Are you a sports fan?
A common statement you will hear from almost all athletes is that every time they move to the next level of their sport (Youth, High School, College or Professional) the game, at least in the beginning, is a lot faster than they are used to.
Their competition is bigger, faster, stronger and more talented and it takes a while for them to adjust to the speed of the game. Eventually, you will hear statements like “the game is beginning to slow down.” Typically this will be from an athlete who has worked hard and has improved to a level that matches the abilities and conditioning of their opponents.
Let’s get two things clear:
1. Even if you have never played an organized sport, you are an athlete. You are traversing different types of landscape, hanging stands, scouting properties, drawing bows and hopefully, packing out game. All of these require athletic moves and conditioning.
2. Trying to make a lifestyle change where you are incorporating exercise, nutrition, recovery, stress management and still live your life can be massively overwhelming.
In your current level in the game of life, the game is probably slow enough for you to manage, meaning that you can handle work, getting the kids to soccer practice, mowing the yard or doing the laundry. Now, add in a lifestyle change such as the implementation of an exercise plan or an improvement in nutrition and things speed up; in a hurry!
This is because you have added components into your everyday life that will alter your daily patterns and force you to adjust what and how you go about your business. Most of us can handle all of these newfound additions for a week to two weeks but once a barrier or two hits, you get a few nights of very little sleep or the initial excitement that you are doing something to change your health or physique wanes, you quit. Just like an athlete who couldn’t adjust to the speed of the game. So what now?
Slow the game down.
Know your role:
On a team, it is important that everyone knows their role. If you are a one-person team
clearly define your goals (your why) so that as your coach develops your program it will align perfectly with your objectives. If you do not have a coach, we would love to work with you!
Know the playbook:
It is hard to perform well on the field if you do not know the plays. It is even harder to be successful in your program and achieve your goals if you do not understand the program. If you have questions, ask your coach!
Master the plays one play at a time:
Depending on where you are in your fitness journey, you may have a very lengthy playbook. Nevertheless, to avoid becoming overwhelmed master your strategies before
adding more. If you aren’t good at one play it is highly likely you will become better by adding more things. Get good at the simple stuff first then progress to harder strategies.
Practice makes perfect:
If you want the game to slow down you have to practice. What you are doing in your fitness/nutrition journey on a daily basis is practicing. I have heard it said that if you do anything for 10,000 hours you will become an expert. I don’t know if that is true but what I can say is the more you practice the better you will perform.
If you want to become a better archer you have to shoot your bow.
The more you practice the better you will get.
The same goes for exercise and nutrition.
Don’t get discouraged if you aren’t the best in the beginning.
We all struggle but those who persevere and refuse
to give up often times wins the game.
We would be honored to help you on your journey!
The longer I work in the health and fitness industry the more I am convinced that if you want success, you must be willing to slow down the process by which you will become fitter. Our society has conditioned us to think that we can achieve a lot in a very short amount of time and when that does not happen, we quit.
In the hunting world we accept the fact it will take 4 ½ to 5 ½ half years to grow a mature buck but we won’t give a new workout or nutrition plan two weeks if we do not see immediate change. It doesn’t make sense. There is no such thing as an overnight success and it is silly to think one can undo years of lifestyle behaviors in a few weeks and not struggle.
Case in point, we are in the second go around with an online coaching client who double dips as a salesman during the weekday and a guide for an outfitter in Northern Missouri on the weekend. When we worked with him the first time, he was successful to the point where eating right and exercising became hard. Then he quit.
This isn’t the first time he as quit a lifestyle modification. Work, kids and life always got in the way and it appeared he would continue down that road until a well-timed hunt allowed us to take the relationship to the next level.
In a snow goose spread in Northern Missouri I got to know John a little better and hear first- hand his struggles with his health, fitness/nutrition and weight gain (the birds weren’t working so we had a lot of time to talk). Hanging out chatting in a layout blind I learned:
Like many of us, he wanted to start something but really had no idea where to start. After I got home from my hunting trip (it yielded three Canada Geese and many new friends) I gave him a quick call to see if he was ready to begin a new journey and surprisingly, he said “yes.” I also knew what we needed to do to help him have success!
I am the professional coach and personal trainer. I already know what a prospective client needs to do before we even have a conversation but despite what many believe, my job is not to tell people what to do. Shocked?
