O.A.T Method

Science-Backed & Experience-Driven

It's Not A hobby

Outdoor Adventure is a LIFESTYLE! It’s what fills our hearts with love and joy, and makes us feel alive! We know with unwavering certainty that we are truly at home in the mountains; being present and exploring the most beautiful places on Earth. Outdoor Adventure is our vehicle to experience life in the most intimate and meaningful ways imaginable. 

Our highly individualized approach and unique practical expertise is echoed throughout all of our programs. Whether you are training for your first backpacking trip or have dreams of reaching the Top of the World, Outdoor Adventure Training is here to provide you with the tools, support and confidence you need to fearlessly pursue your outdoor goals. 

Training Pyramid

To better address the requirements of an outdoor athlete, we have developed our proprietary O.A.T. Training Pyramid. Our primary Training Pillar and most important component of our training program is the Assessment Phase, which sets the stage to build a strong, durable, and sustainable outdoor athlete. We perform dozens of assessments to get an accurate assessment of where the athlete is, and what steps will be appropriate to realize their goal. 

After a thorough and accurate assessment, we start every athlete in Stabilization Phase, with an emphasis on developing what is called Neuromuscular Efficiency (read more about this in the ‘Phases of Training’ section). Stabilization Phase provides a stable and mobile foundation to advance to more demanding workouts in future phases. After establishing functional movement patterns, we move to Strength Endurance Phase. This phase can vary dramatically from athlete to athlete depending on their goals, but our general goal is to develop great levels of muscular strength and endurance. Changes in body composition (increasing lean body mass and decreasing fat mass) are often a “side effect” of this phase. 

Determined by the athlete and their goals, Power Phase may be implemented to increase muscular power and Rate of Force Production. This phase incorporates more demanding workouts and dives deep into plyometrics and Speed, Agility, and Quickness Training. 

Lastly, which the OPT Model lacks, is Peak Performance. We design your training program to align this phase with the big objective(s) you have been training for. This phase also serves as a space to reassess tests performed in Assessment Phase to objectively monitor results. After Peak Performance Phase, athletes descend the OAT Training Pyramid and re-enter at any of the previous phases depending on their next training goal. Using this method of Undulating Periodization, our program never “ends” – there will always be something to train for, a new adaptation desired by the athlete, and a new way to get there!


Program Design

Our unique approach to Program Design is what makes our training programs highly customizable and extremely effective. Through our in-depth Assessment Phase, we identify the athlete’s current training status, and utilize systematic tools that allow for ideal rates of physiological, physical, and performance adaptations to unfold in a planned, progressive sequence.

We model our program design from the National Academy of Sports Medicine’s Optimum Performance Training (OPT) Model. This model follows a periodized approach allowing for The Principle of Specificity to work its magic. This principle states that the body will adapt to the level of stress placed on it, requiring more or varied stress to produce further adaptation in the future. Focusing on one phase at a time allows our athletes to adapt to the specific demands of that phase, before moving to the next phase to reach another level of adaption. 

Though we love the OPT Model, not all of its components are relevant to the specific needs of the Outdoor Athlete – mainly hypertrophy and maximal strength. With most of our athletes looking to clock more mileage, climb bigger mountains, and shave time off their trail pace, these two components may be counterproductive to the success of the outdoor athlete. In specific circumstances (such as preparing for a long, high altitude expedition) these two phases may be implemented and be of great benefit.

