How Much Training Do You Need For Mountain Climbing

If you’ve already decided that in a few months, you’ll make your dreams come true and conquer the top of the mountain, your excitement probably goes beyond the scale. But it’s not a piece of cake, and before you start to plan the details of the climb, step back and think about how you should prepare for that challenge, physically and mentally. When it comes to mountain climbing, preparation is crucial not to give up in the middle of your way.

Mountain surfaces are rocky and uneven, and safe climbing is not about getting to the top. It’s about how you’ll be overcoming the obstacles on your way in the constant uphill movement for days, and to do so, you need a long-term, well-thought-out training plan. Even if your goal is not the highest summit, train as you’d been preparing for the trek to Everest base camp!

Personal Training Plan

Contrary to popular belief, everyone can do mountain climbing as long as the climber is sufficiently fit and has a mountaineer attitude. However, when you start to work on your training plan, you need to determine your goal and adjust the program to the type of climbing you will do.

There are two styles of climbing, expedition-style and alpine-style. Alpine is the most common and doesn’t require training with supplemental oxygen. But at the end of the day, both of the styles require long-term preparation, especially if you’re not in your best possible physical condition.

You have to take into account a lot of individual factors in your planned mountain trip. How many days you’ll be climbing? Do you need to train on new skills like rope climbing? What is your current fitness level? How much would your backpack weigh? And finally, how much time in a week can you sacrifice on training? 

Mountain Climbing


First and foremost, is to remember to maintain balance. If you plan to start training seven weeks in advance, start one or two weeks earlier than you’ve assumed. You don’t know the day or the hour of unexpected struggles and surprises during the time of your preparation. And an additional week or two of strengthening your body would be only advantageous!

Don’t train too excessively, and don’t forget about resting. For the best, you should train four, up to five if you plan an extremely demanding climb, times a week, and rest during the other days. Start gradually, and increase the intensity of the sessions for the best results. Plenty of inexperienced climbers throw themselves into the deep end in the beginning and lose the engagement and enjoyment that should be taken from the sessions. 

If you suffer from any injury, resign from the training. That’s the reason for adding the additional weeks to your training plan. Instead of intensive training, you can go for a long walk and hike to lower your heart rate and strengthen your body. It’s an efficient training as well!

Strength And Endurance

Remember that mountaineering training is not only about climbing. If you decide to take part in the marathon, your workout goes beyond running, right? You should be an athlete with a high level of technical competence and the endurance to support it.

Your training plan should include: 

  • Cardio workouts
  • Interval sessions
  • Mountain-bike-style training
  • Strength and endurance exercise
  • Balance and flexibility training 
  • Hiking

Climbing demands overall fitness abilities. Your heart and lungs need to be strong. You have to take the maximum possible amount of oxygen, as on the high mountains, the amount of available oxygen is limited, and each breath matters. That’s why interval training is so crucial. 

If you plan to climb with heavy equipment, strength training in the gym is inevitable, so you’ll be able to carry your backpack for many hours per day. Mountaineering also demands balance training as the surfaces you’re going to face are not always flat and easy to go through. 

It Doesn’t Have to Be Boring

Your cardio workouts, which are of the greatest importance, should be diversified. Your sessions can include swimming, cycling, walking stairs, or hiking to be prepared for the situations you can face during the expedition. 

A treadmill is also an option, but outdoor activities in demanding weather conditions prepare your body for lower temperatures. Moreover, various kinds of cardio training make you less bored than repetitive treadmill runs! 


To be in the best health, exercise, plan the training thoughtfully, and… climb! Long expeditions happen to be unexpected, and you need to be ready for all the possible challenges on your way. Before your planned trip, visit less rugged mountains, face rocky surfaces, so you know what awaits you on the summit.

Remember that you are doing it for yourself and have the attitude of a real climber. Be determined, set your goals, and follow the plan. Training your head is as essential as preparing your body. What you’ll feel once you conquer the rocky giant is incomparable, so tie up your sports shoes and play the game that is worth the reward!

Featured Image Credit: Pixabay