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Getting in shape for elk.



Messages posted to thread:
capt eddie 06-Feb-12
Coolcop 06-Feb-12
buckykm1 06-Feb-12
NvaGvUp 06-Feb-12
JLS 06-Feb-12
wyobullshooter 06-Feb-12
John Haeberle 06-Feb-12
city hunter 06-Feb-12
NvaGvUp 06-Feb-12
South Farm 06-Feb-12
Follmerpa 06-Feb-12
Les Welch 06-Feb-12
blackwolf 06-Feb-12
NvaGvUp 06-Feb-12
yrovikle 06-Feb-12
capt eddie 06-Feb-12
wyobullshooter 06-Feb-12
Bigdan 06-Feb-12
buckykm1 06-Feb-12
PSE Man 06-Feb-12
SBH 06-Feb-12
PSE Man 06-Feb-12
capt eddie 06-Feb-12
c.rash 06-Feb-12
NvaGvUp 06-Feb-12
trophyhill 06-Feb-12
FarBeyondDriven 07-Feb-12
Elksnout 07-Feb-12
capt eddie 07-Feb-12
bbates 07-Feb-12
JLS 07-Feb-12
FarBeyondDriven 07-Feb-12
12yards 07-Feb-12
Vids 07-Feb-12
Jason Scott 07-Feb-12
Jason Scott 07-Feb-12
Longhorn 08-Feb-12
Charlie Rehor 08-Feb-12
elkslaya 08-Feb-12
city hunter 08-Feb-12
wyobullshooter 08-Feb-12
JLS 08-Feb-12
passing... thru 08-Feb-12
longhunter 08-Feb-12
NvaGvUp 08-Feb-12
Big D 08-Feb-12
NvaGvUp 08-Feb-12
PSE Man 08-Feb-12
NvaGvUp 08-Feb-12
capt eddie 08-Feb-12
Jbirdhunter 08-Feb-12
passing... thru 09-Feb-12
capt eddie 09-Feb-12
passing... thru 09-Feb-12
one_elk 09-Feb-12
Cliff 09-Feb-12
RangerDoc 09-Feb-12
trophyhill 10-Feb-12
BER136 11-Feb-12
capt eddie 11-Feb-12
tobinsghost 11-Feb-12
Z Barebow 12-Feb-12
Blacktail Bob 12-Feb-12
JB44 12-Feb-12
flip 12-Feb-12
huntingbob 12-Feb-12
capt eddie 12-Feb-12
JLS 13-Feb-12
Bigdan 13-Feb-12
JLS 13-Feb-12
LBshooter 13-Feb-12
capt eddie 14-Feb-12
12yards 14-Feb-12
AZStickman 14-Feb-12
AZBUGLER 14-Feb-12
Straight —» Arrow 14-Feb-12
Z Barebow 14-Feb-12
RangerDoc 14-Feb-12
Luke Johnson 15-Feb-12
broken arrow 19-Feb-12
Z Barebow 19-Feb-12
AZStickman 21-Feb-12
capt eddie 21-Feb-12
elkmtngear 21-Feb-12
trophyhill 21-Feb-12
bowhunter1 22-Feb-12
PistolPete 23-Feb-12

3d range with my daughter.
by Michigan Hunter

Time at the wallow
by Lone Bugle

Four Young Bulls at Treestand Wallow
by CO_Bowhunter

Destroying the Myth
by shb

Put Your Video Clip Here!

From: capt eddie Date: 06-Feb-12
I have seen in the past years that there are some people here that are into the physical aspect of the hunt as well as the hunt itself. I am 53 years old and would like to go back to Colorado for an elk hunt and family vacation. We have a 3 1/2 mile hike to base camp. at 9000 ft. It has been 10 years since my last hunt. I weigh atleast 20 LB more now then before. It was June 2011 I last shot the longbow. I have made up my mind that this trip was now my reason to loose weight and get in shape for the rest of my life. I have a 33 year old wife and two young stepkids that I need to set an example for. I work construction and iron work. I lift and tote all day everyday. So far I have lost 6LB on an eat NO JUNK Diet. Any help in this matter would be great. I would think that there are alot of guys my age and condition that could use the help from this thread. Thanks.

From: Coolcop Date: 06-Feb-12

I'm no expert but I can tell you what works for me. I cut back on my intake of pop beer and sweets about 90 percent. I work out 4 days a week. They consist of running walking biking. During my workouts I stop every mile and do pushups and situps. On my walk days I wear my pack with weight in it. I have a picture that I took of a nasty trail we call the ladder. Its a good motivator.

Every workout you do will help when you hit the Mountain.

From: buckykm1 Date: 06-Feb-12
It just sucks to get older, i am 59, cutting down on fried foods will help a lot for weight lose.


From: NvaGvUp Date: 06-Feb-12
I'm 63 and can still go anywhere in the mountains I want to, day after day after day. I might not be quite as fast as I used to be, but I can go just as hard, just as far and just as long as I ever could.

Staying in shape is a lot easier than getting in shape. When I was 29 I made a decision to get and stay in shape. It soon became a lifestyle and one I'll never regret.

From: JLS Date: 06-Feb-12
Watch your intake of sugars and refined flour, fried foods. Keep a food log to see what you really eat in a day.

Good luck with the life change and good luck with the hunt.

