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Private Archery Ranges near Toronto

One of my students asked me about private archery ranges near Richmond Hill, and in response I have made the following list of private archery ranges near the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) - which includes Richmond Hill.

I was originally thinking of organizing this list alphabetically, but then I changed my mind and decided to organize by categories as some of these locations are university clubs, archery tag locations, and only a few are wholly private archery ranges.

PRIVATE ARCHERY RANGES IN THE GTA

Archers of Caledon
archersofcaledon.org

Located North-West of Brampton, this club/private range was once known as the Humber Valley Archers, but changed the name when they moved the club to Caledon Hills north west of Toronto. The club hosts indoor and outdoor tournaments, and international tournaments as well.

The Archers of Caledon has a 30 x 15 meter heated indoor range, with 10 shooting lanes.

Outdoors, Archers of Caledon has:
  • A 30 to 90 meter target range.
  • A 10 to 80 meter practice range, which includes both field archery and target archery.
  • A 28 target field archery / 3D range course with animal targets ranging from 6 to 65 meters.

Durham Archers
durhamarchers.com
Two ranges located north of Oshawa, this members only club offers a 3D shooting range (only from Spring to Autumn, the 3D targets are put in storage during the winter to prevent ice damage), target ranges, and field archery. They also host a variety of tournaments.

Note - There is no indoor range.


Peel Archery Club
peelarchery.ca

Located in Peel/Brampton (north west of Pearson International Airport), this indoor range offers both target and 3D options, with the comfort of heating in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. It also boasts Canada's only 70 meter indoor archery range. (Currently the only one. This may change in the future.) They also host a variety of indoor tournaments.

Note - There is no outdoor range.


York County Bowmen
yorkcountybowmen.com

Located east of Newmarket (north of Toronto), York County Bowmen is a club/private range that boasts the following:

  • An indoor 18 meter (20 yards) range  with 12 shooting lanes.
  • Over 50 acres of 3D target ranges, with 14 field archery shooting lanes.
  • A target practice range, with targets spaced from 10 to 60 yards.


ARCHERY TAG INDOOR RANGES

The following is a short list of archery tag locations which also operate archery ranges, the trick being that most of the time the space is being used for archery tag, and they only rarely open the space up as an archery range. So for example some archery tag locations only open up the space for practice 1 day per week, so don't expect a lot of availability that matches your schedule. The size of the space varies on the locations, but don't expect anything larger than 30 meters as these locations are typically about the size of a high school gymnasium. The good news however is that you don't need a membership for these indoor ranges and can just pay an hourly rate to use the space.
  • Archers Arena in North York
  • Archery Circuit located south of Markham
  • Archery District in Etobicoke
  • Archery 2 You in Ajax
  • Battle Sports in North York
  • Stryke Archery Range in Brampton and York

UNIVERSITY ARCHERY RANGES

Joining an university archery club can be a bit trickier. It generally helps if you are already a student or alumni for that university. With university archery clubs there is typically specific times when the range is open, so you really need to find out what their hours operations are before deciding whether to make the effort to join one of these clubs.
  • University of Ryerson Archery Club
  • University of Toronto Archery Club @ Hart House
  • York University Archery Club

PLACES TO AVOID

Sharon Gun Club - Located north-east of Newmarket, this club does NOT offer archery. Contrary to what a Google search dictates, this club does NOT do archery at all. It is purely a gun club. So don't waste your time on this one.

Shooting Academy Canada - Located in Scarborough, this location does offer both guns and archery (as well as throwing knives, airsoft, and BB), and boasts a tiny 15 yard indoor target range. There is no outdoor range. No field archery, no 3D archery targets, etc. Hence why I decided to list it down here and not with the wholly private archery ranges. Plus since they are using firearms indoors, users should really be wearing hearing protection - which many archers might object to as it would feel weird wearing hearing protection while doing archery. So it is not a location I would recommend to students.

Target Sports Canada - Located north of Markham, this is another location that does NOT offer archery. It is another gun range that could be easily confused as an archery range, mostly due to faulty Google search results.


See Also

List of Archery Clubs in Ontario

Why you SUCK at archery

I admit I do not own this book.

I don't need it. I don't suck at archery, ergo I do not need this book.

So this is not a book review, because I admit I have not read this book.

However, the book was written by Steve Ruis, who is the editor of Archery Focus Magazine. (Cough cough, the guy who keeps publishing my articles in his magazine. I am up to 3 articles so far. Visit archeryfocusmagazine.com to learn more.)

I do however find the title of the book funny and appropriate. And I don't mind returning the favour by giving him some free advertising, and I hope he does the same when it comes time to promote some of my own archery books.

I also recommend Steve's other book "Precision Archery". Getting a book like that is the next best thing to getting archery lessons from an instructor. So given his track record of previous books and magazines, the new book is doubtlessly a good one and worth reading if you are a beginner - or if you suck at archery and need to rectify that problem.



Online you can buy the Kindle version or the Paperback version on Amazon.ca.

