Ahhh… Every time I watch 300 I feel the need to pick up a spear, spray on my six-pack and kick some ass!…

But, for real, we can learn so much from the Spartans! Training for war was what they breathed, ate, and drank! Granted, in the end of the movie they all die, but the ratio of Persian deaths to Spartan deaths was 1000/1. Yes I just made that up, but it sounded good right?

Anyway, to get to the point of this blog. I have ADD, beware! Training for any athletic even, whether it be football, marathons, soccer, or kicking some ass in the art of war, you have to train in order to prevent injury, prepare your body, and, of course, succeed! As a personal trainer I thought it would be awesome to share my “off season” and “preseason” training plans. I am open to any suggestions from veteran thru-hikers as well, so please feel free to comment. I have been training to thru-hike the AT since October 2012 when I decided to do the trail and although I think it is impossible to completely train for a 2,189 mile hike with a 30-40lbs pack, burning 4,000 calories a day, and hiking 7 days a week, I think I have found the training plan that will get me ready.

Off Season:

Like any athlete we have an “off season”, which in the case of a thru-hike would be from the time you commit to the thru-hike until about 3 months before your leave date. In this time period incorporating a lot of cross-training to provide a variety to my work out that will make my body well rounded and will, also, work on my weakness. Each week I partake in 3 spin classes, 1-hour daily hikes after work, strength training, and on Sundays I do 14-mile hikes at a local state park. In my strength training I alternate every 5 weeks between endurance training(15-18 reps), classic training or what I call “beef mode training”(8-12 reps), dynamic training(12-15 reps, with multiple muscles groups being worked per exercise) , circuit training(timed 35 sec on-20 sec off). After every session I always end with static stretching (stretching while at rest) to help prevent injury and keep me limber! Love me some Gumby!

Typical week schedule:

  • 4:55am-5:45am Strength training
  • 5:45am-6:30 Spin class or incline on treadmill with 20lb weight vest.
  • 6:30am-6:45am Static stretching
  • 5:30pm-6:45pm Weighted hike with pack or weight vest

ft blg 2

ft blog 1

My ma and me hiking on my Sunday hike

My ma and me hiking on my Sunday hike.


Time to get down to business!! For my preseason training, this is where I will need to start focusing on the exercises that will replicate actions in long distance hiking. First, I am going to cut out the classic strength training and focus on the circuit and dynamic training. For my AM cardio I plan to stop taking the spins classes and starting doing a circuit between incline on the treadmill and the stair machine with the weigh vest. My ultimate goal is to hit 20 miles on my Sunday hikes before my leave dates, so each week I am going to hit 1 mile extra.

That is what I’ve got so far in regards to training! Let me know what you think and if any there questions please comment! Happy trails!!

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