Contributors to this thread:
Hope some of you all can help me. I am 42 years old, weighed 207 this morning was 217 on May first. Ideal weight probably 185ish. August 3rd opening day. So a few questions. Do I cut calories and get weight down quickly or eat more and focus less on weight. Been eating ,a lot of chicken, turkey, deer and elk and carrots (about only veg I can stand) very little bread and a protein shake a day.
Second question cardio vs strength training. Currently running only hill in town 2 twice a week for a 45-60 min going to gym twice a week. Treadmill on 15 degree incline for about 25 mins, then some weight and few mins on a “Jacobs ladder” I have taken a exercise bike to my business and trying to do about 1/2 hour on it 2-3 times a week with decent amount out of resistance. Also doing squats with a box of pennies as a kettle bell. I ran a few times but going to limit that because hard on knees and lower calves. Six days a week doing some thing for on average of probably 45-60 mins. Going to do some time in mountains with a pack but my small business makes that a challenge because need to near by 6 days a week at least with in phone range. It takes at least a hour and no cell services to get to real hills to climb. Those will be a Sunday thing.
So question is am I on right track. If not what would be best to do over next 2.5 months. Don’t say hike with a pack several times a week because not really a option.
I would really like to hear from some guys that have went from less than great shape to making big strides Between the time they found they drew a tag to the start of their hunt . Then went on hunt such as sheep or goat.
Thanks for the feedback.
You have any stairs in your house?
all good but more. Include lunges, both with and without weights. All about the legs. Side lunges too. when i trained i did several rounds of 20 flights of stairs in the morning every other day, then crossfit workouts 5 days a week, plus lunges and core work.
Sounds like a great workout plan! A huge key to losing weight is to limit portion amounts and don't eat after 6 or 7
Focus on cardio, legs, and not so much on the arms. You should be shooting every other day. If this was a rifle hunt, I’d focus more on strength. I don’t like doing arms for an archery hunt as you can really hurt something (especially at 42) and rubber arms don’t make for great shooting sessions.
I love/hate the revolving stairs at the gym and another exercise is if there is a stadium nearby. Go climb stairs with a weighted pack. Better yet, strap a target to your back and pack into a canyon to practice your shooting angles. You’ll blow up some arrows but it’s worth it.
Cardio cardio cardio
Agree with LKH - I run my stairs with boots on. It's something you can do everyday if you have stairs in your house or nearby.
Stay keto and lose more wt. You need to get more wt off if you want to go farther/faster. That's 30 lbs you could be carrying in celebratory whiskey.
I can't imagine carrying an extra 30 lbs in the sheep mountains.
This year again, I'll be going in to my sheep hunt about 6-7 lbs above my fighting weight and come out right where I want to be or a couple pounds under.
I can't imagine you not continuing to drop weight and be ready for a sheep hunt if you keep up the routine you are currently on. I tell my friends and others that the two most important aspects of training for a sheep/goat hunt is your legs and lungs. That being the case, I focus a lot on cardio and lunges. I think you're on the right track John! Keep it up!
Do you have access to a rowing machine? Its good cardio and strength if done properly and not hard on the joints. Try a light barbell complex for 30 minutes with 30-60 sec rest in between sets followed by 30 minutes of cardio... Barbell complex is simply a series of exercises with the same weight on the barbell and not putting the barbell down until all the movements are complete... You don't need to go heavy although, you can increase weight as time goes on but the idea is to get your body used to moving with weight and keep your heart rate elevated the whole time example: barbell with total weight of 65lbs. Front squats: 12 reps Straight leg dead lift: 12 reps bent over row: 12 reps Push press: 12 reps back squat: 12 reps rest 45 sec. repeat for 5 to 6 sets Then go do 30 minutes of cardio, stepmill or treadmill at incline whatever is not hard on your joints.. Do the barbell complex 3 times a week with different lifts each time combined with cardio then other 3 days do cardio only for 45 minutes. and mix it up like 15 minutes treadmill, 15 minutes on bike, 15 on stepmill.. Or 45 minute weighted hike.
What you're doing is more than enough. I still think a pack on, once or twice a week with a hill is best. If you're limited on time with that pack, I'd do alot of sidehill to get your feet in shape.
You live in CO, I can't believe you can't get to the hills more often than once a week.
I agree with comments above, especially regarding your workouts. You should be pretty close to your desired weight if you keep up the work. I also second leg workouts being paramount. Watch your diet and you'll be fine! Good luck, John!
I was in the same boat as you one year ago (age 56) prior to drawing a Colorado sheep tag. Started out at 225lbs, but only dropped 15lbs prior to the hunt. That said, I replaced a considerable amount of fat with muscle...especially lower body.
Immediately switched to a high protein, low carb diet (low carbs compared to my previous high carb intake...LOL). You got to have carbs, just don't over do it.
Spent most of my "gym time" on the elliptical....3-4 days/week. Started out with medium resistance 30-40 minute workouts. By July, those turned into high resistance 75-90 minute workouts. Feel like one of the best moves I made was strapping on a 50lb pack and climbing up and down a local 84 foot tower for an hour at a time....2-3 times/week.
Also strapped on the pack every chance I got and actually hiked up and down real inclines. Found out hiking downhill is just as important as hiking uphill. Throw in some basic exercises in the mornings...and that about covered it.
Hired a guide service the first week on the mountain and had no issues keeping pace with either of my 30 something year old guides. Spent two more weeks on the mountain hunting alone. By the end of the third week, I was physically spent. Doctor said I should have a taken a day off every four or five days to prevent a high cortisol buildup. Of course Doc doesn't understand taking a day off when one has a sheep tag in one's pocket is absolute torture! LOL
Best of luck to you!
You are ahead of me! I’m 49 and still have to shed weight. I feel like I am cramming for a final exam! I have a pile of sheep and goat hunts on the books over the next few years. It helps keep us motivated knowing the mountains will be in front of us before too long.
Good luck and keep us updated on how the next few months go. I have a Yukon stone hunt followed by Colorado sheep. I have dropped 25 lbs in the last 60 days with a reduced carb diet and better overall food choices. I’m worried though!
