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How do you balance training frequency (# of times per week/month) with intensity (duration of training session/# of rounds per session)? In my opinion, frequency of training is generally more important than intensity (to an extent). In my experience as a musician and athlete, as well as coaching/teaching in those fields, skills are generally best acquired when used frequently for shorter durations as opposed to less frequently but for longer durations. If you are trying to learn to play guitar, it is far more valuable to practice for 20 minutes per day, 5 days per week than only once per week for 3 hours. I can only speak anecdotally, as I am not a psychologist but I do know there is some scientific backing to how we learn skills and the importance of frequency.

As a new gun owner and soon to be CCW'er, I plan on training quite extensively in order to be a master of my weapon. As we all know, it can be a bit cost prohibitive. If we assume ammo is a "fixed cost", in that we are considering a fixed amount of ammo per week (say 200 rds), then the range fee is the variable cost. I could shoot all 800 rounds in one day a month, paying one range fee per month, or I could shoot 200/ week and have 4 range fees per month, or shoot 4 times per week and have 16 range fees per month. Personally, I would much rather shoot 4 times per week and shoot only 50 rounds per session as I feel the frequency would really help me master a surprise break, front sight focus, and presenting- all very basic things that I need work on. However, that's a lot of money in range fees. If I lived in the sticks and could shoot in my backyard, this is absolutely the route I'd go, but I live in a big city, so range fees are my only choice.

So my question to you is, where do you see the optimal balance between frequency and intensity and cost, if we assume a fixed number of rounds will be fired regardless? Any creative ways (besides dry fire) to mitigate range fees?

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Wow, a post that I actually know something about!! My research area dealt with an automated way of practicing certain music skills (back in 1989!). There's lots of research to back up short practice sessions spaced out over time being the most effective schedule. Translated to my range time-- I find weekly range sessions bring me the the most improvement and solid learning of new skills vs. monthly or every 2-3 weeks. The random aspect in the article works, too. In application, don't do the same thing in every range trip-- mix it up and even go back to previous drills during the same session as time allows. You'll have to discover your own "sweet spot" for range work that gives you the most benefit! You can incorporate dry firing, holster work, laser targets, different distances, moving vs. stationary, point shooting, snap caps, etc, etc... With almost endless combinations. Focus on what you want to improve and develop a plan for each trip. You will be surprised how much you get done-- really makes your ammo last,rather than just shooting at the same thing over and over. Your skills will improve and will stick with you! (Sorry for the long post)


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I'm guessing the combined financial burden of range fees and ammo is your main concern since you do not have a problem frequently visiting the range or firing a lot of rounds. Practice, practice, practice. It's cliche` I know but like stated above-snap caps is porobably what I would do. For live fire practice (can't be duplicated) 2 times a week at 100 rnds a visit is what I would recommend. It is frequent and slightly intensive. For CC I personally practice drawing my firearm at least several times daily. If you can't draw it; doesn't matter how well you shoot. This is free. Just my opinion. Take it for what it's worth.
 

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i would see if there is any sort of range with a membership program that you pay a one time flat fee rather than per visit. that may save you some money in the long run if you plan on shooting often. also, this thread just reminded me of this pic/quote.

 

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A lot of ranges have membership programs, so you can make the range time a fixed cost per month no matter how often you shoot. You can usually pay for a year or 6 months in advance and save even more. I go to the range 2 or 3 times a week for about 30 min, than I like to hit the gym after. I guess it gets my adrenaline pumping lol. Add some dry fire practice and you will be in good shape.

The real variable cost is getting training from the pros, which you should do as often as possible. Good luck
 

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You don't want frequency or intensity, you want both.

And don't worry about the cost argument -- you can train a large %age of all shooting-related skills via dry fire, every day, in your own home, for virtually zero cost.

Nobody thinks Micheal Phelps trained hard, but only once a week, right? Or that he trained every day, but just did a couple slow laps and then ate ice cream and watched TV? Sure, you don't go crazy and overtrain 10 hours a day, but you do need a good mix of both frequency and intensity.

Start off slow, obviously if you aren't yet skilled / practiced you aren't ready to train hard every day, but there's zero reason you can't get there. It's not like shooting is competitive powerlifting anyways, the demands on your body are tiny. Keep the dryfire sessions as long as your concentration can handle, then back off. Wait for a few hours, or a day, and go again, maybe a few minutes longer.

There's a lot of information out there that can help you get good results and make efficient use of your time -- you don't have to wing it.
 

