April 09, 2019 3 min read

By Built4TheHunt Trainer: Courtney Perez 

At Built4TheHunt we have combined two worlds that for a long time have been separate entities. For years the gym rats stayed in the gym grunting and drinking their protein, and the hunters stayed outdoors in camo. At Built4TheHunt we realize that hunting and fitness are two passions that can easily go hand in hand. There are now niche markets for personal trainers that prepare clients for the sole purpose of increasing their effectiveness and stamina while in the field.

Workouts for hunters are, like any other clients’, situation dependent. You must take many factors into account. Each species comes with unique needs and requirements for a successful stalk/hunt. If you haven’t figured it out already, when deciding what to do in the gym, you will need to decide what your goals will be and then focus on the type of hunt that you are training for.  After plugging in these two factors, we can develop the right routine for you. Here is what I recommend you focus on based on these animal specific hunts:

Whitetail / Plains Mule Deer

Bow hunters- refer to the exercise plan for bow hunt training (Basic Plan to Increase Your Draw Weight). For hunters using a rifle, a suggestion for those that hunt from a stand focus on mainly weight training, for those using the spot and stalk technique while weight training is extremely important, incorporating more endurance training and cardio is also highly recommended.

Western Elk

Cardio, elevation training, legs, endurance, and core are the main training factors to focus on when hunting elk.  The variables of this hunt would be dependent on if the hunter is hiking in, packing out, or horse hunting.  If you are bow hunting, again refer to the bow draw weight workout (Basic Plan to Increase Your Draw Weight).

Sheep and Mountain Goats

This is by far the most intensive training regime. It requires those that complete it to have physical and mental endurance.  A favorite exercise of mine for sheep and mountain goats is to have my clients bring their actual pack with them to the gym, strap up and get on the stair climber.  I focus on a lot of lower body exercises and of course cardio.  For my clients hunting sheep and mountain goats, I would rather them have stamina and endurance over speed and agility so longer workouts are ideal.

Alaskan Bear Hunts/ Western Black Bear

Some hunters choose to bear bait which requires a bear stand, however you can have as just as much luck by spot and stalk hunting. For the hunts requiring stands, I work predominately on weight training with minimal cardio.  For the spot and stalk bear hunters I suggest incorporating as much cardio as you can handle, if you’re not a cardio person I suggest getting yourself a .460… you know, just in case.

Moose & Caribou

These hunts can depend on the terrain but hunters should be ready to face anything, so workouts focusing on endurance are most important especially if it is a hike in hunt. Cardio, legs, and core workouts should be included however, weight training is of the utmost importance when hunting for animals as large in size as these.  Depending on what kind of equipment you have or don’t have for that matter, and how many hunters are with you, chances are you will be hauling a large and very heavy piece of meat on your way back out, that is the goal at least.  So being able to endurance train with a heavy pack, may aid in the packing out part of these types of hunts.


Be sure to Follow Courtney and her page @courtney.michaela.perezand look for more training articles and tips for her in the near future!

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