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Shooting compound long distances / adjusting sights

QUESTION

"Hello!

I am a beginner at archery and recently bought a compound bow because I was told that you could shoot long distances using them. But when I went to the archery range and tried shooting at the long range I couldn't even hit the target. The arrows didn't even go half way. When I tried adjusting the sight higher the arrows kept going roughly the same spot. I used the peep sight and everything they said to use in the store, but I cannot figure out what I am doing wrong.

Someone at the range said I was shooting at the 90 yard range, which doesn't seem that far to me. My arrows are flying at 305 feet per second so 90 yards (270 feet) should be no big deal. Why are my arrows only going halfway?

- Geoffrey C."

ANSWER

Oh wow.

#1. Your arrows may be traveling at 305 fps, but they are still arcing downwards as they fly through the air. You need to be aiming higher - which on a compound bow means moving the sight lower. See #4.

#2. You really need to practice at shorter distances first. Especially if you are a complete beginner. Start at 20 yards and sight in the top pin. Then go to 30 yards and sight the next lowest pin. Then 40 yards, 50 yards, etc. If you just purchased the bow it likely came with a 3 pin sight, which means you are very limited in what ranges you can shoot accurately using the pins.

8 Pin Compound Sight
If you get a 5 pin sight then you can sight in 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60 yards. Or you could do 20 yard increments: 20, 40, 60, 80 and 100. Obviously having a 5, 6, 7 or 8 pin sight gives you more options.

The Toronto Archery Range has 20, 30, 50, 60, 70 and 90 yards targets - thus a 6 pin sight would be sufficient for every target - with larger gaps between the 30 and 50 pins and between the 70 and 90 pins.

#3. You should stick to the 20 yard range until you can get tight (doughnut sized) clusters that are on target using the top pin. Then move to the longer ranges. Beginners are always trying to shoot at longer distances before they are ready to do so, so you are not alone in this.

When your clusters are tight then you can try the 30 yard range and repeat the whole process until your clusters are on target and the size of a doughnut.

#4. When adjusting your sights, if your arrows are too low then you need to move the sight lower, not higher. If the arrows are too high, then you need to move the sight higher. Whatever you do on the sight, the arrows will do the opposite.

The same goes with left and right. If your arrows are too far to the right, you need to adjust the sight to the right.

Now you might wonder "Why is it the opposite?"

The reason is because you need the arrow to be angled upwards on a higher angle. If you move the sight higher, the arrow goes lower instead of higher. When you move the sight lower - closer to the arrow - then your arrow will be angled higher.

#5. When it comes to shooting really long distances you may need to get an oval-shaped sight with quite a few pins, like the 8 pin sight shown further above.

#6. You might also benefit from some archery lessons. You might even consider getting recurve archery lessons too, just so you understand the physics better. I always recommend people learn recurve first before trying compound, longbow or Olympic.

If you continue to have difficulties you should consider archery lessons as an option. Beginners especially should consider getting lessons because beginners have so many bad habits that need to remedied before they can shoot straight.



10 Exercise Tricks that Help Burn Fat FASTER

Want to learn how to lose weight faster? Well then you need to learn how to burn calories FASTER!

#1. Move faster when doing cardio activities - including daily activities like running to catch the bus. The faster you move the more calories you burn.

#2. Try harder - The harder and faster you do an activity - whether it be yoga, jogging or even sex - it burns more calories!

#3. Angry? Upset? Want to key your boss's car? Time to exercise! Exercising while angry or upset is a great way to burn more calories faster and it relieves stress.

#4. When weightlifting do the exercises SLOOOOOOOWER. Cardio exercises you want to do fast, but for weightlifting you get better results if you do things slowly. Lifting a weight slowly takes more energy and burns more calories - and it builds more muscle, faster! Seems counter-intuitive, but it works!

#5. Music makes you burn more calories faster - especially if it fast paced music that gets you excited. More excitement equals more calorie burn.

#6. Try to do everything - exercise wise - perfectly. It takes more energy, but you reap more rewards. So if you're doing yoga - try to do each pose perfectly instead of being lazy about it. If you are weightlifting, use perfect form while lifting - which means lifting slowly and watching your form carefully, sometimes even in a mirror.

