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Old April 1, 2011, 09:49 AM   #1
Will Beararms
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Is PT a part of your personal firearms defense strategy?

After a 20 year hiatus from PT, I have begun daily push-ups and sit ups, free weight training three days per week and brisk walking four days a week. I am on a low carb, doctor monitored diet. I have sworn off beer and soda and have limited coffee to two cups per day. My adult beverage selection is restricted to one glass of red wine or one glass of scotch.

In years past, my emphasis was on big pecs, big arms and how much I could lift. Now approaching 47, I am more worried about endurance, reflexes and core strength. I understand now working out is a blessing and a gift and at my age the ability to do so, could end at a moment's notice so I have to give the credit to a Higher Power. I want to make that clear. If you are reading this and cannot do PT for health reasons, my heart goes out to you and I am here to encourage you.

This having been said, I wonder how many here incorporate PT into your strategy and tactics. My stomach and waist have been dangerously too large for a ton of health reasons and I noted it affected both my reflex, endurance and accuracy with handguns mostly at range time. My proficiency with a shotgun was also affected. My BP was high so working in an enclosed range made it worse.

Things are getting better thank God but I have a long ways to go to get the cardio where it needs to be. What PT strategies are you doing to keep the reflexes in check? Do you believe it is important?

Thanks for your comments and PM me any time if I can encourage you.
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Old April 1, 2011, 10:40 AM   #2
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For the last 25 years, I've made it my policy to stay in good enough shape to do my age in straight, military PT pushups on my birthday. I turned 65 last February. It doesn't get any harder if you stay with it.

Now, I can do 100 pushups in 3 minutes and 15 dead-hang pullups. I'm sure that's partly responsible for the fact that I'm shooting better now than when I was 30.
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Old April 1, 2011, 11:15 AM   #3
Will Beararms
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Japle: Man you are an inspiration! Thanks for your input. I am working to get to where you are now.
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Old April 1, 2011, 11:36 AM   #4
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NO BEER? :barf:
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Old April 1, 2011, 11:37 AM   #5
Will Beararms
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Hey man; I know it but I feel so much better without it and my PT is so much better. I am avoiding anything with carbonation. I can tell the difference when doing Push Ups and Sit Ups when I have had even two beers the next morning.
"Without a rifle you are nothing, worthless, you are waiting for death, any minute, any second."
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Old April 1, 2011, 11:43 AM   #6
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I HATE you Japle

TBH I don't have a PT regimen, but I could probably beat me my last PT course I did in the Navy when I retired. Owning a working horse farm beats doing push ups, frogs and jumping jacks any day. Let me tell you I loath hay bales though

I'm not sure if it really helps my shooting, but I know it's better than playing video game's all day.
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Old April 1, 2011, 03:01 PM   #7
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Let me tell you I loath hay bales though.
I know what you mean. I remember loading bales on the wagon at my father-in-law's farm when I was in college.

We had to roll them over first to make sure there wasn't a rattlesnake under them before picking them up and heaving them on the wagon. About ten minutes of that and I was used up.
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Old April 1, 2011, 03:22 PM   #8
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If you want a great workout, that covers pretty much everything, get a road bike and ride the hell out of it. An hour a day pedaling up and down hills as hard as you can go, will get you in shape quick, and maintain it.

Its also a lot easier on the old joints compared to most other things, including walking.
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Old April 1, 2011, 03:33 PM   #9
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Good for you Will,
All except the beer part.
An occasional ale is part of the good life.
Like right now, but only one.
And life maybe isn't longer, but it's better, being in shape.
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Old April 1, 2011, 03:40 PM   #10
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I'm pushing 50 and have been working out regularly for the last 8 years or so. I used to run 20-25 miles a week but lately (6 months) have been running 5 miles twice a week and doing a good core/strength/aerobic mix workout sponsored by my employer at lunch two other days. The rest of my exercise consists of bike rides and walks with the family + yard work. I've never been really strong for my size, but the core work makes a big difference and I have been getting steadily stronger. Having stronger arms and shoulders makes Bullseye shooting a lot easier. I've always hated pushups but don't even dread them any more. I also minimize caffeine intake for the sake of Bullseye. Drinking alcohol has never been part of my life, just never felt the need as alcoholism was a big problem in prior generations.
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Old April 1, 2011, 05:38 PM   #11
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UASD is a big part of my self defense plan. That implies a certain amount of flexibility and strength. Those must be maintained. The idea that the gun is the do all and end all of an SD situation is fundamentally flawed.
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Old April 1, 2011, 05:56 PM   #12
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Okay, this is gonna be long...