Let me ask you this question: Do you like to be told what to do? Me either.
John’s second journey into online coaching began with a simple question: What do you think you need to do to improve your health?
Kind of weird that the coach who is being paid to coach is asking the client for the solution, huh?
John thought for a second and came up with a few strategies that would work for him. Together, we selected one strategy: eat breakfast.
As a salesman he is up early and on the road so I recommended Wilderness Athlete’s Meal Replacement:
I suggested he start by drinking a shake five days a week. Once he mastered breakfast he added another strategy (walking ten minutes three days a week) and followed that up a few weeks later by packing healthy snacks for when he is on the road.
I spoke to John just yesterday and not only has he done a great job of assimilating these strategies into his life, he has made choices on his own that have fast tracked his success. The highlight of the call was learning he is down 16 pounds!
This was not an overnight process. It started in January and it wasn’t until the last few weeks that the number of strategies he had implemented combined at a level that caused weight loss.
Could he have lost those 16 pounds faster? Sure he could but this was a process he helped create at a pace that fit his lifestyle and readiness for change.
At this rate, we should start to see John’s success speed up rapidly because as fitness improves so does the ability to burn more calories when he exercises. He is now making good food choices the majority of the time and feels really good about what he is doing; mentally and physically. In his words, “I’ve bought into the process.” He is genuinely excited about the results he has achieved and gave me a list of goals he wants to accomplish.
Are you struggling? Maybe the answer in what you want to accomplish or the strategies you intend to use to get there. Maybe, you just need to slow down.
If we can be of assistance we would love to coach you to the next level.
To learn more about online coaching email Jeremy at firstname.lastname@example.org
Even at 42 I love the last day of school. I have made it a priority to be there when my kids walk out the door for the last time because frankly, it represents a freedom…or sense of freedom you and I have not experienced in a long time.
As we plan and form strategies on how to use the limited time us adults have for fishing trips, scouting, hanging stands, prepping for backcountry hunts and adding in the family vacation, to the youngsters, summer is endless. We know that to not to be true.
Mother Nature is fickle. In my opinion she loves to land the best day of the week for outside activities in the middle of the week when you and I are on the job. In St. Louis, MO where Fit To Hunt is headquartered, the summer heat and humidity can be BRUTAL! Weekends are the only time many of us have to take those trips and make those preparations to our hunting properties; heat or no heat.
We can’t stop because of the temperature, but if not planned for properly the heat can make you ill in the blink of an eye. Here are some tips to help you beat the heat this summer no matter where you reside!
Once acclimated, increase your fluid intake because you will sweat more. Make sure you have fluids with you at all times. Thirst is not an indicator of dehydration.
If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.
We recommend Wilderness Athlete Hydrate & Recover products for two reasons:
1. It not only replaces electrolytes but contains Branch Chain Amino Acids, Glutamine and Coenzyme-Q10 to help your muscles recover. Most commercial sports drinks are sugar and salt.
2. They are low glycemic, meaning they will not spike blood sugar and contain better ingredients than what you grab at the local gas station.
Do your work, exercise or play in the morning or evening:
Activity performed when the weather is the coolest is the smart way to go if your schedule will accommodate, but if it is necessary to get work (or play) done during the hottest part of the day, avoid direct sun. If exercising outdoors, avoid hot surfaces like asphalt.
Break it up:
Increase the frequency and duration of rest breaks.
Dress for the Weather:
Loose, light colored clothing is the way to go! Avoid cotton tees and look for
tri-blends and dri-fit materials that will keep you cool.
Finally...don't forget the sunscreen:
Protect yourself from skin cancer by wearing a broad-spectrum sunscreen with a minimum SPF of 30!
What outdoor adventures or hunting property preparations are you making?
Tag us in your pics at
I have been a fitness and strength coach now for the better part of a decade and I have seen countless lives changed. I have seen true happiness flood people’s hearts as they realize how successful they have become. And every time it happens, I want to be happy for them. I want to shout it from the rooftops. I want EVERYONE to know how successful this person has been. But, there is a constant theme to this paragraph... “I”. I am excited, I am happy, I want... But what about the client whose achievements I'm trying to celebrate?
