Training the Wolf: Part 1 The Guidelines

Training the Wolf: Part 1 The Guidelines

We love it when we get to tell a customer’s story, or collaborate with them in some form or fashion.  In just a short time since our launch, we have had the opportunity to get to know a lot of our customers on a personal level. At CANIS, we are always looking to sharpen our skills mentally and physically each day.  While we love the actual hunt, we enjoy the daily grind of physical and mental training that goes along with it.  

There are some people that are in shape and there are some flat-out warriors.  The CANIS TEAM is excited to introduce a new contributor to our workout series, an elite warrior named Joseph Morrison.  Morrison is currently Chief Instructor/Owner of Joseph Morrison Services where he has trained thousands of Special Operations Forces candidates in combat mindset, marksmanship, manipulation, and tactics.  He has served or worked for Force Reconnaissance and other Special Operations Forces since 1982.

 A little bit more on this Elite Wolf…

  • US Army Ranger School, SFARTIC (Special Forces CQB) & Freefall Jumpmaster 
  • US Marines Amphibious Reconnaissance School, SOTG R&S & CQB Courses, Winter Mountain leader, Jungle Survival, Winter Mountain Survival, High Risk Personal  & 1st Force Recon Combat Trauma training courses  
  • Combat Concepts, Larry Vickers, Bill Rogers, Pat Rogers, Jerry Barnhart, & SEAL Team 6 Combat Marksmanship & Tactics Courses
  • National Rifle Association, Larry Vickers & Pat Rogers Combat Rifle & Pistol Instructor Training Course.
  • USN Combat Diver School
  • Chief Instructor Special Training Branch Critical Incidence Solutions for I MEF G-7 Training Education Group USMC
  • Assault Team Leader Marine Corps Special Operations Command Detachment One 
  • Chief Instructor Special Operations Training Group (SOTG) for Close Quarters Battle (CQB)/Dynamic Assault/Maritime Interception Operations/Gas/Oil Platforms
  • At age 58, has had under 10% body fat for at least the last 20 years. Accomplished this despite having 6 shoulder surgeries, 3 in each shoulder; 2 back L-spine surgeries and 1 c-spine surgery as a result of service to the SOF community
  • At age 54 hiked 10 miles in 1:30 with 48lb military ALICE pack 
  • At age 53 hiked 4 miles in 31:25 with 48lb military ALICE pack 
  • At age 52 I had a VO2 max of 57.7.  Blood Pressure is consistently around 109/72 checked several times a week immediately after workouts. 

Needless to say, he is an American Badass.  

The below is Part 1 of 3 part series.  For this first installment, Joseph is going to walk through the general training guidelines, Part 2 will cover ways to improve your hiking, and Part 3 of the series will focus on some strength and conditioning routines.

From Morrison:

My objective for writing this is to provide information to help Wolves develop the mental & physical skills needed to be a Confident Mountain Hunter (CMH).  In my experience, it is not difficult to prepare a healthy and reasonably fit middle-aged male body for a mountain hunt.  The more unfit, overweight, unhealthy, and older the male body is, the more difficult the task becomes and the longer the process will take to condition the body to be a CMH. 

The reason for this is very simple: the body will adapt to stress (physical training, load, exercise) as long as the stress applied is quantified and the body is not overloaded or over trained.  If the stress applied is too great, you will suffer pain & injuries and it will slow your progress!  The older, more overweight and more unfit you are the longer the adaptation process takes.  This is called Mechanical Stress Quantification, or simply, load management. If there is no stress on the body, it will not adapt or grow, but you have to make sure you don’t over stress.  It is a delicate balance.  But make no mistake about it, with proper training you can become as confident and deadly as any Wolf on the mountain.  That is our goal. 

It was said in an earlier CANIS fitness article that the easiest way to get in shape is to not get out of shape.  Nothing ever said could be truer and I have said that exact thing a thousand times. My goal for you would be to adapt a healthy fit Wolf-hunting lifestyle that involves exercising, good eating habits, getting plenty of quality sleep, and finding ways to minimize stress. Wolves do not turn it on and off...they live it.  It is great if you are the Wolf in 6 months when you attack the mountain but I also want you to be the Wolf in 6 years.

Also understand the most important muscle for a CMH, as in life, is a strong, healthy heart and lungs.  The more lean muscle mass you have the greater your potential is to to have a very fit heart and lungs and high VO2 max.  If you are overweight, work to improve your BMI, if you are a power lifter I would lean out for a mountain hunt.  

Of course in addition to a healthy heart and lungs, the CMH wants a tremendous amount of stamina in the legs, back, core, and upper body as well. The body will respond and adapt to stress better when trained as a unit, so while your number one exercise will probably be hiking up and down hills under load,  you will get a more holistic effect if you include total-body type exercises and cardio training as well. 

There is also a mental component here that is paramount. When you train the entire body you look better, you feel better, you become more confident in your mental and physical ability.  It is that confidence that is going to fuel the fire that takes your mountain hunting ability to the next level.