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kbstock
03-25-2018, 11:32
I'm currently going up and down from the first floor to the third floor of my house 25 times....which equates to 50 flights of steps (duh)....with my backpack on which currently contains a 16 pound bag of dog food (it packs nicely). Takes me about 22 minutes to do this. I know its a good cardio workout....but is it good training for when I get on the trail next month?

the weather here has been really crappy and I haven't wanted to get out in the wet and cold to train outside.....

Thanks!

jefals
03-25-2018, 11:44
I think it's good. That's what I used to do - 20 minutes climbing up and down my stairs, followed by 40 minutes on an elliptical, till I found an actual trail not too far from my house. I don't think anything beats actual hiking as a means of training, but stair climbing might be the next best thing.

BuckeyeBill
03-25-2018, 11:54
You certainly are preparing well. It will help out, but how are your legs feeling? Also remember it is easier to go down than it is up and once you reach Clingman's Dome, it's all downhill from there. :D

Feral Bill
03-25-2018, 11:57
You certainly are preparing well. It will help out, but how are your legs feeling? Also remember it is easier to go down than it is up and once you reach Clingman's Dome, it's all downhill from there. :D Uphill makes you work. Downhill does real damage.

AllDownhillFromHere
03-25-2018, 12:08
I do the same on a stairmaster at the gym. I think the only thing it doesn't really prepare you for (vs actual hiking) is the uneven nature of the trail footbed. I found that despite a lot of time on the machine, doing a 5 mile roadwalk with my pack on really did a number on my ankles and calves.

SOBO is all downhill, since Katahdin is taller than Springer. :cool:

moldy
03-25-2018, 12:39
Donít give yourself tendonitis by over doing it.

colorado_rob
03-25-2018, 12:46
Donít give yourself tendonitis by over doing it. I second this, being a fellow 61 year old. I'd back off on the stairs a bit and do more just plain walking, or find some hills with varying terrain. It's the constant identical repetition (like what stairs would do) that can create problems. Just an opinion of a semi-chronic tendonitis sufferer.

Hatchet_1697
03-25-2018, 13:10
Uphill makes you work. Downhill does real damage.

Very true.

OP, while not the same as being on the trail, it certainly helps with conditioning. If a hike averages 1200í of elevation gain a day then thatís 100 times up a single flight of stairs (~12í of elevation gain per flight). Since you have 3 flights thatís going ďupĒ 35 times with a pack.




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BuckeyeBill
03-25-2018, 13:32
Uphill makes you work. Downhill does real damage.

I try to use my trekking poles on both ups and downs and I go slower downhill to reduce the strain. It works for me but that's just me. YMMV

egilbe
03-25-2018, 13:38
Can always find a high rise near you and climb the stairs 4 or 5 times and see how that feels to you. As was mentioned, it develops your cardio conditioning, but you will the actual hiking is going to be a bit different. Take it easy for the first few weeks and remember to stretch your muscles out after your exercise while they are still warm. That goes for after a days hike, too.

Dogwood
03-25-2018, 13:47
I'm currently going up and down from the first floor to the third floor of my house 25 times....which equates to 50 flights of steps (duh)....with my backpack on which currently contains a 16 pound bag of dog food (it packs nicely). Takes me about 22 minutes to do this. I know its a good cardio workout....but is it good training for when I get on the trail next month?

the weather here has been really crappy and I haven't wanted to get out in the wet and cold to train outside.....

Thanks!

Yes, that's backpacking training. I like lower impact versions though - elliptic, stationary bicycling with the bike in the pool, walking with pack on the beach up and down deep soft sandy dunes, backpacking in the Gulf of Mexico and other flat bottomed bodies of water in 3-4 ft of water, 20-30 minutes on a trampoline, walking curbs in foul weather. Its a mistake to train only inside and only the body. As far as I can tell no one does a 2000 mile indoor linear non loop hike.

PennyPincher
03-25-2018, 13:57
Very true.

OP, while not the same as being on the trail, it certainly helps with conditioning. If a hike averages 1200’ of elevation gain a day then that’s 100 times up a single flight of stairs (~12’ of elevation gain per flight). Since you have 3 flights that’s going “up” 35 times with a pack.




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True. and when you have nothing other than stairs to work with it's worth doing. I will say though, a sustained UP of 1200' is a whole lot different then 3 flights Up then down, over and over. If you can find a very tall building or parking garage and have a more sustained effort on the Up, that would be better. I trained last year in a parking garage that only had 5 levels. I still got my butt kicked when I hit the mountains! LOL.

