• Kate Sielmann

How To Train For The “O” Circuit PLUS The 6-Week “O” Circuit Training Plan

Updated: Jun 6, 2020

For more info about The “O” Circuit, please read this blog:


7 Essential Things To Know & Add To Your “O” Circuit Planning


In this blog you’ll find out the 2 reasons that make training so important to your success and safety followed by a 6-Week “O” Circuit Training Plan.


The 2 Reasons Why You Need To Be Training For The “O” Circuit:

1. Distance & Altitude

The entire trek is 135km, which generally takes 6 to 8 days to complete. The average person will take close to 135,000 steps in those 6 to 8 days. Considering each step uses over 200 muscles in your body, you can safely assume that this trail is going to be a major, major challenge if you don’t properly train for it. Then to add the high altitude aspect and profile to this trek, with continuous ascents and descents for the entire duration. Altogether it makes this incredibly beautiful trek an incredibly challenging (and fun) trek!


2. Personal Safety & Responsibility

There is no search and rescue within the park. It is up to you to look after yourself and be responsible for your well-being. If you are not fit enough to do the route on your own, without help then you absolutely shouldn’t be doing it. You need to take personal responsibility and properly prepare yourself physically for this incredible trail.


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 6-Week “O” Circuit Training Plan.


A small disclaimer, 6 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 for that distance. If you struggle to walk 8km with a heart rate of about 130bpm or run 6km with a heart rate between 140bpm and 150bpm then rather be on the safe side and assume you need longer than 6 weeks to prepare.


6-Week “O” Circuit 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 during your training so you can give of your best and enjoy every moment of this incredible trail.


IMPORTANT NOTE: You will be carrying your own gear so make sure you do as much of your Aerobic, Ankle Mobility and Leg sessions with a weighted pack on.


Week 1

  • 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 2

  • 3 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

  • 3.5 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 4

  • 3.5 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

  • 4 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 6 (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 The “O” Circuit. 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 Week “O” Circuit 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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