With bow in hand and shooting buddies beside me we enter the archery club on a sunny summer’s day.  A familiar friend approaches carrying a fishing rod and a smile.  He jokingly slaps his own six-pack abs, “this is what a bowhunter’s body looks like boys.” This man is in his early sixties walking up from his fishing hole with back pack and no shirt on.  He’s in great physical shape and he always says, “never trust a skinny cook.” That’s usually when he walks away from the barbecue, unless it’s his own venison steaks or sausages he’s cooking to share with others.

Any successful bow hunter knows that in order to be ready for big game hunting a lot of prep work is required: hanging tree-stands, checking trail cams, replenishing food-plots or even growing your own food plots includes just some of that prep.  One thing that can be overlooked during white-tail season (potentially also everyday life) is – health and fitness. What’s the point of showering twice on opening day with human odour killing soap and shampoo, putting on face paint, washing your hunting gear in special ( and expensive ) scent free soap TWO times if on your way to the stand you are profusely sweating because you spent all summer drinking beer poolside or by the campfire instead of doing squats and some cardio.

He jokingly slaps his own six-pack abs, “this is what a bowhunter’s body looks like boys.”

This year I changed things up a little bit.  I’ve been going to the gym since I was a skinny pre-teen hell bent on gaining some weight so I could finally stand up to my older and much bigger brother.  So I needed to do something different to keep things fresh and new.  I’ve always loved leg day and I try to incorporate core and balance training into almost every workout I do.  Before you read this four letter word and say ” NO WAY ” and click on the back button hear me out – Yoga.  We spend countless hours standing or sitting in a tree-stand. The wind rocking the tree back and forth.  This takes up a lot of energy while your core is engaged in keeping you balanced throughout your sit. Your core strength and your cardio have an important role in keeping you comfortable and energized while in the stand.  Yoga is a great way to work on your cardio, core strength and flexibility.

Horiz Banner – Season 2

Before we pull up our yoga pants and start searching songza for some “zen yoga sounds” I want to talk about strength and cardio training.  Every year I start to train hard in January back at the gym. I go really hard into late spring until the weather gets too hot and the gym seems like such a daunting task. Like most people, summer is filled with much better and more fun things to do then pump iron and race around the gerbil track. That’s why I make my winter and spring training count. The idea of trying to get back into the gym during the fall season is almost impossible.

It’s January now and after a fun food-filled Christmas, like most new year’s resolution makers, I’m ready to get back into the gym so I don’t look like this in the tree-stand this year.

Stay tuned for the coming months I will be posting a series of work-outs that I do to get myself into shape for life and hunting season!

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A Bowhunter’s Guide to Fitness – Part 1

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