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Backpacker Magazine – September 2008

Custom Training: Exercises for Every Body Type

Get stronger and hike longer with a workout that matches your physique.

by: Pete Rognili

Every body is different, so why stick to a one-size-fits-all fitness routine? Physiologists sort body types into three general categories, each with its own strengths and weaknesses–and knowing your type helps you target weak points for faster improvement. Decide which "muscle personality" best describes you, then add these exercises–developed by Jackson Hole, Wyoming-based trainer Matt Delgado–for a customized workout.

You are Thin, with little muscle or fat
You have Endurance for big-mile days
You need Strength for steep climbs
The fix Box-ups develop quads, hamstrings, and upper back.

Face a jump box (a bit higher than knee height) with your feet hip-width apart. Hold a 10-pound weight in front of your chest. Keeping shoulders back and eyes forward, step onto the box, leading with your right foot. Step back to the floor, left foot first. Do 4 sets of 8 reps on each leg.


You are Muscular, with more strength than agility
You have Power for climbing rugged trails
You need Full-body conditioning to keep your core strong for scrambling stability
The fix Dumbbell swings work your entire body, focusing on legs, abs, and lower back.

Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart and toes pointed out at a 45-degree angle. Hold a 15-pound dumbbell in one hand between your knees. Keeping spine straight, squat to the floor, then rise to standing in one fluid motion, lifting the dumbbell toward the ceiling. Return to squatting position and repeat. Do 4 sets of 15 reps per arm.


You are Big-boned and gain weight easily
You have Strength to haul heavy loads
You need Trimming to improve endurance and keep weight down
The fix Progressive twists build lean muscle and burn fat.

While wearing a 15-pound daypack, lunge forward with your right leg until it's bent at a right angle. Pivot from the stomach by turning slowly to your left (take 5 seconds) and looking directly behind you. Return to a forward-facing position, then twist to your right. Step forward with your left leg to stand up. Do 15 reps with each leg leading.


Slim Down
Do more reps with lighter weights to tone muscle and burn fat.

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