How to Train for Elevation Hiking

High elevation hiking is a great way to enjoy the mountains, but it also has its risks if you didn’t train before. If you don’t prepare properly, you could end up with altitude sickness or a serious injury. To avoid this, there are several things you can do before your trip:

Way to Train for Elevation Hiking

How to Train for High Altitude Hiking at Sea Level

The first step to training for high-altitude hiking is to start with light weight and low reps. When you’re at sea level, this means that you should be using less than 10 pounds per hand and doing sets of 30–50 reps or fewer. You don’t need much in the way of strength or power to get up these hills—it just takes time!

Once your body has built up some familiarity with these lower intensities. It’s time for your next phase: adding in higher weights and higher reps (e.g., 3-5-pound dumbbells). This will help build both endurance as well as strength so that when those big winds blow down on us at 11000 feet above sea level. We can continue going without having lost too much momentum from our previous work sessions at lower altitudes

Altitude sickness is a risk at any altitude. But the higher you go, the more likely it is that you’ll get sick. The reason for this is simple: At higher altitudes, there’s less oxygen in your body compared to what’s available at sea level. As a result, if you’re hiking in an area with high elevations and spend time there without acclimatizing, then when you come back down again, everything will seem fine. But later on, when your body starts working with lower levels of oxygen again, things might not work out.

Training tips for high altitude hiking

If you’re going to be hiking high altitude, it’s important to understand what constitutes a high altitude for hiking. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) defines a high-altitude site as one with an elevation above 8,000 feet (2,438 m). If you’re planning on spending time in this zone, it’s important that your body isn’t unprepared. To make sure that it is ready for the trip ahead:

  • Focus on cardio training before starting any new activity. Cardio helps to keep blood flowing smoothly throughout the body and prevents fatigue from setting in too soon. Hiking at lower altitudes will help build up endurance levels so that when you do hike higher up again later on in life. You’ll have plenty left over for hard hikes!

Hiking, Trekking, Walking

Hiking, trekking and walking are all ways to get outside in nature. These activities can be healthy for you because they help you keep fit and enjoy the outdoors.

Hiking is a great way to get exercise and enjoy nature. You can hike at your own pace as long as you’re not going too fast or too far from where you find yourself comfortable with your ability level. If someone else is hiking with you, then make sure that both of them know how far they need to go before stopping. So that they don’t lose track of time while out on an adventure together!

Focus on the cardio

Focus on the cardio to train for elevation hiking

There are two types of cardio that you can do to train for elevation hiking:

  • Low-intensity interval training, or LIT. This is commonly referred to as HIIT or “high-intensity interval training” and involves bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by periods of low intensity. You’ll want to find an exercise machine like a treadmill, elliptical machine. When starting out with this type of cardio workout plan, try doing three sessions per week. One session in the morning before breakfast, one in the afternoon after lunchtime. And then one evening before bedtime 30 minutes each time around.
  • Steady state cardio such as walking on flat ground will help improve endurance during long hikes when carrying heavy loads. Such as backpacks full of water bottles. However, it won’t give maximum results because there isn’t enough resistance involved in these activities compared with those involving hillsides. There’s no room left between steps for extra energy reserves stored inside muscles themselves!

Hike with a heavy pack

Consider the following to train elevation hiking:

  • Carry 30% of your body weight for 2-3 hours.
  • Increase the weight as you get stronger, but don’t push yourself too hard in the beginning.
  • Hike uphill and downhill.
  • Do some treadmill or incline hikes to improve your conditioning level for elevation hikes.

Stair training

Train by Stair for elevation hiking

Stair training is a great way to train for elevation hiking. Because it’s easy to do and you can work your way up as you progress.

  • Use a treadmill or stair climber at home. You can find one for about $100 at most big box stores, like Target or Best Buy.
  • Increase the incline until you reach 5% (or 10%, etc.) of what is considered “moderate” by your doctor. This will help increase your heart rate while still being fairly low in terms of intensity.
  • Increase the speed until you reach an incline that feels comfortable but challenging—but don’t go too fast! A good pace should be somewhere between 6-12 minutes per mile on flat ground. 5-10 mph would be ideal, if possible, given how much energy this method requires compared with other options available online today.

Don’t forget weight training

Train with weight for elevation hiking

If you’re going to be hiking up mountains, a good plan is to incorporate weightlifting into your routine. You can do this by lifting weights at home or in the gym. Many people find that they feel stronger after they begin lifting weights regularly. That can help them improve their endurance and speed on the trail.

If you want to get started with weight training, we recommend starting with some basic exercises like push-ups or pull-ups. Once those are mastered, try adding some more advanced moves like squats and lunges. These will make it easier for anyone who wants more challenging workouts but doesn’t have access outdoors where it would be easy enough just go outside anyway!

High-end altitude training tools

Altitude training masks are a great way to simulate hypoxic conditions. These masks can be worn for up to 24 hours. And they deliver low levels of oxygen (2% or 3%) at an increased rate over time. The result is that your body will adapt to these conditions more quickly than if you were simply going through the motions on a treadmill. This type of training is especially useful when trying out new gear like an air machine.

If you’re looking for something more portable than a mask but still want some good quality altitude training tools at home/work/school, then try our list below.

Altitude adjusted training rooms

Altitude adjusted training rooms are a great way to simulate high altitude. They can use to train for hiking and trekking. But they can also use as an alternative to traditional altitude training camps.

Altitude sickness is the most common health problem experienced by both hikers and climbers at high altitudes. When you’re going above 3,000 feet (1,000 meters), your body starts using more oxygen because of reduced air pressure. This causes your heart rate and blood pressure to rise dramatically. If you don’t acclimatize properly before starting your hike or climb. These changes may serious medical issues that last for days after returning home from an adventure trip abroad!

