Is Your Training Hunt Specific?

August 31, 2020

Greg Ray

In Part III of this series I shared my daily workout routine with you. While this routine has served me well, I have some specific goals I need to meet for a hunt coming up.  My recent trip to Wyoming told me that I need some more work on my short burst (short quick run up the mountain to get a shot on a mule deer) cardio and on my glutes and quads to get up steep inclines. My ideal weight going in would be around 190, I am currently about 200 pounds, so I have a good 10 pounds to lose in the next 10 plus weeks.

What Idaho lacks in elevation it more than makes up for in the angle of your ascent.

My mule deer hunt is in the Salmon region of Idaho. I will be hunting on foot out of a spike camp for 7 days, in elevations that will range from around 6500’ to just under 8,000’ and it is all very steep. To help me prepare specifically for this hunt, I have enlisted the help of Matt Hewett, 3X CrossFit Games Affiliate Cup Champion and Kevin Guillen from Wilderness Athlete to help me fine tune my nutrition and training.

Matt Hewett 3X Crossfit Games Affiliate Cup Champion

Matt Hewett is no stranger to fine tuning a routine to get the most performance out of the human body. As a professional strength, conditioning, and performance coach at the collegiate level, and a 3x champion at the CrossFit Games level, Hewett gave us his adjustments and perspective on Greg’s routine to get him as mountain ready as possible.

Overall, I really like what Greg has put together. I made a few changes that I would personally recommend to anyone that is training for a hunt like this. I added in a little more basic strength work for him to add to his routine. It is important to maintain overall strength throughout this process as well as keep him injury free. I also put in some odd object carry’s that would tax his core and lower body. Greg is going to be going over some rough uneven terrain and odd object exercises are a great way to train the body for the unpredictable tasks. An example would be a farmer’s carry. Lastly, he needed at least one day of extended aerobic conditioning. This is a slow jog, bike, or swim that exceeds 40:00. Greg is going to need this because he is going to be on his feet for a long period of time for multiple days. His Tue./Thur. conditioning routine is good, but a more focused and unbroken form of aerobic exercise for a minimum of 40 minutes will translate well into the demands he will face on the mountain.”

Pull ups with 3 different grips is very challenging

Three-Day Split Hypertrophy / Basic Strength 

Day 1 – Pull Weeks 1 & 3

A) Deadlift 4×8 

B1) Mix Grip Pull-ups – Neutral, Close Wide 3 x 4 each 

B2) DB Shoulders shrugs 3×12-15 

C) Single arm bent over row 3×12 

D) Dumbbell lateral raises 3×12 

E1) Band Face Pulls 3 x 12 

E2) Biceps curls 3×10-15 

F)1 Plank Hold 2 x 1:00 

F2) Sit-ups 

Day 1 – Pull Weeks 2 & 4 

A) Deadlift 2 x 4, 2 x 3 – Moderate to Heavy 

B1) Chin-ups 4 x 8 

C) DB Farmer’s Carry 3 x 40 yards 

D) Weighted Inverted Row 4 x 6-8 

E1) Cuban Press 3 x 10 *use 5-10lb plates 

E2)   Band Face Pulls 3 x 12 

F) DB Hammer Curls 3 x 12 

G1) Side Plank Hold 2 x :30 

G2) Leg Raises 2 x 15 

Day 2 – Legs/Hips Weeks 1 & 3 

A) Back squat 4 x 10  

B) DB Single Leg Squat 3 x 6 each 

C) Kettlebell Front Rack Lateral Lunge 3 x 4 each 

D) Barbell Romanian Deadlift 3 x 8 

E) Single leg glute bridge 3×15 

E2) DB Calf raise 3×15 

Day 2 – Legs/Hips Weeks 2 & 4 

A) Back squat 2 x 5, 2 x 3   

B) Front squats 3 x 8 

C) DB Box Step-up + opposite Leg Drive 3 x 6 each leg 

D) Kettlebell Single Leg Romanian Deadlift 3 x 6 

E) Weighted Hip Bridge 3 x 5 *use loaded barbell *

F) Kettlebell Front Rack Walk 3 x 40 Yards 

Day 3 – Push Weeks 1 & 3 

A) DB Bench press 4×8 

B) Barbell incline press 3×12 

C) DB overhead press 4×10-12 

D) Close-grip push up 3×12-15 

E) DB 3 Way Raises (front, side, bent over) 3 x 8 each 

F) DB Triceps extensions 3×12 

G1) Reverse Sit-ups 2 x 15

G2) Russian Twists 2 x 20 

Day 3 – Push Weeks 2 & 4 

A) Barbell Bench Press 2 x 5, 2 x 3 

B) DB Incline Bench Press 4 x 8 

C) Barbell Push Press 4 x 5 

D) Wide Stance Push-ups 3 x 12-15 

E) Band or Ring TYW  3 x 8 each 

F) Weighted Bench Dips 3 x 12 

G1) Weighted Sit-ups 2 x 20

G2) V-ups 2 x 10 

Tuesday – 3-mile weighted walk 

Thursday – off 

Saturday or Sunday – 40:00 minimum easy jog or 1-hour bike 

The Deadlift is one of the best overall single lifts available for engaging multiple muscle groups.

Recovery, recovery, recovery. Often the most under focused aspect of our performance as athletes, recovery is often a pivitol factor in how a backcountry hunt will go. Hopefully you’ve put in the work through the Spring and Summer to up your strength, endurance, and rate of recovery as well. Now it’s time to shift your nutrition and rest days to maximize how quickly you can bounce back, ultimately helping you hunt as hard on day 5 as you did on day 1 and 2.

On a hunt there are always a few key things I bring with me to maximize my recovery at night. I pack these pills and powders in small zip lock bags so minimize on weight and space. However, this routine should begin weeks before Greg’s hunt to make sure he’s going into it as close to 100% as possible.  

Midnight Built – Quality sleep is your best friend, it’s when our bodies do the majority of muscle and tissue repair. A trick to maximize the repair you accomplish during sleep is to use a recovery aid like Midnight Build which improves blood circulation, hormonal release, and blood vessel relaxation during sleep.

Recovery is as important if not more important than the work itself. Especially for those of us that have a few miles on us.

Unplug – If you’re someone who struggles to sleep well through the night, this melatonin free sleep aid will help you achieve restorative sleep. Without melatonin, you won’t have any trouble waking up either.

Hydrate & Recover Packets – Hydrated cells are healthy cells, and rapid muscle recovery isn’t possible without adequate hydration. The added BCAAs also jumpstart the rebuilding process of your damaged muscles and tissues.

Brute Strength Protein – I mix up a shake every evening to give my body an added boost of protein, anti-inflammatories, creatine, and BCAAs that will reduce soreness, tightness, and fatigue.

A well-rounded diet that includes a lot of protein, fats, and carbs is the foundation you need for any of this to maximize the quality of your recovery. Without it, you’re on borrowed time.  



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