Kindle - https://www.amazon.ca/Why-You-Suck-at-Archery-ebook/dp/B00BM925AQ/
Paperback - https://www.amazon.ca/Why-You-Suck-at-Archery/dp/0984886036/

The paperback version is currently $19.59 CDN, whereas the Kindle version is $9.14 CDN.


Meanwhile, I do actually have 1 archery book available of my own... although it is admittedly a poetry book... about archery. I am still working on my guide / how to book, and I am in the planning stages of a 3rd and 4th books.

Dreaming of Zen Archery

Kobo - https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/dreaming-of-zen-archery


The Best New Years Resolution for 2019

Looking for a really good New Years Resolution?

Want to get off your butt and exercise?

Want to eat healthier?

Well, there is one New Years Resolution that is flexible and suits your needs...

It is "Just Do It Now." That is it. No fancy goals like "I want to lose 20 pounds during the next 20 weeks." or other specific goals. Just a simple motto of getting stuff done, now, without procrastination.




For Example:

Want to sign up for archery lessons? Always wanted to do archery? Just do it now. Just click the link below, email me via cardiotrek@gmail.com, and sign up for archery lessons. Done.

http://www.cardiotrek.ca/p/archery-lessons.html


Now you may have noticed that usually we post 12 New Years Resolutions. But this year the focus is really just on the one concept. Just do it now. But for those who need a bit extra, here goes.

12 New Years Resolutions for 2019

  1. Just do it now.
  2. Not later, now.
  3. It might rain later again anyway, so do it now.
  4. Just get it over with and do it now.
  5. People who accomplish things with their life just get things done and over with.
  6. Bored? Go do something and get it done.
  7. Tired? Have a nap and then get something done.
  8. Stressed? People who worry suffer twice, so get it done and then you won't have to worry about it anymore.
  9. Great things come to people who wait, but why wait when you can do great things now?
  10. Happiness is getting your tasks done and then relaxing, knowing you already did them.
  11. A clean house helps create a clean mind. Cleaning is exercise, so why not do both?
  12. That task you said you would do later? Just do it now.


5 Reasons Why Dancing Is Good For Your Health

Photo credit: David Hoffman
By Wendy Dessler

After reading the title of this article, you are probably expecting to read how dance is good exercise. You are probably settling in to read how many calories you will burn during a particular type of dance. This is good information, but it is common knowledge. We would like to dig a bit deeper and perhaps to spark your curiosity about giving dance a try.

Social Benefits

The current generation of children is less socially motivated than generations pasts. Before the dawn of the era of technology, children played together after school. They gathered at parks and played sports. Organized clubs such as scouting were popular for boys and girls. Neighbors knew each other and communities depended on each other to watch over the children.

Today, children and teens “meet friends” through social media. They speak to each other online or on the favorite messenger program. The problem is, a child may be socially active on social media and totally ill-equipped to handle a face-to-face interaction. This often creates teenagers who have charismatic personalities when they are staring into a smartphone or a laptop computer. They express themselves with typewritten words but have trouble looking into a person's eyes and express their thoughts.

Dancing Defines Us

When a child is placed in dance class, they learn to be part of a team. They soon realize that their actions affect others. They learn to lead and they learn to follow. They find the control over their bodies. They have a new way of seeing and interacting with their peers.

Young dancers find a passion for performing. They accept help when they need it and they help others when they can. This is a great way to expose our internet hungry children to find the joy of living in the moment.

Self-Esteem

Bullying of our children by school-mates and adults of low moral standards. The internet is usually where it start and absolutely where is is relently applied. The victim is called names and made fun of on social media for the entire world to see. Parents have little hope stopping this. While we can prevent our child from using the internet, their schoolmates do and someone will show them the insults, posters, and even lies made up about a child. The problem has lead to many children, teens, and even some adults to taking their own lives to escape. Day by day the attacks chip away a child's self esteem. They adopt the attitude that they are flawed, and not fit for this world.

A bullied child will not absorb the praise and reassurance they get from their parents at this point. They think, “You have to say that, you’re my mom.” The way to build self-esteem is to allow them to learn something new. There are many types of dances. The child learns the steps with others who are also just learning the steps. With every movement, they celebrate as a team. The child sees that they can succeed and they are special. Every practice and performance they complete builds them up. When they begin to grow their self-esteem, they can look adversity in the eye and not take in the pain others are trying to inflict.

Stress and Depression

After reading the above information, it should come as no surprise to you that children suffer from stress-related illnesses, anxiety, and depression in record numbers. This is why we read so much about violence in the schools. It is not just the kids who are bullied that are stressed. The children who are hurting other children are just showing the other side of the same coin. These kids are depressed and angry.

We put more pressure on our children than ever before in the schools. Not only do they have an extremely fast-paced education curriculum, but they are required to do many pages of homework each night. They have little time to just be kids.

Photo credit: Kiana Bosman
One Hour A Week Makes A Difference

Putting your child in dance gives them one hour a week to be active. They dance and socialize and prepare for performances. They dress up and let their imaginations grow. The great thing is that nowadays you can get every costume you’ll ever need for your kids online. It is a low maintenance activity for a parent but it changes the world of an overworked and under stimulated child. This is often the first steps to recovery from depression.

