The Meridian Star
Archery 101–the basics – Body building for beginners
Building strength to pull back a bow comfortably and safely should not be done with a bow set at the maximum pull weight. If one is having difficulty pulling a bow back, have your pro archery technician decrease the bow poundage as needed.
The Mathews GENESIS bows are perfect body building bows with a low draw weight and no let-off.
CAUTION: Trigger finger always behind the trigger unless you intend to fire.
Do not do this exercise with your maximum pull weight because it could cause long term joint injury and pain. Doing it the right way protects against injury and pain. The object is to prepare the muscle without damaging joints and tendons.
Every three days pull the reduced poundage bow back s-l-o-w-l-y and let down s-l-o-w-l-y as many times as possible without stopping until the muscles tremble. Hold back about three seconds each time. When it is impossible to pull back again, REST two minutes. Repeat the exercise two more times resting between each set.
Repeat the exercise every three days and do not pick up a bow during the down time. It may be necessary to increase the bow draw weight gradually every ten days until the maximum draw weight has been reached for the training bow.
The body building exercise also helps us keep in shape during hunting season when we are focusing on hunting and not shooting hundreds of arrows a day and any other time when we don’t have time to shoot for real. Exercise is always in season.
A high protein diet is equally important to building (repairing) damaged muscle tissue. Eat boiled egg whites (3-4) daily (feed the yellow to your cat), fish, meat, fresh fruit, nuts, body building whey protein supplements, etc. and absolutely no junk food.
It is not enough to simply build muscle. It is just as important to build muscle memory. Muscle memory is what archery is all about.
The best times to perfect muscle memory (shooting form) is during the body building exercises and blind baling exercises explained earlier. Perfecting muscle memory (shooting form) is the next lesson.
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