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Paintball Workout

January 30, 2006 Print This ArticleShare

Author: Michael Greeves


Paintball - The Game

Like any sport, paintball is a competitive game in which the goal in the end is to win. Paintball guns were originally used for marking trees and live stock, but in less than a decade they evolved from industrial equipment to war-game tools used by serious competitors playing in numerous battle situations. Paintball scenarios can be numerous and its tactics plenty, just as real-world battle situations can be different and their engagement unpredictable. Players can participate in recreational paintball (“Rec-ball”) or in tournaments where cash and prizes are at stake. What ever the game situation, it is always charged with adrenaline; and, whether you are lying still, quiet and blended in with your environment, or running, jumping, dodging, and shooting repeatedly, you had better be strong, agile and fit to survive in a game that is basically about survival. Read on!

Paintball - The Demand

Depending on the field type, your position, game scenario and game situation, how you move during the course of the game will vary. However, the overall physical performance relies greatly on your fitness development. While there are times that you must remain still and quiet for the purpose of hiding or sniping, requiring little exertion, there are also times when you must sprint, jump, dive, slide and roll to either flee from a scene or to attack.

The skill of paintball lies mostly in the smarts and familiarity of the game, and in the communications between teammates. But your physical performance depends greatly on your fitness level. For fast maneuvers such as sprinting, jumping and diving, you need power, and the more of it the better. With great power, these maneuvers become easier. Sliding and rolling require that your body is agile and strong, if for nothing else then to take the beating without slowing you down. It appears the energy system utilized for most of these maneuvers in paintball is the ATP-PC system, fueling fast, explosive movements. In between these movements are mostly walking, creeping, crawling, crouching, or just staying still, all of which are relatively low-level demands considered opportunities to recover from high-energy actions.

Paintball - The Injuries

The National Injury Information Clearing House of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission in Washington DC used estimates provided by the NEISS (National Electronic Injury Surveillance System) to reveal that a high percentage of injuries in paintball involve pellet wounds to the body and the eyes, and, to a lesser extent, injuries also resulted from over-exertion and falls (Conn, 2004). Pellet injuries can often be avoided by following safety rules and measures, such as wearing eye protection and proper clothing. However, injuries resulting from over-exertion and falls might be reduced by possessing superior conditioning.

The Paintball Workout

The Paintball Workout addresses power, strength and agility.

During the game, the dynamics of paintball may change as quickly and as often as the tick on your watch, so you might have to respond just as quickly. This is why a good deal of the maneuvers seen in paintball is fast and often in short bursts. Because of this, exercises that exploit and train these motor qualities should be included in the strength and conditioning program. Some examples of these exercises are cleans, snatches, box jumps, medicine ball throws and plyometrics drills. Dashing is seen during some portion of the game, so short-distance sprinting drills are implemented into the program.

Along with running, jumping, sliding and rolling comes the need for a strong body to take the physical beating. A lot of paintball-related injuries involve over-exertion and falling, so it is important to prepare the body to handle such demands. Structural strength is important throughout the entire body, so whole-body strengthening is also a goal in the exercise program. Exercises that strengthen the body include a variety of squats, lunges, Presses and pulls. Training to strengthen the integrity of the body not only lowers the risk of injuries, but also gives you the confidence to execute maneuvers that otherwise would be difficult, distractive, or tough on the body.

A stronger and more conditioned body allows you to stay mentally sharp, preserving your ability to concentrate on the game, make good decisions, and communicate clearly with others. It may also lower the risk of injuries. So whether you play rec-ball with various scenarios or you play tourneys, participating in the HyperStrike training program may help you perform better, stay healthy, and enjoy the game all the more. Train hard, train smart!

Reference:

  1. Conn JM, Annest JL, Gilchrist J, Ryan GW (2004). Injuries from paintball game related activities in the United States, 1997-2001. Injury Prevention, 10(3):139-43.
  2. Paintball History: http://paintball.about.com/od/gametypes/a/gamehistory.htm



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