Getting into hunting shape

AK_Skeeter

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Becker Ridge, Alaska
Hiking the hills with a backpack long distances at least twice a week is one of the best ways
I know of for endurance and tough feet. Both are important and take a long time to train for.
A bonus is a well-tuned backpack in terms of fit and weight distribution.
 

Badseed

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Jul 10, 2020
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Last bit, don't neglect to put AT LEAST as much time/energy into your nutrition and recovery protocols as your training. Can't tell you how many folks spend years spinning their wheels and making minimal progress, blaming their training, when the culprit is really what's going on in the kitchen and in their sleep routine.

Good luck!

This is pure truth! I worked out for years focusing on the workouts and volume which I hoped would help me meet my goals. That approached helped with strength but never really got me to my goals. As soon as I started to admit that maybe everyone wasn’t wrong about the dramatic impact nutrition has on your overall body I started to make significant changes.

While maintaining my 4-5 days of week of working out and directing my focus to my nutrition I lost 20 pounds in 8 weeks and was able to maintain it for a while until I wanted to gain more muscle. Again I adjusted my workout routine and altered my diet to eat a lot more of the good stuff and gain about 15 pounds of muscle in a few months. I felt even more amazing at that point. However, covid came around, I got lazy with my diet and started indulging more on alcohol and all of a sudden I gained 8 pounds of basically fat. Its all about the diet! The saying it true, besides genetics, your body composition is made from 90% diet and 10% workouts.


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mtwarden

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! The saying it true, besides genetics, your body composition is made from 90% diet and 10% workouts.


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I'd have to disagree with this. Look at your "typical" ultra runner, logging 40+ miles a week-I'd estimate that their body composition is 90% workout and 10% diet, they basically eat whatever and as much as they want.

If you're burning a lot of calories and operating at a deficit on calories consumed, you're going to lose weight- the other way around- you'll gain weight. If you have your workouts dialed in and your nutrition dialed in- your weight will only see small variances.

I don't workout so I can eat a lot (I eat pretty healthy, but don't hesitate eating pizza/cheeseburgers and the like when I want), but it's definitely a benefit of racking up 30+ miles/week :)
 

Badseed

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I think we are talking two separate things. I made the assumption that the op was trying to get in shape for hunting season which I attributed to losing weight. Getting in shape for hunting season could mean conditioning which, like your ultra runner example, is a routine to train for what you are trying to excel at. If you want to prepare for hunting season so that you are more prepared to meet the demands of hunting which can include long heavy hikes, then the best thing to do is start rucking. Practice the motions of the activity that you want to improve.


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mtwarden

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I'm disagreeing with that it's 90% nutrition and 10% workout regardless of the endeavor

you better put the work in, diet isn't going to get you shape for mountain hunting, getting in the mountains will though
 

*zap*

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Its pretty sad for 'loosing weight' to pass as getting in shape and for '6 weeks to great fitness' to be the normal for training. Talk to people about goals that are a year or two out for you and they look at you like you have two heads.
 

Badseed

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Its pretty sad for 'loosing weight' to pass as getting in shape and for '6 weeks to great fitness' to be the normal for training. Talk to people about goals that are a year or two out for you and they look at you like you have two heads.

Honestly it depends on the situation. I only hunt a couple months out of the year and the rest of the time I focus my efforts my efforts on being strong which usually means that I gain weight between seasons. Although I feel strong as an ox come August, its taxing to hike all day when the extra muscle requires additional oxygen and calories so I try to condition for hunting a couple months in advance which means shedding some weight. Maybe the op can be more specific as to what they hope to accomplish so that they can get the appropriate responses.


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S.Clancy

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Montana
I used to primarily lift when my job was providing the cardio. Now, I needed to adjust based on overuse injuries and deciding that benching > 1.7x BW and Squatting >2.25x BW isn't that important anymore. So, I do the following:

Upper Body
2 days a week, 1 day is volume for pushing muscles, strength for pulling, day 2 is opposite. Exercises include weighted dips, paused handstand pushups, pullups (weighted and unweighted), rows etc.

Lower Body
1 day a week lifting, 3-5 days a week cardio. Exercises include box squat, walking lunges, front squat, safety bar squat, split squat, etc. I rarely do a deadlift variation. You can train power and speed easily in a box squat without the injury risk. Cardio is all on the mountain, only 1 day a week weighted, usually 50-60 lbs. Normal route climbs 1000-1200 ft in 1.5 miles then mellows out. I am basically always in the conversation zone. Sometimes for leg endurance I'll pick a distance, say 400m, and fo walking BW lunges...pain.
 

