Pre Safari Physical Training P.T.

Rare Breed

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Power walk 30-35 miles per week every week. 3 months before Safari I go to a mountain 30 minutes away twice per week and power walk up the mountain with my backpack with a 30 pound weight in it. The mountain has a very steep climb which kicks my butt. This gets me where I want to be
In addition to the above I now will be doing all my walking with a 15 pound cardio bar I bought to simulate my 11 pound DR 3 months before my safari
 

mdwest

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For folks looking for hunt related physical training... I recommend you take a look at these guys:


they have some serious, world class athletes putting together their programs (professional strongmen, military SOF officers, etc).. all of them are extremely experienced hunters (across a wide variety of hunting situations..)... and... you're supporting a US military veterans organization as well (the owner/founder is currently serving in eastern Europe as an officer in the 4th ID)... he also happens to be the son of a very good friend of mine (in the interest of full disclosure))...

they also have some pretty nice (and well made) logo'd materials.. hats, shirts, hoodies, etc..

their podcast is well done and they have some interesting guests... and their social media is worth looking at if you're into that sort of thing as well...
 

fourfive8

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Pays to do it even for Africa which usually may only involve sand and heat over distance with no game retrieval. Not quite the same as mountain hunts or pack frame game retrieval of moose, large bear or DIY remote elk. My routine is load my pack with a bag of two sand and walk, walk, walk to get ready a month or two before the hunt.
 

IvW

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Yes a reasonable amount of fitness is required.....and a lot depends on what species and where you hunt....being a over weight slob booking a hunt in the mountains for a Vaal rhebuck....well aint gonna work so well...

General pg hunt a lot of walking....dg add some weight carrying....mountain hunt obviously some mountain work....

Most importantly be "competent fit" with your rifle...
 

Angelo_orygun

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Moral of the story, don't neglect incline training in addition to cardio and weights.

I’ll second Tanks comment about incline training.

I ran a 50k trail race last summer and was running 80-100 miles a month leading up to that run. My long weekend runs were 15-20 miles, with plenty of hills, but I failed to do any hiking up/down hill and my quads paid the price during my race. “Power hiking” is quite common during trail runs when it gets steep.

Walking uphill is a complete different set of muscles, and it will kill you if you don’t train for it.
 

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For folks looking for hunt related physical training... I recommend you take a look at these guys:


they have some serious, world class athletes putting together their programs (professional strongmen, military SOF officers, etc).. all of them are extremely experienced hunters (across a wide variety of hunting situations..)... and... you're supporting a US military veterans organization as well (the owner/founder is currently serving in eastern Europe as an officer in the 4th ID)... he also happens to be the son of a very good friend of mine (in the interest of full disclosure))...

they also have some pretty nice (and well made) logo'd materials.. hats, shirts, hoodies, etc..

their podcast is well done and they have some interesting guests... and their social media is worth looking at if you're into that sort of thing as well...
Downloaded their free 4 week program to try them out. Thanks for the head’s up, hadn’t heard of of them.
 

meigsbucks

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When I went in ‘13, I walked 2-4 miles almost every day in preparation. I lost about tens pounds doing this. weighed about 270#.
For my second in ‘18 I had been going to the gym and lifting, three or four times a week. I was stronger than at any time in my life (61 at the time) but I was still about 270#. I did some walking but not enough.
2020 sucked! Of course COVID hit and my gym closed, plus I tore the meniscus in my left knee in March and then I had cataract surgery as well as eye another issue. Couple that with my wife’s heath issues deteriorating, I got even more out of shape.
In January 2021, I weighed 277#. Just by eating less and walking 1-2 miles a day dropped 50# over the next 14 months. Just recently, some of my wife’s issues have improved and I‘ve started back to the gym. Tough starting over from scratch at 65. When I do go back to Africa, I’m going to increase my walking to about three + miles a day with a couple of five or six mile days mixed in coupled with lifting at the gym.
 

zip4644

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going to be 55 in Dec. and just got back from a Mtn. hunt on the East Cape with KMG, I lost 32 lbs in preparation for that hunt and I feel it was the best decision I have ever made.....being in shape allowed me to get the most out of my time there.....bow hunter, spot and stalk, lots of do overs.....my thoughts are if you are going all that way it pays to give yourself every advantage that you can......Hell, I have a hunt booked with them for 24 and it is my motivation to get up and get after it.....Run 3 ,days lift 3 days, rest.
 

