Physical Preparation for Africa?

Discussion in 'Before & After the Hunt' started by Rich219, Jul 15, 2012.

  1. Rich219

    Rich219 AH Member

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    It looks like I might be able to schedule a trip to SA next and I want to make sure I am physically prepared for the trip. What does everyone do (aside from normal exercise) to physically prepare for their hunts? Any advice and recommendations would be appreciated.
     
  2. saeng101

    saeng101 AH Veteran

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    Unless you are hunting steep you will not find it very strenuous. Most plains game is in relatively flat areas, kudu an exception.
     
  3. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    X2 but the better shape you arrive in the better off you will be. Depending where and what you are hunting there are varying degrees of fitness required. I always reccomend climbing stairs to get in shape. That strengthens both the muscles that you use on flat ground and in the hills.
     
  4. Second Wind

    Second Wind AH Enthusiast

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    Glad to have you aboard RichKn

    I, too am in the process of getting in shape to go to Africa and I have to tell you the prospect of a trip like this is a great motivator.

    I took the systematic approach and interviewed a fair number of PH's as well as people that have spent considerable time in Africa and it all pretty much came to the same thing.

    Your hunting success in Africa is substantially enhanced by your ability to cover ground.

    I started out as an overstressed, overweight executive and 6 months later I now do 5 miles a day with a 40lb weighted vest and a 12 lb 48" bar simulating the weight of a rifle.

    If for some reason I miss a day I kick that up to 7 1/2 miles

    I can cover the 5 miles in a tad under 90 minutes so it doesn't take a tremendous amount of time.

    Not bad, I don't think for a man pushing 60

    The by product is I have lost weight, blood pressure down, blood glucose down VO2 way up so its hard to see the downside...

    I guess I just needed a little motivation.

    trick is, start slow and progress, it will come

    If you want more information on the program I am on just PM me and I will send you all the details

    btw, my personal physician has hunted to Africa about 6 times
     
  5. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Good to hear someone actually enjoying excersise. I think that is the key to sticking to it. It doesent take most folks long to get tired of staring at a wall or a bunch of sweaty dudes to lose interest.
     
  6. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    I just thought of a couple other "excersises" that would be of benefit. This year I was hunting in fairly open country and had to crawl while pushing my gun ahead of me at a good pace for a good distance and found that I became winded much (vastly) quicker than when walking or climbing. I say at the tisk of looking like an idiot I would crawl at a fast pace pushing Secondwinds bar or a pack with some weight as well as setting it on your lap and crab crawling. Even if you are in shape, you will be suprised how much of a workout it is to cover any real distance.
     
  7. Second Wind

    Second Wind AH Enthusiast

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    Diamondhitch,

    Sounds like a valuable concept,

    Human structure was designed for bipedal motion and when you have to fold up and crawl a could pf things happen

    First, you are giving up your design advantage, and;

    Second, as you discovered, the crawling motion incorporates a different set of muscles and places the muscles you develop in walking or jogging at a decided mechanical disadvantage

    Altogether a good point, I will try a little of that tomorrow, check the obits in Wednesday's paper to determine results
     
  8. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Maybe try it while wearing fatigues and throw in some diving rolls just to freak out the neibors! LOL
     
  9. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Ah crap i was really thinking of trying some excersise , but that image has removed it from my brain!!:laughing::draught:
     
  10. Diamondhitch

    Diamondhitch AH Legend

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    Ah, come on, nobody said you had to wink at them!!! ;)
     
  11. gillettehunter

    gillettehunter AH Fanatic

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    Some african hunts require a fair amount of physical effort. I've only been 2 times and neither was excessively physical. Both were plains game and more spot and stalk using a vehicle to cover ground. Exceptions were my Nyala and Bushbuck. If you are buffalo hunting be prepared to do 5-15 miles a day in the heat. Talk to your PH about how he prefers to hunt. Or better yet decide how you want to hunt. I enjoyed getting out of the truck and doing some walking. Just make sure they have water!! Last trip my PH was 23 years old and took me on a 3 mile walk w/ no water. I was a bit dry when we got back.... Bruce
     
  12. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    that involves excersise though ... doesnt it?.........:crazylol:
     
  13. spike.t

    spike.t GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    before you leave the vehicle especially on buf/ele hunts have a good drink of water before setting off on the tracks. chances are since you got up you will only have had a cup of coffee, and a glass of fruit juice or water with breakfast, this doesnt exactly hydrate your body and set you up for a genteel walk of poss up to 15 plus, and that can occasionally be a big plus miles in the bush.
     
  14. bluebill

    bluebill New Member

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    I just recently returned from my first trip to Africa, we hunted in some pretty hilly terrain in Namibia. Being able to compare the physical requirements to other hunts I've taken in the North America, I'll offer this.

    Diamondhitch hit it - the better shape you're in, the better off you'll be. You'll be able to hunt longer, harder, and be more in tune with your PH. Mine was a 27 year old that could run like a gazelle. I knew if I could keep up with him, I'd optimize my success and ensure a good hunt. I did just that, because I keep myself in good shape. After day 2 of our hunt, I was glad that I did. Talk with your PH and make sure he understands your limitations if you have any. I'm going back next year, and here's a few things I'll do to better prepare.

    1. Plyometrics, or any form of jump training combined with balance. Will tighten your core, and put your feet in tune with the rest of your body. I found that walking, or running, in the rocky terrain placed a premium on being able to trust your legs and balance was key.

    2. Hiking, with your boots. Get you a weight vest, and strike out in some hilly terrain. Don't just walk, see number 3.

    3. Sprints, in some form of terrain. Practice sprinting, or minimally taking a fast jog, up and down hills for short distances. Walk a mile, then sprint at the end of it. More importantly, practice your breathing when you stop. I shot 7 animals on my trip, and 3 of them came at the end of long stalks where we covered ground quickly to take the shot. Being out of breath is part of it, and it takes some practice to slow your breath and hold a steady shot. The better able you are to quickly regain your breath and relax, the better off you'll be.

    Just my thoughts. Hope they help, and good luck on your trip!!
     
  15. Rich219

    Rich219 AH Member

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    This was good info for me. I've shattered my left ankle and leg and tore multiple ligaments in my right ankle so I'll keep your advice in mind.
     
  16. nieluyssafaris

    nieluyssafaris AH Senior Member

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    RichKn,

    maybe this is a good time for you to practice on the shooting range!

    Hope your injury's get well soon!:sharpshooter:
     
  17. Rich219

    Rich219 AH Member

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    The injuries are old injuries, the oldest being 15 years ago but it still results in me not being the most balanced person when it comes to being on my feet.

    I do however spend plenty of time on the shooting range. I think I probably spend more time shooting that many people do working.
     

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