Chino

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Jan 27, 2021
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Power walk. 5 miles a day, 7 days a week. Seems to work best without the aches and pains.
 

DaveN85

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Dec 13, 2020
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From what I have experienced the best way to get into hunting shape is unfortunately just to night the bullet and go hunting. I’m curious if you have certain cardio or weightlifting exercise that seem to be extremely beneficial.
I think general functional fitness is your best bet. Find ways to blend runs, strength training (to include crossfit), and some HIIT training into your regiment. I'm a firm believer this well-rounded approach will serve you well.
 

JMG22

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Jan 2, 2021
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The good people at MTN TOUGH fitness put real research into developing their programs specific to backcountry hunting.

It is not a gimmick. I have long made fitness a part of my life, driven largely by my desire to hunt hard, and the MTN TOUGH programs have been the best foundation for me. I used to come up with my own programs, and it worked ok, but was inconsistent even at my best.

MTN TOUGH gave me clear direction, and daily expectations and motivations to push onward.

I would recommend the 30-30 body weight program for somebody just starting out. Moving eventually to the Postseason Strength, Preseason Prep, and In season program cycle.

Think of fitness as a lifestyle commitment and not just a seasonal (or specific hunt) preparation.
This is good info on MTN TOUGH. Thanks!
 

Jackal7

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Feb 13, 2018
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Minnesota
I suggest that utilizing farmer's carrys/walks into your workouts is a great way to build muscle, both strength and some mass, it works your core, it works your traps, it works your triceps and biceps, and it works your legs. Plus, depending on weight used and distance, the cardio component is overlooked oftentimes. And your hand grip and forearms will put Popeye to shame after a few months.

I mix them in two to three times a week in a regular circuit training routine.
 

dyllanmurray

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Aug 3, 2020
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If anyone is looking for ideas for heavier packs, buying a 60lb bag of concrete and wrapping it in garbage bags is a cost effective way. And you always have an emergency bag of concrete on hand.
 

Brillo

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Feb 8, 2021
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West Michigan
I had minor surgery in Nov then retired in January. I needed a goal to keep me moving so I have decided to go elk hunting in September. All my recovery is focused on that goal. So far I am up to three to four miles per day of walking or an hour of stationary biking plus light weights. Surprisingly, I have found the Silver Sneakers u tube exercise routines to be helpful in discovering low impact exercises that I can incorporate into my routine. I will check out Mtn Tough for next level ideas. With all the time I have for exercise now I have no excuses.
 

dyllanmurray

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I had minor surgery in Nov then retired in January. I needed a goal to keep me moving so I have decided to go elk hunting in September. All my recovery is focused on that goal. So far I am up to three to four miles per day of walking or an hour of stationary biking plus light weights. Surprisingly, I have found the Silver Sneakers u tube exercise routines to be helpful in discovering low impact exercises that I can incorporate into my routine. I will check out Mtn Tough for next level ideas. With all the time I have for exercise now I have no excuses.
I checked out the silver sneaker YouTube channel, and I would have to say that MTN Tough is not the next level of workout classes in terms of progression. MTN Tough workouts are programmed by ex spec ops guys and hardcore hunters meaning the workouts are significantly more challenging than most workout programs out there. If you do decide to go with MTN Tough be sure to do a lot of stretching and recovery! Good luck!
 

Mikido

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Dec 14, 2020
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I live in a flat area. I picked up a use stair master as well as a jiu jitsu training. Quads and core burn 7 days a week.
 

mtwarden

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I checked out the silver sneaker YouTube channel, and I would have to say that MTN Tough is not the next level of workout classes in terms of progression. MTN Tough workouts are programmed by ex spec ops guys and hardcore hunters meaning the workouts are significantly more challenging than most workout programs out there. If you do decide to go with MTN Tough be sure to do a lot of stretching and recovery! Good luck!

I'd agree with this; definitely not the next step up from silver sneakers
 

mmcdonough

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Jan 28, 2019
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Lake Country MN, Transplant from ID
Another vote for MTN Tough workouts. Starting out they can be brutal as others have already said. You have to build up a decent foundation in terms of stamina, strength and endurance or you might hurt yourself. Once you get going you really start seeing results though. Especially when your nutrition is dialed in.
 
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