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Thread: Fitness

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    20

    Default Fitness

    Just a general question; what sort of fitness do you need for trekking. Lets say the Guerilla Trek for example. I read it goes up to 4000m, about 14 days i think. Ive not done a lot of trekking (never been that high)..but what sort of fitness regime would you need for that trek..i mean how many kilometres/week/altitude etc would u need to do to prepare? I mean I dont want to be asking my guide for helicopters every 5 minutes. When does altitude sickness kick in? cheers guys and galls.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    266

    Default Re: Fitness

    Any preparative training will increase your enjoyment and decrease strain on the trail. That is not to say that you necessarily need any - depends on your starting condition I guess. Any how much you intend to push yourself (how many hours a day will you walk? carry your own gear?). As Mr Average, I find that with no prep, a relaxed week on the trail with a pack will get me walk-fit.

    There is little worry from AMS below say 3000m (possibly as low as 2500m). As sharp rise above 3000m can cause a problem. General principal sleep low/walk high.
    rich

    No one goes so far or so fast as the man who does not know where he is going. H.W.Tilman

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    564

    Default Re: Fitness

    You really don't need a lot of fitness on the standard popular treks although as Rich points out, the more fitness you have the more you will enjoy the trip.

    To put that in context, for my first trip in the Everest region I trained for approx 6 weeks prior by walking up a trail to the top of a nearby lookout 2-3 times per week. This hill is approx 200m in altitude gain.

    I then carried my own pack (nearly 18kg) from Lukla to Gorak Shep. I will admit that I did struggle on a few days but I was a moderate to heavy smoker at the time.

    I would recommend hill walks with a few kg in a backpack (water bottles work very well) a few times per week. I'll let you decide what "a few" means based on what sort of trip you are planning.

    There is a good write up of Altitude Sickness on wikipedia

    As a general rule of thumb keep your altitude gains to no more than 300m per day once over 3000m and take a rest day if you're feeling tired. If you have to climb 4-500m in a particular day due to the space of villages or other issues out of your control then reduce your altitude climb on the following day to average out the gains.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Espoo,Finland
    Posts
    618

    Default Re: Fitness

    If you can walk 15 km in about 4-5 hours in varied terrain carrying the load you plan to take, and feel like you could repeat it the next day, you are good to go. No need to do any special exercises. I have osteoarthritis and am 10-15 kg overweight, and still can do treks and keep up with just about any standard trekker.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Fitness

    I think good conditioning would start with jogging and cardio exercise. Test your endurance before a trek.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    106

    Default Re: Fitness

    Head, heart and legs exercise. You can do anything if you really want if your heart is healthy and legs are strong. Whatever exercise you do which makes you sweat, thirsty and hungry will help. I have seen most people who read, know or hear about altitude sickness get sick because they think too much about it. Most Nepal treks start at hot, sunny, humid place and gently goes up to colder and colder places. Weather appropriate clothing and cuisine recommended. I grew up in walking to school, swimming in creeks and eating whatever is on table. May be that helped me. I have done mountaineering trips in a few countries including Himalaya without any preparation training for any of those. I feel it first few days then it become normal. I have heard people climb up and down the stairs of multi-story building for training. Think you can do and you are still young !

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: Fitness

    Obviously aerobic exercise is beneficial in general for overall health and for trekking in particular however IMO leg strength both for strength and stability is most important as far as preparation and often the aerobic will develop at the same time too. The more you can mimic trekking which for most people is just hiking with a day pack the better off you will be. The aerobic part will build on its own as you progress on the training and/or trek as does the leg strength but if your legs are weak at the start going uphill and downhill will be especially demanding.

    I have been running for decades and am in very good aerobic shape and still every time I go to Nepal the first week or so is demanding especially as you trudge up say from Shiva Laya to Deurali or Kinja to Lamjura and similar climbs on other treks. Though I do carry a full back pack. Running derived aerobic benefits are good I guess but it is a whole different thing carrying a back pack up a long steep hill or descending for that matter....work on your leg strength but not statically as on a lifting machine but by hiking or if you have to by using a stair stepper or even better a moving hill climber/escalator type machine, you know the machine that hardly anyone uses in the gym---because it actually makes you work, hard! And if on the stair stepper no little high speed pitty pat one inch movements as I see so many (females especially) do....use the full length of the levers stroke....it is a STAIR stepper, how many 1 or 2 inch stairs do you see in the world???!!and don't expect 1-2inch steps on your trek either....train for what you will do.

    Roger
    Last edited by roger_ray; 25th July 2014 at 10:49 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    215

    Default Re: Fitness

    Train with Kettlebells doing a variety of leg exercises - squats , lunges, one legged squats etc. These mimic what you do on the trail regarding carrying a heavy pack - like climbing stairs in the hills, squatting to put your pack back on after a rest break. You can also buy weighted vests which are great for training, strap the vest on and just go walking, obviously up and down hills is bets to mimic the Himalayan trails.

    Cheers
    Tony

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sydney
    Posts
    2,851

    Default Re: Fitness

    Agree, as kegarne says, going up and down steep hills, stairs etc, helps. Even the weighted vests or getting a backpack and filling it with watter bottles (full ones...) while you do that, is a good idea.
    Carrying a heavy back pack while trekking in Nepal, that is a BAD idea. Never ever do it unless someone holds a gun to your head, or your have a low self esteem and compensate against it with some psychotic codependency towards having to prove oneself. That is why porters are for. Or ponies, or yaks. Same thing. Though porters are cheaper.
    yakshaver

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    215

    Default Re: Fitness

    Well I guess some people like to be self-sufficient and possibly don't want to pay for someone elses services to carry their own gear.
    Also, if you plan on doing any kind of trekkingpeaks then you better get used to having to lug your own gear otherwise your chances of success at altitude will be compromised.

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