The truth hurts...
“How much did Thor weigh at the vet” I asked my wife. It was easy to see that he had sssfilled out nicely and I was expecting the scales to tip at 75-80 pounds. Her answer was not what I had expected.
“Well, the vet said he is 95 pounds.”
“95 pounds?!?!” I answered...
How could this have happened? We don’t feed him human food and very rarely give treats for no reason, so how could he have gotten pudgy on me? Me. A person who helps people get un-pudgy.
My wife broke in, “the vet says he needs to lose some weight” to which I replied “how much weight?” “Not a lot of weight” she replied “but you can clearly see that there is no tapering toward his haunches. We need to get him moving more and eating less.”
Again, I asked the question in my mind, how my finely tuned duck dog…The Mighty Thor had transformed into the pudgy Thor? The answer was not that hard once we talked it out. For a personal trainer, January is the season to make hay while the sun shines. It is a non-stop thrill ride that finds fitness pros either in the gym or sitting in front of a lap top posting on social media, writing blogs or working on exercise programming. Once I started to break things down logically in my mind it was clear that I had not been throwing bumpers in the back yard or taking Thor for walks. In a convoluted way, work had gotten in the way of my dogs exercise program making it easier for him to pack on the pounds.
The second part of my pooch’s problem revolved around portion control. As a personal trainer one of the first strategies we employ with a client is to reduce the overall amount of food they consume. Not necessarily changing food types but reducing the amount of food they eat. Back in December, my wife thought it was time to give our son’s more responsibilities around the house which I whole-heartedly supported. One of these responsibilities is to feed the dogs twice a day. 1 ½ cups twice a day is the proper amount for Thor outside of hunting season. It turns out that boy 1 and boy 2 were giving him
two to three times that amount and Thor, being the food-motivated Yellow Lab he is, did not correct them. He ate every last piece of kibble.
It’s funny that there isn’t a lot of difference between Thor’s weight woes and the trials we humans face when it comes to weight control. If we eat more than we burn we gain weight. Sometimes work gets in the way of our exercise program and when we aren’t aware of what is going on around us, our nutrition and portions can get out of whack in a hurry.
So what is the answer to looking just a little bit better in your camo this season despite the pressures that work creates and the lifestyle choices these pressures can produce?
You get back to basics.
One of the biggest mistakes a lot of people make is to think that exercise has to be some big, complicated process. At Fit To Hunt, we believe it’s all relative to where you are and where you want to go. For example, there is a big difference in the conditioning one will need to hunt whitetail’s in Iowa vs. mule deer in Montana. There is also the belief that if you can’t bench press 300 pounds or run a marathon, a back country hunt is out of your reach. Again, not true.
If we can improve your conditioning just 10-20% from where it was, you will perform better in the field and have a better overall experience on your hunt. For some, that might mean exercising an hour a day, five days a week. For others it could mean two thirty minute training sessions three days a week.
Do understand that within certain terms, the more you put into your training program the more you will get out of it but when work and the boss are dictating how you spend your free time, you have to fit in the activity where you can. We have created programs that take as little as ten minutes to complete and that client saw results. Just ensure you are building in regular exercise sessions to your week no matter how busy you are at work.
If you need help getting a workout started, check out our Base Conditioning Program...
The Program Overview is HERE...and it's available in 6 Week or 12 Week lengths!
Second, you have to both improve the quality of food you eat and the portions in which you consume it. This means creating an awareness of what, when, how and why you are eating and ensuring you have the right foods available when you need them.
Luckily, you are a hunter/gather so your freezer should be filled with lean, organic and delicious protein. Thaw it out and get to work! Each and every Sunday, brown some ground deer, smoke a roast, grill some tenderloin and make sure your protein is pre-cooked. These bits of protein goodness will serve as the base for your lunch and dinners.
Then, add in some convenience. We see clients every morning at 6am. We also believe in the importance of fueling within 30 minutes of waking up; something not easy to do when you need to prepare for your first client of the day.
We reach for products such as Wilderness Athlete Meal Replacement/Recovery shake before heading to the gym. It’s quick, convenient, has the right mix of macro nutrients and quite possibly may be the best tasting protein shake we have ever consumed.
