Single Best Workout to Prepare For Elk Hunting?

Fna187

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May 19, 2022
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Running bleachers is the best I've found. Thankfully even small town TX high school stadiums have some serious bleachers. Running them works both your lungs and your legs. I've added up to 30 lbs on a weighted pack before. Once I tried 50 and hurt my knee and set myself back two months. But just running them without weight is better than anything you can do on flat ground IMO.
Texas high schools stadiums are my college stadiums here. They do it right down there.
 

Jimss

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Mar 6, 2015
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I stay in shape year round by hiking hills each day at work. The closer you can be to training in the same conditions. slopes, elevation, etc you will be hunting the better off you will be. No matter how much training you do, if you aren't on side hills, etc it isn't the same! Obviously it's nice to live and workout in the same country you hunt. I usually scout a gob of times and that definitely helps when hunting higher elevation sheep country. I carry a lot of the same gear when scouting so that also helps get the back and shoulders in shape.
 

IM4MOPAR

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May 15, 2022
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I stay in shape year round by hiking hills each day at work. The closer you can be to training in the same conditions. slopes, elevation, etc you will be hunting the better off you will be. No matter how much training you do, if you aren't on side hills, etc it isn't the same! Obviously it's nice to live and workout in the same country you hunt. I usually scout a gob of times and that definitely helps when hunting higher elevation sheep country. I carry a lot of the same gear when scouting so that also helps get the back and shoulders in shape.
Lucky! I'm at sea level in FL, not much in the way of hills, found out for me, losing my front weighted pack(pot belly), walking a lot, then a weighted back pack did the trick, core exercises, nothing comes close to elevation training though

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Jimss

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Mar 6, 2015
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It’s a drag coming from lower elevation. I’d come several days early to acclimate a bit. Take it fairly easy when you first arrive and drink lots of water! You might try some workouts on steeper slopes in the sand in Florida with a loaded pack on your back. I hate gyms and it’s always nice to be outside working out in similar conditions to your actual hunt. Get your ankles and body ready for steeper side slopes.
 

Light&Fast

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Apr 22, 2019
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The best training for hiking around the mountains with a heavy pack is hiking around the mountains with a heavy pack. A friend of a friend swears by dragging a tire behind you around the neighborhood. I bet you would get some funny looks.
I don't disagree. I have a hunting friend that likes to drag a couple 80lb kettlebells behind him while wearing a weight vest and chains slung around his neck while carrying a loaded hex deadlift bar but he doesn't live in suburbia.
 

Light&Fast

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Apr 22, 2019
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Lucky! I'm at sea level in FL, not much in the way of hills, found out for me, losing my front weighted pack(pot belly), walking a lot, then a weighted back pack did the trick, core exercises, nothing comes close to elevation training though

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FWIW Heat stress training and iron supplementation are supposed to help mitigate real elevation acclimation training. Worth a google in endurance sports world.
 

BayouBen

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Aug 7, 2019
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I train hard in South Louisiana in preparation for archery season in CO. The heat/humidity definitely gets your body working in overdrive, but no matter how good of shape I'm in the elevation hits me hard the 1st day of the hunt. That being my body adapts quickly and I'm feeling normal by day 2.
 

dudesonzach

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Aug 9, 2022
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If I had to do one... the stepper. It is pain.

My favorite one, which I incorporate into my leg days, is the stepper pyramid:

Starting at level 2, spend one minute at each level up to level 20, then come back down. Skip the odd levels. Finish this off with 20 minutes of an semi-easy pace (i.e. lvl 8 or 9). It's much more difficult than it sounds.
 

BayouBen

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Aug 7, 2019
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If I had to do one... the stepper. It is pain.

My favorite one, which I incorporate into my leg days, is the stepper pyramid:

Starting at level 2, spend one minute at each level up to level 20, then come back down. Skip the odd levels. Finish this off with 20 minutes of an semi-easy pace (i.e. lvl 8 or 9). It's much more difficult than it sounds.
I agree with the stepper. Any form of weighted steps (step ups, stairs, stair climber, etc) is about the best us flatlanders can do.
 

Coloradochris

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Aug 14, 2022
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Completely agree except maybe those squats. 😉
Agreed the burn of those squats ha ha. I'm of the feeling the weight and a pack is less important. Putting on boots and hiking up a mountain and getting high milage days is the best thing you can do. What's the point of being able to do a couple miles with a pack if you can't put in a 20 mile day if needing to lug multiple loads out and get back in. Build the endurance. If yoy can do the 20 miles of hills you. An push through the extra weight
 

Stingray

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Mar 11, 2018
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I too am in Florida. I was a CrossFit devotee for years. Switched to an App called 54D ON and use it 6x a week for an hour. Outside. Heat and humidity with the HIIT workouts have really gotten me in shape. Was in the Italian alps all of July. Could run up steep mountain trails, often covering 500-700 vertical feet in less than a mile, at a good pace. Hiking with a pack was, while not enjoyable, easier on the first few days than in years past.

My conclusion is that you can come from flatland and be ready simply by focusing on intensity. If you push your heart and lungs to 90% of your limit and stay there, you can create similar stress to altitude. I often do more legs than upper body due to a torn shoulder labrum and rotator, so that helped with the heavy pack and steep trails.
 

RangerRick

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Jan 3, 2021
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Nothing gets you ready for carrying heavy stuff up and down steep hills better than carrying heavy stuff up and down steep hills.


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This right here. It's called "training specificity". You want to become good at running a marathon, don't sprint. Sure, there are cross over effects, but the best thing to do is train the movement you are looking to improve. That's not to say other things (lunges, squats, etc) wont help, but you said 1 movement. 100% agree with Fatlander
 

Mpw20

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Jun 12, 2022
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I’m no expert but rucking is my vote. That said your body isn’t meant to carry a super heavy ruck. When I was in the army we lost more soldiers to injuries from rucking with too heavy a pack than any other training. There’s a lot of training value in ankle weights vs putting all that weight on your back. Good luck.
 
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