The Totally Trail-ready Workout
Prep your body to hit the trails with this progressive pack-weighted workout.
It’s fall — the air is crisp, the temperatures cool — the perfect time for a long, lovely hike, maybe even an overnight sojourn in the great outdoors. But even if you’re a regular gym-goer, you’re probably not used to hauling stuff around on your back, let alone 20 or 30 pounds of food, water and/or camping gear.
Time to shoulder the load with this workout that uses a backpack, a bench and a hill. Start today and be trail-ready in about four weeks — just in time to see the leaves change.
Find a short, gradual hill, or similar trailhead, with a nearby park bench or small set of stairs.
Adjust the shoulder and chest straps on a backpack so it rests comfortably yet snugly against your body and does not shift or bounce around when you pick up the pace. Load your pack with some heavy objects — rocks work well, or, if you’re superprepared, the gear you’re planning on taking with you.
Wear or carry the clothing you plan to hike in, including rain gear, socks, hats and especially shoes; breaking in your boots now will save you some gnarly blisters come hike time.