• Kate Sielmann

How To Train For Aconcagua PLUS The 6-Month Aconcagua Training Plan

Updated: Jun 6, 2020

There is a misconception that climbing Aconcagua is relatively easy because it is known as the World’s highest trekking mountain, somehow meaning that it’s easy because you can still trek it. In actual fact, the summit success rate some years has been as low as 1 in every 4 people (33%). According to the chief park keeper in 2016, as many as 40% of the people per year who tried to summit Aconcagua did no preparation at all. Those are shocking statistics that should demonstrate how seriously you should take your training for Aconcagua.


You cannot climb a mountain just short of 7,000m and not train for it. Quite frankly, it would be irresponsible of you and in some cases a life threatening consequence.

In this blog you’ll find out the 3 biggest reasons that make training so important to your success and safety successfully reaching the summit followed by The 6-Month Aconcagua Training Plan.


The 3 Reasons Why You Need To Be Training For Aconcagua:

1. Altitude

The summit altitude is 6,962m. Sitting just under 7,000m it’s safe to say Aconcagua is a huge mountain. If the concept of being close to 7,000m high seems weird and something you just can’t imagine, then go for a 7km walk or run in a straight/straightish line. Doing that will put the magnitude of Aconcagua into perspective and show you why training is so so so important.


2. Trip Duration

It normally takes 21 days to reach the summit and return. That’s 21 days of lugging your gear around, being exposed to extreme altitudes, and most of the time disrupted sleep. It is essentially 3 weeks of your body accumulating the physical stress and strain of those conditions. It is an endurance event that requires you to not only be able to give 100% of your effort and energy each day but also quickly and fully recover before the start of the next day.


3. Load Carrying

Unlike a mountain like Kilimanjaro, you are required to carry your own gear. The big pieces of gear, such as your tent are normally carried by porters, but your own gear, group food and equipment (like gas and group rubbish) is carried by you and your teammates. You should expect and train to carry a backpack weighting between 15kg and 20kg. The additional weight makes this high altitude expedition so much more challenging and in some cases impossible to those who have not trained properly.

Even though you can pay for the additional help of a porter, you absolutely should not rely on that extra help. If you find yourself on the mountain needing help then it’s there but it is the wrong mentality to reduce your training effort simply because you know there’s a back up solution if you need it.


NOTE: Please read “The 5 Essential Training Principles Of Mountaineering & Trekking” before you start the next section of this blog. You’ll need to understand what the training principles actually are to use your 6 Month Aconcagua Training Plan.


A small disclaimer, 6 months to train and prepare is really the minimum amount of time I would suggest to any of my clients with reasonable/average fitness levels. If you struggle to walk 12km up and down hills with a 10kg backpack with a heart rate of about 130bpm or run a 10km with a heart rate between 150bpm and 160bpm then rather be on the safe side and assume you need longer than 6 months to prepare.


6-Month Aconcagua Training Plan


In my book “A Step-By-Step Manual To Mountaineering & Trekking Around The World” I share the formula I developed to calculate the exact number of hours you should be training per week to reach your peak physical condition for any mountain or trekking route you choose, as well as an entire, detailed and scientific chapter dedicated to creating your own training program.


If you haven’t read my book and calculated your weekly training hours then please know that the below training plan is based on the average age, weight and overall fitness levels of a person. This program also excludes the specific Heart Rate Zones that I explain and apply to The Training Chapter in my book, simply because it is impossible (and medically unsafe) to assume and suggest the specific zones you should be training in without properly calculating them.


Dedicate yourself to your training, give of your absolute best at sea level so you can give of your best at altitude. Aconcagua will demand nothing less than your absolute best.


Month 1 (per week)

  • 2 hours Aerobic Fitness

  • 1 hour Core Stability

  • 30 minutes Ankle Mobility and Balance

  • 2 hours Leg and Glute Strength

  • 20 minutes Anaerobic Power

Month 2 (per week)

  • 3 hours Aerobic Fitness

  • 1 hour Core Stability

  • 30 minutes Ankle Mobility and Balance

  • 2 hours Leg and Glute Strength

  • 20 minutes Anaerobic Power

Month 3 (per week)

  • 3.5 hours Aerobic Fitness

  • 1 hour Core Stability

  • 30 minutes Ankle Mobility and Balance

  • 2 hours Leg and Glute Strength

  • 20 minutes Anaerobic Power

Month 4 (per week)

  • 3.5 hours Aerobic Fitness

  • 1 hour Core Stability

  • 30 minutes Ankle Mobility and Balance

  • 2 hours Leg and Glute Strength

  • 25 minutes Anaerobic Power

Month 5 (per week)

  • 4 hours Aerobic Fitness

  • 1 hour Core Stability

  • 30 minutes Ankle Mobility and Balance

  • 2.5 hours Leg and Glute Strength

  • 25 minutes Anaerobic Power

Month 6 (per week)

  • 4 hours Aerobic Fitness

  • 1.5 hours Core Stability

  • 30 minutes Ankle Mobility and Balance

  • 2.5 hours Leg and Glute Strength

  • 25 minutes Anaerobic Power

The Week Before You Leave For Aconcagua (Peak Week)

During Peak Week, your training amount will decrease giving your body the necessary time to rest and recover before you take your first step on Aconcagua. You want to start your climb fully recovered and rested and not tired and exhausted from training, which is why including a Peak Week in your 6 Month Training Plan is important.


Peak Week

  • 3 hours Aerobic Fitness

  • 1 hour Core Stability

  • 30 minutes Ankle Mobility and Balance

  • 1 hour Leg and Glute Strength – very light exercises followed by a 15 minute Self-Massage Release (SMR) using a Foam Roller. Click here to see my SMR program.

  • 0 minutes Anaerobic Power

+49 (0) 176 478 614 32

©2020 by The Lifestyle Concierge (UK) Ltd   - T&C - Dataprotecion Law - Legal Stuff