In order to get in shape for my Appalachian Trail (AT) Hike I have been going to our local YMCA since January. Ideally it takes about 3 months of prep time to get you ready for such a journey. Remember I “intend” to hike the entire 2185 miles of the AT.

This 3 months of training is simply to get me “USED TO” using the muscles that will be needed for this hike. It is also meant to ensure that I have the “PHYSICAL CAPABILITY” to make the journey.

The workout I am doing is “NOT MEANT” to make me go faster, go longer, or get me stronger. That will come over time as I hike the trail.

I would like to show you how I start out my routine in the swimming pool but I cannot. The pictures wouldn’t show well enough for you to understand. Don’t worry though I have lots of other pictures πŸ™‚

Basically I do a 1 hour stretching routine in the lap pool. I start by treading water to warm up. Then I swim a lap and start to stretch at the low end. I do a series of leg and arm stretches. I then do another lap and repeat the stretches again. This happens 3-4 times. Next I do 3 different types of lunges. Each version of lunges I do for one length of the pool. Lunges are a walking leg stretch for those who don’t know. The type I do are used in Tai Chi. After these I head to the deep end where I hold onto the wall and do flutter kicks and swim kicks etc… Then I tread water for few minutes.

After the stretching routine I head to the warming pool and let the jets massage my back muscles.

The swim session takes about one hour.

Next I head upstairs to the weight/workout room…

I start by stretching out with the YOGA BALL as seen here…

 

I stretch my back and legs on the BALL then my back and arms using the POLE

 

After that I head to the NEVER ENDING STAIRS for 10 minutes… I hate it but it helps prepare me for climbing the mountains πŸ™‚

never-ending-stairs

I wear my backpack packed exactly as it will be for my hike.

Next up is the TREADMILL for 20 minutes…

treadmill

Here I do the random hill routine. I set it to give its maximum elevation incline of 20 and max speed of 3 mph. So that means it changes throughout the workout from 0* incline to a gradual incline until I hit 20*. My pace starts out at 1 mph then quickly in the first minute increases to 1.5 then 2 mph by the second minute. From here I average a rate of 2.5 mph.

Next up are the leg machines…

Starting with LEG EXTENSIONS, I do 4 sets of 20 reps resting between sets.

leg-extension

 

Next up I do 4 sets of 20 reps resting between sets of LEG CURLS

leg-curl

 

Now I do 100 LEG PRESS’S with feet together and then 100 with feet shoulder width apart…

leg-press

 

I move to my favorite leg workout now. The ABDUCTION/ADDUCTION upper leg machine. I do 100 reps of each…

 

After my legs are done I walk around for a couple minutes to loosen them up some then move on to the upper body machines.

The first machine I use is my most dreaded one. The CHEST PRESS is where I do my best to do 4 sets of 10. I try to do more if I can.

chest-press

 

Next up is the ROW which I do 4 sets of 20 reps…

row

 

Moving on to SHOULDER PRESS I do 4 sets of 20 reps… This is my second hated upper body machine πŸ™‚

 

The LAT PULL DOWN is last for this part of my workout. Here I do 4 sets of 20 or if feeling good I may do 3 sets of 30…

lat-pull-down

 

Now back to the YOGA BALL and POLE again for a few minutes of stretching…

 

Head back for 10 more minutes on the NEVER ENDING STAIRS

never-ending-stairs

 

Another 20 minutes of the TREADMILL again…

treadmill

 

And after two hours of being in the weight/workout room I am tired and done…

Total workout time including the swimming pool is roughly 3 hours. I go 3 times per week to the YMCA. I also see a Physical Therapist once every 2 weeks and the Chiropractor once every 3 weeks. And I see an Aqua Therapist 2 times per week for the next 6 weeks.

I got special hands on direction from my VA Doctors on exactly what I should be doing and how and how often etc… I attended a 12 week course for pain management to help me better deal with my back pain, migraines, tremors, and nerve damage while I will be gone on the trail.

Next week my friend and I will be going on a 3 day hike and I will be testing out my new gear I intend to take on the AT with me.

Basically I cannot think of anything else I can do at this time to better prepare for my hike.

 

 

 

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