Building Muscle Mass

As a person grows in their dancing abilities, they begin to see a wonderful side-effect. They begin to build strong and larger muscles. A dancer takes more punishment than a football player and they do it while controlling every muscle in their body while smiling.

The person will see the difference in the mirror. Other people see it too. It is sad to say that we are judged by our looks, but it is still a fact. If this person is a child, they will become more popular and they are less likely to be the victim of others. The conclusion is that gaining healthy muscles is good for our health, and it offers some extra benefits.

Long-term Health Benefits

Children who take dance often continue as they become adults. We all know dance speeds up your metabolism which naturally slows down as we age. But, you may not know that the effects dance has on the muscles, joints, and the way we metabolize our food reduces the impact on our bodies due to illness and disease.

Conclusion

It is true that dance is good exercise. It makes our hearts beat faster and it builds our muscles and endurance. It is true that dance will help you lose and maintain your weight. But, dance can offer much more than just weight control.

Our physical bodies become stronger and we are less likely to become sick. Our mental state is heightened due to the hormones dance releases in our brains. Dance is a natural antidepressant. But dance helps us develop socially, and mentally and boosts our self-esteem. So, unplug your kid, tell them how wonderful they are and enroll them in something that will give them lifetime benefits.



Editor's Note

One of my favourite dance videos on YouTube surpassed 100 million views 5 months ago. It is a rather addictive dance video.


Nasdaq crashing, requests for archery lessons up

So with the stock market in the USA crashing currently (and Forbes predicting a 20% reduction) I have seen a spike in the number of people asking for archery lessons in Spring 2019.

This happens every time there is economic uncertainty. Every time the economy sees a downturn, people get worried, and suddenly more archery students pop up asking for lessons.

I think it is a reaction to the economic situation that people instinctively start thinking about bowhunting for food and survivalism. Even though, oddly enough, the people asking for archery lessons are still primarily thinking of recreation and only thinking "useful hunting skill" in the back of their mind.

How bad is it? Well, the Nasdaq has lost about 1,100 points since September. And the Dow Jones is down 2,600 points.

The numbers themselves are not the issue. The real problem is how the stock market is an indicator for the economy. A sort of canary in the coal mine. If the canary suddenly dies, the miners are in danger too. So if the stock market tanks, it means the economy is in danger.

And with Trump's Trade War hurting various economies, it was really just a matter of time before we saw a market correction.

Historical Fact: The biggest trade war in the USA was in 1929, right before the big stock market crash. If you know your history, you can guess trade wars aren't a great idea for the economy.

So I guess I should be thanking the fool in the White House for his silly trade war which has ultimately hurt the U.S. economy and caused this uptick in people worried about the economy and asking for archery lessons.

I won't be thanking him, but I will take advantage of this opportunity and remind people that I also have a Limited Time Discount Offer for people prebooking archery lessons for March / April 2019.

Limited Time Discount Offer:
Prebook your lessons now and get 10% off.

  • This discount offer expires at Midnight December 31st 2018.
  • Only applies to archery lessons prebooked for March / April 2019.

Oh and in case you are wondering, here are photographs from March 10th, March 11th and March 17th 2018... so you have an idea of what the weather looks like in March. The photos below were used in an older post from March 20th 2018, titled Winter Archery Photography.

So as you can see, the weather in March is quite mild and enjoyable. Also this is apparently supposed to be a very mild winter thanks to El Nino, so I might end up teaching more lessons during the winter.




Reviewing Comments on CardioTrek.ca

So it is the end of the year and I am reviewing comments people have made on CardioTrek.ca.

Over 300 comments from the last two years, 2017 and 2018.

I managed to review (and delete) 100 comments before I got bored of looking at spam comments. Over 90% of the comments are spam / contain links. So by the time I eventually review all 300+ comments, there will probably be less than 30 comments that are genuine and get approved.

The spam comments are selling things like diet pills, detox pills, weight lifting gloves, weight lifting belts, exercise bicycles, health supplements, protein  powders, rhinoplasty, plastic surgery...

And even off topic things like promoting criminal defense lawyers, vacations, spas, viagra (of course!), hair growth pills (for bald people), gambling and such. I am not going to list them all, but clearly some spammers don't care if they are spamming a topic that is even relevant.

All of which gets marked as spam and deleted. Never even seen by the general public.

Because frankly that is how I roll. All comments are hidden until I have approved them.

Which means all the spammers (and spambots) are just wasting their time (and mine).

Even the posts I do approve are double-checked to make sure they didn't hide a spam link in a comment that at a glance looks genuine.

I have half of a mind to just delete ALL of the comments and turn off the commenting function. It would save me time from having to review them and make certain they are genuine comments that don't contain a spam link.

But I do like receiving the genuine comments.

  • The people who say thank you.
  • The people who say "keep up the great work".
  • The people who say "I learned something today thanks to you".
  • The people who are asking questions, which potentially can be used for my Exercise Questions posts.
And of course comments from my clients / students, which are often more personal and anecdotal.

