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Ultimate tricks to getting a slim thigh - Achieving that perfect thigh gap

You must have gazed at women wearing tiny shorts, seeing their legs perfectly slender and slim and wishing that they were yours! Or you must have walked down the roads and hated the fact that your thighs rubbed against each other. Since then, you must have been trying your best to get slimmer and get rid of those huge thighs. You must have been doing your best to get those sexy legs which you always wanted. Well, accepting the leg challenge is something that most women fail to figure out. There are too many experts who are asked the question about how to get that ultimate thigh gap. Here are few must-follow steps for you to reduce thigh fat and get that much-coveted thigh gap.

Step #1: Lower your calorie intake

Getting a gap between your thighs mean losing weight and losing weight means counting your calories. You have to know the exact amount of calories which your body needs during daytime and how much exactly you should be eating in order to lose weight. After all, it is impossible to lose weight when you don’t know what exactly you’re eating. You can try an online calculator for calculating calories to determine how many calories you should be eating every day.

Step #2: Cut down on carbohydrates

One of the best ways in which you can slim major parts of your body is by cutting down the carbs which you consume. Try following a diet which cuts down most of the high carb foods like bread and replace the carbs with animal protein like meat. So, whenever you crave for bread, eat protein. As soon as you stop having carbs, your body will start using the fat to convert into energy and this way you will start burning fat.

Step #3: Lots of small meals have to be taken

If you wish to lose enough weight, you have to make your metabolism rate work for you. When you change your eating habits from 2-3 meals to several meals spread throughout the entire day, this will make your metabolism work in your favor. This way, your metabolism will continue burning calories even when you’re taking rest. In all ways, you get messed up when you eat big meals.

Step #4: Cardio, cardio and lots of cardio!

In case you wish to slim down your thighs badly, cardio is perhaps the greatest ways of doing it. High intensity cardio will burn the excess fat in your body and also tone your leg muscles. However, don’t forget to take into account your body type. If you’re a Mesomorph, you already have muscular legs and hence you don’t need to focus on growing your legs further. Go for power walks, spinning classes, jumping rope, running and aerobic exercises as they are extremely good options.

Therefore, if you’re still not intrigued enough with the steps given above, you can click to see more. Follow the right diet and carry on with the best cardio workout to get that sexy gap in between your thighs.

5 Tips on How to Use Shoulder Bags

Shoulder Bags are a rather simple but effective way to exercise and build a variety of muscles. They are a bit gimmicky, but essentially very easy to use and a great way to build core muscles faster.

Each bag, regardless of size, goes around your neck and sits comfortably on top of your shoulders. Walking around with one burns extra calories, as does jogging, and doing a host of other activities.

Tips on Using Shoulder Bags

#1. Avoid Dangerous Activities

Never use a shoulder bag while doing anything potentially dangerous, such as swimming or cycling. The added weight on a bicycle would make you top-heavy and more likely to crash. While swimming, that extra weight would dramatically reduce your bouyancy and put you in danger of drowning. So definitely avoid using shoulder bags during any activity that could lead you to crash, drown, or potentially sustain some kind of injury.

#2. Do NOT Wear A Shoulder Bag Constantly

Unless you love having back pain and developing sports injuries, then you really should only be using a shoulder bag while exercising - like when taking a walk, a jog, doing other weightlifting activities, and so forth. Wearing one constantly means your muscles don't get a chance to relax, recuperate and repair themselves. During a state of constant wear and tear your muscles would actually break down, become chronically painful, and would actually shrink instead of bulking up. Having extended breaks between exercises promotes healing and muscle growth and wearing a shoulder bag constantly would prevent such healing.

#3. Sleeping Position and Diet

You should find a sleeping position that allows your back muscles to relax more fully. This will allow them to heal and bulk up faster. The same goes with your diet, your diet needs to match your exercise routine so you are getting enough calories, protein and nutrients - so think lots of veggies and meat. This way your body gets plenty of sleep and has the right amount of protein to be used a building blocks and the right amount of nutrient rich veggies to speed up the process.

A lack of quality sleep and a lack of healthy food wrecks havoc with your potential muscle gain.

#4. Size Matters, as does Time

When choosing shoulder bags to use you should start off small and then gradually work your way up to heavier weights. Thus you should always start off with a 5 KG bag, regardless of your current physical condition.

