3 months until a duodecennial….

AT Hiker

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Jul 3, 2011
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13,038
Location
Wyoming
I'll be moving next week and with that I'll be giving up my gym membership. No idea what options I'll have at my new place so I've got to prepare for a minimalistic approach from here on out.
Luckily, the place I'm moving has similar country to where we will be hunting, a short 30 mile drive and I'll be at a trailhead that will provide all the hiking/rucking opportunities I'll need.

I'm 5'10"/ 42 yrs old / 177lbs and identify as a great white male hunter. Starting yesterday, not sure for how long, I'll be limited to weighted pack training, body weight exercises and some kettle bells (i have two 35lbers). I'll drop weight this summer, I'll just have to monitor it as I dont want to get much below 170, if that low at all. I'm focused on getting a minimum 1gram protein/per pound of lean body mass (140ish grams). I really want to get closer to the 150-160 gram range to help preserve what muscle I got. Since I'm loosing access to weights and will be dramatically increasing zone 2 type of training, I'm sure my body composition will adapt.

The name of the game for the next few weeks is weighted pack training, eccentric focus and bumping my V02 max up by doing a weekly HIIT session. Eccentric focused because Kodiak taught me real quick that downhill was much worse than up.

Here is what I did yesterday, it was a solid 45 minute session.
40lb ruck up and down the drive way. 3mph pace for 30 mins with 355 elevation change.
Then a 4 set routine with the pack on.
-10 box steps per leg
-10 pushups (this was a killer, as it really put stress on my core, probably not good for shoulders though).
-25 box squats

I'll increase pack weight slowly throughout the summer. Towards the end I'll throw in some super heavy days (think 80lbs) to go ahead and get the shock over with.
Just like shooting my bow at ranges I'll never take a field shot at, I'll plan on training harder than what real life hunting will be.
I'm not an awesome hunter so I have to make up for it with something I am good at, endurance.

Here are my workout partners for the foreseeable future. You can get a lot done stepping up and down off a cooler with a heavy pack on.
IMG_5493.jpeg
 

tellico4x4

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Joined
Nov 29, 2004
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4,039
Location
Killen, AL
Downhill is definitely worse than up, especially if packing out an elk. Knew a guy that ripped both big toenails off once doing it down steep terrain.

Practicing at 50-60 yards makes 30 a chip shot if you can handle the pressure. Guided a young guy in ID once that when he arrived in camp he asked if he could move our target out to 100 yards. He did and proceeded to shoot 3" groups of which I was very impressed. Two days later I called a 5x5 to 15 yards broadside & he couldn't pull his bow back he was shaking so hard. Furthest bull I've killed with bow was 26 yds & nearest was 3 yards. Missed my biggest bull at 30 yards by trying to shoot thru a basketball size hole that was about 20 yards out & hit limb. Got in too big a hurry....It was killed a year later by a local & scored 392.

Staying calm & clear headed is of utmost importance archery elk hunting, as not many people are use to having a 5-600 pound animal close up screaming and & blowing snot.
 

SinningSaint33

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Joined
Aug 9, 2022
Messages
126
Location
west tn
Downhill is definitely worse than up, especially if packing out an elk. Knew a guy that ripped both big toenails off once doing it down steep terrain.

Practicing at 50-60 yards makes 30 a chip shot if you can handle the pressure. Guided a young guy in ID once that when he arrived in camp he asked if he could move our target out to 100 yards. He did and proceeded to shoot 3" groups of which I was very impressed. Two days later I called a 5x5 to 15 yards broadside & he couldn't pull his bow back he was shaking so hard. Furthest bull I've killed with bow was 26 yds & nearest was 3 yards. Missed my biggest bull at 30 yards by trying to shoot thru a basketball size hole that was about 20 yards out & hit limb. Got in too big a hurry....It was killed a year later by a local & scored 392.

