Discussion in 'Technical Articles - Discussion' started by ADMIN, Jun 30, 2014.

Physical Training For Mountain Hunts

  1. ADMIN

    ADMIN Administrator

    Messages:
    1,140
    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    This is a thread for discussion of the article, Physical Training For Mountain Hunts, By Len Backus. Here you can ask questions or make comments about the article.
     
  2. davkrat

    davkrat Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    655
    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Hard to beat this. Carrying out your own uber heavy pack plus two tired kids packs is quite the workout! I like to do lots of full body Olympic style lifts. Deep squats to an overhead press and lots of reps. Other than that I try to walk at least 2 miles up and down the hill I live on and add a day pack with 40 lbs of sand. As the season gets close ill try to up that to 4 or 5 miles a day.

    [​IMG]
     

  3. mike hall

    mike hall Active Member

    Messages:
    43
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2004
    Great Article Len. Thanks for sharing the information and congratulation on your Bear!
     
  4. kdumph

    kdumph Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    76
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    I feel that Physical Training is greatly neglected in our hunting communities. We have come to rely on atvs and other technologies much of the time now. Training wise I feel that simply hiking with a ruck and a rifle should be sufficient enough. Starting with light weight, and short distances and work your way up from there.

    If you want more then that I'd like to pitch my company a bit. I just started this company, ForceFitnessKits.com and it's an entire gym in a bag the size of a carry on. Not only does it cover the strength, cardio, endurance areas, but also covers injury prevention and healing with the products. Not to mention you can pack it away.

    Either way I'm glad this article was posted up. I like to be prepared physically while hunting, not only to take care of myself, but others in case of an emergency.
     
  5. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,343
    Joined:
    May 2, 2001
    Thanks, guys. Will I see you on my hill in the morning? :)
     
  6. OBLivious

    OBLivious Member

    Messages:
    8
    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2005
    I appreciated your comment about finding a workout regime that you can live with and stick to it. I don't think at takes all that much if you are consistent and stick to it. A couple of years ago I was fortunate enough to get to go on a guided Coues deer hunt in southern Arizona. The outfitter warned that we would need to walk a lot in rough country. I have fairly consistently walked in an open park area near my work that has a lot of elevation opportunity on my lunch hour. I worked up to carrying about a 30 pound pack on my 45 minute walks and it really paid off. After the second day of my hunt my guide asked my how old I was and when I answered 62, he told me I was in better shape than most of his 30 year old hunters. I was pretty encouraged by that. I do also have the added advantage that I live at about twice the elevation that I was hunting at but never the less, I think a reasonable amount of exercise all the time is better than trying a blitz effort at the last minute. Enjoyed your article. OB
     
  7. Len Backus

    Len Backus Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    6,343
    Joined:
    May 2, 2001
    I am 68. :)
     
  8. tony m

    tony m Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    227
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    Well I live in a rural Rocky Mountain valley, and fitness is a central theme here There is no other way to negotiate these mountains unless you prepare.I am 56 and it would be nearly impossible unless you have a cardio regime. Fitness is not just for city folks, y'know.We run in a snowstorm, and do not exercise inside...all of our interests are outside and prepare outside for this.Crazy?
     
  9. Andy Backus

    Andy Backus Field Editor

    Messages:
    694
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    One of the things that has really helped me stay in shape over the years is playing a team sport where I get some good cardio and leg work. I've played soccer my entire life since I was 5 years old. I'll be 40 this month and I've continued to play a couple times a week all year. The fun aspect of the games and the motivation to still compete with the young 20 year olds keeps me motivated. If I didn't play soccer I know that it would be really tough to stay motivated all year long. I'm just not the type of guy who can run for an hour straight several times a week without getting burned out really fast.

    I would strongly recommend getting into a team sport like basketball, hockey or flag football. Anything that's lots of fun and forces you to run harder than you would if you weren't trying to win a game. Then when summer rolls around you can start adding additional hunting-specific workouts. The great thing is that you'll have double the motivation for these additional workouts because they'll pay off for your hunts plus they'll improve your team sports.

    I keep my summer hunting workouts pretty simple. I hike the same hill near the lake that my dad mentioned with a 25 lb pack. I also do some hill running (with and without pack) on a short, steep hill in town when I don't have time to drive the 45 minutes to the longer hill. I try to hit the hills at least 3 days a week in summer. Leading up to a trip I'll add a day or two and pick up the pace as much as I can.

    Throughout the day I'll do a few sets of 20 pushups and a few sets of 10 pullups at work. I do the pushups and pullups most weekdays during the summer. I'll occasionally throw in some weight training or jogging in my neighborhood, but not a ton. Other than that I just try to stay active on yardwork and other projects around the house. Every little bit of activity helps! As has been said already, the main thing is to consistently do something. It's way more helpful to do a little bit consistently than to over do it to the point where you dread your workouts and end up skipping them.
     
  10. tony m

    tony m Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    227
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    I like to see a subject like this in a hunting format.Staying fit is a 12 month priority , in my opinion.It creates a positive mental approach, usually causes you to improve your diet and is essential for an more enjoyable hunt.For myself, I run, skate(hockey style) , roller blade, rope steers..lots of horse activites.I stay away from upper body conditioning...work looks after that.Try pitching hay bales for a neighbor, it is the season.Fitness is a journey and it never ends.Cheers.
     
  11. coyotezapper

    coyotezapper Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    678
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2009
    At 52 now and with a career change I no longer have time for my usual workouts but I have found that strapping on my backpack and just getting out and walking is usually enough. Most of this is done walking hills and at an elevation of 5600'. There is a lot to be said about walking.
     
  12. Timnterra

    Timnterra Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    586
    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    Great article! I'm stressing about a backpack elk hunt in Colorado this October. I know I've got to get into better shape and so I've been running 5 days a week for the last three weeks. I run at least 3 miles at a time. I thought from all the running I'd be in pretty good shape... I live in the black hills of SD so a buddy and I decided to hike Harney Peak (highest peak between the Rockies and the alps). It was 6 miles from truck to summit and a gain of just over 2300 ft in elevation. Well it kicked my butt! It took nearly two and a half hours to get to the top and we were so beat that we took the short 3.5mile trail down in the opposite direction of the truck and hitch hiked back to the truck. I realized I'm going to have to do a lot more hill climbing and backpacking in my exercise! So, I've packed my backpack as if I were going elk hunting with everything including food and my rifle. I was shocked when I stepped on the scale wearing the pack to see a weight of 310lbs! I have got some serious work ahead of me. I'm going to carry this pack up and down every hill I can find as Many times as possible in the ten weeks before elk season.
     
  13. kdumph

    kdumph Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    76
    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2013
    Yep, rucking shape is much different then running shape! Have to train for what you are doing.
     
  14. tony m

    tony m Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    227
    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2014
    At least running keeps your cardio strong,and can be done with very little perparation.This could avert a heart attack, backpacking though is uniquely tough,and until you get your mountain legs- even for the very fit,is gruelling.When I run,generally I am more inclined to eat better,sleep better and seem even more keen.I have had friends,bush savy, die out there because of poor preparation.A pack over 60 lbs..is to much.Here, even our rifles are super light weight...have fun anyways.Cheers