Uphill Athlete 12-week Everest Base Camp Trekking Plan

Average Weekly Training Hours 06:03
Training Load By Week
Average Weekly Training Hours 06:03
Training Load By Week

This 12 week training plan is ideal for the moderately active person planning a trek such as Everest Base camp or the Annapurna Circuit who lives and works in a city and/or is otherwise limited in their ability to hike outdoors on mountainous our even hilly terrain due to weather or locale. The exercises are meant to be done largely on the equipment available in most commercial and even some well equipped home gyms. So, access to a treadmill, stairclimber machine, stationary bike and rowing machine is required. If yo have access to big hills and mountains right out your back door though, feel free to substitute the real McCoy for these exercise machines. The only other special requirements will be a heart rate monitor to control the intensity of the aerobic workouts and access to some steep stairs such as found in tall buildings for fire exits. Preferably these stairs will allow you at least a continuous climb of 5 minutes but smaller buildings will suffice. You will just need to go up and down more. The most important factor in your successful and enjoyable trek is going to be your fitness. Sticking with this plan will give you the base fitness you need to not only complete the trek but to enjoy the experience. Time requirements begin at just over 4 hours in the first week and peak at over 7 hours in the final week.

Sample Day 1
0:45:00
Aerobic Threshold Test (indoor and outdoor option)

This is how we more precisely determine your correct aerobic training heart rate.
Aerobic Threshold (AeT) test.

The Aerobic Threshold is very important to the development of a strong aerobic base. While the gold standard would be a laboratory test, the following three tests work well most of the time to determine a base line for aerobic training. The first test is for a treadmill and the second test is for use outdoors if a treadmill is not available.
For either of these first two tests you’ll want to do them in a fasted state. This means no food, of any kind, for at least two hours before the test. Water, black coffee, tea without milk or sweetners, are fine. Sugary sports drinks and the like will give you inaccurate results. The third test is just a formula. If you don't have a lot of athletic background. And don't train a lot I highly recommend you using the MAF formula to determine your AeT. The MAF formula is 180 minus your age. What ever that number is, is your AeT HR.
.
Aerobic Threshold (AeT) Test
Treadmill Option
Treadmills allow for more control. For this test you will need a treadmill and a heart rate monitor.
Step One: Make sure your heart rate monitor is on and working.
Step Two: Set incline of Treadmill to 10%.
Step Three: Do a very slow walking warm-up for 15min+ at a very low speed/intensity. This pace should feel like you are walking with your grandmother for the first ten min. Continue until you break a sweat. You are warmed up and ready to begin.
Step Four: After the warm up, without stopping, begin to increase speed gradually, .1-.2mph every 3min.
Step Five: For the entire test breathe only through your nose.
Step Six: When breathing through the nose becomes noisy and uncomfortable note the heart rate and slow down, 2mph.
Step Seven: Find the speed just below the uncomfortable nose breathing that you can hold for 10-15min while only breathing through your nose. Note this heart rate! There will be only a 2-4bpm difference between very easy breathing, and unsustainable nose breathing.
Step Eight: The typical heart rate you see in these 15min is your AeT HR and will be the guide to the top end of your aerobic zone (Zone 2) for the next 6-8 weeks.
.
Outdoor Option
An outdoor uphill hike/run test is not as controlled as a treadmill but it can still set a great base line for you AeT. For this test the most important part is keeping a steady heart rate for as long as possible. We recommend using a long gradual hill in the range of 5-10% grade but if you only have a flat area you can make this work too. You will need a heart rate monitor for this test.
Step One: Make sure your heart rate monitor is working.
Step Two: Do a walking or slow running warm up for 15min or until you break a sweat. Make sure it is low intensity. 
Step Three: After this warm up, but without stopping, begin to increase heart rate gradually, 5bpm every 3min. while breathing through the nose only.
Step Four: When nose breathing becomes too difficult back off just enough to a sustainable nose breathing pace for 10-15min. Note your heart rate at this pace!
Step Five: This heart rate usually only has a 2-4bpm difference from easy breathing to unsustainable nose breathing. 
Step Six: The typical heart rate you see in these 15min is your AeT HR and will be the guide to the top end of your aerobic zone (Zone 2) for the next 6-8 weeks
.
Side Note:
As your aerobic system becomes more powerful you will notice that your AeT HR and pace will both increase over time. These increases will be small increments and will continue to accumulate for many months of consistent training. In the long term this AeT (aerobic capacity) can continue to improve for years and years with proper training. If for some reason you have spent lots of time at high intensity while nose breathing you may need to do a more precise lab test to determine your aerobic base line.

Sample Day 2
1:00:00
Basic Strength Work

Warm Up: 10min on Treadmill hiking 5%-10% grade.

Core: The attachment and video will show you how to do each exercises correctly.

Bird Dog: 8 reps each leg
Bridge: 8 Reps each Leg
Leg Raise Progression: 8 Reps each leg
Side Plank: Hold for 10 sec. on each side.
Plank Progression: 20sec hold
Super Man: 3x5sec hold

As you get stronger feel free to add a weight vest while doing these exercises.

