A lot of people ask me how do I prepare for Everest Base Camp trek or how to get fit for Everest base camp?
My only answer is- train hard and train well.
Though Everest Base Camp trek is very accessible and doable for most people without prior trekking experience, the EBC trek should not be underestimated.
You don’t need to be a super athlete to complete the Everest Base Camp trek. But you need to take a common sense approach to your training for Everest base camp hike and give your body adequate time to prepare for what is ahead.
Before you actually start your training program, take some time to explore the trail. As you’ve probably realized by now, different trails have a different level of difficulty. Everest Base Camp trek is a trek with a medium level of difficulty.
Additional info: Popular Trails in Everest Region: Jiri to Everest Base Camp Trek, Everest Base camp Trek via Gokyo Lake, Everest Three High Passes Trek
If you are not very fit at all, then you can start a sensible training program six to twelve months in advance is not “too early”.
If you are already reasonably fit i.e. currently involved in running sports, then you’re already halfway there.
In this Everest Base Camp Training Program article I’ve outlined the five things you can do to be perfectly prepared for your trek.
Aerobic Training for Everest Base Camp Trek
Aerobic training is also known as cardiovascular training. During the trek, your lungs will be working hard, especially at higher altitude.
Cardiovascular fitness is the ability of the heart and lungs to supply oxygen-rich blood to working muscles during sustained physical activity.
So you need to be sure that your cardiovascular fitness is at the best. This will also ensure you can trek for long periods of time each day.
Aerobic training includes the training for your heart, lung, and blood cells. You can go for regular jogging, walking up and down, and cycling. It is also good to have the cardio-training for 4-6 months before the trek.
Aerobic exercise like running, jogging, swimming, cycling stimulated the heart and breathing rate. This will help to increase the rate in a way that can be sustained for the trekking period.
Also, as the time goes by, you’ll notice you’ll be getting much fitter and able to endure a long distance which exactly what you need for your trip.
During Everest Base Camp trek you need to go as slow as possible. Your body needs time to acclimatize to the high altitude. The strong cardiovascular system will not only help you it’ll also push yourself too hard.
Strength Endurance Training for Everest Base Camp Trek
With aerobic training for Everest Base Camp trek, you also require training of leg strength and muscular endurance. It is complete 12 days trek and you need to walk for minimum 6-7 hours in a day.
This will not only make your adventures much more enjoyable but it’ll also help keep you injury free.
For this, your leg muscles, shoulders, and back should be strong. Thus, you need to be the focus on building strength in your legs, upper body, and lower body as well.
To strengthen your lower body you can try some of these exercises; lunges, squats, and step aerobics.
During the trek, you have to carry a backpack that can weigh up to 15 kg and you might need to walk for several hours. So, at this point, you might regret not being for a physically stronger.
So, it’s important to build the strength of your core muscles and upper shoulder muscles.
To strength on your core muscles like stomach, a lower body you can do sit-ups, sings, shoulder press, back and shoulder flies.
Altitude Training for Everest Base Camp Trek
Altitude sickness is not a joke. It can affect people of all fitness level and ages.
It has to do with your body not being able to process enough oxygen from the air especially at the higher altitude.
Symptoms include a headache, fatigue, dizziness, sleep disturbance, and stomach illness.
If you feel unwell during the trek, notify your guides and monitor your symptoms carefully. Acute mountain sickness can progress to pulmonary edema (fluid in your lungs) or cerebral edema (swelling of your brain). If it is not treated on time, these can be fatal.
So, it is highly recommended spending 1-2 days in Namche Bazaar and Dingboche. On the acclimatization day, you’ll go for light hiking. This will help with acclimatizing to the higher altitude.
Actually, unless you live at the altitude there is no way to truly train for this.
So, the key is to walk slowly, drink plenty of waters. Your body will slowly adjust as you trek to base camp.
Train hard but trek slow !!!
Hiking Training for Everest Base Camp Trek
Everest Base Camp trek is a multi-day hike. The best way to prepare for a long hike is to do some trekking.
Really weekend hiking is something you must look forward to the most !!! These small hikes are a good way to train for mount Everest base camp and get a feel for walking across different types of terrain.
At least once a week, you can go for a small hike or go for a longer walk.
You can mix these small hikes with your aerobic and strength conditioning training and fully prepare yourself for the trek.
This is a key to build endurance and get used to walking for a longer period of time. As no treadmill or stairs can recreate the conditions of a hiking trail.
So, you need to practice going on hikes weekly at least every two weeks. Try to recreate the conditions of your trek as much as you can like wear the shoes, backpack, socks, and clothes that you’ll be bringing to the real hike.
This will also ensure all the equipment is well-broken in and comfortably familiar to use on the real trail.
Additionally, these small hikes allow you to discover some amazing places and offer a great chance to get in touch with nature.
Mental Preparation for Everest Base Camp Trek
Some say the trek is 70% mental toughness and 30% physical toughness. You’re required to concentrate all day to avoid slips, or any other injuries.
During the trek, while you’re walking along the Everest Base Camp trail, you might get tired, wet, muddy, and exhausted.
This is the time where we have to find something within yourself to keep going.
Sometimes our body is fine but our mind wants to play games with us !!!
Pushing through these mental games is the most rewarding thing and when you actually reach the base of the world highest peak, you’ll know what you’ve achieved !!!
You must be well prepared for this trek, both physically and mentally. The steep trail is a test for your physical fitness and mindset.
So, make sure that you must come with a good attitude for Everest Base Camp trek.
Reason for Everest Base Camp Training Program
If you’re physically fit for Everest base camp you’ll get the fulltime of enjoyment during your trekking trip. Some of the best reason why should you need to get involved in Everest Base Camp training program are;
- It strengthens your heart, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke.
- It improves breathing, circulation, and endocrine functions.
- It tones your muscles.
- It strengthens your bones and reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
- It burns your calories and helps you to get in shape.
- It reduces blood fat and cholesterol level.
- It boosts mental performance and improves psychological well-being.
- It enables you to solve a problem.
- It reduces anxiety.
Everest Base Camp Training Program Tips
- Long hikes on hilly or mountainous terrain are best as they’ll replicate what you’re preparing for.
- Daily cardiovascular workouts are best. A workout can mix cardio with strength exercise.
- If you’re going on a backpacking trip, you can put 8-10 kg of weight into your backpack and hike with it.
- Always stretch before and after workouts for 5-10 minutes. Be sure to stretch all your major leg muscle, your shoulder, and your back muscles.
- Drink plenty of fluids, 3-5 liters of water and juice depending on your body weight.
- Eat a well-balanced diet with lots of green vegetables and fruits. Avoid highly caffeinated drinks, alcohol, and sugary foods.
Everest Base Camp trek is not extremely tough. In fact, most people of various ages and fitness levels had completed.
But it is important that you’re fit. The fitter and stronger you’re the more you’ll enjoy your Everest Base Camp Trek.
Really, the longer you train- the better !!!
Focus on above Everest Base Camp Training program you’ll definitely have an incredible time trekking to one of the world’s best trekking destinations.
Challenge yourself, overcome your fears, come and walk the famous Everest Base Camp Trail !!!