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Author Topic: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?  (Read 13007 times)

Offline Cab

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My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?
« on: June 19, 2017, 05:32:21 PM »
This is my first elk season and I want to take the physical training serious. I would hate to start the season and realize I didn't prep enough. First I want to outline my goals and what I've been doing/plan to do and I just wanted to get some feedback by some seasoned hunters if it's enough.

Start of Jan I was 6ft 245ish and pretty much only would go for hikes once a week for about 4-5 miles. Now I am currently down to 215(would like to get down to 190-200) still hike once a week but now around 7-8 miles. I have started using a treadmill 5 days a week to do 30mins 10%-15% incline at 3mph with about 60 push ups. I plan to increase push ups to 100+ a day(would like to reach this by mid July), to start wearing a pack with 20lbs(starting in July and move up in lbs as I get closer to season) to start doing squats with pack/weight(start of July). Does this sound like a solid plan to get ready for elk season? I am currently working out at home and don't really have the funds to join a gym/buy a ton of work out gear. Is there any other suggestions? I know nutrition is very important and I have started to really crank down on what I eat/drink. I've started cutting out all sugar, carbs and beer and started to ramp up protein and veggies.

 End result I would like to be around 190lb, able to chase elk for about 7-9 days and able to pack out deboned elk a mile or two(trying to limit myself in distance). Am I doing enough to get ready and are my goals realistic?

Offline vandeman17

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Re: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2017, 05:36:42 PM »
For the most part I would say yes. One thing to add would be adding your pack with some weight on your hikes and also try to hike in uneven terrain as much as possible. I am in pretty good shape but every year the first thing that gets tired are ankles, heel cords etc. Those areas can only be trained by actually doing the real thing.  :twocents:
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Offline HUNTINCOUPLE

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Re: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2017, 05:56:52 PM »
Carry your bow on your weekly hike as well. I know my arm muscles are pretty spent after a two week elk hunt.
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Offline Cab

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Re: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2017, 06:10:42 PM »
Carry your bow on your weekly hike as well. I know my arm muscles are pretty spent after a two week elk hunt.
good idea! I'm going with my recurve so it certainly helps with weight but yea two things get heavier in the woods, what you've shot and what you shot it with

Offline WapitiTalk1

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Re: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2017, 06:21:47 PM »
Sounds to me like you're on a great path Cab!  Would only add what vandeman17 mentioned, throw that ruck on and hike.  What are you preparing for?  To hump up, down, and sideways in the elk woods with probably a 17 lb daypack (or all in one pack) on your back, if you're in an area that you can hike in (you may get some funny looks if you're hiking downtown Olympia  :chuckle:).  Treadmills are fine and dandy (put your pack on doing that also, grin), but, I personally have found that with 2 or 3 years of elk hunting under my belt, nothing gets me in better shape for elk hunting than hiking with a ruck on my back.  30 pounds is fine to start but by the middle of July and up till season start, slowly increase the weight in your pack up to close to 50 "and" find a way to hike up and down hills, even if that means just using the local stadium stairs.  You'll be surprised at how well hiking with a ruck on, 4-5 times per week will get you in tune with what the mountains have in store for you.  RJ
« Last Edit: June 19, 2017, 06:30:03 PM by WapitiTalk1 »
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Offline baker5150

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Re: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2017, 06:58:26 PM »
Sounds like you've got a good plan going forward.
Only thing I would add is try to get some time in at the elevation you plan to hunt with a weighted pack and get a feel for how thin the air is.

Offline lord grizzly

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Re: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2017, 07:07:48 PM »
Spend your time looking for elk. If your finding them consistently you'll be getting in shape to hunt them.

Offline coachcw

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Re: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2017, 08:44:03 PM »
Your  good buddy add sherr will power !
My wife told me that I hunt way more than I did when we first got married. I said yeah I know isn't it great !

Offline zackmioli

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Re: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2017, 09:39:25 PM »
sounds like you got a good start. id suggest throwing in more squats, lunges, side lunges, etc to really strengthen those muscles. if you are interested I wrote up a workout plan for mountain hunters looking to get into shape without needing a gym. all you need is your pack and some effort! throwing in a couple of these circuits would definitely benefit you in the mountains.

https://pnwild.com/blog/2017/2/1/functional-fitness-for-the-mountain-hunter
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Offline Shoofly09

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Re: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2017, 09:53:19 PM »
if you have the work ethic to drop 30 pounds (which you have), you should have the physical ability / mind set to take one down and carry it out.


Offline scudmaster

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Re: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2017, 10:03:02 PM »
A simple one to add is Kettle Bell exercises.  Get a 54# and you can start building back, core, arms, and shoulders.  Great to add to your squats and lunges. and you can throw it in your pack as you get closer to hunting season.
 
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Offline Stein

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Re: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2017, 10:23:12 PM »
Sounds like you are doing well.  I would focus on getting the miles up, sore muscles and blisters end a bunch of hunts and those are only conquered through long work.  Personally, I would focus more on duration and less on specifics (weight, elevation, type of work, etc).

Another thing to think about is your mindset.  At the end of the day, most people give up for reasons that aren't life threatening.  In other words, get used to being uncomfortable and build your mind to be able to deal with what you could encounter.  I would guess that for every 10 people that end up doing less than they could, 9 would be from their mind failing and only 1 would be from their body giving out.

Go find a big, hairy, scary event and sign up.  It could be a marathon, ultra, tri, Goruck, Tough Mudder, STP or whatever you find that you really don't want to do.  Two things happen: first, you end up training more and second, you get to the point during the event that you really, really want to quit and have the opportunity to keep going.  The same thing happens during hunts, your mind reminds you that camp or the hotel are a short distance away, it's cold, wet and you haven't seen anything for a day or two.  Having tools to deal with this is what separates those who go back out just one more time and those that accept all the reasons why the hunt didn't work.

That is probably contrarian advice and maybe a bit deep for a workout discussion, but it is something that has made a huge difference for me.

Offline SemperFidelis97

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Re: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?
« Reply #12 on: June 20, 2017, 12:29:10 AM »
The mental part is one of the hardest things to develop as well.  As Stein said most people reach their mental breaking point long before they reach their physical limits.  It sounds like you have a solid work ethic, I think getting some mountain miles on your boots should round out your physical needs.

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Offline Cab

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Re: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2017, 06:16:21 AM »
Wow guys, fantastic feedback!!! Thank you all for the tips! The mental part is huge and I will say when it comes to being cold and miserable I have a plenty of experience with that deer hunting in Maine. Most years even seeing deer is a successful year so I spent the last couple years getting use to sitting in -15 all day. Where I worry about the mental part is stated above where I'm physically exhausted (but not completely running on empty) and throw in the towel. I feel like the more prepared I am the more confidence I will have in my own physical ability to keep going. Plus I want to scout my tail off once some of this snow melts. I think knowing what your infor for the area your hunting can really play a part in being mentally and physically ready.  I appreciate everything said by you guys and I definitely will keep it up and ramp it up. You guys gave me some great motivation!

Offline SilkOnTheWetSide

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Re: My Elk Season Fitness, is it enough?
« Reply #14 on: June 20, 2017, 06:29:23 AM »
Congratulations on losing all that weight! Rome wasn't built in a day and neither will your elk body.

Mental toughness is definitely something that is trained. The only problem is that it is trained during season.

As far as physical, you seem to be at a point in your training where you shouldn't be doing any hikes without weight. Start light if you must but work towards 80 pounds or more.

I'd also recommend weening off the treadmill and start going on runs. Push yourself further and further.

Good luck!


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