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  1. #1
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    Need opinion for back country shape

    I have never been elk hunting and I am going in the last 9 days of Colorado's archery season in unit 54 and I will be backpacking in any where from 3-5 miles. I just want everyone to give me there opinion if I am doing it right (and please only guys with back country experience). My regamine this week was m-stair stepper for 1-2 min (with pack at 35lbs) back squat (135lbs) x 20, and sit ups 20-40, repeat 3-4 rounds , Tuesday- stair stepper 1-2 min (with pack weighing at just over 40 lbs), dumbbell bench x20, shoulder press x12-15 repeat 3-4 rounds . Thursday-stair stepper-1-5-2.5 min (with pack) machine tri ext.x 20, Lat pull down-12-15 repeat for 5 rounds Friday-stair stepper (with pack), biceps curls x12, sit ups (as many as possible in 1 minute, and back squat 135x20 repeat for 4 rounds. And I try to do at least 1 (if not 2) day a week walk with my pack up and down some hills here in Kansas for about an hour (which is pretty hard to find) anyone recommend adding anything? My workouts take 30 minutes right now, but I will plan on adding more time to stair stepping and more rounds once I get used to what I am doing. Thx for the input!

  2. #2
    Super Moderator Ross's Avatar
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    Looks like a solid all around workout getting cardio with weight training. All I would add as you noted is more cardio time as you progress and increase you endurance maintaining a good heart rate to replicate climbing and chasing Bulls. Stay injury free and your on track to be ready in 4.5 months.
    Elk Hunter from Hell
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    Thx Ross!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Vids's Avatar
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    There isn't any magical workout for hunting in the mountains, what you are doing is a good all around mix of cardio and strength training. Core strength is very helpful, I would keep that a part of it. Like said above, I would keep adding cardio and increasing the time on the stair stepper. A couple exercises I've found helpful to mix things up are planks and lunges, I do the lunges with about 40 lb on my back. Box step ups with weight are great also, I feel like they simulate hiking up a steep, rocky hillside pretty well.

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    Thx Vids I will definitely incorporate those!

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  7. #6
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    It might be a bit much with the back squats you are doing but how about including some dead lifts? They'll help with picking up a hind quarter.
    Good luck to you

  8. #7
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    Work on your mental strength as much as your physical strength. You can always knock out a workout when your well rested and eating right. The mountains have their own way to test you and it's your mental game that will help you win. Find a set of bleachers and put your pack and walk up and down them for an hour, then do a workout, then shoot your bow.

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  10. #8
    Member 530Chukar's Avatar
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    How is the stair stepper with a pack on compare to actually hiking hills with your pack on? Nothing is going to prepare you better for a backpack hunt as hiking with you pack and tuning it for comfort so you're ready to go when the time comes. Bleachers are great. Mix it up running them and hiking with weights. Lately when I've been at work and can't get to the hills I've been hitting the deep squats followed by climbing the stairs with 2 40lb. dumbells 10 times with calf raises with pack and wall balls in between. Seems to be helping a lot. Goodluck.

  11. #9
    Senior Member chas's Avatar
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    Add "bear complex" to your workout. Also do "wall ball" exercises paired with the bear complex. Total body and an a$$ kicker.
    Last edited by chas; 2 Weeks Ago at 03:04 AM.

  12. #10
    Senior Member Gr8bawana's Avatar
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    Good advice from everyone, just remember it is not possible to be in too good of shape for elk hunting.

  13. #11
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    I've switched from doing my box step-ups forward onto the box to doing them laterally with the box off to my side. I do sets of ten to twenty with no weight, a 25, or a 45, alternating legs until I get up to 100 reps.

    I found I was cheating a bit with my lower back stepping up forward into a bit of a pendulum motion.

    The lateral variation helps keep it a push with the "up" leg. Just touching your toe to the ground on the downside also helps that.

    I've noticed a bit more strength in my inner thighs doing it this way.

    When I first started doing a lot of mountain hiking I also realized how important the hamstrings were for pulling yourself uphill too.

  14. #12
    Senior Member Ray's Avatar
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    Do something to mimic downhill hiking under load. Find some actual stairs in a stadium or tall building and bound down them. A sheep guide acquaintance swears by box jumps. He focuses specifically on getting off the box as much as jumping up onto it. Do not favor either leg when getting off the box. If you have a mile or two long downhill it will work, but stadium steps would be faster way to create the impact. It helps to have a steep decent that will punish your quads for an hour or more. I found that I need over an hour of decending to create an effect when I am in any kind of post winter shape.

    Long periods of downhill walking and running will produce micro "tears" in the muscle fibers of the quads. They are not really tearing, but the fibers end up fatigued and elongated due to the forces created by being under load and having your leg bent. Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) is what the condition is called.

    here is a link about DOMS and how runners manage their training for it.

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    One workout I've been enjoying lately is a 4-5 mile trail run (more jog than run) with 20 burpees at each mile. Bench presses will help far less than additional time on the stair stepper with your pack.

  16. #14
    Member JP7's Avatar
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    For legs, try forward to reverse lunges. Hold two dumbbells and do a forward lunge and return to the start position and then do a reverse lunge on the same leg. That would be one rep. 4 sets of 15,12,8,8 reps with last two 8 sets. Another fun one is a step up to a reverse lunge. As far as the rest of your program in the weight room try to maintain balance. If you do a horizontal push (bench press) do a horizontal row (bent over rows). Think about the planes you are moving in. Your posture, rotator cuff and bicep tendons will appreciate it, mine are currently unhappy with me not realizing this when I started lifting but now.


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  17. #15
    Junior Member standard_lengthy's Avatar
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    I've posted this before but it's worth viewing. The link may say it's broken but it works
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  19. #16
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    Thank you standard_lengthy that is what I have been trying to find to incorporate in my workouts! To everyone else. I have been in the gym almost 3.5 weeks now and I hiked for the first time a couple days ago since being back in the gym and it has made a big difference! I was able to do more and in a shorter amount of time... What usually takes me 1 hour hiking up and down hills only took 45 min and I felt good afterwards

  20. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by standard_lengthy View Post
    I've posted this before but it's worth viewing. The link may say it's broken but it works
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    I like these, thanks for the link. I'll be incorporating these into my deadlift and squat days.

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