View Full Version : Fitness and Preparations

02-21-2011, 07:35 PM
Let's get this backcountry forum started for winter.

What are people doing to get in shape and get prepared for next season?

How many days in the gym, nights shooting bow, new places to find maps, new gear hanging in the basement, and so on?

I'm getting out snowshoeing a few days a week, the gym a couple times, and shooting my bow all I can. As soon as the 9 feet of snow melts I'm getting out and hitting the mountains to scout for the fall.

What is everyone else up to? Anyone find a new amazing work out, or exercise that melts the holiday pounds?

02-21-2011, 09:07 PM
Pushups and Situps spread throughout the day, Jogging every morning before work, shooting 3 - 5 nights a week in my garage. We went out shed hunting this weekend, ended up using it as an excuse to jog in the snow with pack and heavy boots on, what a workout! I just bought some new maps over the weekend as well. I hate this time of year, I spend way to much time inside on the weekends, soon it should be warm, spring bear starts April 15th so Im going to head out to our favorite hole and chase bears with my stick and string! Who knows, maybe I'll get lucky and they'll start a spring Wolf season to huh? A guy can dream right?

02-22-2011, 10:35 AM
Jogging 3-4 times a week. Shooting 5 times a week. No strength training yet. I am looking for a tractor tire to use from some home based workouts; for flips and sledge throws.

02-22-2011, 11:39 AM
I am open for Ideas. I am going to draw my Elk Tag in utah this year and need to be in Prime shape. I am going to start training now and want to get imput on what excersises I should do to get in the top shape. What have you guys done. I know that I am going to run alot to build up my stamina but what else should I do. I have been thinking of doing short half mile runs with my pack on carring some weight and then stoping for a sec and shooting 4 arrows and then running another half mile. You know quick runs to get ahead of the elk and then shoot while winded. What else can I do to get ready.


02-22-2011, 11:57 AM
What I would recommend, this is what I do for my Goat and Sheep hunts, is to gradually increase the weight in your backpack as you hike around. I start with 30lbs in February, and build to 65lbs by the end of July. Go and hike, as fast as you can, 4 or 5 miles four times a week. This helps not only build stamina in your legs and cardio, but it helps train your back and core to deal with weight all the time.

In the gym my buddy turned me on to an exercise he called "man-makers". Grab two barbells, half the weight you do bicep curls with and hold one in each hand. Then, as fast as you can, you do one military press over your head then drop and do a push-up with the barbells in your hands. When you get to the top of your push-up do a side row with one arm, do another push-up, row with the other arm, another push up, then jump back up.
Do that 5 times then drop to the mat and hold the Plank position for 30sec. Do that for a couple weeks then change to five reps of everything you do. 5 press, 5 push-ups, 5 rows, 5 push-ups, 5 rows other side, 5-push-ups. Kills me every time.

02-22-2011, 01:13 PM
Nice workout. Thanks for the Idea. I will give it a shot.


02-22-2011, 03:37 PM
I run 2.5 miles per day Mon-Thursday, along with pushups and ab crunches. Friday I am usually hiking or hunting something, Saturday and Sunday I run 3.5 miles each day. I shoot about a dozen arrows per evening at my 3Ds starting in late winter/ early spring. I can usually hold my own with the "elk aerobics" in the high country, until I get that 80 pounds of meat on my back, that's when each step starts to become a cognitive process!

Best of Luck,

02-22-2011, 04:11 PM
In the gym three days a week with free weights, and running/biking three days a week. Throw in some hills and gassers to increase power, and hopefully it all adds up to a backcountry bull on the ground in the fall!! Im also hoping to run my first marathon this summer too!

02-22-2011, 06:55 PM
Man, reading these responses make me feel like a slouch. I play racquetball 3x a week, swim 2x a week and monitor my weight and dietary intake daily.

I hike all over during the summer with waders and a fly rod, but I don't really consider that training (just fun).

02-22-2011, 07:54 PM
Sounds like people are really getting their bodies in shape for the fall already. That is great to hear!

Anyone have a training partner? Someone to keep you challenged all year long?