RockDoc
03-25-2018, 14:43
Sounds good, but you also want to develop endurance. We call it "time on your feet", like go out for 6-8 hours now and then.

Hatchet_1697
03-25-2018, 15:36
True, sustained ups are best for training, feel the burn. But you have to train with what you have available. I was thinking, if the stairs were covered with kids toys... especially things like LEGO blocks, Barbie dolls, and baseballs... with a few house plants thrown in, it might make a good simulation of the trail. :)


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Coffee
03-25-2018, 15:40
I trained for my first JMT (first hike longer than a week) in 2013 by climbing the stairs in my 18 story condominium building again and again. It seemed to work for me. But since then I've mainly stayed in shape off trail by running 30-40 miles per week.

egilbe
03-25-2018, 17:45
True, sustained ups are best for training, feel the burn. But you have to train with what you have available. I was thinking, if the stairs were covered with kids toys... especially things like LEGO blocks, Barbie dolls, and baseballs... with a few house plants thrown in, it might make a good simulation of the trail. :)


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Throw in the occasional snake, rat or housecat and it would be pretty close to real hiking

Dogwood
03-25-2018, 17:52
True, sustained ups are best for training, feel the burn. But you have to train with what you have available. I was thinking, if the stairs were covered with kids toys... especially things like LEGO blocks, Barbie dolls, and baseballs... with a few house plants thrown in, it might make a good simulation of the trail. :)

He he....Yeah!

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Yup. LOL....

rocketsocks
03-25-2018, 18:00
Army Training Sir!

scrabbler
03-25-2018, 18:02
Not a good way to train at all. About as good as watching YouTube for practical experience.

"I haven't wanted to get out in the wet and cold to train outside....."

Heh. Good luck hiking. Wow.

AllDownhillFromHere
03-25-2018, 19:26
Not a good way to train at all. About as good as watching YouTube for practical experience."I haven't wanted to get out in the wet and cold to train outside....."Heh. Good luck hiking. Wow.
The best part of the ignore list is that people volunteer for it.

Slo-go'en
03-25-2018, 20:19
Not wanting to go out in the wet and cold to train is a bit ironic, but an understandable sentiment. It is however, the best way to train. Walking for a few miles everyday is very beneficial.

Going up and down the stairs 25 times a day is better then doing nothing. Does it seem to have helped?

johnnybgood
03-25-2018, 20:53
Short answer ; yes . I did 4 months of cardiac rehab last year and lost 20 lbs. and gained better fitness by crushing the Stair Climber and Elliptical three days a week.

scrabbler
03-25-2018, 21:18
The best part of the ignore list is that people volunteer for it.

Fair enough, but at least explain your rational. There's NO WAY that club StairMaster is going to prepare you or the OP for a "hike". Yes, Im talking actually "being outside", on real ground, with real terrain. In the gym there'sn o twisting of the ankles, not real time shoe fit feel, no hardening of the feet skin, there are just so many dynamics that are missed. Google around and you will find countless articles about how gym machines such as the stairmaster are no substitute for real work up and down hill. Great for the yoga pants crowd though.

Dogwood
03-25-2018, 21:43
For myself, I would learn much less if I ignored that which I don't want to immediately consider. So many times after ignoring someone's post I'd go back to it later in a more receptive considerate state putting being offended or defensiveness aside finding myself saying "wow, they were right or that's worth considering or that has merit" even though I may disagree with it or simply decide that isn't going to be curgently embraced approach.

Hikemor
03-26-2018, 07:23
Stationary bike and stair stepper work best for me for indoor training. IMHO walking around the county park with a pack on is worthless.

Coffee
03-26-2018, 07:35
Seems like we're talking about two different things, both critical. One is having an adequate cardiovascular baseline to handle the rigors of hiking (the engine) and the other is having adequate strength, toughness and agility in the limbs (transmission). You can certainly achieve great cardiovascular ability never setting foot on uneven terrain but the transmission may be lacking.

FreeGoldRush
03-26-2018, 08:02
the weather here has been really crappy and I haven't wanted to get out in the wet and cold to train outside.....
Thanks!
This might be the bigger challenge. I've been out hiking in cold, rainy, muddy weather in an attempt to be less sensitive to these things. It's more fun than stairs.

