Last month we initiated the idea of simple meal prep by discussing the concept of pre-cooking your protein for easy lunches and dinner prep, but you are going to need something to go along with that perfectly prepared protein, right? It is time you learned the power and versatility of quinoa.
A grain crop grown for its edible seed, quinoa has found popularity with health enthusiasts the last few years despite the fact it has been around for a long time (it was a staple crop of the Inca Empire).
A cup of quinoa contains:
8 grams of protein; it contains all nine essential amino acids
39 grams of low glycemic carbohydrates
5 grams of fiber
Contains minerals like magnesium and iron
And it is LOADED with B vitamins
And cooking quinoa is a cinch. If you can boil water, you can make quinoa.
Here are the steps we use:
1. Rinse 1 cup of quinoa in a fine-mesh strainer under running water.
2. Put the rinsed quinoa in a 2 qt. saucepan with a tight-fitting lid and pour 1 ¾ cups broth (or
water…but broth adds more flavor) in the pan with the quinoa. Add ½ teaspoon of salt (I like sea
salt or kosher salt) and stir.
3. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil. When it starts to boil, cover the pot with the lid and turn the
heat down to the lowest setting and let it cook for 15 minutes.
4. Let stand for 5 minutes, then fluff with a fork and enjoy.
This will make about 3 cups of cooked quinoa.
One of my favorite things to do for lunches is to combine deer tenderloin and a serving of quinoa for a protein packed and filling lunch. I am a BIG heat guy so I will pour spicy BBQ sauce over the combination and warm-up in the microwave for lunch. Quinoa is also a fantastic substitute for rice and works great in a wrap.
Did I mention versatility? Click Here to get breakfast recipes using quinoa!
Give this power seed a try by adding it to your meal prep planning and stay #FitToHunt!
Sunday’s are for grilling:
It is one thing to grill a few steaks on Sunday for dinner but while you have gone to the trouble, go ahead and prepare extra venison tenderloin, beef steak and chicken so that lunches are packed with at least 30 grams of protein per meal. I like to separate these into microwavable dishes so in the morning, I simply grab and go as I head out the door to work.
P.S. Everyone in the office will be jealous that you are eating steak for lunch every day.
Fire up the skillet:
Take several pounds of ground beef or the last of your ground venison and brown it in the skillet for later use. This makes preparing spaghetti, tacos, sloppy joes, or other casserole dishes for dinner a cinch! We are all busy with work, raising kids and chasing whitetails. Why not make dinner prep easier by having the main ingredient for your supper already complete?
We preach everyday that finding time to exercise will mean you will never exercise. The same goes with meal prepping. My challenge to you this week is to pick a day and pre-cook your protein. We promise that once you start performing this exercise and see the value, it will become part of the process that will help you get and stay #FitToHunt!
What are some additional meal prep tips that you use to boost nutrition and performance?
When you travel or go on vacation what is more fun and relaxing? Rushing from point A to point B without taking the time to enjoy the sights and sounds or slowing down and taking your time to truly enjoy the experience? Of course, the more you experience from your travels, the more fun you have, and you return to work more relaxed, focused and productive.
Taking the scenic route with your fitness plan and going slower can help you accomplish goals and increase the odds that your results, actions and strategies will be sustainable where quick fix programs often are not.
As a personal trainer and fitness coach for the last 22 years, I have helped many people lose weight, build muscle and improve their nutrition and each one of them used different tactics. However, there is one common trait among all of them who not only reached their goal but maintained them; they took their time.
Depending on where you live there are approximately 4-6 weeks before archery season opens in most states. That doesn’t leave a lot of time to make significant gains but if you can start with one or two tiny strategies, it is possible to build muscle, lose weight and improve conditioning; all of which will improve your performance in the field and help you get Fit To Hunt. The secret is in the tiny strategies.
I want you to pick one tactic you can start doing this week that will make you just a little healthier.
1. Walk 10 minutes
2. Do 20 push-ups
3. Eat 20 grams of protein at breakfast
4. Drink 20 ounces of water
5. Do 20 squats
6. Eat one apple
7. Drink one less soda
The list can go on forever, but the key is you pick only one tactic and do it daily.
Then when you have mastered that tactic…add another.
Pretty soon, you will have 3-4 solid habits you do everyday and are well on your way to creating a disciplined process that produces results and is sustainable.