Staying calm & clear headed is of utmost importance archery elk hunting, as not many people are use to having a 5-600 pound animal close up screaming and & blowing snot.
That sounds like something I need to do at least once in my life. Some day, I'll make it happen.
 

Coltens

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Oct 21, 2019
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478
Location
NW TN
I seen a couple of exercises to help prepare for the loaded downhill. First with your loaded pack put a treadmill on highest incline and walk backwards. Second using your cooler and pack stand on it and focus on stepping down as slowly as possible.
 

AT Hiker

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Joined
Jul 3, 2011
Messages
13,038
Location
Wyoming
I seen a couple of exercises to help prepare for the loaded downhill. First with your loaded pack put a treadmill on highest incline and walk backwards. Second using your cooler and pack stand on it and focus on stepping down as slowly as possible.
The reverse on the treadmill is fun and you can really feel your quads burn but one misstep and it's game over, lol.

My gym had just gotten three new treadmills. Two inclined up to 25 which was insanely steep for a machine, the other actually declined a little. I was able to use them some but I never brought my pack in. I would walk backwards a couple days a week at about 15 incline and about 1.5mph for about 15mins, just enough to feel my quads.
They also had a stairclimber, I used that thing for the last 15 years. Loved it and in 30 minutes you felt like you climbed Everest. Couple Fireman would actually come in once a month in their full gear and do a stent on it, it looked wicked.

My wife has a treadmill so I'm planning to do some reverse rucking on it. It want me as bad if I bite the floor in my home with 40lbs on my back, lol
 

@fulldraw

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Joined
Sep 29, 2008
Messages
2,910
Location
Clarksville
The reverse on the treadmill is fun and you can really feel your quads burn but one misstep and it's game over, lol.

My gym had just gotten three new treadmills. Two inclined up to 25 which was insanely steep for a machine, the other actually declined a little. I was able to use them some but I never brought my pack in. I would walk backwards a couple days a week at about 15 incline and about 1.5mph for about 15mins, just enough to feel my quads.
They also had a stairclimber, I used that thing for the last 15 years. Loved it and in 30 minutes you felt like you climbed Everest. Couple Fireman would actually come in once a month in their full gear and do a stent on it, it looked wicked.

My wife has a treadmill so I'm planning to do some reverse rucking on it. It want me as bad if I bite the floor in my home with 40lbs on my back, lol
Please video every time you reverse ruck on the treadmill. We need to see the epic fail. 😂
 

Savage

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Joined
Jul 18, 2001
Messages
1,800
Location
Crossville, TN
1- buy a quality pack if you don't have one, and figure out the adjustments. Don't let the first time you use the pack be when you get out there.

2- Condition yourself for multiple hard days in a row. It's not hard to condition yourself for one hard day. Conditioning for 4-7 in a row is a lot harder. Your body needs to be prepared for that.

3- Look at the Mountain Tough workout plans. I think Remi Warren still offers a 6 week free trial. Live Wild podcast is a good resource.

4- Eastman's has some really good podcasts for getting the right mental mindset as well as ElkShape (but he gets weird some times.)
 

Buzzard Breath

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Joined
Jul 31, 2006
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6,590
Location
Maury County
Weekly check-in

Screenshot_20240526_061432_Connect.jpg


At first glance, I can already see what needs improvement. I need to make an effort to start hitting some hills.

Sunday - spent day in Murfreesboro with wife, earned a few yard passes. Had a lunch beer at BJ's Brewhause (?), as well as the jambalaya. Then to Stones River Battlefield and we hiked all the trails. Then, clothes shopping. I walk laps in the store while my wife shops; works out good for both of us.
Monday - strength train
Tuesday - fished with Pilchard.
Wednesday - strength
Thursday - run
Friday - strength
Saturday - yard work, rest day.

My everyday morning routine is to get up somewhere between 4:30-5 and drink a cup of coffee. Then as soon as the sky starts to lighten, I get in a 2 mile walk around the neighborhood. My alone time before work.
 