Where to even begin...?

Years ago I was a security contractor with the DOD in Iraq. I wasn't a very big guy (I'm 6' but I could never break 200 pounds, staying around 170-175), but I was gifted with a very athletic body at a young age. Needless to say, being in shape was a high priority for me.
One year I decided to take a PT class at a local college, and maaaan... I guess Japle was the instructor, because every day this guy who was older than my father (I was 30 at the time and my dad is 32 years older than me) would take us through the most amazing core training regime I've ever encountered!
That guy didn't instruct us, he led us. With the exception of our pre-check-in run, he did every exercise with the class, which included 500 crunches of different sorts, and this was 5 days a week.
If he required us to run during class, he ran with us, and he taught me more about pushing myself past my perceived boundaries than I learned in the military or the police academy, because he didn't make you do it, he told you how to do it. Gave tips on how to dig down for more, not just mentally, but physically. He would say "Work out smarter, not just harder." Like taking larger strides if you're tired, because you can slow down your pace, but still cover the same amount of ground at the same speed.
He taught me how to increase my lung capacity by actually exercising my lungs the same way you would do with any other muscle group (which blew my mind).
I've taken all sorts of combat classes and done things to work on reflexes, but learning perseverance from that junior college instructor has been one of the most important things I've ever done.
The reason that matters now is because 5 years ago I was paralyzed by a head injury. I've spent the past few years fighting my way back from being a quadriplegic, and let me say, it has been an incredible (and eye-opening) journey. I'm capable of walking now, but I'm what's called a hemiplegic because one side of my body is more severely affected by the paralysis, much like a stroke victim.
These days EVERYTHING is about physical training. I work out daily with my pistols (an Astra A-110 and Sig P220) because they're much cooler and "manly" than the purple 3 pound physical therapy weights.
There is no "fast" exercising for me these days, so reflex work is out for the time being because nerve damage prevents rapid muscular responses, although shooting guns is helping to overcome that issue, at least with my arms.
I cannot run or jump, but just about everything becomes a cardio workout because of physical difficulty.
And I am proud to say that today I discovered that I am strong enough to finally do a standard pushup! (but not two)
I'm lucky enough to have a history that has provided me with a wealth of situational knowledge, and a lot of shooting/self defense dynamics. I'm working on building a modified range training program for myself and perhaps for others like me.

I guess my point is this: Don't let your physical self slip away from you. You never know when your capabilities will be diminished. While you have the time, take the time to make yourself better. PT, even if not daily is an important part of shooting well.

PS: Whenever I get bummed that I can't squeeze the trigger faster, I just pull up a Youtube of Jerry Miculek blasting off at the speed of light, and I remember that no-one else can do that either.
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Old April 1, 2011, 06:20 PM   #13
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Rubber bands, squeeze rubber exercise pad, Isometrics, free weights but mostly I leap to conclusions and run off at the mouth a lot. That takes care of my cardio.
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Old April 1, 2011, 07:43 PM   #14
Will Beararms
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Great stuff Di. Keep it up and keep us posted. Your attitude is contagious.
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Old April 1, 2011, 07:55 PM   #15
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Not directly, no...

... but PT definitely benefits my shooting skills.

Reality is, though, that isn't why I do the PT.

One major reason was that as a Navy officer, I was expected to maintain at least a minimum standard, and I never did like just making the minimum. It's hard to set an example from the rear of the pack.

Another major reason was that as a pilot, I get subjected to intensive physicals. Annually, for the military; later, semi-annually, for FAA first class medical.

A third reason was that I wanted to avoid some of the pitfalls that run in my genetics, on both sides, several of which target sedentary or overweight people.

A fourth reason is sheer vanity. I hate it when I get out of shape. (This happens every so often, though. Pattern is that I work out a lot, and then something happens that triggers an old injury; then I don't work out due to pain; then I get fat; then I recover, and am totally disgusted, and start working out hard again. One of these cycles just occurred over the past couple years - I've cut around 30lbs, and over 3" off my waistline, in the last year.)

A fifth reason is that martial arts are much easier to practice, and more effective to employ, if one is in at least reasonable shape.