This last week I had a TRULY eye opening moment. In the past, usually clients have been all too ready to share their successes. And then there are times when they hold back a little bit before they allow me to use their personal testimony to help them brag about their success (and a potential case study to help instill confidence in others about our training abilities). And while this is great for all parties, last Friday I was humbled. I asked if one of our gyms long time clients would be willing to use his before and after picture as a testimonial... In short, he said, “No.” I couldn't believe it. How could a
guy that has become one of the strongest members, physically, that I've ever coached not want to brag about his fitness path. Then it hit me hard upside my melon sized head that it wasn't my journey to talk about in the first place.
Client Fred (name changed to protect the innocent) didn't say “No” to be difficult. His explanation, though simple, seemed to have a much deeper meaning for me. Fred said, “That before picture you saw, isn't my real before picture. I'll bring that one in tomorrow.” And he did. The look on his face when he showed me said it all. There was no going back for Fred.
He said, “I don't care to see a before and after because I don't want to be reminded of 'that guy'. I know where I came from, I know how hard I've worked, and 'that guy' is long out of the picture.” And with that one statement, I realized that someone else’s fitness journey will always have a deeper meaning to them than I may ever know.
How many demons, vices or situations are people able to escape by simply building themselves up physically and mentally? What kind of past have they attempted to get away from only to have those old thoughts and memories creep back in to sabotage the hard work they have put in? And when they have become truly successful, how hard do they constantly have to work on the inside to keep that part of life at bay? Good heavens, I couldn't stop the questions that ran through my head last Friday. I had seen a picture of a man I didn't even recognize. How could I not have realized that most of these
journeys started long before they came to me. Long before they learned how to deadlift, eat clean or run a 5K?
It took one picture of one client to make me think of the journeys of just about every client that I've trained in the past. I had so many thoughts that I was almost exhausted by the time I stood up again. I couldn't believe it had taken 7 years for me to realize that not every journey is the same. There is no generic story line for every health and wellness journey. Every single person that walks through the door has fought and/or is still fighting their battles, usually multiple, that started before I ever met them. Some of those battles will be talked about. Some will be glorified for all to see. Others will be
left to fade away only to be thought of as some distant place in time. And I realized that it's ok. No matter how physically and mentally strong you become, it's ok to leave those things behind.
When you're gearing up to get strong, physically or mentally...remember it all starts with hydration! Visit Wilderness Athlete and grab their on-the-go friendly Hydrate and Recover packets to help ensure you're always ready to meet the demands of the day!
Each season I tell myself "___ season" is my favorite game animal to pursue but I really do think it is hard to compare anything to the anticipation and excitement of Spring turkey season. No matter where you hunt, Spring turkey season is magical but I have been blessed to call Missouri, one of the top turkey hunting destinations in the country, home my entire life and I never take for granted just how good hunting in the Show Me State can be.
For the last 10-12 years, a vast majority of my hunting has been on small tracts of land in and around Southern Missouri and for the most part, it has lived up to expectations. My family farm is a prime example of how small tracts can produce awesome hunts. Unfortunately, two years of poor hatches and habitat destruction is taking its toll on the turkey populations on the places I love to hunt the most.
In the 2018 Spring Turkey guide published by the Missouri Department of Conservation, hunters were warned that while Missouri is still a prime destination, hunters may have to work a little harder to fill their tag. 2016 was a very poor hatch; this will result in fewer two year old gobblers. 2017 was not much better for poult production. Mother Nature can be cruel but she can also be forgiving. While we are off to a very cold 2018 season, it remains to be seen what turkey production will be like this year. One to two good seasons and turkey numbers will rebound. The one thing they cannot rebound from is habitat destruction.
According to the National Wild Turkey Federation prime turkey habitat includes:
🍃 Trees for food, daytime resting, escape cover and roost sites
🌱 Grasses that provide food for adults and poults
🐣 Nesting habitat, including developed understory of vegetation and overhead cover
🐛 Brooding habitat that is insect rich and provides cover
Dad’s farm is 100 acres but only has 10-20 acres in timber. The rest is crop land or pasture but the farm has been surrounded by other properties for decades that provided ample nesting habitat and as a result, this small tract of land produced a lot of turkeys. Today this is not the case.
