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Quick question: strength building!

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Old 08-14-2008, 01:49 PM   #1
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Question Quick question: strength building!

Hi! I'm going on a trip to Costa Rica with my high school and we'll be doing a lot of hiking and camping. I've lost a considerable amount of weight already, but now I'd like to focus on building strength. My freind and I both kind of consider ourselves a little weak when it comes to activities like hiking and running and even lifting things, but thats what we need to do at Costa Rica.

We have a "practice" camping trip in October. I'd like to boost my strength significantly or as much as I can by that time at least. The actual trip is in a year.

Can anyone help us out or have any tips? We're open to anything that may help. Thankyou
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Old 08-14-2008, 11:44 PM   #2
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The best practice for your trip, of course, would be to get a backpack and find yourself some hilly areas and get some real experience. If you can't find some suitable areas, still get a back pack and find a treadmill and keep varying the incline at random intervals. Add weight to the backpack overtime so that by the time of your practice trip, you are carrying what you will be carrying then.
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Old 08-14-2008, 11:56 PM   #3
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What he said!

I'm living in Costa Rica. It is very mountainous here & the only real way to prepare for that is to practice it as closely as you can. If you don't have hills a stairclimber or actual stairs can be good training too.

Be prepared to have a couple days when you arrive that you feel sacked as the elevation change can really affect some people.
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Old 09-01-2008, 11:49 PM   #4
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Consider hiring a trainer for just one session - to write you a good strength training program, that can also be updated once every 6 - 8 weeks.
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Old 09-09-2008, 08:10 AM   #5
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Anything that works the "climbing uphill" muscles will help you prepare for hills. In a gym: stairmaster, step mill, versa-climber, treadmill on incline, or step aerobics class. If outside of a gym: stairs, hills, or even pseudo-hills like a bridge. You can walk, jog, or do intervals. It's hard to prepare for the downhill segments (which can be just as hard with a heavy backpack!), without getting on some kind of actual hill. Squats and lunges (I like walking lunges) are also great leg strengthening moves.

It's important to do some all-around strength training too -- you need a strong core and arm muscles for carrying that back pack and luggage.

Make sure you get good quality, comfortable hiking shoes -- and break them in well before you go! Also, invest in good quality hiking socks and clothing that is not cotton (cotton kills). You want something that is rugged that will wick out moisture and evaporate it. Take layers so you can adjust to changing temperatures and conditions.

It's great that you're going on a trial camping trip, that will be an ideal opportunity to check out your gear so you can make adjustments before the "big" trip later! Sounds like great fun!
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Old 09-09-2008, 10:03 AM   #6
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I was going to say, while building the strength in your legs is important, don't ignore your upper body and your core. I used to hike and camp and I gotta say that it doesn't matter how strong your legs are, if your back aches at the end of the day from carrying a pack ... you're gonna be miserable!

I would also hire a trainer for just one or two sessions to help you develop a routine that you can use to build muscle and strength.

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Old 09-09-2008, 10:14 AM   #7
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One thing I'd say since hiking is one of my things is that you can do all the strength training and cardio in the gym but it can help but the best thing to prepare for hiking is to hike. You can improve quickly if you start with your current abilities and then do increasingly harder hikes.
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Old 09-09-2008, 10:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nelie View Post
One thing I'd say since hiking is one of my things is that you can do all the strength training and cardio in the gym but it can help but the best thing to prepare for hiking is to hike. You can improve quickly if you start with your current abilities and then do increasingly harder hikes.
Amen! If you can do any day trips to local parks and get out to hike trails, that would be ideal.
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Old 09-09-2008, 06:42 PM   #9
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And I'll second the wicking type clothing. Costa Rica's weather is hot or hot and humid.
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