#7. Exercise with a friend. You lose track of time, you exercise longer, you help motivate each other, you even compete with each other, and you burn more calories overall. No exercise buddy? See trick #10 instead.

#8. Stay hydrated. You burn more calories if you can try harder while properly hydrated. Don't bother with the energy drinks (they're mostly a waste of sodium which will give you more "water weight"), good old chilled water works wonders.

#9. Eat before you exercise. Not after. Helps burn more calories and you won't feel hungry afterwards. Sometimes people binge eat after they exercise, and it ruins what they were striving for.

#10. Hire a personal trainer. Me. Someone else. It doesn't matter. We can teach you a much longer list of ways to burn calories faster.

8 Activities to do at the Beach

#1. Frisbee!

#2. Build a sandcastle - if you are moving sand around, it still counts as exercise.

#3. Go snorkeling in the water!

#4. Try Rock Balancing. See my post "Sculpture as Exercise".

#5. Fly a Kite - admittedly this could burn very little calories, but if you run with the kite it burns a lot more.

#6. Go for a jog or run along the beach.

#7. Do yoga at the water's edge.

#8. And the classic, go swimming!

Bonus Activities!!!

Tug of War

Beach Volleyball

Skip Rope

Arm Wrestling

Play Tag with Water Guns


Archery on the Beach - this used to be a pretty popular activity in the 1950s - but now it is banned in some locations. eg. You cannot do that in Toronto, but there are other beaches within an hour drive of Toronto where you can do archery at. Check the local by-laws to be certain. You will need your own equipment and you will still need to establish some safety guidelines so you are not shooting near people (reckless endangerment = fine + possible jail time). Best way to do it is to pick a secluded beach which has almost no people there.

Rock Climbing, Waterfalls Exploring, Spelunking and More!

There are many great ways to exercise, but the following is several of my favourites. Some of these you can even do as family activities, but others are dangerous and children should not be doing them at all. Use your better judgment. Some of them are also very frugal and won't cost your wallet much.

#1. Rock Climbing

Now I don't mean going to a special "rock climbing gym". I have never done that, although I presume it is still fun to do that indoors with the safety of a harness and first aid kits nearby. You can still do that if you wish, but for myself I do Freehand Rock Climbing - no ropes, no safety harness, if I fall, I fall and hurt myself.

Rock Climbing Tips

Don't climb anything freehand unless you are absolutely confident you can climb it without falling.

Practice on trees. (Or in a rock climbing gym.)

Stick to small climbs first as you build up your strength and skill.

Always be certain of your footing or handholds before you go to the next foothold or handhold.

Remember to plan your route back down. Sometimes getting up is easier than climbing back down.

If you don't think you can do it, maybe it is time to crack out the harness and ropes. Safety first.

#2. Waterfalls Exploring

This is a bit like rock climbing, but the surfaces are going to be slippery. Often you need to climb over wet rocks that are slippery, but it is a lot of fun to work your way around and get behind a waterfalls - or even go swimming below it (warning - if there is signs that say "no swimming", that means this falls is powerful enough to have undertow that can drag you under and kill you. Only swim near the base of a waterfalls that is relatively weak).

The photo on the right is of Hogg's Falls in Ontario.

Waterfalls Exploring Tips

Wear super grippy boots that you don't mind getting wet.

Wear gloves, possibly even grippy fishing gloves.

Wear clothing you don't mind getting wet. Avoid white t-shirts unless you enjoy showing off.

Don't bother trying to climb the sides of the waterfalls. It is too slippery.

#3. Spelunking

Otherwise known as cave exploring or cave diving, spelunking is an amazing activity to get into if you love exploring geological formations, crevices and caverns.

Spelunking Tips

Good quality boots.

Gloves are handy too.

Flashlight or headlamp is very handy.

Try getting guided tours of caves (ones with stairs, safety bars, etc all in place) first so you know what to expect.

Take a spelunking safety course.

#4. Rocky Mountain Biking

Bouncing over rocks while cycling down a hill might not sound like your cup of tea, but to those who love it then it is certainly a possibility.

