First things first, DO NOT show up on one of trips without fully preparing. If you show up unprepared you put our set up, staff and yourself and team at risk. Having an excellent level of fitness prior to departing on an expedition will give you the best chance of achieving your aim and enjoying the trip along the way.
There are many different ways to train the body and it is important to choose the correct method for the activity you are to undertake. Mountaineering or trekking expeditions require you to have a good level of endurance and strength.
Training for endurance means working the Aerobic energy system in your body. Essentially your objective is to develop the energy production systems to meet the demands of the activity for as long as required. In mountaineering or trekking this can mean hours or days!
By having a good training routine training 4 to 6 days a week before a trip you will hope to modify and postpone the point at which you become fatigued.
In order to train aerobic fitness and build endurance, you need to look to undertake activities that are lower in intensity but continue over a longer period of time. A short burst, for example 20min on a running machine is not going to prepare your body for 6 hours of walking up a steep incline. Ideally it is about getting out and walking with a weighted back pack, day after day. Apart from weekends it is hard for most with work and family commitments to do such a regime. As a result it is also important to look to other types of exercise as well. Try to do the following types of exercise for as long as you can at a reduced intensity: –
- Cycling build up to 2+ hours
- Walking up hill on a stair master & treadmill building up the weight you carry over time
- Circuit training
- Swimming (provided you can swim for a sustained amount of time!)
When you can not do longer sessions on the weekend you need to be training building to 1 hour 30 minutes per day and building to more as you get closer and closer to the trip.
After climbing Everest to the Top, Kilimanjaro 30+ times, Aconcagua 4 times and helping thousands of people understand the specific training needed I am convinced that working out long and slow in your endurance and Anaerobic zone building up to training 8+ hours a week and building up the weight you carry in your back pack is critical to having the right strength and endurance for these types of trips.
For most of us time is of the essence, so it is also important to look at your daily routine and see how you could incorporate some extra training 1 to 2 hours into your routine. For example walking to and from work with a rucksack on, cycling to work, or getting off the bus / train a few stops early. Using the stairs if you work in a High-rise building. Every little helps!
We are happy to chat about this more specifically as Aconcagua does require serious training and preparation before coming on this strenuous climb. Check out our TOP 20 TIPS for climbing Aconcagua. Check CONACT US for further information.