Who are the Vikings?
The Vikings were primarily known for their seafaring nature, most notably through their longboats, which became an iconic symbol of their culture. What’s more interesting though, is that they were also expert mountain climbers and skiers. Seeing as many of them originally came from mountainous regions in Scandinavia, they had to master these pursuits over the years to survive.
In fact, more than just a means of survival, mountain climbing even evolved to become a Viking sport. A blog post from Heidnibok explained how the activity was popular as a sport to encourage more Vikings to develop strength, agility and balance. Needless to say, when it was time for battle, physical prowess was vital to stay alive.
Skiing is another important skill amongst Vikings because it served as a fast and effective means of transportation on the snowy slopes. The word ‘ski’ actually originated from the Old Norse ‘skíð’ which means ‘stick of wood’ as specified by The Dockyards and the activity was linked with Scandinavians so much even if evidence of similar activities were found in other civilisations living in icy regions.
Vikings as portrayed in the modern world
This physical and outdoor nature of Vikings is portrayed best through numerous shows and games, which are popular through many medias. In the acclaimed series Vikings, the characters sometimes have fun through engaging in fistfights and arm wrestling when not in battle.
Conversely, the hack and slash title Viking: Battle for Asgard demonstrates the immense force of a Viking warrior when facing adversity. The slots lineup of the widely popular Spin Genie gaming portal also has Nordic Heroes, in which players progress through the game using different Viking leaders, each with their own expertise using various weapons and items to prevail against their enemies.
Whether there’s peace or war, the might of a Viking always stands out, and these legendary qualities inspire today’s generation to personally develop their own strength, endurance, and toughness to conquer their chosen pursuits.
So why train like a Viking?
According to The Independent, Scandinavians are among the fittest people on the planet. Men from Iceland, in particular, hold titles in the world’s strongest man competitions more than any other country.
They’re renowned for their physical prowess; thus, their training methods caught the attention of many fitness coaches around the world. One of these programs is the Viking Method, which focuses on functional training through rigorous exercises like bunny hopping as well as heavy daily activities like wood chopping and shovelling, conditioning for extreme climate and a diet that relies on timing.
Where to start
For a true Viking experience, challenge yourself by climbing the mountains and fjords of Scandinavia. Norway is a great country to start, and to help you pick a location, Switch Back Travel listed the top hikes in the nation with varying difficulty levels.
On the other hand, the mental aspect is as crucial as the physical, which is why you have to develop your mindset when climbing. Check out a previous post here on Climb Big Mountains to understand how you can condition your psychological game as a climber.
This is a guest contribution from Dominic Evans.