02-22-2011, 07:58 PM
I see they have started a training contest on the "back at the tailgate" section of this forum. Training for backcountry "expedition hunts" is a lot different than most peoples training. The people who work at the gym I go to think I am nuts. Doing things no one else does for reasons they don't understand. Apparently walking on a stair master with a 50lb backpack is not normal.

Anyone else got a secret workout plan to make them hunting monsters?

02-24-2011, 04:07 PM
Heres the strength training program that I am currently doing. Its a great program and the results have been incredible so far. No plateaus yet. Also I run and do core workouts on Tues, Thurs, and Saturday. As far as running goes I try to get about 5 miles in per day.

02-26-2011, 08:21 PM
I started doing crossfit sessions every 5x a week, they are kicking my but, I know if I can stick with it I will be shape by the time hunting season gets here, you can find some of the workouts on traintohunt.com

02-27-2011, 06:41 PM
Im lucky enough to not only work with my hunting partner but live 3 blocks form him, we definately keep each other motivated, sometimes its a little much but it will pay off in the end!

03-01-2011, 02:19 PM
arrowslinger, that looks like a pretty solid work out routine. I might borrow some of that. For myself, I work on cardio an legs a lot. I haven't really done a bicep curl or chest press in a while. Though it might look nice, I have yet to find a hunting situation where big biceps and a superhero like chest have done any good. I leg press twice my body weight and climb a stairmaster for hours. For me, it starts and ends in my legs.

03-02-2011, 01:14 PM
started running the first of February lots of pushups. after I got back from my DIY backpack hunt with my son I set around until the first of Feb. and said I better start now after reading Cameron's Back country bowhunter
Every day they are getting stronger

03-08-2011, 09:57 PM
For those of you with access to a gym, and maybe the coin to seek out a personal trainer, I suggest you look for those trainers who are certifed by either NSCA or ACSM. I worked as a strength and conditioning coach at the division I level and the professional level for quite some time...guys/girls who are certified by either of those two organizations are at the top of their game. Tell them what you want and they can make a good, efficient workout schedule for you. If you can't find one, or don't want to pay the money, Crossfit or P90X are pretty good stuff.

03-10-2011, 09:51 AM
Typically run 15-20 per week (weather permitting). Will ramp this up to 30-40 per week with better weather. On non-running days I try to bike and strength train. I also try to run several races in the spring and summer - 5ks, 10ks, and halfs - seems to keep me motivated to train. As mentioned above, hiking hills with a gradually increasing pack load is a great workout!

03-10-2011, 09:54 AM
I will continue with the hour a day on the treadmill and 10-20 minutes circuit training 5 to 6 days a week until I can get out in the hills (the new snow isn't helping). Once spring has sprung I will start hiking with a wiggly 35 lb 3 year old in my pack.

03-10-2011, 10:22 AM
I find myself getting burned out quickly on treadmills or other indoor activities. My favorite workout is to load up my Eberlestock J34 with 40-50lbs depending on which rifle I have in it that day and head out into the pastures. Right now I'm going 3-5 times per week. The routes I laid out on Google earth are all 3-4 miles by their measurement, and alot more by the actual steps up and down, back and forth I take. I planned my route around the steepest rockiest hills around so my ankles get strengthened up carrying weight on uneven ground. I have weak ankles and have to prepare them for rough country. I have a spot on my route where I top the steepest hill and can shoot rocks back on the previous hill, so I take one shot each trip and really concentrate on making it count. I am pretty winded when I take it also, much like when hunting. My biggest issue is that I live at 1200ft elevation and the hills gain 200-400ft from the bottoms, so it is still much easier than the mountains.

03-10-2011, 07:24 PM
I also like to load up my pack when I go for workouts. Last summer I got some pretty weird looks while busting my hump on the inclined treadmill with my Eberlestock bag with a sac of salt in it (55lbs). I start wearing that bag for all my walks and other workouts that I can fit it into. Every night I go out for a 3 or 4 mile walk with my bag on. Towards the start of the season I ramp it up every week. The week before I went goat hunting last summer I was doing 17 miles a week with 70lbs on me after dinner.

