If walking to the refrigerator during the commercial breaks of your Duck Dynasty marathon is what you consider exercise, hiking the AT is probably not for you.
Hiking the AT is going to be a huge ware on my body, and I consider myself a very in shape person. I have always been a big runner, biker and I’ve always loved lifting. Staying healthy and in shape is important to me, just as it should be for everyone. For the AT I am ensuring I stay in shape to avoid any sort of injury on the trail. The last thing I want to do is pull a muscle or anything of that sort that will slow my progress significantly or force me to get off the trail.
- Running. Running will help boost my cardio and build muscles in my legs. I don’t want to gain too much muscle so that I’m carrying more weight around. Running is good exercise for anything. As my girlfriend says, “you can always go run for at least 20 minutes.” I always try to do more than just 20 minutes but sometimes you have to settle.
- Push ups. I don’t have access to a gym anymore so I do body weight exercises, including push ups. This will help with upper body and back strength, which comes in handy when you’re lugging around 30 pounds on your back everyday.
- Leg exercises. Building up and conditioning my legs. I want to strengthen those muscles enough to avoid as many muscle strains and pulls during my trip.
- Ass exercises. Tighten up that butt! All the bears will be checking me out as I walk away. It’s important. Just don’t question it and trust me.
- Core exercises. Core strength is important with all fitness. I will be upright most of the day supporting 30 pounds on my back, so keeping up my core strength is important.
- Biking. Biking is a low impact way to build cardio and lots of leg strength. I’ll go bike for 30 miles or so on a trip and my legs will be burning at the end. It feels awesome and I can tell my legs have gotten a lot stronger since I started biking again.
That’s about it for now. I know I’m no Arnold or Michael Phelps, but I always get a hard workout in when I can and it’s going to pay off. Granted I would be working out regardless if I was hiking the trail, I’m just more focused on a fitness goal now.
I feel like I’ve been doing a great job getting ready for the trail and fitness is just apart of getting ready. If you’ve ever watched the documentary Mile, Mile and a Half that one guy dropped off the John Muir Trail in three days. You definitely don’t want to be that guy. I feel he mentally prepared himself but did not prepare fitness wise. I know so much of hiking the trail is mental, but fitness is still important. I’ll wind up being in great shape a couple weeks into the trail, but I want to go into the trail in as best shape as I can get myself into.
81 days til’ Katahdin! #SOBO #Maine2Georgia
“Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.” ~John Muir