Start slow, stick to the easy cycling trails and work your way up. Also, buy a better bicycle that has higher quality shocks and sturdier tires. You don't want your equipment to fail if you go over a rock your bicycle simply could not handle.



#5. Natural Parkour / Freerunning

If you are familiar with parkour / freerunning, then you also know this activity normally occurs in an urban environment. But there is no reason why you could not do this in a more natural terrain - using rocks and trees as your obstacle course. All you are really doing is applying the same principles of parkour to a different landscape.



#6. Tree Climbing

And by this, I am referring to climbing trees using ropes, helmet and a harness. You could climb the bottom reaches of the tree freehand, but once you start to go high enough that you might run into a weak limb that could snap underfoot it is time to get the rope and harness out. The views from the top can be pretty spectacular.



#7. Underwater Spelunking

See #3 above, but add in scuba gear. You will need snorkeling lessons, scuba lessons, and eventually underwater spelunking lessons. This activity is both expensive and dangerous. Definitely not for children either.



#8. Extreme Rock Balancing

Normally rock balancing is an activity done by one person who just lifts up a rock and then balances another rock on top of it. Extreme Rock Balancing is done by a team of people using much larger rocks, ropes, chains, pulleys, ladders, the whole shebang.

You will need a group of friends (preferably friends who are also into rock balancing), and you will probably want one person to document the whole project using a video camera.

Muscles will only get you so far with this project. You will also need patience and perseverance. And friendships will be tried and tested if you get into an argument about how to best achieve the finished product.

You will also want your finished product to last. You won't want it falling down the first time a teenager comes along and gives it a push. Thus aim to your rocks large enough - and well balanced - so that it wouldn't fall down even during a small earthquake.

Some people might want to cheat and use a crane or tractor to move the rocks, but if men of old can build Stone Henge and the pyramids of Egypt, certainly a group of adults can balance some rocks without using machinery.

Unlike normal rock balancing you probably will not be balancing multiple rocks together. But one or two should be possible.

Best of all your end results will stay up for a long time and baffle future generations.



12 Archery Quotes to Help Motivate Beginner Archers

“Don't think of what you have to do, don't consider how to carry it out! The shot will only go smoothly when it takes the archer himself by surprise.”
- Eugen Herrigel, passage from 'Zen in the Art of Archery'

“You have described only too well, where the difficulty lies...The right shot at the right moment does not come because you do not let go of yourself. You...brace yourself for failure. So long as that is so, you have no choice but to call forth something yourself that ought to happen independently of you, and so long as you call it forth your hand will not open in the right way--like the hand of a child.”
- Eugen Herrigel, passage from 'Zen in the Art of Archery'

“The right art is purposeless, aimless! The more obstinately you try to learn how to shoot the arrow for the sake of hitting the goal, the less you will succeed in the one and the further the other will recede. What stands in your way is that you have a much too willful will. You think that what you do not do yourself does not happen.”
- Eugen Herrigel, quoting D. T. Suzuki in 'Zen in the Art of Archery'

"Fundamentally the marksman aims at [perfecting] himself."
- D.T. Suzuki

“This, then, is what counts: a lightning reaction which has no further need of conscious observation. In this respect at least the pupil makes himself independent of all conscious purpose.”
- Eugen Herrigel, passage from 'Zen in the Art of Archery'

“Keep practicing," he told her.
"Until I get it right?" she said. But he corrected her.
"No. Until you don't get it wrong.”
- John Flanagan, 'The Royal Ranger'

“If you would hit the mark [at long range], you must aim a little above it: Every arrow that flies feels the pull of the earth.”
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"In the long run, you only hit what you aim at."
- Henry Thoreau

"I can teach you to shoot better than the greatest archer in 30 minutes provided we blindfold him and
spin him around so he doesn't know where the target is at."
- Peter Hill

"There is only two steps to learning archery. Step one, learn how to shoot a ten. Step two, repeat step one."
- American Archer, whose name I have forgotten (if you know who said it please put his name in the comments).

Not available at the App Store - Blood, sweat and tears

Hey Toronto!

