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Thread: Hiker shape

  1. #1
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Default Hiker shape

    a couple of us on another thread have discussed how we are staying in shape. If you don't live close to enough to utilize trails how do you stay in hiking condition. I know there's no way to simulate hiking in the mountains, even when i think I'm in tip-top shape when I do my 100 mile one week sections i still get my butt kicked lol. The closest I've came to simulating hiking is wearing a backpack with weight on the treadmill at various degrees and the stair master. And with the heat some might not want to hike and with the virus some don't want to go to the gym. But we can't become a pile of mashed potatoes on the couch watching the life Channel either. So what are some of y'all doing.?

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    over the last couple of years---due to some family obligations----i have not been able to go backpacking or hiking or generally anything outdoors wise....

    and add to that, my diet is not the best (these family obligations have made me east more and more junk food-----don't judge)...

    and i realize that i need to get back in shape and lose some weight (im not that overweight---i just wanna slim down a little)......

    so, while i'm living at my dad's house to get his estate in order---i have been taking walks around the neighborhood...

    eventually i will add some weights to my legs and then start wearing a pack while doing this walks....

    there's not much elevation change in my dad's neighborhood but there's enough to at least get a work out in...

    (and i dont belong to a gym or anything like that)....

    i figure i'll increase the distance of these walks and start getting back in shape....

    but at the end of the day-----my walks around this neighborhood are not way equated to the elevation change that i'm used to by hiking in
    tennessee....

    nothing will truly prepare me for the trail other than being on the trail itself.....

  3. #3

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    What's wrong with the stair master and pack? The Stairmaster Stepmill seems to duplicate backpacking up a tough hill although there are no actual stairsteps on hills for the most part. I'd load up some real world weight in a pack to duplicate backpacking (for me around 75 lbs) and have at it. Climbing a couple thousand feet in elevation with a heavy pack does wonders for preparing a person for backpacking.

    I generally hate at-home exercise---but I'm all for doing long backpacking trips with 80 lb packs. In that case my exercise becomes a sort of survival solution---if I don't exercise I don't meet my shuttle ride out at the end of the trip---nor do I follow my 18 or 21 or 24 day route schedule. "Forced" exercise is the way to go for me.

    I used to ride a touring bicycle all over the place but stopped after I realized it's just too dangerous in East Tennessee. If I'm gonna get injured doing a "sport" I'd rather do it backpacking than bicycling---so in effect I'm saving my body for backpacking. Jogging too is hard on the body---legs and knees and hips---and so I quit jogging in order to "ruin" my legs and knees and hips with backpacking instead. It's all about priorities.

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    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Tipi, I agree nothing wrong with the stair master probably the best simulation of mountainous backpacking. I do want to get a new bike after my move here in a couple weeks, like you said alot better on your body. We have to choose wisely how we abuse our bodies to stay healthy lol. I truly believe it will make a big difference how we age as well, no guarantee on quantity of life but we can do something about quality of life

  5. #5
    Leonidas
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    Personally, 3-6 days week of 4 miles jogging/walking where I end up with 4+ miles complete over 45 minutes and 3 days of weights in the gym. This keeps me pretty much able to hit the trail and do 20-30+ mpd out of the gate. I think like a lot of things, you have to figure out what works for you and what you are willing to commit to sticking with. For me, cardio is the key. If my cardio is poor, my mpd is poor.
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    I am fortunate to have several parks and (rail-to) trails to use. My favorite is a nature center associated with a local university. I try to do 3-5 miles three times a week there. Though not mountains, the glacial hills can provide 500 ft. climbing in 3-4 miles. If i am planning an A T hike soon I can up that to 8-10 miles and 12-1500 ft. or so climbing if i do hill repeats. Carry the pack with increasing weight I think is a pretty good training regimen. I feel the varying surface with roots (few rocks), unevenness, varying hills are a good facsimile of A T type conditions. I do use poles.

  7. #7

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    Staying in trail shape without nearby trails is a real challenge.

    The following routine works for me.

    • Daily 4 mile walks through the neighborhood. If a day is missed, 8 miles are done the following day.
    • Walk with a weighted backpack about 8 weeks before a hike. Slowly increase weight and distance.
    • Spend 60-90 minutes per day 3 times per week doing flexibility exercises. This is an unglamourous way of reducing stiffness & maintaining balance. The weights used are pretty minimal.

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    Garlic
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    Bicycle. Everywhere. You get some wind chill on the bike so it's cooler than walking.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

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    I'm coastal and it's FLAT. I walk w a 75lb pack in lieu of hills and a mug of coffee instead of poles. My hiking kit is usually just over 25#, IMO it works. With the temp/humidity currently I can just about do a full fluid swap out in about an hour lol.
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    over the last couple of years---due to some family obligations----i have not been able to go backpacking or hiking or generally anything outdoors wise....

    and add to that, my diet is not the best (these family obligations have made me east more and more junk food-----don't judge)...

    and i realize that i need to get back in shape and lose some weight (im not that overweight---i just wanna slim down a little)......

    so, while i'm living at my dad's house to get his estate in order---i have been taking walks around the neighborhood...

    eventually i will add some weights to my legs and then start wearing a pack while doing this walks....

    there's not much elevation change in my dad's neighborhood but there's enough to at least get a work out in...

    (and i dont belong to a gym or anything like that)....

    i figure i'll increase the distance of these walks and start getting back in shape....

    but at the end of the day-----my walks around this neighborhood are not way equated to the elevation change that i'm used to by hiking in
    tennessee....

    nothing will truly prepare me for the trail other than being on the trail itself.....
    I’m sorry for your loss, I hope you can get back to hiking soon.

