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Thread: Training for the hills

  1. #1
    Member ozhunter's Avatar
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    Default Training for the hills

    Wondering what different people do to get their fitness up to scratch for a hunt.

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    Forum Admin Brian M's Avatar
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    First of all, I spend as much time as I can in the mountains. I backcountry ski all winter long, which involves climbing my own butt up the mountain before skiing back down with every run. Then when summer comes around you can find me hiking, climbing, or mt. biking most every day. In June and July I'll take as many scouting trips as possible (though we just call them "hikes"). I don't do any specific "training" per se, but by keeping active in the mountains I'm usually ready to go once sheep season rolls around.

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    Default hike

    I played a summer of hockey before I went on my sheep hunt and was in better then average shape when I left. I wasn't ready for what i went through! My advice to would be to go hike in the type of country you will hunt because only that will get you truly ready.

  4. #4

    Default Training

    AT LEAST 45 minutes of aerobic activity per day, most days 2 hours. Includes recumbent bike, hiking with weight in a pack, and climbing with weight in a pack, plus weight lifting. Started in December and plan on multiple scouting hikes into the mountains I will be hunting. Those sheep have nowhere to hide this year (I'm sure they will still find a place or two).

  5. #5
    Member Daveintheburbs's Avatar
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    Default packing

    Blackfoot hit it. Nothing prepares you for humping heavy packs like...humping heavy packs. Throw about 100lbs of water jugs in your pack, put on your sheep hunting boots and start going up and down hills. mountans if you have them. You don't have to kill yourself each time, just stay after it. Mental toughness is a major part of this training. By the time you grunt your gear and a sheep on to your back you will have "been done that" already.

  6. #6
    Member Kay9Cop's Avatar
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    During the winter, I fill my pack up with last years hunting magazines and hike on a treadmill in full gear at maximum incline every morning for 45 minutes. I do this in addition to the regular military routine of push-ups/sit-ups/running. During the summer I drop the morning hikes in favor of outdoor runs and replace the hiking type activity with actual trail hiking. In the event I can't get out for enough hikes, I head to the base ski hill and hike up and down it with my pack and gear over lunch.

    I should add that this is my optimal goal but, it seems like life gets in the way too much and I don't ever seem to be "fit enough" when it comes time for sheep season.

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    Talking Training

    I switch to light beer, and low sodium pretzels. I can feel the difference when the couch calls on those warm summer days.

    Seriously, staying active and hiking mountains.

  8. #8
    Member Erik in AK's Avatar
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    What the others said (except TomM) plus concentrate on your core--cruches and back extesions. Stout legs and and deep lungs are a must but a strong mid section goes along way towards helping maintain balance and negotiate obstacles with a pack on.

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    Default Mtn. hunt training

    The other gurus are spot on, especially the advice about core strength. Other considerations: split your mountain time between carrying a pack with weight, and training aggressively as hard as you can WITHOUT a pack to work on increasing your cardiovascular fitness and range of muscle motion. The second is hard to do with a heavy pack, but will pay off in spades as you are able to train harder without undue risk of injury from the heavier pack. Also, consider training with sticks (trekking poles in laymen's terms) while climbing and descending. This allows you to use the strength in your upper body, reduces impact on your knees, and can help with balance and stability with heavy loads. Sticks (poles) suck however, when not in the hills. It interferes with your natural gait and arm swing and will slow you down. Plus, it just looks gay, lol.

    Good luck and enjoy being in the mountains!

    -Chris

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    Default weighted vest

    I purchased a weight belt this year to allow me to train while I am at work and I love it.

    I use to bring in my backpack with 50lb bag of salt in it and boy did I get the looks from my co-workers.

    Bottom line is to start walking wearing your pack. All the gym time is great but it just doesn't work the same muscle groups.

    If your interested I have an extra weighted vest. Sell it for $280 and it goes up to 84lbs.

  11. #11
    Member ozhunter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tv321 View Post
    If your interested I have an extra weighted vest. Sell it for $280 and it goes up to 84lbs.
    Thanks for the offer of the weight belt, but getting it here would be cost prohibitive.

    All great tips. Mountains like yours are hard to find in my part of Australia. Just keep pounding what hills there are with a weighted pack and build the weight and time as I go, as well as running, as well as core stuff, as well as gym work I am knackered already

    Thanks

    ozhunter
    Last edited by ozhunter; 05-08-2007 at 00:19. Reason: can't sppel for ntus

  12. #12
    Member fullkurl's Avatar
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    Default

    Good ideas all, but start slow.
    Let your body get used to the workout you've begun.

    I usuallly start with about 20 lbs in a pack and end up with about 85 many weeks later.
    If you get hurt early by overdoing it, you'll hate life with injuries all season.
    The end result: We literally ran up the mountain after our ram last year, power to spare! It was incredible being in that good of shape.


    Frank

  13. #13

    Default Training

    Good advice, but my training regimen is a little different.

    I prefer a split between strength and endurance training. My two primary strength exercies are squats and deadlifts. These are probably the number one and number two strength builders and intensly work your quads, hams, gluteus max and gluteus medius, as well as your back and traps. Basically, everything you need to hump a pack up a mountain. Don't overlook your abdominal core either. You'll need powerful abs to balance the pack. Deadlift, deadlift, deadlift - this exercise will result in massive strength gains.

    I do a chest/back/abs, shoulder/traps/tri, leg split. If deadlifts or squats aren't on the menu, I add them at the begining. I so a very brief warmup, maybe a 10 minute jog, the eliptical, or the stairmaster for 10 minutes. I usually take it easy here, as I don't want to be too tired to build strength. After the weights, go tackle some cardio for 45 minutes. It should take about an hour and a half if you hit it hard enough.

    The results are worth it!

  14. #14
    Member GITDEMBARS's Avatar
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    www.crossfit.com
    They give you a different workout everyday (three days on one day off) don't let the workouts scare you everything is scaleable. They have a great forum for questions on getting started etc. Be careful the program is highly addictive. All workouts, advice and everything are totaly free.

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    Hike, bike, hike, run, hike, squat, hike, squat, hike, squat, run, bike, hike, run, squat, etc. Hit the weights for upper body and do some abs.

    20 rep squats are killer. After your warmup take the weight you would normally do three set of ten with but do one set of 20 instead. If you do it right you will have to pause between reps and suck 3 or 4 breaths. This should start at about rep 14 or so. By the time you hit rep 16 it all mental cuz you will just want to stop and puke. When you hit 20 you should be about ready to pass out. If not, your not doing it right.

    Work up to those hikes with 85 -100+ lbs and do some of them on a day when you are whooped and don't feel like it. Mental training. Having to push yourself. When your on the mountain, spent, wet, with a pack full of sheep and miles to go, the mental training will kick in.

    The last 4 or 5 days before the hunt rest, eat, rest eat, rest eat, and then eat some more and rest. Dont' forget to drink lots or water through all of the above.

    12 weeks to go!!!

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