I'm about the same age and weight and training for elk hunting. I'm doing crossfit 3 days a week, counting calories, and backpacking in Arkansas Mountains once a month. Crossfit classes will get your heart rate up and help build endurance. We did 15 miles with packs in Arkansas over this past weekend. Even though I have been doing crossfit for 3 months my hip flexors, gluts, and feet still hurt during the trip. Nothing beats actually climbing 1000-1500 feet to tell you if your ready or not. At a minimum, find some backpacking trails to do a couple of times as a test on your body's condition. Your body will let you know if you are ready. I'm not there yet based on this past weekend results...lol.
I'm right there with you John. 43 yoand I'm 6' and weigh about 210. This time of year as the weather straightens out I'll start going over to the ski hill by my house (glorified bump in this flatland) about 4-5 nights per week and I'll hike up and down it with a weighted pack until I can't anymore. That might only be a few trips at first but by the time September rolls around I'll be able to do it all day. I combine that with some core work and cardio in the mornings and I'm good to go. I focus on lean meats for protein and lots of veggies in the summer. The weight will come off. I like cold beer too much in the summer to stick with Keto. A lot of good advice here, just adding what works for me. Leg and lung strength will get you further than anything in addition to dropping a few pounds! Good luck on your hunt!
i have found that I actually burn more calories lifting weights than i do running. I would lift for 30-45 minutes a day with high reps/light weight maybe 4-5 times a week and add in some cardio after weight training 3-5 times a week. to lose weight you are going to have to be in a calorie deficit, which isn't that hard to do. just make sure you do something active every day and you will see the weight drop.
Cardio. Don't worry about anything else. Don't get comfortable. The more pain you put yourself through the more you'll enjoy your hunt. Every work out should suck. As long as your workouts are brutal you don't need to worry about hills or pack training. Sound like fun? That's why few ever see their potential. Good luck!
Brotsky I am there with you on the cold beer but I have not had one this month. I first said one a week on Wednesday night after archery leagues but did not drink one last week and may skip tomorrows beer. 2-3 weeks ago they opened a Popeyes Chicken in my town and was looking forward to eating some then this tag happened. So I said when I break 200 lbs I will eat some spicy fried chicken. Probably will stick with that because a goal/benchmark with a rewards good motivation and I figure a splurge a small handful of times over a few months won't effect the end results much.
Thanks for the feedback especially from the former fat boys!
Sounds like a great workout plan! A huge key to losing weight is to limit portion amounts and don't eat after 6 or 7
Option number two - If I can get down to 176 pounds weight of a average human this could work. Not sure the effect of elevation/altitude on the balloons and I’ve seen the thread on some of your thoughts on helium balloons . -(:
An average sized helium balloon holds about 14 L. An average person is about 80 kg. Helium can lift just about 1 g per L. You would need 80000 L of helium to do the job, so 80000 / 14 = 5714 balloons. Then I could just float up the mountains!
Is there any other kind of chicken at Popeye's besides spicy? Shoot really well in the AM, go kick your rear end training the rest of the day, and reward yourself with some Popeye's. They'll have some decent deals on the app sometimes.
eat lean protein and veggies, especially leafy greens, that will lean you out for sure. Once your body fat is low and you've leaned out as you get closer to the hunt, start adding complex carbs like oatmeal, rice, yams, etc. ... stay away from simple sugars, also eat good fats for your joints. eat 6 small meals a day, each around the 250 to 500 cal range consuming more of the calories and the beginning of the day an tapering down as you get closer to bedtime, you last meal should be about 1-2 hours before bed and something that is light and high in protein such as egg whites, your body will use this protein as you sleep to recover and also keep your metabolism moving. Additionally, keep in mind that lean muscle burns just by its existence. So, although cardio is good.. adding some resistance and light weight training will certainly help. If you have access to a pool, swimming is one of the best workouts you can get resistance and cardio in one. The resistance from weight training will also help your joints/tendons/ligaments get stronger which will be very important on the mountain. Lots of guys prep for mountain hunting by focusing on the 'up' by going up hills and doing stairs and squats.. don't for get the 'down', most injuries happen on the way down the mountain b/c the quads aren't developed like they should be..
Search YouTube Christian Stangl Training spezial
He’s a weird dude but this is a great cheap work out. Burns the legs and lungs at the same time.
Like stated work on those legs and lungs. If you can find some stairs like bleachers do it 3 to 4 times a week with 30-40lbs in a good pack. You can also do it by running them.
I always do a lot of running and hiking with a weighted pack no more than 40lbs. I'm lucky because I live at 6000 plus feet.
I did two sheep hunts in my late 40's and the guide had a tough time keeping up.
Put on a tree stand safety harness, hook it to a large truck or tractor tire and simply drag it around. If it gets too easy. Hold your breath while doing sprints. “IT WILL KEAL”
No one mentioned side hills. Find a step one and walk back and forth with a 50# pack. It doesn’t have to be high, just steep. Everyone is suggesting straight up and down work and that’s good but the sides of your lower legs and your ankles will hate you if you ignore side hills. Better yet are rocky side hills. Work on your balance and if you’re using any cardio machines refuse to grab the handles except for getting on and off the equipment.
Don’t ignore the upper body and weight training. Being in shape up top is important and can help your shooting over the long term.
You don't have to skip beer on the Keto diet. You just have to substitute your other carbs for the beer. You can have beer. You just cant have potatoes, bread, and beer.
See the 'Sheep Shape" Bowsite Feature here:
you are on the right track in thinking of dropping lbs. Taking weight off will help with the knees and overall cardio. One of the things I do is the treadmill at 15 degrees but with a pack on. At my gym they have various weighted balls I strap on, or in, the pack. I will set time and/or distance goals depending on what the day is giving me but never anything less than a mile or more than an hour, which is usually 2.25 mile with 40 lbs on my back. if you are at a gym don't worry what people may think of you as they will probably envy you. Also, don't hold on the rail as there are no rails in the mountains. you are better off going slow than going faster while holding on the rails. with the right diet this will melt away some lbs. I also believe weight lifting is important, both lower and upper. To keep it simple just do bench press and goblet squats and expand from there. When you can think about doing Red Rocks or the Manitou Incline. These climbs will give you some good strength and cardio. Plus you will be surrounded by other fitness buffs and be inspired for long term health.