Those are the comments I really enjoy, so clearly I cannot get rid of the commenting function entirely. I just have to weather the storm, delete the spam, and not check/review comments for 2 years again.

Two years from now I should be nearing the 1,000 posts mark (currently hovering around 880 and doing 60 per year) so it is a lot of posts for people to leave comments on.


Note

To the people wanting to sell boxing gloves, weightlifting equipment and other exercise equipment... don't spam! Send me product samples instead and I will do a product review. I will even post a copy of the review on Amazon if you ask nicely. Product reviews from genuine sources are a far better way of advertising your product and getting the positive word out there.

But spamming. Nope. Deleted. Good day sir! Hope you enjoyed wasting your time!

10 Lesson Archery Crash Course / Visiting Toronto

Traveling to Toronto to Study Archery

I have had students who come from the USA and overseas (Saudi Arabia, China, South Korea, India, Brazil, the U.K., etc) who have come here expressly to study archery under my tutelage.

Now that doesn't mean that they don't have any archery instructors available locally (although in some places like Saudi Arabia they are admittedly difficult to find). It simply means that for whatever reasons, some of my archery students have decided that they wanted to travel to Toronto, Canada to study archery here rather than study locally.

In 2017 I taught a young man from Ohio who came here for two weeks and took a 10 lesson crash course in traditional archery. Why? Because he couldn't find any archery instructors in Ohio that he felt were professional / quality, and he wanted to improve his archery skills in a hurry. So he decided to visit Canada, found an Airbnb, and have a vacation wherein he explored Toronto for 2 weeks and had 10 archery lessons during that 2 week period. He liked it here so much he was tempted to find a job in Toronto and move here. (Partially to get away from the political nonsense in the USA.)

In 2014 I taught a young woman with aspirations towards joining the Saudi Arabia Olympic Team, and thus came to Toronto for 10 lessons in Olympic-style archery. Saudi Arabia has a number of problems with archery:

  1. The common person cannot even purchase archery equipment unless they are already on an archery team. Thus it makes sense to study archery overseas. (Catch-22 Situation)
  2. You cannot get an archery coach in Saudi Arabia unless you are on a team.
  3. Joining an archery team requires that the individual has already demonstrated that they have archery skill.
  4. Taking archery equipment on a plane is prohibited unless you can prove it is for training purposes only.
Seriously, they make it really difficult. So in order to pursue her archery goals, she needed to study overseas. And she would need to buy archery equipment overseas, practice, get better, and continue to pursue her dream. It isn't going to be easy.

And other students of course, some of whom may have had other reasons for visiting Toronto and deciding to get archery lessons while they are here.

Two of my happy archery students from November 2018.

How many archery lessons should a person get?

Typically my "crash course" students take 5 to 10 lessons. The more the merrier. There is no limit.

Some of my regular students who live here in Toronto just keep coming back for more lessons year after year. Including one of my older students from the U.K. who visits Toronto every Spring and Autumn and has lessons during those times of year.

How much does 5 to 10 lessons costs?

For one-on-one lessons:

5 lessons is $270 CDN (weekdays only) or $405 CDN (weekends only).

10 lessons is $520 CDN (weekdays only) or $780 CDN (weekends only).

Often crash course students mix/match weekday/weekend lessons, so they might have 6 weekday lessons and 4 weekend lessons for a total of $624 CDN. (With the current exchange rate $624 CDN is about $466 USD.) This combination of weekday and weekend lessons allows them to have lessons on a Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday + Saturday/Sunday schedule, with breaks on Mondays and Fridays so they can relax.

Also my availability often varies on the season and how booked up I am with other students, so precise scheduling can vary upon what is available.

Is there a lesson plan?

Yes, I have multiple lesson plans.

There is the Standard Archery Lesson Plan (for traditional recurve), the Horse Archery Lesson Plan, and the Olympic Archery Lesson Plan.

If an archer is more experienced or has specific goals in mind, I can also adjust and tailor a lesson plan to suit the student's needs.

So for example I have yet to have a student ask to focus on longbow archery for 10 lessons, in which case I would simply modify the Standard Lesson Plan to suit their needs.

With compound archers their needs often vary on their goals so I routinely design an unique lesson plan for each compound archer that suits their individual needs.

Tips for Taking an Archery Crash Course

#1. Eat Healthy - You are going to be exercising for 90 minutes almost every day, so having a healthy diet is certainly beneficial. Lots of veggies and protein.

#2. Sleep Well - Avoid staying up late doing activities. Try to be well rested and alert the day of lessons. eg. Going out to a party, drinking and being tired/hungover the next day would be a bad idea.

#3. Pack a Lunch - Bring food, snacks, drinks to every lesson should hunger or thirst strike you. Having a hot or cold drink is very handy during the colder / hotter times of year.

#4. Archery Gear - If you have your own archery equipment and are bringing it with you, you should make certain it is okay to bring it on any international flights to Canada. You also don't want to forget anything you might need, so when in doubt BRING EVERYTHING you think you might need and pack it well in advance. You don't want to arrive in Toronto and discover you forgot your favourite tab or shooting glove or thumbring.

