How Aldo Kane gets functionally fit for adventure
t the age of 16, Aldo Kane passed one of the hardest fitness tests in the world to become a Royal Marine. Since then, he's had a career as a Commando Sniper, completed 13 worldfirst expeditions, moved camera crews in and out of some of the world's most hostile locations, trained anti-poaching units in Africa, and tracked down tiger traffickers in South East Asia. Oh, and he was part of the five-man crew that rowed the longest route across the Atlantic Ocean in record time. Driven by adventure and with 26 years’ expedition experience, Kane is an expert in the extreme.
Men’s Fitness: Why were you rst drawn to the world of adventure?
Aldo Kane: “My dad brought my twin and I up in the Scouts, so from a young age we were out and about in the great outdoors. I suppose we just had that enlightened view on life that we could be out doing things adventurous and free.
“at’s why both myself and my brother joined the Marines in the end: to seek adventure and the unknown. It all goes directly back to being in the Scouts and having parents who introduced me to adventure from a young age.”
MF: Do you allow yourself to get excited before you go on an adventure?
AK: “I learned early on in the Marines that until your arse is on the seat you’re not going, so you need to be able to manage those emotions. In the Marines there would always be talk about going o here or there, but often those plans would change, so I’ve got used to parking the excitement.
“People use the term ‘functional tness’ a lot, but whatever that function is will be di erent for everyone”
“But when I get the call, and I’m asked to go on these amazing trips, I do still think, bloody hell someone’s asking me to do this, that’s incredible!”
MF: You help production crews get in and out of extreme environments – what are some of the demands of the job?
AK: “e hardest part is the logistics of getting all the kit you need for an expedition ready before even thinking about where you need to take it.
“And before it even gets to that point, you’ve got a team of producers, directors and production companies who will spend up to a year making contacts in the country, organising baggage drops, visas and so on.
“Really, once we hit the ground to get on with the expedition, we’ve already done, in theory, the hard yards. en we just get stuck into the hard physical work of doing the jungle trek or the mountain climb or whatever it may be – which actually is what we do and train for, so it’s not too di cult.”
MF: Is there one challenge that stands out as the most mentally draining?
AK: “I spent ten days inside a nuclear bunker for BBC Horizon. It was an experiment about circadian rhythms and mental state
– what happens when you lock someone underground for ten days, basically.
“It was quite tough, and it was sandwiched either side by two expeditions. I was in Mexico one month doing cave diving with Steve Backshall, then I went straight into the bunker, and then I was o to Greenland for a month on expedition.
at was quite a lot of mental stimulus going on: coming out of the bunker, getting on planes, trains and automobiles, and plunging into an environment that’s 24-hour daylight.
“I also made a show called Inside the Real Narcos, which was draining in a di erent way, because there was a lot of underlying pressure with dealing with those types of dudes. A lot of it was just worry and anxiety really, because you’re dealing with some full-on people and highly stressful situations.”