BlackCloud
03-26-2018, 08:33
Better then stairs I find is a treadmill that inclines. While most will only go to 15%, some will go as far as 40%. By just walking 1 mile, several days a week @ 20%, I found hiking up to be much easier. The hard part is finding a gym with treadmills that go past that 15%.

garlic08
03-26-2018, 09:08
There is something to be said about embracing the suck. My best hike training was not owning a car, and bicycling to work for many winters in Seattle and Denver. And then climbing the 14 flights of commercial stairs to the office several times a day. Nearby in Denver was a 50-story building I could gain access to for a couple of laps once in a while.

I think it's good advice above about repetitive exercise doing damage. Take it slow and listen to your body.

And definitely good advice about downhill causing damage. On all my mountain trips, I consider the summit to be the easy part. The coming descent is the hard part. Everyone gets hurt after lunch. Same on the AT. All serious injuries I've heard about are a few miles from town on the last big descent of the day. Same on stairs--there's no such thing as a minor stumble when you're going down.

kbstock
03-26-2018, 09:16
I think it has helped....especially on the cardio end side of things....when I first started this about 3 weeks ago, I could only do a few flights. So I've seen improvement. I'm a bit anxious about an IT Band issue that plagued me last season and ruined a trip. Had a doctor work on it, lots of PT etc...I'm encouraged that I have no had NO iota of pain during the down hill flights.
Looks like the long snowy winter here in VA is finally over.....looking forward to getting to some hilly areas and doing some training outside.

johnnybgood
03-26-2018, 10:16
I now just realized we're from same neck of tha woods. We have had a wet cold winter for sure. A work friend recently returned here from Seattle after moving there a few years back. She said the weather hasn't been any different thus far.

MuddyWaters
03-26-2018, 16:59
As long as you workup a pouring sweat and breathe hard for 30 min to 1 hr at time, your doin some good.

Because, thats what gonna happen when you goin uphill.

Anything can help, or be useless, depending how you do it. Do it casually, and it will be limited benefit.

Dogwood
03-26-2018, 17:58
As long as you workup a pouring sweat and breathe hard for 30 min to 1 hr at time, your doin some good.

Because, thats what gonna happen when you goin uphill.

One can lessen or even eliminate this by ratcheting down pace and utilizing better technique.

Mugthumper
03-27-2018, 13:50
Steps with a loaded pack are a good way to improve your cardiovascular health if you can't get any time on trail. Another good idea is to mix in some squats, lunges, deadlifts or any other sort of lower body workouts. It all helps build lower body strength and most of it can be done in your spare time from the comfort of your living room. I also can't emphasize enough to develop a stretching routine.

As some others have said, it is also really easy to overdo it. I found out the hard way by acquiring Achilles tendinitis from taking the steps back down too quickly. I viewed it as the boring part and after weeks of training got to the point where I was running down the steps each time. After a week or two of recovery I slowed my descents and started planting the forward foot firmly upon stepping down every single time. Problem solved and I think it helps in strengthening the muscles around the knees much better.

Unfortunately, walking steps will do absolutely nothing for your ankle strength. Depending on the terrain you'll see on trail you can still expect to roll your ankle a few times until it strengthens up.

Even more unfortunate is that it just simply isn't a replacement for hiking. For last years hike I got to the point where I was walking steps with a loaded pack for 1.5 to 2 hours for 3400 steps 4-5 times a week. The trail still kicked my ass but I was able to handle the hills a little better without sucking so much wind. I'm sure someone else has already said it but the only way to prepare for walking up and down hills for 8-12 hours a day is to do it. For overall fitness and being trail ready, I'm going back to cross training. I'll still hit the steps, but not with nearly the frequency of what I did last season. Its just too boring and their are so many other fun activities to stay in shape.

Tipi Walter
03-27-2018, 14:24
Training for backpacking in my opinion comes by climbing steep hills with significant weight. Pulling repeated stair climbs up and down is a good way to duplicate hill climbs but I would dispense with the measly 16 lb pack and get used to doing it with something around 75 lbs. That's just me. Such weight really makes it a workout and duplicates long hiking days when your pack feels terrible and your legs are spent and you still have 3,000 feet to gain.

CalebJ
03-27-2018, 14:29
Training for backpacking in my opinion comes by climbing steep hills with significant weight. Pulling repeated stair climbs up and down is a good way to duplicate hill climbs but I would dispense with the measly 16 lb pack and get used to doing it with something around 75 lbs. That's just me. Such weight really makes it a workout and duplicates long hiking days when your pack feels terrible and your legs are spent and you still have 3,000 feet to gain.