Sounds like you have a very good exercise program. Personally I don’t follow keto or any other diet of the day diet. Portion control and total calorie intake vs calories burned works for me. I waited till I was 58 to go on a sheep hunt (rifle) and ended up riding horses to within about 1/2 mile below the sheep. Was able to climb many hundreds feet vertical and make the 200 yard shot. Good luck on your hunt.
Only advice I can add, is if you aren’t doing the Keto thing focus on protein mainly and veggies. Carbs come almost naturally lol. Remember all that work in the gym does very little if you aren’t giving your body the nutrition it needs to make the changes you’re asking of it. Try and get 1G of protein per pound of body weight per day. It’s a LOT of protein. Any unused protein is turned into healthy carbs and used that way. Carrots are good too, for a lot of people they are like a calorie negative, they burn more just to digest them, than they actually are. DRINK TONS OF WATER
How much whey protein/power is to much to get 200 plus grams a day?
Does anyone know how much protein per ounce of venison?
Probably 10 scoops... try to get the majority of your protein from whole foods. Whey protein is quickly absorbed, thus is best used immediately following a workout.
Are you saying that I should eat lean protein and veggies, especially leafy greens, and that will lean me out for sure?
Lol; really TBM'd it there.
Yeah... I guess I had technology error.. lol.. posted 87 times.
Forgot to say try and get the protein from as many different sources as possible. To get that much protein I do hit the whey shakes at 1 scoop 2x per day. Once when I wake up and one immediately following my workout. Those are huge in protein, 27g per shake. That’s almost 60g right there.
Breakfast I do a large bowl of oats with pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds and walnuts. Add a cup of milk for another 10g. Throw a few eggs into breakfast if you can.
Mid morning I’ll hit a can of tuna or salmon with some triscuits.
Lunch is always leftover dinner from the night before with more focus on the protein/veggies of what was made for the family.
Afternoon snack is walnuts and some raw veggies with maybe a cheese string and yogurt.
Supper is usually moose, caribou, deer or whatever mixed with veggies and a starch.
Before bed I hit cottage cheese pretty hard. That’s a good slow release protein for overnight and low calorie. Maybe another shake if I’ve hit it hard that day. Maybe some pickles and crackers if I’m really feeling it.
Hope this helps! I’m no guru but this works well for me. I’m not sheep hunting (hopefully one day!) but do train pretty hard and I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been, as I’ve had people smarter than me giving me advice :)
Biggest thing, good luck, and please share your experience regardless of the outcome!!!
Whiskey is carb free...just so you know
It is, but alcohol in the liver is converted to glucose readily and consumed first, so although it's better than beer and wine on the Keto diet, it'll still give you carbs once digested.
You are doing fine. As a guy who killed his first sheep 13 years ago at age 42 and has taken 2 more and a mountain goat since, just remember when it gets right down to it your most important strength is mental.
Good luck and have fun!
M.Pauls, You may want to try casein protein for your evening shake. It's a slower burning protein. It gets real thick when mixed with almond milk, almost like a pudding depending on how much you add. I like the Kaged Muscle brand called Kasein. Really good.
This is a good pre-bed time protein. It has casein, egg and whey protein along with BCAA's and glutamine. 1 scoop mixed with almond milk...
Only thing I will add is do some sidehilling on your Sunday hikes. That is one area I see where guys who do most of their training in the gym come up short in the field.
Matt touched on something I ALWAYS regret not doing more of: ...More side hilling in my training.
I didn't read through the posts but what elevation and type of country is your sheep hunt? The VERY best way to get in sheep shape is to replicate "working out" in the same terrain you'll be hunting. If you are working out at low elevation and your hunt is at 10 to 14,000' you may be in trouble! The more time you spend in the thin air this summer the better chance you will be able to handle the terrain and elevation!
The best training I think is to scout. To hike in the terrain and elevation your hunting at.
Yup. Or scout for different animals in the same stuff.
The problem is that a lot of guys don’t have that option back east.
I never thought too much of side hilling when most of my hunting was elk/mule deer. Sheep hunting can be as much side hilling in a day as elk hunting is up and down. It rips your feet up if they’re not ready for it. Definitely a good point several have made about taking time to train your feet besides your legs, lungs, and heart.
I would suggest Not overdoing your training, gradually increase your intensity to avoid any injuries that will set you back big time.
Listen to your body and adjust accordingly, loosing your weight is almost as valuable as doing and extra set of stairs!
Good luck, Robb
Agree with Robb .... keep doing what you are doing. Hike with a pack but build up the weight gradually would be good. Don’t overlook stretching. Mixing in some yoga would be great. IMO losing the weight is a little more important than being in marathon shape. The better your shape the more enjoyable the hunt.... but if you over do it and get injured it could ruin the whole thing
He’s in S32, the Georgetown herd. It’s a stone’s throw from Denver.
I’ll second cohoythunter. If you have access to a rowing machine, hit it hard. IMO High intensity interval training is better than endurance for mountains. Rowing 1-2 minute intervals as hard as I can is the closest thing ive found that gets my heart rate where climbing mountains does. Sure you can run sprints too but I think rowing gets my heart rate higher at the same time allowing me to do more intervals than I likely could running. I would drop as much weight as possible. I just ran 8 mi in a marathon relay. I stress fractured my foot in February and hadn’t ran since, just alternated distance and interval rowing. I was close to my target time I had set before hurting my foot. I will say a rower does not prepare your legs for abuse of the mountains so you will need to run some or hike with a pack. That’s the downside to rowing only. It’s so low impact that if that’s all you do, impact will tear you up.
I’ll also add that after your sheep hunt find something that you feel is a sustainable work out. I’m 7 years younger but it’s all ready to the point for me that’s it’s easier to stay in shape than get in shape. Trying to ramp up before an event is how you get injured. ;) Last thing you want is to get hurt before a big hunt. I’m planning on trying to do 2-3 half marathons a year so that I have incentive to work out year round.
"The best training I think is to scout. To hike in the terrain and elevation your hunting at." Best advise hands down. This should be "fun" not work. Scouting in the area you are going to hunt has more benefits then getting in shape.
