The goal for most western bowhunters I know is to arrow a big bull....I’d never argue that. I am obsessed with the exact same goal myself.
What makes bowhunting so special for me, is the Journey towards this goal. I love The Journey and truthfully, bowhunting defines me, has shaped my life and made me who I am. Here are a few highlights from this summer’s Journey...capped off with my Beast Mode Bowhunting workout detailed below.
• Awesome arrow groups & deadly bows...the second photo is a shoot off between me, Wayne Endicott and Chris Phillips from 90 yards we had the other day. Those three arrows were the sickest 90 yard group I’ve ever seen. I think this level of accuracy is a good testament to having your bow and arrow rig set up right. The pros at the Bow Rack can help you with this.
• I love shooting bows in the sun over the summer months while sipping on a Xyience....man life feels complete watching those arrows arc through the soft golden glow of the evening sun.
• Shooting bows with friends this spring and summer (Chris Phillips, Chad Montgomery, Wayne Endicott, Nick Hammond, Tim Adair, Guy Harris, Tanner Hanes, Nate Costa, Rick Thomas, Jared Thomas, Chris Stewart, Pete Hanes, Roy Roth, Taylor Roth, Cord Wilkins, Kristy Lee Cook, Eric Kranzush, and the legendary, Larry D. Jones, etc.) There is nothing more I enjoy than shooting bows with my buddies....new and old bowhunters alike. The Camaraderie of bowhunting s something special.
• The key to my buddy/bow shooting experience is we gotta have Jason Aldean cranking in my truck!!!!! Every night! Doors open music jammin’ over the open fields, a black ridge in the distances covered with Old Growth Timber. Perfect setting for me. It just feels right...I hate when it starts getting dark....I’d love to keep shooting for hours.
• As a side note, I am so thankful to live in a town so rich in the tradition of bowhunting. Many of these guys listed above love bowhunting just as much as I do. They push me to be the best I can be.
• Running by myself...nothing quite as therapeutic as pounding out 10-15 miles with nothing but your rhythmic footfalls to keep you focused. I get this length of run in every single day, no exceptions. When running I think to myself, how many other public land bowhunters are laying it on the line right now for the love of the game? It’s a double edge sword. At times I hope not many because this means, deep in the wilderness I will hunt alone, beyond where the ill-prepared hunters dare to venture, while on the flip side I hope many are pounding out the miles because this means the the heart of bowhunting beats strong....dig deep guys. Let’s motivate each other!
• Running with family....to prepare for the mountains, solo running is best, but running and sharing quality time with my family is mandatory. Tonight's 8 mile run/ride with Tanner and Taryn was awesome. Taryn said multiple times when she was riding and I was running along side of her how much she loved our time together. Until the end when she had a sideache and her butt hurt. Fun night. It was a warm one and I loved it!
• I run at least 4 miles at lunch, sometimes 5....I have 30 minutes. I wait until 2:00 p.m. each day when it is hotter....I want to sweat and be miserable, that is always my goal. My approach is to Train for Misery because you know you’ll experience it in the mountains. It is for this reason I never drink when I run....I want to find my limits. I want to find out what happens when I push myself too far. Haven’t been there yet, but I can’t wait. And, there are many days I hurt when I run...ankles, knees, hips, etc....I have put in many, many miles and after doing so for years, you are going to be nicked up....either you quit or push through the pain. I push.
• I love lifting weights...I love the pump, the veins, I love the burn, love being sore, love feeling strong and undeniable in the backcountry, and to be honest, I enjoy looking fit. I love when all the hard work starts paying off and my horse shoe necklace starts fitting tight around my filled out neck...much like a rutted up ol’ buck. I put on size for months, then before season I work to get shredded. I want to be lean...I yearn to uncover that six pack (not easy). This last couple of weeks I have lost 9 pounds, a little muscle likely, but mostly fat. I went from 175 to 166, but my strength is higher than it has ever been (see below). Also, I do crazy out-of-the-box things like pack my 95 lbs. Olympic barbell 3 miles up and down the hill I run. Why? Because it hurt and I was miserable and I wanted to know if I could do it. I could.
