Physical Fitness

Physical Fitness Preparation for Rinjani Trekking

For a trekking/hiking/backpacking trip, the old saying “Health is Wealth” holds true—especially on the Mount Rinjani.

In contrast to rock climbing or mountaineering, trekking isn’t a type of sports. It is more of a recreational trip per its definition.

So, why do you need to be physically fit for a trekking trip?

This is a simple question with a simple answer. You will be able to get the most out of the trip if you are in your fittest condition.

The more logical answer to the question would be:

  1. The air is thinner the higher the altitude. Aerobic fitness is then in order for you to cope with the low oxygen level
  2. You will require a sizeable level of both strength and endurance training to be able to defy gravity and walking on a steep slope with a backpack on your back for a long duration.

The two factors mentioned above are present on any Himalayan trek of any high altitude.

So, how do you get physically fit for the trip?

This is a quantitative matter but it all boils down to two things: the overall physical condition and the age.

You will get a better chance to come up with the best result if you spend more time to train. The basic guideline to improve your fitness requires at least 2 months.

Aerobic Fitness

Phase one:

  1. Walk 5 km every day and try to walk on a slope. Maintain constant speed and make completing the walk in an hour a goal. Do this for 3 weeks (5 days for each week).
  2. Practice stretching at each end of the walk that targets legs, arms, waist, neck, and shoulder for up to 15 minutes. Don’t do cold stretching as it may lead to injuries.

Phase two:

Follow the three-week phase one up with either one of the following choices of activities:

  1. Jogging

You can job at a park or on a treadmill. Do not bring yourself to job on a tarred surface or on a concrete. Make sure that you wear proper running shoes. At the beginning of the training, try to complete 3 km in 2 minutes. Level up by completing 5 km in 30 minutes. After each exercise, do the stretching. Do this for another 5 week (5 days a week).

  1. Cycling

Cycling is a good alternative to improve your aerobic fitness and at the same time shed some pounds faster. Outdoor cycling is the best but if it is impossible for you to cycle outdoor, a static cycle at home or gym would do the trick. At the beginning of the training, try to complete 5 km in 20 minutes either on easy or moderate resistance mode the equipment offers. Level up by completing 8 km in 30 minutes either on moderate or high resistance. After each exercise, do the stretching. Do this for 5 weeks (5 days a week).

Strength and Endurance Training

Commence this training at the phase two of the aerobic training. This training always comes after the aerobic training.

This training seeks to build strength on the back, abdominal muscles, shoulders, and arms. Aerobic training will handle the matter of leg strength.

  1. Do push-ups and sit-ups at home—three sets each with up to 15 repetitions.
  2. If you can, do pull-up or chin-ups. Do three sets with up to 10 repetitions. You can ask someone to help you with the pull-ups: Do 3 sets with up to 12 repetitions.
  3. Do 3 sets of squat with up to 15 repetitions. Skip this part if you sustain knee injuries.
  4. You can do basic weight training at home or at the gym. Choose shoulder press, triceps press, and biceps curl—3 sets of each with up to 10 repetitions.

So, does this mean that even an experienced trekker also needs physical fitness?

This should go without saying: Everyone needs physical fitness. Having fitness means having readiness in dealing with things otherwise uncommonly expected. Doing so also means that you will have the mental fitness to cope with every challenge the trip poses.

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