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training for climbing and trekking and mountain fitness

Training Resources

Moun­tain Mad­ness helps you define your goals and cre­ate a plan to get there.

Our pro­grams accom­mo­date all; whether a first-time begin­ner climber, some­one seek­ing a once-in-a-life­time climb of Kil­i­man­jaro or a trek to Ever­est base camp, or a climber with their sights set on Mount Everest. 

The jour­ney to your goal begins with the first, ini­tial vision to get out on the adven­ture, to expe­ri­ence life at its fullest. This is fol­lowed close­ly by how do I get ready?” Below you’ll find some fun­da­men­tal strate­gies and con­cepts of how to both phys­i­cal­ly and men­tal­ly prepare.

Tip: Hire a trainer that has climbing or trekking experience. May we suggest Everest and K2 summiteer Lisa Thompson and Alpine Athletics. See working with a trainer” below.

The best words of advice we can give you for prepar­ing for your trip are these: train for endurance! Whether you are join­ing Moun­tain Mad­ness on a trek or climb, a focus on endurance train­ing will serve you well. This does not require hours and hours of intense car­dio­vas­cu­lar work but mere­ly sev­er­al week­ends where you are putting some time in at the gym, the local trails or even sta­di­um stairs. We’re talk­ing 6 – 8 hours a day of exer­cise for a cou­ple of con­sec­u­tive days. The rest of the time dur­ing the week, the reg­u­lar hour or so, you’re main­tain­ing your base and build­ing strength that’s spe­cif­ic to your moun­tain goal.

Some basic sug­ges­tions to build on may include the following:

  • Walk­ing hills and stairs with a pack on, grad­u­al­ly increase the weight until it is 5% more than what you expect to car­ry on your climb. Lat­er you can add full water con­tain­ers for the way up and dump the water for the way down to pre­serve the knees.
  • Sup­ple­ment­ing your reg­u­lar gym work­outs with strength-build­ing exer­cis­es that sim­u­late your move­ment on the moun­tain. Usu­al­ly this means adding weight­ed box steps, walk­ing lunges or oth­er exer­cis­es that involve one-legged propulsion. 
  • Mix­ing it up is a great way to avoid injury so work in some run­ning, cycling, swim­ming rac­quet sports, bas­ket­ball, etc. for added aer­o­bic conditioning.
  • Look­ing for ways to get out­doors and mov­ing, even if it’s just a 20-minute walk to the gro­cery store.
  • Giv­ing your­self at least one recov­ery day per week, and pay atten­tion to how your feel, give your­self a break if you’re beat. You’ll do more harm than good by work­ing out when you’re exhausted.
  • Work­ing with a train­er — see below.

Moun­tain sports require more than strength and car­dio fit­ness though, so spend­ing time prepar­ing men­tal­ly will pay off when you’re hav­ing a tough day on the moun­tain. So will tak­ing the time to be sure your gear is dialed. And lis­ten­ing to your body.