Saturday, January 31, 2009

Training for Tramping

Anybody else remember the 20 Minute Workout? I actually used to DO the damn thing - not realising it was mainly used as a free alternative to 80s porn! If I had only known then what damage it was doing to my poor, adolescent knees...

But I digress. At the beginning of this year I did something long overdue - I joined my local gym to get myself into better shape. I figure if I can shape up a little, my tramping trips will be less painful, more enjoyable and I can consider a wider range of tracks because I'll be able to go farther faster.

Good theory, but just what can you do at the gym to achieve that result? Obviously I don't have enough time on my hands to build up to an eight hour slog on the treadmill (or I'd just do it outdoors anyway) so I have to make do with shorter, more intense workouts.

My main machine so far is the elliptical crosstrainer. I figure of all the cardio machines, this one most closely emulates tramping. It's a bit like climbing a hill, and the pivoting arm poles are kind of like hiking poles.

I've also been using a Swiss ball to try to improve the strength in my core muscles, which are the muscles of the abdomen and back. A strong core should improve by balance, and make it easier to carry the weight of my pack.

So far I've been avoiding the group classes. The instructors just seem way too obnoxious, and most of the classes look very hard on the knees.

Anyway, that's me so far. But I'm curious to know what other people do at the gym to make their tramping better or easier. So leave all your tips as comments, and maybe we call all learn a thing or two about getting fit, avoiding injury, and wearing leotards with matching leg warmers. (OK, maybe not that last one...)


Tanmoy said...


Over this weekend we completed the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. My wife and I never had any hiking experience but thankfully we managed it well. We are from India and are now settled in NZ since last year.

It was a tremendous experience.

Having said that, though it may become expensive but don't you think they should have some base camps set up in Tongariro during these peak seasons (for first aid etc) especially since so many not trained people climb that terrain. I think those who love mountains would climb even if they have to make some minimal donations towards maintaining the camp. My wife had a brief slip and I got really scared!

Being a writer, it shall soon make me write a travelogue on my blog.



gorida said...

best training for hiking is hiking. :)
ps: your book will hopefully be soon on my book shelf