Other then pushing yourself away from the table before you are full.
Mondays and Wednesdays mornings red rocks bleachers carrying 45 lbs plate in my pack.Tuesday and Thursdays evenings green mountain trail different trail carrying Pack and 45 plate buy July I'm at 2 45lb plates 90lbs than I'm scouting legs and Hart rate are ready to climb and carry a sheep goat or a moose quarter out or a half a elk boned
"Thanks for the feedback especially from the former fat boys!" I am a former fat boy and have no plans of going back. In December I was 232 lbs and I felt like total CRAP. January 8th I came home and said... "I'm done with this!" I totally cut out high carb and highly processed foods, basically Keto. I set myself on a max daily calorie level amount according to my goal weight and body measurements using MyFitnessPal app (thanks Brotsky) I also did/do light weight training along with a lot of miles on my road bike. I was losing weight at a rate of 2 lbs per week. I stopped drinking alcohol (except at P&Y) shortly after that and my rate of loss went up to 3 lbs per week. I've stayed on course completely and now it's a way of life. I'm now 188 lbs.
I have improvements to make in the strength department and really need to up my protein levels now that I'm almost to goal weight. So, i'll be watching this thread. Good luck, John!
Rick did it right and looks great! Can't imagine how much better he must feel.
Wish I had the Manitou Incline in my back yard to train on.
56 yr old here going to the NWT on 10 day backpack trip in Aug. Been hiking with weighted pack (30-35# now, will gradually incr) 3-4 nights a week on Grn Mt. Getting 3-4 miles with 650-700' elevation change as well as mixing in 2-3 days of core training. There are days I feel like i'm the King of the world and others that scare the hell out of me about this trip. I still have about 10-12 lbs to lose but they are coming off slowly. Regardless i will keep pushing on. Why a BP at 56? I guess to prove to myself I can do it and I've already told myself I will not fail. Will I get my sheep? Who knows, but what I do know is that it won't be from me not being able to get up that hill..... Mind over matter and that is what keeps me motivated to strap the pack back on. Good Luck to all !! Kip EDIT: Didn't mean to kind of hijack this...the point being as I've found throughout life is to get your head straight with it, as long as you've trained hard, your brain will get you to the finish line. You're well on your way to success!
The Manitou Incline is a legit effort. Nice! I haven’t read all the posts but a big mistake I made sheep hunting was enjoying a super healthy diet all summer...packing in the night before season and downing 2 Mountain House meals. Thought my face was going to explode in the tent that night and I drank 100 oz camelback. Train your body and eat food that you’re used to.
Congrats Rick that’s an awesome accomplishment!
Thanks for the ideas and encouragement. Rick sounds like you and I are in similar boat your a few months ahead. About 3 years ago I did drop from 235 to high 180s. Then I quit doing what I was doing. Gain a lot of it back.
Today at work I road exercise bike for 25 mins done some ugly burpies. Later going to archery leagues in FC and going to wear a guessing 35 pound pack around the course.
I found chart below in CPW magazine that answered a question I asked above.
One of my business is running a mobile DEXA provider for health and fitness.
We see clients from all walks of life. With regard to weight and your body composition, the old saying that you cannot outwork a bad diet is extremely true.
People who have a lot of weight to lose can be very successful in a short time period on a CLEAN Ketogenic diet. If you are opposed to Keto or it does not work for you I would look at RP Strenght fat burner. Either way, use my fitness pal or carb manager to track what you are eating and don't lie.
With regard to your fitness put on a pack and walk or hike, nothing I know of re creates it
Besides getting all your muscles, tendons and ligaments in shape. For Cardio, This may sound silly but get a sturdy heart rate monitor. Learn your resting heart rate and calculate your optimal and max heart rate for long performance periods. You will last much longer on the mountain if you don’t push past your max heart for too Long. Calculate more accurately using the calculator at. Lifespanfitness.com. subtracting age from 220 is just a rough guide. Use the free calculator to be more accurate. Watch your heart rate. Know it and stay in about 60-70% of your max and you will last all day long and be able to go day after day.
Type heart rate calculator in search
Type heart rate calculator in search
I have hunted sheep a bit and didn't work out much at all. Just had the drive to get it done. There were times when I was on the mountain and vowed to never eat another hamburger again however. The drive to kill a sheep kept me goin. I may have been slow but got er done. One of the most successful archery sheep hunters in the world never works out either. Hope this helps. lol
John, this from a guy who turned 79 last March and has tried to stay in shape 24/360. I will again be solo elk hunting this season in the Colorado Flat Tops. I did the sheep hunt in 1997 with no issues but was living at 9,000 ft at the time.
As stated, it is about legs and lungs and in your case loosing the extra weight and yes, some strengthening.
Right now I weight 190 and my goal prior to elk season is 182. This is only 6 # more than I weighted in High School back in 1958. I post on the home refrigerator in big red letters, a reminder of my goals, and place a weekly work out schedule and weight goals and then post the weights Also a list of foods to eat and those not to eat. Lots of fruits in the mornings, and a high protein salad (fish, turkey, lean meat in the evening. NO breads, cereals, milk, Chocolate cake,cheese, cookies, ice cream, beer, liquor. Two months prior, I ride my Mt Bike on rural roads 10-15 miles one day and then hike with a 20# back pack other days. Yes, legs and lungs and drop the weight.
Writing down you goal and post it will help be a big daily reminder.
Good luck and shoot a nice ram. my best, Paul
John, I will add what someone stated, do not eat after 7 am. Also place a one or a 1/2 gallon of water in sight and drink it all per day. Takes away some hunger and keeps one hydrated. Pictured is a good ram I took while turkey hunting in Nebraska two weeks ago.
Paul must be a night owl, not eating after 7am :)
"and has tried to stay in shape 24/360" - curious, what do you do the other 5 days? lol
Maybe the shape is 360. :^)
Maybe degrees because he keeps his ass in shape.
Nick, not a night owl at all. Bed time is 10 pm at the latest. Early mornings are great.
Shape, year around not 360 round., 24/7/365 I just had a flash back to chocolate cake and ice cream. Dam! I will eat a carrot instead.
Paul, you're an inspiration. Looking at you being 79 and as spry as you are. In 29 years, I hope to be walking. Good for you man, good for you!