From: wyobullshooter Date: 06-Feb-12
As Kyle points out, it's a lot easier staying in shape than getting in shape. I'm 58 and lift year round. Although I HATE cardio, I start hitting the elliptical the first part of January every year, building up to 30 minutes. I watch what I eat, but I still enjoy eating those things that probably aren't the healthiest.

Losing excess weight will pay great dividends, but if you live at a low elevation, it is going to take a few days to adjust to the lack of oxygen at normal elk hunting elevations, regardless of your level of fitness. Expect it.

It's not enough to just get in "hunting" shape. I also hunt the same places I did 30 yrs ago. That's the easy part. The challenge is getting in the shape it takes to get that huge beast out of the woods once you are successful.

From: John Haeberle Date: 06-Feb-12
Hate to say it, but P90x seems to be working for me. Wife and I are 3 weeks in, and although it takes a fair bit of time (about an hour/day, 6 days per week)it does seem to be helping.

In the past, I'd run when I felt like running, mostly treadmill. That'd last a couple months. Then I'd lift 3 days a week. That'd work, but slowly I'd drift to the lifts that I like, not the ones I'd need.

P90x makes me work things that I don't when left on my own.

From: city hunter Date: 06-Feb-12
Capt eddie I notice most guys in contruction dont eat so well , We are always in a rush ! The biggest part of any workout is what we put into our bodies for fuel! Take the family out for hikes !walks , park yr rig far from any store in parking lot ! Start shooting that bow !

Also what type of hunting u doing up there , running and gunning or sitting on water hole wallows etc best of luck louis

From: NvaGvUp Date: 06-Feb-12
Most of staying fit as you get old is attitude. If you think you won't be able to attack the high mountains once you get into your fifties, you've lost the battle right there.

From: South Farm Date: 06-Feb-12
Who needs P90X when you got a wife that's 20 years younger than you are??? Get Real!!! LOL!

From: Follmerpa Date: 06-Feb-12
South farm I was waiting for someone to bring that up.

He must sure love Elk hunting

From: Les Welch Date: 06-Feb-12
Guys 90% nutrition, 10% gym to lose weight and keep it off. Now getting in "elk" shape is something different. Core work, legs, lungs, and mental all need to be addressed.

From: blackwolf Date: 06-Feb-12
Right on Les, especially Mental. I have went on trips with guys in better physical shape who just couldn't handle the "mental toughness" of a backpack elk trip.

From: NvaGvUp Date: 06-Feb-12
"Someone may beat me, but they're going to have bleed to do it." ......Steve Prefontaine

From: yrovikle (mobile)Sent from Mobile Phone Date: 06-Feb-12
Hey Capt.

Are you a competitive person? Do you enjoy working out? Is your wife and step-kids healthy eaters?

What ever you do make it as fun as possible (relatively speaking)...

Make some friendly bets with your family or friends if your the competitive type. Simple things like "I bet ya $50.00 I can go 90 days without drinking beer/pop/..."

Workout with friends if you need a motivator (I prefer working out like I hunt...alone)

Get your family to help by any means of positive motivation, participation, or celebration...

End of the it for yourself, commit to it and have fun!

Happy hunting, Yrovikle

From: capt eddie Date: 06-Feb-12
Wow. This is lot more then I expected. It is all great. How important is weight training in what I am trying to do. I may be to late but I got some weights and the first day home the kids are wanting to lift weights. The wife let them lift the weights during lunch. We home school. She wants them to uses the weights along with me and her. Can I loose weight with weight lifting? I am also trying to get in shape so that I can keep up with the wife in a few years when she reaches her prime. She already shoots a 44LB recurve. I see a bear hunt in her future.

From: wyobullshooter Date: 06-Feb-12
It all ties in together...weight training, aerobics, nutrition. Unless all three are part of your routine, your fitness level and health will never reach it's full potential.

Weight is relative. With proper weight training, you will more than likely gain weight, since muscle weighs more than fat. This added muscle mass helps to keep your metabolism up, which in turn burns even more fat.

From: Bigdan Date: 06-Feb-12
I just ride my bike. Airdyne now mtn bike in the sprimg and summer . I'm almost 64 next month. I don't want to lift it puts weight one you.

From: buckykm1 Date: 06-Feb-12
as others have said, staying in half way decent shape is easier, i use a treadmill and Elliptical at-least 5 days a week, and when the weather allows i ride my bike too.


From: PSE Man Date: 06-Feb-12
what altitude are you currently in? thats the deal maker. also in agreement with south farm :)

From: SBH Date: 06-Feb-12
LOTS of studies show that lifting weights will burn calories and weight lifters tend to burn calories long after the exercise is done. So yes you can lose weight with weight lifting. Add muscle=burning fat.

From: PSE Man Date: 06-Feb-12
SBH is correct> lifting weights is actually just as productive at burning calories as running. The cardio will kill you

From: capt eddie Date: 06-Feb-12
I live at 200 feet elevation. So I know that I will have to work on cardio to spend two weeks at 8000 to 10000 ft at Sand Mountain. I really do enjoy this challenge I have set for myself and the family.

From: c.rash (mobile)Sent from Mobile Phone Date: 06-Feb-12
Consistency and staying committed will be key. You'll need your legs and lungs more than anything, however; a strong core is absolutely essential.

