Sign up for personal training / sports training by emailing cardiotrek@gmail.com.

8 Fun Ways to get a Sexy Body

Everyone wants to have a sexy body, but many people have difficulty achieving that goal. The biggest problem I find is that many people become discouraged because they are doing exercises they don't actually enjoy.

But what if you did exercises that were actually FUN  to do and you could actually lose weight, build muscle and look awesome as you get better at the activities? Well here are a list of exercises that help turn flab into fab and allow you to have fun while doing them.

#1. Mountain Biking


#2. Snorkeling


#3. Boxing, Kick Boxing or Thai Boxing


#4. Fencing, Kendo, Swordfighting for Stage or Spearfighting


#5. Martial Arts


#6. Tennis


#7. Ballroom Dancing or Competitive Dancing


#8. Parkour or Freerunning


Don't expect to see huge changes overnight doing these activities. Like all exercises and sports you only see the results after you've been putting in the effort for months or years. Take it slow at first, have fun and enjoy yourself.

Also try to do so safetly. Wear protection (helmet, knee pads, etc) to help prevent sports injuries. You will achieve your goals of looking sexy and feeling great, but you will want to do it without putting yourself at risk of injury.

Toronto Bicycle Trail Challenge

On the right is a true challenge for cyclists of Toronto - One with both ups and downs, and a good chunk of beautiful woodland scenery.

Take the TTC Sheppard subway line to get to your starting location. North of Highway 401, ride the bikeway through East Don Parkland, then south to Edwards Gardens. Use the Toronto Cycling Map to guide you down the Don Valley all the way to the lakeshore and then take the subway at Union Station to get home.

The route is available on Google Maps: Don Valley Bicycle Trail.

Ride Route Notes

  • Exit at the east end of the Sheppard subway station.
  • Cross the crosswalk north, on the west side of Leslie and Sheppard – the gateway to the Don River Trail can’t be missed.
  • If you don’t want to go north, look for the bikeway down the valley at the south west corner of the intersection.
  • At the top of East Don Parkland, turn around, or follow the Toronto Bike Map to Bike Route 51 south – it will take you through some classic Toronto highrise and bungalow neighbourhoods, and near Toronto’s richest neighbourhood "Bridle Path".
  • Food and drink – and a rest – can be had when you reach York Mills Road.
  • The route will then take you through an industrial park with some surprisingly significant architecture, past Edward Gardens (find the trail access along the south side of the parking lot), and back down into the Don Valley.
  • It’s all downhill from there… literally, as you cycle south to the lakeshore and west downtown. Follow the Bikes and Transit maps for a ride through the Distillery District and The Esplanade – or stay on the Waterfront Trail west and come up to Union Station at Yonge St.

Form Techniques for Avoiding String Burn

Q

"I see a lot of folks get bow arm sometimes. A lot of huge bruises in some cases. It even happens to me sometimes. I also see a LOT of plucking. What are some ways to prevent bow arm from happening?"

- M.T.

A

I don't call it "bow arm", I prefer to call it "string burn" - similar to rope burn. String burn occurs when people accidentally hit their arm with the bow string while doing archery and it can leave a bruise, welt or even rip the skin off your arm if you are using a higher poundage bow (like a powerful compound bow).

Form Techniques for Avoiding String Burn

#1. Relax your arm and shoulder. (This is also better for increased accuracy.)

#2. Elbow should be facing sideways and not locked.

#3. Lean slightly into the shot for better shoulder alignment if you have difficulty relaxing your bow shoulder.

#4. Use a lightweight bow. Avoid any bow that causes you to over tense your bow arm.

#5. Plucking the string could still cause the string to oscillate and hit your arm, so for best results practice doing a "dead release". A dead release doesn't move, a live release does. Keep your thumb/hand on your face as you practice dead releases and keep track of any shot where your hand plucked to the side, backwards, forwards, up or down. If it keeps happening you may need to consult an archery instructor familiar with dead releases.

Brace Height
#6. If the bow string is hitting your wrist or hitting near your wrist, that is because your brace height is too low. Unstring the bow using a bowstringer, twist the string 10 or more times to make it tighter and then restring the bow. Check the brace height using the 'rule of thumb' to see if the string is touching your thumb. If it is not touching you should be fine, but if the string is still touching your thumb then you need to unstring your bow tighten another 10+ rotations and then restring your bow. Keep doing this until the string is no longer touching your thumb when you check using the 'rule of thumb' method.

