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Thread: training for hunt

  1. #1
    Member EricL's Avatar
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    Question training for hunt

    I know this was covered a little bit on the old forum, but I'd like to get everyone's ideas for the best exercises to do preparing for the hunt. Doesn't matter if it is a 4 wheeler trip in for moose or a goat hunt! Eric

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    Default My routine

    I do at least one physically demanding hunt each year. I've done 2 Dall sheep, a mountain goat and a few others such a moose, bear etc. In August it's off to BC for Stone sheep.

    I start training about 4 months before the hunt. I hike everyday and always with my backpack on. I start with about 35 lbs. Here in PA we don't have the terrain that Alaska has to offer but our farmland does have some hills. I try to walk between 3 and 4 miles every day. On the weekends I move it up to 4 to 6 miles. I add about 10 lbs. to the pack each month or so. I try to be between 70 and 80 lbs. about 2 to 3 weeks prior to the hunt. I do upper body weight training about 3 times a week although it's nothing too intense. I do very little jogging due to some slight knee trouble.

    About a month before the hunt I will head to the mountains and do a 3 day 30 mile hike just to make sure my training is on track.

    This routine has worked well for me and I never felt limited on any of my hunts due to not being in shape. I have taken game on each of my hunts.

    Now at 46 years old, this routine has served me well.

    I hope this is what you were looking for.

    Doug

    Doug

  3. #3
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    Default Train for what your going to do...

    If your going on a mountain hunt, don't run on flat ground, as you will find out that the hills are a lot harder to go up if you don't. However, if your on flat land coming to AK & don't have mountains or high hills, find the biggest hill in your area & use that, or use a stair machine at your local gym. It will pay dividends you'll reap forever.

    Regiment your training, at least 6-12 weeks prior to your hunt, start off slow if you haven't been exercising so you don't kill yourself first & then quit. Cardiovascular is very important to staying in shape & humping out large packs. Likewise humping large packs can kill your shoulders in no time. So when you do some cardiovascular, bring your pack with you, start with a nice 30 min walk with @ 25-35lb pack & then work your way up to 35-40lb 45-50lb.

    Also if you live in a remote area, bring your weapon you'll be hunting with as that can be a strain if your walking for more than 3 miles to your hunting site. Bascially, gradually build up your stamina at your own pace, but do so consistantly & you will see results, & again, pay yourself dividends for a lifetime.

  4. #4

    Default It's all relative

    I'm far from a fitness expert, having spent a good portion of my adult life (I'll be 45 this year) overweight by 20-30 lbs and out of shape. I got by when all I was doing was short hikes with no weight on my back and climbing in/out of treestands trying to shoot a Whitetail. I still love to bowhunt for deer but I have spread my wings a little and now hunt other species so I've been a little more disciplined for the last few years with nutrition and exercise and it has paid off.

    I'm doing a Goat hunt in BC this fall and have been pretty dedicated since mid-March with my preparation. I've been doing cardio about 6 days a week, either biking steep hills or hiking the same hills with weight in my pack (45-50 lbs.), usually about an hour to an hour and fifteen each day. I'm mixing in some weightlifting as well, upper body mostly as my legs are getting plenty of work hiking/biking. I'm also looking after my diet, but I do still cheat a bit.

    All this is pretty basic/boring stuff I know, but the interesting thing is I actually am enjoying the routine more than usual this time. I think when you're out of shape you wonder if you will ever get control of your fitness again, especially when you get older. There is so much misleading and contradictory info out there about diet/exercise that it's no wonder we get confused on how to do it. What I've learned is really no big secret or surprise. For me it's just a simple matter of doing the work and being patient and realistic with the results. Be consistent and be sensible, don't try to do it all in a month and the outcome is unavoidable. That's comforting to me, knowing not hoping, that I'll get the result I'm after if I put in the work, it's automatic.

    But it really is all relative. A guy like me that lives at sea level and doesn't have a physically demanding job will be hard pressed to ever really get in good enough shape for a strenuous mountain hunt. Who has the time to spend replicating the amount of work you'll commonly do on that type of hunt. I remember reading somewhere an estimated 7000 calories a day being burned backpacking in the mountains. Not that you would want to but good luck getting that kind of fuel burning out of your workouts.

    So I'm happy getting in decent shape even though I know I'll still suffer on my hunt.

