5 Fitness training exercises to prepare for the hunting season
The hunting season is an exciting time for outdoor enthusiasts and a great opportunity to reconnect with nature. However, it’s important to be physically prepared for the challenges that come with hunting, especially if you hunt Chamois in high altitudes like me. Whether you’re a seasoned hunter or a novice, incorporating fitness training exercises into your routine can significantly enhance your performance in the field.
I remember my first hunting year when I was not prepared at all. The consequence was a painful day ending with vomiting in the trees.
In this article, we’ll discuss five essential exercises that will help you get in shape and maximize your hunting experience.
Cardiovascular Endurance Training
Hunting often involves traversing challenging terrains, covering long distances, and dealing with unpredictable weather conditions. To prepare your body for these demands, focus on cardiovascular endurance training. Engage in activities such as jogging, cycling, swimming, or using the elliptical machine. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic exercise, three to five times a week. This type of training will improve your overall stamina, enabling you to maintain your energy levels and stay focused during long hunting trips.
For this kind of training, I am lucky to have the best place on earth to train. The spot is called “Le kilomètre vertical de Fully“. I call it “the stairs to hell” because it is super painful but at the same time, it is an amazing way to check your progress and see if you are ready for the season.
Here is the video of Remi Bonnet doing it in 30 minutes which is a super-human performance.
Hunting requires various physical tasks, such as carrying gear, dragging game, or traversing uneven landscapes. Building strength will not only make these tasks easier but also reduce the risk of injuries. Incorporate compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, lunges, and push-ups into your routine. Additionally, exercises that target the core, such as planks and Russian twists, will improve stability and balance. Aim for two to three strength training sessions per week, focusing on all major muscle groups.
I am quite a fan of the MTNTough Youtube channel. They train like animals and it always gives me the motivation to get off the couch and go train.
Agility and Balance Exercises
The ability to move quickly and nimbly is crucial for hunters, especially when navigating challenging terrains or making quick shots. Including agility and balance exercises in your training regimen can significantly enhance your hunting performance. Exercises such as ladder drills, cone drills, and single-leg balance exercises like yoga poses or single-leg deadlifts can improve your coordination, reaction time, and stability. Aim to include these exercises at least once or twice a week.
I did kickboxing and Muay Thai boxing a few years ago and during this period, I discovered yoga for martial art. It’s a great way to keep your balance right and to prepare your muscles for difficult situations.
Hunting involves a range of functional movements, such as lifting, twisting, pulling, and carrying. Incorporating functional training exercises into your routine will help mimic these movements and prepare your body for the demands of hunting. Exercises like farmer’s walks, kettlebell swings, medicine ball slams, and resistance band exercises are excellent for developing the functional strength required for hunting. Integrate these exercises into your strength training sessions to enhance your overall physical performance.
Here is another program I found that I use one month before the hunting season. It comes from the coffee or die’s website.
Hunting often requires long hours of hiking through rugged terrain, sometimes while carrying heavy loads. To prepare for this aspect of the hunting experience, include endurance hiking in your training routine. Gradually increase the distance and intensity of your hikes, preferably on challenging trails or with a weighted backpack to simulate real hunting conditions. This training will not only improve your cardiovascular endurance but also toughen your leg muscles for sustained performance.
To prepare for endurance hiking, I train with a 70-year-old buddy named Roger. He knows the mountain by heart and he always takes me to paths that I will never take by myself. Hiking with him means a minimum of 7 hours hiking.
Preparing for the hunting season involves more than just sharpening your shooting skills and gathering your gear. To truly make the most of your hunting experience, it is essential to be physically fit and capable of meeting the demands of the wilderness. By incorporating cardiovascular endurance training, strength training, agility and balance exercises, functional training, and endurance hiking into your fitness routine, you can enhance your performance, minimize the risk of injuries, and fully enjoy the adventure that awaits you during the hunting season. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any new exercise program, especially if you have pre-existing medical conditions.
I also recommend considering your diet to get the most out of your training and to fuel your body during the hunting season. If you’ve ever been sick during a hunt you’ll know that it’s definitely one of the worst things to experience – but if you’re in condition and eat right, you can avoid this.
As every person is different, you need to find your exercise pattern, the one that you will love to practice. It’s taken me two years to define the perfect training regime. And you, what’s yours?
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