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  • Writer's pictureDustin

Simple Low-Cost Workout to Improve your Outdoor Fitness

Updated: Nov 24, 2020

resistance bands
Simple and Low-Cost Workout with Resistance Bands

If you have spent any amount of time on the deck of a boat or up in a tree, you are aware of the physical strain that hunting and fishing can put on your body. Aside from hunting and fishing, camping gear and packs are not going to carry themselves, and rarely are nature’s paths direct and effortless to traverse. Now I am not trying to convince you to go join an intense gym life society, change your diet, or stop drinking and smoking, but obviously, diet and exercise are key components of physical and mental fitness. For the average outdoor person, our time is so limited already by life that rarely do we want to waste the precious time we could be doing our favorite outdoor activity. With a small amount of mental focus and perseverance, you can create a simple and low-cost exercise routine that can be done at home and keep you pursuing your outdoor passion.

Most hunting and fishing scenarios that require some fitness are going to be endurance or strength over length of time. Sure, dragging an elk out with one arm while not breaking a sweat requires a Herculean physique, but a big game drag is a small percent of our time outdoors. For all-around health and fitness, higher reps of bodyweight exercises are plenty to keep you energized and help prevent wear and tear injuries. Emphasis on the core, legs, and back are great large areas of focus that cover a lot of activities and large muscle groups. Muskie fishing long days throwing heavy lures and setting of the hook puts a ton of stress on your shoulders and lower back. Hours of standing on a deck of a bass boat can plague your posture over the years of the Bassmaster pursuit. Drawing a bow is a healthy shoulder’s endeavor, and if held long enough, will fatigue even the strongest individuals. Hanging a tree stand while suspended off the ground using only an inch or less of metal to support your entire weight is a great way to find out if your calves are up to the challenge. Long hikes into the woods with big poundage on your back and up or down ridges will have your legs and shoulders saying hello. Don’t worry these are just some of the things you are already doing that may be easy now but will wear on you over time. However, there are some things you can do without spending a ton of time or money.

Simple Low-Cost Workout to Improve your Outdoor Fitness

Workout A

  1. Cardio for 10 minutes. Can be elliptical, treadmill, bike, running, jogging. Something to keep your heart rate up and use your legs over the 10 minutes.

  2. Body Weight Exercises. Pause Cardio and do a set of pushups (close grip) to fail, Sit-ups (standard) to fail, and Curls (standard) to fail.

  3. Resume Cardio for 10 minutes.

  4. Body Weight Exercises Pause Cardio and do a set of pushups to fail (wide grip), Sit-ups to fail (leg raises), and Curls (your choice on the type of curl) to fail.

  5. Resume Cardio for 10 minutes.

  6. Body Weight Exercises Pause Cardio and do a set of pushups (standard grip) to fail, Sit-ups (side bends, one set on each side, then sit and twist) to fail, and Curls (your choice on the type of curl) to fail.

  7. Resume Cardio for 10 minutes.

You can mix and match any of the types of body exercises that you choose. I like using a resistance band for the curls to minimize the space needed for storage and keep costs low. I also really like to combine the workout with my favorite outdoor shows on an iPad or TV so I can learn and enjoy my outdoor passions while simultaneously getting fit for them. It is amazing how quickly the workouts fly by when you are simply watching your favorite shows. Feel free to incorporate other exercises like air squats or jumping jacks at the cardio breaks for added leg building. All of this can be done with just a resistance band, but I also enjoy using an elliptical or treadmill for the cardio segments. You can use equipment you already own, but if you need to purchase something here is a short gear list of the items I use to make working out simple and enjoyable.

Outdoor Fitness Workout B

  1. 45 min of cardio with heavy resistance and or incline on an elliptical or treadmill.

Outdoor Fitness Workout Weekly Schedule

Monday – Workout A @ 04:30

Tuesday – Workout B @ 04:30

Wednesday – Workout A @ 04:30

Thursday – Workout B @ 04:30

Friday – Workout A @ 04:30

Saturday – Family Life, Hunt, and or Fish

Sunday – Family Life, Hunt, and or Fish

I prefer to do this routine during the weekdays, and I strive for 5 days a week. However, I choose to work out at 4:30 am because it is the only time during a weekday that does not interfere with my wife, kids, or job. Important to note, 04:30 am can be a hard time getting the motor started out of a cold sleep so give yourself time to adjust. Another big key to this routine is to be mindful of doing it often, but not entrapped mentally. If you have a chance to go fish or hunt during the week, make the most of your time and do the workout when you will be stuck at home instead of in the woods or on the water. The idea of this workout routine is creating something that can be done from almost anywhere and you can do it for the rest of your life. Once you commit to doing something at least periodically, you can start to play the long game for strength, conditioning, and outdoor pursuits. As the saying goes: “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”, so start giving your body a chance to keep pursuing your outdoor passions year after year by making this simple fitness routine part of your life this season.


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