My son and I braved the unseasonably cold elements for this year’s youth season on the family farm and were incredibly disappointed in the lack of turkeys on the property. A two day hunt produced zero gobbling and only one visual turkey sighting. Remember that in year’s past, there were a multitude of birds due to the right habitat components but urban sprawl has played a significant role in the flock’s decline on my parent’s farm.
Within a half mile of our family farm there has been:
🏠 A new home built on 5-7 acres of nesting habitat
🌿 7 acres of nesting habitat converted back into pasture
🔨 10-20 acres of nesting habitat cleared to make way for a new subdivision
There are still plenty of trees for roosting and escape, food and water but a critical component in the reproductive cycle of wild turkeys, nesting habitat, is disappearing due to urban sprawl. And it is not just around our family homestead. Farm land that has been in production for generations is being developed at a rapid pace as more people spread from urban areas to experience country living and who could blame them? The only problem is as more housing developments are created past the city limit signs, more habitats are sacrificed.
Yesterday I was lucky enough to fill a tag. Three jakes came into our set gobbling and in full strut. It was a sight to behold and I was thrilled to experience such an enjoyable hunt. After breakfast, we took a drive to scout potential hunting sites for next week and I was shocked to see homes or new construction on many of the farms that have been so good in the past.
There is no sense complaining about urban sprawl. It is reality and it will force hunters to develop other options. It should also motivate us all, hunters, land owners and conservationists, to take action to ensure the habitat that is left is as good as it can be.
Here are some things you can do to help save wild turkey habitat:
❶ Join the National Wild Turkey Federation:
No, you may not own a farm or hunting property but you can certainly take a stand by belonging to an organization like the NWTF. In fact, you should consider belonging to other organizations such as Ducks Unlimited and the Quality Deer Management Association as well. If you value hunting and the outdoors this is an easy action on
❷ Visit your state’s conservation website for tips on how to manage your property:
The Missouri Department of Conservation not only has online resources but will mail residents, free of charge, a complete library of land management resources that benefit all wildlife.
❸ Bring in the pros:
It will cost you, but hiring a professional who can help you manage your farm or recreational property is an excellent way to ensure you are doing the right things to create habitat where both turkeys and other wildlife can thrive. And some states may have programs to provide financial assistance.
❹ Be mindful:
I myself intend to have a cabin on acreage to retire on but trust me when I say careful consideration will be given to when and where my future home will be built. This is my opinion, but I believe most developers do not even consider wildlife habitat when building a new community; they just want to build houses. If you intend to develop land or build a home outside of city limits, be mindful of where you break ground. Anything you do to the landscape will have a ripple effect.
Every time I see a large tract of timber or a sage field bulldozed I get a little sad but I also realize this is a part of life. I plan to do what I can on the properties I hunt, own and manage to provide the best habitat so my kids and their kids can enjoy the sport of turkey hunting for years to come. I would challenge you to do the same.
I had an epiphany the other day. If you know me, you know that it gave me an immediate
headache (just kidding). But it happened during a team workout. I was complaining about flutterkicks, you know, the one where you lay on the ground and hold your legs up and kick them around. Yeah, that one. And this thought crossed my mind, “Good heavens, my legs are HEAVY! I strongly dislike this,” give or take a few choice words not to be mentioned out loud. Although, I'm pretty sure I said a few things out loud because Mike said to me, “You do know you do that to yourself right?” And once he
explained what he meant, it made my mind go into a whirlwind of thought. What type of things do we give up in order to train for something specific?
I'll just start by giving an example of my training goals at the moment. In short, I want to lift weights. Big weights. Weights that truly challenge the structural integrity of my body. We are talking hundreds and hundreds of pounds. Ok, I think you get it. In order to do that, my body has to match my goal. In order to lift big weights, guess what, my body and more specifically my legs have to match. I noticed it most during flutterkicks. My legs have gotten significantly heavier, therefore I have to work a LOT harder to do longer duration exercises like flutterkicks. And here's the thing, I am MORE than willing to give this for that. I may hate flutterkicks and struggle whole heartedly at holding my legs up, but guess what, it means I don't have to struggle so hard at lifting 400 and 500 pounds. Now maybe you see where I'm going with this.
