You don’t need to be a professional mountaineer, a marathon runner or have access to the fountain of youth to climb Mount Kilimanjaro – all you need is a positive attitude and an excellent training program. The trek offers an adventure that is unparalleled. There are numerous ways to approach the summit but you can determine the best route to climb based on your needs and aspirations. Journeying Africa’s rooftop can be challenging at times but if you follow our tips and tricks you’ll be one step closer to your goal. The team at Viva Africa Tours has designed a twelve week program that will make training for the climb to Kilimanjaro enjoyable. Regular runners, cyclists and hikers can incorporate this plan into their regular routine but this serves as a guideline for beginners who want to get fit for the trek.
Preparation for Kilimanjaro
We recommend that you do your best to prepare for the journey and a self-assessment will prove very useful. The right gear will increase your chances and assure that you trek with ease.
Medical check-up: You should always seek the advice of your doctor before embarking on a fitness program and this guide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Although in depth information and specific exercises are given, users should not rely exclusively on information provided in this program for their own health needs as it is branded as a set of “guidelines” aimed at a broad spectrum audience. All specific medical questions should be presented to your own health care professional.
Preparing for high altitude: Moving your body as well as completing our program is an awesome way to prepare yourself for the high altitude. We recommend that you embark on hikes in your area and camp out if possible. High altitude training systems will allow you to pre-acclimatize at home, they imitate high altitudes to encourage advantageous biological modifications in the body.
The right age to begin training to climb Kilimanjaro: Virtually anyone with the right mind set can conquer Kilimanjaro. Children as young as twelve years old have climbed the mountain but they need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Our crew will aim to make them feel as comfortable as possible. As mentioned above, you don’t need a magical youth elixir, the oldest person on record to reach the summit was an eighty four year old man.
Warm up and stretch: You should warm up for 5 to 10 minutes. Your warm up should combine brisk walking with stretching. As most of you would know stretching is a great way to relax. It also plays a large role in recovery, injury prevention and of course flexibility. You can apply the same combination for your cool down to ensure that you obtain the maximum results at the end of every workout. If you are a fan of yoga including some of your favourite poses into your stretching routine is a must.
The training program that will help you climb Kilimanjaro:
Resistance training: You will do high intensity circuit training for resistance workouts. The circuits are a mix of plyometric (jump), body weight and hypertrophy (muscle & strength building) training. Circuit training is a style of training that usually involves two or more exercises that are performed in a set amount of repetitions (reps). Typically a timer is set and you repeat these exercises (in their rep amounts) one after the other for that set period of time.
Cardio: Walking and going on hikes are recommended but you can sneak in a few runs or cycling sessions if it is what you enjoy. It is vital that your walks include uphill and downhill sections. You should carry a three litre water bottle or a backpack that weighs at least 3kgs to simulate the hiking you will do on the mountain. You will never carry more than 5kgs so there is no need to carry more than this. Hiking in your area for a few days is extremely beneficial and a great weekend activity. If your environment does not allow you to go outdoors you can train on a treadmill and adjust the incline. Training to climb Kilimanjaro is not a rigid routine, you can adjust everything to meet your needs and we would be happy to assist you.
Kilimanjaro training tips that will help you climb to the top:
- If you are new to lifting weights use lighter ones for the first two weeks
- We recommend that you try your best but don’t strain yourself.
- For effective muscle development rest for 48 hours after resistance training.
- Increase your weights every two weeks for steady muscle development.
- Stay hydrated during your work out.
- Training with a friend makes the program easier
- Remember to have fun
- Your program should end at least four days before you begin your journey to the summit.
- The Stairmaster is a great way to train.
- Document your progress in a logbook or a vision board.
- Stay dedicated and remember to have fun.