Below is the link to the videos. We suggest you start with phase one of each exercise but you can do what you suits you best.

http://www.uphillathlete.com/strength-demo-basic-core-routine/ 

General Strength:
Box Step ups 3x10 reps (Each Leg)
Heel Touch 3x10 reps (Each Leg)

(You can adjust the set and reps if it is too hard or too easy as well)

You can adjust the height of the box for both Step Ups and Heel Touch. I recommend using a 10-14in box for step ups to start and a 6in block for heel touches. Or a box 75% height to your knee for box step ups. If you are doing the workout from home a stair works well for both box step ups and heel touches.


If balance is a challenge doing these put your box next to a wall for assistances.
You can add resistance if with weight once you feel strong with just body weight. You can use a weight vest, water jug, bar or other types of weight to make it more challenging.

Here is a link to a video demonstrating how to properly do both exercises.

http://www.uphillathlete.com/strength-demo-box-step-up-and-heel-touch/

Sample Day 3
0:30:00
Treadmill Hike

Set Treadmill to 8%, keep your Heart rate under Aerobic Threshold.

Sample Day 4
0:30:00
Treadmill Hike Or Stair Master

Set Treadmill to 8%, keep your Heart rate under Aerobic Threshold. 

Or if you want to mix it up do the stair master for 30min keeping HR under AeT.

Sample Day 5
1:00:00
Basic Strength Work

Warm Up: 10min on Treadmill hiking 5%-10% grade.

Core: The attachment and video will show you how to do each exercises correctly.

Bird Dog: 8 reps each leg
Bridge: 8 Reps each Leg
Leg Raise Progression: 8 Reps each leg
Side Plank: Hold for 10 sec. on each side.
Plank Progression: 20sec hold
Super Man: 3x5sec hold

As you get stronger feel free to add a weight vest while doing these exercises.

Below is the link to the videos. We suggest you start with phase one of each exercise but you can do what you suits you best.

http://www.uphillathlete.com/strength-demo-basic-core-routine/

General Strength:
Box Step ups 3x10 reps (Each Leg)
Heel Touch 3x10 reps (Each Leg)

(You can adjust the set and reps if it is too hard or too easy as well)

You can adjust the height of the box for both Step Ups and Heel Touch. I recommend using a 10-14in box for step ups to start and a 6in block for heel touches. Or a box 75% height to your knee for box step ups. If you are doing the workout from home a stair works well for both box step ups and heel touches.


If balance is a challenge doing these put your box next to a wall for assistances.
You can add resistance if with weight once you feel strong with just body weight. You can use a weight vest, water jug, bar or other types of weight to make it more challenging.

Here is a link to a video demonstrating how to properly do both exercises.

http://www.uphillathlete.com/strength-demo-box-step-up-and-heel-touch/

Sample Day 6
0:20:00
Stair Climb

The stair climb workouts are going to be very important to progression for this training plan. Hiking stairs up and down is similar to all the vertical you will gain and drop while trekking into base camp. Going down is just as good training as going up. Through the 12 weeks you will progress to longer and harder stair climb workouts. As you get stronger you will have an option to add a weighted back pack for more resistance while you climb.

Having a tall building with stairs will make the training easier. There are a few options on how to do this workout. If you don't have a very tall building near you, you will have to do laps up and down. If you do have a very tall building you can do a continuous workout upwards. If you don't have any type of building with stairs you will have to use a stair master. Stair master workouts are not the same as using stairs but you can make it work.

Option One: Building with not many stories-
Workout-Hike Up for 5min and back down for 5min. Do this twice.

Option Two: Building with many stories-
This is a continues upwards workout with a few minutes to go back down. Hike up the stairs for 5min then turn around and hike down for two min. Do this 2 times.

Option Three: Hike on a stair master for 20min with HR below AeT.


All of this work should be below your Aerobic Threshold that you established earlier this week.

Sample Day 7
0:20:00
Stair Climb

The stair climb workouts are going to be very important to progression for this training plan. Hiking stairs up and down is similar to all the vertical you will gain and drop while trekking into base camp. Going down is just as good training as going up. Through the 12 weeks you will progress to longer and harder stair climb workouts. As you get stronger you will have an option to add a weighted back pack for more resistance while you climb.

Having a tall building with stairs will make the training easier. There are a few options on how to do this workout. If you don't have a very tall building near you, you will have to do laps up and down. If you do have a very tall building you can do a continuous workout upwards. If you don't have any type of building with stairs you will have to use a stair master. Stair master workouts are not the same as using stairs but you can make it work.

Option One: Building with not many stories-
Workout-Hike Up for 5min and back down for 5min. Do this twice.

Option Two: Building with many stories-
This is a continues upwards workout with a few minutes to go back down. Hike up the stairs for 5min then turn around and hike down for two min. Do this 2 times.

Option Three: Hike on a stair master for 20min with HR below AeT.


All of this work should be below your Aerobic Threshold that you established earlier this week.

Uphill Athlete by Steve House and Scott Johnston
|
Uphill Athlete LLC.

What originally inspired us to write Training for the New Alpinism, and what inspires us to continue to share the things we’ve discovered through Uphillatlete.com, is the information void when it comes to specialized training for endurance mountain sports. We have successfully demonstrated a more systematic approach, using proven principles, to help you improve both your chances of achieving your goals, and your long-term fitness and safety in whatever mountain sport you are practicing.