Are you in hunting shape?  You could run five miles a day, but here’s a gradual plan that’s plain, simple, and works.  Imagine elk hunting with Pike’s Peak just over your shoulder.  Think such a high-mountain adventure is only for 20 or 30-somethings?  WRONG!  I qualified for Social Security a decade ago, yet I’m physically and mentally preparing for a DIY elk hunt well above 10,000 feet in Pike’s shadow.

Whether you are tackling the mountain West or just need to prep for local tree stand hunting, you need to be at your physical best to reach remote places and develop muscle tone for accurate shooting.  This six-step plan doesn’t require a gym membership and you can begin right now:

  1. First, Stand Up– As a boy, I must have been a sitter because my father would often
    Standing burns 50 calories an hour more than sitting.

    say, “Get up boy, your butt will be glad when you’re dead.” I’m not sure if any professional coaches use that phrase, but it helps me burn calories and tone thigh muscles every day.                                                                                              Where most people sit, I stand.  I watch television, hang out with friends, and do whatever else I can while standing up.  People often invited me to “sit down”, yet I tell them that I’d rather stand, and they soon accept a posture that tones your feet and legs, the foundation of every hunt.  Studies have shown that you will burn 50 calories per hour more when standing instead of sitting.  That’s the equivalent of running 10 marathons per year.

2. Get a Fitbit– This simple watch-like device is a great way to track your mobility during the day. Walking is great exercise and conducting a brisk gate each day will help you get into shape.  However, you’ll soon learn that a mile’s stroll will only build about 2500 steps, about one-quarter the daily goal of 10,000 steps.

Uni-task- Instead of doing multiple things at once, I do one at a time.  If I make three trips up the steps with groceries or in the back yard, I get triple the workout as I would by multi-tasking.  Build mobility into each day and use your Fitbit to monitor your progress.

  1. L-AV8– To “elevate” your fitness, no pun intended, consider this amazing new energy product that is transforming energy levels and the ability to deal with pain. Just as Under Armor has introduced garments that help people sleep better, L-AV8 gear boosts energy and may reduce pain and help you get in shape.
New high-tech gear can boost energy and make you more hunter-efficient.

I recently tested a set of bamboo sheets infused with LAV-8 and the results were immediate.  I awoke with such energy, I could barely wait to get o my elliptical workout routine.  Thanks to steps 1 & 2 above, I don’t suffer from knee and foot pain, yet those who do rave about L-AV8 socks that provide much greater mobility and reduce or eliminate pain.  To try L-AV8 products, click HERE and you’ll get a 15% discount.


  1. Practice Realistically– Whether you hunt with a rifle, bow, or crossbow, use your practice regimen to build stamina, muscle tone, and core muscle development. If you are an avid bowhunter and not started practicing, Dude (or Dudess) get your rear in gear.  Your muscles have “chilled” since winter and they need a wake-up call that requires weeks of practice to regain your muscle tone.  Gradually build the number of arrow launched and allow time for your form to rest.  Once baseball pitchers get into shape they allow their muscles to “rest” three or four days for peak results.  Archers can benefit from this regimen.

Rifle and crossbow hunters need to practice as well.  Ground hog or varmint hunting is great exercise in the summer and will develop core muscles and accuracy.  Crossbows aren’t usually welcomed on 3-D courses yet shooting a round during down times is great for accuracy and physical health.

  1. Exercise while Watching Hunting– I use an elliptical exercise machine and do 30 minutes each morning. I like this device because it provides a total body workout that tones muscles and is great for my heart.  Treadmills work well also, yet both can get boring.  Personally, I fight this boredom by exercising while watching hunting shows.  As the excitement builds, the miles fly by.
  2. Consult and Consort– Finally, since I’m not a physician, I must advise you to consult yours before embarking on any exercise plan. This is blatant CYA for me, but always good advice. Group activities are more fun with friends so challenge your buddies to activities that will build strength, stamina, and shooting skills.

In summary, develop an active lifestyle that will help those pre-season weeks pass quickly while building your core strength and skills so you are ready for opening day.  I’m not planning to climb Pike’s Peak, but fully expect to be ready for its neighbors without hard breathing.