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CHA-LEE

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12 hours ago, Furrly said:

Charlie,

would you mind sharing your grip strength training program. Would like to get ideas on what you do so I can tailor my mine. 

Thanks 

 

I have listed below my current grip strength training program. This is my "Build Strength" process which is more extensive than the "Maintain Strength" process. Regardless of what I do its important that everyone come up with their own training program that produces grip strength increase while doing it in a safe manner. I have seen many people go crazy with random grip strength training programs and it results in serious bouts of tendonitis. Use my training program at your own risk!!!

 

Daily Grip Strength Training program

 

Morning

Tool Used - Sidewinder Pro Extreme 3

Set 1 - Standard forward grip of the bar rolling wrists in 25 reps. 10 Second break after set.

Set 2 - Left angled front grip of the bar with right hand on the bottom portion. Rolling wrists in 25 reps. 10 Second break after set.

Set 3 - Right angled front grip of the bar with Left hand on the bottom portion. Roll wrists in 25 reps. 10 Second break after set.

Set 4 - Holding top of bar stationary with left hand and twisting bottom portion with right hand in a door knob motion. Roll wrists in 25 reps. 10 Second break after set.

Set 5 - Holding top of bar stationary with Right hand and twisting bottom portion with left hand in a door knob motion. Roll wrists in 25 reps. 10 Second break after set.

Set 6 - Standard forward grip of the bar rolling wrists in 25 reps.

Set 7 - Perform 50 full Close/Open cycles of my empty hands to work full range of motion.

Note - Forearms are nuked after this workout and it usually takes 10 - 15 minutes for them to return to normal.

 

Evening

Tool Used - Captains of Crush #1 Gripper

Set 1 - Grip and release 60 Reps in Right hand.

Set 2 - Grip and release 60 Reps in Left hand.

Set 3 - Grip and release 60 Reps in Right hand.

Set 4 - Grip and release 60 Reps in Left hand.

Set 5 - Grip and hold gripper closed for 60 seconds in Right hand.

Set 6 - Grip and hold gripper closed for 60 seconds in Left hand.

Set 7 - Grip and hold gripper closed for 60 seconds in Right hand.

Set 8 - Grip and hold gripper closed for 60 seconds in Left hand.

Set 9 - Perform 50 full Close/Open cycles of my empty hands to work full range of motion.

Note - All of these sets are performed back to back with no rest in between

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1 hour ago, CHA-LEE said:

 

I have listed below my current grip strength training program. This is my "Build Strength" process which is more extensive than the "Maintain Strength" process. Regardless of what I do its important that everyone come up with their own training program that produces grip strength increase while doing it in a safe manner. I have seen many people go crazy with random grip strength training programs and it results in serious bouts of tendonitis. Use my training program at your own risk!!!

 

Daily Grip Strength Training program

 

Morning

Tool Used - Sidewinder Pro Extreme 3

Set 1 - Standard forward grip of the bar rolling wrists in 25 reps. 10 Second break after set.

Set 2 - Left angled front grip of the bar with right hand on the bottom portion. Rolling wrists in 25 reps. 10 Second break after set.

Set 3 - Right angled front grip of the bar with Left hand on the bottom portion. Roll wrists in 25 reps. 10 Second break after set.

Set 4 - Holding top of bar stationary with left hand and twisting bottom portion with right hand in a door knob motion. Roll wrists in 25 reps. 10 Second break after set.

Set 5 - Holding top of bar stationary with Right hand and twisting bottom portion with left hand in a door knob motion. Roll wrists in 25 reps. 10 Second break after set.

Set 6 - Standard forward grip of the bar rolling wrists in 25 reps.

Set 7 - Perform 50 full Close/Open cycles of my empty hands to work full range of motion.

Note - Forearms are nuked after this workout and it usually takes 10 - 15 minutes for them to return to normal.

 

Evening

Tool Used - Captains of Crush #1 Gripper

Set 1 - Grip and release 60 Reps in Right hand.

Set 2 - Grip and release 60 Reps in Left hand.

Set 3 - Grip and release 60 Reps in Right hand.

Set 4 - Grip and release 60 Reps in Left hand.

Set 5 - Grip and hold gripper closed for 60 seconds in Right hand.

Set 6 - Grip and hold gripper closed for 60 seconds in Left hand.

Set 7 - Grip and hold gripper closed for 60 seconds in Right hand.

Set 8 - Grip and hold gripper closed for 60 seconds in Left hand.

Set 9 - Perform 50 full Close/Open cycles of my empty hands to work full range of motion.

Note - All of these sets are performed back to back with no rest in between

Thanks CHA-Lee, great stuff. i was researching the sidewider pro grip models, the extreme is 2" and the pro grip 2 is 1 1/2 in diameter. I am more on the medium to smaller size hands, does the difference in diameter between the two matter on hand size.?

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The larger diameter bar will give you more of a grip work out because its harder to maintain a solid grip. But I am sure that either one can be used to produce an effective grip workout. Too many people get paralyzed by worrying about making the wrong purchase. In the big picture these grip strength training tools are not that expensive. If you get one and it doesn't work as expected, then just get another one that does work for your needs.

