General physical training

All of us in the team have to slowly but surely build up the time we spend in developing our own physical conditions. We won’t be able to reach the levels we need to overnight, so as time goes by, we will need to gradually increase the levels of our training to levels that will be similar to the amount of exertion we will spend every day on our adventure.

We can’t be too fat and we can’t be too thin: on both sides of the world, we will need to go through tropical forests where it will be pretty darn hot and humid; before arriving at the Poles, we will be walking/skiing over 1,000 miles across them both – most likely spending between 5,000 and 7,000 calories per day, whereas realistically we will only be able to eat about 4,000 calories worth of food per day – we will certainly lose a fair few kilograms of weight on both of these legs of the journey (weight which we will need to regain to be healthy)! The level of fitness required for Mount Everest speaks for itself and, after the Himalayas, cycling distances such as the 3,000km across central Australian deserts from Darwin to Adelaide will challenge even the strongest of athletes. Also, when we are climbing, it is helpful to be pretty strong and light at the same time (though with Ben and Nat, this is a challenge because of their naturally broader build)…

So there is an incredibly tricky balance to maintain with our bodies. Ultimately, though, we all do need to be extremely fit and, by the time we leave São Paulo, we will need to be able to cycle and walk with (or dragging) heavy loads eight hours a day.

Climbing and hiking, and gradually increasing the number of hours every day we spend doing these activities will all help us over the next couple of years in reaching these conditions, just as the time we spend at the gym developing our various shoulder, arm, abdominal and leg muscles. The running on the treadmill and in parks, as well as cycling ever increasing distances as time passes by, will help increase our endurance to greater levels. At the same time, working with nutritionists and personal trainers will all help us turn into the athletes we need to be to complete the project.

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