So you have all the latest apps from the app store that calculate how much physical activity you are doing, give you tips on what to do, and quite possibly is spamming you with advertising from local stores selling protein powder...

Now what?

The truth is having a bunch of apps on your smart phone won't make you go out and exercise. Finding the motivation to exercise is waaaaaaaaay more important than anything an app can do.

After all, what is the point of having an app that measures your jogging speed, calories burned while jogging, etc if you never actually build up the nerve to go jogging?

The blood, sweat and tears needed to actually exercise - whether you are jogging, weightlifting, swimming, cycling or whatever it is you are doing - cannot be purchased at any app store.

That is where a personal trainer comes in.

A personal trainer can motivate you to get outside and exercise - but to do that you first need to be motivated to spend some $$$ to actually hire a personal trainer.

The next possibility - my favourite - is to take up a sport that you love / always wanted to try. eg. If you always wanted to run a marathon, time to start jogging and practicing for that marathon. Or if you always wanted to get into archery, then it is time to do so.

Having the latest exercise gadgets, expensive dumbbells, latest exercise apps won't actually get you exercising. But a sport will. Personal training will force you to keep appointments, force you to exercise, encourage you to exercise during your own free time, and encourage you to improve the quality of the foods you are consuming so you are eating more healthy food and less junk food.

Below are some savvy photos of young women with their smart phones - presumably exercising. But the reality is that these are models being paid for a photo gig. Just because you see it in a photo doesn't mean you will actually exercise and look like that too.

But taking the dog for a walk to the park is a good start. Why don't you go now?




8 Fun Summer Activities

So... you are on vacation and looking for some fun right?

Here are 8 ideas for fun things to do this summer that will get you exercising!

#1. Snorkeling - Honestly, it is actually EASIER than regular swimming.



#2. Bicycling - Get that bicycle outside and explore the great outdoors / Toronto!



#3. Rock Climbing - Not as expensive as you might think, and very easy to get into if you have the Niagara Escarpment near you. Hear that Toronto? Get outside!



#4. Gardening - More fun if you love plants, less fun if you despise mosquitoes.



#5. Water Pistol Tag - Fun for you, fun for the kids, and fun for anyone who is overheating. (More fun if you can only shoot someone who did not shoot you. Same rules as "no touch backs" basically.)



#6. Archery Tag - Wait, what??? What is archery tag??? See below.



#7. Canoeing or Kayaking - Because canoe / kayak rentals really are not that expensive (there are multiple companies offering canoe rentals and it has driven the price down) and totally worth it.



#8. Make up your sport. eg. Bicycle Archery Tag or Canoe Archery Tag

Because new ways to have fun are just waiting to be invented.

Aha! Snorkeling archery!


Sculpture as Exercise

Rock Art made at Ashbridges Bay in Toronto
Want to learn a new exercise that employs both creativity and your muscles?

Try Rock Art / Rock Balancing.

I got introduced to rock balancing years ago (2011) and I have a few tips to pass on to would-be rock art sculptors.

#1. Learn to balance smaller rocks first.

#2. Wear gloves on your hands and steel toed boots on your feet. Protect yourself first because hurting your toes and fingers will REALLY HURT!

#3. When lifting larger rocks or even medium sized rocks, lift with your legs, not your back. If you have back problems you should probably be wearing a back brace.

#4. If you can barely lift a rock, you probably have no business trying to balance it. See Tip #1 over again.

#5. Try to find good quality rocks that balance easier. The best rocks have lots of crevices in them that allow you to balance them on a corner or bottom using 3 points (approximatly 120 degrees away from each other) so that rock won't roll in any direction.

#6. If it is windy outside don't bother. Any wind gusts of 30 kmph or more will knock your rocks over.

#7. When attempting to balance a larger rock get someone else to help you. Make sure they are following Tip #2 as well.

#8. Remember to hydrate. It gets hot outside in the sun! Best times of year to do rock balancing is May- April and September-October. June, July and August will be too hot and will wear you down physically faster so bring LOTS of drinking water with you.

#9. Bring snacks. All that exercise makes you hungry. Protein bars, sandwiches, chicken salads, anything nutritious.