Use the 5 KG bag during your exercise routine for 6 to 8 weeks and then switch to a 10 KG bag. Then use that for 8 to 10 weeks before switching to a 15 KG bag, and so forth.
  • 5 KG - Use for 6 to 8 weeks.
  • 10 KG - Use for 8 to 10 weeks.
  • 15 KG - Use for 10 to 12 weeks.
  • 20 KG - Use for 12 to 14 weeks.
  • 25 KG - Use for 14 to 16 weeks.
  • 30 KG - Good luck even finding bags in this size or bigger. They do exist, but are trickier to find.
This way your body adjusts gradually to the weights and you are over-straining yourself. If you switch to a larger bag and feel like it is too much for you, go back to the previous bag size and use it for an additional 4 to 6 weeks before trying the bigger bag again. This way you give your body extra time to build the necessary muscles.

Patience and Restraint are Virtues, not just in Weightlifting but also in Life.

#5. Specific Exercises

You should research specific exercises that work well with Shoulder Bags. Shoulder Bag are great for increasing core stability, thus you can add these bags to a multitude of exercises such as:
  • Lunges
  • Barbell Squats
  • Dumbbell Squats
  • Solitary Squats
  • Jumps
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Skip Rope
  • Boxing
 And many more! Enjoy!

Archery Lessons in the Rain in Toronto

It has been raining so much in the last two months (April and May) that I am curious how many people actually want archery lessons on rainy days.

Normally if it rains I reschedule lessons for several reasons:
  1. Water damages equipment.
  2. Water also causes mildew to grow on equipment.
  3. People are susceptible to getting sick if they get cold.
  4. People don't want to be standing in a field holding a potential lightning rod.
  5. People often feel miserable when shooting in the rain, which effects accuracy.
  6. A downpour will effect the accuracy of individual shots.
  7. The archer's ability to aim can be reduced by rain interfering with their visual sight.
However in theory if I used equipment that is immune to water damage I could teach on rainy days to people who are willing and up to the challenge. (I already have arrows suitable for this, although I might have to invest in different bows for teaching with than the ones I normally teach with.)

I am curious if there are people out there who would actually want archery lessons in the rain - perhaps there are people out there who really like a challenge.

If this sounds like you, send me an email and we shall explore this option.


Back when Jogging was Weird

Back in the 1950s and earlier jogging was something only soldiers, athletes and weirdos did. Although to be fair, the whole idea of "exercising for the sake of exercising" (or fitness / health reasons) was considered weird back then too.

And to shine a light on this check out the video below I watched yesterday which chronicles the rise of jogging as an exercise activity. It shows how jogging was once considered an oddity.



And to be fair, the whole modern idea of exercising is really a 20th century invention. Prior to the last 117 years, people rarely exercised for the sake of exercising. Sure, people competed in athletic competitions, but the idea of training, practice and maintaining a constant level of exercise - even in the winter! - was considered to be a weird idea and unnecessary.

That was before the advent of professional sports and sportsmen earning an annual salary for being a professional athlete.

Before bodybuilding became a competitive sport.

Back when bicycles were called Penny Farthings, had no brakes and the only way to stop was to crash it. (And usually had mustaches they combed with beeswax.)

It would take decades for many sports to reach a pinnacle in which a person could become a professional in their chosen activity and make a decent living doing it.

Even now many Olympic athletes still have to beg money from their governments and work full time / part time jobs in order to support their athletic endeavours.

Jogging is just one of many activities that were once considered strange and unusual.

Take archery for example.

While it is generally accepted that a person must practice regularly to be good at archery, it was usually a pastime in recent centuries thanks to firearms and only a rare few people did bowhunting. During the last 100 years archery and bowhunting has seen a resurgence in popularity and people can now be:
  • Olympic Archers
  • Professional Bowhunters
  • Archery Instructors
So it is now possible to make a living doing archery in a variety of ways. Even former Olympic athletes can presumably become coaches when they retire from competing.

Making a living by jogging, well that is the stuff of:
  • Professional Marathon Runners
  • Olympic Joggers (5 KM, 10 KM, etc)
  • Personal Trainers who teach people how to jog, train for marathons, etc.
So a lot has changed. Jogging is just a prime example of how things have changed.

And much more is still waiting to be changed. I am still waiting to see a professional women's hockey league in Canada to get televised coverage on the CBC.

Women sports (and televising them) has a huge potential to grow in the 21st century. Not just in North America where professional athletes are more common, but globally.

