So you’re going hunting in October but somehow it snuck up on you and you haven’t broke the first sweat in preparation. Time to freak out? Kinda…but all is not lost. You’ll need to buck up though and dedicate some mornings or evenings to making it happen.
We’ll need to be honest and realize that you won’t be ready to run a marathon or win a strong man competition but with some effort you should be able to salvage your hunt. I’ll keep it simple and make some recommendations that don’t require equipment or gym memberships. Just be sure to make sure that your doctor is good with you starting an exercise program or better yet get checked out to confirm you should be heading into the bush in the first place.
Walk. Yep, walk. Where does most of your exertion come from when hunting? It’s traveling from point A to point B. How do you do it? You walk or hike (if you want to get technical). Start off with as many miles as you can get in an hour or so for the first week. Make sure to begin getting a dynamic stretch in prior to the walk and a good static stretch in afterwards. This is very important because if you get nothing else maybe I can keep you from getting hurt out in the field ruining the hunt for you and perhaps your partners. As you’ve probably figured out this article won’t be groundbreaking as far as claims to get you in the best shape of your life in 30 days or anything of that nature. It’s meant to be a catalyst to get you out there and make the best of the situation you’re in.
Speaking of traveling from A to B, what happens if things come together and you kill something? You will be carrying more than just your own weight, a gun, and a roll of TP. After the first week of walking and stretching get out your pack and add some weight. I’d suggest starting with 20 lbs and working your way up from there. Use gallon waterjugs, sandbags, rocks, whatever you’ve got. Keep up that same hour long walk and see if you can travel the same distance as you did without the weight.
If you’re lucky enough to have some topography around where you live make sure to take advantage of it. I.E. if there are some hills or uneven ground around use it! Your hunt won’t be taking place on finely manicured pavement.
As week two comes to an end and week three starts go ahead and add in some push-ups and squats to your routine. These will help wake your core up and get it ready for the twists, turns, and heavy loads you hope to experience. You can either do a set of push-ups and squats before your hike then another after or if you’re hiking for an hour stop every 15 minutes and do a set of both. Depending on your physical abilities I’ll leave it up to you whether you keep the pack on while doing the push ups and squats or just use your body weight.
I’d honestly recommend trying to hit this workout 5-6 times a week. We’re behind the 8 ball so we have to get a lot done in short amount of time. For that matter, even on the 6th or 7th day I’d still recommend at least going for a short walk and stretching.
Moving into week four keep doing what you’re doing but now add in burpees with your sit-ups and push-ups. This will get some anaerobic activity going to help you through those intense climbs or mad dashes for that one shot opportunity. These will not fun but you’ll be happy you did them.
That’s a four week crash course to hopefully keep you safe and moving during your hunt. If you have a few more weeks to get ready consider maybe throwing in some lunges and Russian twists. I do have a word of caution though, if you haven’t been working out and you do have a hunt coming up, the worst thing you could do right now is go all hardcore right out of the gate and hurt yourself. If you haven’t been running all summer I wouldn’t start now. If you haven’t been lifting any weights don’t try and dead lift 300 lbs and injure your back. Get moving, do it safely, and good luck!