  11. #11
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TNhiker View Post
    over the last couple of years---due to some family obligations----i have not been able to go backpacking or hiking or generally anything outdoors wise....

    and add to that, my diet is not the best (these family obligations have made me east more and more junk food-----don't judge)...

    and i realize that i need to get back in shape and lose some weight (im not that overweight---i just wanna slim down a little)......

    so, while i'm living at my dad's house to get his estate in order---i have been taking walks around the neighborhood...

    eventually i will add some weights to my legs and then start wearing a pack while doing this walks....

    there's not much elevation change in my dad's neighborhood but there's enough to at least get a work out in...

    (and i dont belong to a gym or anything like that)....

    i figure i'll increase the distance of these walks and start getting back in shape....

    but at the end of the day-----my walks around this neighborhood are not way equated to the elevation change that i'm used to by hiking in
    tennessee....

    nothing will truly prepare me for the trail other than being on the trail itself.....
    You're in Maryland correct east coast? I don't know if you've hiked the MD 40 miles yet but if you get wrapped up there or if you can manage a couple days off come on up and we'll hike it . I have extra everything tents, packs, bags, whatever.....

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    Quote Originally Posted by Traffic Jam View Post
    I’m sorry for your loss, I hope you can get back to hiking soon.



    thanks...

    from the bad comes the good-----i was able to retire this past may......

    i had an opportunity that i would have been foolish to pass on-...

    especially since my job was going downhill quick....

    enough so, that on a friday a coworker pissed me off........i went home, took a nap, came back and cleaned my office out....

    and turned in my resignation on monday after my unemployment check hit (i had to take a week of Rona furlough).....

    i had planned on quitting anyways but that sped it up..

    plus i need to get the estate done.....

    so.....i just ride out the next few months getting the house cleaned out and legal stuff done and i'm free after that...

    i can get back to living again...

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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    You're in Maryland correct east coast? I don't know if you've hiked the MD 40 miles yet but if you get wrapped up there or if you can manage a couple days off come on up and we'll hike it . I have extra everything tents, packs, bags, whatever.....


    thanks.....that means a lot to me...

    my dad's house is in columbia MD, so i'm living mainly up here and going back to TN to pick up my mail and things like that...

    i havent been on the AT since I was a scout........

    i was almost planning on going out to the washington monument outside of frederick to see the comet but it closes at sunset....

    right now, i have to concentrate on getting the estate done-----i want to be wrapped up with it by the time my lease runs
    out at the end of march.........

    i plan on moving to western north carolina.......

    but, i might get stir crazy and need to get out........

    as noted----i am pretty outta shape.....just a little pudgy but no trail legs of any sort....

  14. #14
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    If you get stir crazy and need to get out just pm brother we'll make it happen.

  15. #15

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    As I age, I realize that strength is becoming more important so have started focusing on getting stronger. Hopefully it’ll pay off for hiking but my reality is that nothing I do makes hiking easier except regularly hiking.

  16. #16

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    It is tough to stay in "hiking shape," and as I've gotten older I have stopped running. I'm hoping that helps preserve my "hiking joints" a little longer. I use my treadmill, hiking at maximum elevation with my pack on for about an hour each day. I have also found that having a strong core makes a big difference, so I try to add in strength exercises at least 3-4 times a week. While this is still not "hiking shape," I enjoy mike hikes.

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    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Traffic Jam View Post
    As I age, I realize that strength is becoming more important so have started focusing on getting stronger. Hopefully it’ll pay off for hiking but my reality is that nothing I do makes hiking easier except regularly hiking.
    Did I read correctly that you up to 20 minutes on the jacobs ladder?that's alot of time Maybe it's time to add a small day pack with 10 lbs? I've been following a routine called Hyperfittness for years. My daughter found this book for me at a yard sale. It's based on a 12 week program, 12 weeks of trekker, 12 weeks of hiker and 12 weeks of sherpa routines which progressively get tougher. Mon,wed,fri is the same tue,thu the same then every 2 weeks it completely changes so your body and mind never has a chance to get used to the same workout. So what I've been doing is 2 wks of the trekker, 2 wks of the hiker then 2 wks of the sherpa there by peaking every 6 wks. These workouts strengthen the ligaments, tendons, heart alot one thing after another exercise.I don't care how much i can bench prees or squat or none that.
    Last edited by JNI64; 07-31-2020 at 15:16.

  18. #18

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    What really helped me for mountain hiking was adding weighted step-ups to my workout. Grab a dining room chair and two 25lb dumbbells. Place the chair against the wall and, holding the dumbbells arms-lengths at sides, step-up one leg (10 reps, step down with same leg), switch legs. This provided a very noticeable difference for me on those rocky uphills.

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    Quote Originally Posted by martinb View Post
    What really helped me for mountain hiking was adding weighted step-ups to my workout. Grab a dining room chair and two 25lb dumbbells. Place the chair against the wall and, holding the dumbbells arms-lengths at sides, step-up one leg (10 reps, step down with same leg), switch legs. This provided a very noticeable difference for me on those rocky uphills.
    Similarly, I don full pack with excess weight, about 40 lbs. or so, then climb the 50 steps at our local football stadium. I do this twice. First step up on the right leg only, then repeat with the left leg. Then once around the quarter mile track, then repeat the whole process again, up to about 12 times. The whole workout takes about 90 minutes.


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    I hike the Port Orange bridge with my pack on. It's the only mountain in town...

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