Mountain Climbing Training


A Mountain Climbing Training program is one of the MOST important parts that you will have to consider before embracing any mountain in the world.

Just like running a marathon, you don’t expect to train for one day then expect to climb Mount Kilimanjaro (click here to see details and facts about Mount Kilimanjaro) afterwards. It takes weeks of mountain climbing training before the big day arrives. If you want to make it till the peak of the mountain, you have to be physically fit and mentally prepared.

Mountain climbing doesn’t have to be a grueling task, especially if you have prepared well for it. Usually, the more fit you are, the more likely you will enjoy mountain climbing. Furthermore, the joy of reaching the top of the mountain outweighs the effort you put through training and climbing the mountain itself.

Mountain Climbing Training - Carring Weight
Mountain Climbing Training – Carring Weight

Looking to get in shape for your next mountaineering? Here is a 6 week mountain climbing training plan that is suitable for both, beginners and expert climbers.


Guide to Mountain Climbing Training

The aim of your mountain climbing training regime is to build your fitness level and ensure your body is strong and has the right balance. For beginners, you can start with body weight workouts such as pushups, dips, crunches, lunges and squats. Once you are comfortable with these moves, you can add some weight to make them more challenging. For instance, you could carry a backpack with heavy books on your back and do these workouts again.

The training also applies to expert climbers, who want to maintain their fitness level prior to their next mountaineering adventure.

First week

  • Monday: Set of 10 reps that includes each of the above body workout moves. Add 30 minutes of cardio workout that includes either swimming, biking or walking on a treadmill.
  • Tuesday: Do not schedule any workouts, just rest.
Mountain Climbing Training - Running
Mountain Climbing Training – Running
  • Wednesday: Increase the number of set to 3, and reps to 15 for strength training. 20 minutes of cardio workouts.
  • Thursday: Don’t do strength training. Focus on cardio workouts for 40 minutes.
  • Friday: Do 3 sets of 15 reps of strength training and, 30 minutes of cardio workouts.
  • Saturday: focus on 2 to 3 hours of walk carrying a 25 pound (approx 11 kg) backpack.

Second week

  • Monday: do 30 minutes of cardio workouts and 20 minutes walk.
  • Tuesday: do 45 minutes of strength training (e.g, yoga) and 20 minutes of cardio.
  • Wednesday: focus on 3 sets of 15 reps squats, 10 reps pushups, 50 crunches, 50 mountain climbers, and 60 seconds of plank. Also, do 40 minutes of cardio workouts.
  • Thursday: don’t do strength training but focus on 30 minutes of cardio workout.
  • Friday: do four sets of 15 reps squats, 10 reps pushups, 50 reps crunches, and 60 seconds plank.
  • Saturday: run for 3 miles (1.6 km), or bike for 15 miles (24 km).

Third week

  • Monday: do 50 minutes of cardio.
  • Tuesday: do 75 minutes of cardio that includes climbing the stairs.
  • Wednesday: do 4 sets of 15 rep squats, 10 rep push up, 50 rep crunches, 60 seconds plank and 40 reps of mountain climbers.
  • Thursday: do 75 minutes of cardio that includes 1800 steps on the stairs with a 20 pound (9 kg) backpack.
  • Friday: alternate walking and running for one and a half hours.
  • Saturday: just rest.

Fourth week

  • Monday: do one and a half hour of cardio (e.g, biking, swimming or running).
Mountain Climbing Training - Core Training
Mountain Climbing Training – Core Training
  • Tuesday: rest up.
  • Wednesday: run 4 miles (6 km) in 10 minutes or less.
  • Thursday: do 1 hour of cardio.
  • Friday: do 20 minutes of walking, up and down the stairs.
  • Saturday: hike for 5 hours with 25 pounds (11 kg) backpack.

Fifth week

  • Monday: do 1 hour of cardio.
  • Tuesday: rest up.
  • Wednesday: do four sets of strength training that includes 20 reps of squats, 10 reps of pushups, 70 reps of crunches, 60 seconds plank, and 50 reps mountain climbers. Also, do 45 minutes of cardio.
  • Thursday: do 75 minutes of cardio.
  • Friday: climb, up and down the stairs for 20 minutes.
Mountain Climbing Training - Hiking
Mountain Climbing Training – Hiking
  • Saturday: do 5 hours of hiking carrying a backpack with 35 pounds (16 kg).

Sixth week

  • Monday: do 1 hour of cardio.
  • Tuesday: do 40 minutes of climbing the stairs.
  • Wednesday: do 75 minutes of cardio.
  • Thursday: walk for 45 minutes.
  • Rest on Friday and Saturday.

Best Diet for Mountain Climbing

At the end of the 6 weeks mountain climbing training program, your body would have build the stamina and strength required to climb a mountain.

Remember that the food you choose to carry during the big day can either make or break your efforts over the last 6 weeks. The night before your mountain climbing escapade, try to take a diet that is rich in nutrients, carbs, fruits, beans and whole grains. Ensuring that your diet has 60 percent carbs, will give you the energy required for mountain climbing the following day.

The next morning, take carbs that can be digested easily such as yogurt, pancake and fruits. During your journey up the mountain, eat fruits like banana and nuts every 2 to 3 hours. Keep them at your backpack or jacket so that you can easily remove them. To stay hydrated, take sips of sports drink after every 10 to 15 minutes.