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Topic: What is your fitness regimen, for hiking and backpacking?< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 3:32 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hi there everyone,

My new year's resolutions were very general - one was to take better care of my body, and another was to more fully engage my love of the outdoors.  To that end I have been hitting the gym 4 days a week for a couple weeks now.  Our local community center has a 3 month pass for $52 to use the equipment.

Monday & Wednesday are strength training workout days, with about 10-12 exercises on the machines

Tuesday & Thursday are cardio training days on the recumbent bike or the cross country ski machine looking thing

Friday is a rest day, and I go hiking or snowshoeing on one or the other weekend days and rest on the other.  

I found the both the strength and cardio workouts on About.com fitness pages, and was wondering if anyone has a good hiking specific routine you have found that works well.  I have found one here on BP.com which is (mostly) all body weight mixed with interval cardio training, designed to be done for 4 weeks before going on a trip.  I would like to find some resources or routines for regular exercise perhaps geared to our type of activity.

Has anyone used books like:

Conditioning for Outdoor Fitness

or

The Outdoor Athlete

or similar resources?

It is nice to think of the notion of starting the hiking season in excellent shape!  Thanks in advance for any advice.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 3:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My spouse and I have been working out daily for decades.  He's still a runner, while I've shifted mostly to biking and swimming.  That used to be enough, but the last couple of years he's really gone in for carrying full packs around to train for carrying full packs around :).  It really does seem to help, and as I don't expect to be fully back to biking, let alone running, much before summer, I intend to emulate him and do more walking with a pack.  

Even better if I get to walk one way one day, camp, and walk back the next, but it's not always easy to do close to home.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 3:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks Rebecca!  I recently heard someone say that there is no better way to train for hiking than going hiking.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 4:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Fortunately, I get a pretty good workout at work. I walk a couple of miles a day with 20 pounds on my back. My cube is on the second floor so I go up and down stairs 10 times a day also with the 20 pounds. (Laptop, tools, gauges).

Plus, 2 or 3 times a week I'll do a 12 mile bicycle ride.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 4:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I put on a backpack and I hike in the woods. For me, It's less about the preparation and more about being prepared for the pain.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 5:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Bicycles, runs, and all sorts of hikes, mostly.  Need to get off my duff resistance exercise wise though.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 5:09 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My "regimen" has been quite simple. I hike every week and lift weights mid-week for upper body strength. Anticipating a multi-day trip, I make sure I'm getting elevation gain, mileage, and a variety of movement up to the trip.

For instance, walking on a gravely surface such as some trails or off-trail routes can do a number on my feet if I've only been walking on matted forest floor previous to such a trip. I have to keep in mind the variety of movement the trip will involve and prepare for that.

On the weights, I concentrate on repetitions rather than amount of weight. But ultimately carrying a backpack every week keeps some areas of my upper body conditioned that it is difficult to anticipate with weights.

I don't go overboard on the weights. Just consistent. That has been my "regimen" for 24 years, and it seems to have worked well for me. Of course, shoveling snow and so on adds a bit of conditioning to spice up the routine.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 5:14 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

To help adjust to higher altitude/ lower oxygen atmosphere I hold my breath for a really long time during lunch. Which also helps with disorientation training when my coworkers wake me up on the floor in the break room.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 6:05 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hiking almost weekly, but that doesn't really do enough.
I lift weights off and on, but don't get into it like when I was younger. I'm sure it, and a little climbing experience, makes the scrambling in difficult terrain easier and safer, though.
A big deal for me was getting a mountain bike a few months ago. I've been surprised at the noticeable difference "fitness riding" the hills around here has made in my hiking. 'Course I was also surprised at what hard work it was after not being on a bike in over 20 years.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 28 2013, 6:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As someone that has backpacked 4 decades, averaging nearly 5 backpacks per year often carrying an excessively heavy load, plus lots of road trip day hiking, I have never had a fitness regimen that I kept to over months, much less years.  Maybe I'm a bit lazy because it seems to work out ok without putting in extra effort between trips.    The main way I've stayed fit is simply by trying to be active all year.

In the winter I often ski probably averaging about 15 days per season longterm and some winters much more.  And mogul skiing is very aerobic.   Then in the spring I'm out hiking around carrying 20 to 35 pounds in a day pack for photography.   In the summer and early fall its more photography day trips and backpacking.  Then in the late fall I take a rest, wimp out, and eat a lot, staying at home, being lazy during the holidays.  A few times I've had minor injuries, degenerated muscel wise over a few months and had to build it all back up.  And that takes real regimented weekly efforts.