From: NvaGvUp Date: 06-Feb-12
capt eddie,

Weight training will help you lift the hind quarters into the panyers. Other than that, focus on building cardio, staying on your feet for hours while in motion, and endurance. If you don't have those, you probably aren't likely to have to worry about lifting hind quarters.

From: trophyhill Date: 06-Feb-12
the better shape you are in the more you will enjoy your hunt imho. last year i started in May running, cardio and weights 5 days a week. and i still wasn't quite ready or in the shape i wanted to be in although i did lose the weight i wanted to lose and got down to my target of 190. the CO high country is not forgiving to those that are not in shape. especially above 10,000 feet and verticle.

this year i want to be ready so i started a couple weeks ago shortly after my January deer hunt. i started out at 210 lbs. i've dropped 8 lbs so far and my goal is 190 again. i am comfortable at 190.

i have overhauled my diet and cut out the soda's, junk food and foods high in saturated fat and trans fat. i'm eating smaller portions for breakfast lunch and dinner and have healthy snacks in between eating a total of 5 times a day but the snacks are just that. healthy snacks. and the foods i've been eating are high protein (chicken, elk meat, deer meat and lean beef).

i also make my own protein smoothies all natural. (whey has a terrible taste) so i use other things like oatmeal and a raw egg or 2 mixxed in for the protein with the frozen fruit medley packs from the local grocer. i drink one immediately after my work out when the muscles absorb the protein like a sponge.

i never do the same routine 2 days in a row and lift every other day working on different muscles. and i do cardio every day. more cardio on the days in between lifting. the stairmaster will kick your rear if you push yourself. great cardio machine. i also do lighter weights but more reps. trying to develope long lean muscles. big bulky muscle requires more oxygen according to some i have spoke to so long lean muscles are better at higher elevation. lighter weights and more reps help to achieve this. included are various ab machines too.

also people that want to lose weight should not just stop eating to get it done or you will be a skinny fat person. if you starve yourself your body will start eating muscle before your fat reserves supposedly.

i think recovery time regarding cardio is very important too. in other words if you are climbing and get winded and theres a bull screaming above you 500 yards up the steep slope, its better to recover in a minute or so and catch your breath and get moving compared to 5 to 10 minutes or more. could be the difference in putting an elk on the ground.

remember when its time to go its time to go without any "dilly dallying around". i had a slight set back and am suffering thru a shin splint in my left leg at the moment so i started doing the bike today instead of the treadmill. i was pushing pretty hard on the treadmill at a 15% incline and it got the better of me temporarily. something i don't wish on anyone. it hurts. this is what is working for me at the moment and may not be for everyone but for me its working and i cant wait for sept. i am feeling it this year. i think this is the year a decent bull is gonna take a permanent nap from my arrow.

disclaimer; i am not a fitness guru yet but along with the physical part you have to be mentally tough to get into shape and that mental toughness will carry over into the elkwoods. imho

From: FarBeyondDriven Date: 07-Feb-12
Colorado elk hunting, now there's some motivation. Train like an athlete, train intelligently! Build your base in the off-season through cross-training, this will help decrease the chinks in the armor, then periodize your training in the prep or pre-season phase of training by adding the miles to your hiking with a pack while keeping your strength and power. Ramp up the training so you peak in September. Then, once you've spent a half of year getting in shape, maintain your fitness with a maintenance program that is total body and intense a handful of times a week between hunts during the fall. Train to hunt!

From: Elksnout Date: 07-Feb-12
I started a "weight management" program that my wife has been training to teach. I was actually her 1st "client" to help her get started. I was sceptical but was astounded the crap I learned about how bad this country eats! It was a 12 week program to reset my metabolism,its been 1yr since I did it and have lost 38pounds and keep losing gradually. I'm 55 and have been heavy my whole life, last elk season I could throw on my pack grab my bow and go friggin anywhere! If you want PM me and I can have her give you some details if your interested.

From: capt eddie Date: 07-Feb-12
It s so hard to get motivated. In the morning I have to think about the work project for the day and in the evenings I want to relax after working all day. The computer work does not help get up to do something. I have though that if I bought a health club membership that I would dedicated the time to work out. But the club is 20 miles away. I am afraid I would think that drive as a waste of time and not go at all. But Tuesday, Wed, and Sunday the wife and kids go to town and I could go with them, drop me off at the club and work out for 2 hours. I am going to try this evening to get out and ride the bike or lift some weights. I will not have anyone around to disturb me.

From: bbates Date: 07-Feb-12
keep up the good work

i live at 0 ft elevation and went to 7k feet last november without a problem

i took the wilderness athlete altitue pills and plenty of hydrate and recovery could of been more of a mental boost than anything if so i will take it

just keep eating right and get in some workouts

i would focus on your core and legs

good luck

From: JLS Date: 07-Feb-12

Don't underestimate the benefits of weightlifting. Contrary to Kyle's opinion, it does more than help you lift elk quarters.

Done right, with minimal rest periods, weight lifting can provide you with some cardio work while strengthening your muscles. The more muscle fibers you add the faster your metabolism and the more fat you burn at rest. Lifting doesn't necessarily make you bigger.

Lifting also promotes stronger joints and prevents the loss of muscle mass as you age. Pretty good bennies if you ask me.