  5. #5
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    Default Maintain your fitness year round

    Quote Originally Posted by EricL
    I know this was covered a little bit on the old forum, but I'd like to get everyone's ideas for the best exercises to do preparing for the hunt. Doesn't matter if it is a 4 wheeler trip in for moose or a goat hunt! Eric
    Make it part of your lifestyle.
    Ski in the winter, bike, hike, walk or jog in the summer. Combine that with some muli joint excercises like squats, pullups, bench and shoulder presses.

    And don't forget core strength training. Crunches, hanging leg lifts, pilates, etc. and some stretching.

    And if your over 45 like me plenty of vitamin A.... Advil
    Last edited by Snyd; 06-14-2006 at 22:23.

  6. #6
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    Default Rewind: sage advice, just make it part of your lifestyle...

    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    Make it part of your lifestyle.
    Ski in the winter, bike, hike, walk or jog in the summer. Combine that with some multi joint exercises like squats, pullups, bench and shoulder presses...And don't forget core strength training. Crunches, hanging leg lifts, pilates, etc. and some stretching...
    As I age, it seems the cost of an activity layoff gets higher, even as more tasks compete for my free time. Maybe the value of continuing to stay active goes up too? Let's hope so . I found some stuff on a gear/hiking/climbing site: "Set SMART goals",which dovetails nicely with an old thread and Snyd's advice (see full article for details at http://www.bodyresults.com/E2SMARTgoals.asp?pm=1.
    Version:1.0 StartHTML:0000000155 EndHTML:0000005656 StartFragment:0000004477 EndFragment:0000005620 SourceURL:file:///Users/admin/Desktop/Drafts.doc). Notes on setting SMART goals:

    1. SPECIFIC and MEASURABLE; the section is worth reading to understand what they call the “ultimate” goal. In this case, probably to keep getting outdoors – to hunt.
    2. ACTION-ORIENTED; plan your actions – what kind of activity, how long/often?
    3. REALISTIC: set the bar too high and discouragement builds.
    4. TIME-STAMPED: set deadlines. Write them down.

    A gear website, Pro Mountain Sports, also has info aimed at sports specific (hikers, climbers) conditioning and injury prevention: http://www.promountainsports.com/fitness.shtml. Another link to the American Academy of Podiatry and Sports Medicine: http://www.aapsm.org/ct0298.html, where a few additional articles are available, some in pdf format, but related to topics (e.g., insoles) which might be relevant.

    REWIND: Information about staying fit to keep getting out there is also covered in another thread:
    http://forums.outdoorsdirectory.com/...d.php?p=200424. Quotable from Daveinthebush:

    [QUOTE] Well every other day I snow blow the 100 yard driveway.

    Shoveled 2 feet of snow off of the roof last might.

    Split 5 face cord on Sat. and stacked 7 on Sunday.

    Chase 100 kids around all day for 7 hours in the woodshop.

    Tread mill, 30-50 minutes, 5-10 degrees, 23-3 mph every other night.

    Weights for about 10-15 minutes.

    Lift coffee cup for several minutes too. [QUOTE]

  7. #7
    Member Hunt&FishAK's Avatar
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    Default

    here in anchorage my friends and i train (okay so my friends much more than myself lately but im shifting gears now) by hiking up the mountains....pretty simple, get off the beaten path for awhile every outing, like negotiating thick stands of brush and steep brushy/rocky hills and slopes......just try to mimic what its gonna be like when your hunting or hiking to base camp.....the best way i think....also work on your CARDIO: the most important thing probably, especially if your gonna be hunting alpine country (air is thinner). lift weights maybe 20 minutes a day a few times a week just to keep yourself in shape....we train all thru the spring and summer (start right about now hotfootin it up mountains and rugged trails so as to try and be ready for spring black bear hunting) right up to the hunt......Now, heres the kicker, if your within reasonable distance to your hunting area, you can train there, and scout the game while your at it not to mention get a good feel for the country, build/set up base camps, stash alittle food/ extra gear/ water every time you go up....



    Release Lake Trout

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    Make it part of your lifestyle.
    Ski in the winter, bike, hike, walk or jog in the summer. Combine that with some muli joint excercises like squats, pullups, bench and shoulder presses.

    And don't forget core strength training. Crunches, hanging leg lifts, pilates, etc. and some stretching.

