Hiking

Beginner

Backcountry Skiing

Beginner

Natasha Poletaeva

39 years, Russia

3 months ago

How Everest Ascenders Exercise During Lockdown

During the self isolation period, we all are kind of Rocky The Boxer today. And isolation didn’t stop him from training for the legendary fight! Read below how Everest ascenders spend their time during the lockdown, stay positive and keep a bright view to the future!

How Everest Ascenders Exercise During Lockdown

Israfil Ashurly (Azerbaijan) — alpinist, Ice Climbing Internationally Certified Judge, UIAA President of the Youth Commission, 2010-2017; former President of Azerbaijan Mountaineering Federation. Completed the «7 Summits» challenge in 2007

Since the gyms and swimming pools are now closed, I walk a lot — for example, make a trip to a store 15-20 km long (of course, with all the necessary precautions).

Lifehack: I live at the 17th floor and every day I walk up and down several times a day. 

How Everest Ascenders Exercise During Lockdown

Other than that, I had to go to my company’s office from time to time. I don’t use my car or public transport though — I ride a bicycle there and back, which amounts to 40 km on two goes.

Plus I try to exercise at home, and since I don’t have any special equipment, I use some common household stuff, do stretching and planks. And I try to spend as much time outside as possible.

How Everest Ascenders Exercise During Lockdown

Sergey Kofanov (Russia/Australia) — twice Mount Everest climber, mountain guide, participant of Everest rescue missions; founder of Mountainplanet.com

I’m following a schedule. I’m doing morning PT, plus a 20-minute set of exercises during the day (and change the set daily). I gathered a plethora of information from different sources, and, for example, on Mondays I do stretching, on Tuesday — some exercises on abs, Wednesdays — back muscles exercises, and so on, and so forth. At one time I do 6 to 12 exercises, 3 attempts per exercise (40 seconds each). I do it after breakfast and before lunch.

Lifehack: nowadays I read a lot, write and work at the computer, so I added some training for the eyes

Among other things, there’s a lot more time for reading, and I read a lot about coaching and writing. Not only that — I’m also writing my own book about mountains and business. Mainly, it will be aimed at HR managers, and I hope it will be useful for them as a tool for staff interaction.

In this book, I will talk about both the situations that happened to me in the mountains and how I was later able to apply this experience in business. It has no specific title yet, working title is «Altitude. How climbing experience to the highest peaks helps to build business teams».

How Everest Ascenders Exercise During Lockdown

Maxut Zhumayev (Kazakhstan) — famous Kazakh mountaineer, captain of the national mountaineering team, the 26th member of Quest-14 and the 12th climber, who managed to climb all these 8-thousanders without using bottled oxygen

Here in Kazakhstan the epidemiological situation is not so bad, better, comparing to other countries. Plus, I’m the military man, and now our unit is situated almost in complete isolation at the Mountain training center. Our training is conducted as usual: we do long distance running, rock climbing, river crossing, shooting practice — the usual stuff.

Read Maxut interview here: How to Train for High-Altitude Climbs

We are now getting ready to participate in the International Army Games, which are scheduled on the end of August 2020, and we hope that it will take place as planned. Also we are training for the «Elbrus Ring» mountain divisions contest, which includes ascent to the highest point of Europe, Mount Elbrus (5642 m).

How Everest Ascenders Exercise During Lockdown

Thomas Lone (Norway) — alpinist, completed the «7 Summits» challenge in 2019; elected participant for Death Zone Freeride project (ascending to 8-thousanders without bottled oxygen, with following ski descent from the top)

The current situation is definitely challenging, especially the uncertainty related to our upcoming expedition to Broad Peak as part of the Death Zone Freeride project. I have tried to continue my preparations as if the expedition will run as planned. Mentally it is more challenging, because it is impossible to know how the future will be, and it has not been possible to meet all team and travel to Russia for testing gear (as we planned for in early April). However, I am not directly influenced by the virus, and personally I find more time to train now than ever.

I have started to increase the hours, spent for working out each week, and I also have time to do workouts, that require some planning and transportation, such as cross country or backcountry skiing. Fortunately, there is not yet a big lockdown here in Norway, so I am allowed to take my car and travel to the Norwegian mountains to hike, climb and ski. This is, in my opinion, the most important key work out because you have to do the specific things, you want to become good at.

However, there is a bunch of other stuff, one can do to increase stamina, VO2max and strength in general, such as hiking with a heavy backpack, lift weights and run/cycle. I try to do all of these things as much as possible, and vary the exercises to avoid injuries. It is also really important for me to have fun and stay motivated when working out — especially now, when many people spend a lot of time alone and miss their friends and families, etc.

It is hard to know what the future will be and will we have opportunity to travel to Pakistan at all, but I staying positive and hoping for the best. We are in a time, when it is important to look at the big picture, dare to dream and prepare ourselves for new opportunities. I am working out a lot and I feel stronger than ever, so I really hope Karakoram will be ready for us when it will be possible!

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