Tips for avoiding altitude sickness

  • Drink lots of water.
  • Take it easy.
  • Don’t drink alcohol or caffeine and avoid other drugs like aspirin (it may interfere with the medications you’re taking).

1. Ascend slowly

It’s important to acclimatize slowly, and descending is just as important. Take time to acclimate your body and mind during this process. Especially if you’re new to hiking or haven’t been doing it regularly in the past few years. You’ll want to avoid going too hard at first. So that you can adjust properly after being out of shape for a while. To avoid overdoing things, use the buddy system: one person goes up while another comes down; then swap roles!

2. Hike high, sleep low

If you’re planning on ascending over 3000m, it is important to sleep at a lower altitude during the day. For example, if your camp is located at 3200m and your goal is to summit Everest from there. Then it’s best to spend two nights in Tibet before heading up into Nepal. This will allow for plenty of rest time during your body can recover from those hours spent hiking around.

3. Drink lots of fluids

Consider the following:

  • Drink more than you thinks.
  • Drink more than the locals.
  • Drink more than you normally would.  (If the locals aren’t drinking enough, they’re not fit.)
  • Drink before and after activity, if possible (or at least during), but especially before! This is one of the most important things to do. Because if there’s any chance that your body can be dehydrated then it will be. So, make sure that doesn’t happen by keeping yourself well hydrated throughout your training sessions!

4. Avoid alcohol

Alcohol is dehydrating, which can cause you to become lightheaded and dizzy at high altitudes. It can also cause you to fall asleep at a much higher altitude than usual. If you’re planning on climbing mountains or hiking in the mountains, avoid drinking alcohol completely!

5. Supplements and medications

Supplements and medications

  • Vitamin C – A study by Harvard Medical School found that consuming vitamin C can reduce the symptoms of altitude sickness. If you’re planning on doing a lot of elevation hiking, it’s recommended to take at least 100 mg per day.
  • Calcium – It might seem obvious that you need calcium in order to maintain muscle strength and prevent cramps. But few hikers realize how much this mineral actually helps them physically. Studies have shown that those who take in more than 1000 mg per day have improved endurance over those who don’t take in enough calcium (the recommended amount is 700-900mg).
  • Magnesium – This mineral is essential for energy production within cells. Which means it’s crucial for maintaining healthy metabolism throughout your body. Taking magnesium supplements can help prevent fatigue due to low levels of magnesium in the blood stream. However, if side effects occur then discontinue use immediately! They include diarrhea/loose stools; headache; muscle pain/spasms; irritability/worthlessness etc…

6. Go downhill

One of the most important aspects of hiking is going downhill. Going downhill means you’re going faster and further, which can lead to a better workout. You’ll also be able to see more scenery while you’re moving faster. So, if there are any trees or rocks that you want to take pictures of, now’s your chance!

The downside? Going uphill can be dangerous if you don’t prepare yourself properly for it. And if someone falls down an embankment, then they could get seriously hurt on their head or neck. So, don’t forget to wear hiking boots when going uphill!

Popular High-Altitude Destinations for Hiking and Trekking

If you’re looking for a mountain to climb and explore, the Himalaya is a great place to start. The Himalaya Mountains stretch through Nepal, Tibet and India, as well as Pakistan, Bhutan and Bangladesh.

The Andes are another popular destination for hikers due to their spectacular views of snow-capped peaks like Mount Aconcagua or Mount Elbrus at 6962 m (22,811 ft).

Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania is one of Africa’s highest mountains at 5894 m (19305 ft). It has been climbed twice by climbers from Japan who reached its summit without oxygen on separate expeditions in 1914 & 1916 respectively!

The Himalaya (Nepal, Tibet, India)


The Himalaya is the world’s highest mountain range, stretching across Nepal, India and Pakistan. It is also home to Mount Everest—the tallest mountain in the world.

The Himalayas are a rugged region full of spectacular scenery and fascinating cultures. Mount Everest can be climbed by anyone with proper training. However, it’s not just about reaching the top; there are many other challenges along the way. That require careful planning and preparation, so you don’t end up injured or lost somewhere on your journey!

The Andes (Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina)

Andes Mountain

The Andes are a region in South America, where you’ll find high-altitude hiking and trekking. In addition to Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Chile (the highest countries on Earth). There is also Argentina—which has some of the most beautiful mountains in all of South America.

The Andes can be broken down into three categories:

  • High altitude: Altitudes above 3,000 meters (9281 feet)
  • Moderate altitude: Altitudes between 2,500 meters (8163 feet) and 3,000 meters (9281 feet)
  • Low altitude: Below 2,500 meters (8163 feet).

Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa, and it’s a great place to train for elevation hiking. It’s located in Tanzania, East Africa. The mountain is 19,341 feet (5,895 meters) tall.

The North American Rockies

North American Rockies

For example, if you’re a beginner and want to train for elevation hiking in Colorado. It’ll be good practice to start with one of the more moderate hikes in the Colorado Front Range. You can then move on to other areas of the state where there are higher altitudes (elevation).

Last Word

We hope this article has helped you find the right plan for you to train elevation hiking and trekking needs. And remember, even if you don’t plan to summit those mountains in person. You can still train safely by following our tips! High altitude training is an effective way to prepare yourself for any kind of adventure. Whether it means conquering a new peak or just getting out on the trail with friends.

Read more on:

This article contains affiliate links. If you buy through these links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Check the disclaimer and learn more about us.