Rule of Thumb

If you want to learn more on this topic or similar topics sign up archery lessons in Toronto from CardioTrek.ca. Have a great day and stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself. Stop hitting yourself.

;)

Triple Senior's Discount for Archery Lessons during September and October 2015

For archery lessons I normally offer a Senior's Discount of 5% for people over the age of 65 (with proof of age), however for a limited time I am offering a 15% discount for seniors over the age of 65. This offer is only good for people booking their lessons in September or October 2015.

My Weekday Rates

1 Student
$60 for 90 minutes; 3 Lessons - $170; 5 Lessons - $270; 10 Lessons - $520.

So if you live in Toronto, you were born in 1950 or earlier, and you want to learn archery now is your chance to get archery lessons in Toronto. For more info email cardiotrek@gmail.com with any questions.

Have a great day!


Have Some Apple Pie = Hand, Shoulder, Anchor/Aim, Power

"Have Some Apple Pie" is an old school archery saying from the 1950s. It is meant to help beginner students remember most of the things they should be doing when practicing their archery form: Hand, Shoulder, Anchor/Aim, Power.

Hand - Should be centred on the bow handle and relaxed.

Shoulder - Should be relaxed and aligned with the bow arm.

Anchor/Aim - Anchor spot should be firmly planted beneath the dominant eye on the mouth in the Traditional Anchor Spot (aka North Anchor) in order for the archer to be able to aim properly. Take your time aiming. Adjust your aim gradually from round to round, not from shot to shot unless your aim is obviously off dramatically.

Power - Muscles on the upper back (the rhomboids) should be clenched together tightly so the archer's back muscles are doing most of the work, reducing the amount of work done by the archer's arms and shoulders.

There are other factors as well that goes into good quality archery form - issues like standing up straight, not angling your neck in weird positions, learning how to use the same amount of power every shot, fine tuning your anchor spot, relaxing your bow hand completely (aka "dead hand"), and many other issues.

If you want help with perfecting your archery form you can sign up for archery lessons or you can email me to get your name on the waiting list for my forthcoming book.

Frugal Archery Equipment, Part Two

Some of you may have read my old post titled "DIY Archery Equipment on a Frugal Budget" which follows the logic of making your own archery equipment in order to be able to practice archery / exercise cheaply.

However there is a second way to get into archery cheaply - and that is to buy used equipment.

The problem with buying used equipment is that there are some pros and cons...

Pro - It is a lot cheaper than buying brand new equipment. Seriously, this is really the only benefit. However if you learn from Cons below, you can still navigate the dangerous waters of buying used equipment without getting yourself burned.

Con - The equipment you are buying might be in poor condition, so you need to look for the following: Cracked, split, warped bow limbs; cracked or broken bow tips; bow strings that should be replaced; bow risers that are cracked. Ideally you want to buy a bow that is practically new (excellent condition), but the owner has simply moved on and purchased a more expensive bow and now wants to get rid of their old cheap bow that is still in excellent condition, but they just don't like it any more.

Con - The equipment you are purchasing might not suit you physically - this is a very common problem with beginners buying used bows. They buy a bow that is too powerful for them and then they cannot use it properly. Other common problems is beginners buying a bow that is either too big or too small for them, like an adult trying to use a children's bow.

Con - The person you are purchasing from might be an idiot and give you lots of misinformation. They might feed you the wrong information on things like: How to string the bow properly; How to aim properly; What proper archery form looks like; How to pull back a bow properly (without causing various sports injuries); Etc. Clearly this is a very good argument for getting archery lessons BEFORE buying your first bow, just so you have a better idea of how to all of these properly.

Con - The person you are purchasing from might simply be a liar. I will give you an example, earlier today I was browsing bows on eBay and an American was selling a PVC bow he made himself, claiming it was 130 lbs of draw weight. This guy was clearly lying. There is no way a PVC (poly vinyl chloride is basically a kind of thick plastic) bow could have a draw weight of 130 lbs without breaking. More likely the bows he was making was in the 40 to 60 lb draw weight range, and he was either lying - or just plain ignorant about how to measure draw weight properly.