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This weekend I was able to get back into the practical shooting mode by hosting the HPPS match on Saturday then doing some Live Fire practice on Sunday. The HPPS match is the local match that I run as the match director and it was once again a long day filled with a lot of work. We had a full team of board members for this match so the stage setup process went pretty smooth. We had a good combination shooting skills tested in this match which was great. I setup a memory stage since we don’t get to see those very often at local matches. When I setup memory stages I don’t have a preconceived idea of how it should be shot. I simply make sure that all of the targets can be seen and engaged from at least one location within the shooting area. After setting it up I looked at it from a stage strategy perspective and it was EVIL. Much more evil than I intended or expected it to be. This stage ended up being the last stage of the match for my squad and it was interesting to see how my squad mates tackled it. There was a wide range of plans and execution effectiveness on my squad alone. I can only imagine how much variance there was through the other squads as well. The thing that surprised me is how many shooters basically gave up on figuring out a stage plan and reverted to blasting at whatever they could see from every position. This stage destroyed most of the shooters in the match. It should have been a good wakeup call to make it a point to practice these kind of stages. Memory stages are really not that hard if you simply apply the same stage programming and mental rehearsals as any other stage. It just goes to show how many shooters really don’t put in enough stage programming on a regular basis.

 

I shot the match with my #2 Limited blaster and it worked like a champ as always. The only stage I got to check out before the match from a stage plan perspective was the memory stage. All of the others I had to figure out a stage plan when my squad got to them during the match. Luckily most of the other stages really didn’t have too much tricky stuff and the stage plans were easily figured out. I executed my stage plans well all day and it showed in my results. I didn’t have any shooting penalties for the match and only 3 D zone hits. Two D’s on the same partial hard cover target where I was avoiding the hard cover too much. The number one thing that I felt worked well during this match was my grip strength and recoil management. My daily grip strength training workouts are starting to pay off. Right now my grip strength is at about 140lbs per hand which is still lower than I want it to be. But making progress is a good thing.

 

On Sunday I decided to go back out to the BLGC range to get some live fire training done. I have been following the guys at Super Grand Champ and they have a “Mail In” Stage challenge that looked fun to do. The WSB’s for these stages are setup with all of the measurements just like a Classifier so it’s easy to replicate the stage. I reshot this stage several times and had varying results while trying to push the boundaries of movement or shooting speeds. Listed below is a video of my best performance from a hit factor perspective. I also added some steel to this stage and backed up the shooting position about 10 yards. I turned it into a lateral movement 3 box drill with a mixture of paper and steel within each position. At the end of the practice I did some one shot draws on the mini poppers at 45 yards and the time sweet spot to guarantee hits was in the 1.25 – 1.30 range. This was a good practice session that allowed me to push the boundaries of several different skills and it was also fun. I can’t ask for much more than that!!!

 

 

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Pretty sporty run there shooting major at almost 16hf with a draw, 2 positions, and 3 arrays. 

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This past weekend I decided to make the trip out to Saint George Utah for some training and motorcycle riding. I didn’t decide on this at the last minute. This trip was planned months in advance. It’s been a really long time since I did any training with Ron Avery and he is now based in Saint George hosting training at the Tactical Performance Center. I arranged for a day of one on one training with Ron on Saturday and had my buddy Nick Brazzale join me as he just moved out there and I was staying at his house. Since Nick joined in on the training it technically wasn’t a “one on one” training but I got plenty of personal attention and feedback during the training session. I think the 2 on 1 actually worked out better because it gave both of us some down time from the individual instruction to reload mags, think about skills, or test new stuff out on our own.

 

My primary focus for this training was to find a solution for my poor steel shooting. We also worked on several other things on my “Suck List” and found some potential solutions for those as well. For my steel shooting suckitude we discovered that I was abandoning the sight observation too soon during the shooting process. Basically I would aim at the steel as I should then transition my focus to the steel as I started to pull the trigger. This makes perfect sense as I have had the observation of focusing hard at steel while missing it many times in matches and practice. The solution for this was to simply maintain a sight picture focus through the whole trigger press and break of the shot. If I did that then the steel went down one for one. This to me seems like a super novice mistake to not be able to find and resolve myself but sometimes you need a fresh set of eyes on the issue to bring it to light. The super confusing thing is that I don’t have this same issue when shooting paper targets. I think this is primarily due to there not being any real feedback or movement of the paper targets when you shoot them verses steel.

 

The other issue that we found which compounds this steel missing issue is my tendency to mash the crap out of the trigger with way too much force. I will aim and observe the sights properly then fail making the hit because I mash the trigger way too hard which displaces the gun off target. I need to do a lot of work on softening my trigger pull while maintaining solid sight picture observation through the whole trigger pull.

