Training for a mountain hunt where there are no mountains

Viktorsmash

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As the title reads, I've been training for a mule deer hunt in the Alberta rockies from November 1-7. So far I've been doing a ton of squats, weighted lunges, runs, and smashing the stairmaster. The stairmaster is a funny one, as I'm probably the only guy I've ever seen at my gym use it but I do 200 floors 3 times a week and it kicks my ass. I'm gearing to get to 300 each time. I also throw a 52lb kettlebell in my backpack and go for hikes but where I'm located, Toronto, Ontario (it's in Canada) doesn't have any mountains. And even the nearest ski hill is a 2 hour drive away, and calling it a hill is a gross overstatement.

With all that being said, I know there's no substitute for actually hiking with weight on your back but the reality is that I'm not able to do that until I get out there. So what else can I do? I'm sure there's a "Cidiots Guide to Mountain Hunting" somewhere.
 

Idaho Sandman

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Wear you pack with weight on the stair mill. I do it since I like to work out before work and it’s dark at 5:30 am.
It’s weird you’re the only guy who uses the stair mill.
 

*zap*

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Hold a barbell over your head while you do the Stairmaster. Weighted ruck on stairs up/down since the Stairmaster will only get the up....
 

brsnow

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Build a strong core and enjoy yourself. Not sure beating up your knees and back prior to is helpful.
 
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Viktorsmash

Viktorsmash

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Hold a barbell over your head while you do the Stairmaster. Weighted ruck on stairs up/down since the Stairmaster will only get the up....
I foresee myself becoming one of those "gym fails" videos if I try this. I totally get what you're saying about the down part, and it's not something I considered. In fact now that I think about it, when my legs are sore from the gym, it's always worse going down stairs than it is up stairs.

Good looking out!
 
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Viktorsmash

Viktorsmash

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If the stairmaster is anything like bleachers, you'll be just fine.
It is but it isn't. If you don't move a bit faster than the machine, you're basically just lifting your leg up, resting your foot on the step, then letting the machine take it down. I obviously don't do that but the type of resistance isn't the same. Either way, it's all I've got for now.
 

Newtosavage

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It is but it isn't. If you don't move a bit faster than the machine, you're basically just lifting your leg up, resting your foot on the step, then letting the machine take it down. I obviously don't do that but the type of resistance isn't the same. Either way, it's all I've got for now.
Is there a stadium anywhere nearby where you can run bleachers?
 

*zap*

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Best thing you can do when using standing upright cardio machines is keep your hands off the machine....I see people all the time doing Stairmaster and the are resting a lot of their bodyweight on the machine via leaning on it heavily. Same thing on elliptical/treadmill.
 
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Viktorsmash

Viktorsmash

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Best thing you can do when using standing upright cardio machines is keep your hands off the machine....I see people all the time doing Stairmaster and the are resting a lot of their bodyweight on the machine via leaning on it heavily. Same thing on elliptical/treadmill.
100%! I see it all the time and I feel like saying something. In fact there's 1 girl in particular who's elbows are borderline hyper extended from putting all her weight on it. To be honest thought at around the 150th floor I'll start putting my hands on there from time to time. I'm actually going to try out 250 floors today so I'm sure there's going to be some bar holding. The only excuse I can say is that I'll have trekking poles to lean on when I'm out there but I still know I'm cheating.
 

*zap*

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There are a few different options with a Stairmaster....
Endurance-length of time on machine.
Intensity-increased speed/carry weight.
Strength-loaded proper movement/carry dumbbells in hands, barbell overhead or wear a weighted pack.
Probably best to find what your weakest at and work on that.
Just pumping 5# dumbbells will cut your workout time. Shoulders back, chest up and engage core the whole time no matter how you are doing it=proper movement.
Weight that proper movement and your increasing your overall strength. Weight that movement and add speed and your improving strength and adding intensity....weight that movement and slow down, now your working endurance. Fast weighted movements may be best done in 10-15 minute sets with a 2-5 minute rest in between sets.
Variety may achieve the best overall results.
 

Akwoodchuck

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I've always said that flexibility and balance are just as important to mountain travel, if not more so, than sheer strength/ endurance...boulder hopping or cramponing across an icy face are not really skills that weight or cardio training alone can give you...dance classes, maybe? :p
 

bowtech840

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Best thing you can do when using standing upright cardio machines is keep your hands off the machine....I see people all the time doing Stairmaster and the are resting a lot of their bodyweight on the machine via leaning on it heavily. Same thing on elliptical/treadmill.
A lot of truth to this - my favorite is the ones that max the incline, hold on to the top of the treadmill rail and lean back lol


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Viktorsmash

Viktorsmash

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Thanks again for the feedback guys. I actually found a semi-local bunny ski hill. It's laughable at best but the back side of it is pretty steep so I've been going and up and down that for an hour a day with a kettlebell in my pack. I'm so glad I found this because, while going up is fine, going down takes completely different muscles.
 

LivinAnAdvntr

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If you can find a gym or facility that has a Jacobs Ladder, I would highly recommend it. It is like a Trueform treadmill for climbing on all fours. I will do intervals on one to break up the monotony or running.


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*zap*

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If you have access to a trap bar or heavy dumbbells.....farmers walks with bodyweight/bodyweight+.....30 second sets x4-5. Keep good form/hip hinge lifting and putting down, chest up, shoulders back and very deliberate slow steps landing on the balls of your feet. No walking fast with bad form to get it done....:love:

As you get better at it add weight not distance/time.
 

Bigwindymt

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Sounds like a good start. I used the book Training for the New Alpinism which is incredible for getting and staying in shape to hunt in high country. Only other thing would be to echo the stairmill ruck work.
 

Cody_W

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Treadmill on max incline doing intervals is what I recommend 1 minute at 4mph 30 seconds at 2mph for 45 minutes. Will increase V02 max significantly and allows for muscle adaptation. I wouldn’t do pack until a few weeks out, like as previously stated, don’t want to wear on the knees and back to much. Jacobs ladder is a great machine as well. If you enjoy the stairmaster, the same interval rate is effective but operate at like a 12-15 for one minute and then a 7 for the rest interval. Along with your weight training you’ll be good to go if you keep your current consistency with training no doubt.
 

THBZN

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Sounds like a good start. I used the book Training for the New Alpinism which is incredible for getting and staying in shape to hunt in high country. Only other thing would be to echo the stairmill ruck work.
Second vote for that book. Steve House has forgotten more about high level true fitness in the mountains than most people will ever know or claim to know. There is a really good muscle endurance workout here: https://www.uphillathlete.com/mountain-climbing-strength-workout-muscular-endurance/

This is a killer lower body/leg workout to help really tax the muscular endurance factor.
 

chops24

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i am in your same boat, a lot of stairmaster with no hands on the handlebars is great, i recently did Everest on the machine and it sucked but i feel like that is the best thing i can use to duplicate mountain hunting while not being able to actually get to mountains.

Other things that are great are obviously weighted rucks, but i carry big rocks in my hands as well, it makes it harder and simulates carrying a bow around all day. make sure you do it in the gear you are going to take hunting. I looked pretty funny wearing first lite pants and top, boots and a 40-50 lb exo walking hills with rocks in my hands in Texas in the middle of summer while people are out in shorts and running shoes, but you have to be comfortable in/with your equipment.

Also:

sandbag get ups

(If you have a big Ag tire) get two kettlebells, hold overhead, step up, into, up, over an Ag tire. put kettlebells/or rocks/case of water etc. downm, flip tire, repeat for 50-100 yards.

there are a lot of weird core strength things required in the mountains, especially when loaded with meat.
 
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