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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A bit of a cross post as I accidently posted this in the bowhunting/bowhunters showcase but meant to post it in this subforum...so here goes....

A little background information first. I am relatively new to traditional recurve archery (less than 3 months) but not new to archery. Out of interest, I recently took a foundation course at an archery range that focused on Olympic recurve archery. I feel I have a good grasp on the basics of mechaincs/form. During the lessons I was using a basic 25 lb barebow recurve and I have recently acquired a 50 lb recurve bow that was gifted to me. I tried to use the bow but struggle with my form due to the higher poundage. I do not feel that I'm "outbowed" from the perspective of my height and weight (over 6ft and 200 lbs). My question then is how does one normally approach getting used to drawing and shooting a 50 lb recurve? I could see “baby stepping” your way up to the poundage by using various bows of lesser poundage eventually building up 50 lbs but this seems costly and I do not really want to buy anymore equipment. Or do you focus on using the 50 lb bow and work off that eventually I will be able to develop the specific muscle memory/strength to use it? Any suggestions/feedback would greatly be appreciated.
 

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backwoods -

Sorry.
You are over bowed - by a mile.

I'm sure there will be people posting things like doing 1/2 draws and other non-sense, which in effect will only make things worse.
As you struggle with the heavier weight, you will develop compensating muscle memory, habits which you may never be able to break.

Yes, "baby steps", gradually increasing the draw weight is the safest method, both for your shooting and joint health.

BTW - the fact that you are over 6' tall and 200# means that your draw length will most likely be well over 28", meaning that ANY bow you get will be heavier than what it s marked at 28". Figure on at least 2# heavier per inch over the rating at 28".

As far as it being expensive, that kinda depends on your budget.
With an ILF rig, a limb "upgrade" will be about $80 a pair; with something like the Sage a bit less. (Given your potential draw length, I would NOT recommend the Sage. It's taller brother the Polaris might be a better choice, but you would still be better off with an iLF rig.)

Viper1 out.
 

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If learning form as taught off that 25# in Oly recurve archery, proper target bow form if you call it that, it just won't translate to a jump to 50#. IOW, no, you cannot make that jump and work your way into the new weight. Normally, one would make the adjustment by taking smaller, say 3-4# jumps until each successive jump is mastered as one was shooting before the jump. 50# is the upper side of things for that style by folks who have been shooting for years under training. IOW, the 50# will kill you and your form trying to apply Oly form to using it.

Save the 50# for a hunting after you have mastered the lower weight.
 

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First, I'll state that I tried to do what you are about to and gave up after a couple months. I've dropped to 35# bow and am loving iy foe a variety of reasons. Bottom line, you are over-bowed just by birtue of what you described.

That said, you will need to do 2 things- increase your back muscle strength and muscle endurance. One possible exercise is to pull the bow to anchor, hold for a 5 count, then let down. Repeat for 10 reps, rest and do another set. As you notice it getting easier, increase reps and sets. You might consider switchimg draw arms back and forth to maintain muscular balance.

Without knowing where you want to go, it's difficult to go much beyond that. Just know that it will likely be difficult and improvement will be slow and unsteady.
 

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It's not an "Olympic" bow, but the Samick Journey is similar in price to the Sage, also a very good shooter, and will handle a longer draw. I'm well over 6' and over 200 lbs and the Journey is quite comfortable for me to shoot. It's a great choice if your funds are limited.
 

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+1 on the Journey, it's just a 2" longer Sage the Polaris is similar and can be had in lengths to 66". Before spending on those, take a look at Lancaster's web site and just look over the ILF offerings. There are some very reasonable rigs and they offer very easy limb swaps for little weight increments. There are always ILF limbs on the classifieds and trading your way up to the desired weight is quite easy and inexpensive. You can also go up in quality of limbs as your progress moves along and you can tell the difference - much easier and less expensive than trading bows every few months and few pounds. Be patient and work your way up slowly - make sure you can dominate your draw weight thoroughly before moving up. Enjoy the ride.
 

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I do not feel that I'm "outbowed" from the perspective of my height and weight (over 6ft and 200 lbs).
Don't base your ability on your height and weight. I know guys 1/2 my size who are stronger than I am.

My question then is how does one normally approach getting used to drawing and shooting a 50 lb recurve?
Yes....increasing draw weight in small or even reasonable increments is one way to do it.

A reasonable increment is using a secondary bow or set of limbs where you can still draw and hold anchor the same way you basically draw and hold the lighter bow...but it's heavy enough to strengthen you more. It may be only a 5lbs. difference or it could be as much as 15 - 20lbs. difference. It ULTIMATELY depends on YOUR ABILITY...not someone else's.

