Training for Denali, Part 1

Alpine Ascents International has a great personal training regimen for Denali. I am still a couple of years out from climbing The Mountain, but I am ensuring that I keep myself in shape. Right now my workout routine consists of weekly variations of the following:


Day 1:
(Full Body Workout Day)
2-1/2 mile run
Weights / Upper Body: 4 sets of 5-10 reps
Legs / Abs: 4 sets of 10-15 reps

Day 2:
(Full Body Workout Day)
2-1/2 mile run
Weights / Upper Body: 4 sets of 5-10 reps
Legs / Abs: 4 sets of 10-15 reps

Day 3:
(Full Body Workout Day)
2-mile sprint intervals
Weights / Upper Body: 3 sets of 5-10 reps
Legs / Abs: 3 sets of 10-15 reps

Day 4:
(Rest Day)
Do Nothing!
Keep breathing, eat a lot, sleep a lot, be as lazy as can be.

Day 5:
(Leg Workout Day)
2-mile run
Leg Presses: 3 sets of 10 reps
Leg Curls: 3 sets of 10 reps
Lunges (weighted): 3 sets of 10 reps
Squats (weighted): 3 sets of 10 reps
Crunches: 1 set of 100 reps

Day 6:
(Upper Body Workout Day)
3+ mile run
Bench Press: 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Curls: 3 sets of 10 reps
Pull-Ups: 3 sets of as many as possible
Chest / Shoulder Machines: 3 sets of 10
Abs: including sit-ups, crunches, others: 3 sets

Day 7:
(Activity Day)
Hiking. Sometimes substituted with rock-climbing, biking or some other activity.


Sadly I do not stick to this routine as vigilantly as I should, but at least having a routine and someone to work out helps motivate me to work out more often. So while not perfect, I am staying in shape. I have learned from others who climbed Denali that yes, it is important to stay fit, but perhaps more important is the climber’s level of endurance to stick it out for potentially 3 weeks in one of the world’s toughest settings. That is something that is very difficult to train for without long trips to the mountains, something I am not able to do. But, staying in shape for the time being is at least one step toward preparation for The Mountain.

117 Responses to “Training for Denali, Part 1”

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