Are you planning on climbing Mount Kilimanjaro?

Fitness is a very important part of mountain trekking in the world as it prepares you for such an impressive feet. But, if you’re planning to take on such an adventure, you need to consider the following:

  • What does the event entail?
  • What is my body required to do?
  • What is the pace of the event?

Let me tell you about a story about two Masters Fitness clients who were planning to climb Kilimanjaro around the same time that the BBC Radio One Chris Moyles’ team were taking the Big Red Nose Day climb for charity.

On TV, there were adverts of Ronan Keating training and afterwards other individuals from the team were also completing different types of training. As you can see from the video below, they found it hard. But, I’m not surprised they found it hard at all as they had to prepare their muscles for the challenge ahead.

So, how does one prepare themselves, and their body, for such a feat? Below I’ve listed some steps that will help you and your body to handle the awesome task of climbing Mount Kilimanjaro.


What does your body have to do?

Well, you’re not going to be running up the mountain as that would be too difficult, so you’re going to be walking and most likely walking slowly to the top. Hill walking (or mountain hiking) requires you to walk slowly up and down hilly terrain which requires a lot of energy; but, the actual mechanics of hill walking and running are very different.

This means training your body through running and cardio workouts will only get you part of the way to increasing your fitness levels to a point where you feel comfortable completing the task.

Your body adapts by true S.A.I.D. Principals:

  • Specific
  • Adaptation of
  • Imposed
  • Demands

This means that your body will adapt to the training that you give it. So, if you train your calf muscles (allowing you to sprint fast) instead of training your quads, which will help to slowly drive you up a hill whilst controlling your balance, then when it comes to climbing a huge mountain like Kilimanjaro, you will more than likely have a problem.

You should try following these pre-event training and conditioning tips to help you prepare your body for hiking and mountain climbing.


Do lots of step ups and step downs – but do them slowly!

You aren’t going to be sprinting up Kilimanjaro; you’ll be walking slowly in order to adjust to the altitude. This means your muscles need to be trained not only to handle driving movements but also controlled eccentric movements.

Your training programme must contain lots of stepping up and stepping down type movements. Also, you should also do a lot of work on strengthening your back and upper traps (neck/shoulder region), as carrying a backpack for 8 hours a day will take its toll on your core and neck.

If you’re thinking about climbing up Mount Kilimajaro (or any other mountainous areas), then why not get in touch with me, Daniel, and see how I can help you achieve your fitness goals so that you feel confident completing your adventure.

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