Nick, 7am! No food after. God, I had a senior moment!.
Anyway, back to the original post. John, gooooood Luck.
Paul, so you don't eat after 7am? How do you get through the day without food? haha
Ned is my hero! I will try his approach to sheep hunting. “Don’t work out. Just be stubborn!”
Sounds like my type of “sheep shape” program!
John, a good rule of thumb for clients going sheep hunting is that “if you’re more than 20 pounds overweight or have a bad knee, ankle or back, don’t even consider a sheep hunt.” That would be a tradition sheep hunt where you have to “earn” it. That being said, I’ve seen pics of guys in magazines who I’d put 20:1 on couldn’t have gotten a sheep BUT DID! I have a buddy that trained for 2 years who actually shot his Dahl sheep in Alaska while holding the reigns of his horse! That’s another awesome example of an exception to the rule. Barring SHEEP hunts, I rarely get hunters who show up that can’t handle the Alaska hunt PHYSICALLY, but the MENTAL part is too much for more hunters by quite a ways...mental toughness isn’t so easy to train for. Some people claim you can’t, either you have it or you don’t. I don’t know for certain. Get in the best shape you can and enjoy the experience. Good luck. It never hurts to be the guy that gets the “easy” one! Post pics! Good luck.
I hate veggies so last couple days been putting kale, strawberries, blueberries, bananas, protein power a few ice cubes, and water in the blender. Guess it is about 20 ounces. Two good sized kale leaves. 4-5 strawberries, handful of blueberries, banana, and scoop of protein. Then drinking, it sucks but better than actually eating the crap. That and meat mostly. Only bread I am eating is two slices of wheat bread on a turkey sandwich at lunch with handful of carrots.
Today I had one of those shakes for breakfast. I went to Subway and had a six inch chicken sandwich with onion and banana peppers on wheat for lunch. For dinner probably some meat, maybe deer, elk or chicken and another stupid veg and fruit shake and some carrots. One Diet Dr. Pepper each day because I am not giving that up. Beer was bad enough. Coffee each morning cut out the sugar but a little bit of fake creamer.
If I can make myself keep doing that. Is that a adequate diet to lose another 20 pounds and get in better shape over next two and half months. Did a hour at the gym this morning. Trying do at least 45- 60 mins a day of fairly intense exercise 6 days a week. Diet has been harder than the working out for me.
At Everest Base Camp
At Everest Base Camp
So we just got back from a trek to Mt. Everest base camp in Nepal.... we did over 80 miles in 11 consecutive days, climbing from 9,000 feet to almost 18,000 feet. It was as close to a "sheep hunt simulation" as I've seen, and compared to many of the sheep hunts I've done. Not only from a physical standpoint, but also mental. My training for it was no different than for a sheep hunt. And focused on the word "moderation." Eat in moderation. Drink in moderation. Work out often, but in moderation. (At 53, body still needs a little rest...and too much work out goes too far.) Because of schedule, I was never able to make it to the gym. So workouts involved simulating as much as possible what we were going to do: walk and hike, with boots on. Because of where we live in Texas, a lot of walking was on flat ground...but with hiking boots on, and multiple nights a week. And then once or twice a week out to the hill country, for long hikes with packs and vertical climbs. In the end, we were in "just right" condition to do the trek. Although we saw many people along the trail that we thought to ourselves "what were they thinking?"
And just when we started feeling good about ourselves, here would come these porters passing us on the trail with their huge loads....and half the time they were wearing sandals, flip flops, or tennis shoes. I'd look down at my $450 leather Lowa boots and wonder what they knew that I didn't.....
Wow! Looks like a great trip. Wish you have brought home one of those Sherpa's to go sheep hunting with me!
That's crazy! Those Sherpa's are truly amazing.
I am not familiar with this term “moderation”
I will need to look it up...
I don't do moderation very well.
I did a little scout yesterday in my unit in hopes of proving the SNOTEL site wrong. Turns out the SNOTEL was accurate. I hiked in 4.6 miles, 2000' gain to 11,400' I had planned to just glass from roads and easy access points, but the day was too nice to not go for a hike. I wish I had taken my snow shoes as I post-holed to my hips a couple of times (I'm 6'5"). I hope the rest of May and June are hot ones to burn off all this snow and make access easier. For me, nothing beats putting miles on my feet, with a pack at altitude, in challenging conditions in order to get ready for sheep.
Two months down one month to go. Down 23 pounds in just under 2 months at 194 from a start of 217. I sure would like a beer have not had one in 2 months. Plenty of time for beer after the hunt - hopefully to celebrate success! Eat healthier than I ever have. Got it figured out if it sounds good don't eat it!
I have been mostly faithful to exercising 5-6 days a week. Had a 7-8 day period I got kind of sick and only did a couple easy work outs. A few trips to the mountains hiking with pack. Snow pack has kept me from really getting to where I expect to be doing most of my hunting. Heading up Sunday and hoping I can get into some of the higher country above treeline. Seems like the gym is where most of my effort has been. Doing a lot of time on treadmill between run on level to a fast walk on max incline. Sometimes will take a pack add weights to 40-45 pounds and do incline treadmill. Also some weights. Usually spend a hour there. It seems I am the wettest with sweat there so hope it is paying off. 1-2 times a week run up and down the only hill in town.
I definitely have made progress over two months. I think in last month will make more. Biggest issue is area on back of leg between calves and ankles. It gets really tight. Been stretching it first and helps but not completely. Will be happy if I lose another 5 pounds would prefer 10.
I’ve dropped 33# since March 31. Still way too heavy though at 214. My MCL is in bad shape, but I’m hiking most every day with a weighted pack. I have sheep tags with my name on them and nothing is going to stop me from being out there. Just wish my body functioned like it did years ago and I didn’t have these lasting inhibiting injuries that limit what I can do.
Good luck to everyone on having healthy and successful hunts in the mountains this year.
Nice discipline men! Looking forward to reading your stories.
