Training programme we followed

Training suggested by tour operator - Wild Frontiers

Here is the training programme we received from our tour operator Wild Frontiers. While our training programme was completely different from the one specified below, one thing is very clear which we all agree on - the fitter you are the better you will enjoy the climb.


The following text is provided by Wild Frontiers

It is imperative that your body is well prepared for the physical challenges of Kilimanjaro. While fitness is not the only requirement, it constitutes the major component in any successful summit bid. We've developed a training programme which will assist you in getting your body in shape for the ultimate adventure of planting your flag at the summit of Kilimanjaro, Uhuru Peak.

Most people believe that reaching the summit of Kilimanjaro requires superhuman strength and superb physical condition. Those of us who have done it a few times know that this is not entirely true. While Kilimanjaro can be successfully climbed by almost anybody who attempts it, physical preparation is not the absolute determining factor. We've designed a training programme which will adequately prepare you for the physical strain on your body during the week on the mountain. Once you have achieved the fitness level described in our programme, your body will be more than ready to handle the relentless uphills on Kilimanjaro. You will have gained confidence through your physical readiness and will have thus have attained the most valuable benefit in your preparation, Mental Strength!

How fit do you have to be?

The question should rather be, "What kind of fitness is necessary ?" To prepare for Kilimanjaro, the best step forward is to try as far as possible to simulate conditions you are likely to encounter. That means that hiking fitness, specifically uphill fitness is most beneficial in getting ready for Kilimanjaro. Running does help, but does not prepare the right muscles in the legs. To be best prepared, the muscles used in uphill hiking should be developed and trained. Here follows a detailed training programme which will serve as a guideline and basis for your training.

Gym training:

Stair master -High speed, low resistance for 10 minutes (1 day) Twice a week

Stair master -Low speed, high resistance for 10 minutes (alternate day) Twice a week

Cycle -30 minutes Twice a week

Leg press -3 sets of 15 Four times a week

Knee extensions -3 sets of 15 Four times a week

Back extensions -3 sets of 15 Four times a week

Tread Mill -Walking for 30 minutes Four times a week

Sit-ups -3 sets of 15 Daily

The gym programme given above should give you a guideline and provide a very strong basis for your physical preparation. If you do not have access to a gym or simply don't have the time, you can of course supplement your training with normal hiking. We would advise hiking in hilly terrain, preferably with as few as possible downhills. You should attempt as far as possible to simulate the conditions you are likely to encounter and therefore we'd also suggest that you go hiking with your day pack as often as possible. (Remember, walking downhill should be avoided if possible to protect your knees!)

Hiking Programme:

(We suggest at least 8 weeks preparation to ensure an adequate level of fitness and sufficient rest before the climb.)

Week 1 : (56 days prior to departure)

Week 2

Sat 3 kilometres

Sat 5 kilometres

Mon 3 kilometres

Mon 5 kilometres

Wed 5 kilometres

Thu 8 kilometres



Week 3

Week 4

Mon 6 kilometres

Mon 6 kilometres

Wed 10 kilometres

Wed 12 kilometres

Fri 12 kilometres

Fri 16 kilometres



Week 5

Week 6

Mon 10 kilometres

Mon 15 kilometres

Wed 20 kilometres

Wed 25 kilometres

Fri 10 kilometres

Sat 20 kilometres



Week 7

Week 8

Tue 10 kilometres

Mon 15 kilometres

Thu 20 kilometres

Wed 5 kilometres

Sat 10 kilomtres

Sat On Your Way To Kili

Being physically ready for Kilimanjaro is most of the battle. You are already on your way to becoming mentally ready as well. Having once decided to go to the top of Kili and having worked through the training programme above, we believe that you are ready for the summit. It's now just a question of knowing it!

© Copyright Scott Smith and Renée Pattle

Includes all text and photographs