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Old October 1, 2009, 09:04 PM   #1
armed_preacher
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Strength training.

Is there any advantage/need for hand/arm strength training in any style of shooting? Does a strong finger and hand make for more accurate shooting?
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Old October 1, 2009, 09:15 PM   #2
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i'm no expert, but

Being in good shape is always good. When it comes to a gun fight, being in shape helps in a lot of areas. First of all, you'll be able to run and take cover a lot faster if needed. If you are hit, muscle will stop bullets a lot faster than flab will, and a healthy body will survive a bullet wound longer, that is if it is not immediately fatal. Lastly, if you do have to shoot, arm and wrist strength will help control recoil, leading to better accuracy and quicker follow-up shots.
my .02
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Old October 1, 2009, 09:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
armed_preacher
Is there any advantage/need for hand/arm strength training in any style of shooting? Does a strong finger and hand make for more accurate shooting?
I'd say that if you have average strength you are good to go shooting. If you have never shot then you may fatigue faster than you would after shooting and building the muscles you actually use to shoot. This does not account for the infinite variety of situations which may be encountered in combat shooting.

The handgun was called/is the "Great Equalizer" because it enabled the physically weak to (such as a 100 pound woman) to prevail against the strong (such as a 200 male).

Good/accurate shooting is more a set of skills involving dexterity and learned muscle control more so than strength.
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Old October 1, 2009, 11:37 PM   #4
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Best shooting I ever did was when I was also training for a boxing tournament, other than that a few free weights a few days a week at home, squeezing a rubber grip on off weight days and some speed walking a couple of hours after supper in the cool of the evening kept me in shooting shape for long 2 and 3 day matches.

Cardiovascular conditioning for obvious reasons when you see the end of your barrel wobbling you know how bad you need it. Core strength for rifle or pistol. Helps to be able to be standing steady after 2 days in the weather eating dust and shooting hundreds of rounds. Firm grip, if you can't hang onto your weapon and keep it steady you aren't shooting up to your capacity.

Old now and don't do serious shooting anymore but I still squeeze my rubber grip and shoot as much as I can, bad back and shoulder surgery make things challenging but you do what you can do, every little bit helps.
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Old October 2, 2009, 10:23 AM   #5
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+1
+1
and +1...

Not to mention lower heart rate, breathing rate, blood pressure, lower cholesteral....etc. will help you live longer as well. And being in top shape and working out results in a higher metabolic rate that means you get to eat more!!! Win Win.
And if your a hunter, the benifits of dragging whatever carcass out of the thicket...
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Old October 3, 2009, 05:49 PM   #6
Casimer
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Quote:
Is there any advantage/need for hand/arm strength training in any style of shooting? Does a strong finger and hand make for more accurate shooting?
Yes. But I don't think that it's a necessity. Where you'll see a real advantage is in competitive shooting. Good forearm and grip strength provide better stability, consistency and endurance throughout a match.

Something to keep in mind regarding grip training is that you can over do it. It's a good idea to isolate your trigger finger when training so that you don't induce a sympathetic contraction with the gripping fingers.

Also muscle mass carries blood, which contributes to pulse deflection (i.e. movement from the cycle of your pulse). This isn't really a concern for pistol shooting, but is for rifle sports where you're shooting with a sling.
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Old October 3, 2009, 07:26 PM   #7
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The biggest advantage to strength training, and overall physical conditioning is this: There is a strong possibility that the fight may very well begin at in-your-face range. If it does, you will need to fight the BG off to access your gun.
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Old October 3, 2009, 07:44 PM   #8
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i believe strength training is as important as mental training. after all, its still conditioning either way. if you are carrying a weapon with a sharp recoil, i can see how a stronger person can handle the gun better when shooting.
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Old October 3, 2009, 08:47 PM   #9
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Some years ago, studies were done at Kent State and U. Nevada, Las Vegas (if I recall correctly), on the benefits of sound weight training. Groups were split in two. One group practiced a skill day after day, such as throwing a ball at a target. A second group trained the same amount of time, but lifted weights with a good trainer about 35% of the time and practiced the skill 65% of the time. In every case, the weight trained group outperformed the "skill practice only" group. This type of experiment has been repeated many times over the years with the same result. The ones who split their practice time between weight training and the skill outperform the ones who only practice the skill.

It is anecdotal, but a good example: Tiger Woods, who trains with weights and practices his golf. Compare him to so many other fine golfers who just hit golf balls. Heck, weight training even improved my banjo playing!

My conclusion is that effective, correct weight training can only enhance a persons shooting performance.

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Old October 6, 2009, 09:34 AM   #10
Mark Milton
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Back in the 1930s Charles Askins noted that most of the better competitive pistol shooters he knew worked out with dumbbells and other weights.
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Old October 6, 2009, 12:48 PM   #11
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I can't think of a single champion shooter who wasn't an athlete and I can't think of a single master class shooter who wasn't in good shape. Inactive people just don't put in the time and effort to become decent shots.
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Old October 6, 2009, 05:05 PM   #12
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I don't know if it has helped my shooting, but I've been weight training since I was in my 30s. I certainly wish I had started in high school.
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Old October 6, 2009, 05:07 PM   #13
PancakeOfDoom
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i consider myself pretty healthy at 21 yrs of age, 200lbs, 12% body fat. while this doesn't help me whatsoever with my aim, it does help me with my follow up shots. i can control recoil with greater ease than most of my friends, and have an easier time with follow up shots, i also fatigue much slower after a long day at the range.

that said, i feel completely confident that against an untrained threat, i am better prepared than most my age, and i don't doubt my abilities in a ground fight (thank God for ex-marine wrestling coaches), and feel that physical conditioning is important in many aspects in life.

on the other hand, i know i am dead meat against anybody much smaller than me with superior training and experience and i don't let my strength get to my head.


all in all, i think it is very important to be reasonably fit. if a firearm is supposed to be a tool, and at best an extension of yourself, i see it as an advantage to lay a foundation of fitness underneath training for god forbid, a gun fight
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