Besides just being out in activities, some years I've jogged a few times a week, other years not.  Sometimes I do various ordinary exercizes, other times not.   Sometimes I'll climb my two story stairs with a pack on up and down repeatedly.   If I have a strenuous backpack planned during a summer, I will always prepare by scheduling an earlier easier 2-3 day trip 2 or 3 weeks before to build up strength.  Then do some weight training lifting modest 70 pounds or so in deep knee bends daily.   In any case there are no exercises to prepare carrying a 70 pound pack when a person weighs only 130#. (Well weigh more like 140# these olden days)


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 29 2013, 12:35 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I really don't have one.  I hike every chance I get but as for a regimen, that would probably take too much discipline for me.  I do take a hour long walk nearly every morning and a half hour one in the evening.  I avoid using my car as much as possible and walk or bike anywhere tha'st practical.  Seems to work for me.  So far anyway.

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 29 2013, 1:11 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I bike a bunch--up to 6,000+ miles a year.   That tends to keep the weight down, and the cardio in good shape.   And i use some free weights 4 or so times a week,

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 29 2013, 5:25 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My "regimen" is simply to walk and hike and camp as much as possible - been trying to get at least one bag night/month - missed a couple of months with the birth of my son, but otherwise doing pretty well :)

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 29 2013, 10:33 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Most people burn out on fitness plans because it becomes drudgery in short order. I love to run and have great local scenery, so it doesn't get old for me. I see people spending long periods of time on treadmills at my health club, which is 100 yards from the beach. I spend 10 - 15 minutes in there and go outside for a run.

And I hike & climb mountains on the weekends - there's not a better way to prepare for hiking and climbing mountains.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 29 2013, 10:36 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I do a 45 min l(approx) leasurely weight routine when I wake up. The best for backpacking prep, which I begin about April, is to put 45 lbs on a curl bar and do squats and steps, really helps for going uphill.

I ride a mtn bike a few miles everyother day.

But the real prep is to do the North loop trail to Mummy Springs, 6 mi RT, 1700 foot gain in 3 miles., every week end for 2 months or more.
http://www.birdandhike.com/Hike/Mt_Char/Mummy_Sp/_Mummy_Sp.htm


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 29 2013, 10:41 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(balzaccom @ Jan. 29 2013, 1:11 am)
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I bike a bunch--up to 6,000+ miles a year.   That tends to keep the weight down, and the cardio in good shape.   And i use some free weights 4 or so times a week,

you realize that is 16 miles a day every day of the year? I am envious! how do you find the time? are you retired? I wish I could do that, and maybe in another 4 years I can, way to go!

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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 29 2013, 4:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks to all for the replies and insight!  It is interesting (but not surprising) to see the variety of activities everyone uses to work on fitness.  From what I gathered, it seems that relatively few who responded follow a highly structured training program to get in shape for hiking and backpacking.  

Personally, I am a bit on the lazy side, and I feel I need some kind of structure where I block out specific amounts of time and 'make an appointment' to work on fitness.  The specific exercises and sets/reps, etc. make it easy for me to work through a checklist and then I am done and move on with my day.

My ultimate goal is to be in the best shape of my life - where I could easily go on strenuous elevation gain trips, consider running in a half marathon, or do something like climb Mt. Rainier.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 29 2013, 4:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I understand what you are saying about making a lot of structure.   But I have to say that I feel less like I have to structure my fitness, than that I made it a habit years ago.  Not something I have to think about.  

In a way, the hardest thing for me has been that the habit had to change when I wasn't able to runsa much.  I had to figure out a new set of things I expect to do.  Fortunately, spending a big chunk of every Sunday outdoors didn't change, just shifted from trail running to road biking.  

Actually, given the way I've been the last few weeks while unable to follow my routines. . . Maybe less a habit than an addiction.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 29 2013, 9:11 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

My resolution is the same. I never did an overnighter last year and i wont let that happen again! i also need to better my diet - i did some big improvements last year but kind of reverting over the winter.

I never could stick with a weight lifting or exercise regiment very long. But one thing I love is to run. I got back into running occasionally during summers 5 years ago and 2 years ago started taking it serious. Before winter set in I was doing about 30 miles a week.

I like to bike and cross country ski too. Cutting firewood is a huge workout during winter and spring. And just working around the house, yard and garden keeps me sore and exhausted too.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 29 2013, 10:57 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Ginseng @ Jan. 29 2013, 10:41 am)
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(balzaccom @ Jan. 29 2013, 1:11 am)
QUOTE
I bike a bunch--up to 6,000+ miles a year.   That tends to keep the weight down, and the cardio in good shape.   And i use some free weights 4 or so times a week,

you realize that is 16 miles a day every day of the year? I am envious! how do you find the time? are you retired? I wish I could do that, and maybe in another 4 years I can, way to go!

Yep--and no, I am not retired.  But I do live in Napa, where I can ride just about every day.  And I work 7;30 to 4, so I almost can get in at least an hour of riding at the end of the day.  

That said, there is no way that I could do this just at 15 miles a day.  On weekends or some weekdays,  I will ride 30-60 miles.  That makes up for the times that I am traveling, hiking, or not able to ride for some other reason.

It does allow me to eat just about whatever I want!


