I’ve had a few sits over the last couple of weeks, but the weather man has promised the bottom drops out tomorrow with a massive cold front covering Missouri.

This is when I flip the switch and get serious about my outdoor pursuits. To me, crisp air is the signal and if you are like me, you have been training all year to be ready for this moment. Many of you may have already chased elk or shot at some teal but now that October is here, I wanted to list several of the tactics I use to stay in good shape when my focus turns to whitetails and ducks vs. dumbbells and barbells.

The Reality

Using a sports analogy, there is not an athlete alive at any level that will be as strong and conditioned on the last day of their season as they are on opening day. The mere act of competing on a weekly basis does not afford the ability to train at the same intensity and volume as in the off-season. Friends, this our season and if your intent is to go afield as many days as work and family life allow, you will not have time to get three to five workouts completed each week. And while you may not be able to stay at the pinnacle of performance, you can work to maintain what you built.

Online client Jon C with his suburban bow buck

Elk and mule deer vs. whiteails and ducks

I hunt whitetails almost every weekend until duck season heats up and then I hunt based on weather patterns (it it more ducky than deer like), but for an elk or mule deer hunter, their adventure might be all of five to seven days for an entire season. Tag or no tag, if they do not chase other types of game, they may very well fall back into a regular routine. For the rest of us chasing whitetail, ducks and geese, we may be going strong until February.

Can you stock up?

No, you cannot complete additional exercise sessions to stock up for the times when you cannot get to the gym or go on a ruck because you are hunting. Fitness does not work that way, but we do encourage you to get as many as you can prior to your season starting. A great way to do this is through one of our hunt specific DIY programs. I just finished up the six-week Archery Power program and I LOVED it! I haven’t drawn my bow this smoothly in years and my shoulders are pain free!


So how do you maintain as much of your strength and conditioning as possible while still hunting as many days as you can muster? The science would show that one to two strength sessions per week consisting of 20 sets is sufficient to maintain muscular strength. This is using a total body program focusing on larger muscle groups; not a split part routine. The idea is to hit the muscle group hard to keep as much of that hard earned muscle as you can. You can also add interval movements like rope slams, burpees, rowing, sled push/pulls and other athletic movements to add a cardio effect. This volume and intensity is not likely to help you improve fitness but it will help you keep what you got.

Give these techniques a try and if you have questions, shoot us an email at info@stayfittohunt.com. You can also subscribe to our YouTube channel which has over 420 exercise videos or join our exercise of the week email.

Either way, thanks for being part of our community. Good luck this fall and Stay #FitToHunt