Healthy Hunting: Working Out for Hunting Success, Start Now!

Have you ever found yourself completely winded after reaching the top of a ridge? If so, you might consider your plan for continuing to enjoy the sport longterm. When I reflect on my hunting career, my first priority has always been my physical health.

I find pleasure in seeing new places and getting off the beaten path which is the majority of the reason we all enjoy being in the outdoors. Being able to hike for longer and hike terrain inaccessible by 4-wheelers is game changing when it comes to hunting. Some might start training their physical fitness about two months before the hunting season. I would argue that to make the most of the season and be able to conquer more challenging terrain, hunters should be motivated to stay in shape year-round.

Weekday mornings are spent in the gym, strength-training and working on cardio.

What type of hunter are you? Do you prefer to hunt alone, or do you prefer to hunt in a group? If you are a solohunter, most likely you will find it satisfying to find a fitness routine that you can do by yourself. If you are a group hunter and find it more helpful and enjoyable to tag along with a group of friends, that’s the type of fitness routine you might consider. 

Having a consistent routine makes it easier to achieve your fitness goals and stick to them. You reach a fitness goal when you successfully perform a physical task which you couldn’t complete prior as a result of physical training. It is helpful to write down your goals and place them somewhere where you can see them every day.  Your goals should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Results-focused, and Time-bound.  If you can’t think of a specific fitness goal, then make a goal of sticking to a routine. If you are going to a gym with a group of friends, tell them your goals and hold each other accountable.

On the weekends I like to load up the pack with some weight and hit the hills.

In today’s world, physical fitness is becoming more popular in the sport of hunting. There are several resources I look to for tips, motivation, and ways to mix up my fitness routine throughout the year. Podcasts such as “Elk Shape,” and “Gritty Bowman” are my go-tos for talk on hunting and fitness. I also do best in a group setting and joined a gym that conducts group classes to hold me accountable.  When I get bored with my routine, I change it up and throw my pack on, add some weight and hit the trails. My love for hunting and being able to hike and hunt hard without feeling like I might die before I get back to the pickup is a good motivator for me. I encourage you to set a goal and find the fire that keeps you going to get outside and enjoy what we all love most.

Day 1:
Back Squat 3 set of 10

Ab Sets
In outs 10 Weighted Sit-up 10
Russian Twists 10

Dumbell Bench 3 sets of 10

3 Point Row 3 sets of 10

Inverted Row 3 sets of 10


Position 1 of 3 point row.

Position 2 of 3 point row.

Position 3 of 3 point row.


Bicep Curl on tower 3 sets of 10

Tricep Pushdown on tower 3 sets of 10

YTLI 3 sets of 5

Day 2:
RDL with Bar
3 sets of 10

Plank 30 seconds/Side Plank 15 Seconds Each 3 sets

Shoulder Press 3 sets of 10

Assisted Pull Up 3 sets of 5

Assisted Tricep Dips 3sets of 5

Kettle Bell Swings 3 sets of 12

Goblet Squat 3 sets of 12


Position 1 of Goblet Squat.

Position 2 of Goblet Squat (be sure to get past 90 degrees and keep your knees behind your toes)


Cardio Days:

Day 1:
1 Minute 50% max effort sprint

1 Minute max effort sprint

Alternating for 30 minutes.

Day 2:
5 Minutes Running

5 Minutes Rowing machine

5 Minutes Elliptical

Repeat cycle 5 times.


*Increase by 5% weight each week.



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About the author: Robert Loesch has been in the Hunting and Sporting Goods industry for over 10 years. He’s an avid outdoorsman and hunter. You can Follow Robert on Instagram: @rk_loe37

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Dillon January 7, 2020, 1:00 pm

    And while rowing is a great exercise with some resistance, people could benefit greatly from more focused and direct work.

  • Mike Olindo January 10, 2019, 12:47 pm

    Great reminder, vita brevis hunting is a year round activity, exercise routines can oscillate between minimal / maximal, most important they be regular, daily and hit your sweat point. Hunters from 14 to 84 will have different goals and abilities, and all should realize that to enjoy the sport you have to be fit. Equally important is the time you spend in the outdoors, whether in the woods, a park or pond maintaining your eyes and ears sensitive to wildlife hidden or obvious. Healthy muscles will not not help you see the buck standing 20 feet off the trail you’re racing on to get to the top of the mountain. Maintain regular schedule for physical fitness to enjoy as a hunting goal.

  • Alan Robinson January 10, 2019, 9:18 am

    While all well and good, free weights are NOT really what most hunters need.
    One of the best cardio and overall workouts is with a rower, and a good high end unit will benefit nearly ALL levels from entry to those already in good shape.
    If a hunter is in average shape, just 20 -30 minutes a day to start and working up from there will yield great results in short time .
    Older hunters and those with medical issues should consult an expert first of course, and not all Doctors are going to be educated in this area.
    In addition, Planking is a VERY underrated method to strengthen that Core, and can be done almost anywhere.
    It’s the Core that most hunters need to address, cardio vascular is the key.

    • Dillon January 7, 2020, 12:53 pm

      I disagree. Everyone could benefit from resistance training. Cardio alone is alright, but every study shows that resistance training keeps your body in working condition as you age. Lean muscle mass percentage is the main factor when it comes to mobility and physical fitness as people age.

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