Red Talon

Member
Joined
Sep 1, 2023
Messages
5
Location
Arizona
of dreaming comes true.

@Buzzard Breath and I decided this year was the year to try and make an elk hunt come true. After close to 4 months of anxiously awaiting draw results we got the good news, tag drawn!

The purpose of this thread is to hold myself accountable, plain and simple. Feel free to follow along, offer tips or just stir the top like any good Tndeer member would.

I've always tried to stay in decent shape, just makes doing life easier. Having long and short term goals makes the fitness journey easier and a little more fun. Well, in 3 months a decade of dreaming is coming true. Chasing September elk in the Rocky Mountains! This is a goal that is worth being in the best possible shape as I can. Mentally and physically, as I could argue that both are equally weighted.

My initial goals are rather simple and straightforward. (1) Build my functional strength, endurance and mental fortitude. (2) Consistently shooting some arrows and throwing in some wrenches to simulate field conditions. (3) kill an elk😃

I'll be showing up to this thread to update my progress. It will be all about fitness, nutrition, scouting and just the normal things that happen while planning a hunt in advance.

Hopefully Buzzard Breath will throw his two pennies worth in. @tellico4x4 will provide the behind the scenes wisdom on actually killing elk, he has already shared his secret to keeping people out of his beer cooler, so I'm sure we will uncover some other secrets to a life full of elk killing.
In which State will you be hunting Elk?
 

Hduke86

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Jul 4, 2017
Messages
9,580
Location
Soddy Daisy, yes it's a real place
I'm very fortunate to live where I do cause I have miles and miles of up and down hiking trails over here in Soddy Daisy right outside my door. Yall gentlemen know exactly what needs to be done and fellow Tndeer members. Don't let these jokers fool you, they will walk off and leave 99% of folks on here if in the mountains.

I will say a couple of big things people completely overlook before these types of trips.

#1. You basically have to train your body and brain to drink a good bit of water. I have to flavor my water with electrolyte flavor mix to endure the gallons I'd drink on a trip like this.

#2 STRETCH STRETCH AND STRETCH SOME MORE. Nothing like muscle tightness or pulling something when carrying heavy packs and you step,bend, or twist odd. Next thing you know you are favoring a muscle. I suggest some serious and tense stretching routines between now and the time you leave and also when you get out there.
 

AT Hiker

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Joined
Jul 3, 2011
Messages
13,038
Location
Wyoming
I will say a couple of big things people completely overlook before these types of trips.

#1. You basically have to train your body and brain to drink a good bit of water. I have to flavor my water with electrolyte flavor mix to endure the gallons I'd drink on a trip like this.
Water
Excellent point. Between the elevation, low humidity and over exertion it is super easy to get dehydrated. I add a daily electrolyte mix to my morning wake up routine and will often mix something up during the day and/or night with dinner. I've witnessed people cramp up and come down with "altitude sickness" with the culprit being dehydration.
I'm fortunate because I absolutely love filtered cold mountain water, I just have to make sure my electrolytes are in order.

I do have a hard time consuming water when it's cold, I have to make myself. That's when I like to mix up some hot water and broth or instant carnation on cold glassing days. Makes the time go by, keeps me moving and helps get water in me. However, I'm not always packing my stove so mixing those little flavor packets in a throw away water bottle is nice.

Speaking of throw away water bottle. The Smart Water bottle is my go to. Sawyer mini water filter screws right on top, if I choose to not use my pump, making it a super easy grab n go water supply.

Now, the one thing I do struggle with is eating on these trips. It's a mixture between not wanting to take the time and then being super exhausted and simply not wanting to eat. If I'm day hunting, I try to have a couple nice pre made meals ready to heat up. Packing sandwiches for lunch and fresh fruit helps. Plus easy digestible carb sources for energy. Gummy Bears and snickers seem to be my octane boost.

For overnight backcountry trips it's a bit more complicated but I do try to have at least the first days food plan more "healthy n fresh". After that it's all about highly palatable food.


 
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