#5. Familiarize yourself with Toronto Weather - Depending on the time of year it is either really hot or very cold and you should prepare yourself by bringing or purchasing appropriate clothing.

Note - In 2019 I am going to try to not schedule lessons during the hottest weeks of the year and instead take a vacation at that time. The last two weeks of July are two of the hottest weeks of the year, so that sounds like a good time for a vacation.

#6. Be Prepared to Learn a Lot - My Japanese professor in university told us that the average human only learns and remembers 10 new things in a day, and thus a person learning a language can only be expected to learn and retain 10 new words each day. Over the course of 10 lessons, you will be expected to learn way more than 100 things. Thus you should expect to learn a lot, you should expect to learn some things you weren't expecting to learn, and it can feel a bit overwhelming at first.

Fortunately for you I explain things in terms of the physics of what is happening, and I often employ narrative storytelling, jokes, and "Archery Sayings" into my teaching methodology which helps students to remember. I even recently published an article in Archery Focus Magazine about using narrative storytelling as a teaching tool.


What are my credentials?

  1. I have been doing archery since April 1989. So almost 30 years, since the age of 10.
  2. When I was a teenager in the 1990s I routinely made my own bows, arrows, and crossbows.
  3. I studied Olympic-style archery formally in South Korea, at Jeonbukdaehakkyo (Jeonbuk University).
  4. I started teaching archery in 2009.
  5. I practice and teach all 5 major styles of archery - Traditional Recurve, Olympic Recurve, Longbow, Shortbow/Horsebow, and Compound.
  6. I still make longbows and crossbows as a hobby.
  7. I collect antique and vintage bows from the 1940s, 50s, 60s and 70s. I would like to get some older bows.
  8. My personal collection of bows is *currently* 34. I create, buy and sell bows every year, so the number fluctuates.
  9. I have published 3 articles so far in Archery Focus Magazine. More to come!
  10. I have published a book of poetry about Zen Archery: "Dreaming of Zen Archery".
  11. I am currently working on an archery "how to" book and also a book of archery sayings/photography.
  12. I have been on CBC News, CTV, CityNews, TSN, OLN, CBC Radio (twice) and various other television and radio broadcasts.
  13. I have both won archery competitions and judged archery competitions.
  14. I taught my wife archery, and in 2019 I expect my 2-year-old son will begin archery. Five members of my extended family also do archery, including my cousin who was North American Champion for Traditional Recurve Target Archery in 1990 and 1991, and Traditional Recurve Field Archery Champion in 1991. So archery is a family sport for myself and my relatives.
  15. Teaching archery is not a hobby for me. It is my full time occupation. I live and breathe this sport.
The archery instructor on February 23rd 2017. A warm day in February.

Is it possible to get archery lessons during the winter? Are they indoors?

Yes, it is possible, and it is outdoors. I am a firm believer in practicing outdoors and learning how to adjust for weather conditions. Even if it is very cold. However since this is Toronto, one of most southern Canadian cities, it often isn't even that cold here and the snow melts easily.

However I do have a rule with winter archery. It must be -5 ℃ or warmer. Any colder than that and the combination of the extreme cold and the windchill is going to make it feel like it is -20 or colder, and it is both bad for the archer to be doing archery in such conditions, but also potentially bad for your archery equipment.

Thus for the sake of your equipment and mine, -5 or warmer is the rule.

Also I don't recommend using vintage archery equipment when it is too cold, too hot or too humid, as the heat/cold/humidity can be much more harmful to older vintage equipment. Aim for moderate temperatures when using any kind of vintage archery equipment. So while I do sometimes bring some of my "museum pieces" to the range to show students / shoot them, I only do that when the weather is appropriate.

The bow in the photo above is a 1949 Bear Grizzly Static Recurve, and it was so warm that day in February I decided it was safe to bring it.

What else is there to do in Toronto?

There are many tourism websites and things to do in or near Toronto. You will not be bored in this city which has a plethora of historical sites, art galleries, museums, restaurants, and cultural districts (eg. Chinatown, Little Korea, Little Italy, etc), world class beaches, sailboats, etc.

You could potentially also take day trips to Niagara Falls, Hamilton (which also has many waterfalls), Guelph, Kitchener, Elora Gorge, Barrie and various locales within a short drive / train ride of Toronto. Depending on your interests you could be exploring outdoors, going to historical sites, getting winery tours, etc. If you have specific interests I can even recommend places my wife and I have gone.

Some of archery students have also taken horseback riding lessons, so if that is your goal you could in theory do both. Study archery and horseback riding at the same time. After ten lessons of both you should be able to handle yourself on a horse and be able to shoot with a degree of experience and confidence. The Horse Archery Lesson Plan page contains a list of horse riding locations in / near Toronto if you want to browse and compare prices.

Update - One of my former students recommends Wind Spirit Stable, which is about a 90 minute drive north of Toronto.

Personal Note - It is my long term goal to open a horse riding school / private archery range. It is on my To Do List. It is just a matter of time.