 

The next major discovery was finding a solution for my reduced hit quality and recoil management when engaging targets through low ports. Ever since my neck injury I have lost a significant amount of strength in my left arm. This loss of strength translates to reduced grip pressure and recoil management any time I have to point the gun higher than a normal stance aiming position. As soon as I start pointing the gun upwards my strength gets significantly worst. The solution for this wasn’t trying to muscle the gun more to generate the control. It ended up being a slightly higher support hand elbow point combined with pulling my shoulders down a little bit. Doing this generates a much more solid skeletal structure behind the gun in this upward pointing position which allows me to control the recoil much better. I will need a lot of practice to get this new arm and shoulder position burned in to a normal event any time I need to point the gun upwards.

 

There were several other skills that we worked on that day which I have to verify and test in practice. I don’t want explain all of that information here as some of that stuff needs to be validated as actually being better or not for me. The cool thing is that I now have a list of 10 different skills to test, verify and hone over the winter months so I can head into the 2019 shooting season as a more effective competitor. Most importantly it was awesome to spend some time with Ron Avery. It’s been way too long since I did any training with him and I regret not making that happen sooner.

 

On Sunday I switched my shooting gear for my Motorcycle gear. It was time to hit the trails on my KTM 500 EXC-F with Ken Nelson. If you don’t already know, Ken is the creator and owner of Practiscore. He also owns the Tactical Performance Center. Ken is a super cool guy and graciously invited me to do some offroad trail riding with him that day. The riding group was only Ken and I and it was a blast. We rode a bunch of different trails around the Saint George area. It was really fun to experience the trail riding there and even though we were at it for about 5 hours it seemed like we only scratched the surface when it comes to all of the available trails. That place is a mecca for dirt bike trail riding for sure!!! By the end of our ride we were both worn out but also happy with our well earned ride. Ken is a great dirt bike rider and a super nice guy as well. It was really cool to be able to do a day of trail riding with him. Hopefully I will get the chance to do it again sometime next year.

 

After these two days jam packed with blasting and riding entertainment I was worn out. The 9 hour drive back to Colorado on Monday was actually a welcomed break from the non-stop go-go-go of the weekend. Having time to relax on the drive back home was nice. Now its time to dig in and get these new discoveries hammered out.   

 

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This past weekend was my first taste of cold/wet range conditions for the winter season. Overall the weather wasn’t horrible, but it was bad enough to dramatically change my shooting plans. I was initially planning on hosting a 2 day competition pistol class but had to cancel that since the forecast at the range had a high in the upper 40’s with Snow + Rain on Saturday. Nobody wants to be on the range in those conditions including me so I cancelled the class. Hopefully we will get lucky with the weekend weather later in the month so we can have this class. It’s a bummer to cancel a class but that is the risk of doing training classes in the fall/winter.

 

Since my class was canceled I switched up my plans and decided to do some live fire practice and blaster testing indoors on Saturday morning then outdoors in the afternoon. I have been struggling with making my #4 Limited blaster “feel” identical to my currently Primary which is the #2. The #4 blaster has always had a more exaggerated muzzle dip/bounce when the slide snaps forward. This is really confusing to me because the overall weight of the #4 slide is identical to the #2. The same weight should produce the same mass slapping back and forth. I have tried a bunch of different spring combos on the #4 to get it to feel the same but it’s always different. I decided to take half an ounce of weight out of the front of the #4 slide to see if that would help resolve the dip/bounce issue. The morning indoor live fire session was used to test the #2 vs #4 with the half ounce removed but the same spring setup on both guns. The #4 did feel like it had less dip/bounce than before but it was also hard to see my sights clearly indoors. The overall feeling of the recoil was much more similar to the #2 though which was a step in the right direction. I was able to get some slow motion video of both guns and the #4 still had a little more dip/bounce than the #2. I figured I would use the afternoon live fire session to try some different springs to see if I could minimize that some more.

 

After the morning live fire session I went back home and did a bunch of back to back dry fire handling between the two guns. I found that the #4 trigger shoe felt further back than the #2. I busted out the calipers and measured the trigger depth between the two and found that the #4 was in fact 1mm further back than the #2. The #4 has the Geppert adjustable shoe trigger bow, so I took the gun totally apart and adjusted the trigger shoe forward 1mm. After that both guns felt identical in trigger feel and pull.

 

I headed to the AGC range with my buddy Trung for the afternoon live fire session and holly cow it was windy. The temp was in the low 50’s which in itself wasn’t bad, but the crazy wind made it feel down right cold. I wanted to do some live fire drills with the #4 but it was too windy and cold for me. I limited my shooting to only testing different spring combos while shooting some static steel. I was able to get slow motion video of all the setups to confirm what the gun was doing. I tried three different spring combos that afternoon and settled on a 9lb recoil and 17lb hammer setup. This spring setup produced pretty good sight tracking while minimizing the dip/bounce to match the #2 almost perfectly. I didn’t have an 18 or 19lb hammer spring to try, which was a bummer because I think one of those will be the ultimate setup for the #4 in this new slide weight config. I will need to test the 18 and 19 out when I get back from the Area 2 match. But the good news is that the #4 now feels much closer to the #2 in both trigger and muzzle flip/sight tracking. I wish that I could have shot the #4 more during this outdoor session but the wind and cold forced me to call it quits.