Outfitting your Archery Man Cave

Disclaimer - There is no reason why women cannot have their own "Archery Cave" or whatever people want to call it. I am simply using the vernacular "Man Cave" in this situation as it represents the often male urge to create dingy dark cave in which a man can indulge in their interests.
man cave 
nounhumorous 
noun: man cave; plural noun: man caves
  1. a room or other part of a home regarded as a refuge for the man or men of a household.
    Example - "a man cave equipped with a pool table and pinball machine"

Right - Bo Jackson in his Archery Man Cave.

Typically many a man cave is dark (hence why they are jokingly called caves) and not very clean - as men are sometimes prone to not cleaning up after themselves.

Bo Jackson on the right clearly believes in keeping his Archery Man Cave organized, with lots of hooks to store everything on.

So what should an Archery Man Cave have in it?

#1. A target to shoot at and space to shoot. Any good Archery Man Cave should at least have a small shooting area within it so you can take a few shots if you desire to test out a new product, creation or just shooting for fun.

Speaking for myself, my "Archery Man Cave" is in my garage, but as you can see in the photo on the right a basement with a fair bit of length can also be used.

#2. Lots of hooks for storing for archery items on, or a toolbox to store them all in.

Because if you are like me, you tend to collect arrowheads, nocks, fletching, fletching glue, fletching tape and all manner of archery related items.

#3. A rack or container for storing arrows in.

eg. I think a Bowman Dairy Milk Can would be great for storing arrows in. The trick is finding one, because those old milk cans are tricky to find and collector's items now.

#4. A magazine rack or shelf for archery magazines.

There is a fair number of archery publications available out there, including:
  • Archery Focus Magazine
  • Bowhunter Magazine
  • Petersen's Bowhunting Magazine
  • TradArchers' World Magazine
  • Traditional Bowhunter Magazine
  • Ontario Out of Doors Magazine
The last one I listed, OOD, is a local magazine here in Ontario which is also about fishing, hunting and other outdoor activities - not just bowhunting. I do not subscribe to it myself, but I do keep an eye out for issues with articles about archery because they do sometimes have articles worth reading. Plus I enjoy fishing, but that is a whole different topic.


#5. A bookshelf for archery books.

Plus related books on bowmaking, arrowmaking, and general woodworking books. You might even store DVDs on that shelf about various topics like bowmaking, bowfishing, bowhunting skills, or even your favourite archery movies like Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, etc.

#6. A collection of woodworking tools commonly used for bowmaking.
  • Rasps
  • Files
  • Draw Knives
  • Sand Paper
  • Tillering Stick
  • Work Bench
  • Vise
  • Etc
You might even have items like a Fletching Jig or an Arrow Dowel Maker (I started building an arrow dowel maker two years ago and it is on my To Do List to finish making it...) and similar useful tools.

Photo Courtesy of ArtemisArchery.ca
Take Gary for example, the owner of Basically Bows Archery in Toronto. His archery shop, commonly just known as "Gary's", is essentially both his Archery Man Cave and his archery shop. He has all his tools there for doing woodworking, he has decorated the place, and has lots of archery equipment all over the place, but roughly one third of his shop is dedicated just to his tools and woodworking area.

#7. Archery Posters, Paintings and Decorations.

No Archery Man Cave is complete until you've added some decorative touches.

Paintings, posters, photographs, sculptures, beadwork, drawings, decorative bows, antlers or taxidermy - if it is artwork or decorative, it has a home in your Archery Man Cave.

It doesn't even have to be archery themed artwork per se. It is your "Man Cave", you make the rules for what you want to have in it in terms of decor.

#8. A Bow Rack.

Clearly this is something any bow collector will need. Now admittedly some people only have 1, 2 or 3 bows, but for the collectors like myself (I currently have 30 bows) having a bow rack is a necessity.

Below is the bow rack I built in 2015 and is currently in my living room.


 But there are many different ways to design a bow rack. You should not feel limited by one design. Here are a few more sample designs to look at.





 #9. Something to sit on.

I always find it annoying when you go somewhere and they don't have any seating. Stools, comfy chairs, whatever you can find. A nice sofa.

It was one of the first things I suggested to Gary when he opened Basically Bows Archery - get stools to sit on. I was his second customer after he opened years ago and I am happy to say he took my advice about getting some stools, because when you visit his shop you really need to sit down and take your time there. (He should probably sell drinks too, as talking about archery for long periods can be thirsty business.)

#10. Entertainment and Relaxation.

This may be an archery themed man cave, but it is still a man cave - so having some form of entertainment is a good idea.

