Aug 19, 2013 at 2:13 pm #1306710
Hey Guys, I'm trying to up my endurance for backpacking so I can do more than 2-3 days without feeling super sore. I'm guessing I need to focus mainly on leg workouts, but any specific exercises you'd recommend? Maybe stair climbing? Anything else?Aug 19, 2013 at 2:16 pm #2016630
Hike up and down Mission Peak about once per week, perhaps in the evening. That is the big hill behind Milpitas and Fremont. Get to where you are doing the uphill in about one hour.
–B.G.–Aug 19, 2013 at 2:23 pm #2016634Aug 19, 2013 at 2:23 pm #2016635
Stair climbing helped a lot for me back when I worked in a 10-story building; I'd go up and down it about 5 times on my morning breaks.
Mission Peak is great, even better if you can work up to carrying a pack's worth of weight to the top. For me, there seems to be no training better than carrying weight up a hill.
I just finished a backpacking trip with my other half, who had really really sore gluteus muscles despite the fact that he works out 99 minutes daily at high intensity on the stairstepper at his worksite gym. I am guessing this is because he doesn't carry any weight while doing so, and that somehow not all the right muscles get worked on that machine?Aug 19, 2013 at 2:26 pm #2016638
"For me, there seems to be no training better than carrying weight up a hill."
First time, don't carry any extra weight. Second time, carry an extra quart of water, and then pour it out on the summit. Third time, carry two extra quarts.
After a while, a loaded backpack is no big deal.
–B.G.–Aug 19, 2013 at 2:34 pm #2016642
your lookin for endurance, gotta max the aerobics…run a few times a week 30-60 minutes…Hike at all opportunities of course, add extra weight if its just a day hike…stairs…squats…push + pull + sit ups…'crossfit' can be great…swim… Whatever you like, just do something almost daily.Aug 19, 2013 at 3:00 pm #2016648
I do weight training, full body , each part every 5-7 days.
Also intense cardio 3-5 x per week.
I have never had a problem with being unprepared for anything, or sore from anything.
Except riding horses.
I can come off the sofa, and do 20+ mile days without issue. It only gets easier as the days of 10hrs of aerobic hiking go on. When I get back, the cardio workouts I did before leaving are always noticeably easier.Aug 19, 2013 at 3:04 pm #2016650
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
The highest return on my time investment is climbing stairs. Actual stairs. NOT a Stair-Master – your body weight doesn't move up the treadmill, just your legs go up a steeper slope. Actual stairs require you get your entire body weight up AND DOWN the vertical distance. That work of lowering your body weight downslope really helps reduce the aches and pains of backpacking in the mountains. 10 minutes a day for a few weeks make a big difference for me, even if I don't ramp up the weight with a daypack of books or water jugs. Obviously, adding weight slowly over time could make the actual backpacking easy in comparison.
But don't go for added weight or speed at first. I haven't found anything I did at 25 that I can't do at 52, but most things do require a much longer training interval with a slower progression to avoid feeling sore, the older I get. One benefit – now that I have to do that training in advance – is that I go up hills a lot faster than hikers half my age.Aug 19, 2013 at 3:09 pm #2016653
thanks guys. that should be good. i live really close to mission peak, since i live in fremont, and i also work next to KOIT tower so i can walk up those stairs at lunch.Aug 19, 2013 at 10:13 pm #2016792
@drusillaLocale: Wild Wild West
Before you start working out get a resting pulse rate, beats per minute. When you work out, time yourself and try to get a mark of distance. Then start at a comfortable pace, take regular rest breaks and during the breaks take your pulse immediately and see how many minutes it takes for your pulse to drop. These measurements are a baseline from which you can tell in future workouts how well you are progressing. Several good rules to follow to avoid injury or setbacks is never do more than ten percent more in time, distance or speed per week, and if your pulse takes longer to recover during a rest than normal you might want to back off a bit. As you get fitter your pulse will recover faster, and your times will improve. Have fun!Aug 19, 2013 at 10:20 pm #2016793
i took the dog and did 2 laps of lake elizabeth today in fremont. about 5 miles. i figure i just hike until i start getting sore. today was just about right. next time i'll add a liter or two of water to make it harder.Aug 19, 2013 at 11:07 pm #2016801
The reason that you carry water for ballast…
is that once in a while, you will get a bad knee ache or back ache or something. You can simply pour out the water and continue easier.
If you were carrying bricks for ballast, it would not be so easy.
–B.G.–Aug 20, 2013 at 6:29 am #2016839
spelt with a tParticipant
@speltLocale: SW/C PA
Swimming is great for aerobic capacity, but it doesn't strengthen muscles used for load bearing. I did it year-round growing up–any other sports I did for fun, my legs always gave out before my lungs were even trying hard. I love it, don't want to discourage it, but since a comment mentioned it, I figured I'd pipe up to say it must be done in combination with land-based exercise if you want it to help your hiking.Aug 20, 2013 at 8:59 am #2016891
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
. . . . if you are using bricks for simulating your load.Aug 20, 2013 at 9:45 am #2016901
@redmonkLocale: Greater California Ecosystem
Load up some snacks, and start walking. See how many staircases you can hit on your route.Aug 20, 2013 at 9:49 am #2016903
Heavy barbell squats and deadlifts.
Look to what Alpine climbers do and you will get into the best shape of your life at any age.Aug 20, 2013 at 7:14 pm #2017070
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
Hike 5 miles 4 – 5 times a week with a 30 lb. pack in hilly terrain. That will do it. I'm 70 and it does it for me.
In Vegas' killer summer heat I use a treadmill indoors W/max incline and teh 30 lb. pack & heavier, old hiking boots.
P.S. a pack for training is essential for getting your shoulders, upper back and neck muscles in shape. Othrwise you may be in fine shape otherwise but will have pain in those areas on your trip.Aug 20, 2013 at 9:09 pm #2017127
@oystersLocale: South Australia
Take a read of Pavel's "Power to the People"
And if you are interested beyond that, "Strong First" by Pavel and Dan John.
My wife and I have started doing their recommendation in that book of doing two weeks of power to the people (PTTP; 10 reps total of deadlift, followed by 10 reps total of a press-we do dumbell bench press, @80-95% 1RM weight, perfect form, never fail a rep) alternating with two weeks of Program Minimum (Kettlebell swings and turkish get ups).
My wife is a former professional boxer. And not just a crap one, she was in the top few in the world as a bantam weight for a while. And she's intelligent, PhD in biology, etc. We both wish we'd read these books and trained this way back when she was boxing. She would have been #1 no doubt. Free's up lots of time to do other things (eg, boxing practise and technique in her case, in your case, do aerobic workouts, hike), builds up strength without injury, simple.
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