 

On Sunday I attended a local PSAC USPSA match. I used the #4 for this match as it would be a good test of this new setup in match conditions. It was cold and overcast the whole day but luckily there was only a little bit of wind. A coat and gloves were required to keep warm during this match. This match was a really good test of the #4 blaster as well as shooting in less than optimal lighting. Most of the stages had the targets in shadow conditions so it made calling my shots more difficult but I was able to be visually patient enough to get good hits all day. I didn’t have any D zone hits or other shooting penalties for the match and executed my stage plans well overall. The #4 Limited blaster wasn’t a distraction at all as it felt “normal” to shoot. I honestly forgot I was not shooting the #2 several times during the match because the #4 felt identical to it. This is exactly what I have wanted for a long time now.

 

I also used this match to test out some new magazine pouches made by Long’s Shadow. Josh at Long’s Shadow has been working on these new pouches for a while now and the end result is really nice. They have an adjustable front to back tensioner so you can set specific magazine retention friction without needing to change the overall pinching force on the magazine like most other kydex pouches. The pouch also retains the magazine by minimal amount on the top end of the mag tube. This requires a lot less outward pulling distance before the mag can be removed from the pouch verses a lot of other kydex options on the market. Finally, these pouches use the same Safariland 771 hangers so their position and angle can be matched identically to the 771 pouches. I setup the new Long’s Shadow pouches in the exact same position and angle as my old 771 pouches and every pouch position felt “normal” when doing dry and live fire reloads. I look forward to testing these new Long’s Shadow mag pouches to see how they do in the long run. So far, I am impressed.

 

After the match we left one of the field course states setup so we could get some more practice time in. This practice stage let me push the boundaries of shooting aggression versus visual feedback and confirmed that my match shooting pace was dead on to where it should be. I was also able to experiment a little bit with the new steel shooting techniques vs my old habits to confirm that the new technique is much more consistent even though it feels like it’s taking longer. I still need to do a lot more steel shooting using the new technique before it feels “normal” and I can execute it subconsciously. But movement in the right direction is a good thing.

 

After I got home from the match I did a detailed strip, clean and relube on both the #4 & #2 blasters to get them ready for the Area 2 match. I am leaving for the Area 2 match on Thursday and am excited to attend. Having a few weeks of major match down time has been great and it’s making me hungry to attend and compete. This is a good thing because I was verging on burn out after the back to back to back to back majors I did towards the end of the summer. Out of all the major matches I attend each year the Area 2 is the one I look forward to the most. I am really looking forward to attending this one and it also marks my last major of the year. I am planning on using the #4 Limited blaster at this match so we will see if it’s really ready for show time.   

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The 2018 Area 2 Championship is now in the books. This was my last major match of the year and it didn’t disappoint. This is my favorite major match of the year and continues to be on many different levels. The Match is run well, the prize table is well stocked with goodies, the stages are fun and the competition is stacked. I was lucky enough to get into the match again which making entry is a miracle in itself since it fills up in seconds after registration opens. I was on the Fri/Sat/Sun shooting schedule and had a chance to walk all of the stages on Thursday. The stages had a good mixture of shooting and movement skill tests. Most of the stages had an obvious stage plan but also allowed you to push your limits in engaging targets on the move or choosing moving target engagement orders which were more or less risky.

 

One bummer for the match was the windy conditions on Friday. Friday morning we woke up super early and the wind was howling. I hoped that the wind would die down before we started shooting but it never eased up. Contending with the wind on Friday was something that we all had to endure so I guess it was at least evenly “Sucky” for everyone. Luckily that was the only day with crazy wind and the rest of the time the weather was perfect. The nice Phoenix weather in early November is yet another bonus for me as it was freezing temps and snow back in Denver during this same time.

 

I used my #4 Limited gun as the primary for the match and brought my #2 as a backup. The #4 Limited gun ran like a champ the whole weekend and felt “normal” to shoot. I honestly forgot I wasn’t shooting the #2 several times during the match because the #4 was feeling so good. I am really glad that I got the #4 ironed out before heading to this match so I could use it as the Primary. Another reason why I wanted to use the #4 is that its barrel produces a velocity that is consistently 25 – 30fps faster than the #2. I was able to prove this once again at the chrono where the #4 made a 171 power factor and the #2 just barely made over 165 power factor with the exact same ammo. The #2 needs a new barrel and I will get that replaced this winter during the major match down time.

 

The other new thing that I was able to get some more testing on were the new Long’s Shadow mag pouches. They worked great the whole match and I didn’t even feel a difference between them and my old Safariland 771 mag pouch setup. The only thing that I might change on those is to adjust the shimming of the pouch a little bit to have it tilt the magazines a little closer toward my body. Right now they are tilted away a little further than I would like. That is yet another thing that I will spend some time on optimizing over the winter.