You do realize that most of us have no interest whatsoever in carrying a load like that? Obviously it's reasonable for you because you're going out for weeks at a time, but for the rest that's just asking for preventable injuries.

Mugthumper
03-27-2018, 14:47
Training for backpacking in my opinion comes by climbing steep hills with significant weight. Pulling repeated stair climbs up and down is a good way to duplicate hill climbs but I would dispense with the measly 16 lb pack and get used to doing it with something around 75 lbs. That's just me. Such weight really makes it a workout and duplicates long hiking days when your pack feels terrible and your legs are spent and you still have 3,000 feet to gain.
I disagree.

Plenty of people walk/run steps without any additional weight and it is perfectly good cardio exercise.

I do think it is a better idea to walk with about as much weight as what you expect a fully loaded pack to weigh including 4-5 days of food and 2 liters of water. So base weight plus I dunno, say 15 lbs or so.

If someone isn't used to carrying heavier weight, advising them to carry 75 lbs on their back is just asking for injury on the descent. This goes doubly so for someone who has had knee issues in the past. It is a surefire path to IT band issues.

BuckeyeBill
03-27-2018, 14:50
You do realize that most of us have no interest whatsoever in carrying a load like that? Obviously it's reasonable for you because you're going out for weeks at a time, but for the rest that's just asking for preventable injuries.

Tipi didn't say anything about anyone else carry heavy. He even states that is the way he trains, "That's Just Me" clarified the suggestion of 75 lbs packs. Tipi is an avid outdoors man who tries to help people as much as possible. Granted he does things that most other hikers wouldn't even think about doing. But if you consider training with heavier weight, when you pack for your trip, that 15-25 lb pack (Unless you are a ultra light hiker and then that is even better) will feel like nothing. I know everyone throws out the HYOH, but it should be YMMV.

CalebJ
03-27-2018, 14:55
Training for backpacking in my opinion comes by climbing steep hills with significant weight. Pulling repeated stair climbs up and down is a good way to duplicate hill climbs but I would dispense with the measly 16 lb pack and get used to doing it with something around 75 lbs. That's just me. Such weight really makes it a workout and duplicates long hiking days when your pack feels terrible and your legs are spent and you still have 3,000 feet to gain.


Tipi didn't say anything about anyone else carry heavy. He even states that is the way he trains, "That's Just Me" clarified the suggestion of 75 lbs packs. Tipi is an avid outdoors man who tries to help people as much as possible. Granted he does things that most other hikers wouldn't even think about doing. But if you consider training with heavier weight, when you pack for your trip, that 15-25 lb pack (Unless you are a ultra light hiker and then that is even better) will feel like nothing. I know everyone throws out the HYOH, but it should be YMMV.

You and I clearly interpret the intent of his post differently.

Mugthumper
03-27-2018, 15:00
Tipi didn't say anything about anyone else carry heavy. He even states that is the way he trains, "That's Just Me" clarified the suggestion of 75 lbs packs. Tipi is an avid outdoors man who tries to help people as much as possible. Granted he does things that most other hikers wouldn't even think about doing. But if you consider training with heavier weight, when you pack for your trip, that 15-25 lb pack (Unless you are a ultra light hiker and then that is even better) will feel like nothing. I know everyone throws out the HYOH, but it should be YMMV.

I really enjoy reading Tipi's trip reports, posts, pretty much everything he posts, even though I don't always agree.

But not every poster will be familiar with Tipi so I also think it is a good idea to set realistic expectations for someone who is asking for advice.

Tipi Walter
03-27-2018, 15:13
Most backpackers won't have the opportunity to carry a 75+lb pack because their trips are either short or their resupply opportunities ample. Their packs COULD get heavier if they want to include more comforts items and a heavier shelter etc etc. Books. Weird fruits like cantaloupe or avocados, even a Watermelon AGHAST.

But BuckeyeBill brings up a good point---the benefits of training with significantly more weight than you will be carrying on the actual trip. Part of backpacking is all about Managing Discomfort---and a big part of backpacking is dealing with long days, tired legs, sore tendons, a sprained brain, cold and exhaustion---Oh and with pack weight on your back.

One way to duplicate such distress IN TRAINING is to carry more weight---in training.

BuckeyeBill
03-27-2018, 15:30
You and I clearly interpret the intent of his post differently.