My recommendation? A big screen TV, a PS4 and a copy of The Elder Scrolls - Skyrim Special Edition. Because frankly that particular game is so good you can play it for years and never get bored of it. The Special Edition version uses updated graphics and is smoother / more detailed, and includes all the expansions.


A friend of mine a few months ago gifted me with a map of Skyrim, so obviously that is something that would be used as decoration for a wall in some future version of my Archery Man Cave. For now I keep the map folded up and near our PlayStation.

Assassins Creed III (the one about the American Revolutionary War) also has archery in it and might also be on your list of games worth playing.


#11. Archery Comic Books.

Not all of us are into Green Arrow, Hawkeye or various other superheroes found in Marvel/DC or other sources (Japanese Anime for example), but for those people who are it would probably make sense that they would want to store all of the archery themed comic books in their Archery Man Cave.

You know, because you are just obsessed with archery, and that is frankly okay. You are not alone.

You might store them on a shelf, in a display case, framed on the wall like artwork - or in the same rack you store your magazines in.

And because you might enjoy other kinds of comic books, you might as well store your Batman comic books / etc there too. And if anyone asks why your Batman comics are in there too, just mention The Dark Knight Rises and how in the very first scene with Bruce Wayne he is practicing archery in his own little Archery Man Cave in Wayne Manor... Except his Archery Man Cave is way more well decorated than anything we could have. So there you go, in a round about way you now have an excuse to include any items pertaining to Batman in your Archery Man Cave. Congrats!

Bruce Wayne, right after scaring Catwoman with an Arrow.
When it comes to making Man Caves, Batman clearly deserves some attention right?

#12. Some Non-Archery Things that you nevertheless Enjoy.

Personally, I would include a dart board and darts. Something fun to do when bored. I guess a dart board technically counts as entertainment, but it is more of a "like archery, but obviously not archery" item to put in the man cave.

A person might also store their throwing knives, throwing axes, javelins, fishing equipment or other items in their man cave.

Personally my Man Cave would have a lot of woodworking items in it. After all, I consider Woodworking to be Exercise.

Keeping my collection of dumbbells and other exercise equipment in there would also be useful.

So clearly #12 here allows for a lot of personal taste in terms of personalizing your Man Cave to suit your needs.

I quite enjoyed writing this. Enjoy designing and decorating your own Man Cave!

Does Walking really count as Exercise?

I think it is silly to be even be talking about this, but apparently there are some people out who think walking doesn't really count as exercise - because walking is something you do every day anyway.

However as an avid walker - someone who comes back from long walks/hikes feeling exhausted, hungry and yet feeling like I accomplished something - I must defend walking not only as an exercise, but as a great way to build up an appetite.

Exercise does NOT have to involve:
  • Sweating
  • Grunting
  • Gasping for breath
Some exercises do, obviously, but it is definitely not a requirement. Anyone who tells you that exercises have to make you feel out of breath clearly has some funny notions about what counts as exercise.

So while we are at it, lets bust some myths people might have about walking by laying down some facts about walking.

Fact #1. Brisk Walking is actually a Moderate-Intensity Aerobic Exercise

Walking at a brisk pace that raises your heart rate into the moderate-intensity zone is recommended for the benefits of so-called "real exercise" for the cardiovascular system and to reduce health risks.

However even a slower pace counts as a Light or Lower Intensity workout. More so if there is  hill climbing or stairs involved.

A brisk pace is one where you are breathing harder than normal - you can talk, but you can't sing. If you take your pulse, it should be between 50 percent and 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. Walk at least 10 minutes in this zone for it to count as a moderate-intensity exercise session. You should aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per day, five days per week, which can be broken up into sessions of at least 10 minutes at a time. For beginners try doing 20-minute brisk walks at a time and over time go further distances for longer periods to build up your endurance.

Fact #2. You can build Endurance using Long Distance Walks or Brisk Walking

Going for a longer distance walk (such as a 2 hour hike) will help build your endurance. You can do the same thing using brisk walking, but over a short distance. Brisk Walking for 30 minutes or more, five to seven times per week will build more muscle in your heart and lungs. Aim for a fast walk that brings your heart rate into the zone of 65-75 percent of your maximum heart rate.

If you prefer longer walks / hiking, aim to get your heart rate to reach the 40 to 60 zone.

Fact #3. You can use Walking as Exercise for Weight Loss

The truth about any exercise for weight loss is that it can help keep off extra pounds, but controlling what you eat will have the biggest effect. A healthy low-calorie diet combined with regular exercise - whether it is walking or something more intense - will help you to burn fat and consequently lose weight.