 

From a shooting perspective, I felt that I did “ok” overall in performance. I shot the stages well within the bounds of my skills and didn’t try to go crazy or try stuff outside of my comfort zone. There were a few stages that I felt that my shooting wasn’t as aggressive as it should be. But the slow shooting scenarios were usually associated with engaging “shadow” targets during the morning stages where the lighting wasn’t optimal. On the first day I ended up having a miss on a super fast over the top swinger on Stage 4. I was pushing the limits of my magazine capacity and didn’t want to waste the time to do a reload off of a barrel. Thinking back, I should have performed a reload after the first shooting position in the stage as it would have allowed me to shoot more aggressively and have extra bullets to make up super marginal shots on the fast swingers. My miss on this stage wasn’t a surprise. I called all three shots on the swinger very marginal and ended up with only 1 hit.

 

On the second day I was shooting pretty good until the last stage of the day. Our last stage was the classifier and I ended up just barely nicking the perf on a no shoot. This no shoot hit was actually an early shot where it broke just before I intended it to on an aggressive transition. 1 mm further to the left and it wouldn’t have counted as a no shoot hit. Some times you get lucky, some times you don’t.  

 

The last day was my poorest performance overall. We started out in the morning and my hands were cold on the first stage of the day. It felt like my hands were bricks with no dexterity and the gun was muzzle flipping a lot more than normal. This lead to a bunch of extra shots because of the excessive muzzle flip. I even had a hard cover miss on the last target of the stage where I had to remount the gun and make it up so I wouldn’t eat the miss. The second stage on the last day was a train wreck for me. This was a stage with some strange diagonal ports which had some tricky steel shooting along with two drop turners that had no shoots blocking the bottom half of the target. Hunching over to shoot through the ports exposed my current primary weakness which is sucky recoil management any time I have to point the gun higher than a normal standing position. You had to engage the drop turners with very fast splits as they were not exposed for long. I tried my best to rail on them while trying to manage the recoil but failed on both drop turners. My second shot on both drop turners ended up low in the no shoot. One of them was on the perforation of the no shoot and the other was well into the no shoot. Eating two no shoots and a no penalty miss on that stage sucked. 25 match points straight down the drain. I need to get this “hunched over” sucky recoil management scenario resolved. I will be focusing on that this winter as well.

 

The good from this match is that I was able to deploy the new steel shooting technique most of the time and it resulted in much better one for one hits. I still had some extra shots on steel but nowhere near the amount I would have had normally. The few times that I did have misses on steel I fell back into my old habit of looking for the steel to react as I was pulling the trigger instead of staying diligent on the sights through the whole trigger pull. It was cool to see this new steel shooting technique work well in the match. I still have a long ways to go before I get that process burned into a subconscious level. But once again, I will have the winter time to get that ironed out.

 

When all of the results were final I ended up 5th overall in Limited at 86% of Nils Jonasson who won in dominating fashion. Nils destroyed everyone else in Limited at this match with an impressive 8% win over second place. Second through sixth were pretty close in the overall. As usual the finishing order in the top 6 primarily came down to who shot the least amount of penalties. Had I not racked up the 3 stupid no shoots and no penalty miss I might have been 3rd overall. I could play the “woulda, coulda, shoulda” game until the end of time. The reality is that my shooting performance accurately represented my skill level. I would consider this performance an “almost hitting on all cylinders” effort. This less than optimal performance was actually expected given how much I have been dealing with lately from a health perspective along with deploying a new gun and mag pouches. I could have waited to switch to the #4 blaster and new mag pouches until after the Area 2 match. But I figured why not give it a go since this is the last major match of the year and I still don’t have my diet and exercise program optimized. These things are yet more stuff to add to my winter priority list to get figured out.

 

The Area 2 match wraps up my 2018 major match shooting season. Now it’s time to relax a little bit during the cold winter months. I have plenty of stuff to work on between now and the start of the 2019 major match season. My goal is to get all of this stuff figured out, trained and locked down so I can hit the ground running in the spring.  

 

 

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From a diet perspective, there is no getting around the fact that I need to lose some weight. This fact was hammered home a few months ago when my Diabetic blood sugar control started to get out of hand for seemingly no good reason. Something within my body has changed and I am not producing the same amount of insulin as I was so my old diet and meds were not controlling my blood sugar well enough anymore. I switched to an ultra low carb, zero sugar diet to help minimize the chance of having high blood sugar levels. Diet alone wasn't getting it done so I then had to also try some new glucose control medications. Being on the ultra low carb diet has helped in losing some fat, but it has attacked my muscle mass more than my fat. For example, my max grip strength per hand went from 160lbs down to 110lbs over a couple of months. I have been hitting the grip strength training hard over the last month and built my maximum grip strength back up to 135lbs but its still not where I want it to be. Since I know that the strength loss isn't limited to just my grip strength I have started doing daily body weight based exercises like squats, pushups and stuff like that. I think that doing a daily workout like that has helped me fend off additional strength loss but its no where near what is needed to really get fit and strong. Over the winter months I am going to find a local personal trainer to help me formulate a workout program that will help me meet my performance and health goals knowing that my new diet and meds are not really going to change much for the foreseeable future.

