My Training Routine for the Mt Apo Climb


UPDATE: Finished climbing Mt Apo, be sure to check out my post about it here: Mt Apo – Climbing the Highest Mountain in the Philippines.

So I’m set to climb the highest mountain in the country exactly one month from now and I really, REALLY need to start training.

The only major climb I’ve done is Mount Pulag and I’ve never really trained for that one. I do try to keep relatively fit all the time and that’s always been enough for a Pulag Climb.

But I don’t think my normal state of fitness is going to be enough for Mt Apo. For one thing it’s supposed to be a 3 day climb (here’s what out itinerary looks like) and I’ve never trekked for that long before. There’s also supposed to be a forest trail that we have to get through, another thing I’ve never done.

So yeah, I need to really get in shape for this one.

I need to work on my legs

I’m mainly going to focus on my leg strength development and my stamina. I don’t feel the need to really work on my upper body so much since… well, I’ve been an upper body guy for a long time lol.

Most hard core gyms rats are… we’re all about the UBS (upper body strength) ;).

For this climb though I’m gonna need to bring my lower body strength up. If you read my post about the Metafit Bootcamp I recently went to you’ll know how weak my legs are. So I’ll be blasting them this month in preparation for my climb.

Here’s what I’m planning to do every morning to build up my lower body strength:

  • 15 Squats
  • 10 pushups
  • 10 situps
  • 10 lunges (per leg)
  • 10 good mornings

I’ll probably mix it up with other body weight exercise but these 5 will be the base.

I’m trying to do it Crossfit WOD style but without too much emphasis on speed, at least initially. So this won’t be AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) but I’ll just try to complete at least 5 rounds each day.

I’ll of course “try” to do them as fast as I can to throw in some cardiovascular work in there but I’ll be focusing more on just finishing the whole set even if it takes more than 10 or 20 minutes to do.

Then later on I’ll do them AMRAP. Once they start become easier I’ll slowly increase the number of reps for the leg drills to shift the focus of the work out to my legs.

I threw in pushups and situps into the mix because I don’t want to just do legs. I still have to maintain or improve my overall body strength for the climb.

And if you’re wondering why I’m only doing body weight exercises, it’s because I’m currently not enrolled in any gym. I cancelled my Fitness First Membership because it was too expensive and I haven’t enrolled at Insurrecto as a regular yet.

I do still box tho and I’m trying to keep that one fairly regular still despite my schedule. There are weights at elorde so I might do some squats there after boxing if I’m still up to it.

Anyway, going back to my workout, I’m thinking of doing this in the morning to wake me up. I usually like to just lie on my bed for an extra 30 minutes to an hour even when I’m already up so I’ll be replacing my procrastination period with this.

I also think it’ll be ideal to do this in the mornings so I can get it out of my head while I study/work throughout the day.

Stamina Improvement

Now to build up my stamina, I’m gonna stick with good old fashioned running.

It’s not going to be easy for me though because unlike most of the fitness bloggers here in the Phil, I’m not really into running. I join fun runs but only for groups I’m affiliated with, never for the “fun” of it.

I’m not really naturally inclined to run unlike most other fitness enthusiasts.

It’s very different if you throw me in a gym. I actually like working out with weights and doing strength exercises.

Running though is just not my thing.

But I’ve got no choice. I recognize how important and convenient running is as a way to develop stamina and leg endurance so I’ll just have to suck it up and run.

Don’t get me wrong though, I don’t hate running. I just don’t love it as much as normal body workouts. It’s not fun for me so I normally try to get my cardio fix from interval training.

For quick stamina and endurance development I’m thinking of doing HIIT (high intensity interval training) runs. I used to do this a lot back in college because it meant I could run for less time and still get the best results out of it (even back then I didn’t really enjoy running for a long time).

I have this Nike rolling hills track that I’ll probably use as my guide. It’s an mp3 music mix designed to train runners for a rolling hills marathon and although it’s designed to be done on a treadmill, I think I can make it work for my flat ground runs. I’ll just increase my speed every time the instructions to bump-up the treadmill elevation is given.

I know I have an older running track that I used with my nike+ before but I can’t find it. It’s been years since I used that one so I dont know where it’s at. I’ll use that one if I can find it.

My running schedule will probably be Tuesday-Friday-Sunday and I’ll be running along Roxas boulevard since that’s close to my apartment.

Run length will probably be 45 minutes to an hour.

After 3 weeks of running (on the 23rd I think) my climbing group will be doing a training climb on a forest trail so hopefully I’ll see some good results by then.