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(tRoLLin_mOtOr @ Jan. 28 2013, 3:32 pm)
QUOTE
Hi there everyone,

My new year's resolutions were very general - one was to take better care of my body, and another was to more fully engage my love of the outdoors.  To that end I have been hitting the gym 4 days a week for a couple weeks now.  Our local community center has a 3 month pass for $52 to use the equipment.

Monday & Wednesday are strength training workout days, with about 10-12 exercises on the machines

Tuesday & Thursday are cardio training days on the recumbent bike or the cross country ski machine looking thing

Friday is a rest day, and I go hiking or snowshoeing on one or the other weekend days and rest on the other.  

I found the both the strength and cardio workouts on About.com fitness pages, and was wondering if anyone has a good hiking specific routine you have found that works well.  I have found one here on BP.com which is (mostly) all body weight mixed with interval cardio training, designed to be done for 4 weeks before going on a trip.  I would like to find some resources or routines for regular exercise perhaps geared to our type of activity.

Has anyone used books like:

Conditioning for Outdoor Fitness

or

The Outdoor Athlete

or similar resources?

It is nice to think of the notion of starting the hiking season in excellent shape!  Thanks in advance for any advice.

Lunges.  Squats.   Deadlifts.  Lunges.  Lunges. Any compound lifts.  Cardio will come naturally after this.   Push yourself with heavy weights.  This will dramtically effect your uphill hiking, regardless of how heavy your pack is.  You wont notice the weight.  Even more amazingly, your downhill hiking will not hurt your knees at all.  Ive seen so many people hurt their knees from hiking downhill.  100% because they dont have any muscle ligaments builtup in their legs.  

Ive been backpacking my whole life, but only in the last year and a half started getting into weight lifting.  Your body becomes like a machine.  Going up a 3000ft pass doesnt feel like anything, its enjoyable.  And going down is nothing.  5 years ago it used to hurt, and really wear out my legs.  Not anymore.

Also, one of the most amazing things.....steroids!!!.  Yep, or you may know them as vegatables.  They are the true natural steroid, and will do wonders for everything.  The cheapest steroid on the market.  Raw of course, pump your body full of them.  Dont have a taste for them??  Get a juicer and blender.  Find good recipes.  Honest to god this is the most natural steroid for your body.  Will dramatically affect your hiking abilities.

Lunges and Squats will improve your backpacking perfomrance, dramatically.  I swear on it


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(Adirondackiteer @ Jan. 29 2013, 6:11 pm)
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My resolution is the same. I never did an overnighter last year and i wont let that happen again!

I know how you feel.  At my most active, I was hiking nearly every weekend and backpacking at least once a month.

Last year passed by and I looked back and realized I had only been on a handful of hikes, and one two night backpacking trip, which was 3 miles per day on the WA coast (completely flat).


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 30 2013, 2:39 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the reply RobinHood!  I think after I get a good base going I will startto add in some of the exercises that you are mentioning.  Another component of 'taking care of one's body' is diet, which I feel I am making some good progress on as well.

I am really looking forward to get to a point where I will be able to motor up 3,000' and keep going!


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 30 2013, 3:58 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I can tell you what not to do. Add a daypack with bricks to daily walks/jogs so that in a few weeks your shoulder and arm are tingling - then the pain. Aargh. Is numbnuts an allowed word on BP?

Now it's the gym 4 days/week, 30 minutes/day. I change up my routine occasionally, but spend 10-20 minutes on the Stairmaster 1-3 x week.

Last year I was hit hard by altitude. This year I'm going to spend 3 nights at a lake ~5 miles in at 11000-12000' then start my BP. Also some lower altitude BPs.


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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 30 2013, 4:18 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Average 150 miles/week on the bike, and long walks with the dog.
Some occasional pushups and core exercises.  That's about it.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 31 2013, 10:54 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I mix it up. I have a "home gym" set-up with weights, resistance bands, pull-up bar and treadmill.

I've done a couple of home workout routines including P90X and Insanity.

http://www.beachbody.com/category/fitness_programs/best_sellers.do

They actually seem to work pretty well. I like to make my own routine however, some days I feel more like cardio and thats what I do, some days more like weights. I can push myself a little harder that way. I mix the workouts for my own version of crosstrain, including bping, hiking and running in the mix.

Anytime you start to feel comfortable in your workout routine, change it up a bit so you find all new versions of pain and soreness.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 31 2013, 4:47 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Hiking and backpacking.

I throw in some road biking but that's more because I enjoy it than for any sort of fitness plan. Oh and as much catamaran sailing as I can get in.
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PostIcon Posted on: Jan. 31 2013, 6:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

Mostly hiking, mountainbiking, road cycling and going backpacking.

I get some snowshoeing and Xcountry skiing in when there is snow and for awhile I was climbing indoors.

My cycling made a dramatic difference in my backpacking endurance and strength.

I'd like to start lifting again but it is boring compared to my other pursuits.


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