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    Training for Summer Hiking Adventures

    Training for Summer Hiking Adventures

    By Richard CampbellGeneral

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    Hitting the gym, personal trainers, expensive home equipment… When it comes to training for summer hiking adventures, you don’t need to take the traditional route! Although each of the above methods can produce some incredible results, there are other options out there to get you fighting fit for trail season – Enter the Uphill Athlete training program.

    Designed with mountain adventures in mind, Uphill Athlete training programs combine balance and whole body exercises with community and technology for incredible results. Don’t believe it? I’m 4 weeks into a 12 week program, and the results so far have been incredible.

    So whether your summer hiking adventures take you into the mountains or anywhere else in the world, read on to discover why the Uphill Athlete training program is a great way to give your body a tune up and prepare yourself for the next adventure.

    10Adventures Founder Richard Campbell on Winter Adventure

    Q&A with 10Adventures Founder Richard Campbell

    1. What made you want to take on the Uphill Athlete training program?

    I find that over the course of the winter months I lose fitness; my backpack gets heavier each year, and early season backpacking trips get harder and harder - especially because I’m still carrying a lot of gear for my kids and have an overloaded 85L backpack. This year we have a 2-day trip, then a 5-day trip, then a 3 day trip over a 10-day period, and I want to be fit for that.

    I’ve also been reading a lot about longevity, and looking at the bigger picture I realize that I want to focus more on strength, which is an area where I could use some help. I’m in the 2nd half of my 40s and every book I’ve read says ‘start as early as you can, it only gets harder’. I want to be fit for my children, and do everything I can so I’m still adventuring well into my 80s.

    Finally, I wanted a plan that I had to achieve. I find that sometimes there is a bit of a hurdle when it comes to planning exercises, so taking away some of the mental challenge of ‘what should I do today’ is something I hoped would really help me to stay on track.


    2. Do you have a background in physical training?

    I had previously trained with the Calgary Triathlon club, worked out with a few personal trainers, done group HIIT training, trained for marathons with running clubs, and practiced yoga. After having children things have slowed down a bit, and I’ve mostly focussed on hiking and cycling rather than more intense training. I also got into Peloton in 2020, which has been a nice change of pace alongside my other outdoor adventures.


    3. How did you find starting a new fitness program?

    The first part was choosing the right program that would give me a good overall fitness for backpacking, skiing, and cycling. I decided on the 12-week all mountain, as it seemed like a good all-around approach for the activities that I normally do.

    Learning all the new terminology was challenging at first, and there is a lot of onboarding with two apps to use; however, over time I realized the benefit of the approach. The first is Training Peaks app, which is where each day's workout is posted. The second app is called Mighty, which is where you can connect with other trainees, the coaches, and get some of the program. It really adds a bit more of a community feel, which can be a great motivator.


    4. What have the first four weeks of the Uphill Athlete training program been like?

    I was just talking to a friend about how the Uphill Athlete program is so different. It’s possible to do the program completely at home, and so far there are no weights, meaning there are no real hurdles other than your time.

    What I quickly noticed is how much the entire body is integrated in so many different exercises. For me, there is a ton of balance work that manages to bring one move from the shoulders, through the core, and down to the leg balancing. This has been really interesting compared to other types of workouts I’ve done in the past.

    There is also a part of the program called ChamFit, which I was really skeptical about initially, but after doing it I feel like I’ve oiled my joints. It’s not easy, but it gets into muscles I don’t move often, and afterwards I feel great. That being said, during the activity it is hard, as it’s not basic mobility!

    Another element to the program has been spending a lot of time on the treadmill at 15 percent grade. I normally don’t train at this level, but it’s been a really great challenge, and I can already tell that it is improving my fitness immensely.


    5. Have you noticed any improvements in your fitness levels?

    One thing that I’ve noticed since starting the Uphill Athlete training program is how these exercises translate over to aspects of everyday life and the outdoor activities I normally participate in. For example, I went skiing on the weekend and felt I was initiating turns better, which I think is in large part due to the balance and whole body coordination we’ve been doing in the program so far.

    In terms of everyday life, I feel that my posture has greatly improved. I’ve been standing taller and my core is more engaged, and my wife and kids both say I look stronger. I’ve only lost 2 lbs so far, but then again I haven’t changed my eating habits at this point in time and weight loss isn’t my primary goal in the program, strength and balance are.



    Overall, the Uphill Athlete training program has been unlike any other fitness regimen I’ve tried in the past. The combination of unique body weight and whole body exercises is an accessible approach that can be done anywhere, and I’ve felt a great improvement in my balance, posture, and fitness levels so far.

    Another aspect to the program that I really like is the fact that it is tailored to the activities you take part in. I spend a lot of time in the mountains hiking and skiing, so the 12-week All Mountain program is perfect for me – but for those who run marathons, are into rock climbing, or focus on trail running, there are programs that will be perfectly suited to their needs. No matter what your type of adventure is, there is an ideal way to prepare for it – you just need to find the right program for you!




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