What does your hunting preparation workout routine look like?

wytex

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May 17, 2016
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Walking and stairs for me. I was a gym rat for years but not anymore.
Feet and knees need to get used to climbing.
 

Bob-WY

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I am a spinning instructor, so that's my wife's main workout , I get to yell at her and get paid for it :)

Also hiking, snow shoe trips and fishing and packed 2 elk in 3 days this fall
 

AlaskaHunter

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Jan 20, 2017
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interior Alaska
I find the most noticeable impact of training with a weighted pack is my neck/shoulders/chest/back. There are a bunch of little muscles that get used when packing loads that, at least for me, are hard to get in “packing shape” any other way. It’s less about strength and more about comfort. I find that I’m much more comfortable during the pack out and recover much more quickly when I include the weighted pack in my routine. When I haven’t trained that way, I can still pack the load but it just hurts more. You don’t have to train with full elk quarter weight, but it should be enough to feel it
Weight distribution also effects comfort.
For example, putting 50 pounds of sand bags at the bottom of the pack versus
50 lbs up higher and close to the center of the the back.

I have 3 friends that have disc problems in their back...they each hauled very heavy weights as youngsters.
My hunting mentor taught me to shuttle 50-60lb loads instead of hauling 100-125 loads.
Now at age 64 I am grateful he did as I have no back problems and can still haul out a bull moose solo if needed.
 

270.Rose

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Dec 12, 2020
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Weight distribution also effects comfort.
For example, putting 50 pounds of sand bags at the bottom of the pack versus
50 lbs up higher and close to the center of the the back.

I have 3 friends that have disc problems in their back...they each hauled very heavy weights as youngsters.
My hunting mentor taught me to shuttle 50-60lb loads instead of hauling 100-125 loads.
Now at age 64 I am grateful he did as I have no back problems and can still haul out a bull moose solo if needed.
That's a really good point. I don't think that dropping a couple of kettlebells into my pack was the wisest way to try to work out with a weighted pack.
 

roravetz

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Aug 23, 2015
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Denver
I'm not a woman but have hunted with my wife and learned a few things that you may already know but just in case you don't i'll mention. Before her NM elk hunt she was crushing it in the gym and got herself in great shape (we were in Ohio at the time). I am pretty active, hike, run, lift weights, and try to leverage the fact that for me, covering ground is my only hope for finding elk. My wife is a foot shorter then me and when we got in the woods she tried her best but some things like walking over dead fall is just way harder for her then me (kinda of like how I can step over the baby gate and she can't) . So rather then taking a shortcut it would have been better for us to walk around a certain patch of timber or avoid it altogether (even if elk might have been there). Ultimately her being in great shape helped with her recovery day to day, but for her it didn't matter how good of shape she was in as much as the type of country she was hunting in. I'd say get yourself in good shape but also make sure you try to understand what the areas will be like in the units you are applying and as your planning for your Plan A spot B spot etc try to make sure it is in areas you will not be miserable hunting in. I would also say if you aren't already, to make sure you are comfortable with a GPS and picking your routes. That way you can be comfortable leading the way and setting your own pace and not burning yourself out. Not sure if that helps, you are probably a more experienced woodswoman then I am but thought I'd mention what I've learned.
 

270.Rose

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Dec 12, 2020
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I'm not a woman but have hunted with my wife and learned a few things that you may already know but just in case you don't i'll mention. Before her NM elk hunt she was crushing it in the gym and got herself in great shape (we were in Ohio at the time). I am pretty active, hike, run, lift weights, and try to leverage the fact that for me, covering ground is my only hope for finding elk. My wife is a foot shorter then me and when we got in the woods she tried her best but some things like walking over dead fall is just way harder for her then me (kinda of like how I can step over the baby gate and she can't) . So rather then taking a shortcut it would have been better for us to walk around a certain patch of timber or avoid it altogether (even if elk might have been there). Ultimately her being in great shape helped with her recovery day to day, but for her it didn't matter how good of shape she was in as much as the type of country she was hunting in. I'd say get yourself in good shape but also make sure you try to understand what the areas will be like in the units you are applying and as your planning for your Plan A spot B spot etc try to make sure it is in areas you will not be miserable hunting in. I would also say if you aren't already, to make sure you are comfortable with a GPS and picking your routes. That way you can be comfortable leading the way and setting your own pace and not burning yourself out. Not sure if that helps, you are probably a more experienced woodswoman then I am but thought I'd mention what I've learned.
That does help, thank you for your perspective! That's a really good point about choosing where to hunt. I'm not a very experienced woodswoman at all, I grew up farming and around animals so I'm used to the outdoors in general but where the wild things are is a different kettle of fish. So I am keen to learn as much as I possibly can so that when I hunt with my husband (who is very experienced, and also very nice about wanting to make it fun for me) that I don't slow him down any more than necessary.
 

AlaskaHunter

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Jan 20, 2017
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interior Alaska
That's a really good point. I don't think that dropping a couple of kettlebells into my pack was the wisest way to try to work out with a weighted pack.
I use bags of lead shot but first I put a upside bucket in the pack so the heavy shot is up higher near the center of my back...makes for much more comfort compared to heavy weight down at the bottom of the backpack.
 

KB_WalkingInTheWoods

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Jul 12, 2018
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Bozemen, Montana
i think this is universal but getting use to walking with a heavy pack is pretty high priority. especially up a slope. I stick however many weight plates that I can handle in my pack and just walk with the treadmill incline as high as it will go at about 2.5-2.7 and just buck up an go. Weight training is always very helpful. Your gonna drop weight from eating right and hiking on that death machine, but getting stronger is always every bit as important. I went from a fluffly 240 to a less fluffy 215 but made sure I was strong with weight training twice a week (maybe not enough?). I felt so much better out in the elk woods, it was a game changer. I am now a fluffy 225 so id like to get my fluffy ass down to 210-205 and increase my leg strength........I'm gonna miss a good donut...
 
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