Dialing It In
As July gives way to August, the reality is many bow season openers are four to six weeks away. If you have been training the last few months, you should have a solid base layer of fitness which will allow you to get hunt specific and double down the last month before you hit the field. The goal is to peak at the right time so here are some tips to help you dial in the most important piece of equipment you own: you!
You Can Do Anything for Four Weeks
From a nutrition perspective, I need you to eat as clean as you can for the next four weeks. Now is the time to be loading up on quality proteins, low glycemic fruits and vegetables and tons of water. If weight loss was a goal, you have time to safely lose another four to eight pounds which will benefit you greatly as you hike mountains, hills, and ridge tops. I am a big fan of salmon, tuna and fish that is high in protein and loaded with good fats. Processed foods are not your friend. When in doubt use this simple rule: if it ran around, swam, or grew in the ground it is probably good to eat.
Coach Jeremy’s Nutrition Hack: An easy, fast option for lunch or dinner are Trident Wild Caught Alaskan Salmon Burgers from Costco
Bump Up Your Cardio
Many midwestern, tree stand hunters do not place a high premium on aerobic fitness and that is a mistake. Riding ATV’s to your stand does not scream stealth. If you want to kill mature deer, you need to be able to hike into your stand without huffing, puffing, and sweating all over the woods. Blood trailing and dragging deer out of the woods also takes a certain degree of conditioning if you want to really enjoy the experience. Elk hunters will need a much higher level of fitness than those chasing whitetail but whatever your quarry, lace up the boots and get going. If you are not rucking three days a week (with at least one long ruck) you will not be ready on opening day.
Coach Jeremy’s Cardio Hack: Train in an area that mimic’s the topography you will have on your hunt.
Hunt-Specific Strength Training
You should be REALLY good at basic movement patterns such as squats, deadlifts, pull-ups and chest presses. It is time to get specific. Perform movements that will closely mimic pulling back your bow to make drawing it easier like the TRX Rear Delt Row.
Add in off-set step ups to condition your legs and core for climbing hills. And pay attention to pre-rehab moves like Internal/External Rotation Exercises (see video below) to keep your shoulders healthy. Do not skimp on recovery. Foam rolling, stretching and mobility exercises should be part of your daily routine.
Coach Jeremy’s Strength Hack: Use combination exercises like the Squat to Row that challenges the entire body.
Shoot a Lot of Arrows
As much as we try, there are no exercises that can replace drawing your bow and firing arrows. You need to be conditioning your bow muscles and shooting from as many angles as you can muster. Shoot standing, elevated, seated and kneeling. Where do you feel weakness or instability? Bring that back to your coach and he or she will be able to fine tune your workout to get the max out of your practice sessions.
Coach Jeremy’s Shoot Hack: Practice quality over quantity. I would rather see you shoot 20 arrows using proper technique with a solid routine vs. 50 sloppy shots
So, what happens if you have not been training and are not dialed in? You have four to six weeks to get after it! Our base conditioning program is designed to help you develop a solid foundation of fitness and at only $19.99 for a six-week program, it’s a steal!
The harder you work, the luckier you get. Make sure you use the tips above to dial in for opening day and stay #FitToHunt