Remember I said that archery season is about to begin? The key to continuing with your new tactics (and not bagging them because of deer season) is learning how to make small changes in your daily routine fit and work for you.
Start small, hunt hard, get some successes, coast through the holidays, then start the New Year with a solid base and the tools to truly attack your fitness in 2020.
For help with your program contact Jeremy at firstname.lastname@example.org
There are 5 components of fitness:
① Body Composition
② Muscular Strength
③ Muscular Endurance
⑤ Aerobic Fitness
I think balance should be thrown in there, but these are the big 5 you will see personal trainers and coaches talk about with their clients.
As mentioned earlier, a body composition chart (which discusses percentage of body fat) is loaded with numbers and age ranges for both men and women which state what level you need to be at to rate poor, average, good or excellent. This can be confusing and if you are on the “poor” end of that spectrum, deflating.
In my 22 years as a professional fitness coach and personal trainer based in St. Louis, MO, I have developed a scale that is short, sweet and to the point.
Here are my measures of fitness that I hold myself accountable to and preach to my clients:
➪ Run a 5K in under 30 minutes
Muscular Strength (Pull-ups, Push-Ups and Squats):
➪ 5 pull-ups for men
➪ 1 pull-up for women
➪ 20 push-ups for men
➪ 10 push-ups for women
3. Squats (Body Weight)
➪ 20 squats for men and women
➪ Waistline 35 or less for men
➪ Waistline 32 or less for women
I look at fitness in very simple terms. I have also long maintained the truest form of fitness is your ability to manipulate your own body weight. Many hunt from elevated positions, so the ability to pull yourself up to a platform (should you fall) is paramount to you coming home safely. You don’t have to rock out pull-ups like a Navy SEAL but you better work hard to be able to do at least one.
For cardiovascular fitness, if you can cover 3.1 miles in under 30 minutes, congratulations! You are likely in the upper 1/3 of aerobic conditioning for your age and gender!
The reason I use waistline to measure body comp is because it is easy. You know what size your jeans are and if it is rising, time to act because carrying excess weight in your abdomen increases risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.
What if you cannot meet these standards? It’s simple: You work towards them!
Two years ago, online client Dayton Holloway and I ran a 5K on the 4th of July. It was the kick-off to his training for a back-country elk hunt. He finished in roughly 37 minutes. Before he left on his trip in September, he ran a 5K in the 27-minute range.
Can you get a baseline time for walking/hiking a 5K and then work to cut that number down?
Can’t do a pull-up?
Start working with assisted-pull ups (bands or machine) and take a good look at your weight. If you are carrying more than you should, focus on dropping some pounds and getting stronger simultaneously. Trust me… it is easier to accomplish a pull-up (males AND females) when you are not carrying excess weight. And by losing body fat, your waistline will shrink as well - killing two birds with one stone.
Can’t do a regular push-up?
Start with a modified version and work your way up to regular push-ups!
Wherever you are in your journey, use these standards to help fine tune your exercise program, develop a disciplined program and train with intent.
For tons of FREE exercise videos check out and subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking HERE and stay #FitToHunt!
Add these three moves to your exercise routine and you will see a substantial difference in your fitness for the field. Being is great shape not only makes your outdoor adventures safer, you will get more enjoyment in your time afield. If we can assist you in your hunting preparations by developing the perfect workout program for you please email us at email@example.com
I wish I could take credit for the idea but the inspiration for this blog came from Pastor Jeff Loaney of Chesterfield Presbyterian Church in the men’s discipleship group this past Thursday. In the discussion, which started at 6:30 in the “AM,” Jeff and I talked about the concept of honoring God in everything we do vs. doing the things we do (work, school, play, etc.) for other reasons.
Those reasons likely being:
To satisfy our own selfish needs, pleasure or validation
To impress or please someone in our lives (spouse, boss, etc.)
To create the illusion of control
Like a sledgehammer to the face the thought process of how this relates to fitness, nutrition, performance and weight loss hit me hard and the answers to many of the most frustrating questions
became clear. But first you need to answer this question: Who are you training for? What are your goals?
It is plausible you could be training to:
Look good in a swimsuit
Run a 5K
Kill an elk on a backcountry hunt
And those are all great reasons to train but for many of us, we either lose our focus of training and quit, train hard and not see the results we thought we would or a combination of the two. As a personal trainer and fitness coach for the last 22 years I was taught to help clients utilize two types of motivation and help them CRUSH their goals.
