If I told you to imagine what a hunter looks like, we would all have something different come to mind. For a nonhunter, you might imagine a big guy in camo with an even bigger truck. If you are a hunter, you can just look in the mirror.
Regardless of one misconceived idea about what exactly a hunter looks like, most don’t think of them necessarily as athletes. Which you don’t have to be to hunt, but boy does being in shape make hunts easier!
Hunting is a great way to get in shape, but what about getting in shape for hunting?
Why Fitness can make you a better hunter
Now, fitness may not necessarily help you in the physical act of taking down an animal, but there are a ton of benefits that come with being in shape for hunting. Here are a few of our favorite
Ability to Pack More
Guns, gear, food, and everything in between can really start to add up over time. Especially on longer hunts. Constantly having to take breaks to take the load off or catch your breath can really end up slowing you and your crew down.
The more gear you can comfortably maneuver through the woods with, the better off your hunt will be overall. You enjoy the comfort it brings you to be able to handle the weight as well as the extra gear you may want to bring that you hadn’t before.
Building strength in your back, core, and legs is the most important for this.
Travel Further Distances
Every big game hunter, especially elk, goat, and ram hunters, knows how hard on the body a 7-day hike can be. Even if you are as strong as an ox, that nonstop cardio can catch up to you pretty fast.
This is why making sure you are in shape before an extended hunt is vital. Make sure you posses the ability to walk for hours WITHOUT any gear first. Then add weight to your walk/hikes until you are confident in your abilities. The last place you need to test your cardio is on game day, make sure you’re ready.
Exercises recommended: Extended trail walks. Rucking. Incline treadmill.
Overall Energy and Mood while Hunting
Preparing for a hunt physically to any capacity is better than not. Working out releases endorphins and can help relieve stress levels. At too high of a capacity workout, the opposite happens. You can be left feeling drained and sore. 2 things that have no place on a big hunting trip that cost you thousands.
Being in good shape will make the entire experience more enjoyable.
Recommended Workout Plans/ Supplements
Unsurprisingly, the need to be in shape for big hunts is not something entirely new. There are entire companies, workout plans, and even nutrition supplements dedicated to hunter fitness. Here are three of our favorite resources to get you in hunting shape!
A workout program designed by ex-military to really test your body before the big hunt.
They have multiple different workout plans depending on the outcome you are looking for. But I believe the Elk Fit Program is their best one!
Based on cardio and HIIT training, taking this program seriously almost guarantees that your fitness will be up to par for a big hunt. Or get you much more prepared than you were before you started.
Most people who have been anywhere near the gym know that there are hundreds of different protein shakes and pre-workouts. But what about performance aids for week-long hikes?
Wilderness Athlete Supplements heard the call of many and answered them. They have multiple different nutritional supplements all geared around the idea of making a hike more doable. Combine this with some serious training and you will be flying through your next hunt!
Bucked Up is a company that has both transcended the traditional fitness industry and the hunting industry. Many of their products are geared towards and based around the outdoor space.
This company is slightly more based on overall fitness and muscle building than either of the other two on this list. But that does not take away the benefits that it gives hunters in the area of health.
They are currently offering a Bootcamp program, where you see just how in shape you can get in 8 weeks. The winners get multiple prizes and the satisfaction of knowing just how in shape they got.
Hunting and fitness are not, by most people’s standards, synonymous with each other. However, each one can influence the other one immensely! Hunting can be a great workout, and a great workout can make your hunting better!
And hey, if you are already fit, maybe you will enjoy the physical act of hunting!