I currently stump shoot (ie: jog/run/jump cross-country and take pot-shots at around 85% of full draw weight/length) with self-bows I carve. My average draw weight is 90lbs @ 28.5" full draw, but occasionally I break out my 120lbs @ 28" full draw yew war bows to add some challenge. There's a certain satisfaction in sending an arrow the size of an axe handle at 220'/s across a lake. For non archers, this is like holding a resistance band in each arm and pulling it apart until the resistive force is X pounds with my two hands 28 inches apart, with one arm using mainly upper back and biceps, and the other using triceps and shoulder muscles.

I'm trying to become comfortable with stump shooting with a 135lbs bow, but seem to have hit a plateau. I personally think the biggest problem is no specialized weight training or plyometrics training methods available. At the advice of forums members from PrimitiveArchery and other archery sites, I've read all four volumes of the Bowyer's Bible, but could only find historical information on the builds (and deformities) of English longbow archers, and nothing about their training regimen.

Are there any resources on training to use well above average draw weight war bows, or training regimens that could aid me? It seems like a very specialized action, so no particular exercises or tools/equipment come to mind.

I've taken care not to over-bulk, am currently at 270lbs @ 13% BF, and have tried various shoulder and back plyometric and powerlifting drills, but they have little impact, while adding extra (un-needed) weight. Any advice is appreciated.


  • What is the length of the bow? It may be a function of leverage? Unsure, my only experience is with somple recurves and compound.
    – JohnP
    Mar 14, 2016 at 4:19
  • It's a 62" long "pyramid" style bow.
    – Cloud
    Mar 14, 2016 at 13:24
  • Can it be longer? Or is that too unwieldy? In theory, a longer bow with the same pull should be easier to draw.
    – JohnP
    Mar 14, 2016 at 14:40
  • @JohnP The problem with making it longer is that it will likely increase limb recovery, reducing the speed at which the arrow is fired. On the flip side, it makes the shot a bit more "sweet", so I don't feel my joints rattle from the rebound.
    – Cloud
    Mar 14, 2016 at 16:57
  • Heh, you defiinitely know more than I what the tradeoffs are :) I was just thinking about the mechanics of it. I do like the links that @bantandor provided, I was thinking there were a couple questions on the martial arts SE that could benefit from that.
    – JohnP
    Mar 14, 2016 at 17:38

1 Answer 1


Although it is in different language (may use google translate) in the link here there is a movie about training (pulling 92 lbs bow 57 Times) and pictures of different drills on bow training. You may also try Korean Method for archery training. (read the comments in the page. It can be helpful) I hope all these helps.

  • Interesting. I'll look into it.
    – Cloud
    Mar 14, 2016 at 13:25
  • 1
    I'll just carve an over-poundage self bow with an epoxy and mesh backing for practicing like in the video. My other bows are too nice to use as a piece of exercise equipment. Thanks for the idea!
    – Cloud
    Mar 14, 2016 at 16:58

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