However lets assume that you take precautions as you browse listings for used equipment. Let us assume that you purchase equipment that is "practically new", that you limit yourself to bows that suit you physically, and that you avoid people who sound like either idiots and/or liars. Well, then you might be able to purchase an used bow (and arrows) for comparatively less and get into archery on a pretty frugal budget.

A few purchasing tips:

Tip #1. Buy something with a lower poundage. 25 lbs or less is ideal for a male, or 20 lbs or less if you are female. Why? So you can learn proper form. Trying to pull a 30 to 60 lb bow that is too powerful for you is not going to afford you the endurance to be able to learn proper form. (Writing this, I know immediately there will be people [usually men] who ignore this advice and then go and buy a ridiculously powerful bow that they can't even pull properly, will get a shoulder injury or some other kind of sports injury, and will berate themselves for not listening to my dire warnings. Sports injuries are common [especially for beginners], so why not learn proper form and avoid the injuries?)

Tip #2. Buy a bow that is the correct size for you. Examples: No buying a children's bow if you are over 5'2" tall; Avoid buying a shortbow if you are super tall (like 6'4" or taller) because you will probably break it with your super long arms.

Tip #3. Buy arrows that fit the length of your arm / draw length. If you are not sure what your draw length is, find out before you start purchasing arrows.

Tip #4. Buy arrows that suit the type of bow you are shooting. The type of arrows used on a compound bow for example are very different from the kind of arrows you should be using on a recurve or a longbow.

Tip #5. Buying archery equipment off Toronto Craigslist or Toronto Kijiji might seem like a good idea because you can pick the equipment up in person, but you need to be careful all the same as some of the sellers on those websites are pretty sketchy.

Tip #6. Buying archery equipment off eBay is more expensive due to the extra cost of shipping, but you can look at the seller's reputation score on eBay to see how reputable the seller is. They also typically post lots of photos of the equipment they are selling, so you can get a clear idea of how good of condition the archery equipment is in.

Tip #7. Buying archery equipment off a friend who does archery is arguably one of the best ways to purchase equipment, because in theory your friend isn't going to lie to you about the quality of the equipment. Or if they do lie, I guess they weren't that good of a friend, were they?

Speaking for myself I like buying antique bows for my own personal collection. Recently I purchased two "vintage" longbows on eBay: #1. A Roy Rogers longbow from the 1950s (Roy Rogers was a TV show from 1951 to 1957, and various longbows were made circa 1952 with the logo on it) that is a collectors item. #2. A Ben Pearson lemonwood longbow with linen backing, circa 1945. (I am also currently bidding on a vintage recurve bow as well, rounding out my recent acquisitions.)

From which you might conclude "Wow, those are really old bows!" and I would agree. They are the kind of bows you don't shoot that often because they ultimately end up decorating your wall instead. So the last tip, if you are buying your bow for the purpose of doing archery as a sport / exercise, then do NOT buy a vintage bow. Vintage bows need to be treated with respect and care as they could break easily in the hands of someone who overdraws its, strings it incorrectly, dry fires it, etc. Therefore...

Tip #8. Buy a bow that is relatively new. Avoid vintage archery equipment that are more for show. There are a lot of old vintage bows from the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s - largely due to a long lasting archery fad during those decades, and thus many bows from that era still exist and are shoot-able, but they are not necessarily a good bow for a beginner as they could easily snap on the 1st or 2nd shot. (You can thank the Errol Flynn film "The Adventures of Robin Hood" for the enduring success of archery during those decades.)

If you have questions about buying your first bow or buying an used bow please feel free to post your questions in the comments section below.


Kicking Exercises and Tips

Kicking Exercises are just what they sound like - fast paced kicks in an effort to build fast twitch muscle fibres in your legs. However done improperly they hold the potential to injure yourself.

I should also note that the primary purpose of these kicking exercises are for EXERCISE, not for self-defense or fighting. I will note the various uses of some kicks, but please remember the primary goal here is to promote kicking as a form of exercise.