I'm at about 2500ft where I am and I don't find a noticeable difference when I go to the big mountains. Being high for my training has really been great for me.

03-11-2011, 09:18 PM
P90x again also training for some trail runs

03-12-2011, 12:45 AM
Been doing some P90X and crossfit workouts and running. I live at about 7200 feet and couldn't avoid running hills even if I wanted to so that really helps. I will keep this up until May, then I will start my summer job of tracking radio collared elk in the mountains of western WY. Last summer an average day was about 10 miles with a 20-60lb pack, depending on the length of the trip, 10 days on with 4 off so you can't really get ready for a back country hunt any better than that. This job has the added benefit of putting me in the areas I hunt and a big part of the job is glassing for elk so its also kind of like getting paid to scout.

03-12-2011, 10:31 PM
sitting on my ass with 3 torn ligaments in my ankle
ought to be the luckiest way to finally draw my goat tag
hope to start running again in late april

03-12-2011, 10:45 PM
Last season I drew a great elk tag and that got me stoked to start working out. I'd run 3/4 of a mile to the nearest high school, run 12 sets of stadium stairs, run back home. Then do the P90X before work. I'd leave the house at 4:30 to be at work at 7 which got pretty old after I took my elk. I felt like a monster when September came around though.

03-13-2011, 09:42 AM
I usually take a month off around Christmas but pick it back up after the new year. I weight train 2-3x a week and spin 60 miles a week. When the weather is nice I will be preparing for some rides and put a lot of miles on my bike (around 800-900). I will still hit the gym for weight training too. I shoot as much as I can. For daily shots when I can't get to the range I shoot 10 yards in the house. I try to make it to a walking course a few times before the season and fine tune my gear before the first week of the season.

03-13-2011, 10:24 PM
I play basketball 2 nights a week running up and down the court, and shoot bow 2 nights a week at 3D and 300. and in the summer I bike 4 miles every 3 days

03-14-2011, 09:17 AM
For a full body cardio workout, very similar to high country hunting, try the "Insanity" workout from Beachbody. Beachbody is the company that brought us P-90x(also great for backcountry conditioning). "Insanity" is a 60 day killer cardio routine that utilizes only your body for weighted resistance and is only for the fit and athletic person, no beginners. This workout has really helped me push hard through the off season blues.

I'm running this workout a couple times through and will start with my normal weight training, hill runs, and packing exercises come 1June.

03-16-2011, 11:18 AM
Wow, you guys are intense!

All of these posts have me wondering if I can pull off my first backpack bow hunt this year. I am entered in the get fit challenge Ryan started in the tailgate section. Ive been losing weight and have started to get back into exercising daily, but I'm just starting out and weight around 330. The hunt I'm thinking of doing is in the Sierra Nevada range Sequoia National Forest and the hike in would be 12 miles and then hunt (more miles) with that same hike out. I'm starting to wonder if its too much too quick.

03-16-2011, 03:15 PM
Have you decided on the area you are going to hunt yet? What does the elevation look like? I run 2-3 miles, then hit the gym and do stair stepper, weight lift. Running 3-5 days a week and hitting the gym 2-3 days a week. I will start including weekend hiking trips with 20-30lb pack on in April. The longest I have hiked is 10 miles in, hunted for 3 days (1-3 miles a day) and then hiked out. The elevation change from the trail head to my hunting area was around 3,500'. I hunted in 9,800-11,000' in elevation and it was tough getting your breath at the higher elevations.

Wow, you guys are intense!

All of these posts have me wondering if I can pull off my first backpack bow hunt this year. I am entered in the get fit challenge Ryan started in the tailgate section. Ive been losing weight and have started to get back into exercising daily, but I'm just starting out and weight around 330. The hunt I'm thinking of doing is in the Sierra Nevada range Sequoia National Forest and the hike in would be 12 miles and then hunt (more miles) with that same hike out. I'm starting to wonder if its too much too quick.

