In April 2022, I came on as the new Marketing and Sales Coordinator for Samsara. As an avid rock climber, alpinist, and overall backcountry enthusiast, the idea of mountain-specific training using a method based on the science of human evolution completely intrigued me.
In my first week, I realized the only way I was going to be able to succeed in this position was to become intimately familiar with our training method. As a solution, Z invited me to join the Spring Athlete Team. Excited by the opportunity, I accepted. But I’ll admit I was a bit nervous.
What I didn’t realize at the time was that by joining the Athlete Team and learning the Samsara Method, my perspective on training would change forever. Three weeks ago, I was a climber who mostly climbed for training. Now, I’m a climber who trains for climbing – and I feel stronger than ever before.
The Mandala Athlete Team: A Closer Look
Curious what being on the Athlete Team is all about? Here’s a closer look at how it works and what’s involved from week to week:
Winter: January 17 to April 10 (registration deadline Jan 3rd)
Spring: April 18 to July 9 (registration deadline March 18th)
Summer: July 18 to October 8 (registration deadline June 24th)
Fall: October 17 to January 7 (registration deadline Sep 23rd)
Coming on Board
After you’re accepted onto the team, you’ll fill out and submit your athlete assessment, have an onboarding call, and set up your Basecamp Video Library Access (required). Then, you’ll receive a customized training plan designed with your fitness level and sport-specific goals in mind and it will be time to start training.
Interested in learning more about the Athlete Team? Check out our website:
What to Expect as a Samsara Athlete
During the 12 week training season, you’ll be responsible for getting your workouts done. But for me, the best part about the Athlete Team is the training accountability it establishes.
I’m encouraged to train every day so that I can share my progress with my teammates and keep up with the progressive nature of the training plan, which adapts your primary focus every four weeks.
This training accountability also spills over into the social aspect of being on the team, which involves participating in weekly team calls, engaging in conversations on the group chat threads, attending the weekly LiveDojos (virtually-led 30minute workouts), and watching Deep Dive presentations on the science behind the training method.
Support & Accountability: An Overview
As a Samsara Athlete, these are the ways the team supports you and keeps you accountable for your training. You have the option to attend as many of these as you’d like:
Weekly Coaching Calls (2) – choose one or attend both
Weekly LiveDojo Workout (1) – train live for 30min with the team
Weekly Deep Dive Presentations (1) – discussions on training methods
It’s only been three weeks since I started training on the athlete team but I’m already noticing measurable improvements. And not just in my fitness – but in my entire perspective towards training.
Most of today’s fitness industry is focused on an unsustainable model that encourages you to work out hard every time, resulting in persistent patterns of extreme muscle soreness from unavoidable metabolite accumulation and making you more prone to injury.
The Samsara Training Method functions quite oppositely. It’s designed to help you tap into the biological athleticism you already have as a human and build on that foundation – slowly and steadily, so as to prevent injury and occurrences of extreme muscle soreness.
The Aerobic Aspect
When I used to go for runs, I would set a moderate pace and just go until my legs felt like rubber or I was gasping for air. Needless to say, I was so sore the next couple days that I didn’t run again until day three. Eventually, I started to dread running and fell out of the habit. Every few months or so I would pick it up again, following the same pattern and ending up with the same results. This has gone on for much of my life.
Since I started training on the Athlete Team, I’ve been running 3-4 days a week without extreme muscle soreness or episodes of gasping for air, and believe it or not, I’ve even started looking forward to it. The Samsara Method teaches you to train at or below your aerobic capacity, which prevents metabolite accumulation, keeps your muscles from getting sore, and allows you to go much longer distances without tiring.
The Strength & Sport-Specific Aspects
One of my biggest issues with workout programs is how equipment and space intensive they are. As a climber who lives out of a van and travels around the Southwest, the only gym access I have is however I can manipulate an outdoor environment to meet my needs.
One of the best parts about the Athlete Team is that it’s virtual – you can literally do it from anywhere. While having access to a home gym and workout equipment can be useful, it’s not necessary – believe me! If you have a flat, outside area, something you can pull-up on, and a heavy object you can use as a weight, you can train.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve found myself using sturdy tree branches as pull-up bars, a 7-gallon water jug in place of a dumbbell, and flat, sandy campsites in lieu of traditional gym floors.
My customized plan lays out three days of strength training per week in addition to climbing-specific exercises. Each strength workout takes up less than an hour of time and is laid out in a way that’s super easy to follow and track your progress. They each begin with a warm-up video (Athlete IQ) and a series of customized strength exercises divided into “Push” and “Pull” categories.
What I enjoy most about the strength training days is how natural most of the movements are and how you’re encourage to train barefoot. They’re not so intense that I worry about injuring myself and yet have already been contributing to an uptick in my strength.
Whether you’re an alpinist training for a summer objective, a skier coming back from injury, interested in starting trail running, or you just want a workout program with accountability you can do from anywhere, you should consider joining the Samsara Athlete Team.
It’s not just a way to improve your fitness but an opportunity to a gain a new perspective on the human body, athleticism, and how to train without worrying about injury. The Samsara Method isn’t just a way for you to prepare for an expedition or race – it’s a way for you to integrate athleticism into the rest of your life.
Not sure if the Athlete Team is for you? Join a team call to learn more.
Interested in signing up? Register for the next training season!