Preparing physically for your climb up the mountain is very important and we have below some training information recommended for climbers who are preparing to tackle this challenge. As well as physical preparation, you also need to prepare yourself mentally. This is a big challenge (especially the harder routes) and you must be positive about being able to make the climb as many others before you have done. However, you also want to be wary of being arrogant because even the physically fit and well prepared climber can run into difficulties with altitude issues that are harder to prepare for than overall physical fitness. However, your mental stamina will help you overcome many of the challenges you face so stay positive and keep going whilst at the same time, making sure you don't push yourself beyond what your body is capable of - it's a careful balance! Remember, your guide is there to answer any questions you may have and can give advice and encouragement.
Remember to consult your physician before undertaking a new physical fitness regime.
Mind & Body Preparation
The thing to remember is that you are preparing to climb a mountain. Therefore, the best way to prepare is to mimic the climb. We recommend combining hiking (up mountains if you have them nearby), and including aerobic, strength, and endurance work. Monotonous repetition is not necessary but consistent effort at the various types of activities you'll encounter on your trek is recommended. Remember to allow enough time to prepare and don't push yourself too fast.
Take as many day hikes (around 7-9 miles) as you can and mimic your planned trek as much as possible. If you live near mountains or wooded areas, this certainly helps. Take your backpack filled with your gear so you can get used to carrying it with you (you can start without one and work your way up to what you will carry. Even better would be to carry more than you intend to on the actual trek). Break in your hiking boots, getting used to traversing uneven ground. If possible, climb slopes with 30 and 40 degree inclines. If hikes are not possible, then train using stairs and, if necessary, stair steppers. Tone down the amount of exercise nearer the time of your departure (about a month before) as you will need to give your body a chance to rest in preparation for the climb. We recommend that two weeks before departure you only do minimal exercise - maybe brief hikes without the day pack.
Don't worry about running if you're not already a runner. However, if you already like to run, incorporate as many hills as you can and try running on uneven ground, but take necessary precautions not to injure yourself.
Focus on overall muscle efficiency rather than a particular muscle group. It is best to practice high repetition (10-20 times) with low weights and deliberate full movement. Don't use weights that are too heavy and build up bulky muscles as every pound of body weight will feel heavier on the mountain. Focus on form and consistency. You don't need weights as you can do lunges, squats, abdominal crunches, push ups and other such exercises to strengthen your muscles. Although your legs are an obvious component to building physical strength, do not exclude the rest of your body.
It's important to move out of your regular routine to include other things that will allow a more complete, well-rounded fitness level. For instance, try going to a yoga class, play a game of tennis or squash, go for a bike ride, or swim. This will help you avoid injury and keep your interest and enthusiasm high.
Be consistent with your training and work up to at least 45 minutes of aerobic activity 4-5 times a week. However, remember to give your body time to rest during your exercise regime and especially in the 2-3 weeks before departure. You should be rested and feeling well before you climb.