"Bottom line: being healthy and active should be the baseline from which you set higher training standards."
There is a common misconception among hunters that an active lifestyle and experience in the mountains are enough to prepare you for a backcountry hunt. Staying active and spending time in the environments you hunt are undoubtedly important, but committing to specialized training for grueling pursuits has exponential benefits for the backcountry hunter: it increases your odds, enhances your enjoyment of the hunt, helps to prevent injury, and better prepares you for the inevitable challenges the mountains will throw at you.
As hunters, we spend countless hours dialing in our weapons, gear, and vehicles while painstakingly poring over maps and every theoretical aspect of a hunt. Why then wouldn’t we extend the same dedication to mental and physical toughness?
While we are all guilty of complacency from time to time, successful hunters know that as soon as you let your guard down you’re likely to miss the opportunity you’ve worked so hard for. Safely navigating remote and rugged environments, putting yourself into positions of success, making an ethical kill, and hauling a harvest off the mountain requires unrelenting grit no matter your experience or activity level. Whether you’re preparing for your first big game hunt or you’re a seasoned big game hunter, comprehensive preparedness is not a nice-to-have; it is essential to giving the pursuit the respect it deserves.
If any of the mindsets below sound familiar, we are here to help you replace bad habits with specialized training regimes that can help you become the absolute best version of yourself for the hunt ahead.
"I'M HEALTHY AND ACTIVE"
This might be the most common mistake people make. While obviously important, being active and healthy is simply not enough. Mountain hunting requires much more than your average training. Carrying a weapon and heavy pack for days on end bushwhacking up and down remote mountain canyons, being mentally prepared to stay in the game and make the right decisions, and then being strong enough to make the multiple trips necessary to haul out a harvest all require every ounce of preparation you can muster.
Bottom line: being healthy and active should be the baseline from which you set higher training standards.
"I SPEND ENOUGH TIME IN THE MOUNTAINS"
If this is your excuse to not properly train for a hunt, you may not be learning enough from your time in the mountains. Mountain environments are unpredictable and unforgiving. What’s more, hunting is wholly different than any other mountain pursuit. Being prepared is being humble. While your past experience is invaluable, it does not mean you are ready for the hunt. Take your experience and build on it by committing to learn how to be stronger and more mentally tough each season.
In the same way you should make time to dial in and practice with a weapon to ensure a good kill, you must make time to hone your mental and physical strength. It doesn’t need to require a gym membership, and it doesn’t mean you have to spend thousands of dollars on a home gym. It also doesn’t mean you have to spend several hours working out every day. We all lead busy lives, but training even 20 minutes 2-3 times per week will make a huge difference in your readiness. Set micro goals, stick to a routine, and take your training as serious as you take the hunt.
"I DON'T HAVE A HOME GYM OR TIME TO WORKOUT"
The MTNTOUGH KB20 is a perfect at-home training program ideal for beginner and elite. The KB20 program focuses on leg strength, endurance, and mental toughness. And you can do this workout anywhere for just 40 to 50 minutes.
MTNTOUGH believes that mental toughness is just as important as physical strength and that the strongest muscle in the human body is the one between your ears. With a coaching staff comprised of former Navy SEALs, Army Rangers, and renowned physical trainers—the workouts aren’t easy. The goal is to prepare clients for both the unthinkable and the everyday—to have the mental capacity and physical stamina to self-rescue in an emergency, or grind through a 12-hour workday and still play with the kids after dinner. Ara Megerdichian, MTNTOUGH coach and former U.S. Army officer and Ranger, believes the best way to harden the mind is by reaching and exceeding physical boundaries, by taking challenges once considered impossible and making them attainable and repeatable