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I like the rowing machines as well, I find 16min/mile about right as well for walking. I will occasionally strap a 30-50lb ruck on. Ahh.. Kevin if only it was 4kg I needed to get rid of. Ha ha. I envy you. I am packing WAY to much extra weight. I keep trying to lose it, but man the bbq and beer just call to me. LOL
 

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You will be amazed at what walking BACKWARD uphill will do for your knees and ability to walk without feeling crippled. You can even pull a sled going backward. Gotta try it!
 

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Where I live makes it pretty easy to stay in hunting condition.

Each morning on goes my boots and a backpack with a 30 lb slab of iron inside. Grab the M1 Garand (sans sling) and head out on a 5 mile stroll in the hills. Then back at the beginning if the ground is dry or frozen I then drop and knock out 25 pushups. Then shed the backpack and do 50 stomach crunches.

If the ground is all sloppy wet I wait until back inside the shack for the PT and where a chin up bar also awaits. When the ground is icy frozen then on go the crampons. When the snow gets too deep then its snowshoes.

I do this 6 days a week year round with 1 day off each week for good behavior.
 

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I think an underrated aspect is getting used to carrying a rifle around, especially if you are not using a sling.
 

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Walking/hiking hills seems to be the most useful way to prepare, but let us not lose sight of reality. Stay up late the night before, tell hunting stories, drink whiskey, smoke cigars, solve world problems then get up early eat eggs and at least three different types of meat, now let the training begin. Walking with a thorn in your foot helps as does getting bit by bugs. Put in a good 10 mile stretch of the legs, eat large quantities of meat for dinner and repeat the nocturnal portion of the training. I will be 62 next month and this has always worked for me. I don’t run anymore as I did in my youth, it makes more sense to have others run. Well that’s my two cents.
 

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Yes a reasonable amount of fitness is required.....and a lot depends on what species and where you hunt....being a over weight slob booking a hunt in the mountains for a Vaal rhebuck....well aint gonna work so well...
...........
Exactly.

Depends what you are hunting.

If you actually hunt those Vaalie devils in the high country you had better be in excellent physical shape. Sheep and Goat hunting come to mind.
I know of many flat land PH's that were left behind, never mind the hunters.

Walking in sandy soil after Elephant... in the heat. Heat is relative

Bongo hunting, unless you have the stature of a Baka. Learn to walk bent over through thick cover with soaking wet your clothing in a sauna.
 

fourfive8

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One thing not posted is how important relative altitude is. The altitude where you live vs the altitude you are going to hunt. I discovered a long time ago it makes a huge difference. At age 10 or so, during a road trip to visit relatives in Fla, I noticed I could hold my breath really a lot longer near sea level than I could at home. Fast forward about 30 years to some serious backpack hunting on Kodiak. I noticed real advantage at the lower elevation even though Kodiak was steep, matted with feet of dead spongy grass under patches of thick, rotten snow. I have lived all my life between about 6000 ft to the 7400ft where I've lived the last 22 years. Even now, I routinely spend a lot of time at 8000-9000 ft. So going to near sea level really provides a week or two of advantage and boost. I feel for those who live near sea level then try hard hunts at altitude. I got sick one time during a week long, strenuous backpack trip up over 12000ft so know all too well that disadvantage. I've checked the altitude at all the places I've hunted in Africa and they seem to have averaged between 1500 up to about 4500ft. So I've been fortunate to have the altitude advantage while there . Nonetheless, I always put 20-40 lbs of sand in my pack and walk a lot to get ready for any trip. Plenty of slopes and big mountains around here to vary the routine.