Stay in Shape for the Winter with Weightlifting

Winter is Coming...

And many people don't exercise as much during the winter, as not everyone is into winter sports like skiing, ice skating, snowboarding, Archery Biathlon and more.

Or even if they are into such sports, keep reading, because weightlifting can also be used to cross-train in other sports.

Speaking for myself, every winter I come up with a series of weightlifting exercises using dumbbells that I can do 4 to 5 days per week, and I usually toss in some bodyweight exercises too.

Doing these exercises largely target the upper body, but if the individual desires they can also do squats and other exercises which focus on the legs.

Sample Dumbbell Exercises

#1. Bicep Curls

#2. Overhead Tricep Lifts

#3. Deltoid Lifts - Front Deltoids, Side Deltoids, Back Deltoids

#4. Oblique Twists

#5. Oblique Lifts

#6. Forearm Twist and Shuffle - Holding the dumbbell, twist your forearm and pass the dumbbell to your left hand. Twist the dumbbell in your left hand and pass it back. Repeat. Cue the disco music.

#7. Dumbbell Rowing - You will need a sturdy rope, a chin-up bar, and a dumbbell to do this exercise. A handle for the rope helps too. Tie one end to the dumbbell, lift the rope over the chin-up bar, tie the other end to handle. Sit down and brace your feet against the sides of the door. Proceed to row. This exercise will target your back muscles (eg. rhomboids), your back deltoids, and your triceps.

#8. One Arm Dumbbell Rowing - No chin up bar or rope? Do an one arm dumbbell row instead.




Sample Body Weight Exercises

A. Chin Ups - Biceps and shoulders. Helps to have a chin-up bar.

B. Push Ups - Triceps, shoulders and pectorals. For extra challenge try decline pushups.

C. Sit Ups - Abdominals. For extra challenge try decline sit ups.

D. Squats - Legs. For extra challenge hold dumbbells in your hand or wear a heavy backpack while doing the squats.

E. Jumping Jacks - Yes, also a cardio, but any form of jumping is technically also a body weight exercise.

Variety

For best results, try to do a variety of different exercises so you get a full body workout. The more variety, the better the workout is.


Weightlifting Tips

  1. Do the exercises slowly. Don't rush through them.
  2. Focus on proper form so you don't hurt yourself.
  3. Make a checklist of which exercises you want to do every workout.
  4. Keep a journal of which exercises you did and the size of the dumbbells so you can see your progression over time.
  5. You don't need lots of expensive exercise equipment. Start with some 10 or 15 lb dumbbells and work your way up. When you are ready, go buy some 20s. When you get bored of those, 25s.
  6. Use lightweight dumbbells at the beginning of the workout. Don't use the heavy dumbbells until the end.
  7. Pace yourself. Take a 30 second breather between exercises.
  8. Don't drink excessively while weightlifting. Have a good drink of water after you complete your workout.
  9. Set a schedule so you have a set time each day that you do your workout.
  10. Do the workout even if tired or stressed. Weightlifting helps reduce stress, and you will sleep better after your workout.
  11. Doing your workout in the morning before shower/breakfast helps wake you up faster than coffee.
  12. Doing your workout in the evening, right before an evening snack and sleeping, helps tire you out and improves your sleep.
  13. Yes, you can do two or more workouts per day. What is stopping you? Are your legs broken?
  14. Excuses and procrastination are for lazy people who never accomplish anything.
  15. Start today. Do it today. Do it again tomorrow.
  16. If you fall off the horse, don't despair. Just get right back on the horse. Remember Tip #11.
  17. Play music or watch TV while exercising. Make it part of your routine to listen to your favourite songs or watch your favourite shows while exercising.
  18. If recuperating from an injury focus on other exercises that don't utilize the body part that is injured. eg. Shoulder injury? Time to focus on leg exercises and the other arm.

Weightlifting Tips for Parents

  • If you have small children you can involve your baby or toddler in your weightlifting exercise. A 20 lb baby can be quite the workout. Think of it as quality time with your baby. Don't drop the baby or do anything common sense would say is a bad idea.
  • If you have older kids and they want to join you in your workouts, get smaller dumbbells that are just for them to use. eg. 3 lb or 5 lb. Such a small amount will be more than enough for their needs.



Archery Biathlon Lessons in Toronto

Q


"Hi I came across an old post about archery ski instruction out of Toronto.
Wondering if you’re still coaching or if you can point me in the direction of someone who is in the Toronto area (or somewhere within a drive ).
Thanks



E. M."


A


Hello E!

Yes, I still coach that but only on weekends.

Would you like to book for January?

If you have any questions feel free to ask. Have a good day!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca
Follow Up Comments
So yes, I still teach Archery Biathlon - but I rarely get requests for that. Not many people want archery lessons during the winter, and even less are interested in learning the sport of Archery Biathlon.
So E's email made me realize I should do a post that confirms, yes, I do still offer archery biathlon lessons (and winter archery lessons), and there has been a few changes and I do want to remind people of the following.
#1. I only teach Archery Biathlon during the weekends.
#2. Winter Archery Lessons are likewise only available on weekends.
#3. Winter lessons of either are one-on-one only. No pairs or groups of 3.
#4. You will need your own skis and ski gear. I do not provide those for you. I only provide the archery equipment, if you need it. If you have your own archery equipment and prefer to use it, that is fine too.