Mix it up. I only lift a couple of days a week, but they are HARD workouts.

Good luck in your quest.

From: FarBeyondDriven Date: 07-Feb-12
+1 JLS. Capt PM me and I'll give you a link to my website that prescribes workouts for hunters everyday and the bulk of them can be done in your garage, shop, or basement. They're workouts made for hunters by hunters, they are not easy, but they are not extreme by any means and you can scale them to suit your fitness level. Best of luck.

From: 12yards Date: 07-Feb-12
If you got some big hills in the area, climb them often. I ran and lifted 3-5 times per week before I went last fall. Good luck.

From: Vids Date: 07-Feb-12
+1 more on the lifting. I do a combo of cardio (swimming, biking, running) 3-4 days a week and lift one day a week. Adding muscle will help you burn more calories.

You could look into local races (running, triathlon, bike, etc) and sign up for one. I always schedule a triathlon or two for the week prior to elk hunting, it's a great training motivator to have it on the calendar and the bonus is you're in good shape when elk season starts.

I had trouble losing weight for the last ten years, then I started tracking calories back in December and realized I was definitely underestimating my caloric intake. I reduced it to 2,000-2,500 calories per day since then, and I have lost 20 lb and never felt better. It opens your eyes to what you are putting in your body when you track it everyday. There are lots of websites out there that make calorie tracking easy.

Feel free to PM me if you want links to any race or calorie tracking websites.

From: Jason Scott Date: 07-Feb-12
I like what trophyhill said about mental toughness. It takes it to get in shape and you will carry that over into the hunt. Force yourself!!! Think about day 4, 5, 6 and later of the hunt where you have to get up off your but and climb thirty minutes elevation with high heart rate to get to them. In its own right that would be a good daily workout for anyone, but it is only one event in the day of a hunt that is catching up with you. Toughness can make the difference in choosing the right stalk instead of the easier straight path to them and getting busted by uphill wind instead of taking the long route of climbing up around and above then come down to them. Think of it like this, imagine most of your crew at work didn't show up for over a week and you had to get it all done by yourself on time. Say boss was offering a bonus if you did. You had to shake the iron, rig it, climb up and erect it. Fetch the bolts, set up the torches and welding machine yourself. Every stick of iron until you're done. Then when the week is up you clean up the site yourself, pack up your tent and sleeping bag and go home. That is what chasing elk can be like. Get in that kind of shape and mental toughness. Find some stairs and try to cut a groove in them with your footsteps. I too live at less than 100' flatland but I have a 6 story hospital parking lot that has inclined ramps to the top and stairs on the corners. I alternate between ramps and stairs with weights in my pack while trying to keep my heart rate in the target zone for an hour this time of year and two hrs sometime around July till GO TIME. Intermittently pushing the heart rate to 90%. The better shape I get I find that I have to stay on the stairs more. You are already on your feet all day probably so that is a head start. You don't need a gym membership. Pushups, sit-ups and packing weight is all it takes. If you neglect the legs then just plan on a leisurely backpack trip

From: Jason Scott Date: 07-Feb-12
O yeah, You have to wash off with the ice cold water cooler and hankie everynight too.

From: Longhorn Date: 08-Feb-12
"big bulky muscle requires more oxygen according to some i have spoke to so long lean muscles are better at higher elevation. lighter weights and more reps help to achieve this. included are various ab machines too."

Baaaaaloney..... I know that you are going on what some have told you... But that's the kind of excuse losers use (not talking about you), who won't put in the work to get big...

Those that are jealous of the body builder type always say "I would never want muscles like that(in high whiney pitched voice's) it's so ugly, and it'll just turn to fat anyway" (another false statement).

They're lying... I've hunted Colorado now for 28 years and in my younger years I was a body builder, and still maintain a higher level of muscle than most at my age (58)....

Muscle mass does not make anything harder to do.... Except find clothes that fit... Big bulky muscles, long lean muscles, is all the same when it comes to hunting in the altitude. It's all about the rest of a person's fitness.

My first year I was 230 pounds at 5'9" tall. Just a ball of muscle. Well I packed out a quarter of an elk (bones and all) about 4 miles... and nearly died (not literally) on that trip (8 other guys carried the rest of the elk).

I learned a lot on that first time elk hunt. One I needed a higher level of cardio fitness, and 2 never carry bones out...

I have always been a proponent of lifting heavy and fast with little rest between sets for my cardio. And it works for "me". And really that's what it is about, what works for you.

I've had 6 shoulder surgeries in the past few years as well as a knee replacement (none as a result of weight lifting) that has resulted in having to change my whole fitness regime. No longer can I lift heavy. But no matter, there is always a way to stay in shape...

You don't have to be a body builder, a marathon runner, or a fitness guru of any kind, I have taken a lot of different men hunting in the last 28 years and have never had but maybe 2 that was in any kind of shape, and they still had great times.

One time I had 2 new guys going with me and as we set around my dining room table one night planning the hunt I looked at both of them as they sat there with pot belly's drinking big bottles of diet coke and asked them what they were doing to get in shape. One of them looked at me with a dead serious look on his face and said "I'm a resting"....