As an aside, none of us in our coffee gang are spring chickens but I enjoy sharing stories and gleaning PT tips from one fellow in the bunch. He made several trips to Nepal back in the day and did some of the big stuff in the 20000 to 26000ft. range, including Annapurna. Really interesting stories including having to recover bodies of dead porters and sherpas lost in avalanches and accidents. A funny one had to do with the tradition of eating pizza at a local "establishment" in Katmandu after weeks on a major climb then getting the Himalayan revenge for the effort. He also does not recommend any of the variations of fermented yak whatever :)
 
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I've heard how the terrain and hunting with @KMG Hunting Safaris is so I'm ignoring the "Africa hunting safaris are physically easy" posts lol.

Started my workout schedule today. Rucking with ~50lb pack a minimum of an hour, every day possible with 5x a week as the minimum. Going to add at least one day per week being 2 hours shortly. Plan to have 1-2 days a week be 10 miles be a couple months prior.

I dont drink much at all and dont smoke, I tend to stress eat when things get tough. And the last year has been probably the most stressful of my life so my fitness has regressed regrettably. Not sure how much weight loss will come with a proper diet and this program, but I am certain that I'll have the endurance to carry my double all day tracking buff and be ready to do my part instead of huffing and puffing when I get there.

Also shooting various guns off sticks as weather permits here in Michigan, probably 3-5x a week once spring comes. Switching to only the safari guns as the trip gets closer.
 

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I finished the 100K rowing challenge by Concept2 in 19 days (had 30 days to do it). I added strength training to my routine a few months ago and diet of course. At the moment I eat 1800 calories a day with 180g protein, 135g carbs and 60g fat. I also make sure that I have at least 45g of fiber for gut health within the macros above (chia seeds help). At 6' and 180 lbs I am at a good weight, just working on getting stronger and gain more endurance (Zone 2 training at least 30 minutes each day). I started getting monthly DEXA scans. Last month lost 2.9 lbs of fat and gained 2.7 lbs of lean muscle mass while maintaining the same weight. Goal is to keep it going.

New Year's Eve.
1672682449708.png
 

Scott CWO

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I finished the 100K rowing challenge by Concept2 in 19 days (had 30 days to do it). I added strength training to my routine a few months ago and diet of course. At the moment I eat 1800 calories a day with 180g protein, 135g carbs and 60g fat. I also make sure that I have at least 45g of fiber for gut health within the macros above (chia seeds help). At 6' and 180 lbs I am at a good weight, just working on getting stronger and gain more endurance (Zone 2 training at least 30 minutes each day). I started getting monthly DEXA scans. Last month lost 2.9 lbs of fat and gained 2.7 lbs of lean muscle mass while maintaining the same weight. Goal is to keep it going.

New Year's Eve.
View attachment 508815
Now you just need a haircut and you’re all set. Lol:E Rofl:
 

Backyardsniper

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I finished the 100K rowing challenge by Concept2 in 19 days (had 30 days to do it). I added strength training to my routine a few months ago and diet of course. At the moment I eat 1800 calories a day with 180g protein, 135g carbs and 60g fat. I also make sure that I have at least 45g of fiber for gut health within the macros above (chia seeds help). At 6' and 180 lbs I am at a good weight, just working on getting stronger and gain more endurance (Zone 2 training at least 30 minutes each day). I started getting monthly DEXA scans. Last month lost 2.9 lbs of fat and gained 2.7 lbs of lean muscle mass while maintaining the same weight. Goal is to keep it going.

New Year's Eve.
View attachment 508815
That's solid work there! I have let mine get a little too far out of hand. I actually hired a personal trainer, which is a girl I used to do cross fit with years ago, to help me make up a little extra ground between now and June. I just do not have the motivation to really smoke myself anymore. Hopefully I can get my eating cleaned up and cut back on the beer a little, which is not likely to happen this week at the DSC :cool:
 

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