Today’s post is a follow-up to my “Training Program Guaranteed to Improve Your Shooting Speed”. Lately, I have been reading blog and forum postings and it seems people have been overlooking or altogether missing the main point of how stronger hamstrings lead to faster shooting times…so here it is: stronger hamstrings lead to reduced vertical oscillation > leading to a less erratic sight picture when shooting on the move > leading to a reduction in the amount of time to get your sights on target – for both your first and follow shots.
Now, this necessity for reducing vertical oscillation during movement is so important, that Larry Vickers, in his article “Shooting on the Move,” wrote “the most critical aspect to shooting on the move is minimizing vibrations that transfer above the pelvis that in fact affect accuracy.”
So if your firearms training takes place exclusively at static ranges and you have no interest in realistic training, then great, you don’t need my training program. However, if you want to develop a skill set intended for realistic defensive conditions, then you must practice shooting on the move…and this is where my training program shines.
However, my concept of neutralizing vertical oscillation via hamstring strength is starting to catch on in the law enforcement/military firearms training community. I recently consulted with a law enforcement agency, interested in refining their SWAT selection process. While a previous consultant they hired recommended testing and measuring a candidate’s reaction times to both visual and auditory stimulus, they quickly found that fast reaction times didn’t translate to accuracy. This law enforcement agency learned an expensive lesson, you CAN miss fast. One of my recommendations, was to test a candidate’s hamstring strength with a 3 repetition maximum on the laying leg curl machine. Now it’s been demonstrated in the scientific literature, that short-term running speed is directly related to hamstring strength, leading to fast acceleration. And once a candidate’s maximum weight for 3 repetitions was determined, their bodyweight was divided by the weight lifted, giving us a relative strength rating, a rating of the weight lifted in relation to their bodyweight. The higher the rating, the greater the strength levels of the candidate, thereby possessing a greater potential for accuracy while shooting on the move.
Here’s an example based on 2 of their SWAT candidates:
- Candidate A, with a bodyweight of 205 lb, performed a 3 rep max on the leg curl using 185 lb, for a relative strength rating of .902.
- Candidate B, with a bodyweight of 195 lb, performed a 3 rep max ont he leg curl using 215, for a relative strength rating of 1.10.
As you can see, Candidate B lifter a great amount of both total weight and weight in relation to his bodyweight, resulting in a higher relative strength ratio. Ultimately, this higher score will translate to a greater ability to overcome inertia (their bodyweight) while running, reducing vertical oscillation and maintaining a more consistent sight picture.
And while this evaluation technique and training program may be excessive for the most casual of firearms enthusiasts, it’s strongly recommended for those seeking to derive maximum value from their investments in both range time and ammunition.