I thought they were both idiot's and that they would never last. The one that made the statement has been one of my longest and closest friends and brother in Christ. We have hunted together many years, he has gout and duct tapes his feet in the mornings before we go out, and he still has the same fitness plan, but you know what, he hunts here in Arkansas, Missouri, Colorado, Africa and a lot of other places and has a blast....

So Capt Eddie, just find what works for you, do it, and go hunting, have fun and you'll never regret it....

From: Charlie Rehor (mobile)Sent from Mobile Phone Date: 08-Feb-12
Shoot your bow a lot!

From: elkslaya Date: 08-Feb-12
So would you say a guy should start bulking up and become a body builder in his 40s or 50s? Or is that better suited for the young guys?

From: city hunter Date: 08-Feb-12
elklaya guys 40 or 50 yrs old aint goin to become body builders hahaha unless they take a lot of man made drugs into the body ,

Trophy hill has a great real outlook on what one needs for the mountains ,,

From: wyobullshooter Date: 08-Feb-12
It's never too late to start weight training, but you have to keep things in perspective. More than likely, someone in his 40's or 50's is not going to be able to put on muscle mass at the same rate as someone 20 or 30 yrs younger, unless he/she takes some "additives".

Not only do some of the necessary "ingredients" required for adding muscle mass decrease with age, i.e. testosterone levels, but your body's ability to recover also decreases. Maybe most importantly, listen to what your joints tell you. They are the weak link and after years of lifting heavy, you will pay the price. Just ask my elbows and shoulders!

You may not be able to bulk up like Hulk or Arnold, but you can still add muscle and decrease fat by starting a weight training regimen in middle age or later. You just have to be smart about it and not try to keep up with the youngsters. Even for those of us that have weight trained for years, there comes a point when you have to let your ego go and realize that you have to lift smarter, not necessarily harder. Aches and pains that used to go away in a few days now linger for weeks, months, or even longer.

The older you get, the more it makes sense to go with higher reps with lighter weights, rather than low reps with heavy weight. Of course, it's always a good idea to change things up once in awhile to shock the body and keep it guessing. Just have to be smart about it.

From: JLS Date: 08-Feb-12
If you want to be a bodybuilder at 40 or 50 you might want to start training with Barry Bonds.

From: passing... thru Date: 08-Feb-12
"I'm 63 and can still go anywhere in the mountains I want to, day after day after day. I might not be quite as fast as I used to be, but I can go just as hard, just as far and just as long as I ever could."

The mind is the first thing to go... just kidding, I am sure you are in great cardio shape to be able to maintain this ability.

For me, I have to quote Clint - "a man's got to know his limitations".

From: longhunter Date: 08-Feb-12
Captain Eddie (cool handle, by the way...), I am 53 and was over 40 pounds overweight before I changed my lifestyle, right at 6 years ago. A combination of weight training, cardio training, and proper nutrition will get you where you want to be and keep you there. You have to stay committed and realize that you are making a LIFESTYLE CHANGE. It's not a "diet" or "getting in shape for the hunt". This is a change for the rest of your life that will create QUALITY OF LIFE for you. Many pay lip service to this, and few actually do it. It's up to you.

One note on weight training: learn proper form and work within your physical ability to prevent injury. Weight training with improper form is a quick way to get hurt.

Good Luck and Have Fun!

From: NvaGvUp Date: 08-Feb-12

"For me, I have to quote Clint - "a man's got to know his limitations".

Yeah, except few have any idea of what their limitations might be. So they greatly underestimate their possibilities.

When I first started running in early 1978 at age 29 I was just trying to get around the block. I had a client who's husband ran five miles three time per week. I thought that was astonishing and far beyond my limitations.

I made it around the block. Then I made it around the block twice. Then one day I made it around the neighborhood. Then I ran a five mile race (finished last in my age group). The following spring I ran my first marathon and three months later ran another one. In the fall of the next year, 1980, I ran a 2:36:14 marathon. (That's 26 miles, 385 yards at an average pace of just under six minutes per mile.)

A couple of years after that I discovered trail running and the next thing I knew I was running 100 mile trail races through the High Sierras. I did that for eleven years and did it quite well.

In 2008, one month before my 60th birthday, I did a backpack Stone Sheep hunt in BC. One day in the middle of the hunt the outfitter, who was my guide, told me, "You're in better shape than anyone I've ever guided."

In October of 2010 I did a Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep hunt. On Day 5 while glassing from a high ridge three miles from the horses, my guide pointed to a far away ridge a couple of miles away where we'd seen three small rams cross over and asked me, "What would you think about dropping down into that saddle and climbing up to that ridge so we can glass down into the basin on the other side of it?"

I answered, "Sure. What's it look like over there?"

His reply was priceless and one I use in my fitness seminars. He said, "I don't know. I've been guiding up here for ten years and you're the first guy I've ever had who was willing to go there." I was one month past my 62nd birthday.

"Limitations?" Limitations? I don't need no stinkin' limitations! And neither do you guys.

I would suggest that your limitations are far, far beyond anything you could even imagine!

From: Big D Date: 08-Feb-12
My father-in-law at 78 prepped for a dessert sheep hunt, Walked 14 miles everyday for 30 days.

