If you don’t know who Cam Hanes is you’ve either been living under a rock for several years or you haven’t made the fitness/hunting connection yet. Cam Hanes is, in simplest terms, a passionate bowhunter who takes physical fitness in the name of hunting preparation to the extreme—actually, beyond the extreme.
I started following Cam Hanes after stumbling across his website by accident. Since that day, my life-style and the way I approach bowhunting hasn’t been the same. As a former college athlete I had spent the first part of my life focused on conditioning and physical fitness. However, once my playing days ended it was easy to let myself go. And I did. Soon I became lost ‘physically’.
Cam Hanes has impacted thousands of lives with his intense attitude toward fitness and bowhunting. That includes mine.
I simply didn’t have the motivation for fitness I once had while playing football. However, my motivation as a bowhunter never wavered. It wasn’t until I stumbled across Cameron’s message that I realized how much one could affect the other. Suddenly, I was starting to fell motivated again.
Ramp It Up
It didn’t take long for me to figure out that I could be more successful at bowhunting (or hunting in general) if I was in better physical shape. You see, the terrain I live and hunt in doesn’t suffer the weak. Therefore, in order to overcome the many obstacles I face every season I had to, as Cam puts it, “Ramp It Up”.
The Problem With Cam Hanes
I will admit that after following Cameron for a while I started to feel the pressure. Pressure to run as far as he did, lift as much as he did and shoot as much as he did. Eventually it became a race I couldn’t win. After all, Cam is Cam and I’m just Steve.
Before you start out on the journey toward physical fitness you need to understand who you are competing with.
So, for a while I turned Cam off. I quit following him and I started to dismiss what he was doing as being relevant to me. He was the perfect scapegoat for my own lack of effort; both in the gym and on the shooting range. However, I eventually learned that the problem wasn’t with Cam Hanes—it was with me.
After backsliding for a while I decided to give Cam’s philosophies another try. Only this time I took a different approach. I decided not to compete with him but with someone much more powerful—myself.
The Real Competition
If, like me, you’ve decided to incorporate physical fitness into your off-season hunting preparations then you’ve taken a step in the right direction. Just don’t make the same mistake I made and make it a competition with someone other than yourself. In my opinion we are our own worst enemies.
The only person you have to outdo is—YOU. Not just in the gym but in the deer woods as well.
If I can just convince the guy looking back at me in the mirror to lift one more rep, add one more plate, jog one more lap, eat cleaner meals and practice a little more often then I will ultimately be the best version of ME that I can be.
So Now What
I think the most important thing to take away from my ramblings is that guys like Cam Hanes should be used as a motivating tool and not a yardstick. There are plenty of people who inspire us every day. Truth be told, you probably inspire someone without even knowing it.
Who or what motivates you to be healthy or become a more physically fit hunter?
Cam Hanes, along with my family and a few others, inspire me to push myself out of my comfort zone and prepare for hunting season like never before. Maybe you are ready to become the best hunter you can be. If so consider these quick tips.
1. Start Out Slow: The worst thing you can do is look at someone’s training program and immediately try to adopt it. If you are just starting out and jump in using an advanced lifting or running program you could end up injured. Remember nobody gets stronger when they are hurt.
2. Focus On The End: Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will be the new version of you. If you expect to reach your goals overnight it isn’t going to happen. Consider where you are and keep the end result in mind. That will keep you motivated when you feel like your gains aren’t coming fast enough.
3. Find A Partner: Everything is easier when you’ve got a friend to join you; especially getting in shape. A partner can motivate you but more importantly they can keep you accountable for workouts, clean eating habits and just staying the course.
Supplements are a great addition to any workout program. Just make sure you choose a quality product with only the best ingredients.
4. The Legs Feed The Wolf: While the upper body gets the bulk of our attention the lower body does the majority of work in the woods. Overall body fitness should be the goal as long as the legs aren’t neglected.
5. Eat Clean: Working out is great but poor eating habits will thwart any progress you hope to make toward how you look and feel. A clean diet is more important than how much weight you lift and how many times you lift it.
Until next time: Embrace The Grind, Reap The Reward.
6 thoughts on “Better Than Cam Hanes?”
Amen to all of this. Cam is a remarkable role model for hunting and fitness, and the undeniable link between the two. Knowing my own limits and goals has helped me more than anything else has to perform better in the field.
And yes, absolutely, positively, do not neglect your legs.
Thanks, Neal! You’re so right. Appreciate the comment.
Thanks for the feedback Aznealz!!
Excellent read! Cam Hanes is definitely my favorite hunting personality. I too follow his hunting and training through twitter. He is second to none in the role of motivation of ones self to be better. While he does do ultra marathons and shoots excellent groups at distances I would only dream to be putting together at half the distance; its not the point. We all have our own limits the idea is to push ourselves beyond those limits, and better ourselves each day. I run half marathons a couple times a year, lift weights 3 nights a week, and try to shoot when ever I get a chance year round. The fitness aspect is just another piece of the puzzle in building up the confidence to be successful in the game of inches we call bowhunting. Also I think I shot Randy at Bass and Bucks a year ago, and he told me to check out the website. Great website by the way!
Thanks for the comment, Alex! Glad you made the Bass and Bucks connection. Steve did a great job on this article and I know he will appreciate your kind words.
Hey Alex, you’ve got it right. Cam is an inspiration to so many people; including me. It was the moment that I started to compete with myself and not him that I actually got better. I still use him as motivation to outdo myself though…lol. Either way he is a great guy. Best of luck this year!