The last reason is that we're thinking about having a kid one day; I'll be an older father, and I figure I owe it to any potential child to keep myself in the best shape I can. Should help me play, when the child is younger, and should help keep me around longer for the potential kid.

So, my shooting benefits from better physical conditioning, but that conditioning was not part of any firearms strategy.
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Old April 1, 2011, 08:04 PM   #16
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I don't work out so I can shoot well though I bet upper body strength training would help shooting a lot.

I do 45 minutes (175 "floors") on the motorized stair climber twice a week.
This so I can go hiking with a 25# pack and do 10/12/14 or whatever mile trips without being incapacitated for days afterwards.

Fitness is good. Sitting in a cubicle all day is bad. Driving hours to get to/from the cubicle is bad. Someday I'll retire so I can exercise to Japle's level :-)
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Old April 1, 2011, 08:18 PM   #17
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Any PT is good PT

As a new member reading some of the post concerning PT I am convinced that any PT would be good for conditioning and the ability to handle firearms in a training or emergency situation. I am a 56 year old triple bypass survivor and moderate exercise along with bike riding has made a big improvement in my physical and mental condition. You can react quickly and make better decisions when you are healthy. Thanks for the stories, it's never to late to start.
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Old April 1, 2011, 08:28 PM   #18
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I started to do a flight of 300 stairs in my neighborhood back in August, and it's helped my hill-climbing ability a lot. After your 40's it doesn't get any easier.
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Old April 1, 2011, 08:46 PM   #19
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I don't do PT to enhance my shooting.

I do it because there is the very real chance of having to go 'hands-on' with an attacker to get enough space to draw (or to escape).
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Old April 1, 2011, 08:55 PM   #20
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I've found CrossFit to be a great help at challenging myself to reach a level of fitness I never even thought possible. Got hooked on it while in the Army and still enjoy it. It's tough, the toughest physical effort I've ever done, but it never gets boring and all the workouts of the day (WOD) are scalable to each individual's capacity.
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Old April 1, 2011, 09:19 PM   #21
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I work out twice a day. 45mins of cardio every morning (mostly biking or jogging) and about an hour of weight training every evening. I did not inherit the best physical fitness genes from my family, as most of my relatives fall somewhere between heavy and obese. In order to maintain my BMI, I have to work twice as hard as most of my shipmates and only see half of the results that they do...

Such is life I guess.
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Old April 1, 2011, 09:44 PM   #22
Deaf Smith
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PT? As in physical Training?

Nah. I just to Taekwondo, Krav Maga, and boxing.

I don't have time for PT.

“To you who call yourselves ‘men of peace,’ I say, you are not safe without men of action by your side” Thucydides
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Old April 1, 2011, 09:45 PM   #23
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I didn't start working out til I was in my mid-thirties. Wish I had started in high school. At my strongest I was 45 and benching 435 pounds. I was actually in the best shape of my life. Now though, it's 10 years later and my wife can't seem to quit falling. When she falls she usually breaks something and becomes total care. That means the gym is out until she can start moving on her own. I've just this week gone back for the first time in over 5 months, as she broke her leg in October. That's pretty much starting over for a couple weeks, but you get stronger much faster than originally. I'm now doing ski machine for at least 10 minutes, then hitting the weight; chest, abdominals, back, triceps, biceps and done for the day. I used to run in the park for a warmup, but switched to the ski machine for old knees. My BP is up for the first time in many years, but 5 months of nothing is probably enough to do that, along with all the stress of my wife, elderly mother, house problems, etc. Just a week later and already I'm feeling better. Working out is not just a hobby for me. It's now a necessity for proper health, and a decent stress-beater. As soon as the weather breaks, I'll be getting out my bicycle, also. That's probably the most fun you can have exercising.
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Old April 2, 2011, 12:21 AM   #24
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I'm trying to get into better shape, but asthma severely limits my ability to exercise. Sometimes I can't even lift weights.
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Old April 2, 2011, 01:02 AM   #25
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No, fast cars....

Short answer; NO.
It should be. Proper diet & fitness are good goals to have or use.

About 3/4 years ago I read a gun press article by a retired LE officer who stated a new or late model vehicle to drive is a good idea when available.

At first, I took issue with the remarks but as time went on, I saw the valid point the retired cop was making. A good condition or well maintained vehicle can keep you from being stranded or may prevent you from a violent crime.

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