By BWB Pro-Staff Matt Breton

With August upon us, it is time to get your training ramped up for the fall.  For those of you who intended to train, but found life getting in the way up until now, take heart.  You still have time.   The fall hunting season rapidly approaching and if you’re planning on doing any training before it gets here, you really should start now.  As I’ve talked with a variety of sportsmen, it has become apparent that most people want a simple plan that delivers the results for as little time invested as possible.  The sad fact is that there is no easy way to get in shape, no magic ten day weight loss, no one exercise that gets it all done.  You’ll have to trade some time and effort to earn the ability to stay after that buck this fall.      

The key is to stay disciplined and dedicated to your routine.  Many people declare that hunting is their lifestyle, but I find that is true only inasmuch that they watch hunting shows on TV instead of some other reality show.  If hunting truly is your lifestyle, you need to keep the most important tool you have ready at all times.  This tool is not your rifle, your stand, your backpack or your wool clothes; it is your body.  If you think you are in shape, but get out of breath going up the stairs, you are not. 

Now is the time for you to get ready for the woods by getting up and working your rear end off.  We all have excuses and barriers that try to get in the way.  Try to work around those things and get some training time in.  It is never convenient or easy, but I believe it is necessary.  It can be the difference in catching up to the buck that lays down those monster tracks or not. 

With limited time, try to focus your effort.  If you have a job that keeps you strong but doesn’t get you walking at a steady pace very often (think concrete guy or carpenter) you’ll need to focus on endurance.  If you’re somebody that walks a lot but doesn’t do much heavy lifting (like a forester) you should focus on some strength training.  If you drive a desk or vehicle (office guy, trucker or modern logger) you need to do both.  Incorporate these things into the rest of your hunting preparation habits.  Sighting in your rifle?  Do some pushups or lunges in between rounds.  Going scouting?  Park further away and throw a little weight in your pack.  And during the week, before or after work, be sure to spend some time focused on your physical (and mental) fitness. 

Big Woods Bucks Bare Bones 8 Week Training Plan

Week 1: 3 walks x 20min / 1 pack walk x 45 minute / Strength training x 1 day

Week 2: 3 walks x 30min / 1 pack walk x 45min / Strength train x 1 day

Week 3: 3 walks x 30min / 1 pack walk x 60min / Strength train x 1 day

Week 4: 3 walks x 30min / 1 pack walk x 60min / Strength train x 2 days

Week 5: 3 walks x 45min / 1 pack walk x 60min / Strength train x 2 days

Week 6: 4 walks x 45min / 1 pack walk x 75min / Strength train x 2 days

Week 7: 3 walks x 45min / 2 pack walk x 75min / Strength train x 2 days

Week 8: 3 walks x 45min / 2 pack walk x 90min / Strength train x 2 days


Start with a pack at 10# and build up to 30+ pounds by the end of the cycle.  If you are headed west on a backpack hunt, make sure to build up to 80+ pounds to be prepared for packing an animal out.

For strength training there are a lot of options, but as a basic workout  the below will cover the basics.  Try to perform:

Lunges: 3 sets x 10 reps each side

Pack Rows: 3 sets x 10 each side

Pushups: 3 sets of 10

Pack Deadlift: 3 sets of 10

Getups: 3 sets of 3 on each side

Log or Sled Drag: 3 reps of 30-60 seconds each

Suitcase Carry: 3 reps of 30-60 seconds each

Plank: 3 reps of 30 seconds

 How many of these do you think you will do in a day?


Remember to work hard, stay disciplined and train with the last day in mind.

Contact Matt B at with any questions or if you need some help getting ready for this fall.

Stay after ‘em!