These types of motivation include:
1. External Motivation: Weight loss, what one looks like in the mirror or relying on validation from friends, family and colleagues
2. Internal Motivation: Use how you feel mentally and emotionally after a workout to fuel your motivation
Internal motivation is a better source than external but most of us still struggle to exercise regularly and eat healthy food in a manner that is sustainable. I believe the answer is as simple as while you are taking actions to make yourself look and feel better, maybe you should be focusing your efforts on honoring God instead of training for yourself.
1st Corinthians 6:20 states “For you were bought with a price. So glorify God with your body.”
Are you successful in your weight loss efforts or do you train hard, eat clean and get frustrated when the scale does not move? Are you leaving everything you have in the weight room but not seeing the results you believe you should be seeing?
If you are frustrated, on the verge of quitting or are dejected…..why? You were created by God to honor him right? You were not meant to appear on the cover of a magazine. You were created to be good stewards of the body he gave you.
Honoring God. This is still a concept I struggle with in my daily life. Pride gets in the way at every turn but as I move through this journey, I am learning to use my talents to honor God and serve his people. I am not perfect by any means but consider the possibilities if you switched your focus from how much the scale moves week to week to something like:
Training to be in shape to go on a mission trip in another country
Train to be the best mom and dad possible
Have the energy and stamina to serve others
Go on that backcountry hunt and kill that elk! God gave us dominion over all creatures, and he wants you to enjoy the splendors he created
Would that change your focus on an internal result such as how much you weigh or what you look like in your clothes?
I used to train just to look good. It was a self-centered and vain outlook. Funny thing is, when you train to honor God there is this incredible side-effect: You cease to care about the scale or what you look like in that outfit but are blessed with the physique, health and stamina you were looking for all along. It is stress free and it is awesome.
Yes, I am a GINORMOUS control freak. I have fought for years to control my success in relationships and business and failed miserably. When I began to let go and trust God, things changed in a hurry. Hey, there is nothing wrong with setting goals and developing plans, but God isn’t a genie who is going to snap his fingers and POOF! You are fit.
You still must do the work but when the alarm goes off at 5am and you are debating why you should get up to train, focus on who you are training for.
You may be surprised with your results.
A wall, whether brick, stone, metal, plaster, or wood, is built to keep things both out and in. The walls of your house, keep you safe from the outside. They keep you from having to be out in the weather and they keep pests and rodents out (usually). Staying within those walls would certainly be safe, but what if something GREAT was just on the other side?
What keeps you behind the wall? Is it fear or being afraid of trying something new?
Fear is probably the Absolute, 100% Overall, All Encompassing, Ubiquitous ( ;-) You like that one), concern of people that are either novices to the gym OR have had a bad experience in the past.
In my tenure as a fitness professional I have made my share of mistakes that I don’t ever care to repeat. Back when I first started deadlifting I had planned to get a workout completed before meeting up with some friends. I was feeling good. I was feeling strong. I was going to hit that 450lb Deadlift. IT. WAS. ON.
I hit all of my warm ups, no problem. I had 450lbs on the bar. I dipped. I gripped. I lifted. I was ¼ of the way up… ½ way… ½ way… still ½ way up. I was stuck. People were watching and I knew I had to do something. Pride won over common sense and I tried pulling with my arms to complete the lift. I felt a pop and that was it. The bar crashed to the floor, but I couldn’t tell what hit harder, the bar or my body. That night I crawled out of the gym in pain. It was the most excruciating night of sleep in my life.
Cool part? That wasn’t the end of my story; Just the part that sucked. And I mean every bit of the word “sucked”. I can’t lie, it was a LOOOOONG time before I trusted myself to do a deadlift again. I had take a MAJOR step back. I was afraid. I had made a mistake that cost me. I was scared to repeat it.
I’m willing to bet I am not the only one to have made a mistake before only to experience paralyzing fear afterward.
I struggled to believe in myself and I never wanted to feel that pain again. But, now I understand the significance of the setback. I took fear of something and turned it into a strength! And now I try to coach others the same way. Get it right first so that your mistakes are made early. It’s a lot better to make a 100lb mistake than a 450lb mistake. And a lot less painful.
