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The importance of cardiovascular training for your archery

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  • The importance of cardiovascular training for your archery

    Interested to know how important folks think cardio training (swimming, running, cycling) is for archery!!

    Myself i think it is the thing that separates the best from the rest!

    As a fitness instructor and trainer i personally think it is the one thing archers can improve on, i do realise though you can't get to far away from simply getting arrows in the gold.

    So how much is enough, would love to hear your thoughts?

  • #2
    I think it's a lot more important that most people consider, for several reasons.
    1. Cardio fitness means a lower heart rate not just for resting, but for the same amount of work or effort done by someone of lower cardio fitness.
    2. Recovery time is much faster with a better fitness level.
    3. When archers train or practice shooting, their heart rate slows during the holding period of the shot cycle. It's something beneficial that we unintentionally learn how to do.
    It makes sense that in a competition stress environment, he with the best cardio fitness, might have the lowest elevated heart rate and having a faster recovery rate, will be able to drop it faster during the shot cycle. This will let them get closer to their practice physiological state.
    4. And lets face it, if you die of heart failure, it seriously impedes the time that you can spend training.
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    • #3
      Mmmm ...

      ......if you die of heart failure, it seriously impedes the time that you can spend training. ...

      AND many other fun persuits for that matter ...


      • #4
        I started interval training hoping that it would help my archery scores but I'm not sure if it really did.
        The side effects of losing weight and feeling better are pretty good though!
        I have no enemies but my friends dislike me intensely.


        • #5
          Originally posted by WoodturnerJosh View Post
          I started interval training hoping that it would help my archery scores but I'm not sure if it really did.
          The side effects of losing weight and feeling better are pretty good though!
          I have my own totally unresearched theories on this:

          1) So long as whatever activity is not causing you physical harm (e.g. running stuffing knees, too heavy weights straining muscles) it will help your archery.
          2) Your best scores might not improve much, but you'll have less "off" days and be more consistent & resiliant to bad weather.
          3) A great percentage of benefit to your shooting from your physical activity will come from believing it will improve your archery.

          Item 3) is based on extensive research of a sample of one (me) - a few too many years ago I decided I wanted to win the District Champs - the only thing different I did to previous champs was embark on my own "training programme" loosely based on what Rick McKinney had handed out when he came to the NZ nationals. Yes, I did win the District Champs, but looking back, the "programme" I had done for myself was actually quite lame - but I can convinced myself that I was "doing something" so I was shooting slightly higher, but more consistent scores.

          While not wanting to rake the embers, I suspect this was part of the flaw of the previous Aus selection policy - by elevating a "tool" for better performance to an actual selection requirement, it got a negative reception which reduced its ability to be helpful.

          "I used to read, but it's faster to make up stuff" - Wally (Dilbert)


          • #6
            I do hard cardio four to five times a week on top of light lifting a couple times a week. I have been wondering about the training regimen for ski archery. Anyone have any input on this? It seem like there would have to be some insane training involved.
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            • #7
              What about upper body...what type of exercises would help in archery


              • #8
                I've found it rather useless for improving my archery, but I have found spending that time working on my shot process far more beneficial.
                This isn't to say there are other advantages to cardio, and I think people should do it from a health point of view, but I don't think it's that important to archery performance. Certainly not to the level that some obsess about it with.
                You can be fit as **** and still suck.
                Urban Archery
                Carbon Express
                Redback Strings

                Before enlightenment: Chop wood, carry water
                After enlightenment: Chop wood, carry water


                • #9
                  But on the other hand; if it makes you a happier more confident person, or just makes you feel like you're working hard and deserve to shoot well, then you probably will improve a heck of a lot more than practising something you're already good at.


                  • #10
                    yeah, but that's not a direct correlation.

                    Eating Jaffa Cakes might make you a happier and more confident person too, which helps you shoot better.

                    Not saying don't do it, I think it's a good thing to do, but I'm dubious of it's positive effects on archery.

                    Personally if I was a professional archer I would have a fitness and strength cross training regime in place, but I would concentrate more on strength than cardio. I think 10 minutes in the weight room is far more beneficial than 30m running. IMO.
                    I would also suggest that something competitive like kick boxing would be more beneficial than straight up running.

                    Another advantage to cardio is that it's NOT archery. If you enjoy it it's a good chance to relax and take your focus away from shooting, which some may find beneficial.

                    The only negative I see is it's time requirements.
                    Urban Archery
                    Carbon Express
                    Redback Strings

                    Before enlightenment: Chop wood, carry water
                    After enlightenment: Chop wood, carry water


                    • #11
                      I spend about 14-17 hours a week on my bike, and my cardio fitness is excellent. I have a resting heart rate in the 40's and feel great.

                      I think it helps keep me generally very healthy, and I really enjoy it - which are great reasons for doing it, but I don't think it directly benefits my archery very much.

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                      • #12
                        I have been looking at this thread for a wile now. I was gross over weight ft 5,11 109kg 30 years old, Also a heavy smoker. Been shooting Ifaa for 23 years.
                        I gave up the smokes and alcohol 8 months ago and the last 5 months I have been doing 5 hours to 8 hours of cardio a week and lifting weights 2 times per week. Also eating a healthy diet. I am now 85kg and feel about 1000 x better and full of energy.
                        For 2 years I could not lift my target game shooting most days and not getting any better. Now my game has improved so much I love the look of my scope on the 10 ring before I hated it.
                        So yes fitness gave me a huge boost in shot execution performance.
                        For the fellers it didnt really help I guess thats because there in shape in the first place, but for the unhealthy archer the chances are your game is going to improve.
                        I am consistently shooting better with my life style change.


                        • #13
                          As a Strength Coach my analysis on which fitness regime would be most beneficial for target archery, I would have to lean towards the strength option.

                          Relative strength, the strength needed in relation to the task performed, would have a precedence.

                          The stronger you are, for a given task, (Specificity) the less effort needed to perform that task.

                          Less effort = lower perceived exertion, lower heart rate, better neuro-muscular control or capability to sustain higher loads with the same perceived exertion level as previously attained.

                          Where Cardio has it's place is allowing better recuperation between aerobic or strength oriented sessions through higher aerobic blood flow with better cellular nutrient deposition at rest and elevated excretion of metabolic by-products through the Lymphatic system thus enabling repeated high level exertion.
                          Last edited by Warlocke; 22nd July 2012, 01:52 PM.


                          • #14
                            WOW!! Totally! Ok so while you aren't running about a whole lot, I believe there is some benefit to cardio in archery.
                            There was mention above to heart rate, I agree.
                            Focus and Visualisation play a big part too.

                            Physical Strength is a requirement, but this will also come with practice. I always used to laugh when friends who were far stronger than me would near crap themselves trying to draw my 60# bow. I was the skinny kid at school

                            There's a good element of technique but the right muscle groups come with practice.

                            I'd have to say though that Cardio/Heart rate combined with breathing techniques puts your mind in the right zone .. and mental fitness is crucial
                            Once that scope is full of gold, the world around you stops, you talk yourself through the release and the follow through .. breaaaaaaath .. then you let fly ..
                            In that time, at full draw, I'd often hear nothing around me. Aim looks good, breathing is good, release .. now listen for the clatter of arrows ... now breathe

                            I think most competitive sports have a large element of mental fitness without you'll defeat yourself every time, before you have even started.


                            • #15
                              Great for sex too. Sex makes a dude happy. Happy dudes shoot good scores. Something like that.
                              The irony of eagerly promoting indifference. Eh Scott?