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!