In his first statement about training for backpacking he says"In my Opinion" is steep hills with heavy loads. His third sentence again says something similar "That's Just Me". He didn't say do it this way or you will fail or do it my way or it's the highway. He was just offering an opinion and we know that not all people will agree. You make it sound so stupid to follow his advice that anyone else will suffer incapacitating injury. I have done both the PCT and the CDT and there are times when you are carrying heavier loads because of towns being so far apart. I guess the AT spoils some people with towns located every 3-5 days apart. But this is just "my opinion."


I really enjoy reading Tipi's trip reports, posts, pretty much everything he posts, even though I don't always agree.

But not every poster will be familiar with Tipi so I also think it is a good idea to set realistic expectations for someone who is asking for advice.

You are absolutely correct. Some times I wish I could pack and go for a couple months, but hiking season coincides with car show season. Some local events for charity and then several National events that award them big pretty trophies. Besides I like building cars. As Joe Martin says "We knock out the ugly and put in the cool."

Mugthumper
03-27-2018, 15:36
Tipi, I pretty much agree with almost everything you said in the last post.

The issue I have with it is, that it just isn't applicable to the OP. The poster is leaving in a month also stated that they have had IT band issues in the past year. They are currently training with 16 lbs and there is no conceivable way for them safely up their weight to 75 lbs in the time frame.

They would be month more likely to injure themselves instead.

I think it is fine to advise someone to up their intensity for better results, but there has to be some sort of frame of reference.

CalebJ
03-27-2018, 15:38
In his first statement about training for backpacking he says"In my Opinion" is steep hills with heavy loads. His third sentence again says something similar "That's Just Me". He didn't say do it this way or you will fail or do it my way or it's the highway. He was just offering an opinion and we know that not all people will agree. You make it sound so stupid to follow his advice that anyone else will suffer incapacitating injury. I have done both the PCT and the CDT and there are times when you are carrying heavier loads because of towns being so far apart. I guess the AT spoils some people with towns located every 3-5 days apart. But this is just "my opinion."

Ugh.

Yes - as I said, there are times when you need to carry heavier loads. For other trails, for what Tipi regularly does, etc.

That does -not- make it a good idea to regularly train with excessive loads like the suggested 75 pounds. It can improve muscle strength, but at the risk of overuse injuries. In a controlled environment, it can be done correctly and safely. Done haphazardly, it can lead to both acute and chronic injuries. There's a reason the military has to cover a lot of disability issues when members get out from regularly working with a flack jacket loaded with interceptor plates, heavy pack, etc...

Tipi Walter
03-27-2018, 15:55
Tipi, I pretty much agree with almost everything you said in the last post.

The issue I have with it is, that it just isn't applicable to the OP. The poster is leaving in a month also stated that they have had IT band issues in the past year. They are currently training with 16 lbs and there is no conceivable way for them safely up their weight to 75 lbs in the time frame.

They would be month more likely to injure themselves instead.

I think it is fine to advise someone to up their intensity for better results, but there has to be some sort of frame of reference.

Length of daily hours hiking on the trail could/may/will/maybe not aggravate his current IT band issues. These issues could keep the OP from completing his trip. By training with more weight the OP could duplicate long days hiking with a lighter pack and see if he experiences any IT band issues (but 75 lbs is excessive). In other words, if he hikes 8 to 10 hours a day with a 16 lb pack (or maybe more on the actual hike)---he will find out if he can handle it. This is not something he can do in training.

THEREFORE train with more weight for much shorter periods of time to see if he then has any band issues. The weight in training therefore duplicates the much longer hours during the actual trip.

I agree my 75 lb training weight is way out in left field regarding the OP's situation. I pretty much concentrated on his first thread post and didn't catch the IT band issues until later.

Mugthumper
03-27-2018, 15:56
You are absolutely correct. Some times I wish I could pack and go for a couple months, but hiking season coincides with car show season. Some local events for charity and then several National events that award them big pretty trophies. Besides I like building cars. As Joe Martin says "We knock out the ugly and put in the cool."

Oh, I'd absolutely be able to do what Tipi does. Maybe not all the time, because I really like doing more miles, but man would it be nice to just move at a slower pace once in a while and to be able to disconnect from everything. It is really hard for me to shake the feeling that I need to see as much as possible in as short of time possible.

For me its my kids. Still too young to join in for an extended hike although my oldest is getting close. My wife, who is the absolute best, already gave me the green light for a 3-4 month trip, Its just a matter of waiting for my children to all be in school. In the meantime I have to 'settle' for a yearly 3-4 week trips with some weekenders mixed in. I couldn't be luckier.

CalebJ
03-27-2018, 15:58
Dang. I'm lucky to get away for a few weekends a year right now. The last time I got a week approved was four years ago.

