What's going on? I'm Andrew Schubert and I'm here to tell you how I make sure I am physically prepared for hunting Elk year after year. If you're anything like me, you spend 11 months out of the year dreaming about September. And when September rolls around, you've got to be ready for it.
I spend all of winter actually strength training and trying as hard as I can, to build as much muscle as possible. With muscle and with weight gain, you're going to gain some body fat and that's okay. I'll spend all of winter strength training and I'll be eating more than I do the rest of the year. I’m in a calorie surplus, but I keep my protein very high. I'm eating about 1 gram, regardless of what time of year it is, I'm eating about 1 gram of protein, per pound of body weight for me. And that helps me build muscle and it helps me maintain muscle when I go into a cutting phase later in the year. If needed, I'll supplement with a Dark Mountain pure isolate whey protein. And every single day I supplement with Dark Mountain creatine monohydrate. Those two together are magical for building muscle and maintaining muscle, no matter what time of year it is. That's how I spend winter. I spend winter indoors working out indoors very little cardio, lots of straight training.
When Spring rolls around, I've got the itch to get outside. So I'll start incorporating a lot more cardio. I change my diet a little bit and I go to a maintenance phase. I'm no longer in a calorie surplus as I am and more of a maintenance phase during Spring. I spent a lot more time out in the woods scouting, dropping cams. But I'm still spend a lot of time in here strength training. I'm no longer trying to stack a bunch more weight on the bar. I'm just trying to stay in maintenance mode by keeping my muscles stimulated. This time of year, I will start loading my pack up and doing a lot more real-life type training. Heavy packs and just hiking, hiking, hiking. The more real-life training you can incorporate, when the weather's nice, the more physically prepared for hunting you will be. You got to get these legs ready. You got to keep your cord ready. You've got to get the upper body ready. You've got to be just on your A-Game during the offseason.
As we roll into Summer. This is when I start going into a calorie deficit and I focus on fat loss. With fat loss, you're also going to lose a little bit of muscle. But if you keep your protein high and you keep supplementing with creatine and you keep strength training, while you're in a calorie deficit, you can maintain most of your muscle mass. You will lose some, but that's part of the process. My goal is to go into opening day of archery season as lean as possible. I want to shed as much body fat as possible. Over the Summer, I usually lose about 15 to 20 pounds. I'm usually moving 15 to 20 pounds throughout the year. I want to be able to carry 20 pounds on my back without carrying an extra 20 pounds on me when I go into the woods. During the Summer, there's a lot more cardio. I will be doing some HIIT cardio, whether it's on the echo bike, a rower, sprints. Whatever it's going to be, I do a lot more HIIT cardio and I just do a lot more steps - a lot more walking, a lot more low impact cardio as well. I continue with the strength training, but it's modified a little bit more. I’ll be doing a little bit more reps, less weight, but I'm still strength training like five days a week. My training doesn't change too much throughout the year as far as the weight room. It's just less weight and less focus on building and a little bit more cardio as we get towards the Summer months. I will also spend Summer, like I said before, the more real-life training you can do with your pack on, with your boots on, with all your gear on. The more training you can do there, the better off you're going to be when the moment comes. And during Summer, if you haven't started yet during the Spring, you need to be shooting your bow as much as possible. Striking that muscle memory back. Start working on training your back, start training your shoulders, training your arms. When you draw your bow, you're working several different muscle groups, and you need to be ready.
Fall PrepWhat I'm actually in hunting season. I'm still eating a protein-rich diet. I kind of meal prep, I guess. I keep my focus high on a protein-rich diet throughout hunting season, but then I'll mix my fats and my carbs just to get my calorie level at a maintenance level. During hunting season I want to be in a maintenance level or a slight calorie surplus, so I'm not getting burned out in the woods. That's how I make sure I am physically prepared for hunting season.
We think about September all year long. And that bull elk that you're thinking of all year long deserves as much respect as possible. And to give it the most most respect possible, you need to be ready for it. If you need to hold back at full draw for 30, 45, 60 seconds, you need to be prepared to do that. We need to train all year to be over-prepared for that clutch moment when that bull walks out in front of us. That's what I do. It's a cycle year after year. Each year I put on a little bit more muscle and going into September, I try to cut just a little bit more fat. And that's how I make sure I am physically prepared for hunting Elk each year. Good luck!