If you ever wondered how many times should you shoot your bow to get good at archery then read this. You will see what is the sweet spot between effective practice and over-training that can lead to injury and loss of enthusiasm.
You will also see a few ways you can make archery practice even more fun.
A beginner archer should shoot between once and twice a week. With no regard as to how many arrows they shoot. The reason for a lower frequency is since beginners don’t have the developed muscles to shoot higher volumes. That is why it’s best to focus on quality shots instead of volume. Intermediate archers can progress to shoot up to 4 times a week, given that they have better muscle development thus can avoid overtraining and any muscle injuries.
How Often Should I Practice Archery
How often you practice archery varies on your purpose. Obviously, if your goal is to have a fun hobby to get better at that demands a lower level of intensity as opposed to someone who is planning to compete in professional events. But here are guidelines you can follow based on your skill level and purpose:
Beginner: You should start practicing once or twice a week for an hour at a time. If an hour of shooting proves to be too much then try breaking it down into 30-minute segments 4 times a week.
Intermediate Level: Since your muscles are more developed and your form is dialed in you can proceed to 4 times a week 1 hour a day.
Advanced: Daily practice for many hours per day. With added hours in the gym for weight lifting.
You can go here to see how an elite-level archer trains for the world championships. The training regiment is just insane!
So, at the end of the day, you should judge the amount of training based on your individual preferences. The old saying “The more you train the better you get” is true but up to a point.
So here you will see the benefits of shooting more often and the drawbacks, so with those facts, you will be able to go forth and choose what’s best for you.
Benefits You Gain From Shooting A Bow Often
Aside from getting better at shooting arrows and improved accuracy there are some other benefits of shooting a bow. I described most of them in this article describing the benefits of archery. You can check it out later.
But in short. Shooting more often will lead to some good benefits. Repeatedly drawing a bow with a 40lbs draw weight for example will put a strain on your muscles. And muscles under strain have no other choice but to develop. And grow.
So you will notice a clearer definition in most of your upper body muscles. Archery will change your body. It will build and develop your upper-body muscles, due to the demands archery places on your muscles.
And, let’s answer another popular question on muscles and archery.
Does Archery Build Biceps?
Yes, archery will cause growth in your biceps if your muscles have not been put under any stress for a long time.
All in all shooting your bow often generally means you will get better and stronger. Archery is a good exercise for anyone. With a regular 1-hour session of archery burning 200 calories.
Now, there are drawbacks to going too hard too fast. So, let us take a look at that right now.
Things You Should Be Careful About
While regular and constant practice is a good thing and does lead to improvement when done right there are some side effects of doing too much too soon.
For any beginner, it’s never a good idea to overdo it. You can burn out from that. And I’m not talking just about a mental burnout but honestly, your body simply might not be ready to start an intense training regiment from the start.
Assuming you are in average shape your upper body muscles just aren’t up to the task of drawing a 30lbs to 40lbs bow every day for an hour at a time. If you decide to plow ahead anyway then problems will occur.
If you are lucky it will be just muscle soreness. But a more serious condition could be a strain on the tendons in your elbow and shoulder. This will devastate your progress. So, be careful here.
I am speaking from my own experience, elbow tendonitis is no joke.
So, start off easy. Your progress should look something like this:
Over a period of weeks and months, you can increase the length of your shooting sessions if you wish. There are long-term veterans who shoot for a few hours per day.
The Main Point To Remember Is
The main point is you start small, measure your training sessions in time, and do record the number of arrows you shoot but don’t make that your main goal. You could use an archery app to track your progress, although as you can see here it’s not a necessity.
One other thing that happens is if your muscles are not ready for extended shooting sessions, your form starts to suffer. And as we both know the longer you do something the more your body remembers it. So, if your body gets tired your form will suffer, you will start shooting poorly and your groupings will be getting wider and wider.
This means archery fatigue will cause a loss in accuracy and of course improper form.
So tiring yourself out on the range is simply not worth it. Focus on keeping your form and making every shot as accurate as you can. Once, your body is up to the challenge you slowly add more time to your training sessions and provide adequate rest time between them.
Tips On How To Challenge Yourself And Make It Interesting
I go a little more in-depth in my article on archery and fun. But the main thing is, you can do a few things to make your training sessions a little more interesting.
The first is of course to measure your progress. Record your score and the number of arrows you shoot on a sheet of paper. And attempt to improve your score just a little bit every week. When you compare the sheet of paper from your latest practice with the sheet of paper when you were first starting out then …
Wow! Noticing any progress in your development is fun.
The second thing I also recommend is competing with fellow archers at the range. You both tally up the score after each round and the overall winner can buy the other one drinks.
Competition is fun and it also forces you to get better. It’s a win-win. So definitely worth doing.
After consulting with an archery range official it is recommended you spend 30 minutes a day practicing archery. You do that for a month or two to build up your upper body strength and then you begin shooting for an hour a day 2-3 times a week.
At the end of the day, you have to listen to your body and strive to be better each time. If you stick to that you will be a good archer in no time.
You can also take a look at my article on is archery a team sport?