BuckeyeBill
03-27-2018, 16:44
Getting off work when I want to is why I am self employed. Yea the boss is an ahole but he treats us really good.

Mugthumper
03-27-2018, 16:46
Last post should say, that I'd love to be able to do what Tipi does. I don't know that I'd be able to though. Seriously, the weight you carry Tipi is pretty hardcore. I've moved about at far as possible in the opposite direction over the past 4 or 5 years and sometimes I really miss the comforts. Hell, this year I'm going back to frameless and scaling down to a 26 liter pack just to see if I can get away with it.

Its funny how leaving out a key word or two completely changes the meaning of what I was trying to say. I read my last post, and was like wait what, that isn't what I was trying to say.

Mugthumper
03-27-2018, 16:53
Getting off work when I want to is why I am self employed. Yea the boss is an ahole but he treats us really good.

For me, I guess you could say I 'lucked out' and got laid off a couple weeks before my first child was born. I've been a stay at home father ever since while my wife put in the hours at work. Now she works from home and has basically said that I deserve to get out of the house for some me time. Its sure funny how life works out.

rocketsocks
03-27-2018, 17:17
Great way to build quads.

TexasBob
03-27-2018, 17:43
You do realize that most of us have no interest whatsoever in carrying a load like that? Obviously it's reasonable for you because you're going out for weeks at a time, but for the rest that's just asking for preventable injuries.

Yeah like falling backward down the stairs when the 75 lb pack pulls you over. :)

PennyPincher
03-27-2018, 18:25
Most backpackers won't have the opportunity to carry a 75+lb pack because their trips are either short or their resupply opportunities ample. Their packs COULD get heavier if they want to include more comforts items and a heavier shelter etc etc. Books. Weird fruits like cantaloupe or avocados, even a Watermelon AGHAST.

But BuckeyeBill brings up a good point---the benefits of training with significantly more weight than you will be carrying on the actual trip. Part of backpacking is all about Managing Discomfort---and a big part of backpacking is dealing with long days, tired legs, sore tendons, a sprained brain, cold and exhaustion---Oh and with pack weight on your back.

One way to duplicate such distress IN TRAINING is to carry more weight---in training.

Agreed. though I would caution someone who is going to carry 25lbs when backpacking that they likely shouldn't "train" with 75lbs. Certainly that would require a different backpack and maybe even different footwear. Last spring I was "training" by doing local training hikes on the "hilly" section of our local park. These weren't even mole hill sized! But I did wear my fully loaded pack and some days I was even able to do 10 miles in the park and then 3750 stairs (5 flights at a time, 75 stairs up) depending on time constraints.

Maybe I should start carrying an extra 10 pounds or so.

PennyPincher
03-27-2018, 18:40
Most backpackers won't have the opportunity to carry a 75+lb pack because their trips are either short or their resupply opportunities ample. Their packs COULD get heavier if they want to include more comforts items and a heavier shelter etc etc. Books. Weird fruits like cantaloupe or avocados, even a Watermelon AGHAST.

But BuckeyeBill brings up a good point---the benefits of training with significantly more weight than you will be carrying on the actual trip. Part of backpacking is all about Managing Discomfort---and a big part of backpacking is dealing with long days, tired legs, sore tendons, a sprained brain, cold and exhaustion---Oh and with pack weight on your back.

One way to duplicate such distress IN TRAINING is to carry more weight---in training.

Agreed. though I would caution someone who is going to carry 25lbs when backpacking that they likely shouldn't "train" with 75lbs. Certainly that would require a different backpack and maybe even different footwear. Last spring I was "training" by doing local training hikes on the "hilly" section of our local park. These weren't even mole hill sized! But I did wear my fully loaded pack and some days I was even able to do 10 miles in the park and then 3750 stairs (5 flights at a time, 75 stairs up) depending on time constraints.

Maybe I should start carrying an extra 10 pounds or so.

Crossup
03-28-2018, 10:03
I'd like to back up what Tipi says about training with "extra" weight(you pick the numbers). Years ago I dislocated my foot(surgery with screws and pins and a special procedure) and of course I needed PT.

Being about as severe as such injuries can be I was informed that I would have 10 years of pain free function followed by the onset of arthritis which would worsen till I would want to have it fused(also an option at the time of injury)to keep the pain down to where I could walk etc(albeit with a limp).
As an active guy I figured I was doing pretty good to only be aware of my injury for a few minutes in the morning or the day after if I had really stressed it by things like running/jumping. Fast forward 18 years and its beginning to be obvious, despite the extra years, they were right that the fix would not last forever. So I decided if I was going to do some serious hiking, now was the time while I still could.

