“You get what you work for, not what you wish for.”
– Unknown

A few weeks back I sent you an email talking about the many physical and mental benefits of simply taking a walk every day. If you took my advice, I hope you’ve started to feel the benefits. It got me thinking though, especially as I approach two separate Grand Canyon hikes this Spring, it’s time to swap the flat pavement for the rugged trail!

You’re no stranger to hiking, but you might benefit from a few simple tips to strengthen your ability to hike up any mountain, anywhere, anytime.

1. Don’t stress the distance.

It’s not always the distance that matters, frequent and quality hikes make a difference. Hiking on rocky and uneven trails conditions your ankles and stabilizing muscles like nothing else will. Even short hikes on a regular basis will outperform a long hike done every once in a while.

Pro tip: Try using light trail running shoes instead of your heavy mountain boot, this will force you to develop more ankle stability.

2. Hydrate before you start.

I don’t care if it’s 30° or 105°, you will pay a painful price by not hydrating before you head to the trail. Drink a Hydrate & Recover before you start hiking – the performance of your muscles and brain will be noticeably stronger when they’re feeding off the proper electrolytes and amino acids.

Pro tip: If you’re taking on an above-average hike, try adding in a scoop of Brute Force or our Ultimate Pre-Workout before you start for above-average endurance.

3. Hike heavy.

Once you’ve got your hiking legs under you, it’s time to start adding weight on your back. One of the simplest, safesty, and most versatile ways to do that is with the Atlas Trainer by Outdoorsmans. This system utilizes olympic style weights so you can start with 25 lbs and work up to 90 lbs. The core, leg, and back strength you will develop is hard to replicate with any other approach.

4. Find your favorites.

Pick your favorite one or two trails to hit on a regular basis, one that’s short/medium difficulty and one that is a real ass kicker. Revisiting these trails often is a great way to build a routine and gauge your improvement.

I know we don’t need to twist your arm to get you hiking, but hopefully this is a helpful reminder for how to break up your gym routine with an outdoor workout that shouldn’t be reserved just for the weeks before hunting season.