#5. Remember to dress for the weather, using multiple tight-fitting layers of warm clothing. Avoid bulky sleeves and bulky jackets.

#6. Definitely remember to bring a hot drink with you. Snacks are a good idea too.

#7. Lesson Plan:

  • Lesson 1 will include a Safety Lecture, Eye Dominance Test, Lecture on Aiming, Lecture on Proper Form, Archery Biathlon Practice combined with Field Archery Practice (aka "Field Archery Biathlon").
  • Lessons 2 will start with "Target Archery Biathlon", and include a lecture in the middle about arrowheads.
  • Lesson 3 will focus on "Long Distance Archery Biathlon", and include a lecture in the middle about arrow spine.
  • Lesson 4 will introduce how to use a Sight and Stabilizer and focus on "Target Archery Biathlon". At some point during the lesson we will be waxing the bowstring and waxing the skis.
  • Lesson 5 will focus on "Archery Biathlon Speed Shooting" - because it is fun, and why not do something fun for the final lesson?
How many lessons a person signs up for is up to them, but we should be able to schedule in 5 lessons during January / February when there is ample snow on the ground. If the snow starts melting too much towards the end of winter we may simply be doing "archery lessons" and skip the skiing aspect.

You notice also that E. asked about other locations where she could learn archery biathlon. Unfortunately I am unaware of anyone else in Toronto (or remotely near the GTA) who teaches archery biathlon.
To sign up for Winter Archery Lessons or Archery Biathlon send an email to

Why Recreational Archery Matters

Balloon Animal Field Archery
Recreational archery is the backbone of all archery endeavours.

Sport? The person had to get into recreational archery first.

Hunting? Our ancestors who first learned to hunt with a bow also first needed to practice with the bow to get good with it, and guaranteed they enjoyed doing it. It was no doubt a recreational activity before it was used for hunting. The same goes with modern bowhunters - they have to learn to shoot first, and practicing archery is quite enjoyable.

Based upon my own anecdotal experience, I would say less than 1% of archers compete in any archery sports. And less than 10% hunt. I cannot say what the exact numbers are, but this is my best guess based upon the people I have met over the past many years.

That means at least 89% of archers, probably more, do recreational archery. Just for the fun of it. It is primarily a recreational sport.

Now why does this matter?

It matters because archery as a sport and bowhunting would find it difficult to exist without recreational archery bringing in new archers constantly. If it wasn't enjoyable, people wouldn't bother to think "Hey, I could use to hunt or compete." If they got frustrated and gave up, then that is the death of the person's archery career. Probably never touch a bow again and when asked they might say something like "Archery is too hard. I suck at it."

But the beauty of recreational archery is that allows a person to practice, practice, practice while having fun (until it no longer feels hard and the person no longer sucks at it). Making archery fun is the surefire way to get people to keep practicing until they see improvement and realize they are getting better at this.

For me, as an archery instructor, making archery fun is also about a reward system for the student's brain.

It really comes down to the dopamine.
"dopamine functions as a neurotransmitter—a chemical released by neurons (nerve cells) to send signals to other nerve cells. The brain includes several distinct dopamine pathways, one of which plays a major role in the motivational component of reward-motivated behavior."
When an archery student is having fun and hits a target, the brain produces dopamine which spreads throughout their brain and body, acting as a drug reward for both the brain and muscles. You will often experience a flood of dopamine when watching an enjoyable film, while doing fun sports, during sex, when eating ice cream or chocolate, etc.

That flood of dopamine tells your body that you are doing something good, and that you should keep doing it because it is enjoyable for your brain and the rest of your body.

This reward drug then causes the archery student to pay more attention to their archery form in hopes of repeating a good shot. The more good shots the archer gets, the higher the dopamine output and the cycle continues.

In contrast, if someone feels frustrated their body starts making negative hormones that makes you want to quit what you are doing. But if you are doing a fun activity, this is less likely to happen as you are more likely to enjoy the process even if you are not achieving your goals as quickly as you would like.

Frustration therefore is the leading cause of new archers quitting archery, possibly because they have set their goals too high and they aren't doing an activity that is actually fun.


Example #1. The Frustrated Compound Shooter

Years ago I witnessed a compound shooter who clearly was a beginner. They arrived at the archery range and set up at the 95 yard targets (back when they were at 95 yards, before they were moved to 75). They got their compound bow set up, but it quickly became clear that didn't have a clue what they were doing.

He apparently assumed that because he had a cheap compound bow that he didn't need to shoot at the shorter distances. Or maybe he was just anti-social as the 20 and 30 yard targets are the most popular.

Every time the compound shooter shot, his arrows would go about halfway out into the field and hit the grass about 50 yards out. They weren't even making it near the 95 yard targets.