After that, I’ve just got one more week to train before the big climb.

Don’t know if I can really stick to this workout routine but I’ll do my best to not to skip a day without at least doing the morning workout.

So there you have it. This’ll be my training routine for my Mt Apo Climb at the end of next month.

Hopefully this should be enough already.

Yun lang, just wanted to put this on digital paper to make me feel a little bit more accountable :).

What do you think of my workout routine? If you’re a pro climber I’d love some training tips if you’ve got any. Just leave them in the comments below.

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Malds Menzon is the owner and main writer for The Fit Pinoy blog. He's a law student, blogger, internet marketer and fitness enthusiast who enjoys writing about all the gyms he's been to and fitness classes he's tried. He spends most of his time either at the gym or studying/writing at one of the Starbucks places in the Metro Manila Area. He usually looks a little too serious but he's a nice guy so don't be afraid to say hi if you run into him :). You can follow or add him on Twitter and Google+ by clicking the appropriate buttons on your left (below the picture).

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  1. Zion 1 March, 2013 at 1:18 am

    You know, gusto ko rin talaga mag mountain climbing kaso wala akong mga friends na hilig dito. 🙁

    Pareho pala tayo may fitness regimen, nagsimula na akong bumalik mag exercise para in great shape ako sa pag-aarnis!

    • Malds 1 March, 2013 at 1:41 am

      Nice. I plan to try Arnis at some point din. Pero medyo madami pa akong nakalinya hehe so maybe after summer na :). Basta at some point I want to do FMA. I don’t know if I’ll train in it for a long time but I want to try it at least.

  2. willie 2 March, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    paano pala mka sabay sa inyo sa 29th? please pm me any contacts please..

    • Malds 3 March, 2013 at 12:36 am

      Hey willie, sensya puno na group namin :(. Nainvite lang din kasi ako sa isang group and di ako yung nagaarange so I’m not sure sa details re the guide and contact people. Basta yung lead namin may nakausap lang na guide talaga dun and basta sagot namin yung flight papunta and pabalik (davao), kasama na sa bayad namin sa kanila yung transpo, guide at pagkain. Pero we still have to pay extra if we want porters (we’re still not sure if we’ll need one though).

      Nag submit na kasi kami ng forms and waivers two weeks ago tas nagbayad na kami ng downpayment sa guide. Medyo kelangan daw kasi maaga yung pagschedule namin ng lahat kasi madami daw aakyat sa holy week. End of last month yung usapan naming deadline for payment and forms. Mukhang busy din kasi sila with scheduling other climbers.

      I’ll try to get the contact details nung nagarrange sa climb namin from our lead and I’ll post it here para sa mga interested. You might want to just create your own group kung sakali.

      We paid 4,500 each total pala. That includes food sa climb, guide, and pagpickup sa Digos (Davao). Downpayment was 2250. I think it’s normally 5000 though. They lowered the rate for us kasi we didin’t need to be picked up from Davao Airport (we have someone in the group who’s from there). So since Digos na kami nila i-memeet, 4500 nalang siningil sa amin.

    • Malds 3 March, 2013 at 12:47 am

      Nasa itinerary pala namin yung contact details ng guide hehe :).

      Big Boy Sator

      Maybe you can get in touch with him if you’re interested in going up. If you can find a group, pwede kayo pasched sa kanya and negotiate the details. I wasn’t the one who talked to him for our climb so I can’t really tell you anymore than that.

      • mel 5 March, 2013 at 1:57 pm

        sir, meron kayang another mt. apo climb this april sa group na sinalihan mo? can i have the organizer’s contact number?

        • Malds 5 March, 2013 at 2:26 pm

          Contact mo nalang yung guide namin sir, nasa comments naman yung details nya. Baka may ibang group na pwede mo samahan na naka sched for April, malamang meron yan cguro.

          I’m hesitant to give away yung number ng organizer namin, sensya, ayaw ko kasi sya ma hassle with anything till the climb. Settled na kasi yung details para sa group namin and kakamatay lang kasi ng nanay nya 3 days ago and inaayos nya lamay tas yung mga iba pang kelangan ayusin sa family nila.

          I-try ko tanongin sya personally pag makita ko sya pero malabo na magdagdag pa kami for this one :(. Sorry ulit. Pero yun nga, check ko kung may balak pa sila for April and mag iwan nalang ako ng info dito kung sakali.

          Pag mag-OK din sya na ibigay ko contact details nya, email kita sir :).


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