My Kieser Story, Neil Ritter: to Keep Climbing

Client Name: Neil Ritter
Centre: Mont Albert
Primary Instructor:Jade Van Oosterwijck

Neil Ritter has been a member at Kieser Mont Albert for over three years. Recently he had the opportunity to go on a trek of a lifetime and worked with his instructor to customise his training program to help achieve his goals. Here is his story:

“I originally joined Kieser in 2014 due to chronic lower back soreness, which after several weeks of a training program almost totally disappeared. Now I just have an occasional ‘twinge’.

An opportunity arose recently for my wife and I to fulfil a long held ambition to walk the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, a trek of four days over varying terrain, some of it very steep and at altitude.

During a training program review I asked my instructor, Jade, to give me an exercise program to strengthen the muscles around my knees and my calves to assist in my upcoming trek.

After about five months of training, we set off on our trip. The first day of the walk was fairly easy following a river but this gave way to a series of steep ascents with stunning views of the Andes and ancient Inca ruins.

The next day was an early start, up at 6am and walking before 7am. The track climbed steeply using steps all the way for about five hours up to an altitude of 4,200 metres. It was tough going due to the altitude and the severity of the ascent.

We had rest time at the top, Dead Woman’s Pass, before a two hour descent down more steep wet steps to our camp site. It was a pity we did not get a view from the top as it was raining steadily.

The third day again started early with another steep & climb up more steps for about 1.5 hours past more Inca ruins (I was getting over stairs!).

Finally we were at the top before descending to the next rest stop. The track was undulating for the rest of the day to camp, passing through rain forest along the way and more Inca ruins. We had a very early start on the last day and were up at 3am. We started walking to Machu Picchu park gate by torch light and waited until dawn at 5:30am before entering the park. We could see large mountains and glaciers in the distance. The last set of stairs at last were extremely steep and aptly named the ‘Monkey Wall’. As we climbed on all fours up to the Sun Gate the clouds gave way to give us our first view of Machu Picchu.

After another descent of about 45 minutes we were finally there and all the aches and sore muscles disappeared. We had finally made it and I am happy to say that my training at Kieser assisted in getting me there.”

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