Getting physically prepared for hunting season and beyond….

 

Hunting shape, this conversation can go in many directions but I think this is a very important topic.Β  Regardless of the type of hunting you do either you are a bow hunter or rifle hunter the demands can be great.Β  I am strong believer that your fitness level can make a hunt a great hunt or a struggle and leave you coming up short for many reasons.

For instance, the demands of upland bird hunting and how much walking that is required in a day driving roosters, big game hunters that hunt at altitude, bow hunters with the stress that they put on their upper bodies as you are pulling back 70 lbs and it is 20 degrees outside. All of this activity can lead to a ton of issues and more importantly a hunter not having the ability to fulfill their dream of a tag because of sore, stiff, and aching muscles. So my goal with this quick article is to give hunters what I think are some key things to focus on while they prepare for the upcoming season.

Areas of focus that are fundamental to any athlete are cardiovascular and core strength. Hunters are no different and I consider myself a hunting athlete much like many of you out there. I think if we are going to take the time sight our bows in and go to archery shoots to hone our skills in the off season we should take the same approach to our fitness which will in turn help us be better hunters.

Cardiovascular fitness for hunters; sounds funny right? Well lets think about some things we can do in the off season that will help us build strength and help prepare us for a season of hunting. Depending on your fitness level you should always consult your doctor prior to start any strenuous workout programs. These are just some of the things that I do to help prepare for the season.

Cardio work outs: 2-3 times per week can consist of walking, running, elliptical, bicycling, and or swimming.

Core strength, this is the key to overall fitness success. Most nagging and aching back pains can be tied to a weak core. If nothing else we need to make sure we have our strong core to ensure that we are not adding undue stress to other parts of our body.

Core workouts: 2-3 times per week consisting of sit-ups, crunches, planks holds, push ups, and stretching.

In closing let me give you what a week would be for someone that has some level of fitness. Again to prevent injuries do not just jump into a vigorous workout without consulting a physician first. If you are not sure how to perform and exercise properly ask or search the web for proper techniques. All this would be useless if during a rigorous workout you are injured, so be smart and know your limitations.

Monday:
Cardio:
30 mins cardio, run for 5 mins to warm up. Walk at a strong pace for 2 mins. Repeat and walk the final 2 minutes to cool down.

Core:
1 min bicycle crunches
1 min plank
30 side bends – 15 each side
10 tuck jumps
10 leg raises on back

Tuesday:
Cardio:
Brisk walk/easy run walk for 20-30 minutes in the AM

Hunting workout:
Shoot your bow for 15-30 minutes

Wednesday

Cardio:
Elliptical/bicycle/stationary bike – 30 minutes keeping pace above comfortable.

Strength workout:

Full body machine work out focusing on good form while performing 3 x 10 for every machine.

Thursday:

Core:

Repeat 3x
1 min jump rope
1 min bicycle crunches
1 min plank
30 side bends – 15 each side
10 tuck jumps
10 leg raises on back

Friday:

30 mins cardio, run for 5 mins to warm up. Walk at a strong pace for 2 mins. Repeat and walk the final 2 minutes to cool down.

Hunting workout:
Shoot your bow for 15-30 minutes

I hope this helps give some of you a baseline to start focusing on fitness and incorporating this in to your hunting and daily activities. Good luck! Eat, Train, Hunt, Sleep, Repeat!