63 days to go time!

Ladies and Gentleman, that is the exact number of days until September 1 and while some of you may have another week or two before your feet touch the mountain in search of a bull elk or the tree stand hoping to tag an early season whitetail, there isn’t time to procrastinate on your training. If you are not sure what to do in a short period of time, here are a few tips to help you get as much as you can out of the next nine weeks.

Build the base

In our new 12-week Backcountry program we break each four-week cycle into three phases:

  • Base conditioning
  • Ramp Up
  • Dialing-In

Each offers very different exercise selection, reps, and intensities but you can’t cheat the system. If you wait too long you cannot go directly to the Dialing-In phase; you have to build a base level of conditioning first, but fear not. We have had many clients find success using the techniques of base conditioning and here is why. A little bit of something is better than a whole lot of nothing. No, a beginner phase may not have the hunt-specific movements in the workouts, but getting stronger and more aerobically fit will positively affect your outdoor performance, but you have to start now.

And being ready makes all the difference in the world. Austin Reinhold, co-host of the Just One Outdoor Podcast trained for three months before his Colorado hunt last September. Reinhold stated, “The feeling I got when I got to Colorado was different than anything I have ever felt. I knew I was ready, but I was also intimidated. Thankfully, I had started prepping early. On our YouTube channel people got to see the 30 seconds as the shot came together but did not see the 30 miles with a 50-pound pack that led up to that shot. The three Fit To Hunt DIY workouts I utilized enabled me to go further than anyone else. Most importantly, it allowed me to make the shot when it mattered most!”

The law of specificity

This principle states that in order to get good at something, you have to do that something. Many people are great on the rower or stationary bike, but when was the last time you rode a rowing machine up the mountain?

There are a ton of better cardio options such as:

Rucking is a great way to practice the law of specificity
  • Walking
  • Stair stepping
  • Rucking (hiking with a weighted pack)

Personally, I like to run, but I also ruck because I want to have as much hunt-specific conditioning as possible to be ready for my fall hunts. Can you do other things like ride a stationary bike or use an elliptical machine? You bet! I like using these periodically to cross-train or give my joints a slight siesta from weight-bearing activity but if you are going to thrive on the mountain, ensure your cardio mimics real-life activity. Or in other words, practice how you play!

Need some cardio ideas? Email us at info@stayfittohunt.com!

Redirect your focus

Ok, let’s discuss motivation. Motivation is a lie. Discipline is what creates champions and making sure you are checking off your workouts these last two months is critical. You cannot procrastinate because whether motivated or not, that mountain is waiting and there is no worse feeling than to be climbing and realize you are not ready for your hunt.

You can do anything for two months so change your focus to your hunt and be as physically and mentally ready as possible. If the doctor says to lose 30 pounds because your blood pressure is getting too high, you likely aren’t going to be motivated to do the work. Losing 30 pounds so you move and feel better on the mountain is going to motivate you more and you will also have a positive effect on your blood pressure.

When you can go to the gym even when everything is telling you “I don’t wanna go,” you know you have created discipline in your life

Shoot your bow

Practice until it is automatic!

Now, I am assuming you are bow hunting elk but regardless of your weapon or season, practice, practice, practice! Just like not being in shape, there is no more sickening of a feeling when you miss an elk or whitetail; especially because you did not practice.

I typically do not take over a 20-yard shot on a whitetail but if you plan on pursuing elk, you may have shot opportunities at 50 yards+ I personally feel you should schedule out your shooting sessions just like your workouts and focus on different things on different days. Examples include:

  • Blind bale shooting
  • Shooting specific yardages (10, 20, 30, 40, 50+)
    • Don’t forget the in-between yardages
  • Go from standing to kneeling and draw your bow; shoot an arrow
  • Draw your bow kneeling then stand up and shoot an arrow

Fit To Hunt Head Coach Nick Lape shoots almost daily in his garage. The distance is no more than 10 yards but he works on fixing bad habits at home so on the weekends he can air it out on the range at 50+.

You can get fancy with your shooting schedule but fear not. Focus on doing what you do really, really well, and with 63 days until September, you will be more confident in your shooting.

There is still time and the 12-week Backcountry Program is one that will have you ready for just about any type of mountainous terrain you will encounter. If you would like a consult or talk more about our programs, shoot us an email. We’d love to meet you!

Oh, and Stay #FitToHunt!