This frequently asked question has a very clear intent behind it. You want to do the Grouse Grind.
You may be in town on vacation, seeking an adventurous and unforgettable activity to write home about. Perhaps it's an item on your bucket list, waiting to be checked-off before you move on to the next. Maybe you're looking to add it to your seasonal, monthly, or weekly fitness regime. Or, you may have simply committed to it because you were asked by a friend, coworker, or loved one. Whichever the case, if you have not done the Grind, you will indeed want to prepare yourself.
Today, the crew at Grindaholic has compiled a list of tips that will help first-timers prep for the world famous (and at-times infamous) 1.8 mile mountainous hike with an elevation of 2,800 feet. This is to be the start of an ongoing series. Today, we begin with the body. Your body.
3 Introductory Tips to Getting Your Body Ready to do the Grouse Grind
1. Hit the Gym for Some Core and Cardio Work
Core and cardio. These are the two C's you need to keep focused on beforehand. Can you do the Grind without strong core and cardiovascular fitness? Possibly. But why would you want to? By working on core and cardio fitness a month prior you can make great strides towards a successful Grind. You will have a far better shot at hitting (or beating) the 1.5 to 2 hour time average while reducing your risk of injury or muscle strain.
Five core exercises that will help you prepare for the hike include dumbbell lunges, Bosu Ball squats, high-box step-ups, kettle ball deadlifts, and planking (with your feet in a semi-wide stance).
Cardio exercises that will help prepare you for the hike include incline treadmill (vary the incline throughout each session), 20-30 minute outdoor jogs at higher elevations (where possible), and intense 10-minute sessions on the rowing machine.
Rotate these activities into your weekly fitness regime as soon as you've committed to doing the Grouse Grind and you'll be on the way to a very admirable first-time personal best!
2. Start with a Few Moderate Hikes Around Greater Vancouver
One of the great things about the Lower Mainland of BC (there are many) is the access to innumerable hiking trails that accommodate all experiences and skill levels. This is a great place to start. Choose hikes with a higher elevation so that you get used to the air density. Here are five fun, adventurous, and photo-worthy spots to check out before your great Grouse Grind adventure:
- Brandywine Falls (Whistler)
- The Chief (Squamish)
- Mount Seymour (North Shore)
- Dog Mountain (North Shore)
- Kennedy Falls (North Shore)
3. Partake in Complementary Outdoor Activities
People that partake in a well-balanced regime of outdoor activities tend to be able to crossover into other natural arenas. For example, a surfer will have developed the balance and agility needed to snowboard for the first time. They will have a leg up on snowboarding newbies without a background in outdoor sports. Do you currently enjoy an outdoor activity such as kayaking, paddle boarding, mountain biking, skateboarding, zip lining, or some other exciting vice? Keep at it and ramp it up in the weeks preceding the Grind. It will serve you well as you prepare to become a Grindaholic!
Stay tuned as we prepare Part II with some more practical tips on how to prepare for the Grouse Grind.