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K. There's physiological changes that go on in many people's hearts as they breathe. Most people have what's called a sinus rhythm. It simply means that your heart is beating at a normal pace and the impulses are eminating from the correct set of cells inside the heart. No need to go into details. 'Normal' sinus rhythm would be a regular rate of between 60 and 100 beats per minute.
But a large segment of the population has what's called a sinus arrythmia, where the heart speeds and slows as they breathe, and that is the normal rhythm for them. Breathe in, the heart speeds up, breathe out, the heart slows. I myself can take a few deep breaths, hold, and when I let it out drop my heart rate into the 30's and 40's. In the extreme I can drop it much further. Onward.
The heart rate of people with a normal sinus rhythm will speed up if they hold their breath for more than a few seconds. That's a normal response to oxygen depletion, and as the oxygen is depleted the heart will not only start to beat faster but harder as well, so those people don't want to hold for longer than necessary.
If you have the arrythmia you may have the advantage if you can exploit it and yes, those that can slow their heart rate way down can shoot between beats but the window is a very small one, a few seconds at most.
How to tell what you have? Take your pulse. No need to actually count, just feel the rhythm as you breathe, using the artery in your wrist or the artery in your neck. You should spend 2-3 minutes at least analyzing what your rhythm is. If you're sitting and breathing normally, a normal sinus rhythm won't change enough to notice. The intervals between beats will be the same across the board. Take a deep breath and hold it and you'll feel it speed up. Let it out and you'll feel it slow to normal.
If you have sinus arrhythmia you'll notice that sitting breathing normally the heart rate speeds up (the interval between beats becomes shorter) when you breathe in and then slows when you breathe out. For many people that is what is normal for them and it's not a concern. Take a deep breath and hold and it will speed up, just like the NSR's, keep holding...and then let out quickly. You may, for a few moments, actually think your heart stopped. And actually, it did. It paused for 2-3 beats and then resumed. That's a useful thing if you can master it. The trick is in adding one more set of variables into a larger set of variables like being aware of wind direction, mirage, trigger pull, etc.
The one sure thing in all of this is that if you hold your breath your heart will speed up and beat harder as well. That is the thing to avoid. If you can do better by slowing your heart and actually shoot between a beat, that's even better. -Rod-
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I have found that if you sit at the bench and try to relax before starting your shooting you can actually slow your heat beat and shoot much better.
If you get a chance get hooked up to a heart monitor or just a pulse rate monitor and watch what you can do by just taking a few deep breaths and relaxing clearing the mind.
If only i could remember to do it in Comp, I do sometimes but offen forget just need to train my self just another thing i need to remember like making sure the dies are adjusted right and get neck tension on all the cases not just some.
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I also have more concerns with breath and even pulse control when I shoot. I can see my aimpoint "twitch" about 1/2 inch or so at 200 yards, right to left, and it is timed evenly with my pulse. I have to time my twitch (its a slow twitch, not a really fast jerk to the side) and can get really good groups but this is irritating. Anyone else have this issue, or even a "fix" for something I don't know where to correct? I spent time on boats in 'Nam in 1970/1 (Navy) so didn't have the exacting training you grunts and doggies did and I wish I did too.