Training for Everest Base Camp
Although undergoing specialised training specific to mountain climbing is not obligatory, we highly advise that if you are planning to trek to Everest Base Camp, you seriously consider allocating ample time for training.
Why Should I Do Any Training?
By following a suitable Everest Base Camp training regimen, you can significantly enhance your trekking experience. When you embark on your journey with a reasonable level of fitness:
- Your body will adapt better to the challenges of high altitude.
- You will recover more swiftly after each day's physical exertion on the mountain.
- The overall enjoyment of the entire experience will be amplified.
- Your chances of successfully reaching Everest Base Camp will be greatly increased.
- You won't be too fatigued to capture photographs or appreciate the stunning surroundings.
- While an unconditioned body can still manage to reach the summit, it usually involves unnecessary suffering and results in less overall gain and lasting memories.
Ultimately, the key factor that determines whether you have a heightened awareness and appreciation of your surroundings or find yourself solely focused on your breathing comes down to how seriously you have approached your training in the months leading up to your expedition.
Climbers Regret Not Doing Enough Training
We frequently receive comments such as "I should have trained more seriously for this," "I underestimated the difficulty," and "I'll have to come back and try again!" It is all too common for adventurers to delay their preparations, waiting for equipment or being let down by team members. We strongly advise climbers to avoid these pitfalls and begin their Everest Base Camp training today, even if it means starting with small exercises like an 8-minute abdominal workout guided by a YouTube video to strengthen their core.
While we are always happy to welcome climbers back for a second attempt, and we often have individuals join us for a new route after successfully reaching Everest Base Camp before, our ultimate goal is to make your first Everest Base Camp trek a resounding success.
Starting Your Everest Base Camp Training
Many individuals may have a desire to trek to Everest Base Camp but believe that the required level of fitness and strength is unattainable for them. However, unless you have a debilitating medical condition, this perception is simply not accurate. In fact, even if you do have such a condition, it may still not be a barrier.
While we would never claim that ascending to Everest Base Camp is an "easy" feat, we want to assure you that it is achievable by all physically capable individuals who undergo a modest training regimen and possess the right mindset.
Consider training as a natural process where your body adapts to a new demand that it is inherently designed to fulfil, yet may not be aware of until it is prompted to do so. Your Everest Base Camp training should commence today and should follow a progressive approach. Procrastination and making excuses are the major obstacles to achieving success.
The Multi-Stage Fitness Test, or ‘Beep Test’
To start, assess your current physical condition by determining your fitness level. The most thorough and informative method to accomplish this independently is by conducting the Multistage Fitness Test. This straightforward test can be performed on a nearby sports field or even on the pavement outside your home. However, if you opt not to take the test, it is advisable to at least engage in a timed run that you can repeat as your training advances. It is crucial to have a baseline activity that serves as a reference point to gauge your progress.
To do the ‘beep test’ you’ll need:
- measuring stick or tape
- personal mp3 player
- 20 metres of flat ground
- 2 markers
- running kit
Running the Test
- Open the beep test in Soundcloud. Or scroll down to see the Soundcloud player.
- Mark a shuttle run course 20 metres in length, position a marker clearly at either end (a bollard is ideal)
- Stretch-off your body, starting with your ankles, working through your body towards your neck
- Listen to the mp3 file. When the test begins start running slowly from one marker to the other, aiming to reach the marker as the narrator’s voice announces the next increment
- As you reach a marker immediately turn around and run to the other marker
You’ll be running continuously back and forth until eventually you find the increasing pace impossible to keep up with. When you fail to reach a marker in time for the narrator’s voice to announce the start of the next shuttle, for example “Level six, three”, you need to deduct one from your failed level and remember this score. In this example your score would be six point two.
After Running the Beep Test
- Now enter your score into the calculator: the level number (eg. 6) into the first box, and the last successful shuttle number for that level (eg. 2) into the second box.
- Press ‘calculate’ and make a note of your predicted VO2 max score. This is a very reliable method of estimation and appears to be accurate to within 0.1 ml/kg/min when compared with laboratory testing.
- Compare your score with researched standards for different ages using the table below.
- Now start your Everest Base Camp training in earnest by aiming towards running, cycling or swimming three times a week for a minimum of 30 continuous minutes per session.
- Once a month aim to walk in the hills for 5-6 hours at a time. Begin light and add weight as your fitness progresses. You should aim to increase time spent on this endurance element of your training.
- Everest Base Camp training in the final two months of preparation, to sessions of 7-8 hours once a fortnight.
- Repeat the MSF test from time to time in order to gauge the progress you’ll be making with your Everest Base Camp training.
These are relative VO2max scores, in the units of mls of oxygen per kilogram of body weight per minute (ml.kg-1.min-1).
Maximal oxygen uptake norms for men (ml/kg/min)
Maximal oxygen uptake norms for women (ml/kg/min)
Everest Base Camp Training Programme
When devising your personal Everest Base Camp training program, it is crucial to aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of sustained physical activity, at least three times a week. As you approach the final three months before your expedition, it is advisable to include a long walk over hills, lasting 5-8 hours, at least once a month, preferably more frequently.
Keep in mind that the primary reason for emphasising EBC training is to enhance your overall experience. If you have a busy work schedule or are recovering from an injury, limiting your training time, there is no need to worry. It is still possible for us to assist you in reaching the summit, provided you are willing to endure some discomfort and possess a resilient spirit during the ascent.
If you have contacted us at least three months prior to your planned Everest Base Camp climb and can prioritise your training, committing to our meticulously designed Team Mount Everest training program, you will be among the most well-prepared trekkers. Our program is specifically designed to transform sedentary office workers into agile climbing enthusiasts.
Is It Still Worth Doing Some Everest Base Camp Training if My Climb is Imminent?
If you’re climbing within the next 2-3 days and you haven’t done any training, we recommend that you just do stretches and warm-ups at home and do not risk injury by trying to make gains too quickly. If you have at least a week before you are scheduled to climb Everest Base Camp, we would suggest scheduling two runs.
The first should be around 20 minutes and you should stop if you feel any tightness or pain, and the second should be slightly more intense and should not exceed 30 minutes. If this is all you’ve had time to do, ensure that you have a clear 48 hours of quality recovery time before flying out to Nepal.