So I make a plan, start training a couple weeks ahead of departure with a loaded pack(with what I thought would be my load~30lbs). It only took a few days to realize something odd was going on...instead of the strain aggravating the injury it almost seemed like it was improving. By the time I leave I find the 30lbs is seeming a bit lighter and packed up I'm now at 40lbs, oh well the extra 10lbs shouldnt be too big of a deal given the training right?

My wife drops me off and it takes almost no time to realize that my "training" had no doubt helped BUT the trail was an order of magnitude harder and with 25% of my body weight added to my back 40lbs was indeed a significant load. Against all expectations, instead of my injury complaining, it seemed to be feeling better and better. After a full week on the trail I find my injury is better than it had(maybe ever) been, and 40(sometimes closer to 50)lbs became so easy to carry I could literally jog with it.

HINDSIGHT tells me this now: if you do PT for an injury, continue with it well PAST normal use/loads/stresses. You will loose some of what you gain during PT once you stop. If you stop at "normal" you will end up below normal with time. I think the same goes for "training".

Second, it may never be too late to improve function using exercise/PT and if its doing you good, you should see results fairly quickly if you are in fact needing therapy.

Third, do your training and prep work but in the end, nothing prepares you for the trail like just doing it- so just realized you will need to start out within your comfort range and then ramp up things as your body adjusts to the trail.

Crossup
03-28-2018, 10:08
I should add that for my injury it seems the tendency to being arthritic involves the muscles and surrounding tissue as much or more than the actual joint involved. The point being the improvement in pain/stiffness etc is from strenghtening those muscles/tissue which is directly applicable to the OP's question.

CalebJ
03-28-2018, 10:48
I'd like to back up what Tipi says about training with "extra" weight(you pick the numbers). Years ago I dislocated my foot(surgery with screws and pins and a special procedure) and of course I needed PT.

Being about as severe as such injuries can be I was informed that I would have 10 years of pain free function followed by the onset of arthritis which would worsen till I would want to have it fused(also an option at the time of injury)to keep the pain down to where I could walk etc(albeit with a limp).
As an active guy I figured I was doing pretty good to only be aware of my injury for a few minutes in the morning or the day after if I had really stressed it by things like running/jumping. Fast forward 18 years and its beginning to be obvious, despite the extra years, they were right that the fix would not last forever. So I decided if I was going to do some serious hiking, now was the time while I still could.

So I make a plan, start training a couple weeks ahead of departure with a loaded pack(with what I thought would be my load~30lbs). It only took a few days to realize something odd was going on...instead of the strain aggravating the injury it almost seemed like it was improving. By the time I leave I find the 30lbs is seeming a bit lighter and packed up I'm now at 40lbs, oh well the extra 10lbs shouldnt be too big of a deal given the training right?

My wife drops me off and it takes almost no time to realize that my "training" had no doubt helped BUT the trail was an order of magnitude harder and with 25% of my body weight added to my back 40lbs was indeed a significant load. Against all expectations, instead of my injury complaining, it seemed to be feeling better and better. After a full week on the trail I find my injury is better than it had(maybe ever) been, and 40(sometimes closer to 50)lbs became so easy to carry I could literally jog with it.

HINDSIGHT tells me this now: if you do PT for an injury, continue with it well PAST normal use/loads/stresses. You will loose some of what you gain during PT once you stop. If you stop at "normal" you will end up below normal with time. I think the same goes for "training".

Second, it may never be too late to improve function using exercise/PT and if its doing you good, you should see results fairly quickly if you are in fact needing therapy.

Third, do your training and prep work but in the end, nothing prepares you for the trail like just doing it- so just realized you will need to start out within your comfort range and then ramp up things as your body adjusts to the trail.
For what it's worth, I don't actually disagree with any of that. Weight training does have a purpose. I try to be in the gym every day working on deadlifts, squat, pullups, pushups, etc specifically for that reason. My reaction earlier was to the idea of throwing on a 75 pound pack with no real training plan other than getting out and walking. That much weight introduces complications on loading the pack onto your back, balance, knee and ankle concerns, etc. With a careful buildup it's probably fine. Tipi's been doing it for years. Just build to it slowly and cautiously.

lonehiker
03-28-2018, 11:14
I used to simply do 15 minutes of hula hoop a day and play pickleball all winter. But, now that I'm older that isn't quite enough so I now augment the pickleball with a spin class 3 days a week. To me the key is keeping the feet (and ankles) conditioned hence the pickleball as it has a lot of stop and go movement (think tennis). This regimen allows me to approach 20s right out of the gate. I also have a little weightlifting routine that I do 2-3 times a week but that isn't really for hiking purposes but rather to maintain some muscle tone in the upper body as I age.

