Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa. Therefore, your preparations should be of that level. With all the information shared your chances of summiting Mount Kilimanjaro has substantially increased. Besides that, your fitness level, mental stamina, and endurance will determine whether or not you’ll make it to the top. So few weeks prior to your Kilimanjaro trekking, you should start your physical fitness preparations which would make a world of difference!
For trekking Kilimanjaro, you should focus on the type of fitness training and not its degree. As the journey will be a hike, the best exercise you can do is hike which will mimic your motion, strengthening the muscles that are most required. While running will also help to some extent (especially for endurance), it does not fully prepare the muscles that are most required for a 6 day hike. We recommend starting off by walking with regular and short gym work to stimulate some muscle development. You can visit the local small mountains where you can work with your hiking boots and perform few miles of trekking journey to get comfortable with them. It is the most enjoyable way of getting fit for the trek.
Therefore, we have come up with a comprehensive fitness preparation guideline (based on cost and time) which will assist you in preparing for the Kilimanjaro summit. This guideline is a blend of both gym work and hiking program, both of which should be followed over an 8 week period.
Before you embark on a fitness program, it is wise to seek medical attention for check-ups and get a green signal from the doctor that you won’t face any problem performing these exercises. If possible, you should also share this program with your doctor.
In essence, this gym fitness program comprises of regular progressive resistance exercises with weights (barbells or dumbbells) or free weight machines. The aim of this training is to tailor the exercises based on your age, condition, strength, and steady progression to higher resistance as you develop.
Because the resistance exercises are based on your capabilities to deal with weights, this program can be written off as safe. However, performing these exercises in a correct manner is the key of not getting injured or tearing your muscles. Get more knowledgeable by investing in books related to his subject or seek help from your local gymnasium instructor to show you how to perform a certain exercise correctly.
You’ll be doing these exercises in repetition (reps) and sets. A single count of an exercises fully completed is considered one rep (like going down and coming back to your starting position is one rep), while a series or reps are considered one set. The average is 10 to 12 reps for a set.
Warming up before performing an exercise routine is key for remain injury free. This consists of putting your body through a number of stretching exercises which flexes the tendons, joints, ligaments and other voluntary muscles.
You should go for frequent short walks which should include some uphill and downhill movement. Shoulder a daypack packed with three liters of water bottle or three kilograms of anything as you go uphill and trek downhill. This will simulate the conditions you’ll be facing in the mountain. As already mentioned above, a one or two day hike in any nearby mountain is perhaps the best way to get a first-hand experience of what your trekking will be like. In our fitness program, eight weeks comprises of hiking related activities which ensures required level of fitness.
You can perform it even indoors with the help of a treadmill and simulate the flat as uphill (inclined) and downhill (declined) sections, just in case your local weather doesn’t allow you to do so outdoors. Before 4 days of your trekking schedule, you should stop any form of extreme physical activity to give your body sufficient time to rest.