 

For me, step 1 is embracing the suck of doing a daily workout. So far I have been doing really good with sticking to it on a daily basis. Once I feel like doing it is "normal" then making the leap into a better formulated or coordinated solution from a personal trainer shouldn't be to difficult. I am basically trying to ease myself into an overall health and fitness life change because I know if I dive in head first it won't be palatable enough to sustain over the long haul. If I do my part and keep at it, hopefully I can enter the 2019 major match shooting season as a "healthier Big Panda". We will see how it goes.   

Edited by CHA-LEE

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Just like all the other aspects of our training, you have to make it part of the "work" that makes you perform the way you want.   Once I decided working out was a necessary part of shooting, just like buying bullets and dry fire it made things much easier.   

 

Schedule your work out with just as much importance as gun maintenance and you'll do fine.   

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Last night I was able to attend an indoor USPSA match at the Bristolcone Gun Club. I normally don’t attend this match because it’s on the other side of town and traffic is a bear getting there right after work. But I had to pick some stuff up from a friend there and I also wanted to test out some stuff of my own. When I was at the Area 2 match I ordered some Revel shooting glasses from Decot Hy-Wyd in my +0.75 diopter prescription. These have clear lenses just like my others. The main difference between the Revel and the Lens Crafter ones I have been using is that they offer way better eye coverage on the sides. The Rudy Project Rydon glasses I had made have way too much parallax and focal distortion as you look through the corners of the lenses. So the Rudy glasses were a fail. The Lens Crafter ones have very little parallax or focal distortion but not enough lens coverage to provide good protection on the sides. The Decot Revel glasses produce the same minimal parallax or focal distortion but offer much more lens wrap protection. The Revel glasses worked great for this indoor match. The only thing that I didn’t like is how the back of the frames wrap around the back of my ears. My ears felt a little sore on the back side after wearing them for several hours. I will need to see if I can reduce the amount of pressure the back end of the frames put on my ears. Other than that I think they will be a solid solution. I still need to give them a try outdoors and hopefully I will get to do that this weekend.

 

The second thing I tested out was an 18lb hammer spring in my #4 Limited blaster. I switched from a 17lb hammer spring to the 18lb to see if I could chill out the rearward slide velocity a little more. During the match I honestly couldn’t tell much of a difference but I think a lot of that is due to the “Buzzer Amnesia” that happens when we shoot stages. It’s also way harder to track the sights in the poor indoor lighting conditions. I wanted to do some slow motion video with this new configuration but I didn’t get an opportunity as the match was too busy. Hopefully I can get a chance to test this new hammer spring outdoors and get some slow motion video of it to see what is really happening.

 

As for the match itself, they had a good mixture of run & gun and stand & shoot stages. With the varied lighting in that facility it’s really difficult to consistently see my sights. Depending on where the lights are positioned you could be able to see a solid post & notch sight picture in one shooting position then barely be able to see the fiber in the next shooting position. I told myself to simply let the shooting happen at whatever pace my eyes will allow it to happen and that worked out great. I didn’t have any shooting penalties and only 1 D zone hit which I did call a D but was leaving already so I couldn’t make it up. These indoor matches only have 4 stages and most of them are only in the 12 – 22 round count range. This means that getting your hits needs to be the top priority because there is not much opportunity to make it up with movement or crafty stage plans. The only bummer for me at this match was botching two different reloads on the stand & blast stages. Both times when I slapped down to the next magazine it literally popped out of the mag pouch and I ended up with a funky grip on the magazine. I need to add some more retention pressure to my first mag pouch so this doesn’t happen in the future. That is just part of the growing pains in running some new mag pouches.

 

My next shooting opportunity will be this coming Sunday. That is if the match doesn’t get canceled due to the winter weather. This Sunday’s match is the final section qualifier for the 2019 nationals slots. I want to attend so I can secure getting a slot for the 2019 Limited Nationals because it’s being hosted at the Saint George UT range. Since I didn’t attend the nationals this year I probably won’t get a nationals slot automatically from USPSA like I have in past years. Hopefully the Sunday match happens so I can get a nationals slot secured. It’s going to be a cold match though with a high temp of 40 and snow the day before. So it may be a rugged day of freezing my butt off. Sometimes we have to embrace the suck to get the job done.

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The cold and snowy winter weather lead to all of the local matches getting canceled this past weekend. This was a bummer as I was looking forward to the section qualifier on Sunday even if it was a cold match. On Saturday the weather was really cold and there was a mixture of snow and freezing rain so there was no chance of doing any kind of shooting outdoors. I did some blaster wrenching and ammo loading that day.

 

Even though the weather was cold on Sunday there was a 2 hour window where it was in the lower 40’s so I decided to head out to the range to take advantage of the range time I could get. I was able to get one of my AR’s sighted in and test out the Leupold Spotting Scope that I won at the Area 2 match. I was able to get my AR sighted in at 50 yards with the MRO 1x 2MOA dot on it. The Spotting Scope made the sighting in process go really fast since I could see all of the hits on the target right after shooting. It saved a bunch of walking back and forth to confirm the hits before I could make adjustments. I was able to produce all rounds touching groups at 50 yards with my AR which isn’t anything special in the rifle world. But it’s always surprising that I can achieve that level of accuracy with a 1x Red Dot optic where the dot is consuming the whole aiming area. Rifles are cool like that.

