounds of workouts. We recommend starting at Round One of training for best results. If you only get one or two rounds instead of three before the end of the season, you’ll still see lots of growth! Most people report feeling the difference in their backcountry strength after ~2 weeks of training.

Like this member says, results can come quickly: 

We can't wait to see you in our community! 

summer strong

ski babes

balance training

hello, i'm sarah!

I am a mental health-informed adventure fitness trainer from Alaska. I founded Mind & Mountain because the confidence I built through outdoor recreation changed my life — and I want the same for you. 

Outside time is awesome, but it's not always easy. Often it requires us to dig deep, confront our fears, and rise to the challenge. Our experience of that challenge is influenced by our identities, privileges, and the state of our nervous system — and while that's bullshit, we can learn to work skillfully with (and change!) these realities. 

That's why at Mind & Mountain, we're focused on helping you get strong, prioritize your mental health, have more fun outside, and build an outdoor recreation culture where everyone is welcome. 

Learn more about me

Try the 24-min Busy Day Workout 

Drop your name & email below, and you'll be sent the workout immediately. You'll be able to bookmark the link & access it anytime you need a quick dose of movement.

I live, work, and play on the unceded land of the Dena'ina people. I'm committed to using my life and work to create a world where colonization and oppression are no longer normal or possible. #decolonize