All Photos Credit Steven Drake & Annuli Collective

This is the last installment in our series of sample programs and, for many of you, this is likely the sample you’ve been waiting for. The No-Gym Required program.

Without a doubt, the most common question we get asked is how to train effectively for mountain hunting without having to buy a gym membership or set foot in a facility filled with machines and equipment that won’t serve the mountain hunter’s needs anyways.

This type of programming is the answer. The bad news? You’re out of excuses.

With minimal equipment, little to no transit time and total control of your training schedule you can be 100% “mountain ready” for this upcoming season.

This program can be applied at home, in your garage or in an ideal scenario, outdoors. Equipment needs are minimal and the focus falls squarely on total body strength and endurance. Specifically, the integration and coordination of the muscular, cardiovascular and nervous system into a climbing, stalking and packing machine. The upper body, mid-section (aka core) and legs must work together in the backcountry so this type of programming is 100% tailored to this critical end goal. Everything else is secondary in priority.

Softball biceps and Mr. Olympia worthy pecs look great on the beach but come with a cost in the mountains. There aren’t many world-class mountain guides that would stand a chance at winning a bodybuilding competition.

The specific one week sample we’ve provided in this article is tailored to an outdoors training environment. With a pack, sandbag (or dry bag), a couple of kettlebells, and some basic household tools you’ll be able to employ this sort of programming whenever and wherever you want. That said, it’s a very flexible program and can be tweaked to suit a garage or home gym environment if needed.

Shitty weather? Train in your garage. Beautiful day? Get the hell outside. Pressed for time? Crank one of these out in the basement. Total flexibility. Total control. Mountain ready.

The program:


Repeat entire circuit 2 – 3 times. Rest 2-3 mins, or until HR recovers.

10 Broad Jump Burpees

  • This is a burpee with a broad jump at the end instead of a jumping jack…strive for MAX distance on the broad jump.

8-10 Pull-Ups (ideally using a branch)

  • Alternating grip from overhand to underhand on each set; add weight if necessary to keep reps challenging at this number.

10 Stone/Sandbag Throw-Thrusters

  • Starting in a deep squat position explode stone/sandbag into air as high as possible, pay attention to the stone while in air; can also be done with a kettlebell.

8-10 Log Carries (up an incline, ideally 30 – 60 yards to top)

  • Hold log in front squat position; log should ideally be in the 50+ lb range and more than 4 feet long to challenge rotational stability while walking.

15 Log/Rock jumps

  • Think box jump but onto log or rock 18″ – 20″ off ground.



  • ~60 mins technical trail (NOT crushed gravel or easy single track) with pack loaded to 40+ lbs if hike OR ~60 mins run without pack.


5 x 10 20kg – 24kg KB Swings

  • Can be done 2 hand or 1 hand depending on capabilities – if 1 hand do 6 x 10 (3 per side) to balance right and left conditioning.
  • Perform “hard style” – look up definition here.

Do the KB swings as a standalone set, ideally in 5-7 minutes then complete the following circuit for time, one exercise after the other for 3 individual circuits. Rest 2 – 3 mins or until HR recovers between each of the 3 circuits.

3 x 12 Mountain Climber Push-Ups with 20kg KB Row

  • Using the KB handles instead of the ground do a deep (past parallel) push-up between the KBs and at the top of the push-up do a “mountain climber” (drive your knee to your extended elbow) followed by a row with the KB on the opposite side.

3 x 5 Goblet Squats with Heavy Rock + Horizontal Press

  • As you descend into the squat press the rock away from the body; can also be done with a KB or pack.

3 x 8 – 10 Pull-Ups

  • Alternate grip from underhand, to overhand to alternating pulling up to R shoulder and L shoulder (facing down the branch or bar).

3x Farmer Carries with 20kg KBs + elevation

  • Cover at least 50m distance over 30ft elevation and return or 2 flights of stairs up and down.

3 x 20kg KB Overhead Caber Toss (toss run and grab toss again)



  • 45 – 60 mins time trial (max effort) on steep (30 degree plus) trail/slope; even better if off trail; wear pack and/or carry 12lb – 16lb sledgehammer for extra weight.


Repeat entire circuit 4 times; Rest 2-3 mins (or until HR recovers)

20 (Each Side) Deadweight Lift to Tailgate

  • Using some form of weight (sandbag/concrete mix/salt) in the 50 lb range lift from ground to tailgate of truck (or similar height like a deck) 20 times EACH side; alternate sides

12 – 20 Mountain Climber Push-Ups (with pack at 40+ lbs)

  • At the top of the push-up do a “mountain climber” (drive your knee to your extended elbow; left knee to left elbow and right knee to right elbow)
  • Add weight if not challenging enough at 12 reps

40 Yard Walking Lunge (flat ground) with Pack

  • Wearing pack loaded to 40+ lbs do a walking lunge out 50 yards and back 50 yards; carry pack overhead (arms extended) on LAST 2 SETS

8 – 10 Counter Rotation Pull-Ups

  • Face down the branch/bar and alternate pulling up to right/left shoulders; ideally do an even number to balance work on each side

20 Russian Twists with Pack + 40 Yard Bear Crawl

  • Go straight from twists to bear crawl; 40 yards out and 40 yards back. Same pack weight as used in the walking lunge.





  • 90 – 120 mins at EASY (all-day) pace with pack loaded to 45+ lbs.

Want more? Try our 8 week downloadable programs available at MTNSTRONG.COM


Posted by JOMH Editor