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Extreme Fitness for Paintball

April 18, 2011 Print This ArticleShare

Author: Michael Greeves

Extreme Fitness for Paintball

Often when people think of paintball in terms of sports and recreation, they focus on the recreational side of it. Paintball is often seen as a fun way to spend the odd weekend afternoon with some buddies. However, paintball as a sport is growing in popularity, and as such it requires special training geared towards its special demands.

Core Strength

A form of sprinting makes up a large part of the movement in paintball. It is not standard sprinting where the arms are used mainly for balance. It is different because in this case, the arms are busy holding the paintball apparatus. Therefore, the core muscles have to take up the slack, accomplishing the feat of balancing the body without the aid of the arms. This takes a strong and powerful core. Compound exercises are helpful for developing core strength, and equipment such as stability balls and wobble boards can enhance core strength and balance.


Some paintball sports and recreation matches can last a very short time if everything goes right for one of the teams. On the other hand, they can last for a much longer time if the teams are evenly matched and very competitive. It takes a great amount of endurance to run over the varying terrain of a paintball field, while keeping your paintball apparatus at the ready and keeping your head in the game. If you are not physically fit enough, your mental game will suffer as you tire out through a long match. Endurance can be trained in the gym with high rep sets at a weight that allows you to keep good form.


Since power is strength plus speed, it defines the nature of movement during the paintball match. In Capture the Flag, or especially in Delta Force style paintball games, speed is crucial in getting to the enemy bunker to capture their flag or place your own. The legs must be particularly powerful, because running plays a key role in any spirited paintball exchange. Train for power with low reps of a high percentage of 1 rep max weight in a smooth and quick motion. Plyometrics can also improve power endurance.


Food available at paintball venues is often loaded with saturated fats and sugars with very little in the way of healthy nutrition. Counter that by eating healthy foods in your daily diet. Before the match, it is okay to eat a small amount of protein and carbs, but do not overdo it or you will be sluggish.

After the match, gauge the amount and type of nutrition you need according to your level of activity during the match. If you have been flat out running the whole time, you need to replenish with carbs, protein, and healthy fats. Rehydrate yourself as well. Paintball can be a fun type of sports and recreation, especially if you prepare for it with extreme fitness.

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