Get Strong for Summer
Developed in the mountains by backpackers for backpackers, our workout will prime your body for the best hiking season of your life.
Which hiker do you want to be: The switchback-gasping, hamstring-seizing slacker or the summit-tagging, all-day-striding workhorse? The gal who bails on the sunset sidehike, or the one who always pushes higher?
Easy choice, right? And easier said than done–until now. In search of a fitness plan that could whip us into shape fast, we tracked down Nate Goldberg, possibly the only guide in the United States who teaches hiking fitness for a living. An alpine instructor for two decades in the Alps and Rockies, Goldberg, 45, now directs the Summer Hiking Center at Colorado’s Beaver Creek Resort. "I’ve taken thousands of people into the mountains," says Goldberg, "and the most elementary lesson I’ve learned is that there’s an undeniable relationship between fitness and fun on the trail: The fitter you are, the more fun you have. End of story." We asked Goldberg to adapt a workout he shares with clients and create a preseason training plan for BACKPACKER readers looking to tackle tougher, higher trails. The result–a six-week program of strength, endurance, cross-training, and cardio exercises, plus bonus moves for overachievers–is the most hiking-specific program we’ve seen. Start right now, and we guarantee you’ll feel younger, stronger, and more agile by Memorial Day.