Functional Training for Hunters
Greg C. Moriates

Greg C. Moriates

Owner of Train Hunt Eat

functional training for hunters

by Train Hunt Eat


Entering the gym, you will typically see the main types of gym equipment, there is the standard cardio equipment, machines that are user friendly and do not warrant a spotter for safety, and free weights.  Before you start telling me that you are at a cross-fit gym or there is a aerobics section or an area with ropes and tires, I am focusing on the typical gym that offers you the $19.95 monthly membership fee with the additional classes being reserved and paid upfront. 

The body as three planes of motion:

    • Sagittal Plane, which is forward and backward movements
    • Frontal Plane, which is side-to-side movement
    • Transverse Plane, which is twisting movement.

The problem with most of the gym equipment is that it is designed to workout in one plane of motion.  Up and Down, Left to Right, etc.  You do not get that compound movements that are important for everyday health and fitness for your body.  Yes, you can, absolutely move in multiple angles and direction with dumbbells.  However, think about your everyday activities such as doing the laundry, yes hunter do laundry as we need to stay scent free, or cutting a tree, or getting out of the car.  We live and breathe in a three-dimensional world, not a two-dimensional world, therefore we must train for life, not for one simple direction.  That is why it is important for Hunters to train using function training.    

Functional training is the process of training for the activities and motions that you are going to operate at.  For instance, a cyclist is not going to only powerlift, and a powerlifter is not going to only cycle.  If you are a mountain climber, you are not going to focus on mass, you are going to focus on strength and optimal body composition that will allow you to scale any crag, route, or peak.  The same goes for hunters. When you, the hunter, is working to get in shape for hunting, you should follow training programs as you train for the hunt.

It really is that simple and is often overlooked on how simple it is when looking for training programs or developing training programs focused on training for the hunt.

What Functional Training as a Hunter Can I Do?

This is a question that will be talked about over then next few weeks as it is nearly impossible to document every situation without bringing you into a slumber of boredom.  Therefore, each week, we are going to focus what function training a hunter can do to improve their level of fitness to help them become successful for the hunt.  However, before we go in that direction, you will need to answer the following questions:

      1. First and foremost, you need to understand where you are starting from and where you want to go, physically. Are you in exceptional shape coming off a season of Ironman Triathlons or are you the lazy person that is 20, 30, 40 pounds overweight, depressed and drinking every night?
      2. Do you have a medical condition that will not allow you to seek the level of fitness you are looking for without medical assistance? In this case, please, please, please, see medical advice. 
      3. Have you had a recent physical from a medical professional?
      4. Then you need to determine what is your key hunt that you will be training for. Understanding what hunt or type of hunt you are preparing for in very important.  Why?    A Tour De France athlete is not going to focus all of their attention on racing the flats knowing damn well that the Pyrenees are going to be some grueling climbs and attacks.  The same goes for the hunter that is looking to put together the ultimate training program.  If you are chasing elk in Colorado, moose in Canada, or whitetails in Texas, they will all require different conditioning and training as the environment / hunt will dictate the fitness that you will require. 

Focus on these four questions:

      1. Where are you at, what is your goal?
      2. Do you have a medical condition that will not allow you to train without the supervision of a medical profession?
      3. Have you had a recent physical?
      4. What is your key hunt(s)?

Once you answer these questions, we will be able to focus on your key functional training workouts for your hunt in the weeks to come. 

Remember when you are working to get in shape for hunting, you should follow the same progression as you would for any physical event.  Follow training programs as you train for the hunt.

Get at it and let’s get moving.

Small Changes = Big Results!


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