They would then spend several frustrated minutes searching for their lost arrow(s) in the grass, come back, adjust the sights on their bow HIGHER and repeat the process.

You will notice how I capitalized the word HIGHER. This is because when your arrow is going too low the answer is not to adjust the sight higher, but instead move the sight lower. But a beginner would not know that.

So every round the guy was moving his sight higher, his arrows would go lower, and he was no closer to hitting the 95 yard targets.

So eventually the guy was extremely frustrated, left, and I have never seen him again at the archery range. I am guessing he gave up on archery entirely.

Here is what he should have done:

  1. Go to the 20 yard targets first, because he is after all a beginner and thus he should start at an easier distance.
  2. Shoot his the top pin on his sight.
  3. Adjust the top pin on his sight so that it follows where his arrows are going.
  4. Socialize with the other archers so that you learn things from them.
  5. Find ways to make his practice more fun, so that he is enjoying the process more. Doing something difficult like shooting 95 yards on the first day is going to be extremely frustrating.

Being anti-social isn't going to help someone's shooting practice. A person who is social, and having fun doing a social activity, is going to be less frustrated than a person who wants to be a loner and avoid other people.

Archery is a very social sport and people should embrace the social aspect of the sport as a way of deriving more pleasure (and dopamine) from the activity, which ultimately helps their accuracy, their confidence, and their sense of self-worth.

Being anti-social is simply going to have the opposite effect, causing a person to get frustrated more easily, and they will feel like inadequate loser.


Example #2. The Prepared Parents

I have seen many parents bring their kids to the archery range over the years, but I would say only about one third of them are actually prepared to make the activity more fun for their child.

eg. The parents who are prepared typically brought balloons, make balloon animals, brought a paper zombie target, etc and/or they also thought up a game that their kids can do while shooting.

The unprepared parents in contrast bring their kid(s), bring the bow(s) and arrows, but they think nothing about what activities / games their kids should be playing while they practice archery, and they certainly didn't think to make the targets more fun for their kids to shoot at.

So what happens instead is that the kid ends up shooting at 20 (or sometimes 33 yard) targets, missing regularly, and ultimately spend more time looking for arrows than actually shooting arrows.

What they should be doing instead:
  1. Bring homemade DIY portable targets (or balloon animals works too) which they can put at a distance of 10 or 15 yards instead of the full 20 yards or further.
  2. Stuffed animals also make for fun archery targets. Cheap ones from the Dollar Store work nicely.
  3. If shooting at objects on the ground, using blunt arrowheads and wingnuts would be a wise move. It reduces damage to the DIY targets, but the wingnuts also act like anchors and dig into the grass - making it really easy to find the arrows.
  4. Come up with games the kids can play while they are shooting, so it is even more fun.
  5. Bring food that you would associate with a picnic. Watermelon, sandwiches, lots to drink. Parents often leave early because the kids get hungry, but if you bring lots of food for a picnic this is not a problem.
Seriously, just get some wingnuts from Canadian Tire, some Dollar Store stuffed animals, and the kids will have way more fun than trying to shoot at a target that is 60 feet (20 yards) away. Beginner adults have enough trouble shooting at that distance, for beginner kids it is logically way harder.

Teddy Bear Archery Target


Example #3. Gary Shooting at Zee Romans

I don't know how old Gary is, but I am guessing he is close to my dad's age. Possibly a bit younger. The beard makes him look older than he actually is.

What I do know is that Gary likes to draw Roman soldiers on cardboard and then shoot at them. He loves killing some cardboard Romans. He must have figured out a long time ago that archery is so much more fun when you actually set out to make it more fun.

Sometimes he doesn't always bother to draw Romans on there, like in this photo on the right. But he does like to pose for photos sometimes, which is also fun.

One of these days I will get some photos of Gary shooting at some Romans.

Gary also runs an archery shop at 940 Queen Street East (2nd floor), and is available by appointment only. Check out his website at http://www.basicallybowsarchery.com


Concluding Thoughts

In my opinion anyone who competes or bowhunts should also be actively doing recreational archery so that they are mentally and emotionally encouraged to practice more often. More dopamine = more practicing.

For parents with kids, recreational archery can be a great sport to do again and again, and is worth the investment. The trick is to make it more fun so that the kids keep asking to do it again. And again. And again. Are we there yet? Are we there yet?

Making it more fun (and social) has numerous benefits for a person's mental health too. It keeps your mind active and forces the mind to be calculating things like distance and where to aim. The physical benefits are likewise there, as archery is possibly best described as an exercise combining resistance training with lots of walking to fetch arrows.

Have fun! Keep shooting!


To sign up archery lessons in Toronto for 2019, just email cardiotrek@gmail.com to ask about available days and time slots.


Older Posts about Recreational Archery

Recreational Archery: 5 Ways to have Fun Shooting
Balloon Animal Field Archery
Whistling and Howling Arrowheads (for Fun and Amusement)
Recreational Archery as a Sport

Looking to sign up for archery lessons, boxing lessons, swimming lessons, ice skating lessons or personal training sessions? Start by emailing cardiotrek@gmail.com and lets talk fitness!

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