Don’t Just Get Tired. Get Better.

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Are You Getting Tired or Getting Better?
by Joe DeFranco

Any coach [or drill sergeant] can make you tired, but it takes a true pro to make you stronger, faster, and more flexible. Athletes need to be aware of this, and so do regular gym-goers when they choose a class to take or a training program to follow. Unfortunately, they don’t always distinguish between getting tired and getting better.

Let’s say that two performance coaches were preparing two different athletes to improve their 40-yard dash times. Coach A spends an hour teaching his athlete the proper track stance and first-step technique. Coach B makes his athlete perform jumping jacks for an hour straight. The athlete who did jumping jacks for an hour would be more tired than the other athlete. But the other athlete got BETTER during his workout.

The Lesson

Athletes must be very careful when hiring a performance coach. There are a lot of uneducated coaches out there who make up for their lack of knowledge by just beating the crap out of their athletes. A lot of personal trainers do the same thing, including those selling ebooks and online programs. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for hard work. I just like to make sure the hard work has a reason and a purpose.


Training classes are NOT, I repeat NOT making you a better shooter….GASP, what did he say? |


Camp Perry Open’s ‘Super Final’ event unlike any other

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If it looks silly, but works … it ain’t silly

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Notes from Rifle Fundamentals: Breath and Hold Control

It is said that 600 yards separates the men from the boys. Maybe, but for me, offhand shooting is hardest. The illustration at the head of the article linked below shows two tools to make offhand a bit steadier.

1. Hip support for the support elbow. Yes, both male and female usually need to push the forward hip out to get better support. Looks silly – but it works.

2. Note how far back toward the trigger guard is the shooter’s support hand. (In fact, I use the trigger guard for my forward support.) What does this accomplish? The longer the moment arm, the slower the oscillation. This characteristic of oscillations is most commonly observed in grandfather clocks. And, like a clock, put a bigger weight at the end of the moment arm and oscillations will again slow.

One more ancillary comment – the article is about breathing. But while breathing and getting oxygen for your muscles and brain, you can use that time to improve your ability to see.

1. Blinking your eyes will spread basal tears that will keep your cornea clean, clear, nourished and lubricated.

2. Simply closing your eyes, or looking at something green, will help the retina recover from your eyes previous staring at the sights & target. The relatively long term and intense fixed staring at black-and-white sights and target will ‘burn’ these images into the retina, making the ability to discriminate these a bit harder. The remedy – look somewhere restful, or simply close your shooting eye.

By the way – the comments above about moment arm and eye sensitivity recovery apply to all phases of shooting, not just offhand.


Why is it called Conventional?

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Most competitive smallbore rifle shooters in the United States live in a schizophrenic world, split between National Rifle Association (NRA) and International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) styles of competition. There may be a few who only shoot one type or the other, but most end up competing in both. It is a shooting world divided by a difference in targets, equipment, and courses-of-fire: A dichotomy unique to this country.

A short history lesson is needed to understand why shooting in the United States developed as it has and not in lockstep with Europe. Although it is certain that contests of hitting an object at a distance with a rock, spear, or sling date back to prehistoric times (the story of David and Goliath, for example), competitive target shooting, as we know it, has its roots in medieval Europe.

Why is it called Conventional?
by Hap Rocketto

Competition Shooting History: The Longbow

Strength Training Reduces Dementia


  • Greater upper and lower body strength was linked to better cognitive function
  • The latest findings adds to evidence that strength training helps stave off dementia

University of Eastern Finland researchers compared 338 men and women with an average age of 66. Their muscle strength was measured through handgrip strength and three lower body exercises – leg extension, leg flexion and leg press. Upper body strength was also tested through the chest press and seated row for the study published in European Geriatric Medicine.

The association of upper and lower body muscle strength with cognitive function was observed in the study. However, handgrip strength – something previously used to measure strength – was not associated with cognitive function. Handgrip strength is relatively easy and fast to measure, and it has been widely used as a measure of muscle strength in various studies, however, it isn’t a reliable measure. The findings suggest that it doesn’t provide the most accurate answer in terms of overall strength, lead author Heikki Pentikäinen said. She said measuring upper and lower body muscle strength may ‘better reflect the association between muscle strength and cognition’. Exercise is known to have various health benefits, and strength training is a way for everyone to increase muscle mass.

