I hunted with a firearm for a number of years. Depending on the rifle I am accurate out to about 700 yards. While this is great for long range open hunting, I decided a few years back to switch to archery as I wanted to hunt a bit closer. In this process, I learned that I needed to change my diet a bit for at least 12 weeks prior to season opening. This article outlines my current process for workouts and diet prior to hunting season.
The combination of this diet and workout routine I have found to offer me a handful of benefits –
- I usually lose roughly 15+ lbs prior to season
- I gain a decent amount of strength and muscle mass (not ripped, but not flabby)
- I feel better in general
- I am able to hike the mountains and haul back meat with a more relaxed minimal amount of effort exerted
I don’t use any kind of tobacco products (never have) and I have been caffeine free for over 18 years, so I don’t have to worry about removing those addictions prior to season.
Now on to the plan!
12 weeks out
Workout – I start by adding 5 push-ups per hour while I am awake, I mix this with some plank (1 min), flutter kicks (30 count), jumping jacks (20) and squats (10). On top of my normal daily steps (roughly 3+ miles per day) I ruck up the pack every afternoon with at least 20 lbs and walk as fast as I can during a 1.5-mile loop.
Diet – I start this by removing garlic from my diet. This doesn’t sound like much, but I like garlic in my food. Pickled, roasted, seasoned, seasoning, these are a few of my favorite things.
11 weeks out
Workout – The only change from the previous week is that I ramp up to at least a 2-mile loop.
Diet – No change for this week.
10 weeks out
Workout – Now rucking up 30 lbs in the pack, still covering that same 2-mile loop.
Diet – At this point I am working to add in more vegetables into daily meals. I am also drinking as much water as I can stomach per day.
9 weeks out
Workout – The workout has been cranked up from 3 weeks prior. I am now working with 10 push-ups per hour, plank (over 2 min minimum), flutter kicks (50+), jumping jacks (40+) and 25 squats. I am also hitting the archery range at least once per week (jogging through the walk through course and shooting at least 40+ targets).
Diet – I am dwindling down the amount of red meat and spices by this point.
8 weeks out
Workout – Same as previous weeks.
Diet – No change
7 weeks out
Workout – I have added another 10+ lbs to the pack and I have now incorporated a stair routine (15+ flights) with the pack.
Diet – No change
6 weeks out
Workout – No changes
Diet – No changes
5 weeks out
Workout – The workout has been cranked up from 4 weeks prior. I am now working with 10 push-ups per hour, plank (over 3 min minimum), flutter kicks (75+), jumping jacks (75+) and 30 squats. I am also hitting the archery range at least twice per week (jogging through the walk through course and shooting at least 40+ targets). The pack is now over 60 lbs with the same 2+ mile loop and the stairs.
Diet – Another difficult point in this process, removing alcohol. No beer or cider for the next 6 weeks 😦 .
4 weeks out
Workout – No change
Diet – At this point, my next hardest change to my diet is removing all deep-fried foods. I normally go out to eat for lunch and deep-fried foods are quick, cheap, and easy (and tasty). Needless to say, I start to get cranky at this point!
3 weeks out
Workout – No change
2 weeks out
Workout – I am hitting the archery range at least 3 times per week, no other changes
Diet – By this point, I have removed all meat from my diet. My obligatory 2 weeks per year as a vegetarian.
Last week before season – WOOHOO!
Workout – I drop the weight down to my standard day pack weight (20+ lbs), but I crank up the speed on my walk. The rest of the workout is the same.
Diet – No difference from the previous week.
Long days, short nights, lots of hiking (spot and stalk) all in the hopes of dropping an animal or two, to fill the freezers.
It doesn’t seem like a lot for the workout; however it does wonders for strength, endurance and weight loss. I am hoping you found some useful information in this article and it inspires your workout routine prior to season.
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