So now it’s like, “Hey! Cool story Nick! Why should I care?”
Well here’s the deal, too often I see people come into a gym with fear in their eyes at the things that they see other people doing. They don’t take into account how long some of those people have been there and how much experience they may have. You know what that does? It clicks save on the “fear hard drive.” You’ve already told your brain you’re scared to do it because, and I’ve heard these exact words, “There’s no way I can be like that guy/girl over there.” With just that one thought, you shut the door and hid behind your wall. You have already planned to fail.
Look past that fear. The more fear we hold onto, the more we start to overthink some of the more difficult movements and lifts. The more we overthink, the less we get right. The less we get right, well you know where that goes. Our job as fitness professionals is to test your body. But ONLY at a capacity that you are READY for. It is our job to have a system to be able to tell just when that is. There will be things that your body isn’t used to that cause a road block or minor setback. Do we want that to happen? No, but we ready for it with plans of action to make adjustments as needed. Because that is what Fit To Hunt Coaches do. We will also ensure we break down those fears and keep you trekking toward your goals!
Road blocks happen. Some of these blocks are caused by our lack of experience, age, previous injuries, etc, and it doesn’t even have to pertain to a gym setting; fear can also derail a relationship, job or opportunity.
4 years ago, I would have to say my wall was damn near made entirely of titanium… and excuses. I had quit. I had made up my mind.
Deadlift? Bad. Mediocre Program where I just go through the motions? Good.
During that time I was more stuck than when I had 450lbs ½ way up my leg. I decided to stop staring at that wall. I decided to stop being friends with my fear. I didn’t jump over that wall and I didn’t go around it. I decided to break through my wall and I came out stronger on the other side.
What is on the other side of YOUR fear?
Have you given up on your New Year’s resolutions? If so, you are in good company but that does not mean you have to wait until 2020 to achieve your weight loss goals. Turkey season is six weeks away in Missouri, sooner for our Southern friends, and we want you to be in the be in the best shape possible when you go out chasing long beards this Spring.
Here are 5 tips to lose 10 pounds in six-weeks!
Many consider meal prepping to be complicated but if you do it right, it is really quite simple. You have a full freezer of wild game? Start grilling and while you are at it, toss a few veggies like asparagus on the grill as well. Now, fill up 5 Tupperware containers with your veggies and protein of choice (I hope it is deer tenderloin) and instead of killing your nutrition in the fast-food drive through, you will save calories, boost nutrition and save $ by making your own lunch.
Shake it up:
For many people, breakfast is optional but not starting the day with the right mix of nutrients will cause you to over eat later.
Try a meal replacement shake from Wilderness Athlete! It tastes amazing and will give you the nutrition you need in a pinch.
Click here to order and use promo code fittohunt to save 10% off every order you place.
Take a sip:
Want to cut your calories in half? For every bite of food you take, drink one sip of water.
This strategy is one of the easiest ways to cut food intake in half and fast track your weight loss.
Flip the percentages:
Most people eat junk 85% of the time and want a pat on the back when they eat an apple.
Flip the percentages by eating healthy 85% of the time allowing yourself your favorite indulgence 15% of the time.
There are 101 ways to get fit, increase your strength & conditioning, and lose weight.
Follow these easy tips for the next six-weeks and let us know if you were able to drop ten pounds by the start of turkey season!
By: Jeremy Koerber
Anyone that knows me even a little bit knows that on Saturday nights, my love for a roaring fire, a movie and family surrounding me is what I look forward to all week long. Last Friday my oldest son turned 13 and ironically, all heck broke loose at work and I was unable to leave early to spend the afternoon with him. Saturday found me at the gym all day as well. I came home exhausted but eager to do something fun with him and the rest of the family. I mentioned several restaurants located throughout west county; he wanted to go to Culver’s which is less than 2 miles up the road. The vote was unanimous. Culver’s it was.
I am not sure if he shares my love of simple things or this was a happy accident but knowing we could all enjoy a fun meal and be home to light the fire before 7pm made me almost giddy. I am an old soul. We arrived, ordered our food and sat down at a four-top table. As Beth and the kids settled in their seats, I saw him. An old man dining alone two tables down.
He was wearing khaki pants, a gray jacket and sported the kind of hat old men wear. He had a long face that was accentuated with a very bushy mustache, but his eyes were dark and sad. I tried not to stare so I kept looking away but continued to analyze this gentleman. At that moment it hit me; he was also sitting at a four-top table.