#10. Have fun and bring a camera!

Rock Art Balancing, 2011

Archery Instructor Testimonials x 4

"Thank you for all the lessons."

- Yunrou Z., July 2014

"Charles is a very attentive and detail oriented archery instructor. You can tell he is passionate about archery and teaching archery, giving 110% to students and giving free archery advice even when he is not on the clock. One on one lessons with him are educational, entertaining and you could not ask for a more dedicated instructor. I have enjoyed every lesson, seen a dramatic improvement in my arrow clusters and I know this would not have happened without such a committed instructor."

- Timothy F., July 2014

"Thank you again for the lesson! I am amazed at how much I learned in one lesson. Also thank you for the advice on what equipment I will need to practice archery on my own, the advice was invaluable."

- Rebecca H., June 2014

"Thank you again for both lessons. When it started raining during the first lesson I thought the rest was just forfeit. The 2nd lesson [half of one due to it raining halfway through the first lesson] saw a huge improvement to my form and clusters. Keep up the great work and keep shooting those moving targets!"

- Gerry W., June 2014

Note - The last testimonial is referring to my personal practice of shooting at tiny moving targets attached to the target butt. Below are photos of examples.







Top Five Holiday Workouts - Beating the Holiday Bulge

You just struck it rich by winning a progressive jackpot on GamblingLand Casino and now you're planning your next holiday, but before you board the plane it's important to think about your health.

Losing your fitness and packing on flab instead of muscle whilst you're away is a curse many cardio kings often have to endure; however, that doesn't have to be the way.

Staying active during your time in the sun needn't take more than a few minutes a day and will help ensure your beach body doesn't turn into a beach ball body overnight.

Our Top Five Holiday Exercises

Let's face it, putting on some extra pounds is a necessary evil when you're on a break, but if you follow our top five holiday workouts then you can fend off the negative effects of excess without eating into your sunbathing session:

1. Drink at 30,000ft - Airplanes can wreak havoc on both your weight and your immune system, so it's important to counteract the impact of your flight as much as possible. According to a recent article in the Daily Telegraph you should drink one pint of water every hour to avoid dehydration.

Changes in atmospheric pressure mean an aircraft's cabin is extremely dry and when your body becomes dehydrated you leave yourself more exposed to infections.

2. Take a Dip - Virtually every holiday destination has a swimming pool or, better still, the sea in close proximity and you'd be a fool not to make use of it. Aside from being a way to cool off when the heat becomes too much, swimming is a fantastic cardiovascular workout. Aim to complete around 20 minutes of continuous swimming at a steady pace each day and you'll be able to enjoy that dessert or extra drink you've been craving.

3. Use Your Body - Your body is the most efficient and portable piece of exercise equipment you own and something you should make full use of when on holiday. On top of providing a great strength aid, bodyweight exercises will help improve your cardiac performance.

The main areas you want to target when performing bodyweight exercises on holiday are your major muscle groups. The larger the muscle, the harder your heart has to work which, in turn, means you need to spend less time training in order to maintain your current fitness level.

Our top tip for performing bodyweight exercises would be to perform each exercise ten times for three sets and target the following movements: Squats, push-ups, triceps dips, planks, burpees and sit-ups.

4. Talk a Walk - Current fitness wisdom states that regular runs on the beach can cause undue stress on the ankle and knee joints; however, that doesn't mean you shouldn't utilize this resource. A brisk walk along the beach each day (aim for around 20 minutes) will elevate your heart rate just enough to maintain your cardiovascular health without putting too much stress on your joints.

5. Stretch it Out - If you don't want to feel like you need a gastric band when you return from your summer holiday then consider packing a set exercise bands. These elastic strips will take up very little space in your luggage and are perfect for replicating a number of weighted exercises. Our advice is to use a band for the following exercises: shoulder presses, upright rows, press-ups, bicep curls, single leg lunges and squats.

Each exercise should utilize the band's elasticity which means you'll need to either attach it to the bottom of a door or stand on the band. After anchoring one end of the band you should perform each exercise as you would if you were holding a light weight and perform 8 reps for 2-3 sets.
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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