Category Archives: shooting speed

Larry Vickers & Shooting On the Move

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.”

Larry Vickers served 15 years in 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment – “Delta Force”

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.

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The Training Program Guaranteed to Improve Your Shooting Speed

The Shooter’s Training Program

A1) Snatch grip jumps 8 sets x 4 reps
rest 60 seconds

A2) Medicine ball throws 8 sets x 8-10
rest 120 seconds

B1) Front foot elevated split squats 4 sets x 8-10 repetitions per leg – 4010 exercise tempo
rest 75 seconds

B2) Uni-lateral lying leg curls 4 sets x 6-8 repetitions per leg.  Perform 2 sets with toes turned out and 2 sets with toes turned in – 4010 exercise tempo
rest 75 seconds

For a thorough explanation on exercise tempo, read here.

Perform the training program twice per week, for five weeks maximum.  Allow at least 48 hours per training sessions.

What You Must Remember:

  • There are a continuum of muscle fibers which must be trained accordingly
  • Type I (slow twitch) fibers possess high endurance capabilities, but low strength potential
  • Type I fibers are trained with 15+ repetitions
  • Type IIB (fast twitch) fibers possess high strength capabilities, but low endurance potential
  • Type IIB fibers are trained with 1-6 repetitions
  • Type IIA (intermediate) fibers possess the best capabilities of both Type I and Type IIB fibers
  • Type IIA fibers are trained with 6-8 repetitions
  • Type IIA and B fibers can take on weaker characteristics of Type I fibers if trained improperly
  • The shorter the running distance, the more important strength becomes
  • Full sprints generate 3-5 times bodyweight with every foot strike
  • While running, hamstrings act as “shock absorbers,” helping negate vertical oscillation
  • While running, strong hamstrings will facilitate quicker stops and changes in direction
  • You have only ONE nervous system…whether your interest lies with running faster, jumping higher,  or shooting faster, it all begins with an efficient nervous system.
  • Maximum shooting speed can only be achieved when technological advancements are paired with strong and efficient muscular and nervous systems

Give this shooter’s training program a go and you’ll soon experience an increase in your shooting speed as well as better health and well-being.  Just keep me posted on your progress.


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