There are lots of ways to train for a sheep hunt and anything you do to improve your fitness will obviously help, but the best advice I ever got was from an old sheep guide. He told me to to simply spend as much time as I could imitating exactly what I’d be doing on a sheep hunt. More specifically, humping hills under the weight of a heavy pack. So that’s what I did for all of my mountain hunts. Started early, light pack at first, building weight and length of my hikes, and worked up to 5x a week, 1- 1.25 hr per day, 20 pounds over what I anticipated my avg daily carrying weight would be on the hunt (usually around 50 or so, which made my work out weight max around 75). I live in central New Jersey, and last time I checked, there ain’t a lot of mountains nearby. Whatever, I made due. Luckily I’m near the Delaware River so there are a few “hills” close by, and I only need one. I just found a public hill that’s only 250-300 ft elevation and blazed up/down for my workouts. Six reps and I’m getting 1500-1800 ft per day up and down, good enough. I made sure to sidehill a lot to build ankle strength, and I always used two hiking poles and learned how to use them properly (amazes me how few guys know how to use trekking poles the right way, and what a difference they make when used correctly) and also learn what a proper “mountaineering stride” is. These three simple pieces of advice got my east coast fat ass to the top of every mountain I ever wanted to climb. And help me arrow a few nice animals too. One last thing; I stopped all training a week before departure. I still paid attention to my nutrition, but I rested and minimized risk of any "tweaks" or injury just prior to the hunt. You aren't going to gain anything in the final days leading up to your trip, but you can certainly twist or tear something and risk losing your chance to go.
There are risks to over training, too. I blew out all 3 ligaments of my right AC shoulder joint in a mountain bike accident 2 weeks before my sheep hunt. By the season opener, I could barely draw my bow set on its lightest poundage. Ultimately, that cost me my ram, when I slightly under-judged the distance on my only shot. What would have been a slightly low kill shot at my normal poundage turned into a complete miss at the lower poundage.
Scouting the area I drew my sheep tag in, at least twice a week for 2 months before my hunt, was the best "training" I could have done. It does you no good to be in shape, if you don't know where the sheep are.
I subscribe to Busta’s method. At 53, a couple knee surgerys and a current torn ACL, I have to train in moderation. NO RUNNING, no heavy pack. I simply hike up and down the only hill within 50 miles with a 25 lb. pack 6 days a week for an hour and a half to two hours a day. From past experience I know when I can go up and down that hill 10 times in a session, I’m as ready as I can be. Note the trail in the photo...that’s the trail I’ve made so far this summer.
Here’s “my hill”...With TWO sheep hunts this fall, I’ve been hitting it extra hard. Even lost 25 lbs so far...One month to go...
you guys are impressive!!
Another thing worth mentioning. Every sheep hunter suffers on a sheep hunt, and that’s all part of the mystique. You can be the most physically impressive stud on the planet, you’ll still suffer. The training simply reduces the suffering. And hopefully, it reduces it to a level you are willing to tolerate. Which brings up another really great point about sheep hunting and that’s the mental fortitude it takes to pull through the low points. I’ve hit those on almost all my high country hunts, the “what the eff am I doing here” moments when the elements, the terrain, fatigue, poor hunting or whatever just grinds you down. The funny thing is, I get back home and no matter how bad the hunt went, as soon as I’m back at my desk I’m wishing I was back in the mountains suffering again. So that’s what I focus on when I hit the low points. “Stay Positive” right? It’s easy to say, and seems so obvious. But you can get worn down. Just keep in mind the time we spend up there is a blip in our lives, it’s so precious, so suck up the pain and suffering and take one step and a time, and don’t give up, ever. Because you’d be shocked, a lot of guys do, they take that precious opportunity they have to fulfill their dreams and they bail because it’s too hard.
+1 Busta and Kota. I am on the same regimen. I start with 30# in my pack and I go up and down the ski bump by my house as many times as my legs will take me. I start out only making it a couple times. By the time September gets here I’ll be up to 50# and I’ll be able to do 6+ trips. My knees are too bad to run and I get bored on a bike or elliptical. Humping that weight makes me feel great and gets me ready for the mountains. My goal right now is to be at 190# when I leave in Sept and be up and down 7 times.
For those that haven’t sheep hunted...Read Busta’s last post, then read it again. Here’s the inside brim of my “sheep cap”. I just read it over and over during those “low points”...
I agree with Busta and Kota.
I'm back in my routine of hiking 6-7 days a week. 2-7 miles/d with 500-2000 feet elevation gain/loss with an average of 4 miles and 1000 feet per hike. I don't wear weight because I don't want the wear on my spine/knees - I just walk faster for the cardio and I can get a 6 miler/1500 ft hike done in 2 hours without a pack and that's burning my feet by the end. Most days I'm 4 miles, 1K feet in 2 hours with a break at the top to enjoy the view and some bourban. I run my stairs in boots and do the elliptical when I can't get out because of weather which is never in SoCal and 1/2 the time in Kotzebue.
Also wearing my new mountaineering boots to get them and my feet broken in. So far I'm loving them. And the bow is almost shooting darts at distances I wouldn't shoot an animal.
Hitting 7-8K feet on my daily hikes so 4K on my sheep hunt shouldn't kill me.
43 days till the bush flight in. I can't wait.
Reading the last few posts makes me really happy to live within 100 yards of a 1,700 foot tall steep, rocky “hill”. The only issue are the rattlers that raise the hair every few days. Then I’ve got several trails that go up 5,000 feet within 30 minutes. I can’t imagine having to hike a little hill 10 times to get a good workout in; you guys are hard core!
I hiked a little last night. First real hike of the year. I’m ready to rock, bring on August!!!
4 mile hikes in 1.2 hrs long but not steep hills 60# in the pack 2x week with weights on the other days. Will try to get up to 80# before I leave in mid August. Temps in the 90’s add to the fun.
In all these constructive posts (didn't read every one), I saw no mention of core training (aka Planks), nor anyone doing wind sprints coupled with all the other boots-on hill climbing, pack-carrying, altitude training, dieting, etc. Trust me, do a serious plank regimen and master it like breathing, and go out and do wind sprints religiously several times a week, and you will be ready for any high country packing.. as for those crazy sherpas, I bet their life span is half ours based on what I saw those loads they were carrying, just speculation, but that lumber-carrying dude is probably killing himself right then and there.
