Getting in Hunting shape

73Buckmaster

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Joined
Jul 5, 2011
Messages
10
Location
NY
I'm looking to go hunting out west in the future , but have been diagnosed with CMT a form of muscular dystrophy. I have lost a lot of strength in my legs. I now have to wear braces on my lower legs( help stop foot drop & helps with balance). Does anyone have some tips to help me to get back in shape. Because of my condition I can not run, stairs are a huge problem. With use of a walking stick I can climb hilly terrain. I'm not one to give up easily, hunting is my life.
 

Timber338

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Joined
May 10, 2011
Messages
1,818
Location
Colorado
I am no expert when it comes to the CMT that you are dealing with, but my first thought is to keep your training simple. Train like you plan to hunt and go on several hikes each week in the same type of terrain that you plan to hunt.

I would be very careful with any kind of exercises with weights, but you can still do a lot of good with body weight types of movements. Pushups work to strengthen your core. Air squats (squat motion down to parallel with no extra weight) are very effective especially when you work up to high reps each set. Walking lunges would also help, you could control how far down you go and you could use your walking sticks as well.

It would probably be very useful to talk to you doctor as well, or maybe a PT that specializes in the specifics of CMT.

Good luck!
 

HARPERC

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Joined
Jan 28, 2011
Messages
6,693
Location
Spokane, WA
I'm coming on to 60. Fused neck that needs another, scoliosis, replaced knee etc. Finally at a point in life where I have the time and resources to max out what I've got left.

I started with a Physical Therapist last year, about 3 months including a couple of set backs to get to a baseline enough to work from.

Another 3-4 months of personal trainer time, same guy different hat, he just got interested in the challenge.

Added another trainer about 3-4 months ago for 2 solid days of work.

Just shy of a year later I'm significantly better than I was. I couldn't have done it without them. That outside reference point with knowledge, and skill set has meant everything to me. I'd have hurt myself again, and drifted away from the plan.

Timber338 is correct if you want pack, train with a pack. I started with just a bigger hydration bladder, and adding weight.

I got a Mt. Goat essentially on one leg. A guide that picked an easier mountain for me, he and a friend of mine packed all my stuff. At that time I right knee was completely blown out, and the deal was if I would hobble my butt to the alpine, they would hand me a rifle.

A hiking stick is a must. I like the ones with pins for adjustment.

I have no idea about the challenges of CMT, but there are good professionals out there that are really an asset.

Not all hunts a created equal, the energy to search out one that matches your abilities will pay off.
 

jlw1974

Active Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2012
Messages
27
Location
Northern Virginia
I'm looking to go hunting out west in the future , but have been diagnosed with CMT a form of muscular dystrophy. I have lost a lot of strength in my legs. I now have to wear braces on my lower legs( help stop foot drop & helps with balance). Does anyone have some tips to help me to get back in shape. Because of my condition I can not run, stairs are a huge problem. With use of a walking stick I can climb hilly terrain. I'm not one to give up easily, hunting is my life.

Not sure what you are limited to but 'Out West' is a vague term.

I have hunted Antelope in Wyoming and this year I was able to get a Cow Elk Tag for an area up near Cody.

Can you ride a 4-wheeler or ride a horse? Some states have programs to help people that need assistance. If you know where you will be hunting, call around some local ranchers in the area to see if you can use an ATV given your condition, some may be more than happy to let you hunt their place (sometimes waving a trespass fee).

Additionally for antelope hunting I have seen LOTS of people 'Truck Hunt'. They drive up and down a road and if they spot Antelopes, the shooter gets out on the passenger side and then the driver drives up the road and away luring the antelope stares in that direction, sometimes ominous to the hunter on his belly getting into firing position. Trust me, this happens ALOT.

For the mountain terrain, if you go with an outfitter, many of them may provide you with a horse along with pack your bounty out for you. Its truly big business over there and they love having repeat customers. Some of the hunters I have seen with outfitters looks like they could have an heart-attack at any moment, poor horse carrying the guy too boot.

But if you cannot use an ATV or Horse, I recommend going on walks with walking sticks, even I use them in the mountains to keep my balance especially on the down-steps. Allows you to last longer too. As your strength improves start carrying a backpack, eventually get it up to 20lb plus the weight of your weapon (don't go around your local suburb carrying your rifle...). Try going up and down hills.

Your biggest obstacle may not be your legs but the altitude in which you train. I live around 500-800ft above sea level. When I arrive to Wyoming it takes my body a couple of days to acclimate to the higher altitudes. And I do lots of biking, running and swimming so I know I am cardio-fit...just not at higher altitudes. So with that I give myself a couple of days at mile-high altitudes then I start hiking up to and around 7500ft in Altitude. You WILL get winded but take it in strides and take it slow.

Aleve also helps.

Enjoy that hunt...don't let anyone else steer you otherwise!
 

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