03-16-2011, 05:33 PM
Twp1224 - I might be crazy, but I figured I would try to do the "lower" mt. trip and its @ around 10,000. The "easy" one you mentioned seemed too close to the general public areas, but I may have to go for that one to get started with instead of a long (mileage) backpack hunt. I'll just pack in a couple miles and set up camp and hunt from there. Mentally, that would be more "attainable" for my first backpack hunt. So, whatta ya think?

03-17-2011, 03:07 PM
I sent you PM.

Twp1224 - I might be crazy, but I figured I would try to do the "lower" mt. trip and its @ around 10,000. The "easy" one you mentioned seemed too close to the general public areas, but I may have to go for that one to get started with instead of a long (mileage) backpack hunt. I'll just pack in a couple miles and set up camp and hunt from there. Mentally, that would be more "attainable" for my first backpack hunt. So, whatta ya think?

03-24-2011, 08:33 PM
Change up, doing P90X/insanity mix. Routine is on Beachbody.com

03-25-2011, 09:55 AM
I am running a 50 miler in about two weeks. I also lift a little here and there. Shoot 2-3 times a week, and as weather warms up I will shoot more. Waiting for the snow to take a hike, so I can take a hike with my pack, dog, and my little guy (5 years old now). If I was smart I would ease up on my running mileage, and do more crossfit/P90x. My damn knee's are KILLING me. ;)

03-26-2011, 09:05 AM
I'm new to Western Hunting (this fall will be my first hunt), but consider Adventure Races. Check out this website to locate some races - http://www.trifind.com/gs_adventure/AdventureRaces.html. It's not a complete list but it's a start. Typically they are 6-24 hour races. They'll typically consist of trail running, mountain biking, and kayaking/canoeing (usually provided by race director). All the while the competitors determine their own course utilizing a compass and a map. It keeps the training interesting and will help you keep focus and a competitive edge. They will not help with power or strength though.

I'll be training for and doing a few of these this summer, plus Insanity workouts when I only have an hour available. Plus, based on what I'm reading in these forums, I'll be adding weight training to my routines. Does cruising through Eastmans Forum count as daily exercise?

03-27-2011, 12:47 AM
How's everyone progressing? So far, I've managed to dump about 10-12 pounds. A few more to go and I will start picking up the exercise. As the weather gets better, I hope to hit the Hills in Rocky Mountain National Park and chase some high country trout. Good luck everyone.

03-27-2011, 10:12 AM
Great Job Rpeeblles!Well I was doing good until I got hurt at work last week now I'm waiting for State Fund to get the paperwork done so I can get an MRI on my Knee.The Doc's 95% thinking that I've torn something in my knee and 75% on it will take surgery to fix it.So I'll miss my first black bear hunt this year but I'm hoping to be up and running for elk this fall.
I've lost 15 pounds so far!Hpoe everyone else is having great success as well!

03-30-2011, 08:14 PM
I've dropped 4 so far this year though I think that might not show my whole fitness picture. I've almost doubled the weights on all my arm, back, and leg exercises in the last few months. That muscle has to weight something.

Great to see everyone getting pumped up for this year. Thought I would share one of my favorite quotes to keep you inspired:

"If all this was easy, it wouldn't matter how it ends" --Dan Mangan

03-31-2011, 12:14 AM
I'm training for and racing half marathons including the Turkey Track Trail Half near Pagosa Springs in June. Also some strength work a couple times per week, though I admit if it comes down to missing my run or missing the strength stuff, it's the latter that gets ditched.

04-06-2011, 06:49 AM
Started at 238lbs. Jan. 31 as of April 2 I have lost just over 22lbs headin for 200

05-10-2011, 09:13 AM
Bummer on the knee. Hope the Doc can fix it with surgery. Good luck.

05-24-2011, 03:26 PM
back again started Jan 31 238lbs last night after my work out 204.8lbs gettin close to my first goal of 200lbs been Xtreme biking, weights and running.

05-26-2011, 05:04 PM
Nice work indianw! You'll be bringing the meat home this year in no time. I want to get out and start hitting the high country but the area I was in last year at this time has 11 feet of snow still. Spring here has come quite late and I'm itching to get out. Might be a tough year on antler growth if the deer and elk are held out of the high country summer feeding areas much later.