Trapper just to clarify, those are unskilled porters. Not Sherpa. Big difference.
My post from above. Put on a tree stand safety harness, hook it to a large truck or tractor tire and simply drag it around. If it gets too easy. Hold your breath while doing sprints. “IT WILL KEAL”
Busta has it exactly right on this one. Love the hat, kota.
Busta', that comment you made regarding "when you're back home at your desk", is SO true! You gotta go until the last day... mind over matter. Especially when you've already committed the time/work and money.
I am down 50 lbs since January 8th (182 lbs currently) when I got fed up with the way I felt and appeared. It's now 365 "sheep shape". No going backwards. It's a way of life. Now I just need a sheep tag to magically appear. :)
Damn 50 lbs in 6 months a little less. That is impressive. How long did it take you to lose the last 10? Currently I am at 192. I want below 185. I betting if I got to 182 it would be close to a perfect weight for me.
Off to the gym I hate... Um... I mean I love that place. :)
John... I just looked and I was at 192.5 on April 18. Before that point, I was at 2-3 lbs per week of weight loss. Then things slowed. Diet and exercise were the same. I was at a rate of 1 lb per week for the last 10 weeks. If I had hit cardio more I might have stayed at the 2 lbs per week rate but new work position kept me from it... or that's the excuse I'm using. Pretty comfortable at this weight. Currently building strength in the legs for Colorado. :)
Embry...That is fantastic...congrats...I too dropped 50 lbs. from my "fat years" and hope to never go back. Would like to drop another 20 before the end of the year to get to my "goal weight". With two sheep tags in my pocket this fall, I'm guessing that won't be a problem. I'm kind of "stalled out" right now and need a good extreme hunt to get me back on track. :) I haven't been under 200 lbs. for about 38 years, and probably won't quite get there but at my height and build I'm good if I can get to 215. (which was my weight my senior year of high school 36 years ago) The lowest I've been in my "adult years" is 218 after a few successive sheep/goat hunts and everyone thought I was terminally ill...
Fitting thoughts........ Going into the hunt, and what you don’t want after!
Georgetown....... Shit I’m still only in Georgetown.
Every time I think I’m going to wake up back on the mountain.
When I was home after my first hunt it was worse. I’d go to the mailbox after the draws were completed and there would be nothing.
I hardly said a word to my wife until I said yes to the divorce.
When I was here, I wanted to be there. When I was there, all I could think about was getting back up on the mountain.
I’ve been here week now, waiting for a sheep to get in a better position. Getting softer.....
Every minute I sit on this rock I get weaker, every minute that ram squats in the bush he gets stronger........Shit!
Damn, Rick, I thought you wuz lookin' purtier than usual in Omaha! Great job! Same with you, John. You've come a long way. That ram is in trouble!
My cute new girlfriend is into fitness, diet, yoga, all that stuff. She asked how it is that I never gain any weight with all the crap I eat and beer I drink. Told her the secret is in good Scotch. Miracle weight loss elixer....
I lost 50# in 4 months last summer for a goat hunt. Skip dinner equal days lifting and cardio. Try to get into uneven terrain. Tred mill at 15 deg is not a mountain side!!!!!
Or a pet tapeworm, Lou;-)
This BS driving a desk for work sucks! I miss being able to spend half my work day walking projects at over 11K and then hiking into treeline lakes to fish after work or busting up to 12K to glass deer, elk, or sheep with a bow in hand for some stumpin’.
Have been doing some kicking around and will drop 25 before I go kill a goat but not real serious about it yet. Snow has drug out way too long this year...
Still think it’s at least 90% “want to” and 10% physical. Hell, I’ve hunted with several ultra distance guys that pack it up and go home before I even get warmed up.
Glad to see a bunch of guys getting serious on getting their legs under them though! Awesome! Keep up the good work it certainly pays big dividends on the hill!
"Still think it’s at least 90% “want to” and 10% physical." I agree with that, Tavis!
Here's my "hill", which is the embankment on the side of the highway in South Tulsa. 110-120 steps up/down. It's around 40-45 degrees. I will alternate directions "side hilling" on my way down. It will get your heart rate up! I usually do 30-45 minutes. Only stopping to do my set of 15 squats at the top, each time. Best free workout in Tulsa!
That’s a helluva trail you’ve made embry. ;)
“ It’s 90% want to and ten percent physical” and so is weight loss. 90% about what you eat and 10% or less about your workout. My pack weighs enough in the mountains, I don’t need one on the front too. ;) I’m still working on my last 5-6# but dang it, Father’s Day weekend and now the 4th. I need to find some of that want to and maybe I’ll see my bottom abs for the first time in ten years, lol.
"That’s a helluva trail you’ve made embry." Those trails are also used by many others in the area like fitness groups, summer football camps, cross-fit groups, etc. All foot traffic. Good luck getting that additional off, LINK. I'm still looking to see my "bottom abs'. Seems that's where I'm holding some additional weight. Just concerned about strengthening my legs and core at this point.
Kota... Great job, man! Best of luck on your two sheep tags. Look forward to hearing of your results.
Rick that hill + Oklahoma summers heat looks miserable. No doubt you will be ready for the elk!
It is miserable, John! But, it's very convenient. Dress at work, drive to hill, (which is near the off ramp going towards my house), work out, and home by 6 pm. Good luck on getting the last bit off and your hunts this fall. Look forward to the stories!
John, how's your shooting coming? It sounds like you are going to be where you want to be physically, which is awesome. On my archery sheep hunt, I put more of an emphasis on shooting than just about anything. Granted, I'm 6' 170 lbs, so I wasn't trying to drop a lot of weight, just had to get my legs and lungs.
Coming down the homestretch, I would really emphasize shooting angles and distance.
I shoot year around. My shooting is better than my physique. However I have been doing 3-D leagues on Weds with a fairly heavy pack on. It really effects my shooting especially after wear for a while. Hard to settle in creating some bad habits. That is not something I am going to do anymore.
Rick, your hill picture made me picture a guy with a Foster's and an Australian accent saying, "Aurstralian for golf course."
Being able to shoot in S32 is a big help for sure. Especially if you’re in the timber and the sheep are out in the slides.
Sounds like you’re coasting into 6th gear.