    And if your over 45 like me plenty of vitamin A.... Advil
    I agree. Much easier to maintain good fitness than to start from out of shape and overweight. I'm currently paying the price in the gym right now for bad eating choices and a lack of exercise. I'm reminded of it every time I hop on that stairmaster.

  9. #9
    New member AKDSLDOG's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Snyd View Post
    Make it part of your lifestyle.
    Ski in the winter, bike, hike, walk or jog in the summer. Combine that with some muli joint excercises like squats, pullups, bench and shoulder presses.

    And don't forget core strength training. Crunches, hanging leg lifts, pilates, etc. and some stretching.

    And if your over 45 like me plenty of vitamin A.... Advil
    Bingo! You can't fully get your body back in tip top shape on a 4 month routine. 8 months of off time sets your body to far back. 5 days a week in the gym. 3 days of weights and 2 days of carido. My routine takes me 2hrs minimum. Also follow up with 2-5 mile walks with the family on top of the gym. I've never felt better in my life!

  10. #10
    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKDSLDOG View Post
    5 days a week in the gym. 3 days of weights and 2 days of carido. My routine takes me 2hrs minimum. Also follow up with 2-5 mile walks with the family on top of the gym. I've never felt better in my life!
    Good on you, Curt! I'm glad to hear that you've been keeping after it.

    I will say, though, that it is waaaay more fun to spend that time climbing mountains than staring at the 4 walls of the inside of a gym. To each their own, though.

  11. #11
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    Default Thanks for resurrecting this.

    This is a great reminder for us all.

    I like to lift weights 3 times a week, different muscle groups, about an hour each time.
    Abs/Core 3-4 times/week - usually combined with my other workouts.
    Run 2-3 times/week: 2 three mile or longer runs and one shorter interval (short sprints between 80% periods)
    Cross-country ski 1-2 times/week (between 5-7.5k's).
    Hikes on the weekend - usually flat and short in winter, building up to longer/hillyier (sp?) with a pack in the summer. Always with a rifle (usually a 22).

    One area I could improve on is nutrition. I'm horrible about exercising self-discipline in this area. Even with all the exercise I consistently do I'm still about 20 lbs more than I should be. I like to have a beer or two now and then, and eat more than I should.

    v/r

    salcha star road

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    Member aksheephuntress's Avatar
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    -good thread!

    .......cut and split 10 cords of wood.....

    .......hike and descend mountains with a 60 pound pack....

    .......pushups, full lunges, deep-knee bends....

    .......on the range:shouldering the rifle, holding for 5 minutes, then taking a shot at target-
    ...... with my bow I try to hold at full draw for 5 min, then try to take an accurate shot-

    -and, I practice stalking up on my kids......good practice; they don't miss a thing!
    ....a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed....

  13. #13
    Member aksheephuntress's Avatar
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    Default ....The Six Minute Hill....

    ...I found this on the web somewhere a few years ago.....
    -not sure if it's been posted here before , or not-

    -I've found this informative...

