Training for Durability

LitenFast

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2013
Messages
373
Location
Ellison Bay, WI
Anyone have ideas on training to be durable?

I’m a packer(human mule)for a backpack outfitter in AK, I need to go in 2-3 days before clients and then do back to back 10 day sheep hunts, some clients have tags for grizz and/or caribou as well.

First one last year had all three and killed all 3 in a span of 4 days, lots of packing!

I’ve trained for the last two seasons based heavily on lifting year round while adding heavy rucking and a lot of workouts cherry picked from mountain tacticals backcountry big game plan for the two months directly prior.

This year I have decided to step up my aerobic base with hiking/running 3-4x/wk starting earlier in the season while maintaining my all around strength rather than trying to make gains until June or so as usual.

In my mind as I evaluate and plan my last 12 weeks before I fly out I am trying to prioritize what’s most important for what I need to do. I’m coming up that being durable over those 3+ weeks in the bush is top priority.

What’s everyone’s opinion on how to most effectively accomplish that while still working on legs and lungs.

I’m thinking things that accomplish both like
-heavy rucks 50-80#
-heavy deads, squats, carries, sand bag work
-running 1-2x week
-lighter but longer duration rucks(2-3hr+)
-core work

Thanks!


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Block

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Joined
Nov 13, 2018
Messages
454
The more I hike the less I work legs..I really don’t think running does much for ur hiking..

~10 mile hikes in rugged steep terrain with NO TRAIL is the best workout ur guna get. Even with just a 30 pound daypack..

To me... maintaining ur FEET on long nasty hikes is the #1 priority and hardest thing to dial in...
 

Dvidos

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2019
Messages
267
The more I hike the less I work legs..I really don’t think running does much for ur hiking..

~10 mile hikes in rugged steep terrain with NO TRAIL is the best workout ur guna get. Even with just a 30 pound daypack..

To me... maintaining ur FEET on long nasty hikes is the #1 priority and hardest thing to dial in...
+1
 

Jagger0502

Senior Member
Joined
May 6, 2020
Messages
222
Location
Western PA
There are a few main muscle groups to focus on in the gym to prepare for hiking, the rest is just show. I was a big gym rat until recently focusing on hiking. Now I am cutting as much weight in areas not related to hiking to save the weight for those long hikes. Big arms don’t do much good packing out an animal. So my goal was and still is to cut muscle mass and weight in those areas that don’t matter. To give you an idea I was previously at 205 lbs at 5’9” and my goal for this upcoming season is 185. Currently at 195. Doesn’t seem like much but 10 lbs is 10 lbs less I have to haul out. Basically moving bulk off my upper body and down to my core and legs and elongating my muscles.

focus on med weight and high reps on legs, followed by cardio will help build longer muscles in your legs and not bulk out. Low weight and high reps on everything to stay in shape.

core workouts are of the up most important, abs, lower and mid back and hips. All with low to medium weight and high reps. This will do more for you than anything else to prepare your body.

when setting my lifting schedule, I do it in this order of importance- core/legs/upper back/arms

I alternate 2-3 days lifting followed by cardio in the gym and 2-3 days hiking with the pack 3-4 miles or walking 4-5 miles leading up to the season.

now everyone’s body is different. Mine is responding well to this this year. Prob know more come this next season but I feel it’s a good plan.
 

Poser

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Joined
Dec 27, 2013
Messages
3,318
Location
Durango CO
Unless you really like running, I’d ditch it (with the possible exception of some sprinting or hill repeats for anaerobic training) in favor of a prowler. Your aerobic limitation is related specifically to packing heavy weight and running just isn’t very effective training for anything other than running. Prowlers, however, have proven to be effective conditioning for moving heavy weight. Heavy KB swings would be appropriate as well

Otherwise, basic barbell strength training and hiking with weight on your back, around 4 hours a week of rucking starting out and peaking at around 10 (with a couple of those being really long, even single efforts) should be more than sufficient if you are already sufficiently strong. The pack training should be considered muscular endurance. 10 hours of sleep every night and at least one full, dedicated rest day a week.
 

4rcgoat

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Joined
Dec 12, 2015
Messages
548
Location
wyoming
Unless you really like running, I’d ditch it (with the possible exception of some sprinting or hill repeats for anaerobic training) in favor of a prowler. Your aerobic limitation is related specifically to packing heavy weight and running just isn’t very effective training for anything other than running. Prowlers, however, have proven to be effective conditioning for moving heavy weight. Heavy KB swings would be appropriate as well

Otherwise, basic barbell strength training and hiking with weight on your back, around 4 hours a week of rucking starting out and peaking at around 10 (with a couple of those being really long, even single efforts) should be more than sufficient if you are already sufficiently strong. The pack training should be considered muscular endurance. 10 hours of sleep every night and at least one full, dedicated rest day a week.
Man,i love what you say about 10 hours of sleep a night, but that would be SOOOO difficult for me! Wish i could make that happen though, you must have an awesome bed!
 

DavePwns

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 9, 2017
Messages
412
Location
CA
I'm a physical therapist and do quite a bit of training for my own solo backcountry hunts. I have found kettlebell training, deadlifts, jump rope, tire drags, ruking, and loaded slow step ups (not very high step, maybe 8-12in) to be the foundation of my training. When I hit the mountians I feel light on my feet ready to rock. I will occasionally run max distance for 30 minutes to gauge my endurance.

As far as durability in the field, nutrition, hydration and sleep all play a huge roll.

Sleep is usually something you can't contoll much, try to have an excellent sleeping pad. Hydration is not just water, get some electrolytes in. Nutrition, it's not just adequate calories, to start I just follow Ryan Lampers nutrition plan in the backcountry (dehydrates his own meals, healthier snacks ect).
 
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