• I am shooting well. I thank God every day I live in the shadow of The Bow Rack, info@thebowrack, these guys are awesome. I am easily twice as good of shot directly because of their influence. They are such pros. I took my bow in today because I could tell something had changed. Yup, my arrow was tearing slightly tail low through paper. After jockeying the rest, moving the peep, twisting the buss, timing the cams on the Hooter Shooter, raising the peep, well, I was in business. I am not sure what bowhunters who don’t have access to pros would do, probably just try to ride it out, which means their shooting would suffer, which also means their performance would suffer...not good. Regardless, I am counting my lucky starts. Thanks Wayne, Chris and Chris.
• Other than that, I shoot, each and every day (there is never a day I take off in the regard....part of my genetic code)...sometimes in the back yard, 30 times minimum. I am trying to build on my 8 straight years of killing 6-point or better bulls. To me the continuation of the streak begins and ends on how well I can shoot in crunch time. As such, this week I’ve went to my buddy Chad’s and shot with former Oregon QB Nate Costa, I’ve went up to Wayne's and most nights have only shot 90+ yards, testing three different NAP broadheads and then on Saturday I am headed up to a high stakes, under the radar 3-D shoot up at another buddies just prior to my “Super Bowl” Utah hunt with Lee & Tiffany and Team Elk host Brandon Bates. This hunt is the pinnacle for me....my goal for months has to been “on my game” for this first hunt out of the gate. I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself to be more prepared that I‘ve ever been for a mountain hunt. I love it though. Hunting with Lee & Tiffany will be a huge honor. They’ve made such an impact on our sport and I respect that.
• Most who follow me know I pack my bow everywhere...out of town on trips, to trade shows, conventions...it doesn’t matter. My bow is me and I am my bow. The guys who came to see me recently at The Bow Rack, in Idaho, Denver and Ranch Cucamonga know this first hand. This is just how I have to operate. I love bowshooting so much that I think my connection with my bow gives me a huge edge. Try it! And, yes, sometimes I go on runs with it. Why...because it is a test and it takes crazy DETERMINATION sometimes to be the best you can be.
Beast Mode Bowhunting...My Workout
I get many emails each day asking about what exactly does my “workout” entail. So here it goes, but before I share anything I have to come clean on a few things.
First, Ground Rules --
1. I am not a fitness expert.
2. My approach works for me, but that doesn’t guarantee that it will work for anyone else.
3. I am not a body builder and don’t want to be....I lift to be a well rounded hunting athlete.
4. I am not the best bow shot (but I want to be)....there are guys at my hometown pro-shop, The Bow Rack, that are better shots that me, but I do work very hard at it.
5. I am not a powerlifter, although I respect guys in this discipline greatly...I learn so much from from the guys at Complete Nutrition and the local gyms here in town, Gold’s & Oz Fitness....I do my best and I am always learning, honing my craft, but am not an authority on the subject.
6. I am not a doctor. Otherwise I wouldn’t do the stupid, jeopardizing, health hazardous stuff I do. Consult a doctor if you have questions on any of this before you try it.
7. All I am is a bowhunter who is trying to raise my game to the highest level I can. In that regard, I believe the only limits we have, both physically and mentally, are those in which we place on ourselves. Believe, and you will achieve.
The key to my success is to throw hard work at everything I do. A guy can’t scout elk every day so I run....I run at least 10 miles every day mostly because I feel like by doing so I am moving that needle the right way to becoming a better mountain hunter. Yep, when I can’t think of anything else positive to do regarding bowhunting, I lace up the shoes and hit the road. The short of it, come nightfall I want to be able to know in my heart that I did something that day to become a better bowhunter. So, with that, here goes my daily regiment...
Run -- 10+ miles each and every day. I run 4-5 miles at lunch and at least 6 hill miles right after work. Sometimes I run much further but my minimum is 10 and since I do more some days, come the end of the week I’ve almost always logged close to 100 running miles. So, I can hunt efficiently, I want to keep my body fat low. The best way to do this is long calorie burning runs, with a little help of Mega Shred from Complete Nutrition. This stuff works but it is not magic. You gotta sweat. Call or email Jason at Complete Nutrition, email@example.com. I will add, that I run at the absolutely hottest part of every day when possible. Yesterday it was 87 and the hill that I run on is in the sun all day, pushing the temp up there on the wide open dirt and rock to probably close to 100 degrees. I train up there for hours with no water, by design. I want to know what misery feels like so when the chips are down on the hunt I can shrug it off and keep hammering. If not on the hill, I also love running on the hot asphalt at about 4:00 or 5:00 p.m., where it is sweltering...no water! Love it! In my mind, pain equals sacrifice and sacrifice sets you up for a big reward!
