• Kate Sielmann

How To Train For Mount Toubkal PLUS The 5-Week Mount Toubkal Training Plan

Updated: Jun 6, 2020

Mount Toubkal (pronounced “tub kal”) is located in North Africa and is the highest mountain in the North of this massive continent. There is a misconception that this mountain is an easy climb simply because it is classified as a multi-day trek that can be done within 5 days, but far too many people decide to climb Mount Toubkal, forgo training and then regret it while they are struggling on the climb. It is such an incredible, “bucket-list” trek, that is super accessible for most people in Europe. Why waste the opportunity of enjoying every single second when all it takes is properly training and preparing for it before hand?


In this blog you’ll find out the 2 reasons that make training so important to your success and safety followed by a 5-Week Mount Toubkal Training Plan.


The 2 Reasons Why You Need To Be Training For Mount Toubkal:


1. Altitude

The summit altitude is 4,167m. Sitting just over 4,000m it’s safe to say that Mount Toubkal is classified as a big mountain. If the concept of being just over 4,000m high seems weird and something you just can’t imagine, then go for a 4km walk or run in a straight/straightish line. Doing that will put the magnitude of Mount Toubkal into perspective and show you why training for the trek is so important.


2. Gradient Profile

Between the second and third day there is a very, very steep climb taking you from about 2,000m all the way up to the summit of 4,167m, within a 15km distance. That is an altitude gain of 2,167m! To put it into perspective, the summit day on Everest is only about an 850m gain in vertical meters. Of course, Toubkal is half the size of Everest but it is still a huge altitude gain in such a short period of time. You should expect a challenge and a lot of huffing and puffing to get up that hill!


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 understand your 5-Week Mount Toubkal Training Plan.


A small disclaimer, 5 weeks 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 5km with a heart rate of about 130bpm or run 4km with a heart rate between 140bpm and 150bpm then rather be on the safe side and assume you need longer than 5 weeks to prepare.


5-Week Mount Toubkal 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. The beautiful Mount Toubkal will demand nothing less than your absolute best.


Week 1

  • 2 hours Aerobic Fitness

  • 30 minutes Core Stability

  • 15 minutes Ankle Mobility and Balance

  • 1 hour Leg and Glute Strength

  • 15 minutes Anaerobic Power

Week 2

  • 2 hours Aerobic Fitness

  • 30 minutes Core Stability

  • 15 minutes Ankle Mobility and Balance

  • 1 hour Leg and Glute Strength

  • 15 minutes Anaerobic Power

Week 3

  • 2.5 hours Aerobic Fitness

  • 30 minutes Core Stability

  • 15 minutes Ankle Mobility and Balance

  • 1 hour Leg and Glute Strength

  • 15 minutes Anaerobic Power

Week 4

  • 3 hours Aerobic Fitness

  • 40 minutes Core Stability

  • 15 minutes Ankle Mobility and Balance

  • 1.5 hours Leg and Glute Strength

  • 15 minutes Anaerobic Power


Week 5 (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 onto Mount Toubkal. 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 5-Week Mount Toubka Training Plan is important.


  • 2 hours Aerobic Fitness

  • 30 minutes 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

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