Im 53, 6' 245. overweight Im active. just doing stuff around the house/property. The Doc said I was in the top 5% fitness of guys my age Get off the couch, ride bike with the kids, skate with the kids hike with the family. Do activities that keep you fit. Walk the dog, train the horse. Just do stuff. Get a pedometer and start keeping track of Im a scoutmaster This year were going to the top of Mt Borah,.. Ill start doing elevation hikes in the local Mt range to prep.

There is more to a hunt than fitness. however the better you are at all areas you prep in maybe the better the hunt. Work-out (play) with the step kids.

From: NvaGvUp Date: 08-Feb-12
PSE Man,

"The cardio will kill you."


From: PSE Man Date: 08-Feb-12
implying that coming from 200 feet to our elevation in CO, with out correct cardio training...the elevation will kill ya....

From: NvaGvUp Date: 08-Feb-12
PSE Man,


But you can train to adapt for that. Until I moved to Reno three years ago I lived on the San Francisco pennisula, also @ 200.' Yet because I always had a great base and knew how to fine tune that for altitude in a very short time, altitude was never a problem for me.

From: capt eddie Date: 08-Feb-12
I am taking in everything I am reading. Thank you all for the reply. I am doing little more everyday after I read this thread.

From: Jbirdhunter Date: 08-Feb-12
Capt, I train by putting on the pack with 75-100lb in it and hit the tread mill on level 3 with the incline on 15%. That will get you in shape. If you think it's to heavy remember 75 pounds at sea level will feel like 100+ up in the hills.

From: passing... thru Date: 09-Feb-12
NvaGvUp – whoa there cowboy… haha.

Your premise is one mans self imposed limitation is another mans excuse. I agree, that may be the case for some / most.

“Getting in shape to hunt” does not work for me. It is a way of life much like hunting is for me.

I am just saying that “I” cannot do the same things at almost 52 with a few knee surgeries that I could do at 20, 30, and to some extent 40 years old and I understand that fact. Now that does not stop me from climbing that next ridge or dropping down into that next canyon to get to that bugling bull, I may just do it a little slower. It does determine how much weight I will throw on my back or whether I will attempt a technical climb to drop into that section of stream that has not seen a fly fisherman in a while.

Not sure if you have seen this link here on Bowsite, one of my favorite hunts.

From: capt eddie Date: 09-Feb-12
Passing thru. How do I go to the article? Google search? Bowsite search?

From: passing... thru Date: 09-Feb-12
capt eddie, several ways... cut and paste the url into your favorite browser... and click enter. Or, click on the Big Horn sheep forum (ram icon), scroll down on the right under "sheep articles" and select "Bowhunting Colorado Bighorns from Above"

From: one_elk Date: 09-Feb-12
So I was born and raised here in CO and have archery hunted here for over 40 years and in the for what its worth category here are my takes on hunting fitness: Train on terrain that is going up and down, you can put in lots of flat miles and they don’t have much carry over elk habitat Do some training with you hunting pack on in areas without trails Figure out what fueling and hydrations practices work for you and then use those routines, including specific foods and drinks, when you hunt Do some training in the dark, with or without a headlamp. It’s my opinion that you will be a more successful hunter if you are comfortable moving through the woods in the dark and being where you want to before daylight…. Get Lost – take a hike with just your hunting pack and spend a night in the woods, I guess this would fall under the mental training part of training but if you have true confidence (based on actual experience) in your abilities to make it through a night or two with what you carry in your day pack you will have a more enjoyable hunting experience over all Know how to use (and practice using) every piece of equipment in your pack or that you carry with you… Hope this helps and best of luck to you and remember the 5+P’s Prior Planning (i.e. training) Prevents “Piss” Poor Performance…

From: Cliff Date: 09-Feb-12
This season I'll be 61, For me elk hunting is my passion. I work out all year long, and have for years. My work out consists of 3 set of push ups (35) each set , 3 sets of situps (35) and 3 sets of leg lifts (35). Then I run 2 or 3 days a week 3 miles each day', in rough terrain. on the other days I strap a 65lb pack on and 20 lbs of ankle weight and hike for 45 min to a hour in the same terrain. It's getting harder each year to keep it going. I hate running but love elk hunting and don't want to wound a animal because of being worn out trying to get to him. The animal deserves better.

From: RangerDoc Date: 09-Feb-12
#1. You don't have to join a gym to get in shape or stay in shape. #2. No matter what your fitness level is right now it can always get better. If you want to peak around Elk season than you need some programming to get you there.

Do yourself a favor and check out

Those guys at Train To Hunt know what they are doing, will answer any question you have about fitness, nutrition, etc. Go to the site, check it out, and subscribe today. Follow the daily workouts and get ready for elk season!

From: trophyhill Date: 10-Feb-12
great advice one_elk. as soon as the snow melts some and it starts warming up i am fortunate to live where i can hike up to and above 10,000 feet. it will be a tremendous benefit to be able to do this i think. in the mean while i think the daily trips to the gym are doing some good to prepare for hiking the high country.