Better yet, go all in and consider the Wilderness Athlete 28 Day Challenge! The 28 Day Challenge is designed help you safely achieve your weight loss goals and improve your overall nutrition. Each kit contains:
The 28 Day Challenge Guide & Tracker
2 tubs of Meal Replacement & Recovery Shake
Hydrate & Recover
Energy & Focus
High Performance Multi-Vitamin
Lean Life (2 Bottles!)
In 28 Days you will use the supplements/shakes listed above in conjunction with healthy foods you prepare to kick start your weight loss and build healthy habits. You also get these products at a deep discount vs. buying each one individually.
And by prepping your meals and using the Wilderness Athlete products as recommended, you will improve your nutrition and control portion sizes. This combined with regular physical exercise will be the catalyst for losing weight, improving your conditioning and ultimately performing better in the field.
To order your Wilderness Athlete 28 Day Challenge click here:
Challenge Accepted! Now Show Me How!
If you stay consistent and employ the strategies listed above, you will see a difference in a very short amount of time. It only took two weeks for Thor to drop enough weight to clearly see the tapering from his body to his haunches our vet desired for him.
There wasn’t anything drastic to making the big yellow dog healthier. We simply offered high quality nutrition, controlled his portion sizes and provided specific workouts in the form of daily walks and retrieving bumpers in the back yard.
All of the strategies we used for Thor will work for you.
I guarantee it.
But please, don’t chase bumpers around your back yard.
Search “fitness” on the Internet or social media and the chances are good you will see incredibly fit, cut and athletic men and women slamming battle ropes, performing burpees, deadlifting heavy weights and generally scaring the hell out of normal folks. Pics like this sell clothing, fitness products and supplements but for “normal” people, it can actually be a detriment. What about those men and women who want to improve their fitness but are a long, long way from the aforementioned individuals who grace magazine covers and Instagram pages? Where do they begin?
One definition of fitness is described as “the state of physiological wellbeing that is achieved through a combination of a good diet, regular exercise and other practices that promote good health.” Nowhere in that statement does it say you have to have ripped abs or be able to bench press 300 pounds but most often, that is where our minds wander because that is what media says is the definition of being physically fit.
At Fit To Hunt, our personal trainers are very clear in that our mission isn’t to make your butt look good in your camo. It is to help you perform better in the field. If your goal is to look good in your camo, we aren’t opposed to helping you get there, but performance is the number one goal. If you find value in the activity and it helps you do what you love to do a little better, we believe you will stick with it. From our perspective, fitness is relative. There are high levels, low levels and places in between, so how do you know if you are really Fit To Hunt? We are really glad you asked.
Fitness is broken down into 5 categories:
1. Aerobic fitness
2. Body composition (how much body fat you have vs. muscle)
3. Muscular strength & endurance
4. Flexibility (range of motion)
5. Balance (not a defined category but we think it is important)
When we begin with a client, the general idea is to progress them from wherever they are at the moment they contact us to something better. Kind of a “duh” statement right but think about it for a second:
1. What kind of shape are you in?
2. What kind of hunting do you engage in (Midwest whitetail or backcountry elk)?
3. How old are you?
4. Do you have any medical conditions?
5. How long do you have to train before your hunt?
The list can go on for a while but our point is where you are right now at this very moment could be very different than the person next to you in the gym. In fact, we have clients who have been able to swing kettlebells from day 1 and others who started with three exercises.
Some of you reading this are preparing for a back country elk hunt of a lifetime while some are reading this with the hope they can simply develop enough strength and endurance to climb a tree stand. Yes, fitness is relative and the struggle is real.
To be Fit To Hunt you need to be willing to combine various aspects of physical exercise, nutrition, appropriate supplementation and sleep to move your fitness level north of where it is today. What does that look like for you specifically? We don’t know because you are unique and we haven’t worked with you yet. Your program has yet to be written and you results yet to be defined.
Fitness is relative but being Fit To Hunt?
That is a mindset, my friends, and we would love to help you get there!
What type of fitness activities do you perform? Comment below and tell us how you plan to get and stay Fit To Hunt!
Contributions made by Fit2Hunt Staff!