At least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity is great for weight management. But getting exercise only solves half the problem - you also need to watch your eating habits and reduce your calories.

You can't outrun or outwalk what goes into your mouth

Fact #4. There are Health Benefits to Low or Easy-Intensity Walking

Walking the dog or going for a stroll at an easy pace works your muscles and joints. This is especially beneficial if you are overweight, aged, or at risk for arthritis. Strolling at an easy pace reduces the loads on the knee joints by 25 percent while actually burning a few more calories per mile than walking faster - assuming you are going the same distance regardless.

What burns more calories? Walking 100 meters really slowly, or jogging 100 meters?

Walking at a speed of 4 km per hour (average walking speed is 5 kmph) a person can walk 100 meters in exactly 1.5 minutes. A 200 lb person walking 100 meters at this speed burns 6 calories.

Jogging at 10 kmph a person can jog 100 meters in exactly 36 seconds. The same 200 lb person jogging that distance at that speed burns 8 calories.

So going faster only burned 33% more calories, but did it in less than half the time.

Walking slow also doesn't have the cardiovascular benefits of brisk walking (which would have burned 7 calories in the above example), but it is a good starting point for adding activities to your daily schedule that burns more calories.

Fact #5. Low-Intensity Exercises that Break Up Sitting Time reduces Health Risks

Many studies are finding that sitting or simply standing still for more than 30 minutes at a time can raise your health risks, even if you do a full bout of exercise at some point in the day. Walking around for one to three minutes every half hour or hour has been shown to be needed to reduce these health risks.

Getting up and circling the office or house thus can lengthen your life span. One study found that these short, easy walking breaks improved glucose control and insulin response. An increasing number of fitness bands have inactivity alerts to remind you when it's time to get up and move.

And lastly, another study determined that taking breaks from periods of sitting also reduced your stress and improved your sense of well-being, which in turn has an effect on mental health and even boosts your chances at weight loss because depressed people are more likely to overeat.

Fact #6. 10,000 Steps Per Day is a Good Workout

If you are addicted to tracking your daily footsteps and make the effort to reach 10,000 steps per day, does that mean you are exercising? For most people, that number is an indicator you have engaged in exercise during the day, as it is difficult for most people to log more than 6,000 steps just in daily activity. You could log 10,000 steps at an easy pace during the day, and it obviously wouldn't qualify as moderate-intensity exercise, but it would still count as a low-intensity workout.

Many fitness trackers, such as Fitbit, analyze your steps and record those that are aerobic or exercise steps done at a pace they consider fast enough to quality. Thus if you want to ensure you are getting a "real workout" then look at that number as well as the step total.

Fact #7. Race Walking is an Olympic Sport

Walking is a physical activity regardless of what speed you enjoy doing it, from a slow stroll through a fast brisk that is practically jogging. eg. Like competitive walking, aka "Race Walking" - which oddly enough is also an Olympic Sport.



Conclusions

Yes, walking is exercise. Indeed, it is even a sport.

That said, you should balance walking with other physical activities that benefit various parts of your body. Strength training to build and maintain muscle. Cycling is very beneficial for walkers as it works the opposite leg muscles. It is good to engage in a wide variety of activities, so all of your muscle groups are challenged and strengthened. Keep walking and hiking and jogging, whatever it is you do - and remember, you are still exercising.

Five Mistakes People Do When Weightlifting That Ruin Gains

There are a lot of common mistakes people do when weightlifting in an attempt to build more muscle that ends up wasting a lot of their efforts to put on extra muscle weight.

Below are just 5 of the most common things people do which ruins their ability to put on lots of muscle.

#1. Lack of Sleep

Sufficient sleep is fundamental for recovery. Neglecting sleep can reverse the effects of being in an anabolic (growth) state which you are creating through quality nutrition and exercise, and lead to catabolism (muscle tissue breakdown), which is counterproductive for building muscle.

When you are sleeping, your body begins repairing damaged muscle tissue through the release of natural human growth hormone (HGH) which is needed to grow and develop. Generally, this is produced in higher amounts when your body is getting the rest it requires, which for the average person, is at least 8 hours a night.

However, if you are not getting enough sleep, this process gets disrupted and can slow down your overall muscle development. If you find that your eyelids weigh a tonne when you arise in the morning, you simply did not rest optimally.

Studies have also shown that lack of sleep raises the hormone cortisol which is a catabolic hormone that causes stress on your muscular system and can undo all the hard work you have been putting in. Not what you want!