We all (hopefully) go into training with an idea of what we want. For me, strength is king. Always has been. For others, maybe athleticism is more of what they are training for. To be agile and quick. If my goals are to lift as much weight as possible, sure I can add some agility type moves into my workout. Am I going to be great at them? No, probably not. I'm going to have a lot more of me to try and move quickly. But remember, that's not my goal. This could very well be the opposite for someone looking to have the quicker more agile training approach. Gaining large amounts of muscle mass for these people is going to make that type of training more difficult and possibly make them unsuccessful.
Everyone has a different mindset about their training. We approach things differently. But it is ALL fitness. Someone trying to lift hundreds of pounds can easily be looked as as fit. Someone that is training for functionality or athleticism can also be considered fit. The things they are good at, are going to differ quite a bit. And that is where this title came from. This For That. It is something until recently, like 24 hours ago, that I never really considered. And honestly, I think it's something that so many people get caught up in. They want one thing, just to look across the room and want something else, never settling on a path to reach a certain goal. This process can usually lead to people stagnating, or even leaving their path to wellness all together.
When I say give this for that, I don't want you to think that you can't train for something and change your mind about what you want. You most certainly can. It's a matter of finding that one thing you want to train for the most and committing to that plan. That is why nowadays I am OK with struggling at certain things. Some of those things happen to be things that in the past I happened to be good at. I know that those things can help me reach my goal, but I also know that my goal is not to be great at flutterkicks.
My goal is to be great at deadlifting and bench press. My goal is to compete with others that have that same goal. As you figure out what path you want to go down on your wellness journey, stop worrying about those little things that have all of a sudden become a bit more difficult.
Sometimes those things whether thoughts, exercises or skills, aren't crucial to you achieving your goals. The real worrying starts when we sit back and allow ourselves to just become mediocre.
Don't be afraid to give a bit of This For That.
As the final days of cool weather pass and water temperatures warm, visions of lakes, farm ponds, streams and more importantly, the various species of fish that live in them become more frequent in my mind. Now most of you have already read the title and chuckled about the importance of physical fitness when it comes to angling but there are some solid reasons why targeted exercises and workouts may be beneficial. You don’t need to do countless hours of aerobic exercise to catch a smallmouth but adding a few exercises to a daily routine may help you get more out of your excursions this summer.
It takes very little effort to sit in a lawn chair and cast a bait to the bottom of a farm pond (what I intend to do very soon) but for those of you who kayak, canoe or wade, you will be challenged in the field.
Some of the key points of interest include:
🐟 Weak and tight low back muscles can make a fun day on the water miserable
🐟 Walking downstream is not problem; walking upstream can wear a fellow out
🐟 Poor balance can make traversing swift currents or rocky, slick bottoms while wading treacherous
🐟 Weak upper back muscles and rotator cuffs can suck the fun out of fly fishing and make pulling back a bow all day a chore
🐟 And…none of us are getting any younger so slowing down Father Time is a key consideration
Bill Cooper , outdoor writer and host of The Wild at Heart on ESPN 107.3, has been fishing Missouri waters for a long, long time and has personally experienced all of the above. Bill believes “Staying physically fit greatly adds to the enjoyment of fishing and being in the outdoors. Being fit allows you to fish longer, harder and smarter. A common problem among anglers is lower back pain. I had it too many years ago after an injury where a doctor told me I would be in a wheelchair within 5 years. I opted to take control of my life and began a simple exercise of flexing my hips up and down for a few minutes each morning before I get out of bed to strengthen the muscles of my lower back. Almost 40 years later, I am still going strong and a wheelchair is the last thing on my mind.
There are fish to catch.”
You can read about Bill’s adventures by visiting Outside Again Adventures.
So how does one get fit to go fishing? We are so glad you asked!
Start with balance:
Our favorite drill is the single leg stand. To perform a single leg stand you….are you ready for this….you stand on one leg. This can be done in the office, at the gym or while carrying on a conversation about fishing. Simply stand on one leg for 10 to 30 seconds. When you lose balance or have to put your foot down, switch out and repeat on the other side. Perform two to four cycles per day.
Increase your range:
Stretch daily; especially your calves, hamstrings, glutes and low back muscles. The more pliable the better and while it is possible to be too flexible, I have never had this problem in the fishing population. Hold each stretch 10-30 seconds and repeat up to five times. Foam rolling is also incredibly beneficial to keep muscles loose and aid in recovery.
