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Advanced Hiking Conditioning Program

July 29, 2008  |  Difficulty: Easy

Once you have mastered a beginners plan, you can begin an advanced hiking conditioning program. This is normally for someone who has been involved with hiking or cardio programs for a lengthy amount of time. No matter what your preferences are, you undeniably will see a difference. With our guidance and everlasting tidbits, you should have no problem finding the information you need.

Sadly, most of us have great difficulty finding time to hike. It is a lengthy process, one that requires a lot of additional free time. If you just can’t seem to get out into the wilderness as often as you’d like, there are alternative routines. In order to stay in shape, you should be increasing your cardio program. Again, these weekly progressions should be less than 10%. You want your body to adapt in a healthy manner and not go into overload.

If you want your cardio program to target hiking and backpacking, you should do a lot of leg work. It becomes difficult to climb a mountain, thus you should keep your calves in tip top shape. Stair climbing, for instance, is a wonderful alternative. Though any stairs will do, you should try and find stadium stairs. In addition, begin with 6-10 intervals, as you run all the way to the top and back down again. If you feel this is not the right intensity, try adding weights to your backpack. This will make it much more difficult to complete this course.

Hill running is another great exercise method. While you can choose any hill that has a good slope, trails may be more effective. Just like the stair method, make sure you run up and down for 6-10 intervals. With the ability to increase your intensity by simply adding weight to your backpack, you should not have a problem testing your endurance. Though this may sound like an effortless task, it is great for hiking preparation.

These activities are just a few methods for people who are trying to increase their endurance, and already have experienced strength training. Are you a beginner and desperately want to change your lifestyle? We recommend that you start off slowly and attempt the basic hiking program. By slowly adapting your body to this new routine, you will not have a difficult time sticking to it.  On the other hand, if you are already at the intermediate level, you can easily complete the following strength circuit programs. Depending upon the amount of time you have and your preference, you can pick either one.

Nevertheless, you want to make sure that there is at least 10 minutes of cardio involved. Warm ups are key, especially when you are going to work your muscles. Once the blood flows and your heart rate is up, you will have an easier time working out. Additionally, you should make sure to follow the specific repetitions for each exercise. In order to effectively see results, you cannot pause for minutes between each set. Also, make sure that you complete the circuit at least two times. Without repetition, your muscles will not work to their fullest.

Need an example? Try one complete circuit cycle, and then return to 5 minutes of cardio. Proceed with another cycle, and then continue with your cardio routine. By mixing it up, it will get your heart racing. No matter what you decide to do, you absolutely need to consider a cool down exercise. Most exercise fanatics enjoy doing 5-10 minutes of cardio on a treadmill or bike. Remember to walk slowly, as you are trying to get your heart rate down. You also may want to stretch out, so that your muscles will not be as stiff the next day. With the internet being a wonderful resource, you can easily find effective cool down exercises and stretches. For many, this is their favorite part of the exercise routine, especially since they feel much healthier.

Sample Exercise Programs:

Like most workout routines, you should be alternating between two or three programs. Here we have generated a two circuit workout program, which allows you to mix and match as you’d like.

Circuit 1 Details Reps
1] Dips Perform on bench until exhaustion
2] Alternating bicep curls Dumbbells or tubing is preferred 15-20 each arm
3] Squats W/ ball or against wall 15-20
4] Lat pull-down Pull-down machine 15-20
5] Step-ups Aerobic steps or generic stairs  15-20 each leg*
6] Bent-over row Dumbbells or tubing is preferred 15-20 each arm
7] Back extension W/ ball or on floor  15-30
8] Abs crunches W/ ball or on floor  50-100

*These exercises should be performed at a faster pace than the others. Normally they are combined with dumbbells in each hand.

Circuit 2 Details  Reps
1] Bench press Free weights or machine 15-20
2] Shoulder shrugs One leg at a time 15-30
3] Calf raises  One leg at a time 15-30
4] Push-ups Body-weight until exhaustion
5] Front arm raise Dumbbells or tubing is preferred  15-20
6] Lateral arm raise Dumbbells or tubing is preferred 15-20
7] Dorsiflexion Tubing or theraband  15-20
8] Abs crunches W/ball or on floor 50-100

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
Circuit 1 Circuit 2 Circuit 1  Circuit 2

Seeing as both circuits attend to different muscle groups, you can mix and match however you’d like. However, it is important that you go back and forth. Circuit 1 should not be the only routine for the entire week. By sticking to just one routine, your body will begin to adapt and will not work as hard. For this reason, you may want to begin with circuit 1 and then progress to 2 and then 1 again. Not only will this get your body in tip top shape, but it will keep you motivated and ready to work. After all, most of us get bored with activities once they become routine.

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