 

After sighting in my AR I did some more hammer spring testing on my #4 Limited gun. I was able to capture some slow motion video of the 18lb and 17lb hammer springs. Shooting these two setups outdoors in normal lighting conditions really allowed me to see how each spring changed the initial part of the muzzle flip. The 18lb hammer spring had a very slight amount of muzzle tip up right as the shot fired. I could see this in the sights as I shot. It was also evident in the slow motion video. I don’t like any amount of muzzle tip up as the shot fires so I put the 17lb hammer spring back in and videoed that as well. The 17lb hammer spring doesn’t produce any initial muzzle tip up as the shot fires and it was very evident in the sight picture as I shot. The slow motion video also confirmed this. For the current slide weight configuration of the #4 Limited gun it seems like a 9lb Recoil and 17lb Hammer spring combo is the best for me. This setup feels and looks nearly identical to my #2 Limited gun which is great.

 

After this spring testing I did a little bit of shooting on a 35 yard steel plate to burn in the “watch the sights through the whole trigger press” process and it worked out really well. At this point I was starting to get cold and the wind was picking up a little bit so I decided to pack it up and head out. This wasn’t a super productive practice session from a shooting perspective. But it did allow me to get a few maintenance and testing tasks completed. That and being able to shoot that day was better than not shooting at all.

 

The current weather forecast for next weekend is looking pretty crappy so it’s looking like we will be out of luck for any matches once again. It’s still too early in the week to make an accurate weather forecast so the weather man may be wrong. I am crossing my fingers in hopes that the weekend weather will turn for the better and we will get to shoot.  

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The 2018 Firearms Nation Shooters Summit is now available and I was lucky enough to be part of it. My interview is focused on the skill of Shot Calling. Listed below is an affiliate link to the 2018 Shooters Summit which helps promote me specifically. If you are thinking about signing up for the 2018 Shooters summit and want to help the Big Panda out please use the below link. Either way check it out and let me know what you think!!!

 

www.shooterssummit.com/BigPandaPerformance

 

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1 minute ago, CHA-LEE said:

The 2018 Firearms Nation Shooters Summit is now available and I was lucky enough to be part of it. My interview is focused on the skill of Shot Calling. Listed below is an affiliate link to the 2018 Shooters Summit which helps promote me specifically. If you are thinking about signing up for the 2018 Shooters summit and want to help the Big Panda out please use the below link. Either way check it out and let me know what you think!!!

 

www.shooterssummit.com/BigPandaPerformance

 

I really enjoyed the interview.  You did a great job on it.

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The Thanksgiving weekend was a busy one from a shooting perspective. I took advantage of the fairly decent weather on Friday to do some Live Fire training with a couple of students. It was windy that day but the temp was in the mid 50’s which made it not too bad. It was fun presenting some training and watching the students learn some new stuff and make discoveries. I didn’t get to shoot much that day because I was presenting the training but the little shooting I did was good.

 

On Saturday I shot the local Aurora USPSA match. They were short handed due to the holidays so I showed up early and setup a stage. The stage I setup had an interesting mixture of hard aiming, shooting on the move, and aggressive blasting. You started in one of two shooting boxes at the back of the stage and had to engage two paper targets and three steel which was 27 yards away. The steel was a mini poppers and two 6 inch plates. The two boxes were mirror image setups so you had to run from one box to the next. After that you ran forward to a long down range shooting area where several targets were engaged on the move  then you finished on three partial targets at the end setup in a wide 180 transition scenario.

 

My intent when I setup the stage was to force people to use their sights on the difficult steel shots. The steel shots were not easy, but they were also not over the top difficult either. The thing that I didn’t expect to happen is how much those 6 pieces of steel destroyed most shooters mental game. Most of the shooters where so worried about shooting the distant steel they totally forgot to shoot some of the paper targets in the same shooting position. That or they would shoot 10 – 15 rounds at the steel while not being able to take them all down then give up and run to the next position. To be honest, the amount of failure happening on that stage from the experienced shooters was shocking. Hopefully it was a wake up call for the people that train wrecked it. Yes we have to practice hitting targets that are not “easy” and also have the mental fortitude to not get distracted by stuff like that.

 

I shot this match pretty good overall. First thing in the morning I was battling some cold hands and couldn’t get the trigger going as fast as I would have liked. That is just part of shooting in the winter time though. I had one miss in the match which was on a low port stage which required some hunch over shooting through the ports. As it usually happens, when I am forced into the low ports like that my recoil management gets crappy and the gun is flopping around a lot more than normal. I called my miss marginal and it ended up being a miss into the barrel next to the target. This match also had a good amount of steel in it and I tried my best to watch the sights through the whole trigger press. When I did that the steel went down one for one. When I failed and started looking at the steel the misses started happening again. I need a lot more work on that over the winter months to burn it in.