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I try to take an actual class every Year or so. These classes are usually Intense Training, either to ingrain new skill sets, get rid of bad habits that have developed, or to reinforce what I've already learned.

In between... Frequent training to practice and fine tune what I learned in the Intense Training class.
After all... What good is either Intense, OR Frequent practice, if you're practicing incorrectly? Your merely reinforcing Bad Habits.

I feel one needs Intense Practice Under Supervision, followed by Frequent Practice to Reinforce ingrain and refresh.
 

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^ This makes a lot of sense, but why only 1 class a year?
Easy... It's all my work schedule (and money for the class AND ammo needed) will allow.

If I could do a Quarterly, or Semi-Annual Class, I definitely would. :)
 

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A lot of ranges have membership programs, so you can make the range time a fixed cost per month no matter how often you shoot. You can usually pay for a year or 6 months in advance and save even more. I go to the range 2 or 3 times a week for about 30 min, than I like to hit the gym after. I guess it gets my adrenaline pumping lol. Add some dry fire practice and you will be in good shape.

The real variable cost is getting training from the pros, which you should do as often as possible. Good luck
I think that short training sessions, but often is the way to go.

As far as range fees go, I'd look into finding a place where you pay an annual fee for unlimited use.

I know that what's available differs greatly, but sometimes if you look around a bit, you'll find it.

For example, there's a nice indoor range about a few miles up the road from me that charges hourly rates. But there is also an excellent outdoor range just as close by that charges a very affordable annual fee, with unlimited use. :D

Guess which one I prefer? Shop around.

Duane
 

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Good thoughts here. I would add or emphasize:

- Every range is different. My local range is a 501c non-profit, so I volunteer there as an RSO twice a month, and get to shoot for free whenever I want. Look into this.

- Do NOT overlook the value of dry fire practice. Carefully crafting dry practice drills and knowing what fundamentals your focusing on pay off enormously. This can fill in gaps and make your range trips once a week become beneficial training twice a week, and even more effective than if you were doing live fire 2x/week.

- Remember, practice doesn't make perfect. Only PERFECT practice makes perfect. This means that your training sessions must be:
(1) deliberately planned out on what skills you're practicing. (just throwing lead downrange has little benefit)
(2) practicing skills that you've previously learned under professional supervision
(3) periodically followed-up, reinforced, and further improved under more supervised training
(4) carried out while you're paying very careful attention to your own performance. i.e. much more important than where the shot ends up, notice things like "hey, on that shot, I didn't follow up by trapping the trigger to the rear". Or, "my stance is getting tight. I need to keep my knees bent". Carefully critique yourself on every single shot/sequence.
 

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Good thoughts here. I would add or emphasize:

- Every range is different. My local range is a 501c non-profit, so I volunteer there as an RSO twice a month, and get to shoot for free whenever I want. Look into this.

- Do NOT overlook the value of dry fire practice. Carefully crafting dry practice drills and knowing what fundamentals your focusing on pay off enormously. This can fill in gaps and make your range trips once a week become beneficial training twice a week, and even more effective than if you were doing live fire 2x/week.

- Remember, practice doesn't make perfect. Only PERFECT practice makes perfect. This means that your training sessions must be:
(1) deliberately planned out on what skills you're practicing. (just throwing lead downrange has little benefit)
(2) practicing skills that you've previously learned under professional supervision
(3) periodically followed-up, reinforced, and further improved under more supervised training
(4) carried out while you're paying very careful attention to your own performance. i.e. much more important than where the shot ends up, notice things like "hey, on that shot, I didn't follow up by trapping the trigger to the rear". Or, "my stance is getting tight. I need to keep my knees bent". Carefully critique yourself on every single shot/sequence.
Really good points and response.....^^^^^^^^^
 

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I do dry practice at least once per week doing different drills, shoot at the range at least 1-2 times per month, and take at least 2 formal training classes per year. This is about the extent of my financial and logistical capabilities ( I don't own a car so that complicates it for me). But I'm a big believer in dry practice! While it is NOT a substitute for real practice, it is valuable both in the sense that it gives you repetition, but also because it gets you more time handling the gun. You cannot handle and manipulate the firearm too much. It helps you become intimately familiar with the gun, and a lot of people I see at classes have difficulty mostly because they cannot operate/manipulate the gun due to lack of familiarity.

So my philosophy in a nutshell is: dry practice constantly, shoot at the range regularly, and take formal classes at least annually.
 
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