Training for Your Body Type

Every body is different and we all have to train slightly differently to accommodate the good and bad when it comes to our own bodies (as we saw by the frank videos shared here by @Anthony6: Confessions of a Newbie).

Beth Alcazar shares Claudia’s story of one body difference a lot of women can relate to in this blog post:

What physical things do you adjust your training for?

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I am a big guy (6’ and 310) who went from very active (College Baseball and power lifting) to hip replacement and normal wear and tear of those sports over the years effects on my body.
I have some challenges both with carry and mobility training. However, since I feel I am very comfortable with stationary fire (which is not realistic) in a real self defense situation. I try to practice a deliberate rehearsed egress, in a defensive posture. With my hip, running and jumping (being not recommended) is not something I am confident with, as I used to be. So, I practice a quick pace walk or slid in a crouched position. I work on cover to cover drills 5-6 times a year. I have a great shooting range I have built over the years and have added several moving targets and cover options that allows me to work on my mobility and cover techniques that work for my body type.
Carry options (For my body type) is just a matter of A LOT OF trial and error.


OMGOSH the article!! SO 100% of Yes!
Just gonna say it… The Girls can be an issue when shooting. And Claudia ROCKS for her method of handling it with her instructor.

Beth is square on with differences in how women learn and what they fear too… I reeeealy wish more male instructors, and more husbands, boyfriends. and fathers got that.

My challenges include boobs, really bad knees, a somewhat impaired balance, imperfect aging eyes, and 50 lbs more than is good for me. Can’t really run, can’t squat, and if I move wrong on my knees they can fail to support me or tear up. Getting to the ground, or up again, takes a real commitment of will because it hurts.

Compensations… I adjust my stance, always one foot a bit forward of the other for balance.

I shoot without my glasses so I’m training for the circumstances I will most likely have.

I shoot both left and right, two handed and single - I might not move well, but I can put the gun in the other hand if I need to.

I adjust shooting position for the girls. If I have to hike one out of the way for corset draw, or plant a hand on my cleavage to stay clear of the muzzle during appendix draw. I don’t really care who sees it. A gal’s gotta do what a gal’s gotta do.


I think this might be true for most of us :joy:


Good topic. I have quite a few physical limitations due to old injuries so I have to “adjust” accordingly.

I have a very hard time getting full extension to lock so I shoot a modified Isocilies/modified Weaver stance.

My knees are full of gravel so I can’t simply “take a knee” like someone with healthy knees does. I’m better off falling down and rolling back up on one knee.

My left arm and shoulder have had a total of I think 11 surgeries on them now plus I have a pretty sever case of both cubital and carpel tunnel syndrome so I have very little control over that arm and cannot sustain a good grip for long so I avoid shooting “weak handed” if it can be avoided.

Identify your own limitations, find ways to work around them and you’ll be fine.

EDTA: As instructors it is incumbent upon us to identify students that may have such limitations rather than not following instruction.

It pays to mention this before a class starts and to urge them to let you know. Sometimes students may be self conscious about limitations/disabilities so if you see it on the range/in class and they haven’t told you find a way to get them alone and ask them quietly and politely.