5 Ways to Make Sure That Your Body is Ready to Hike A Mountain
Looking to conquer a 14er but not sure if you can make it to the top?
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This post is coming at you via our professional expertise AND feedback that we've gotten from our clients on what was the biggest difference for them when they scaled everything from Mt Kilimanjaro to a 14er out in Colorado.
The less mass that you carry around, the easier it is on your body from an energy production standpoint as well as decreasing wear and tear on your body.
Now, if you're at a weight where you're happy, you feel good, and you're performing at your best, then have at it!
However, if you're 20+ pounds overweight and have been fairly inactive over the last few months plus, then losing some weight could be the best thing for you so that you move more efficiently and expend less energy.
Improve Cardiovascular & Local Muscular Endurance
A more efficient heart is going to lead to you not feeling as tired as quickly as you would if you didn't work on improving this area. Also, it will take longer for you to fatigue.
There are countless ways that you can go about getting your cardio in, but make sure that you're focusing on your legs (this is an example of local muscular endurance) as your legs are going to be responsible for getting you from point A to point B on your hike.
Implement Single-Leg Lower Body Strength Training Exercises
Strength is a HIGHLY underrated player here. The stronger that you get, the easier that daily activities become and the better your cardiovascular endurance becomes because it doesn't require as much effort to execute the same tasks. Daily activities include, but are not limited to:
Carrying mulch, salt bags, dog food, kitty litter
Picking up your kids/grandchildren
Carrying multiple grocery bags from the car to your house
Lugging around your golf bag on the golf course
Moving furniture around your house
One of the most basic of these activities is walking. Now, think of walking uphill. At your current strength levels, it may seem like a lot of effort. But, after a few months of implementing exercises like:
Then walking uphill becomes a much easier activity. Now granted, you will be scaling at least a few thousand feet, so it's not going to be easy, but it will be easier than if you didn't do any strength work.
Strengthen Your Core
Like single-leg strength, strengthening your core is going to play a big role on how strong you feel and minimizing the wear & tear on your body. Your core is the bridge between the upper and lower halves of your body. The stronger it is, the less wear & tear on your low back and knees which you don't want to become limiting factors when you're on your hike.
Add the 3 core exercises listed below to your routine to help you with improving your core strength!
Get More Specific With Your Cardiovascular and Local Muscular Endurance Training As Your Trip Gets Closer
DISCLAIMER: Weeks 5 and 6 are going to be for the intermediate to an advanced trainee.
The closest thing that you can do to actually doing small hikes on a mountain to prepare for fully scaling a mountain is figure out how you can use the gym to get as specific with your preparation as you can.
Try HICT Step-Ups. You should be able to complete 20-30 reps per minute while being able to have a conversation with someone. If you're able to comfortably carry a conversation, then it's too easy. If you're unable to talk, then it's too hard.
Go with the following set and rep guidelines. You will perform these two times per week.
Week 1: Workout 1: 1 set x 6 mins, Workout 2: 1 set x 8 mins
Week 2: Workout 1: 1 set x 10 mins, Workout 2: 1 sets x 12 mins
Week 3: Workout 1: 2 sets x 6 mins (5 mins active recovery between sets*) Workout 2: 2 sets x 8 mins (5 mins active recovery between sets)
Week 4: Workout 1: 2 sets x 10 mins (5 mins active recovery between sets), Workout 2: 1 set x 15 mins
Week 5: Workout 1: 1 set x 20 mins, Workout 2: 2 sets x 12 mins (5 mins active recovery between sets)
Week 6: Workout 1: 2 sets x 15 mins (5 mins active recovery between sets), Workout 2: 2 sets x 20 mins (5 mins active recovery between sets)
*Active recovery = low-intensity exercise of choice (i.e. biking, rowing, elliptical, incline treadmill walking, jump rope, bodyweight exercises)
You can use a 6, 12, or 18 inch box. You can load this with a weight vest or chains if you're ready for that. Remember, only difficult enough to where you can carry a conversation with moderate effort and you're able to maintain your 20-30 reps per minute pace.
Give these 5 things a go before your next hike, and I guarantee you that you will perform at a level that you didn't know was possible!
If you're ready to take the peaks and want to perform at your best - Contact Us to schedule your initial Fitness Assessment and download our free 3-Step 21-Day Kickstart Program!