If you want to increase endurance and tackle bigger mountains, building your muscles and getting stronger is one way to do it. Most treks rely on stamina in one way or another, so being strong can really help you achieve what you want to. But how do you gain that muscle in the correct and sustainable way? We’ve been doing quite a bit of mountain trekking recently in the Alps and we’re planning lots more. This means we’re going to need to get in better shape and build stamina to tackle bigger mountains and longer treks.
Cheeky snap from last month hiking the Tre Cime di Lavaredo Loop in the Dolomites
Work the Right Muscles
There are certain muscles that are most useful to people focusing on certain sports. You should try to make sure that you’re working the muscles that are going to help you get to where you want to be in sport. There’s no point in working on the wrong muscle groups, so give this some thought and be clear about which muscles are going to be most important for you.
If you’re going to a long trek, consider these exercises to prep your body:
- Goblet squats
- Downhill lunges
- Hanging knee raises
- Kettlebell deadlift
Eat Calorie-Dense Meals
It’s important to pack plenty of calories into your diet when you’re trying to gain muscle because you’ll be working out at the gym pretty regularly. You need to make sure that your body has the fuel it needs, and a calorie-rich diet full of lots of protein will help with all that.If you’re stuck for ideas, try this protein-rich lemon chicken quinoa bowls recipe. Many people who are serious about building muscle eat 5 or 6 smaller meals throughout the day.
Choose the Right Protein Supplements
Having the right protein supplement as part of your diet will help you to build muscle faster and easier. It’s all about finding bodybuilding supplements or protein supplements that will do what you need it to. There are lots out there, so do some research and think hard about what you’re going to need from a protein supplement. Most people looking to gain muscle use one.
Train With Weights in Short Bursts
When you train with weights at the gym, it’s best not to push yourself for more than an hour. There is no research to show that you benefit from training for longer than that and you could damage your muscles if you push too hard without taking breaks. So keep it simple and train in shorter bursts each day.
Track Your Progress to Spur You On
When you track the progress you making, it will spur you on because you will be able to see the improvements and the successes for yourself. It’s a way of proving to yourself exactly what you’re capable of. Seeing the results really proves that you’re on the right track and you’re doing the right things, and that’s worth a lot. It’s what you need when you need the extra push. I track my progress by choosing a bigger and bigger mountain. Alternatively, you can use this cool free-printable for tracking your workout progress I found online.
Gaining muscle isn’t as difficult as you might think, and once you get into the right routine, you’ll start to see success relatively quickly. It’s in your best interests to get to work on this if you feel it’s important to achieving your goals in sport and other activities you do on a regular basis.