4 Workouts You Can Do Now to Get in Mountain Shape

Jul 6, 2022 | Whitetail Hunting | 0 comments

Time deficit

The world is never overgiving of its time. They say time flies, and the only opportunity we have to catch it is in those fleeting moments of our busy lives. With the hunts not far away, time to get in mountain shape is now, and needs to be captured in the few remaining moments we have. Most hunters are the blue collar, busy-kind of people. We work hard and have relationships to nurture so spending exuberant amounts of time exercising sometimes isn’t an option. So what do we do? We prioritize. We do what we have to, so we can do what we want to.

Ounces and Pounds

So many of us backcountry hunters focus on shaving ounces with ultra-light hunting gear when paradoxically we ignore where we really carry the extra weight, in our bodies. Why focus on the ounces when you can lighten your backcountry load by pounds. It’s kind of silly if you think about it. Hunters drool over a new ultra-light piece of gear that will lighten a pack by 6 ounces, all the while not exercising for two weeks during which they could have cut 4 pounds. Cutting meaningful weight in the backcountry starts with focusing on the right goal, a better, healthier self. It’s where we have the greatest opportunity to make the biggest difference.

4 Exercises for Hunters Short on Time

With the season creeping up and knowing hunters are busy doing what they need to do now, we’ve put together a list of 4 exercise activities for those short on time – that relate directly to hunting. On the mountain you will need a healthy set of lungs and a healthy heart when climbing steep terrain or sprinting to get into shooting position. Likewise, you need strong legs, a strong back, and a tight core when breaking down and packing out an animal. Below we have suggested two cardio exercises and two strength exercises. Now get to it.


Pictured above is BaseMap user Jessica Crane on a weighted pack hike near her home in the Pacific Northwest.

1. Weighted Pack Training

This exercise activity utilizes what you already have. A backpack, stuff that weighs something, and feet. You don’t need to purchase a fancy frame you can attach weights to, just load up what you have and go. Go around the block, neighborhood, stairs at the local stadium, or trails around where you live. You may consider putting a dumbbell or kettlebell inside your pack. You can find them at WalMart for just a few dollars.

2. Running

You might not want to hear this but running is something anyone can do, you don’t need any equipment, is technically “easy”, and is excellent for your heart and lungs. With this in mind, running is different for everyone. You don’t need to run a marathon, you just need to start somewhere. It could be as simple as running around the block, taking another lap while walking, and then running once more around the block. Don’t like running on roads? Go to the local high school and run stairs in the football stadium or run intervals at the local trail. Very few of us actually love running, you just need to do it regardless.


1. HIIT (high-intensity interval training) Workouts

For the most part, shedding antlers is based on random timing during the day. A deer’s antlers are just as likely to fall off in the morning as they are in the afternoon. Since it can happen anytime, the most likely places to find shed antlers are where deer spend the majority of their time. In our opinion, bedding areas, feeding areas and travel routes between offer a high probability of finding shed antlers.

5 Rounds of:

  • x20 weighted step-ups/li>
  • x20 pushups
  • :30 second plank
  • 50 yard sprints, :20 second jump rope, or 10 burpees
  • 1 minute rest
  • Repeat
Equipment needed: a cooler, archery target or something similar to step on and off will work fantastic. Use dumbbells, kettlebells, or a weighted pack for your weight resistance.

2. Lunge / Shoulder Press Complex (back, core, shoulder, & leg workout)

5 Rounds

Equipment needed: dumbbells or kettlebells

Instructions: Grab your dumbbells or kettlebells and keep them tight to your chest as you lunge forward. When you come up from your lunge, press the weights over your head to the sky. Repeat the process 20 times, or 10 lunges per leg. Mix this with some type of cardio i.e. running, sprints, jump rope, or burpees.

What You Eat

No need to spend a lot of time on this. We all know better when it comes to eating and what’s good and what’s not. Also, it’s been said you can’t out-exercise your diet. Remember that. Diet is up to you, but one thing we will suggest is, KICK THAT SODA HABIT. It has no nutritional value whatsoever and only hurts you.


Motivation isn’t linear, it’s more of a stochastic roller coaster of varying peaks and valleys, and everyone’s ride is different. You need to find what motivates you. And when your motivation wanes, find something else. Motivation differs as much as we individually differ.

Mental Health

Your cognitive health will benefit as much as your physical health. The release of dopamine when you exercise has long-term effects mentally. You’ll feel like a winner. When you feel like a winner, you’ll act like a winner. Now get out and win.
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