Lift – Yes, same deal...every day. I break it down like this. Shoulders and back one day, chest and tris the next followed by bi-ceps and legs....I don’t take a day off like some guys do, I just get right back into it....repeating my cycle. Advisable? Probably not. But, I’ve found that your body will respond to whatever you ask of it. Humans are amazingly capable of so much. Push your limits!!!!
Shoulders/Back – Day 1
3 sets of 10-12 pull ups
3 sets of 12 seated cable rows — 130#
3 sets of 12 lat pulls — 120#
5 sets of cleans and presses 10 reps — starting at 115# up to 185# or
4 sets of one-armed dumbell snatches with 55#
3 sets of 20 shrugs with 90# dumb bells
3 sets of 10 upright rows 60# bar bell
3 sets of 10 one armed lawn mowers 55#
Chest & Tris – Day 2
6 sets of bench –10 reps 135, 10 reps 185, 10 reps 205 and then max rep with 225, which this week I did 11 times. Then I did 245 four times, then 275 once. Weighing in at 164 today, getting lean as planned, I am still holding my strength. I am happy to be where I am at. After benching 275, I reverse my progressive lifts back down. Lots of reps...it works for me and my goals. I am not trying to be huge.
3 sets of 10-15 dips with 45# weight
3 sets of dumbbell press — 80# – 100#
4 sets of skull crushers — 10 reps with 75# to the skull, then straight to 15 reps close grip bench with same weight.
3 sets of decline bench – at least 8 reps with 225# (decline bench is easier that flat)
3 sets of 10 reps on chest fly machine with 100# minimum.
Legs & biceps – Day 3
Squats – alternate each lift day between this and lunges. I don’t do both on the same day.
Leg extensions for Quads
5 sets of one armed dumbbell curls – 35lbs. to 55 lbs. 20 reps each
3 sets of “21’s” with 75 lbs. straight bar....7 reps halfway up, 7 reps halfway down and 7 full reps. These burn baby.
3 sets of machine curls with 225 lbs.
If I am feeling saucy I will do another set of curls...something. Maybe with the curl bar with 110 or 90 lbs.
At minimum I will do 10 sets of curls every biceps session.
Day 4 – Repeat Day 1, and so on....
In closing -- I have ran, lifted and shot my bow every single day for the last six months at least, except for when I was in Africa and Alaska on hunts...zero days off. No one would recommend doing that and I am not suggesting anyone else should take this approach, this is just how I got to where I am today, August 19th 2011 at 1:49 a.m., I have to be up for work at 5, in three hours....I will sleep 2 hours like normal. Perfect. My motivation....I am days from my first western hunt of the year. Will all the work pay off? Time will tell. What I can tell you, if I am not successful I can take solace with the knowledge that I couldn’t have done any more to prepare. There is nothing more I could, should or would have done differently. I am going to have to play the cards that were dealt me and see what happens? Stay tuned! Carry that “Beast Mode Bowhunting” mindset with you in the mountains this year....be aggressive, hunt smart and come out of the hills loaded down with meat and antlers.
Train Hard. Hunt Easy. Cam
Note: I set up my supplement program with guidance from Jason Harms at Complete Nutrition. He is the master on why the supplements I take work and what kind of results you can expect so I would suggest giving him a call with any technical answers or questions on pricing. Don’t forget the Cam Hanes fan 22% off. You can Email me with more questions at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jason at email@example.com. You can also call Jason at his store in Eugene, Oregon at 541-653-9443 when ready to pull the trigger. Exciting times….helping other better themselves gives me a good feeling.
Complete Nutrition – Jason Harms firstname.lastname@example.org
Xyience – www.xyience.com
Under Armour – www.alwayslethal.com
Garmin Forerunner 305 – www.garmin.com thanks Robb Franklin for helping me get it set up…love putting numbers on performance
Survival Strap — www.survivalstraps.com
Power Balance – www.powerbalance.com
Team Elk – www.rmef.org
Cameron R. Hanes