Revamped Training

by Patrick The Rim Wrangler on April 23, 2011

Hey all! Now that I’ve had a chance to see what challenges the Canyon has to offer, I want to add a couple key training tips that I wished I had incorporated last year. I suppose that this year, we’re all a little bit wiser!

Stairs and Uphill Walking: For those of us not blessed with a small mountain range in our backyard, such as myself and the other half of Team Chicago, we must rely on artificial means of uphill training. I’ve become best friends with the stair master, and I’d recommend that you do the same! Yes, it is a slow, grueling, seemingly endless activity but it very much mimics the feeling of that final ascent of the Canyon wall. I’d start at 20 minutes at a moderate pace (level 6-7) and work your way up, gradually, to 60 minutes at level 10-12. For those of you that don’t have a stair climber at your disposal, make generous use of the incline function on a treadmill. I’d also recommend performing these exercises in the shoes that you plan on hiking in. This will help break them in as well as identify any hot-spots that may creep up on you. In the event that you develop a hot-spot on the trail, I found that BodyGlide (or was it Astroglide?) helped immensely to reduce friction during the hike.

Tricep Work: This one took me by surprise last year. During the ascent, it becomes entirely necessary, (at least it did for me) to rely on your hiking poles to help leverage your way up the terrain. As a result, my arms were toast! So, I’m recommending lots of tricep work as well. Whether you have dumbbells, barbells, or cables, I’d focus on getting those triceps the endurance they’ll need to carry you in the end. Tricep Dips, Dumbbell Tricep Kickbacks, Cable Tricep Pulldowns, and Dumbbell Skull Crushers are all great tricep builders. Shoot for 3-5 sets of 15-25 repetitions. If you need instruction, you should be able to plug any of those exercises into Google and get a nice description with some pictures.

So let’s get to it! Good luck with your training and remember to challenge yourself as much as you can during this training period. I assure you, from my experience, even the toughest training doesn’t even come close to what the Grand Canyon brings to the table. I’ll see you on the trail!

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