The Strongest Man in Archery?
Mauro Nespoli is not what you think of when you think “strong man”. He looks fit but there are no bulging muscles. No huge shoulders. Nothing to make you think he’s anything more than a fit and healthy 30 something who looks after himself. However Mauro has a secret.
The Italian internationalist draws one of the heaviest recurve poundages in competition today and even that is a reduction on what what he was drawing pre 2019!
What do I mean by heavy? Well an average bloke club archer will be drawing 32-36lbs. Naturally stronger or more regular shooters, by dint of being on the line a lot, might sneak up to 37-42lbs. Brady Ellison the world number 1 dropped down from 50 to 47 pounds in 2018 when he got faster limbs and felt the reduction would benefit his shooting. Mauro currently shoots 63lbs on the fingers but was shooting 67lbs up til 2019 when he decided that with age comes wisdom and wisdom was vigorously suggesting a reduction on the strain he was putting on his body.
These are comparatively unheard of draw weights in modern recurve archery where the draw and expansion though the clicker while remaining stable on a target no bigger than a cd are much more demanding than muscling though a 180lbs longbow shot. (remember radically different techniques and musculature are required for longbow and recurve shots as is the demanded accuracy)
Nespoli made the move to the massive poundages for the 2012 London Olympics where the strong crosswinds at Lords cricket ground gave him a problem during the test event. By the actual event, Nauro had upped his poundage to 58lbs to help punch through the crosswinds. It was still a work in progress as he was put out in the 1st round of the singles. However, he went on to win the team gold for Italy with Michele Frangilli and Marco Galiazzo beating the US team in a last second thriller so not a disastrous decision by any measure!
This however does not mean you should be ramping up the draw weight on YOUR bow! Nespoli is renown for his exercise regime. Without the relentless working out, he would be seriously overbowed** and doing himself a great deal of physical damage to his shoulders and back. Always something to keep in mind if you are increasing your limb weight or start cranking in those limb bolts.
Update: Mauro took silver at the 2020/1 Tokyo Olympics losing out to Mete Gazoz, a geeky looking Turkish archer. Irony abounds!
**note: article on overbowing and its implications
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