The weather forecast for Saturday was calling for crazy 40 – 50mph winds and rain/snow in the afternoon. Super lucky for us this crappy weather didn’t happen until right after we were finished. Right as we finished and started putting away the props the wind started to howl and you could see the gray clouds moving in quickly. By the time I got home the crappy weather was starting to hit. I am glad that the weather was nice for the match as it would have been down right miserable if that stuff hit mid match. This is the gamble when attending outdoor matches in the winter.

 

On Sunday Night I decided to attend an Outlaw indoor match up in Longmont at the Trigger Time Gun Club. This match us run by a good group of experienced USPSA shooters and the style of the match is very similar to USPSA. They only have three divisions, Limited, Open, and Carbine. The Limited division is pretty much anything with iron sights and Open is anything with a Red Dot sight. The interesting thing is the Carbine could be either a PCC or an rifle caliber carbine. On my squad we had a guy shooting a .223 Carbine with a short barrel on it and that thing was LOUD. Like teeth rattling loud. All of the scoring is Hit Factor and everyone is scored using major power factor. I am usually not a fan of Outlaw matches due to the potential for funky rules but this one was fine. It gave me a chance to do some shooting that day and it was fun making new friends at a different match I haven’t been to before. There were only 3 stages for this match but all of them were fun and challenging in their own way. The lighting inside this range wasn’t the best but also not the worst. I was able to see the fiber in the front sight on most of the stages so that was a good thing. I had fun shooting this match and it’s cool to see some of my USPSA buddies working hard to make it happen.

 

Tonight I am going to head up to Loveland to attend another indoor Outlaw match run by another group of experienced USPSA shooters. This is being hosted at the Front Range Gun Club. I have never been there before so once again it should be fun to check out a new range and make some new friends. I just hope that the traffic driving up there isn’t horrible. We will see how it goes tonight.  

Edited by CHA-LEE

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My 2018 Firearms Nation Shooters Summit interview about "Making GM" is available to view for free today. This is your chance to check the summit for free before buying a subscription. Check it out and let me know what you think.

 

https://shooterssummit.com/sessions/

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Charlie,

 

Just wanted to thank you for taking the time to participate in the shooters summit. I just got done watching your interview and it was amazing. I loved how you talked about sight alignment at different distances and how it relates to shot calling! Truely exceptional stuff. I really enjoyed listening to you.

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I am glad that you guys have enjoyed my interview on the 2018 Shooters Summit. It was a lot of fun pulling that together and hopefully it helps shooters achieve their practical shooting performance goals. Hopefully I will get a chance to do it again sometime in the future.

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Last night I was able to attend the indoor Outlaw match at the Front Range Gun Club. This match was run by some experienced USPSA shooters who are testing the waters on hosting matches before they become an official USPSA club. The match was run following USPSA rules and they did a good job. I have never shot at this range before and it’s setup in an interesting configuration with ranges on two different floors. They had a large field course and a small speed shoot in the downstairs range. Then a large field course in the upstairs range. The lighting was really good in both ranges so seeing my sights wasn’t a problem which was nice.

 

I shot the match solidly with only two D zone hits and no penalties. There were some difficult shots in the match so getting your hits was a top priority. The lower skilled shooters got brutalized on the difficult shots with misses and no shoots. Aiming and pressing the trigger straight back was a significant issue for many that night.

 

It was good to do some shooting that night at a new range and make some new friends. It also gave me a chance to test my new gear indoors. My new shooting glasses worked great. The new Long’s Shadow mag pouches worked great as well. The other cool thing is that the Speedcross  4 shoes produced great traction on the slippery concrete floors at both of these indoor ranges. I have been shooting the #4 Limited gun this whole extended weekend and it has been running like a champ as well.

 

Now I have to get back behind the reloading press to get my ammo stash restocked. Hopefully I can get a bunch of that done this week after work so I don’t have to burn my weekend up doing that.

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Your stage was an eye opener. It was interesting no one had issues with the left array of steel and most of the misses were the right array. I'm sad to say I left one standing. I gave myself 2 rounds per steel. I'll forever wonder if that third round would have cleared it.

I definitely need to work on my far shots. I've never been able to shoot a good group even at 10 yards. I am very impatient and find it boring to try to shoot a one hole group. Guess what I'll be trying this weekend.

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13 hours ago, Richc2048 said:

Your stage was an eye opener. It was interesting no one had issues with the left array of steel and most of the misses were the right array. I'm sad to say I left one standing. I gave myself 2 rounds per steel. I'll forever wonder if that third round would have cleared it.

I definitely need to work on my far shots. I've never been able to shoot a good group even at 10 yards. I am very impatient and find it boring to try to shoot a one hole group. Guess what I'll be trying this weekend.

 

Hitting the targets is half of the score. We need points to divide by whatever the stage time is. Precision group shooting isn't fun for most practical shooters. But solid marksmanship skills are required to hit what we are aiming at. Shooting groups is one of the best ways to hone and measure our marksmanship skills.

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