You would than practice with that bow until fatigue was realized...but you do NOT want it to change your form as when you shoot the lighter bow. If that happens you risk developing bad habits.

The other way is to start lifting weights that involve the muscles and movements involved with shooting a bow.

Ray :shade:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks guys for the quick responses. I kind of figured I was kidding myself and to be realistic, I am overboard. Gonna take the smart approach and look for something with a lower draw weight. Big difference compared to pulling 50# on my compound (not even taking the let off into consideration)
 

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And another point not made yet is that with your long draw length your current 50 lb bow may be stacking at your draw length. If it's less than 62" it may never be comfortable to shoot due to stacking and finger pinch.
 

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I had this response off to the side...before seeing your having thought things through. But I'm throwing it up anyhow...perhaps it might benefit another.

Yup…I think your best bet is to remove your physical size from the equation…this is an exercise in using specific muscles in a very particular way that is most unlike other activities. That said, guys/gals of unassuming stature have worked their way into shooting heavier bows, with a great deal of practice. You just shoot until it becomes easy…and then the next increase avails itself.

The “old” rule of thumb for determining “overbowed” used to be holding steady at full draw for 10 seconds. And, although many variations and objections exist, I still favor this approach because it tends to be indicative of making relatively long practice sessions viable. Many of us live in the realm of practice-practice-practice…or at least we did in earlier stages…and return to it when necessary.

I certainly can understand the temptation/prospects of the bird-in-the-hand (free-be) situation, but if you really forsee a future of enjoyment in this…I’d say you want something that’s very comfortable to shoot…and having a heavier bow for occasional use may help clarify the matter…plus serve as a strengthening aid…which has been my practice. I never saw the cost coming…but always found a way…and given the opportunity would do it all over again. Enjoy, Rick.
 

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I think you can answer this yourself if you just look at it as if it was strength development in a different sport context:

During the lessons I was using a basic 250 lb barbell and I have recently acquired a 500 lb barbell that was gifted to me. I tried to bench press the barbell but struggle with my form due to the higher poundage. I do not feel that I'm "over-barbelled" from the perspective of my height and weight (over 6ft and 200 lbs). My question then is how does one normally approach getting used to bench pressing a 500 lb barbell? I could see “baby stepping” your way up to the poundage by using various barbells of lesser poundage eventually building up 500 lbs but this seems costly and I do not really want to buy anymore equipment.
 

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Good move on picking up a lighter bow, you will be much better off in the long run. Get something in the middle, work on your form, before you know it you will be able to shoot your 50#er. Don't underestimate a 50# bow, while it's not a real heavyweight it is a serious hunting weight and will kick the crap out of most of us for any extended shooting. I shoot a 50# bow so I can relate to your form remark, the better I shoot, the less fatigued I get. That says something to the idea that shooting a bow is much less about strength than it is about form, alignment, and the fact that if you are doing it right you are using more mechanical support more than muscular contraction.

Keep your eye on the classifieds for a Hoyt Excel riser. Pick up a set of inexpensive limbs, also from the classifieds. Save a bunch of money and have a bow that should you choose to sell it will be able to get all or most of your money back, minus shipping costs. It's almost like a free bow...unless you keep it...:wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Well today I headed out to my local archery shop and picked up a used SF Axiom + riser and some new 28# limbs. A way more enjoyable experience.to shoot.
 

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Yer on yer way.

Good luck and congrats on the new bow.
 

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backwoods -

Congrats!
Great set up, btw.

Viper1 out.
 

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I tried to use the bow but struggle with my form due to the higher poundage.

I do not feel that I'm "outbowed" from the perspective of my height and weight (over 6ft and 200 lbs).
The only perspective that matters is how you shoot it. You may very well be strong enough, from a muscular standpoint, but until you ingrain the form, the bow is too heavy to learn with effectively. When you learn the form to properly shoot the bow, the bow will feel lighter, regardless of muscle development.

You can learn with a heavy bow, over time, but it is, in my opinion, the long way around. Been there, done that. I don't suggest it. You should be able to shoot your heavier bows exactly the same way you shoot the lighter ones.

So, how to get there?

Practice with the light bow. When you reach a level of accuracy you're satisfied with, try something a little heavier. If you can maintain that accuracy for a few dozen arrows, shoot it. If your accuracy begins to suffer, STOP. Take a rest, and go back to the lighter bow.

My opinion, for whatever it's worth :)
 
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