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Physical fitness and competitive shooting

Discussion in 'Competition Shooting' started by Trent, Feb 22, 2013.

  1. btg3

    btg3 Well-Known Member

    The NRA format is: "Targets will be broken into two ten-shot targets or four five-shot targets."
    Is this the same continuous 20-rd slow fire as you practiced? Is there a time requirement such that you must keep your arms up?

    Also, shooters that IDPA or USPSA classified (essentially above novice) are exempt from the NRA shooting requirement.

    Having experienced a few bike crashes decades ago, the discomfort makes some days better than others. I find that the more I do, the more that I am able to do -- with the opposite being just as true. I seem to enjoy the most benefit from core conditioning and yoga (the flexibility gains were amazing).

    In any case, 16-day window is not much to work with, but it could be a great start on some longer-term goals.
  2. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    To be honest, I don't know what format the instructor is going to run. I've been shooting the worst case scenario; shoot 10, reload immediately, shoot 10 more. I still have to carefully focus myself to get tight groups when using non-target shooting guns (e.g. Glock, Taurus PT92, etc), so it takes me a while.

    I saw the NRA prequal doesn't mention caliber? Maybe I can get away with bringing my Ruger Mk 3 custom cheater pistol. I can shoot a 1" group with that offhand at 15 yards all stinking day long. Even tighter, if I leave the scope on it. :)

    Oh yeah you bring up a good point. When I do NOT get enough exercise my knees complain fiercely. Stretching helps but the only thing that really puts them back in order, is using them.

    The ankle is the real problem; since that tendon was torn and didn't heal, I have hard parts rubbing together. So any repetitive impact (jogging) or extended use (long walks) really gets to me.

    You should hear it when I get up in the morning. Sounds like a high-noon showdown gone wrong with all the popping and cracking coming from below the waist as I get up and moving. If I sit too long at my desk, and get up at work, sometimes one or both of my knees will pop loud enough people in the next office over can hear it.
  3. sanman513

    sanman513 Active Member

    Dude, if you can hold a plank for 3 minutes, you're already strong enough....that is if the plank your talking about is the same that I'm thinking:eek:

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  4. sanman513

    sanman513 Active Member


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  5. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    Well, I don't know. I put my hand together, elbows straight below my shoulders to support me, toes and elbows the only things contacting the ground, back straight as a board, and hold.

    The issue I've found planks, pullups, pushups (the trio I usually do) doesn't really get the muscles that hold up the gun.

    I'm going to add weights to the mix. Or use my net 44 mag for dry fire practice. That might do the trick. The thing weighs a metric ton now that I have the scope on it...

    EDIT: No not that kind of plank. :)

    This kind of plank;


    EDIT2: More appealing image, first had a (C) notice.
  6. sanman513

    sanman513 Active Member

    LOL!!! :):beer:

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  7. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    You don't have to be ripped to win in "action" pistol sports. I have been known to ride a 4wheeler to the mail box and I have finished 1st in master class at IDPA nationals.

    If you have the upper body strength of a mom with a 1 year old, your ok.
  8. GhostlyGumby

    GhostlyGumby New Member

    Focus on your shoulders. Weighted front arm raises, military press, and judo push-ups will all help.
  9. MrBorland

    MrBorland Moderator

    I just took 1st Master at IDPA Nats for the 3rd time in a year, and I'm no gym rat or triathlete, either. That said, if you look at the USPSA & IDPA top guns - those who actually win nationals - you'll likely notice they often look like athletes. Their shooting skills are superb, of course, but their every movement is controlled, yet explosive.

    Moving from point A to point B fast, for example, requires efficiency of motion and lots of explosive power. Their "fitness" lies in their ability to do this type of movement repeatedly, without getting fatigued. To make the jump from 1st MA, my "fitness" regime will include lots of stretching, core work, and movement drills.

    One other point: "Fitness" isn't just an issue of improving your existing skill - a lack of fitness can prevent you from performing to your existing ability. Body weight is the best example I can think of. One can do very well in IDPA/USPSA while overweight, but it can be a real handicap when the CoF calls for getting in & out of tight places. Seems particularly so in IDPA, where the CoF may call for the shooter to get in & out of a car, or up from a chair, or even from laying down.
  10. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

    Ah, the memories and images ;)

    Not just getting out of a car, but there is no graceful way to get from one side of a passenger compartment (SUV cab) to the other, while maintaining muzzle discipline.

    I've yet to find a top tier shooter who enjoys demonstrating going prone (the fast way). I have heard, more than once, "Watch closely, I don't want to have to repeat this" :D
  11. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Staff Member

    Something I do that helps is to take a weight plate (10 lbs would do to start), hold it in both hands (like eating a burger) and move it from close to your chest to full extension, hold and back to your chest.