From: BER136 Date: 11-Feb-12
Training programs are like people, some work , some dont. The below training sites will get you started on making an intelligence choice. Each will provide workout programs and advise on proper diet. Since you are an "ironworker", I imagine you have a good work ethic already established. I have trained a lot of people over the past 5 years, and believe me, most dont know what "hard work" is. explore these sites, each will give you a different view and offer various programs. (not the store, the archives)

Final Note: never overlook the benefits of walking, I have used walks as a way to heal from injuries, it certainly is a great way to start training. Good Luck

From: capt eddie Date: 11-Feb-12
I am taking it slow. I can already feel the little aches and pains after a work out. One other good thing that has came about. Is the kids are wanting to work out also. Especially my daughter. She sees her brother struggling to lift weights and says"I can do that" Now she has more determination to lift. It has only been a week, but the kids are now driving me to work out with them. We workout before I go the work and they start their home schooling. The encouraging of the family helps.

From: tobinsghost Date: 11-Feb-12
Give'em hell Capt.!!

Im 44 and just started lifting weights seriously 3 weeks ago. I too love bowhunting but it is different for everybody. I sat down and listed ALL of the reasons why I get up at 4:15AM to lift and do cardio. My list is:

My Health, My Son, My Family, Bowhunting, Girlfriend, Lifting Partner Competition.

Another tip that works well for me is visualization. If I can visualize the effort needed to be successful in the woods, that set is that much easier to bust out. Sometimes, I even do better than the expectations I had set for myself.

I look around the gym every morning and look for the guys who are older than me. At my age, they are my motivation (the young girls help too)!!

From: Z Barebow Date: 12-Feb-12
capt. You are in the game. Way to go!

I don't care what anyone chooses to get fit. The biggest thing you need to do is making exercise a regular part of your schedule and life. (No matter how you feel or time schedule) There are 1000's of excuses you can come up with to not workout on any particular day. It only takes one excuse to prevent you from doing it.

It needs to be a priority. No time, make the time. Too cold, get better clothing. Too sore, work the soreness out. About the only thing that should prevent you from doing your regular scheduled activity is sharp focused pain.

Example- One week ago, I had a 12:30PM appt in a town which is a 4.5 hour drive away. I had a scheduled long run (p/o marathon training). I started running at 5 AM even though my running partner was a no show. 15.5 miles later, I immediately turned around, changed into dry clothes, picked up my family and hit the road.

I can give you other examples, but you get the point.

By not allowing excuses, you are developing mental fortitude and bettering your body at the same time.

Good luck and Never Give Up! ;-)

From: Blacktail Bob Date: 12-Feb-12
I wish I had the dedication of some of you old guys.

From: JB44 Date: 12-Feb-12
Be careful not too push too hard right at the start...that's a good way to get an injury.

Especially true if you are out of shape or have a few years under/over your belt.

Be consistent and increase intensity as you go. There is plenty of time to get shaped up before this fall.

From: flip Date: 12-Feb-12
Capt.E Sounds like im in the same boat. Im 53 and am going back to colorado this fall for thee first time since 1996.Ive gained a few pounds and hope i can get in shape by fall.Just cutting out the pop and eating between meals has lost me 7 pounds in two weeks.Hope to get on the bike as the weather gets nice.I remember the pain from 1996.Hope I can hack it.Im not going to kill myself out there.Look at it as a week campin in the beautiful mts. and if an elk gets in my way. thats the iceing. Good luck !

From: huntingbob Date: 12-Feb-12
Alot of great advice on here!

From: capt eddie Date: 12-Feb-12
Flip you are right. I would like to kill an elk. But Being in shape to show the family all that the Mountains and valleys have to show is the real reason for the trip. As a child I was exposed to all parts of the country by my AirForce Dad. So haven been all over the country I know what I like to seee and what to do. My new family has not had that chance. I plann on giving them all that my Dad gave me. Their real father has never been anywhere and will never take the kids anywhere like CO. Maybe Six Flags But no where he would have to get out and do any real work. I get so pleased when I hear of my real kids and grandkids going places that I took them as children. I know my system will work on my stepkids. We do hear of the real dad downplaying the trips we take the kids on. To much work, to hot, to cold, to far. I have to show the stepkids that anyone can do it, even an old man.

From: JLS Date: 13-Feb-12
Love the spirit Capt!

From: Bigdan Date: 13-Feb-12
I have been waiting till spring to start riding my Bike after the snow is gone. But I started with my airdyne About a week ago with a little weight work on my gym. I thought how tuff it was in wyoming the first week at 10,000 ft. So I started early

From: JLS Date: 13-Feb-12

Anyone that can ride an Airdyne multiple times in a week has my respect. Those things are mind numbing.

From: LBshooter Date: 13-Feb-12
Well I would think having a 33 yr old wife would help lol, eat less and more activity,good luck.

From: capt eddie Date: 14-Feb-12
The 33 year old wife does help. Along with a 10 yearold step son and 7 yearold stepdaughter. The daughter is up for anything and always looking for the next adventure. The boy wants to read and do nothing that looks like work. Mom is stuck in between the two. My grandchildren are the same ages as the stepkids. I try to do things with them also. It all keeps me active. But not Mountain climbing active.

From: 12yards Date: 14-Feb-12
Listen to Longhunter, he has good wisdom. Don't dive into something too fast and hurt yourself. Start out gradually and get into shape. Then maybe you can turn it up a few notches.

From: AZStickman Date: 14-Feb-12
I am going to be turning 55 this spring. Thanks to the inspiration from the guys on this site, especially Brian and Kyle, I have come a long ways over the last couple of years. Dropping 70#'s, running my first 5K in October 2010, and then my first 10K in November 2011. I kept building on the training I did for the 10K race and am registered to Run my first 1/2 Marathon this Sunday I have never been in better shape in my life.

