Fortunately for most of us, competitive shooting doesn’t require the fitness levels of an Olympic swimmer, gymnast or any myriad of other sports that take incredible athletic ability. Unfortunately, that causes a lot of us (and I’m guilty of it) to ignore the level of physical fitness that is required for us to perform to the best of our given ability level.
What I’m talking about is functional fitness. In general terms, a typical USPSA Area match will consist of 8-12 periods anaerobic activity lasting between 5-20 seconds and needing to cover 10-20 yards of ground and go kneeling maybe once. These usually are spread out over the course of the entire day or perhaps a day and a half. However, in between stages we do things like stand around waiting, bend over to pick up steel, carry around equipment both on belts and in the range bag, and by the end of the day are generally worn out, tired and grouchy. So while shooting a stage to the best of your ability may not demand a whole lot physically, being able to do it on demand, after helping reset stages all day does require a certain level of fitness training. Now, I’m not saying that everybody needs to stop dry and live fire practice and hit the gym twice a day, everybody has to find a level of training that they feel comfortable with and are in line with their overall goal set. Speaking of which, that sounds like an excellant topic for next week’s tip, but until then, Train To Triumph!