Shooting enthusiasts are all too ready to discuss the ins and outs of firearm X vs Y, or the efficacy of different types of competition. However most of us are missing one very important subject. Physical fitness! Yeah I know, nobody wants to hear that because it isn’t fun to talk about. I hope to bring to light some reasons that your physical fitness should be your first priority even before your range time. Is the only running you do between barricades on a competition stage? Do you lift more than your range bag to put in the truck? If all we are here to do is argue which is better 1911 or Glock, USPSA or 3-Gun etc. then we have seriously missed the point.
Firearms training revolves around a tool that is easily the best tool in the world at saving your life and taking another’s. How do you plan on putting it into action if you are physically unable to be in a fight? I know there are some who will read this with real physical limitations, like limb disabilities and I understand the difficulties they will face. For those that fit that description I would tell you look no further than Derek Weida. Derek is a combat wounded veteran that had his leg amputated and he still participates in the top levels of Crossfit competition. Disability is a limiting factor but its your job to figure out a way around it.
Think about the multiple situations that could arise that would require a higher level of physical fitness. Running during a confrontation. Can you effectively retreat from a situation in order to find cover or to disengage? What about weapons retention? If you end up in a physical encounter can you fend off an attacker? Can you keep your assailant from utilizing your weapon against you? Physical strength and stamina are necessary for all of this. You must also think about your physical fitness when it comes to rendering aid. CPR is strenuous, and it is likely you will be doing it for 10 minutes or more until emergency services get there. Are you strong enough to drag someone out of harms way after a confrontation? Are you strong enough to drag yourself to cover in the event you are hit? When a physical confrontation starts are you strong enough to survive or are you relying solely on your gun as a means to end a conflict? What if lethal force isn’t warranted?
All these questions should lead you to the notion that you need to start putting stock in your physical fitness. Train to be the hardest SOB anyone ever tried to kill, that should include more than just your range time! Fitness will pay you dividends even if you never end up in a confrontation. Strength and stamina will do nothing but help your shooting. The added health benefits are just icing on the cake.
Survival requires fitness!