I started Hunting Elk when I was a 14 year old boy living in Montana. I was very active in sports and outdoor activities and never even thought about fitness, it was a natural part of my life. When Fall rolled around I could almost outrun an Elk up the hill :-). I entered the Army after Highschool and they kept me in pretty good shape. Entering my late 20's and through my 30's it started taking me a couple of days of hitting the slopes to get my mountain legs back under me and then when I hit 40 I had to start making a real effort to get in Elk shape each year. I would drop 20#'s in the months before Elk season and then watch the #'s come back over the Holidays.

I can't tell you what a difference it has made making the commitment to stay in shape year round. I love running and look forward to doing it for many more years. But the main thing is to find something that works for you that you can commit to year round to stay in shape and make it your lifestyle........ Good luck to everyone on the draws this year and wish me luck on my run this Sunday...... I'll need it... :-) Terry

From: AZBUGLER Date: 14-Feb-12
Good luck Terry!

From: Straight —» Arrow Date: 14-Feb-12
"It's not a "diet" or "getting in shape for the hunt". This is a change for the rest of your life that will create QUALITY OF LIFE for you. Many pay lip service to this, and few actually do it. It's up to you."

Very well put LH. I would add that if you stay in good shape long enough you will become almost obsessed with it. I do not find it hard to workout regularly. I hate getting back in shape so bad that I don't really ever allow myself to get out of good cardio condition. It literally almost drives me nuts if I don't work out for too long of a period. I missed three days in a row this past week! I'm due for a long workout today and I'm going to push myself until I'm almost ready to puke or croak! For some reason I find that is a fantastic feeling by the time I shower and get dressed.

From: Z Barebow Date: 14-Feb-12
Thanks for chiming in Terry! I am looking forward to your race report. Nothing worth doing is ever easy. But I have no doubts you will have a good day!

Terry's and Randy's comments speak for me also. Year around physical fitness and wellness is a positive lifestyle change. I too remember the struggle to get back into shape after neglecting my body for months/years and I HATED that feeling! I don't want to be that guy ever again.

I am 46 years old and each year I tell myself I am in the best shape of my life. (And not some Stuart Smallie feel good crap, I actually am! LOL!) When I start questioning if I have plateaued, I push harder and surprise myself.

I'll plateau some day,,,,,,, just not today!

From: RangerDoc Date: 14-Feb-12
Here is a link to an article in Elk Hunting Magazine written by one of the founders of Train to Hunt.

Check it out.

From: Luke Johnson Date: 15-Feb-12 Awesome website that lines you out everday.

From: broken arrow Date: 19-Feb-12
Just passing through gathering as much info as I can for a DIY hunt. Been picking up some great ideas but the one thing I haven't seen posted is stretching. If you can't bend over and touch your toes..... Being flexible helps protect you from injury. Ever been watching football and seen a guy get twisted up and you cringe thinking man that had to hurt? Then they jump up run off like nothing? Doesn't matter how great of shape or how many miles you can run if you slip and stretch something farther than normal your hunt is not going to be much fun. my2cents

From: Z Barebow Date: 19-Feb-12

Z Barebow's embedded Photo

No you don't need to run to hunt elk, but I bet Terry will tell you it helps! Have a beer on me Terry! You earned it. Nicely done. 54 years young and 1st half marathon under his belt!

From: AZStickman Date: 21-Feb-12
Thanks Brian....... I am going to start incorporating some hill work into my runs so next year my second half pace should match my first half pace.....:-) ... Terry

From: capt eddie Date: 21-Feb-12
I want to thank everyone that has posted do this thread. I have lost 7 LBS so far and increased my draw almost 1 inch with a formaster by using more back tension. Last night I was not having any problems shooting my new 74LB bow. It is amazing the differance the back tension makes in my shooting. Add alittle weight training. I am going on a hike with a loaded backpack this weekend. Lets see how that goes.

From: elkmtngear Date: 21-Feb-12
Nice work, capt eddie....congrats!

From: trophyhill Date: 21-Feb-12
keep it up Capt eddie. stay the course. i had 2 recent setbacks. a shin splint and then caught some kind of respiratory crud going around and had to take a week off but......i stayed the course on my eating habits (lifestyle change) and lost another 2 pounds for a total of 12 in about a month now. 8 more to go and then i'll have to start doing something else once i reach that target of 190

From: bowhunter1 Date: 22-Feb-12
Me and my wife started training this weekend, she wants to be my caller this year, so i jumped on the idea because i usually hunt and call by myself.twd

From: PistolPete Date: 23-Feb-12

PistolPete's Supporting Link

Great information here, especially the weight training advice. I'm getting 3 of my buddies introduced to my own elk fitness program right now, and we're on week 2. We're starting with weights/strength training and some light conditioning. We'll move into a Crossfit-type high-intensity approach after we've built up a base of form and strength. You can check it out on my blog if you's like, I document each of our workouts, along with lots of other elk hunting info.

My biggest piece of advice is to not accept society's advice that getting in shape means distance running. That's great if you want to be a good distance runner, but there is much more to fitness than just that.


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Subject: RE: Getting in shape for elk.

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