10 Training Pillars

If you don’t know where you are, how can you possibly know where to go? This is exactly why our Assessment Phase is the foundational phase and first pillar in our training programs. Designing an individualized, systematic, safe, and effective fitness program can only be accomplished by having a thorough understanding of a client’s goals, needs, and abilities. We gather this subjective and objective data by performing a series of in-depth assessments during the Assessment Phase. Our staple assessments test your functional movement patterns, flexibility and mobility, strength endurance, joint stability, cardiovascular endurance, and more!
Nutrition is undoubtedly the single most important pillar in our program. Think of your body as a high performance vehicle - if you are putting dirty, toxic, and low quality fuel in the tank, do you think the vehicle will perform optimally? Of course not! Your body IS a high performance vehicle and we need to treat it as such to perform at our highest potential. Nutrition plays an integral role in your health, appearance, energy levels, athletic performance, recovery from exercise, and overall well-being. As a Certified Plant-Based Sports Nutrition Coach, we strongly encourage all of our athletes to experiment with and strive for a whole-foods plant-based diet.
Flexibility Training
Our primary goal with Flexibility Training is to get you moving pain-free and regaining control of your muscular system in ways you never imagined. Most of our athletes cannot believe the dramatic effects Flexibility Training has on their outdoor pursuits and lifestyle. We use a wide variety of modalities to achieve desired flexibility and mobility results such as static stretching, dynamic stretching, active-isolated stretching, self-myofascial release, trigger point release, and active release technique.
Cardiorespiratory Training
If you have ever gone on any outdoor adventure, you know all too well that your cardiorespiratory fitness plays an integral role in your overall performance! Your cardiorespiratory fitness reflects your circulatory and respiratory system’s ability to supply oxygen-rich blood to muscles during physical activity. We intentionally program cardiorespiratory training to systematically progress clients through various stages of heart rate zones and intensities to achieve optimal physiological and performance adaptations. A vast majority of your cardiorespiratory training will take place outside doing the activities you love most!
Core Training
Core Training is so much more than just working your abs! The objective of this pillar is to strengthen the deep and superficial muscles which make up the lumbo-pelvic-hip-complex. Of course, your abdominal muscles are included, but we also focus on strengthening the lumbar spine, pelvic girdle, and muscles surrounding the hip joint. Core Training truly is the “Core” of our training programs, as it is found in all phases of the O.A.T. Training Pyramid.
Balance Training
Truly a key to all functional movements, balance is the ability to maintain equilibrium in the body during both static and dynamic movements. Balance relates back to our first pillar of assessment, as postural and movement imbalances can greatly affect our ability to stabilize the body - particularly when we are faced with an unstable external environment as we often are in the mountains! You can expect to find components of Balance Training in every workout in your training program by utilizing single leg or arm movements, or by adding a level of instability such as a foam pad, balance disk, stability ball, Bosu Ball, TRX and more.
Plyometric Training
Also known as jump or reactive training, Plyometric Training uses explosive movement such as jumping, hopping, or bounding to develop muscular endurance and power. Plyometric Training requires the athlete to react to the ground in a way that creates a greater than normal force that can then be utilized to move the body with more velocity or speed. This is where we focus on improving our Rate of Force Production - our ability to exert a maximal amount of force in a minimal amount of time. Plyometric Training is particularly useful for trail-based sports as it enhances the excitability, sensitivity, and reactivity of the neuromuscular system and its ability to fire as one synchronized unit.
Speed, Agility, Quickness Training
Speed, Agility, and Quickness Training, also known as SAQ Training, enhances one’s ability to accelerate, decelerate, and dynamically stabilize their entire body during dynamic movements in all planes of motions. If it sounds like that could benefit your performance in your favorite outdoor sport, you are correct! SAQ Training helps the nervous system respond and react quickly and efficiently by enhancing proper muscular recruitment and coordination. The physiological, neuromuscular, and biomechanical demands presented by SAQ training can benefit all athletes, not just in their favorite outdoor pursuits, but by improving their functional ability throughout the course of life.
Resistance Training
Resistance Training is all about stimulating the General Adaptation Syndrome, which is our body’s ability to respond and adapt to the stress implied on it. In this case stress in the form of gravity or additional weight to facilitate stress and adaptation on skeletal muscles. Through natural recovery processes, our body adapts by increasing cross-sectional muscle fibers, increasing tissue strength, and decreasing body fat. As an outdoor athlete, Resistance Training is an integral component as we are constantly faced with the challenge of overcoming gravity in the form of traveling uphill or downhill and carrying a backpack. Resistance Training is first introduced in Stabilization Phase and remains a theme through the entire training program, continuously manipulating variables to ensure our body is in a constant state of adaptation.
Power Training
Power Training is only entered by athletes in our programs after demonstrating successful execution of the first three phases of training and may not be applicable to all populations. That being said, for those looking to improve their uphill running pace, plan on carrying heavy loads uphill, or are competing in a race with exceptional elevation gain, Power Training will certainly take performance to the next level. This pillar focuses on enhancing prime mover strength while also improving the Rate of Force Production of specific muscle groups. Power Training utilizes explosive exercises and draws on all phases of training to reach desired results.
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Have Questions?

We understand that starting a training program is a commitment you’re making, and we want to ensure that you get the most out of your experience with us. Ahead of registering for one of our programs, we’re available for a consultation where we can learn more about you and answer any questions you might have.