I went on my first sheep scout of the season the last couple days. It rained, sleeted, and snowed a little 2 days ago (July 2). There's still large drifts of snow above treeline in my unit. The drifts were frozen early in the morning and a little dicey crossing on steep slopes until later in the morning when the snow started melting.
All the sheep I saw (rams and ewes) still had their shaggy winter coats and are fairly easy to spot with their light colored, bleached hair. I saw a bunch of ewes with new born lambs! There were a couple golden eagles watching them from a rock overlook. I know in Alaska they have problems with eagles snagging lambs but not sure if this also holds true in Colo? I'm sure they likely get some?
In regard to shooting with a backpack on..I likely wouldn't do it unless they are at point-blank range. If it is windy and/or you've been hiking up steep stuff you are just asking for problems. I would advise shooting off treestands from different angles to figure out how to compensate for steep hill shots. You may even put up a target on the hill you have been hiking and shoot up and down hill? I would also shoot in wind....it often is fairly windy in alpine country.
I haven't read all the posts but part of getting into sheep shape is getting used to the elevation. If coming from low elevation be sure to arrive as many days early prior to your hunt as possible. Also, it's tempting to go nuts when you first arrive but take it easy the first couple days. I try to get above 11,000 at least once a week prior to my hunt to get acclimated. I camped overnight 2 nights ago at 14,000'. The more time...the better! Drink lots of water and breath super deep breaths even when resting.
I bring a camera/camcorder on all my scouting trips. It's exciting getting video footage of rams and other wildlife/scenery. It's possible to get photos of country where you've seen sheep so you keep tabs of access routes, viewing locations, bedding vs feeding areas, etc. It's also nice to look at video/photos on the large screen where you can pick up things you don't notice. I often use this for field judging rams at home. I often bring along topo maps to write notes on. You can also do this with a gps but I'm old fashion and like the visual. I have a short memory so tend to forget a lot of details unless I spend a lot of time in the area.
Do yourself a favor and spend as much time in the sheep hills as possible! Most of my best memories have been scouting prior to the season!
Jim- yea the eagles will hunt sheep. I have a buddy who watched sheep get killed in s9 by golden eagles. Crazy
Know I’m coming into this thread late but I’m also prepping for an August Sheep Hunt (been on a few previous Ovis and Capra hunts) — since this thread already had more than enough general fitness advice, I’d like to add a few preparation few tips that help me and really didn’t see covered in much detail.
General Fitness - like most, when I booked this hunt back in January I was in poor shape. Since then lost over 25lbs, but that’s really more of a effect of just cutting out sugars and comfort food and vastly increased training 3x per week primarily focused on cardio, legs, hips, and core strength. Mid-thorax through mid-thigh will be put-to-the-test on the mountain. With only 5 weeks left I’ll seek to slightly increase gains already made and lightly increase focus on supporting areas like side-abs and inner-thigh. But be careful not to get carried away and hurt myself. In fact, from about 7-10 days out I’ll do just a few light, low impact workouts and give my body a chance to fully repair prior to the trip.
Prepping my feet - someone briefly mentioned this and I could not agree more. After suffering blisters and general foot misery on a few trips I started wearing my boots/hunting socks a lot prior to hunts and my feet always responded (I’m wearing them now). Also, side-hill in my boots as much as possible, anywhere I can. Will bring a foot care kit and use Leukotape on high-rub areas prior to heading up the mountain - the foot stress on the mountain will be far greater than anything I can do in preparation. Lastly, boots should be thoroughly broken in and waterproofed prior to the trip.
My 2 cents
Mine went a bit backwards and will be a bit more limited to the hiking I had hoped to do. Mondays MRI showed, complex medial meniscal tear with undesuface flap component. Few other less problem things. Not to exciting 8 weeks from my first sheep hunt. Decided not great choice but inject 2 weeks out, will wear a knee cage I have from past ACL, hope and just deal with it on the hunt. Was still strong for 8 miles of hills a week ago after a big pop on the first trip up the rocks
Surprised nobody posted the red flag about over-training. There is a point of "physical and psychological" tipping" or diminishing returns. Your physical benchmark progress should match your intensity to accomplish and achieve the next plateau in your training. If progress begins to wane vs. expenditures hit the brakes post haste. Over-training, believe this or not, can promote weight gain. Nutrition, including water, water, water intake of course is critical but rest and recuperation will reinvigorate your physical and mental appetite. You do not want to be in absolute peak condition BEFORE THE HUNT and your first step up but coming into "peak" coming off of a rest cycle. The physical ravages and demands of the hunt will bring you the rest of the way which your body has been prepared and expects the load. Check out the navy Seals diet and intake for altitude endurance. You may be surprised at their recommendations of which I totally agree.
I would agree that "feet" are a sheep hunter's best friend! Having a fantastic pair of boots, socks, and insoles that are time tested are one of my highest priorities while scouting and hunting. Feet/ankles that are in shape are just as important as legs and lungs!
As Rocky mentioned above it's super easy to over-train! It's important to test your body with exercise, high elevation training, etc but listen to what your body is telling you. I was a distance runner in high school and into college....I always took my pulse when I first got out of bed. It told me whether I had recovered or not from the previous day's training. I went on my first sheep scouting outing a couple days ago. I could have stayed another day or 2 but knew if I did I would likely be doing just as much bad as good. Although my mind told me I should go check out more sheep spots my body said no! It was my first trip this year at 13,000+ elevation and I covered lots of tough high elevation miles. One thing to remember is it takes more time to recover from high vs low altitude...especially if your body isn't acclimated! The last thing I wanted to do was get an injury...which was more probable hiking steep, rocky terrain when pooped! You can bet next trip out I'll be psyched and ready to go!
I had a negative issue come up to day resulting from my getting into shape. I left work to go to gym. When I got there I went to locker room to change into workout clothes. When I walked into the locker room there is a naked guy (very hair) sitting on bench. I'd say in his thirties. He has his big toe in his mouth. One of the weirdest most disturbing things I had ever seen. Then to top it off couple minutes latter he walks around the corner with a pair of gym shorts on to the urinals drops them to his ankles and takes a leak. WTF
I can certainly see that putting a damper on training! WOW