Strength training should be part of every hikers and trekkers training. It is an incredibly effective tool to help prevent injury, improve movement efficiency and increase confidence on the trail!
However if you are not a lifelong trainer, coming up with your own strength training workouts can be a bit intimidating...
Unfortunately this usually leads to trekkers choosing a cookie cutter workout off the internet, jumping into a group exercise class or just choosing random exercises in the gym...
And while these things are better then nothing, it pales in comparison to the benefits of a structured and trek specific strength training workout.
Today I am going to show you EXACTLY how to create one of these for your own. So you can have a highly specific, efficient and effective session, no matter how experienced you are!
Now I have done my best to make this process as simple as possible. At first glance it may still seem a little bit complicated but read through the whole article and I promise it will save you countless hours from trying to do it yourself!
Introducing The ultimate Template for strength training for Hiking!
Templates are probably the most hassle free and time efficient way of creating your own workout. Using a template you can leave all the science and deep thinking to the professionals and instead have an easy framework to use.
Below is one of my favourite templates I use for my trekkers to create incredibly effective strength workouts.
How It Works
In order to keep the workouts time efficient, this template uses something called sequencing.
This simply means that you structure a workout so you are using the rest periods of your exercises effectively, and not simply standing around!
When looking at the template you will see it contains the letters A, B and C with numbers next to them. You complete the all the A exercises in a row then repeat for the number of sets. Then, you move onto the B's following the same process. And then C.
Each workout should be preceded by a thorough warm up.
*And of course this isn't the only way to structure a strength workout... but it is one which has worked time and time again for me in the past!
The Simple Template For A Trekkers Strength Training Workout
A1: lower body push exercise
A2: upper body pull exercise
A3: any core exercise
A4: any mobility exercise
B1: lower body pull exercise
B2: upper body push exercise
B3: any core exercise
B4: any mobility exercise
C: any conditioning exercise
From here, the next step is to plug in the exercises you want to use...
Here is a list of the best exercises to choose from each category you can use
Lower Body Push Exercises
Eccentric pistol squat
Squat (dumbbell or barbell)
Bulgarian Split Squat
Lunge (reverse, forward or walking)
Lower Body Pull Exercises
Deadlift (barbell or trap bar)
Romanian Deadlift (barbell or dumbbell)
Single Leg Deadlift (barbell or dumbbell)
Stability Ball Leg Curl
Upper Body Push Exercise
Bench Press (dumbbell or barbell)
Incline Bench Press (dumbbell or barbell)
Upper Body Pull Exercise
1 Arm Dumbbell Row
Seated Cable Row
Bent Over Row (dumbbells or barbell)
Worlds greatest stretch
Knee to wall
Seated glute stretch
Finally it is time to choose your focus
Now that you have your template and your exercises, you need to chose what your goal of the workout will be.
Depending on what phase of your training you are in, or what you are aiming to get out of the workout, will determine which sets, reps and time frames you will follow.
Here are a few options:
Prep Phase (best when you first start training or are returning from a break)
Strength Development (best for injury prevention and movement efficiency)
Muscular Endurance Development (best in the final stage before a trek)
Now you have a simple 3 step process to creating your own strength training workout
It really is as simple as that!
Rowan is a personal trainer who specialises in training for hiking, trekkers and mountaineers for their bucket list adventures.