Here is a short video on how to roll hamstrings:
Leg strength and muscular endurance is VERY important for wading streams. Simple movements like squats and leg presses are important but so is lateral movement. Knee problems? No worries. If you work with an experienced fitness coach or personal trainer they will be able to help match the right exercise for you; most of which can be done with little to no equipment. Remember, we aren’t going for world records in weight lifting. We are simply increasing functional strength that translates to the field.
Here are two of our favorites:
Build your core:
A few years ago I went on an all day excursion near Boca Grande, Florida in search of snook and redfish. After a few hours of balancing on the stern of the boat, my low back began to tighten. I was in great shape for dry land by my sea legs needed a little work. One exercise that can be performed anywhere is the bird dog. Perform two to three sets of 10-15 reps every other day and you will see a noticeable difference in your core strength and low back health:
Rotate for stronger casts:
Rotate those rotator cuffs that is! Internal and external rotations are an incredibly simple move that can be done with a small dumbbell or resistance band with handles. It is also a good preventative move that will keep your shoulders healthy and reduce the risk of an injury in the field. Perform two to three sets of 10-20 repetitions every other day.
A routine that can significantly boost your fishing fitness can be as short as 15-20 minutes and if you desire to only pick a few of the areas suggested above it may be less than that.
If we can help you piece together a plan that will help you get more enjoyment on the water this summer contact Jeremy at email@example.com!
A few points of interest as we begin:
1. I do not, nor ever have, owned a pair of ovaries.
2. This blog will in no way help the majority of readers who follow us and most likely will not aid them in their hunting pursuits.
So why write it?
1. it has been my experience as a personal trainer and coach that there are more women out there suffering from PCOS than let on
2. I know for certain we have followers who are frustrated due their inability to lose weight; a complication of their PCOS.
3. Even though I have admitted to never personally possessing ovaries, I have experience helping people with the condition.
PCOS or Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome is a condition where women’s hormones are out of balance and cause problems with…lady processes. It is a cause of infertility and can make it difficult to lose weight, increasing the risk of heart disease and diabetes from those who suffer from PCOS.
According to WebMD treatments include exercise, eating health and weight loss.
Ever feel like saying “Duh?”
Weight loss, even ten pounds has been shown to have positive effects on people who have PCOS but the problem lies in the difficulty the condition presents in losing weight; specifically body fat.
We had a deadline and like any good plan, we implemented strategies that included dietary changes and physical exercise but this is the point where unlike many articles, we are going to give you the good stuff. Here we go:
We had a deadline:
Sounds like a no brainer but Susan’s wedding day was the day we needed her to peak. With that in mind, we had approximately 4 ½ to 5 months to get her to her goal. A goal without a deadline is a wish and there would be no wishing here.
She had support:
Susan wasn’t the only one in this relationship who wanted to look good at the wedding. Her fiance’ Francisco (his name isn’t really Francisco but since I know he will read this and I am laughing as I type, we are calling him Francisco) also wanted to lose weight. There is strength in numbers.
We HIIT it hard:
What we learned almost immediately was that breaking down muscle groups and doing moderate intensity cardio was not going to yield results. We had to trick her body into losing body fat. This meant total body workouts with intense intervals. An example of a circuit would look something like this:
We typically programmed 25-30 sets which meant multiple circuits and we always trained total body with high intensity intervals. This boosted heart rate and kept her metabolism burning hot for hours after the session ended.
She pretended she was diabetic:
Susan found a diabetic diet and counted carb choices and total calories in the My Fitness Pal app. She still consumed carbs (whole grains, fruits and veggies) but eliminated junk carbs like breads, buns and simple sugars. If she was consuming a burger she would allot herself a few fries just so she did not feel deprived.
Cardio with purpose:
You cannot train high intensity every session and expect to not break down or burn out mentally but you cannot walk at a pace slower than you would pushing a cart through the grocery store and expect results. Susan’s cardio in between training sessions was set to be moderate to somewhat hard and it could be anything she wanted it to be (jogging, walking, cycling, etc.). She had complete control of her cardio and was instructed to listen to her body. If she was completely gassed from the workout before, stick to moderate intensity. If she felt good, let it rip.
