What Is The Everesting Challenge?

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If you’ve been snooping around the fitness side of the latest trends over the past few years, you definitely would have heard about the famous Everesting Challenge. With so many different variations of this challenge, it can be difficult to tell what the original challenge was intended to be and what it entails…

The Everesting challenge involves either running or cycling up a hill repeatedly until you reach a vertical distance equivalent to the height of Mount Everest. You must complete the challenge in a single ride, although breaks are permitted, and often 2 hours of sleep are allowed. 

Want to know more about the Everesting challenge and how to do it?

Maybe we can inspire you to try it yourself!

Let’s take a closer look…

The Everesting Challenge Explained

What is the Everesting challenge?

The Everesting Challenge is the latest extreme fitness trend. In theory, it seems simple. All you have to do is pick a hill anywhere and cycle up and down that hill repeatedly until you have cumulatively climbed the height of Mount Everest.

The catch is that you have to cycle the full vertical distance of 8,848m in a single ride.

Oh, and in case you were in any doubt: that’s a BIG climb.

We’re talking about the highest peak on Earth, after all.

If there’s one thing we can guarantee with this challenge, it will mentally and physically challenge you. It is a test of endurance, dedication, and willpower. 

This is not something you attempt on tired legs!

Why Do People Want To Do The Everesting Challenge?

Since the Everesting challenge started, an increasing number of people have tested themselves by taking on this 8,8448m cycle for many different reasons.

More often than not, these cyclists are doing this challenge to raise money or awareness for various causes, such as cancer, mental health, and other chronic illnesses.

Big brands such as Red Bull have recognized and promoted this fitness test, which also opens doors for athletes who need sponsors and perhaps some good publicity.

Athletes who complete this challenge also get an Everesting jersey, so the world will know they have done something pretty darn impressive. For some, this recognition alone is enough to inspire them to give Everesting a go.

How Did Everesting Start?

The Everesting challenge was officially started by a group of Australian cyclists known as the HELLS 500 club. They were inspired by George Mallory, who cycled up Mount Donna Buang a total of ten times, reaching a total vertical distance of 8,848m.

The founder of the HELLS 500 club then set up the website and thus began the Everesting challenge.

Everesting challenge
Learn more about the Everesting Challenge on the official website

The Three Steps To Everesting

According to the official Everesting website, there are three steps to completing the Everesting challenge.

The first step is to plan and prepare. The website offers free, comprehensive guides on preparing for your upcoming fitness challenge. You are also able to use their tool to calculate the number of repetitions you would need to do to reach the height of Mount Everest. 

The second step is actually to complete the challenge. This needs to be recorded on Strava to ensure that there are no false claims of completion. Before doing this, make sure you read the rules on what is considered an acceptable climb.

The third and final step is to submit the Strava activity to the official Everest website. Then go and take a good nap!

You deserve it.

What Is Virtual Everesting?

Virtual Everesting can be completed through Zwift, RGT, or RaceRepublic.

Other than the fact that it’s virtual, there’s no difference in the difficulty because the virtual challenge is heavily regulated to ensure that the difficulty is the same as the physical Everesting challenge. There are rules listed for this on the Everesting website.

The challenge is still tracked the same as normal through Strava.

How Do You Prepare For The Everesting Challenge?

To prepare for the Everesting challenge, you need to make sure that you are in peak physical condition.

This means being fit and healthy and not having any active injuries that you could worsen by attempting the challenge. Once you know you’re ready to train, it’s a simple matter of dedication and intense exercise.

You should be able to train for Everesting in around ten to twelve weeks.

While this is just an estimate, and everyone’s bodies are different, this is the suggested training period. You shouldn’t rush the training, as this can result in injury, and you will need a firm foundation on which to build for the upcoming challenge.

What To Eat To Prepare For The Everesting Challenge

Glycogen is one of the primary fuels that muscles use to produce energy during endurance activity. The muscles in the human body can store enough glycogen for up to 90 minutes of high-intensity endurance activity.

For this reason, carb loading is recommended in the days leading up to the Everesting challenge.

Carb loading will increase the glycogen stores available for the challenge, and this method ensures that your body has enough energy for more than 90 minutes of endurance training.

Exercise tapering paired with increasing carbohydrate consumption is the most efficient method of carb loading.

Recent research has improved methods for optimal carbohydrate loading. The current advice is to taper your workout program for about four days while maintaining a diet that is high in carbohydrates.

You can use a free online tool to calculate your carbohydrate needs according to your body weight.

Carb calculator for everesting challenge

You need to stay well hydrated for this challenge.

Your body and brain both need adequate hydration to function properly, and with the amount of strain your body will be under, you’ll need to prepare well in advance by packing enough water and sports drinks to replace the water and electrolytes that you will lose.

Is Everesting Safe?

The Everesting Challenge might be dangerous if you don’t prepare properly or pay attention to the considerable number of safety instructions on the official Everesting website.

This is especially true when you’re sleep-deprived and in remote areas. In response, the Hells 500 club has put safety measures in place. This includes allowing cyclists and runners to sleep for two hours. 

Be sure to take advantage of this allowance!

What To Expect During The Challenge

During the challenge, there are a few things you can expect to experience. No matter your fitness level, these few feelings and experiences are almost inevitable.

Don’t be surprised when the exhaustion kicks in. Extended mental and physical strain will kick in at some point during the challenge. This is normal, but you should make sure that you’re fully prepared to push through these tough feelings.

If you take too many breaks throughout the challenge, you will accumulate extra time that will end up making you feel more tired as the day progresses. Your best chance is to start the challenge at midnight and take as few breaks as possible.

Recovering From The Everesting Challenge

Recovering from the challenge can be just as exhausting as the challenge itself. This is because your body has been pushed to the limit, and you have used every bit of mental strength possible. 

Recovery starts the minute you complete the challenge. The first step is to hydrate with sports drinks and water. This will replace some of the fluids and electrolytes that were lost. 

You can also soak in an Epsom salt bath that is rich in magnesium. Ice baths, as well as hot ones, can also prevent muscle injuries and promote recovery.

Because your body experienced such a rush of adrenaline and endorphins, you will crash a few days after the challenge. This is normal, and the support of your family and friends can help you through this time.

Get enough sleep and take it easy with some light exercise and stretching, and you’ll be perfectly fine.

What Happens When You Complete The Challenge?

Once you have completed the Everesting challenge and submitted it, you’ll be listed in the Everesting Hall of Fame. 

The listing will include: 

  • Your name
  • Age
  • The Number of Everestings you’ve completed
  • Location
  • Date
  • Time
  • Total distance
  • Elevation
  • Average gradient
  • Elapsed time

The HELLS 500 Club will also send any badges you earn through the challenge to you, and you will be able to purchase an Everesting challenge jacket.

The Ultimate Everesting Fitness Challenge

While the concept of Everesting may be simple to understand, the challenge’s physical and mental strain makes this such an accomplishment to complete.

Even the best athletes will struggle with this mammoth climbing challenge. 

Remember, while the challenge is difficult and you may be tempted to go home, sleep, and never wake up after completion, you need to follow through with the proper steps of recovery to make sure that you reduce the risk of muscle injury and mental health struggles.

Surround yourself with people who support you; prepare well; recover fully, and stay focused to have a chance at making it through this incredibly tough fitness test.

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