A study in Australia last year has shown that resistance weight training can boost brain function in seniors at increased risk of dementia. Researchers at the University of Sydney looked at the effects of the training on a group of 100 patients over 55 with mild cognitive impairment. A quarter of the patients were prescribed weight lifting sessions twice weekly for six months, working to at least 80 per cent of their peak strength. The team found that as the pensioners got stronger, their global cognition improved “significantly” after the resistance training.
And the physical training was shown to be more beneficial than brain training alone, and lasted for a year after the training ended.

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Classifications Explained

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Stolen from:

USPSA Classifications Explained
by “Trigger Warning”

D Class: Derp
Awful. You are functioning at a level of retardedness that must truly tax your mother’s faith in the Almighty to not seek a retroactive abortion. You are lucky to escape the porous net of an overtaxed social services system that would certainly have you committed, where you would eventually be heavily medicated and moved to a secret government compound to be studied as a backwater evolutionary waystation between modern humanity and distant echoes of our primordial ancestors who struggled for existence armed only with instinctual reactions to environmental cues and a pointless but very real desire to survive.

C Class: Crap
You are looking up the wrong side of the bell curve; it’s an Everest-like climb for you to think about summiting at average. Likely you will die in the attempt, frozen and alone, existing as a reminder that not everyone who dreams should dare.

B Class: Blah
Not terrible. You’ve reached a place where you can assign your lack of any singular achievements in any facet of your life as the admirable result of a focus on work/life balance. It’s not fooling anyone else, but it gets you through the day.

A Class: Asshole
You are a constant threat to break the top 10 at a local, depending on attendance. You rest assured that people unfamiliar with USPSA who hear you are an A Class shooter must think you are good, since the class labeling system bizarrely puts the highest grade letter in the middle of the actual class rankings.

M Class: Meh
You are a walking embodiment of Ben Stoeger’s maxim that anybody who puts in enough effort can be good at shooting (or something like that). You have won some locals and you are almost good enough to be considered match heat. Almost. That means not good enough. Your finest moment and key to M-Class glory was finding a range that let you put up classifiers that you could practice incessantly after Facebook stalking matches and match directors to divine the upcoming Classifiers.

GM Class: Gun Masturbator
You’ve made it to the top. There is nowhere dumber to go. You are capable of winning a local match with accompanying glory similar to that achieved by being on the winning team of a pick-up basketball game in a suburban park. All it cost you was thousands of dollars on an income stream that would have Dave Ramsey punching you in the balls with a set of borrowed brass knuckles if he only knew that a major portion of your free time and disposable income that could have been used to strengthen family relationships or learn marketable skills, along with tendons that will now be chronically inflamed for the rest of your life, which is, by the way, downhill from here.

IDPA Classifications Explained
by “ShootsLikeaDog”

You’re shooting IDPA. Kill yourself.

You’re shooting IDPA and you’re not even top-tier at it. Kill yourself.

You’re shooting IDPA, but you might not be good enough with a gat to kill yourself. Have a backup method for killing yourself.

You’re shooting IDPA, but you’re definitely not good enough with a gat to kill yourself and you probably can’t figure out a backup method. Have someone else do it.

You’re not even shooting and we’re amazed you haven’t ND’d yourself to death already. You’re basically a vegetable. Someone will be along to disconnect the ventilator shortly.

NRA Classifications Explained
by John M. Buol Jr.

A Marksman Classification is “earned” by merely showing up to a match and failing to be disqualified due to flagrant safety violations. You can’t shoot worse than this. Scratch that. Given only 2% of the NRA membership will bother to ever show up, 98% of the herd are less involved and probably worse than your terrible level of non-skill.

The worst you can shoot while meeting a minimally-low cut off. One step up from the bottom. Good job!

You’re actually invested and have practiced to become this bad. A complete lay person (which describes nearly every gun owner that has never attended a match) might be fooled into believing an “Expert” Classification denotes actual skill. You’re shooting just well enough to eventually stumble into enough “leg points” to earn a Distinguished Rifleman/Pistol Shot badge if you keep at it, the marksmanship equivalent of the infinite monkey theorem.

Possibly good enough to be a contender for a win at local, or small state/regional match. You consider a trip to a drained swamp on the southwest-side of Lake Erie to stay in a hutment that deployed Marines would complain about to be a vacation while spending enough money in travel, lodging, match fees, and ammunition to have instead gone to Europe.

High Master
You’ve reached the Classification pinnacle of a century-old sport sponsored by a political organization that not even the directors and card-carrying members know or care anything about. And it only took an investment in time and money that could have paid for an early retirement. After giving your paycheck to Chump’s Choice, avoid considering this fact by enjoying beer and pizza at Bell Mell or an ice cream at Andy’s because ya can’t go to Nick’s anymore…

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