Because both Susan and I knew she would have to work harder and eat cleaner than women who
did not have PCOS, the coaching within the session presented a consistent yet simple message. “Keep your eyes on the prize” which meant stay true to the program and process and using the wedding day countdown as a reminder. We knew she couldn’t keep this pace up forever but anyone can stick to a plan for a limited time. That was the point that was preached over and over; do not break because the end is in sight.
And then we relaxed a little:
The 85% rule states that if you eat clean 85% of the time you can eat whatever you want 15% of the time and it cannot harm you. Truthfully, Susan probably was more 90/10 but in that 10% there was room for cold Bud Light. All foods fit in moderation.
As temperatures begin to warm and the days last just a little longer, our thoughts turn to turkeys. Big, gobbling turkeys with beards so long they flop side to side as they come strutting into our sets. It won’t be long until we are putting birds to bed and waking in the wee hours in the hopes of punching a tag. Here are some tips that will help you stack the deck and up your chances of bagging a bird in 2018.
Take Inventory and keep notes:
It doesn’t make a lot of sense to hunt dirt that doesn’t hold birds. Sure, birds are probably still in winter flocks but now is the time to start running trail cams to see the numbers and age structure of birds on our properties. Know where they roost, feed, loaf, strut and water and you will know how to set up on them opening morning!
Boost your fitness:
No, you do not have to be fit to hunt turkeys but having a high level of fitness certainly increases your odds of success. Simply having the ability to belly crawl to move up on a bird or the stamina to run and gun all day will increase your likelihood of punching a tag. And if you start now, you will be in peak condition as season opens. We suggest starting with walking 30 minutes two to three times per week. After a week or two strap on your turkey vest to simulate the physicality of being in the woods.
You can also pick up our customized Strutter strength program that will provide turkey hunting specific exercises to ensure you have the physical tools to bag your bird by clicking HERE.
Each program, 6 or 12-week, comes with a complete list of exercises, videos with instruction and a phone consult by a Fit To Hunt coach.
Learn to call:
This year at the National Wild Turkey Federation Convention I had the privilege of working a booth with legendary turkey hunter Ray Eye. Now I kill turkeys every year but like many of us, there are times where we rationalize our lack of success by saying the “birds just weren’t cooperating” or were “henned up.” And this can happen, but what I learned from Ray during his Saturday presentation just about re-wrote everything I thought I knew about turkey hunting and how to be successful in the woods. I might run into these situations but now I have the strategies to combat uncooperative, henned
If you cannot make it to one of Ray’s live presentations we highly encourage you to pick up his “Calling is everything III” DVD by clicking HERE.
You will learn everything from how to gobbler yelp and how to address the hen social structure; two techniques that will drastically improve your odds of success.
Practice your calling:
Ray was kind enough to get me a new box call from his sponsor Hooks Game Calls…then proceeded to show me things that I have been doing wrong for the last 20 years (I am a
serial lid lifter). Whether box calls, slate or mouth calls, make sure the first sound you make isn’t as the sun comes up on opening morning.
Pattern your shotgun:
Sounds like a no-brainer but birds are missed every year because the first shots fired through that hunter’s gun are his or her first of the year. We are all busy people but if you do not know the shot pattern or range of your weapon you are doing disservice to yourself and the animal by not knowing the range for a safe, ethical kill. Besides, shooting is fun. Go do it!
Lose ten pounds:
It may not sound like a lot but ten pounds is ten pounds. Plus, it is much easier to
move through the woods with stealth when you are a little lighter. Consider the Wilderness Athlete 28 Day Challenge! All of our clients who have followed the system have lost between 10 and 13 pounds and the best part it is an easy system to follow. Pick up your challenge by clicking HERE and remember to use promo code: fittohunt to get a 10% discount on the challenge.
Turkey hunting is a lot of fun.
It is even more fun when you are killing turkeys.
Follow these tips and increase your odds of bagging a bird this Spring!
I am not sure what punched me in the face but for the past 24 hours I have been darn near horizontal. If you follow us at #FitToHunt you already know that I really never stop so I think this was God’s way of saying “YOU WILL NOT GO TO WORK TODAY!” Or, it may have been God whispering to me to “slow down and take a look at what you really do” in your daily travels, sessions, social media posts and interactions with hunters and non-hunters alike.