Allocating enough time for rest should be as much of a priority as watching what you eat and maximising the intensity of your workouts.

MUSCLES GROW WHILE YOU SLEEP, NOT WHILE YOU WORKOUT.

#2. Lack of Nutritional Foods and Protein

The old saying holds true, you need to ‘eat big to get big’. Your muscles require the right fuel in the right quality and quantity to truly grow and develop.

The most effective way to measure how much you need to eat to get bigger is to first workout your calorie maintenance level. This is the amount of calories you need to eat each day if you were to do nothing but rest and remain at the same weight.

Once you have worked out your calorie maintenance level, you want to begin eating slightly more calories on top of this and move into a calorie surplus (eating an extra 200 – 500 calories as a base).

It is important to apply trial and error during this stage, as going well above your calorie maintenance level may lead to unhealthy weight gain in the long-term.

However, eating at a calorie surplus will prevent your body burning fewer calories which can be used to repair and develop damaged muscle tissue from exercise, and ultimately, lead to more growth.

A few things to mention is that your approach to nutrition should be as clean and unrefined as possible. Staple foods such as lean meat, fish, poultry, fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, pulses and legumes should form the bulk of your diet, all the while avoiding refined and processed foods as much as possible.

LOTS OF PROTEIN AND VEGGIES SPEEDS UP MUSCLE GROWTH.

#3. Not Targeting the Muscles Properly

Performing an exercise using proper form is actually important. If you perform a bicep curl with your elbow pointing outwards for example, you are using your shoulder and other muscles to help you lift the weight, when you should have your elbow tucked in and you should only be using your biceps to lift the weight.

Simply lifting the weight is not enough. You are just going through the proverbial motions. What you want to do is target the correct muscle, only use that muscle - and do it properly!

A common mistake within this is for people to be lifting the biggest dumbbell or barbell they can lift, when what they should be lifting should be roughly half of that and lifted with the correct form to maximize muscle rippage.

In order to build new muscle tissue you first need to rip the old muscles, and if you are using improper form - and consequently ripping less muscle tissue - then you will not be maximizing the amount of new muscle tissue when your body regenerates while sleeping.

IF YOU ARE NOT RIPPING MUSCLES, YOU WILL NOT GAIN MUSCLE.

#4. Lack of Planning and Execution

If you do not plan to succeed, then you are effectively planning to fail.

Keep a journal. Make an exercise plan. Record how often you are exercising, what exercises you are doing, how many you are doing, and any changes and notes.

Within this plan you should also plan to increase your exercises over time, both in terms of number of reps, amount of weight being lifted, and the types of exercises you are doing so you are constantly challenging your body to do new things.

For example lets say you start off doing 6 different exercises for 6 minutes each.

Two weeks later you should change your routine and start doing 7 different exercises for 7 minutes each.

Wait two weeks, then start doing 8 different exercises for 8 minutes each.

Two weeks, 9 exercises for 9 minutes each.

And so forth. Remember to rest and stay hydrated.

Furthermore you need to stick with it and keep exercising. If you stop, take breaks too frequently, end up being lazy and procrastinating - well then it is really no surprise if you fail because you failed to execute the plan.

EXECUTING THE PLAN IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE PLAN.

#5. Lack of Understanding what you are Doing

During all this time you should be researching how to best achieve your weightlifting goals. You should be striving to become super knowledgeable on the topic at hand. So for example if you are trying to put on lots of muscle, you might even use techniques used by bodybuilders in order to beef up faster.

I am not recommending steroids or anything like that, but there are various power-lifting techniques you could certainly utilize in order to achieve better results. The more you know about these exercises, the more likely you will be able to use them, use them properly, and get results.

When in doubt, consult a personal trainer who specializes in weightlifting techniques.

Archery Equipment Checklist

Q


"Is there a checklist of items I should get when looking for archery equipment [to buy]? I am looking to shoot recurve."

- Joe B.

A

Samick Sage is a very popular beginner recurve.
Hey Joe!

