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Advice re Personal Trainer / Mountain Climbing

My dh who is overweight and out of shape would like to lose weight, get in shape, and begin to climb mountains -- not technical climbing, more hiking up mountains in the 14,000 ft range.

I was thinking to support him in his goals by giving him a gift for Christmas of some time with a personal trainer who could set up an exercise program for him designed to meet those goals. However, I've never seen a personal trainer and don't know what to look for. Any advice would be appreciated! Soime questions I have are:

- Do you need to see a personal trainer in person? Or are there trainers who will work with you over the internet? I think dh may be more inclined to follow up with the latter, as his schedule is already really tight.

- Do I need to look for a trainer who is experienced in mountain climbing?

- What's the best way to find a good trainer? Any recommendations?


Fri. Dec 1, 7:23am

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Well I've never had a personal trainer but I would think anything you'd find over the internet would be easier to quit. I know a personal trainer helps guide you on what excercises to do and the correct form to use and stuff so I would think that would be very hard to do over the internet unless you had a fully equiped home gym and a web cam. I think just a plain old personal trainer would be best.
I think at this point any personal trainer would work, maybe as your dh gets closer to his goal you'll need to find a more specialized one but for now I don't think it matters so much.

Friday, December 01, 2006, 8:43 AM

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I think a better idea wold be to get him all of the gear he will need to hike. Boots, a great jacket, a hydration pack, hiking polls. Then you could put a hiking book in his stocking. I kow I have had a really hard time training for hiking in the gym, I found the best training is hiking the lesser of the trails, and then moving up from there.

Friday, December 01, 2006, 9:10 AM

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My advice here is based on the assumption that you already live in/near mountains. If you don't, then the first thing your husband needs to find out is whether or not he experiences altitude sickness (occurs above ~8000 feet). I get a horrible case of it that reaches medically dangerous levels above 13,000 feet, and even my sister who lives at 8,000 feet has trouble at 14,000 - and she's been incredibly fit her entire life.

Personal trainers are usually very athletic in their life outside the gym. If you live near mountains, it should be very easy to find a personal trainer who's experienced with mountain trekking. You can probably even find someone who specializes in outdoor workouts (maybe not so great this time of year though) and takes small groups on hikes. How do I know this? That incredibly fit sister of mine - she's a personal trainer and a big advocate of hiking for weight loss, and she has done all of this with her clients.

To find a trainer, you have a few options. You can advertise, you can ask at stores selling hiking gear, or - the easiest option - you can go to a gym, either a biggie or a small one that specializes in personal training, and ask if they have any trainers with extensive hiking experience. A lot of trainers do small group hikes on the side or know someone who does.

In your position, I'd buy your husband a good pair of hiking shoes, a heart rate monitor and a membership to a local hiking club along with the personal training sessions.

Friday, December 01, 2006, 10:38 AM

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I am a die-hard hiker who goes as often as possible. It's one of the major reasons I started getting in shape, but it's my love of hiking that got me going to the gym, not the other way around. You need endurance and strength if you're going to be able to take any kind of longer trail (which are always the interesting ones) and for those steep sections. Gotta get him out on the trail first though. Also - gear is highly individual (or at least it is for me), so perhaps a gift card or take him shopping? I would actually say get started on some easier trails first and then see what kind of gear you prefer after you've been out. Also, I highly recommend finding him a "mountaineering" program to join. I live in Seattle and there is one here that is highly regarded. They have a program that goes for ~2 months and includes 2 overnight trips. Then they periodically have group trips. A good friend of mine took it and he's not a total couch potatoe, but he's not exactly in his prime either and he did fine. I'm including a link to their site because they have some good advice and are a great resource for finding good trails all over - not just in the PacNW.

Honestly I wouldn't worry about the trainer so much - just help him get on the trail and start having fun - if he really loves it he'll be motivated to get in condition.


Friday, December 01, 2006, 10:50 AM

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Hiking training

I never hiked a block before I did Whitney and I aced it. I attribute the ease of the ascent/descent to hours of mountain biking, which really strengthens your upper legs and back, same muscles that absorb the most stress in mountain climbing. Not downhill racing or anything intense, but just a lot of hill climbing.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009, 12:48 AM

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