Hunting And Fitness : Ramping it up before the Season Opener

Hunting And Fitness : Ramping it up before the Season Opener

Train to Hunt Race

It occurred to me more than a few years ago that nothing I was doing in the gym really got me to where I needed to be come hunting season. Each year I would bust my butt to get “In Shape” for my hunts and find that although I wasn’t dying on the mountain and I could certainly feel the difference between not being prepared and being prepared it just wasn’t the same. A lot of that has to do with the fact the only way you can get better at Hiking the mountains….is hiking the Mountains! But a large part of it has to do with matching the intensity and frequency of your training to how you will be hunting. I hadn’t trained with this principle in mind the last two seasons and I was reminded (from my body) of this hunting in California. Even though my legs are stronger and feel better than they have been in quite some time and my cardio level is fairly high I still had to take a morning off to recoup. And Why? Well think about how most of us train we spend an hour maybe 1.5 hours 3-4 days a week training for our hunts, and that is for those who are dedicated. Now think about your hunt…. I will use California as my example for 6 days straight I woke up at 4 am hiked in for 45 min to an hour, carrying a 25# load and bow in my hand to my glassing spot, found deer (hopefully) and then hiked down and up after those deer usually till about 10-10:30am then hiked back to camp rested , ate etc. Than each evening I would go back out pretty much do the exact same hike, stalk deer blow my stalk ūüėČ and make it back to camp by 10pm hopefully get to sleep by 11am just to wake up at 4 am and do it all over again.. Hopefully by now you catch what I’m throwing here. You cant possibly expect even with a hyper intense workout 3-4 times a week for 1-2hours to match that of what you are expending on a typical hunting trip. Don’t get me wrong anything you do to prepare is one step closer to success, but you cant expect it be enough…

So when I was a younger man and had more time on my hands leading up to season I would do “Two a days”. Starting 2 months before my first hunt I would begin working out 2x a day (45-90mins) for 6 days straight then the following week I’d go back to my normal 3x a week for a 60-90min workout. I would cycle one week on 2 a days and one week off… Timing it so that my last week before season was a normal work week (3 days of exercise). I took it even further by matching those workouts with the approx times I would be hunting. So I would get up at 4am be working out by 4:40am then I would be back at it around 3 or 4pm … There was even a few years where I took it further by going up to the high country the week before to spend some time at elevation but life is much more busy now and doing something like that is near impossible, but every once in awhile I will talk my kids into going camping for a few days right before season and I can get some of that elevation conditioning in.¬† There have been year where I had even altered my eating habits to match those of which I will be faced with in the field.

Bosu Wobble Push up

Hunting And Fitness

Here is a sample of what I would do for my workouts:

Monday Morning:

elliptical :10 mins warm up

Jump sets: Click here 

Monday eve:

Weighted Pack Hike

Tuesday morning:

Run Shoots: Click here

Tuesday Evening:

Back, Arms and Shoulders

Wednesday Morning :

Stair well workout  I will do 10-15 sets no rest in between, 6-10 floors.  yes that up and down 10 floors 10x (12 sets at 6 floors is approximately the same as gaining 1500 ft of elevation and dropping 1500ft of elevation)  I try to do 4-5 sets just fast straight up and down but then I will do 5-7 sets with the variations i have shown in the video

Wednesday eve:

Chest, legs and abs

Thursday Morning:

Weighted Pack Hike

Thursday eve:

Shoot under pressure workout 

Friday Morning:

elliptical :10 mins warm up

Jump sets: Click here   you can change up the exercises and use this style of workout for multiple days

Friday eve:

Matching your hunt intensity

All weights no cardio full body 3 sets in every major group:

Saturday morning:

Functional cardio 

Saturday Eve:

I typically save my last workout for the week to work all core stuff mostly because I seem to tag out last day last hour and have to packout when my core is the weakest here is Stability workout I’ve done but you can get creative


If you got the time and the drive to do it, its honestly a game changer you will never feel more ready to tackle your hunts….


check out my podcast with Ethan Banning of Triple Threat Performance