12 Week Bowhunting Training Plan

How to Get Back Into Archery Without Frustration This Spring and Summer

Did you slack off this winter and didn’t shoot as much as you should have?

I’m guilty of it this year.

But jumping right back into your old shooting habits from last September will just leave you frustrated, sore, and possibly hurt. 

Just like when you lift weights, when you shoot a bow, you need to slowly increase volume. The fitness definition of volume is the total work or weight lifted over the course of the workouts. 

To break it down simply, if you lifted 50 pounds for 10 reps for 3 sets, the total weight you lifted is 1,500 pounds. That’s your volume (50x10x3).

As you get stronger, you can either increase the reps for the same weight or you increase the weight and do the same reps. 

If you’re keeping your draw weight the same this year, then it’s like doing the same weight for more reps.

So from the lifting example, week 1 you did 3 sets at 50 pounds for 10 reps, and that’s 1,500 pounds of volume. Then week two, you did still do 3 sets at 50 pounds, but now you do 12 reps each set. Now the total volume is 1,800 pounds (50x12x3). 

From week 1 to week 2, you lifted 300 more pounds!

So when you shoot your bow, doing 100 reps at a 50, 60, 70lbs+ draw weight is a lot of volume if you’re not used to it. 

Okay, enough of the math.

So where should you start this year if you didn’t practice much over the winter?

The Plan

If you’ve been working out, then 30 shots should be a good starting point, especially if you do 3 shots at a time. Basically, if you change to weight lifting terms, that would be 10 sets of 3. 

If you haven’t been practicing much or working out, 15-21 shots might be all you can start off with. 

Then you can increase the number each week for the next 12 Weeks. Below is an example: 

Week 1: 30 Arrows

Week 2: 33-36 Arrows

Week 3: 36-42 Arrows

Week 4: 39-48 Arrows

Week 5: 42-54 Arrows

Week 6: 45-60 Arrows

Week 7: 48-66 Arrows

Week 8: 51-72 Arrows

Week 9: 54-78 Arrows

Week 10: 57-84 Arrows

Week 11: 60-90 Arrows

Week 12: 63-96 Arrows

The numbers on the left are for those who haven’t been working out as much. An increase in 3 arrows per week is probably all you want to do. If you have been training consistently, increasing 6 arrows each week might be fine.

That being said, 6 arrows a week is fast, so there might be a week or two where you stay at the same number shot or only increase by 3. That’s okay, you’re still making progress. 

If you decide to increase your draw weight, say going from 40lbs to 50lbs like my wife did last year, then you might need to drop back 3-4 weeks. 

This doesn’t mean you’re losing progress, it’s more like when you lift 50 pounds for 15 reps, and now you want to increase the weight to 60 pounds. You might have to cut back to 8-10 reps and build the reps back up over the next few weeks. 

What about if you can only shoot 15 arrows right now before you get tired? Start there, and follow the same progression. Next week, shoot 18-21 arrows, then week 3 you would shoot 21-27 arrows, etc. 

How often should you shoot?

Everyone’s schedules are different, but you can follow the above plan if you can only get out once a week. 

Ideally, this plan would be best for 2-3 times per week.

If you can shoot everyday, then the progress might be too fast for you. Instead, take a few days a week to only shoot a few arrows and maybe practice holds or other techniques where you might only shoot one or two arrows before changing your target. If you do that, then the above 12 week progression is perfect to do 2-3 times per week. 

Was this helpful? We’d love to hear your feedback on it. Or, if you don’t want to think about any of this and would rather have someone else create your program so you can just go outside and shoot, click the button below or email us at: Chris@Protect-and-Provide.com


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