Weights for elk training

Discussion in 'Physical Training For Mountain Hunting And Backpac' started by Timber338, Dec 29, 2016.

  1. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

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    So we all know nothing beats hitting the trails with a loaded pack for getting in to elk shape, but we can all benefit from some weight training in the gym.

    Whether we don't have time to hit the trails or the weather is nasty, sometimes the gym is the only option. And regardless of who you are and how good of shape you're in, you personally will be more fit, stronger and more durable if you dedicate time each week to weights.

    So for those of you who do spend time in the gym, if you were to limit your time to only 3 weight lifting exercises, what would they be?

    I would choose squats, clean & jerk and lunges.

    I'll always warm up on the rowing machine, then start off with 20 air squats (no added weight). I personally think heavy squats are too risky (injury) and don't benefit elk hunting, so throughout the year I'll do between 95 lbs and maybe work up to 185 at the most. I'm 6'4" 220 lbs and could can squat a lot but choose not to. I like the big strong guys to laugh at me in the gym and then I hike circles around them in the mountains.

    Same thing with clean & jerk. I usually stay below 100 lbs but might work up to 135. It's a tricky way for me to combine dead lifts and include some upper body shoulder strength in there. Think about quartering an elk, removing the rear quarter and hanging it in a tree. Clean & jerk has you covered there.

    Lunges just kill me. And get your legs ready for packing out. When your deep in the back country there's always gonna be some huge ledges or nasty terrain that's gonna test your strength loaded down with elk quarters. and lunges on top of squats and clean/jerk is gonna get you ready.

    So what 3 exercises would you guys choose??
     
  2. feelinducky

    feelinducky Well-Known Member

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    1: walking lunges weighted
    2: weighted step ups onto a box 12-24 inches high
    3: 1 leged squats while standing on a bench
    Limiting to 3 exercises is less than ideal. But if you mix these in and are consistent it will help. I would opt for all legs on the 3 that I chose.
     
  3. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

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    Good stuff.

    Agree that limiting to 3 is less than ideal... the goal here is to find people's favorites and why. If I'm at the gym I'll do more than 3, but then the conversation here gets too lengthy and lost in all the details.

    Love the step ups, and the 1 legged squats is definitely gonna work the balance needed for hunting.
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2016
  4. backyardsniper

    backyardsniper Well-Known Member

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    I'm interested in the lighter weight higher rep idea, I've always been a power lifter so it is going to be hard for me to comit to a program like that but I think I'm gonna give it a try. For me if I'm gonna stick with light weight and limit it to three exercises then it would be burpees, and thrusters which is simply a front squat that finishes with an overhead press at the top of the squat and tire flipping which basically gets you a deadlift a curl and bench press all in one exercise. Those are my three picks for all around physical fitness
    Burpees
    Thrusters
    Tire flipping
     
  5. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

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    Those are extremely functional moves... with only three to choose from it's gonna be tough to beat this combo for elk hunting. I think thrusters/tire flipping beats my deadlift and clean/jerks.

    And holy **** I hate burpees but man do they work. To keep focused on them in the gym I always tell myself how much they pay off in the field. From trying to stalk quietly through the timber to getting set up for a long shot in a less than ideal position, they really build core strength.

    And I've read how much you can lift... I've made a mental note to get out of your way when you flip those tires.
     
  6. FearNoWind

    FearNoWind Well-Known Member

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    IMO, if you can't carry eighty pounds on your back for ten miles up a mountain side (no trails) and return for two or three more trips then you're not in shape for an Elk hunt. However you achieve that level of strength and stamina is a personal choice.
     
  7. Guy M

    Guy M Well-Known Member

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    I stay in reasonable shape at 60, lifting about three times a week, then, depending on the season, hiking, cycling, or cross-country skiing for my cardio.

    What makes me shake my head though is I know guys who are excellent and highly successful elk hunters... Who haven't been in a gym in 20 years, not since they were in high school.

