When we are very young, we have to learn to hold up our heads, building muscles, then rocking up on to our hands and knees, crawling, then pulling ourselves up and taking those first few teetering steps…all the while getting stronger, building muscle memory, and taking a few bumps along the way.
That is a lot like shooting. That first tentative touch when you handle a gun, learning how to hold it, getting used to the weight in your hand, learning what a proper shooting stance is, building the muscle memory, getting stronger. Then holding the gun out and taking the first shot. I remember my arms and shoulders ached for days when I was first learning, then I got used to it. I got stronger, and my muscles know what is expected of them.
I was reacting to a threat and my first session on the range was almost three hours. Not a great way to start, and it explains why I was sore! Now that I teach, I encourage people to take their time, stop when they get tired, and come back often. If can only shoot for 30 minutes comfortably. Shoot for 30 minutes and then go treat yourself to a coffee. Next time, maybe you can shoot a little longer. It is normal for the wrists, shoulders, back and arms to get a little sore. You are training them to hold a weighty object out away from your body and fire projectiles from it. Eventually, your hand strength gets better, your arms become steadier, you get used to standing slightly forward on your feet, relaxing your shoulders…
I’ve heard new shooters say they think they need to come to the range and shoot 200 rounds each time. Well, that can be a lot if you aren’t used to it. Worry less about round count and more about fundamentals. Are you standing correctly? Do you have good trigger control? Are you hitting the target? Start slow, build your skills and muscle memory, then you can gradually build up time and round count and speed as your skills improve.
Remember, we all had to crawl before we could walk, and walk before we could run.
Practice safely and sanely.