I almost felt guilty as the kids laughed and we engaged in conversation. I never really caught him looking over at us but began to wonder, did he once have Saturday nights like I was experiencing at this moment? One where he too was surrounded by a beautiful wife, young children and a seemingly endless number of years to have many more experiences like I was having with my family. He never looked up from his meal. The loneliness was palpable and then it hit me. I have seen that same look in my grandfather’s eyes as he ate a meal. Sitting, staring at his food, not engaging in conversation but maybe, remembering a time when the table was full. Full of the people he cared most about in this life.
I think it is hard for us to empathize what that must feel like because the only way to know how this feels is to live it; something we will all experience if we are blessed to walk the earth long enough. I wanted to go up, put my hand on his shoulder and offer some form of comfort but the next time I looked up he was gone. We finished our meal and went home the fire and a movie.
Last week, I took a trip with the boys to the farm to clear out a new food plot location and obtain some soil samples to prepare for Spring planting. As we left town, the boys and I stopped off at the cemetery to visit some friends and relatives who have passed on. As I wiped away tears climbing back into the truck, my youngest asked me if I was okay. It wasn’t the same feeling of loss or loneliness that I sensed from the old man at Culver’s, but it was in the ballpark. The only difference? I was driving home to a full house. The old man? He was going it alone.
I’m not certain how to wrap this story up. I guess if I were to bring it home with a catchy phrase or one liner that would be cool but what I really wanted to do was to get anyone who reads this to appreciate who is in their life and all the things God has blessed them with.
I turned 40 three years ago, and the years are going by faster and faster. I blinked and my son turned 13. A few more blinks and I could be the old man at the table.
Grab on to those around you. Hold them tight and make sure that the people you love, know you love them as well. Because it all moves so incredibly fast.
It is the beginning of February; are you still working on your New Year’s Resolutions?
For most people, the answer is no, but since you are reading a fitness blog, I am going to assume that at a minimum, you are adhering to some form of exercise or nutrition principles.
Either way, now is the time to start getting serious about mapping out how to train for your 2019 hunts.
Here are the steps you need to follow for success:
Step 1: What do you plan to hunt?
In the Midwest, whitetail deer and turkey hunting reign supreme. Out west, elk and mule deer are on the mind of most hunters. Head north and moose, black bear and sheep may be what you are looking for. All hunts require different levels of physical conditioning and for more arduous hunts (elk, sheep, moose, etc) you will most likely need advanced levels of fitness to fully enjoy your experience.
Step 2: When do you plan to hunt?
Turkey hunting in Missouri begins the third week in April. If you have an elk tag, chances are your hunts will be September or October. Understanding the time-period you have to train is incredibly important. I once had a person call me wanting coaching to prepare for an Alaskan sheep hunt. I asked when his hunt was planned and he replied, “In two weeks.” I wished him “good luck.”
Step 3: What are your limitations or barriers?
Do you have any physical limitations that will prevent you from training or injuries that need to be addressed? Are there any barriers (work, travel, etc) that will prevent you from training? I always suggest my clients do a deep dive to identify things that can derail their efforts. If you are hurt, time to see your physician. Physical therapy may be in order before you can really train for your hunt. If life in general is the barrier, work with a coach to help you develop a plan that will fit your life.
Step 4: Understand "Periodization"
If you have just booked a September elk hunt and have not exercised in a long time, we will not prescribe elk specific programming on day one of your training. You will go through a 6-8-week base conditioning program designed to produce a base layer of fitness that will allow us to progress you safely and effectively. Weeks 8-10 may revolve around ramping up your training and adding in hunt specific cardio like backpacking along with injury prevention exercises. The last 4-6 weeks will be hunt specific movements patters that will allow you to peak the week you hunt. In short, if you wait to the last minute to train, you may be disappointed.
In talking with many outfitters, there is nothing worse than a client showing up for a hunt unprepared for the physical toils of the adventure. For many, a back-country elk hunt or moose hunt in Canada may be a once in a lifetime event. All the more reason to understand your timeline to train and map out a personalized training plan.
If you need help preparing for your hunt or want to find out more about Fit To Hunt, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
What do you do to train for your hunts? Tell us in the comments!
Contributions made by Fit2Hunt Staff!