Hunter Fitness: Are You Whitetail Strong?

You don’t have to be a marathon runner or CrossFit competitor to kill a big buck, but being physically fit can increase your odds for success in the whitetail woods.

Hunter Fitness: Are You Whitetail Strong?

A small tote (or a cooler) can be utilized as a simple bench press setup — just add weights.

I understand the title of this article might tempt the reader to ask the question: What is whitetail strong? Well, let me provide my definition. I pursue whitetail with a passion, so my answer is, “being in good enough shape to do so.” Depending on the type of hunting you do, your answer is likely different from mine.

To delve deeper, becoming whitetail strong doesn’t mean you have to fork out $100/month for a gym membership or spend countless hours there pumping iron. Above all else, it does NOT require posting your bicep pictures on Instagram!

Conversely, becoming whitetail strong means outlining and following a workout routine designed to get fit. The range of solutions are diverse from simple body-weight workouts all the way to hiring a personal trainer. However, with minimal tools you can train in the comfort of your own home.

The following is the routine I utilize to keep fit. Let me preface this with two disclaimers. First, I am NOT a licensed personal trainer or a medical doctor, nor am I claiming to be. Second, I am NOT a beast of a man; I’m 5 feet 8 inches, 160 pounds. My one and only goal for writing this is simple: Provide inspiration for anyone looking to get into better shape in preparation for hunting season.

My Whitetail Strong Routine

Monday: Chest/Triceps

  • Bench press (dumbbell)
  • Triceps press (seated/dumbbell)
  • Push-ups (bodyweight or weighted backpack)

Tuesday: Run (3 to 7 miles)

Wednesday: Legs/Shoulders

  • Goblet squat (dumbbell)
  • Romanian split squat (dumbbell)
  • Overhead press (dumbbell)
  • Shoulder stabilization exercises (elastic band) 

Thursday: Run (3 to 7 miles) 

Friday: Biceps/Back

  • Biceps curl (dumbbell)
  • One arm row (dumbbell)
  • Upright row (heavy elastic band) 

Saturday: Off 

Sunday: Long run twice a month (8 to 16 miles)

I follow this routine in some format for the majority of the year with a few caveats. First, during hunting season, all bets are off! Second, if I’m trying to increase my cardio capacity, I will drop the leg workout and run three times that week. On those weeks, I will move run days to Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and lift on Tuesday and Thursday. 

A friend of mine — who will remain nameless (Randy Servis) — subscribes to the, you-only-have-so-many-heartbeats theory. If there is any truth to this, my suggestion is to use them wisely. For us whitetail fanatics, that means use them to get and stay fit, to live, to enjoy the company of our loved ones and to pursue whitetail with an undying passion.

As always, if there is a topic you would like to see highlighted or expanded upon in the pages of Whitetail Journal, please do not hesitate to send me an email with your thoughts:


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