Sure, here you go:

  • A recurve bow in a poundage you can pull and hold steady for long periods. Avoid any bow you cannot pull and keep steady. When sold a new bow typically comes with a bowstring. See a list of popular recurve bow brands and models, there are plenty to choose from.
  • A Bowstringer - to string your bow properly, without the risk of damaging it).
  • An archery glove or tab (to protect your fingers properly). The most common style is a 3-finger glove, such as the one made by the American company Neet.
  • Arrow Rest - there are many styles of arrow rests, choose one you like that is within your budget. Generally the better quality arrow rests effect the accuracy of your dramatically, so if you are going to invest in something better, spending it on the arrow rest is a good idea.
  • Nock Bead - a tiny brass bead that goes on your bowstring that is used to prevent Stringwalking by accident.
  • Arrowheads - 125 grain field points are the most commonly used. Heavier field points are for shooting at close targets, light field points and for shooting further distances.
  • Arrows that are spined correctly for your bow's poundage. This is actually extremely important. You want the right arrows that suit your bow, both for accuracy reasons and for safety reasons (shooting cheap weak spined arrows on a very powerful bow can cause the arrow to shatter midshot and you can end up with pieces of arrow in your bow arm or hand - see photo below). See 3 Frequently Asked Questions about Archery Equipment for more details.
Just one reason why you need arrows that are spined correctly for your bow.

Optional, but Not a Necessity. See Optional Archery Equipment for more details.
  • Armguard or Bracer - arguably a necessity for some people, but not everyone needs one.
  • A spare bowstring. (In case the first one breaks.)
  • Spare Parts for Arrows - spare nocks, spare fletching, fletching glue, spare arrowheads, spare inserts. This is in case you ever need to repair arrows.
  • A quiver of some kind - possibly a back quiver, side quiver, hip quiver, ground quiver - or you can just make your own.
  • Dampeners - puffy balls that make your bowstring quieter.
  • Archery Backpack - to carry your gear in.
  • Bow Sock - for storing a longbow or one-piece recurve in.
  • 3D Targets - for shooting at fake rabbits and such.
  • Portable Archery Targets - for when you don't have anything else to shoot at.
  • Stabilizer - a gadget to help prevent people from canting the bow.
  • Decorative Limbs Skins - purely for decoration.
  • Wrist Strap - so you don't accidentally drop your bow.
  • Bow Racks / Bow Stands - for storing your bow when you are not shooting it.
  • Strange Arrowheads - Whistling arrowheads, Tibetan howling arrowheads, blunt arrowheads, glass arrowheads, flint, obsidian - there are quite a variety available.

Four Extremely Effective HIIT Workouts

Guest Post by SpotMeBro.com

HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) is one of the best and most effective ways of shedding fat and increasing your overall fitness. The best thing about HIIT is it doesn’t take much of your time, making it a perfect workout for busy individuals. After successfully completing a HIIT workout, you’ll feel good and satisfied with a refreshed and clear state of mind.


Many studies have shown that by doing intense workouts helps boost your metabolic rate and ultimately burn more fat. If you are the kind of a person whose job is to sit more than 8 hours in front of a laptop or several hours at the office, then HIIT is probably the ideal cardio routine for you.

Here are five HIIT workouts that will definitely help you lose more fat and, of course, it’ll be very challenging – especially if you’re a complete newbie. Don’t worry, it will find a special place in your heart once you see those amazing results.

1. 8 Minute HIIT Workout

Let’s start with more resting time to allow your body to become used to the intensity and stress. You don’t need any equipment, belts or weights for this. There will be 8 one-minute rounds of 20 seconds of working and 40 seconds’ rest in between each exercise.
  • Jab Cross, Front Right: With your right foot in front of the left and hips facing towards your left, bring your arms in a boxing position and jab forward with your right arm. Finally, throw a cross punch with your left arm and allow your body to rotate towards the right.
  • Jab Cross, Front Left: Same as the above but with the opposite foot. Bring the left foot in front of the right one with your hips facing towards the right. Bring your arms up in a boxing position and jab with your left arm. Throw a cross punch with your right arm and allow your body to rotate towards the left.
  • Jumping Jacks: Keep your feet hip-width apart and arms extended by your sides. Now, jump with your feet out and swing your arms above your head. Jump back to your starting position while lowering your arms back down to your sides. Do as many reps as you can.
  • Bodyweight Sumo Squats: Slightly different from normal squats. Position your feet more than shoulder-width apart with your toes pointing at a 45-degree angle. Keep your back straight while lowering your body till your thighs are parallel to the floor. Drive yourself back up to the starting position.