I’ll admit it. When we started Fit To Hunt back in 2014 our main goal was to build a community. Offer some cool content, sell some t-shirts…maybe a few hats and ride off into the sunset. The rude awakening was when we had a basement full of t-shirts and hats and very few orders; someone had forgotten their lesson in branding but that is a story for another time.
I have always fallen on the “total wellness” side of the spectrum. What that means is my vision for Fit To Hunt was never to simply produce workouts but really help people navigate through the minefield of wellness that includes categories such as:
Physical wellness (the one we all know)
Environmental wellness (being clutter free…not saving trees)
As a practicing personal trainer and fitness coach in St. Louis, MO for over 21 years, I have made it a point to include these elements in the conversations I have with clients. It does not matter if they train in person or online; total wellness is more than how many apples you eat and the number of push-ups you can perform.
Nevertheless, when the inventory of t-shirts weren’t moving, we fell back to what we know and are really good at: personal training and fitness coaching. Each year we help people prepare for the hunt of a lifetime or simply help them continue to hunt for the duration of their lifetime. In the last year we have helped folks get ready for elk, whitetail, duck and turkey excursions but it was a November waterfowl hunt that really made me stop and think it is possible I missed the point of Fit To Hunt. Or did I?
I was sitting in a duck blind in Northern Missouri with Nick and two guides from Pro Outfitters. The ducks were stale but we were able to shoot a few Canada Geese and Nick connected on a young gadwall. It was a good day.
In that blind, I listened for hours as Joe, one of our guides told me his story. He had battled cancer for the last year and it darn near broke him. He was living on a relative’s couch during his chemo treatments because he couldn’t work. It was awful, yet he persevered. Joe is a colorful character and I found myself captivated by not only his story but his honesty to a guy who he had just met a few hours earlier. He stared some pretty bad stuff in the face and won. I believe with sheer grit and determination as Joe does not strike me as the type of rolls over when presented with a challenge.
At that moment, I knew that Fit To Hunt was going to become more than us telling you how to perform planks or which supplement to take to drop some pounds. I did not offer any “solutions” for Joe that day, but I made a friend and that concept about community? On that day, our Tribe grew by one.
Last Friday night I saw a DM on our Instagram account. In opening up it was a longtime supporter of Fit To Hunt who lives in Idaho. Now, we have never offered him one piece of exercise advice but he has been one of those folks who have been there from the beginning. He proudly wears and represents our logo on the west coast (something we never tire of seeing) and have supported our partner products such as Yo Buck, Wilderness Athlete and Pure One Outdoors.
In the DM I could tell something was wrong. Our friend had just gone through some personal tragedies and despite a long week and a big difference in time zones we got on a call around 8pm CST on a Friday night. We talked about what was going on in his life, his loss and his outlook on spirituality. I am not even sure if the conversation lasted 15 minutes but it was a meaningful 15 minutes.
I know we did not talk about his exercise program. I do know we talked about God, the universe, perseverance and friendship. We talked about his dad who he had lost several years ago and how there are still places on their property he cannot go because of the memories associated with that piece of dirt. I also listened. Funny how a professional coach sometimes does his or her best work when they say nothing. This was one of those moments.
And today, amidst the body aches, chills and pounding head I responded to a Tweet from a long time follower and client regarding his exercise program (because when you are sick Twitter is the place to hang out). His response to our response to him made our day
Joel has grown to depend on us and as a result, we want to be accessible to him. We want him, and you, to find such great value with Fit To Hunt that you want to be a part of our community.
It doesn’t matter if you buy a $3 beer koozie or a $20 6-week workout plan or follow us on Instagram; we want you to feel like you got value equivalent to a $2,000 purchase? Does that make sense? Is that even possible?
We think it is. Mainly because we know now this isn’t just about creating exercise programs. We want to know you, help you solve problems and be there with you when you climb that mountain, harvest that bull or land that fish. Or, if you simply need someone to listen to you.
We really are grateful for your business, your support and for following us! Thank you and as always it is our wish that you stay #FitToHunt.
What kind of content do you want to see created to help you get the most out of your outdoor adventures? Leave a comment below!
Contributions made by Fit2Hunt Staff!