So I have an interesting problem for you guys. In the past year, I have started competing in trapshooting. On a regular competition day, this sport involves lifting a 10.5 pound shotgun approximately 300 times in a day, holding it still for a few seconds and then pointing at a target. When I am fresh, this is no problem and I crush the targets. By day 3 or 4 of a week-long shoot, I really feel the fatigue in my arms and upper back. This makes being smooth and accurate more difficult.
Now I understand that I could be lifting heavy weights, increasing my strength as well as my muscle endurance along with it. The thing with this sport though, is that my shotgun NEEDS to feel heavy to me. Shooters regularly add weight to their gun so it doesn’t feel as ‘whippy’ and uncontrollable. To be successful, you need a steady, slow, controlled move to the target. The gun needs to feel heavy when mounted.
For the most part, my conditioning for this sport has involved simply lifting my gun to the regular shooting position, bringing it down, and lifting it back up. I typically do 20 ‘reps’ of this with 3-4 sets, 30 sec-1 minute rest between each(60-80 total reps). Normally, I finish with 3 static holds to failure where I get the gun in shooting position and simply hold it there until my muscles just can’t keep it up any longer. Surprisingly even after shooting at over 8000 targets in the past year, and doing this routine 3 times per week, this daily routine still makes my forearms, upper arms and shoulder burn.
I’m not sure if I simply need to increase my volume(like doing 5+ sets of 20 reps for 100 or more total reps), do more static holds to failure, or if I need to come up with an endurance-focused workout with free weights.
Any thoughts on what I can do to get to the point where my muscles aren’t fatigued after 3-4 days of shooting? It seems like so many articles are focused on the solution being more strength, which makes sense. I just want to know what I can do to ensure that the gun still ‘feels’ heavy, while getting my muscle endurance to the point where I still feel fresh on day 7 of a shoot.