Attending your first firearms training class? Here's some reading to help you prepare!


For the following, a big thanks goes to another student on the path, MrBoxx on XDTalk.com .

MrBoxx recently attended a pair of two-day classes -one handgun, one carbine (AR-platform)- with The Warrior Poet Society crew ( https://warriorpoetsociety.us ). If you're interested, check out their training videos on The Warrior Poet Society Network ( https://www.watchwpsn.com/?__hstc=2...c=222276039.2.1630701147852&__hsfp=4110189440 ) - they really do have some good stuff. All techniques/tactics/methods align with modern practices, and the folks teaching have legitimate background (there's also collaborations between the WPS cadre and noted trainers/SMEs such as Craig Douglas, etc.)

Since these were MrBoxx's first classes, he sought me out to exchange a few PMs about what to expect, how to prepare, etc.

And despite my best attempts to sabotage him with my dense writing style and inability to properly articulate ideas and convey knowledge 😁 :p , he actually managed to have a great time.

I, of-course, immediately wanted to leech off of him anything and everything he was willing to part with, and he offered an excellent pearl that I've decided to crib for myself. :)

Even though we'd maybe exchanged a couple of sentences about hydration, nutrition, and fitness, I had not properly highlighted just how physical these courses can be, and sadly, MrBoxx paid the price for it with a couple of nights of soreness and a few bottles of Tylenol and Advil. :oops:

I want to stress to everyone reading this thread and thinking about taking a training class to first of all -NOT- wig-out and think that you must be an Olympic-level (or at least D1) athlete in order to be able to make it through a typical open-enrollment class. This is -NOT- the case whatsoever. Even for classes that are more physically demanding such as integrated combatives or even Force-on-Force, these classes are not intended to either train or benchmark your fitness. In-reality, in the vast majority of cases, even for those of us who carry long-term, chronic, injuries or may have other physical limitations, as long as you let the instructional cadre know, they will usually able to tailor the program to that specific student's needs.

Instead, what I am talking about here is that -particularly for newer shooters or those who are looking at their very first training class- you should understand that shooting is inherently an athletic endeavor, and that you will be asked to repeatedly present your weapon - and sometimes may have to hold it at-ready/extension for a bit of time. Similarly, you may be asked to assume various body positions - and you may need to go through a few repetitions of getting into/out-of these positions, so that the instructional cadre can literally "train" your body/mind.

Sure, a 6 to 10 lb. carbine or a 2 to 3-lb. pistol may not seem all that heavy when you're just popping off a few rounds at the range with your buddies, but if you're asked to hold that gun on-target for 5, 10, or even 15 seconds while the instructional cadre explains a concept...and you had to do this a half-a-dozen or even a dozen times? ;) How about just taking a knee and then rising from it to fully erect? Now how about doing that a dozen times?

Some soreness and aches after you've spent a day using these muscles that you don't normally use can and should be expected. Prepare accordingly, particularly if you have previous injuries to contend with. But if you are able to, you may want to undertake some preparations beforehand: a few extended range sessions or dry-fire practices with "gun-ups" can help you build those muscles ahead-of-time. The ability to stave-off fatigue will help you both learn as well as retain what you've been taught.

Don't be afraid to let the instructional cadre know of any physical concerns you may have. They're not there to embarrass you - and neither are your fellow students. We all just want to learn, have some fun, and above all, to be safe while we're doing it. :)