2. 20 Minute HIIT Workout

An ideal workout for maximizing calorie burning and increasing your metabolic rate. There will be 20 rounds of 45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest in between exercises. When you hit the 10-minute mark, take a two-minute break and continue.
  • Push-ups: Using the normal push-up technique, do as many reps as you can. Keep your hands more than shoulder-width apart and don’t allow your back to arch.
  • Bodyweight Squats: Unlike the sumo squats, these are just normal-stance squats -- your feet under your hips.
  • Butt Kicks: Stand in an area where you'll have enough space around you. Now, jog in place and kick the left heel back so that it touches your butt. Do the same with your right heel.
  • Tricep Dips: Take a chair and place it against a wall for support. Now place your hands on the edge with your back towards the chair. Straighten your legs out in front of you while keeping the balance on your palms. Lower your body by bending your elbows and press up. Go for maximum repetitions.
  • Side Lunges: You’ll be putting your body weight on your heels with your toes pointing forward. Step towards your right in a deep, lateral lunge and keep your knee above your toes. Switch positions and do the same for the other side.

3. 5/10/15 HIIT Workout

This workout demands less time and is ideal for beginners. There will be only 5 seconds of rest in between exercises for maximum intensity.
  • 5 Pull-ups: Grip the pull-up bar with your hands wider than shoulder width. Now quickly perform 5 pull-ups without your body's momentum.
  • 10 Kettlebell Snatches: You need a kettlebell for this workout. Place it between your feet. Now bend your knees and push your butt back. Look in front of you and swing the kettlebell back in between your legs. Now, quickly reverse your direction and drive it through using your hips and knees. This way the kettlebell will be swinging in an upward direction. As soon as it reaches shoulder height, quickly rotate your hand and punch straight up.
  • 15 Kettlebell Figure 8's: Grab the kettlebell and place it between your legs. Bend your body in the same way as in kettlebell snatches. Now lift the kettlebell and pass it to your other hand between your legs in such a way that it forms an 8-figure.

4. The Quick 4-Minute HIIT Workout

Pretty easy, but will definitely make you sweat. Here is what you have to do without any rest in between the sets:
  • Plank: Drop down into a plank and hold this position for one minute.
  • Mountain Climber: From the plank position, get into a push-up position. Raise your hips, bend your knees and try to touch your right knee to your chest. Do the same with the left knee as quickly as possible.
  • Jumping Jacks: Use the same technique for jumping jacks and aim for maximum reps.

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Analyzing Compound Bow Arrow Clusters

Yesterday (Easter Sunday) I did some personal practice with one of my compound bows.

It was rather windy (mostly wind coming from the south, but with occasional strong gust from the south). So lets see how I fared and analyze the results.

Disclaimer - This post is NOT sponsored by Tim Horton's. I just like using their coffee lids as targets.

#1. A Good Beginning.

First up is a near perfect shot. A good start for the day. This Tim Horton's coffee lid was doomed from the beginning.

This particular shot was so good I decided to just stop there and relax the rest of the round. It was highly unlikely that I was going to beat it - or worse, I could end up Robin Hooding the arrow (hitting it in the nock and splitting it), thus ruining my arrow. I have Robin Hooded so many arrows with my compound bow I now only shoot 3 or less arrows per round in an effort to reduce the chances of hitting my own arrows.


#2. A Gust from the South.

Below you can see what happens when the wind starts gusting from the south. Now what you might not understand is that the arrows themselves were not effected by the wind very much - it was actually the wind blowing me around that was the biggest annoyance. When the wind is blowing the archer around it makes it difficult to maintain your aim, your balance and hold steady.

You can tell from the angle of the arrows that some of them were effected more by the wind, by they are still in a tight cluster on the target - largely due to me being patient and timing my shots when there is less wind / more stability.

In theory if I wanted even more stability I could just wait until the gusting stops completely, but that would be missing the point of practicing during windy conditions. Practicing during the wind allows you to work on how well you adjust your and get used to it - and what skills you learn in the process to improve your accuracy.

Having flags at the archery range also help. Gives you a better idea of what the wind conditions are and their precise direction.

There isn't much left of the Tim Horton's lid at this point, so I am aiming for the upper left corner of the lid.


#3. Less Wind equals Tighter Cluster.

I held it together and timed my shots better during this particular round. You can see it is a nice tight cluster, and I am still aiming for the left side of the lid since there is so little left of it. The top right arrow ripped a chunk out of the lid.


#4. Not Much Left of the Target.

In this shot I hit the white golf tee so it pushed it into the target butt and the Tim Horton's lid ended up dangling from the arrow. There was so little left of the lid it was clearly time to pack up and leave.

Plus it started spitting a bit so I was content to pack up my gear and take a walk up the hill towards the Tim Horton's. (Where I later met my wife and we went to visit my mother-in-law for Easter Sunday dinner.)

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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