On top of putting in food plots, habitat management and running trail cams, we prepare our bodies all year long for those magical few months from September to January. It is our playoff run to the championship….at least we hope and pray we take home the World Series ring in the form of a wall hanger and full freezers but the point is, you cannot arrow a giant putting meters on the rowing machine on a Saturday morning. You need to be in the stand!
Look at professional baseball players for example. They train all off-season to prepare their bodies and skill sets for Spring training. When Spring training arrives, they put on the finishing touches to prepare for the regular season. Once regular season hits, they play ball. Of course they still workout but they cannot train at the same pace or volume because they are playing games five nights a week. Their program changes from an off-season conditioning program to an in-season training program.
As a personal trainer and coach I myself prepare hard for deer season (bow and rifle combined) and now that I have developed a fondness for duck hunting, the ability to slosh through the mud and muck. When season hits, I hunt but that doesn’t mean I quit working out. I simply transition from an off-season routine to an in-season workout program.
I know that come January I will not be as conditioned as I was on September 15 but I will not be starting from scratch and will still have a very high fitness level. Just like that old buck who made it through rut to run and make little deer another year, the off-season is the time to refuel and prepare for next year.
So how do you create an in-season program? Here are some tips you can follow to ensure you have time for to keep your conditioning high and spend as much time in the outdoors this deer and duck season.
Perform a total body routine:
If you are breaking down body parts into days you will have a great deal of trouble fitting in your workouts and staying balanced (not overtraining a muscle group and promoting
Train movement patterns not muscle groups:
Your workout should include an active warm-up, strength exercises that include push, pull, stand and core movements, pre-rehab exercises (rotator cuff, mobility, etc) and possibly some conditioning. When done correctly, you can accomplish all in 30 minutes or less.
If your workout normally takes an hour (and if it is longer than an hour we need to talk)
reduce the number of sets so you can get in, out and into the woods.
Ramp it up:
Instead of plodding away on the treadmill at a moderate pace, perform intervals or better
yet, add a conditioning interval (sprint 60 seconds, row 250 meters, mountain climbers for 20 sec, etc) at the end of a push, pull, stand sequence in your strength routine.
Keep your workouts to the weekdays:
If you never miss a Monday this means you can still get a Monday, Wednesday and Friday workout in leaving Saturday and Sunday for your hunt.
You do not have to sacrifice your fitness for deer or duck hunting just like you don’t have to give up hunting to maintain a high fitness level. It’s a matter of making small adjustments and taking action to be successful at both.