Hiking Mount Everest at Lunch

It looks like your list of fitness goals just got one bigger, as a Spanish climber — Kilian Jornet — has set a new record for summiting Mt. Everest, by doing it in just 26 hours.

Jornet’s climb is the fastest known ascent of Everest and, to add icing to the cake, he did it all without fixed ropes or bottled oxygen. Feeling inspired? Us too. So instead of spending another lunch break al-desko, let MH move mountains to improve your fitness with a mind and muscle-boosting programme that will match Jornet’s feat.

eight-week workout plan you will scale the equivalent of the mighty 29,028ft Mount Everest, without the frostbite, in your lunch break. To give you a headstart we asked two-time Everest climber Adele Pennington, and mountaineering legend Conrad Anker what it would take to replicate each stage of the climb from Base Camp to the summit using regular gym equipment. The final workout was put together with fitness trainer and boot camp pioneer Eric Viskovicz. By the end of MH’s two-month Everest experience you’ll be a new man, he says. “The physical gains should be a 20% increase in VO2 max. And with the proper nutrition, the climber will have increased muscle mass by 2-5lb(0.9-2.3kg).” Complete the workouts specified and you’ll be able to look down on the whole world.


Day 1 – Day 14

Lunch date with destiny
This hardcore start to your health hike will shock your muscles into action, trimming your waistline and increasing VO2 max, says Viskovicz. If your gym doesn’t have a Versaclimber machine, just use a step machine instead.


Day 1: 20mins step machine; 20mins rope or rowing machine; 3×15 press-ups
Day 2: Rest
Day 3: 20mins step machine; 20mins Versaclimber; 3×8 lat pull-downs
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: 20mins step machine; 20mins rope or rowing machine; 3×5 pull-ups
Day 6: 30mins treadmill; 3×12 crunches
Day 7: Rest
Day 8: 20mins step machine; 20mins rope or rowing machine; 3×15 press-ups
Day 9: Rest
Day 10: 20mins step machine; 20mins Versaclimber; 3×8 lat pull-downs; 3×15 press-ups
Day 11: Rest
Day 12: 20mins step machine; 20 mins rope or rowing machine; 3×5 pull-ups
Day 13: 30mins treadmill; 3×12 crunches
Day 14: Rest

Peak condition: This climb crosses the Khumbu icefall and glacier: 2,000 vertical feet of crevasses and ice blocks that have caused more deaths than any other section of the climb.


Day 15 – Day 20

Cardio hike
After the rigours of the firstfortnight, this breezy week of cardiowill keep your VO2 max gains onthe up, says Viskovicz. You’ll feelenergised all week and, accordingto research from University CollegeLondon, your stress levels willplummet by up to 40%.

Day 15: 20mins treadmill;20mins cross trainer;10mins Versaclimber
Day 16: Rest
Day 17: 20mins treadmill;20mins cross trainer;10mins Versaclimber
Day 18: Rest
Day 19: 20mins treadmill;20mins cross trainer;10mins Versaclimber
Day 20: Rest

Peak condition: A trek across the Valleyof Silence, a glacial valley ofundulating snow and ice thatbakes climbers on sunny days.The incline is gentle but the risingaltitude makes for hard work. Getready to work your lungs.


Day 21 – Day 35

Scale up the muscle
The ever increasing numberof squats and upper-body moves,which mimic the physicalityof the real climb, give you full-bodyconditioning to ensure the bikeride to work is a breeze andyou arrive at the office lookingbetter than ever.

Day 22: Rest
Day 23: 20mins rope or rowing machine;4×10 squats; 4×8 lat pull-downs
Day 24: Rest
Day 25: 20mins steps; 4×10 shoulder press
Day 26: Rest
Day 27: 20mins rope or rowing machine; 4x10squats; 20 crunches; 3×5 pull-ups
Day 28: Rest
Day 29: 20mins step machine; 20minsVersaclimber; 4×10 shoulder press
Day 30: Rest
Day 31: 20mins rope or rowing machine;5×10 squats; 20 crunches;5×10 lat pull-downs
Day 32: Rest
Day 33: Rest
Day 34: 20mins step machine; 20minsVersaclimber; 4×10 shoulder press
Day 35: Rest

Peak condition: Camp three is halfway upthe Lhotse face, a climb up a 40-50 degree slab of hard, cold, blueice. It’s a challenging, step-by-steppace to get there.


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