    A REPRINT ARTICLE FROM

    GRAND SLAM CLUB/OVIS
    THE SIX MINUTE HILL

    by DENNIS CAMPBELL

    I personally believe that it takes either a truly tough son-of-a-gun or a real idiot to go on a sheep hunt while
    out of shape. Even you tough guys surely must realize that things could be so much better if you get in shape!
    Actually, my hat is off to you folks who can tough it out for a week or more with rubber legs, burning muscles,
    gasping breathing, aching, and soreness. I must be a wuss (to use a politically incorrect term) because I do not
    have the intestinal fortitude to do it... I get in sheep shape, you see.
    I just read over an article I wrote way back in 1984 about getting in shape. I called it CONDITIONING: IS
    IT WORTH IT? The article went into great depth about how to get in shape. My regimen back then included
    jumping rope, pushups, bicycling, walking (hiking), climbing steps, and jogging. WHEW!! It wore me out just
    reading that old article... which, I suppose, was written when I was 16 years younger.
    About 10 years ago, I threw away the old complicated workout and went to the “KISS” method (Keep It
    Simple, Stupid). I now do THE SIX MINUTE HILL.
    This is so simple that a lot of you will think it cannot possibly work... but believe me, it does!! Actually, one
    could, and should, do it year round. However, if you cannot or will not do that, at least know that six weeks is
    enough to get in sheep shape.... and WOW, eight to twelve weeks would be so much better. Is this just for young
    folks? Heck no, I believe THE SIX MINUTE HILL can work for anyone who can walk!
    TIPS:
    • Consult your physician FIRST!
    • Start slowly and work up from there.
    • Try to average over three times a week (every other day is best)
    • If you miss a workout or two (or three or four), do not get discouraged, but start back where you left off... or
    even at the previous level.
    Just what is this SIX MINUTE HILL and/or the workout? It is simply a hill you can walk up AND down
    within six minutes. (Let’s be reasonable here and say that it could be a 7-or-8-minute hill, too.) Naturally, if you
    are out of shape it might take a little longer the first few times, but generally speaking let’s use six minutes as an
    average one. Of course, you should realize that it will be about 3 1/2 minutes up and 2 1/2 minutes down to
    equal the six minutes.
    The first time out, you may only make it two or three times, but the ultimate goal is an hour’s worth. Now,
    that is pretty simple as approximately 10 times if it is a true six-minuter (goofy word, huh... minuter?). This
    would equate nine times for a 7-minuter, and seven or eight times for a tough 8-minuter. Sounds stupid? IS IS
    NOT, as it ACTUALLY WORKS.
    Here is more simplicity: You can start out of shape and work up slowly, but still feel the accomplishment that
    goes along with it. Let’s say, for example, that you are 75 pounds overweight. You will probably start with only
    two times, and it will still hurt. However, I promise that the every-other-day regimen will give you time to recover
    for the next workout. I also promise that after three or four times you will feel good enough to move on to
    three times, AND you will feel good about yourself also. If you are 75 pounds overweight you will need more
    than six weeks to get in sheep shape. We need to be “real” here, now. Will you lose weight doing this? I guarantee
    it!!
    PUSHUPS? Did I forget that? Guess I did. Yes, I do pushups too on THE SIX MINUTE HILL. When? At
    the bottom! I walk up and then down, of course, and do the pushups at the bottom each time. I will not tell you
    how many I do, because they come easy for me, but however many you can do will be okay. You can even do
    them “girly style” (there we go being politically incorrect again), in which you get on your knees rather than
    stretching out your body. The main thing is to do them, because your upper body strength is very important for
    sheep hunting too.
    So, let’s clarify this deal a little. Say you begin with only two trips up and down the hill. At the bottom, you
    are able to do only five pushups, so you do them. Two days later you do the same, and two days after that you
    can probably do seven or eight pushups each time. I have noticed that you move up easier on the pushups than
    a new time at the hill. I fully believe that a person can begin at the lower level, such as two times on the hill and
    10 pushups, and 12 weeks later be at eight times on the hill and 120 pushups. You will also have lost a lot of
    weight if you are extremely overweight. Again, let me emphasize that this thing... or ANY workout... can be
    dangerous. Get a thorough checkup from your doctor and discuss this type of workout with him or her.
    Okay, okay... I know what you are thinking. HOW STEEP SHOULD THE HILL BE? It really does not matter
    much. Just stay away from the too-flat ones, because you will never get your heart rate up to where it needs
    to be. Also, the really steep ones are not good because it will be difficult to work up your number to 8 to 10 upand-
    down trips.
    OTHER TIPS


    • Wear your boots • Try to walk on grass or dirt, rather than pavement • Stretch before starting
    • Mornings rather than evenings seem to be better for me • Packs are not necessary, but acceptable, as they
    will increase your intensity level; get to the 8-to-10 level before adding a pack, however.
    One more promise: If you will work up slowly (8 to 12 weeks) and average over three times per week... if you
    will get to a one-hour level, which equates to 8 to 10 times up and down... if you will slowly work your pushups
    up to a reasonable level for your ability... then, YOU WILL BE IN SHEEP SHAPE.
    Shucks, now I will tell you. I am 48 years old, 200 to 205 pounds, six feet tall, and my hill is a 7-minuter. I
    do the hill eight or nine times, three or four days per week, and do 45 pushups per time. On an 8-time day, that
    equates to 360 pushups and on a 9-time day it is 405 pushups. I am average, but in sheep shape at this level. If
    you are older, shorter, heavier, taller, have health problems, or have trouble doing pushups, naturally you should
    do less. Obviously I started at a much lower level and worked up to where I am now. Also, as stated earlier, I
    have always been able to do pushups easily. This workout has worked for me for a long time, and will work as
    well for you as it does for me.