John M
03-29-2018, 08:42
Some good info here. Living in Louisiana (no hills within 50 miles) makes training hikes difficult. I do a ton of stairs at work and in the past have loaded up my pack and gone to the local high school football stadium to climb bleachers. Stepping it up this year by adding running, stairmaster, and incline treadmill walks. I typically try to load my pack for training with 10lbs over what my expected pack weight on the trail will be.

Recalc
03-29-2018, 09:29
I typically try to load my pack for training with 10lbs over what my expected pack weight on the trail will be.

This makes sense to me. One year, I trained with 2 and 1/2 times my pack weight. Like John M's situation, there is a shortage of hills where I live, so stairs were used. Believe this made you stronger, but not as trail ready.

Too many areas of training were not addressed. Now do more miles with lower pack weights plus squats, lunges, and cardio to supplement. Found a state park with a hiking trail (baby hills) to help ankles and the shifting motion. Not the same as going on a real hike, but a little closer.

TEXMAN
04-07-2018, 10:06
Fair enough, but at least explain your rational. There's NO WAY that club StairMaster is going to prepare you or the OP for a "hike". Yes, Im talking actually "being outside", on real ground, with real terrain. In the gym there'sn o twisting of the ankles, not real time shoe fit feel, no hardening of the feet skin, there are just so many dynamics that are missed. Google around and you will find countless articles about how gym machines such as the stairmaster are no substitute for real work up and down hill. Great for the yoga pants crowd though.
Not all of us are lucky enough to live where outside looks like North Carolina. Here in Dallas when I "HIKE" 5 flights of a parking garage I am at the highest point for a 30 mile radius...I can walk all day long outside and never use the muscles I will feel climbing that first hill on the AT.

MuddyWaters
04-07-2018, 21:31
Steps are better than laying on sofa eating bon-bons.

Weight training, running, cardio year round have always worked well for me. Only a couple days and im on cruise control. YMMV.

Ethesis
04-08-2018, 11:08
Not all of us are lucky enough to live where outside looks like North Carolina. Here in Dallas when I "HIKE" 5 flights of a parking garage I am at the highest point for a 30 mile radius...I can walk all day long outside and never use the muscles I will feel climbing that first hill on the AT.


True even of the hiking paths in Plano and along the trinity. You will get more vertical in that garage than 4-5 Miles of hiking will give you here.

George
04-09-2018, 09:36
I do the same on a stairmaster at the gym. I think the only thing it doesn't really prepare you for (vs actual hiking) is the uneven nature of the trail footbed. I found that despite a lot of time on the machine, doing a 5 mile roadwalk with my pack on really did a number on my ankles and calves.

SOBO is all downhill, since Katahdin is taller than Springer. :cool:

I like to use the bottom of the stair master until the foot ages up and slips off - straight up and from both sides - good stretching and endurance training

saltysack
04-10-2018, 18:44
Steps are better than laying on sofa eating bon-bons.

Weight training, running, cardio year round have always worked well for me. Only a couple days and im on cruise control. YMMV.

+1....if your in good physical condition it makes the trail much easier.....I live at sea level in Fl and never have an issue hitting 18-20 mpd first day out.....I do remember being in a high rise hotel downtown Miami a few years ago climbing stairs just before I flew out to do JMT....the golden staircase was a BITCH...training or not!!!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

AllDownhillFromHere
04-10-2018, 20:10
I like to use the bottom of the stair master until the foot ages up and slips off - straight up and from both sides - good stretching and endurance training
I found a significant boost comes from not holding onto the rails/sides of the stairmaster as well. It's subtle, but after a few steps you really feel the additional calf and other balance muscles kicking in.

lonehiker
04-10-2018, 22:17
I found a significant boost comes from not holding onto the rails/sides of the stairmaster as well. It's subtle, but after a few steps you really feel the additional calf and other balance muscles kicking in.

You see people making the same mistake with treadmills on high incline. They grab the console which negates the entire purpose of the incline.

Night Train
04-11-2018, 23:03
Absolutely! Hard work matters.