In one of my interviews with Colonel Randy Watt of the 19th Special Forces Group, we discussed a study that was done by The University of Miami at Ohio. In it, they attempted to identify things that they could test on people to predict how well they would be able to perform with a firearm.
Two of the biggest factors that they identified were GRIP STRENGTH and OVERALL FITNESS. Above a certain point, grip strength does not continue to improve firearms accuracy, but if you have weak grip strength, strengthening it to where you have average to above average grip strength will have a dramatic positive effect on your accuracy.
Overall fitness is particularly important for people who carry their excess weight above the belt. The reason is simple physics. A proper shooting stance is an aggressive stance with the upper body slanted towards the direction of fire. Any extra belly weight ends up being out in front of the hips, pulling against the spine, either causing lower back fatigue or lower back pain when the muscles can no longer compensate for the weight.
This is one reason why it’s normal to see overweight shooters standing straight up at the range and then leaning backwards as they slowly lose the battle against recoil on multiple shot drills.
This doesn’t mean that you can’t improve your firearms speed and accuracy if you have a weak grip and are overweight. I’ve been outshot by guys who are literally twice as heavy as I am in competition because they have made tremendous efforts to compensate for their weight. But for most people who are serious about improving their shooting; fitness and grip strength are force multipliers that can’t be ignored. It’s similar to hikers who will trim the laces on their shoes, cut all of the labels off of their gear, and cut their toothbrushes in half to cut weight but carry an extra 10-15 pounds around the waist. All of those little steps WILL help some, but making the fundamental step of losing the extra weight can cause a quantum leap in performance.