    Hunt smart. Use your optics. Shoot well. Be in reasonable shape, however you get there.

    Me? I can't really do much with clean & jerk anymore. Injuries & subsequent repairs, but squats and straight leg deadlifts are part of my normal routine. I don't do much in the way of heavy lifting anymore. As you said - there seems to be high injury potential, and the last thing I need is yet another injury & surgery!

    Looks to me like you've got a pretty good lifting program going, and I'd urge you to keep it up! Good job.

    Best of luck this coming season!

    Guy
     
  8. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

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    Of course it's a personal choice, that's the whole point of this thread to find out what each of our personal choices are. So what are yours?
     
  9. backyardsniper

    backyardsniper Well-Known Member

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    IMO
    WHAT A DICK!
    IMO if you can't bench 350lb and squat 400lb then you're not in shape. That's just my opinion, I guess you can quantify being able to walk 10 mi up hill both ways to school and back with an 80lb pack 16 times a day as being in shape enough to kill an elk, but that's not really what the dude asked. The question was simple. If limited to 3 exercises what would they be? I'm a big --- guy who is exceptionally strong in some areas but not as strong in others, like most of us are. Running is not my game, picking up heavy **** is my game. Does that mean I can't hunt elk? Nope, I've been lucky enough to bag two nice elk on two of the LRH group hunts and I've done it by both being very lucky and also simply getting in as good a shape as I possibly could with what I had to work with. I'm not skinny and I'm not gonna get skinny. I ran a 5k before I left for the last hunt and I considered that in shape enough for me. That is just my opinion, but in all honesty I simply can't imagine how a dude can't put some stock in core lifts such as the clean, dead, and bench like the OP is talking about in this thread. Those are compound moments involved in just about everything you do and valuable in every aspect of life, not to mention I've never had a chick ask me how far I could hike. Seriously, I'm just kidding, not really
     
  10. LaHunter

    LaHunter Well-Known Member

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    If we are only picking 3 exercises:
    1) squats
    2) power cleans
    3) box step ups
     
  11. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

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    Tough to choose 3 isn't it. I'm hoping we get more guys to chime in and then welll get a solid group of exercises we can all do throughout the year.
     
  12. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

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    Haha. I hear ya, I was thinking the same thing.

    I just enjoy going to the gym and lifting heavy. I have changed things up over the years to get in better shape for elk hunting. I've done the triathlon game in the past and nothing tied it all together until I added these compound core movements/lifts.

    The reality is regardless of how good of shape you're in, you personally will be a better hunter, enjoy hunting more and be all around more capable and healthy if you incorporate some gym time. That's been proven time and time again for any sport. That's not to say you can't do it other ways, but it is one method that is highly effective and efficient.

    In my opinion this subforum is not about bragging who can do this or that. It's about sharing some ideas and motivating each other to be physically better hunters. Nobody likes a guy who brags about how far they can pack out elk, or how awesome they are because they packed out an animal out of some nasty canyon. I have shot a lot of elk in the back country and never packed anything out 10 miles. Probably never will, and if I do I will probably cry like a little girl.
     
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  13. backyardsniper

    backyardsniper Well-Known Member

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    I agree 100%
     
  14. Timber338

    Timber338 Well-Known Member

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    I'm a big guy too and strong, but not in your class on either. But all my hunting buddies are smaller/lighter than me and they can hike circles around me especially uphill simply because they are lighter. The mountains are very unforgiving when it comes to body weight. But last time I checked it's not a race and I love just being outside. So it doesn't matter how slow I go, I will get there. but being big does have some advantages especially when it comes to dealing with elk. So the way I look at is I work very hard at my weaknesses (cardio, running) and be smart with my strength by doing moves like thrusters on the lighter side rather than heavy squats.

    Try doing three or four sets of thrusters at 20 reps each set with 95 lbs. if that's to easy for you then up the reps. I've taken some time off since hunting I doubt I could do that workout right now... so I'll be working back up to that through January and February.