    You can also twist it like a steering wheel, press it over head, grip it with your finger tips, row with it. It's pretty specific to the muscles I shoot with.

  12. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    "going prone the fast way" ... is that similar to what happens when you're foot swept by your opponent in martial arts? I have that down to a science, unfortunately. One of my instructors is from Japan, trained with the JKA for 30 years. On the dan ranked students he don't take it easy, whatsoever. If you so much as THINK about straightening up your front knee at all, you find yourself looking at the lights in the ceiling. (Sometimes he'll even get your rear leg on the sweep and you go down even harder.. those really hurt.)

    Sigh. I miss Karate. 24 years of my life in a dojo .. and all over in one frigging motorcycle crash. :(

    I've got plates, Al, I'll give that a shot. Mainly what I need to do is build up endurance and cardio. I've been pretty lazy since 2010 and get fatigued fast. My muscles forgot how to process O2. Still strong, but only or brief periods of time.
  13. Al Thompson

    Al Thompson Moderator Staff Member

    Nice thing about weights is that you can start low and go up.

    One of my issues is that my body doesn't retain potassium very well. I can't do high rep workouts like push-ups, but I can do low reps with weights.

    Getting old ain't for sissys. :D
  14. jmorris

    jmorris Well-Known Member

    Thinking folks like Taran Butler and Jerry Miculek, very hard to beat and don't look like they would want to run the Boston marathon.
  15. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    Wow, you know I didn't realize there were people on this board that compete at that level. I've watched videos of a lot of shooters at the national events, and it's mind bending how quick and smooth they are.

    I'm fine at target shooting but put a buzzer in my ear with a clock and I seem to fall apart. Part of the reason I stopped shooting IPSC my first season of shooting IPSC was my ego. I didn't like where I saw my name on the standings each time I got them.

    I've gotten older and my ego isn't as easily bruised as it was in my 20's. In fact, I don't care if I'm dead last. I'm bored of shooting stationary paper targets and want a change of pace. No matter where my standings are at, I'll get to shoot interesting things. :)

    But I still "want to be the best I can be" at it, because the person I compete with nowadays is myself.

    Thanks for all the tips guys!
  16. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    I blew out my left knee a few years ago and cycling has been a really great way to get exercise. I bike all over including to the range and back. I'd say the most important things for knee pain on a bike are a good saddle like a B-17 Brooks and the proper saddle to pedal height adjustment. If you get front knee pain after riding that's probably too low of a saddle.

    There are a huge variety of bike styles to choose from compared with 20 years ago. Too many, really. But a good all-around mountain bike should suit you. Given your issues I would suggest old fashioned platform pedals because your "new architecture" post accident may not be compatible with the way they expect you to position yourself. And it will probably help to be able to sit up, lean forward or otherwise shift your position to deal with cramps and spasms.

    I'm also finding hatha yoga a great help in balance and precise control. And for pain acupuncture is really working believe it or not. It's eliminated a plantar pain I'd been having for years.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013
  17. btg3

    btg3 Well-Known Member

    Roads seem to get crazier and crazier. I quit riding and sold my bike a few months ago. Miss riding it to IDPA but am enjoying the proceeds to indulge in shooting.
  18. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    I get front knee pain from walking more than a quarter mile, or sitting in one spot for too long. I have to constantly balance idleness with motion to avoid pain; and often I'm unsuccessful.
  19. Trent

    Trent Resident Wiseguy

    Is biking with stretched ACL/PCL an issue? They're not damaged other than they've each been strained / sprained or slightly torn multiple times, and my knees are very "loose".

    (Kind of starting to wonder if cycling might help tighten them back up)
  20. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    There's bound to be some pain for sure. But I would say bike riding is about ten times less of a knee/hip impact for me than hiking. So I can bike 100 K with about the same level of knee pain I get after a 10 k walk. Maybe less these days.

    An old orthopod once told me that the exercise helps muscles re-tighten and substitute for bad ligaments so it might be just the thing. Worth a shot anyway. Maybe get a cheap stiff framed mountain bike and ride around with it awhile.

    The hatha yoga I'm doing is also really good at retraining joints to both be more flexible and to not hyperextend. You need a good instructor though who can do more than just run you through the paces of the usual forms. The one I'm going to now has stretches that target very specific joints. I've gone from needing a cane some mornings to being able to flip a leg up and stand in line on one leg, mowing people over with the other size 13.

    Of course the risk of re-injury. I put a tool mirror on my helmet so I can see cars coming up behind me. Sometimes the slowest falls are the worst. I ran into a hidden iron curb after snow last month and of course when I fell the curb smacked right into my old injured left knee. That's life.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2013

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