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Am I too fat to do archery? + Cycling for Overweight People

Q

"Hello!

I live near the Toronto Archery Range and I am thinking about getting into archery. I am close enough to bicycle there so I figured if I bicycled to the archery range it would be a good way to lose weight.

However I do have two questions I need help with:

1. I weigh 380 lbs (it fluctuates, but that is my current weight). I worry that my weight will impede my ability to do archery. Full disclosure, I have what some people might call 'a generous chest area' and while I know that is normal for a man my size, I do worry it will make it difficult for me to do archery. Do you have any advice concerning this? Am I too fat to do archery?

2. I find riding a bicycle painful on my posterior (if you know what I mean). How can I alleviate this so the seat isn't so painful?

Sincerely,
Name Withheld for Privacy Reasons"

A1

Part One!

No, you're not too fat. I maintain that anyone can learn to do archery - and learn to do it well with continued practice. While it is true physical fitness certainly helps, that is not the deciding factor in the matter.

Many women (and a few men) have very generous chest areas, but this doesn't mean they cannot do archery. Many beginners (not just people who are amply proportioned) encounter problems with string contact on the chest when they are at full draw because they have a tendency to lean away from the bow as they pull back on it.

Leaning back away from the bow changes the angle of the torso so the chest area ends up making contact with the bow string. Standing up straight - or deliberately leaning into the shot - changes the angle dramatically and the chances of string contact are dramatically reduced.

For some women with ample bra sizes they find that string contact is dramatically reduced when wearing a sports bra.

However for men having a sports bra isn't normally an option... But if you Google that topic, you will discover there are male chest girdles designed to compact the chest area and flatten it out - so that does exist.

I found several chest compression vests on Amazon.com that might work for some people, but according to the descriptions they are often designed for men who weigh specific amounts. I am certain there are products out there however that are designed for men in your weight category.

Archery chest guards are designed to flatten one side of your chest, but mostly in an effort to keep excess fabric from clothing rubbing against the bow string. They aren't designed like a sports bra is in an effort to flatten everything and keep it firmly in place.


As you can see above the bow string isn't rubbing against her chest area, but it probably wouldn't be rubbing against her anyway because her posture is nice and upright (no leaning away from the bow). She is wearing a chest protector, but that is mostly because she is conscious of the fact any loose clothing might interfere with the bow string.

So before you rush out to purchase a chest compression vest or a chest guard I recommend you first learn how to shoot and stand up straight while shooting. There is no need to run out and buy a vintage men's girdle that looks like it is something out of the 1800s.

Have a friend take photos of you while shooting so you know for certain you aren't leaning back away from the bow and changing the angle of your torso.

Then if you determine that you are still having difficulties, then you can look into purchasing a compression vest to help flatten out part of your chest.

A2

Part Two!

You are not alone with the uncomfortable bicycle seat problem. Many elderly people also find modern bicycle seats to be too uncomfortable (and some religious orthodox people feel that are too scandalous).

There is a solution however: Broader seats, ergonomic seats, and even gel filled seats with shocks under them. Prices vary, but here are some examples of different bicycle seats below.




 Another thing you should do is make sure the angle of the bicycle seat (after it is installed) is level. Sometimes people find their seats are uncomfortable because the seat itself is on a forward or backward angle, and this in turn hurts both their posterior (as you put it) and your lower back muscles.

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