Your Coach: Rob Shaul, founder of the Mountain Tactical Institute in Jackson, Wyoming, designed this workout for time-pressed hikers. Do it daily (alternating between maximum intensity and moderate intensity) and complete as many sets of the circuit as you can in 10 minutes.
Hikers know leg strength is important, but a strong upper body helps with pack comfort and stability on tricky terrain. Shaul stresses total-body fitness as the key to success in the mountains, and this exercise works your arms, chest, back, and core simultaneously.
Start in plank position with a dumbbell in each hand (25 pounds for men, 15 for women).
This exercise mimics hiking uphill under a load, building power in your quads, hamstrings, and glutes. Whether you’re dayhiking or grinding out hundreds of miles, these muscles are the engines driving you.
Stand facing a 20-inch box. Leading with your right leg and driving off your left, step up onto the box with both feet.
Hikers need aerobic fitness for steep hills and long days. This simple cardio workout gets you mountain-ready without having to spend hours on a treadmill. It also elevates your heart rate as you cycle back to the first two exercises, says Shaul, turning the whole circuit into a cardio challenge
Set up two cones or (other objects) 40 feet apart.