A warehouse gym in Fremantle is a long way from a mountain top in the Himalayas but for Queensland teenager Alyssa Azar it is one step closer.
Early next year, at 18, she plans to become the youngest Australian to climb Mt Everest.
To get herself in peak physical and mental condition, Alyssa came to WA recently for an intensive three-week course at The Mill.
“The harder I train when I’m here in Australia, the better I’m going to be when I’m on the mountain,” Alyssa said.
The military foundation of the gym pushed Alyssa to her limits, with as much focus on attitude as ability.
“You have no external motivation on a mountain, so you’ve got to make sure your mind is very focused,” she said.
Alyssa uses a gas mask while training to limit her oxygen intake. This is to prepare her for Everest’s extreme altitude — up to 8848m.
“The goal of it is to get used to having limited oxygen intake and still working at a high rate,” she said.
On her last session at the gym, she was taken through a range of rigorous routines. She started by lifting herself up from the ground while holding a heavy punching bag. Later, she pulled a weighted sled across the gym floor.
Outside, Alyssa took a brisk walk while wearing the gas mask and carrying two kettle bells.
Back inside the gym, she removed the mask before resuming training, ending with an intense stint on the cycling machine.
The exercises are extreme and the trainers tough, but it is just a morsel of what Alyssa will experience on Everest.
Alyssa’s daring lifestyle started at an early age, encouraged by her dad Glenn Azar, who used to guide tracks across the Kokoda Trail.