Jack of All Sports

Guest blog by Jack Braniff

Sick of being surrounded by the notion that health and fitness is about looking good, last year I decided I wanted more – I would attempt to become the real life Jack of all trades. Well Jack of All sports actually.

‘Jack of all trades’ – achievable? I’ve been bending, sweating and stretching my way through India, weightlifting under the guidance of a former Olympic Weightlifting coach and I’m now set to embark on my next adventure; to climb Mont Blanc this August.

It's up there somewhere!
It’s up there somewhere!

I’ll be attempting the ascent of the tallest mountain in Western Europe. Standing tall at 4,810m it may be much lower than the real big ones of the Himalayas but it will be a huge challenge nonetheless.

After much dithering and some reluctance, I’m giving up my biceps and swapping a barbell for running shoes and the great outdoors. 12 weeks to go from a 95kg weightlifter to someone proficient in alpinism. Or just being able to drag these quads up a really steep hill!

One minor detail is that there aren’t any mountains where I live, nor hills for that matter. Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham is probably one of the flattest places in the UK.

So 5 days a week on the stepper? Not likely! One for adventure I’ll be walking, running, trail running and bouldering my way to mountain fitness.


After approaching Craghoppers towards the end of May these guys have very kindly agreed to support my challenge by providing me with the kit I will need to get through both the training and hopefully some of the actual climb!

So for my walks, runs and Chamonix Mt Blanc training trip, Craghoppers will be keeping me dry, warm and looking good too. As obviously this is what’s most important…

Thankfully their kit is more mountain hardy than me!

My favourite piece of kit has to be the Kiwi Pro Elite Trousers, which as well as fitting brilliantly, also have a little stretch which will be perfect for the type of climbing I will be doing.

Likewise, the Ionic Hooded Jacket is also great for what I need, it’s warm, has a little stretch and it’s soft on my skin.

If you want to follow along with my training and the trip itself, then check out my website where I’ll be documenting what I’ll be doing leading up to my trip.


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