    ....a well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed....

  14. #14
    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Perhaps I am crazy, I just don't buy into all of this stuff. I don't have or want a regimented work out routine. I would rather just go walking or hiking! Maybe go camping or backpacking, then when the time comes go hunting!!

    Last year I was in pretty rough shape at the beginning of my goat hunt, I had spent the summer in the desert at near sea level and had only walked to get in shape. Honestly it wasn't even walking to get in shape, it was walking to get places! After making multiple trips up and down the mountain between spike and base camps I had cut the trip up to under 2 hours from 5 on the first go round and felt great!
    I have no plan to wear out my knees just to go up and down a hill repeatedly or by doing squats in a gym, or trying to get a 315 lb club bench press t-shirt (which seems popular around here). For me I will just continue to pick places I want to go and go there using my legs as power. Whether it is a "PX" or coffee shop across base or a distant mountain top or river bank. On those trips I will carry what I need to make the trip and that is it. Why in the world would anyone want to go up and down a hill repeatedly when you live surrounded by the very mountains you dream of hunting??

  15. #15
    Moderator Daveinthebush's Avatar
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    Default Old

    Well every other day I snow blow the 100 yard driveway.

    Shoveled 2 feet of snow off of the roof last might.

    Split 5 face cord on Sat. and stacked 7 on Sunday.

    Chase 100 kids around all day for 7 hours in the woodshop.

    Tread mill, 30-50 minutes, 5-10 degrees, 23-3 mph every other night.

    Weights for about 10-15 minutes.

    Lift coffee cup for several minutes too.
    This is rather old. For the past six weeks I have been hitting the weight training room at the junior high. A typical workout is: 40 minutes of the weight training machine, 40-60 min. on the treadmill, 20-30 min. of the weight machines again. Some nights go home and do an extra 30-45 min. on my treadmill.

    This past week I have been cutting and hauling firewood four nights a week instead.

    Next week I switch to cracking lobster, tanning, rafting and wiggling sand out from between my toes.
    "Never again shall one generation of Veterans abandon another".
    Vietnam - June 70 - Feb. 72
    Cancer from Agent Orange - Aug. 25th 2012
    Cancer Survivor - Dec. 14th 2012

  16. #16
    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Default My winter workout

    My sheep workout right now consists of laying on the couch and watching sheep hunting videos.....and I have them all.

    No need to workout...

  17. #17
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    I've said it before and i'll say it again,i'm really surprised that no one talks about mental toughness,it's your mind thats going to get you through the bad weather,that next mountain,the next alder patch,etc....i've seen many a over weight hunter out do the best in shape guys,matter of fact i think on a hard hunt you should have a few extra pounds in reserve....

  18. #18
    Member kahahawai's Avatar
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    Just about every sheep hunting video I have shows some of the hunters that were very successful to be between 30-50 pounds overweight. So your right...it is mental toughness

  19. #19
    Member Bighorse's Avatar
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    Default Today

    Today was 15 min run....1.4 miles

    Stretching, push ups, dips, sit ups for warm up

    Main set (Crossfit WOD modified)
    10x12 135pound deadlift and pushups for a time (total 120 of each exercise)

    then some 135 pound overhead presses 3x3 working on form

    Whatever I do this year is geared towards being able to hike six miles, scale a 4,000 peak with a 60 pound pack, hike down a 1,000 high elevation valley, back up another 1,000' to the mt goats. Then shoot a big Billy, carefully field dress (2-3 hr process), carry said burden down 1k, up 1k, down 4k, and 6 miles to the beach and still have enough strength to get that load into my boat.

    So it's weights and general conditioning now. Come summer I'll be working on more event specific training to develop agility, speed, and power in the mountains.

    I train for rugged backcountry hunts with no guides, packers or roads. What I have is what I carry. What I shoot I have to carry. So the physical demands are very strenous. I focus on training so to avoid injury and consider it the responsible thing to do for my family and the game.

    I've said this before. I'm not a dancer, artist, or singer. When I'm in the woods moving, it's the closest I get to being artistic and the strongest expression of who I am.

    Nobody wants to see a poor unconditioned dancer......I don't want to be a poor unconditoned hunter either.

  20. #20

    Default

    Well said!

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