With that in mind I am going to be teaching 3 different styles of kicks you can try at home. Shin Kicks, Side Kicks and Back Kicks.

#1.

Use a large open space that has no obstacles or walls nearby. Accidentally kicking a wall and hurting your foot would be counter-productive.

#2.

Next you should be doing some stretches. Because you are going to be doing an exercise that explores the limits of your flexibility I want people reading this to make an effort to stretch before you begin any workout that contains kicking.

Start by sitting on the ground and doing a variety of poses that explore the limits of your flexibility, similar to the poses mentioned in the How to do the Splits post.

#3.

Warm up your leg muscles by doing about 30 to 60 seconds worth of jumping jacks and another 30 to 60 seconds worth of squats (or jump squats if you want more of a challenge).

#4.

Don't worry about height when you kicking. Stand upright and start by doing low kicks in the air aimed at an imaginary target about 1 foot off the ground. This is known as a Shin Kick. It may not look like much, but aimed at someone's leg it would be difficult to block and successful contact means the other person will be in pain and possibly have difficulty walking.

When doing Shin Kicks your legs should be spread further apart with your leading foot pointed towards the imaginary target. Your kicking foot will be spaced further back and the foot should be angled off to the side for extra stability.

Every few minutes you should switch sides and practice kicking with the other foot. Try to focus on the quality of your form and accuracy, not your speed.

Shin Kicking can also be used for tripping an opponent, except instead of kicking the person with the toe or the base of the foot you are instead angling your foot in from the side in an effort to knock them down / make them lose their balance. This is demonstrated in the graphic below.

In a situation where you feel threatened, kicking someone in the shins and then running away is a fairly effective means of self-defense. The other person could be potentially prone if you tripped them, or they might simply be unable to run quickly due to the sudden pain. The pain would be temporary however, so if your plan is to run do so quickly.

#5.

This is not the impressive Side Kick you may have seen in the movies. You need to work up to that.

Instead your goal here is to kick sideways and hit something that is approximately at groin level. eg. An opponent's family jewels.

To do this kick you first need to be facing towards your target, your feet slightly spaced apart and your leading foot slightly off to the side for extra balance. During the kick you will first raise your knee up towards the target, and then in one motion you will kick outwards while rotating your body. Use your arms to maintain your balance (potentially you could use one arm to perform a simultaneous punch like in the image below, but your primary goal should be to maintain your balance).


Done properly a sidekick should be both accurate, fast and with minimal loss of balance. These three things are important because:

  • You actually want to hit the target properly so it does more damage.
  • Your kick should be fast enough that your opponent cannot catch and twist your foot, leaving you at a disadvantage.
  • You don't want to lose your balance. If you fall the fight is practically over.
My tae kwon do instructor in South Korea taught that you never want to kick an opponent unless you either already have the advantage or if you can be absolutely certain of your success. He argued that kicking an opponent too aggressively and without a degree of caution was too risky, especially against any experienced opponent who knows how to counter such a kick and turn it against you.

For our purposes however side kicks still make for great exercise - both for muscle speed and strength, but also as a balance exercise.

#6.

The third and final kick I am going to teach today is the Back Kick.

Similar to the Side Kick, you start by raising your knee up in front of you and then kick backwards at an imaginary target at roughly groin level. Your primary goal during this kick is to learn how to maintain your balance, so note how your arms stay tucked close to your body and most of your balance is achieved not with your arms, but with your torso / core muscles.

7.

Don't over do it with any of the above kicking exercises. Focus on form and balance, not speed. There is no point hurting yourself by trying to kick superfast. Speed will come with practice.

After completing your kicking exercises for the day I also recommend doing a series of exercises such as:

Lunges
Sit Ups
Push Ups
Squats
Jump Squats
Jumping Jacks
Skip Rope or Skipping
Yoga
Etc

The goal here is to build up your leg muscles and also your core muscles (abs, lower back, etc). That way the next time you practice kicking exercises the muscles in question will be stronger and you will have better balance.

Happy Exercising!

Running on Treadmills - Going Nowhere Fast

If you are like me you probably hate running on a treadmill. You are, as the saying goes, going nowhere fast on those things.

Given the choice between running outdoors and running on a treadmill, I will choose outdoors.

However if the weather is dismal (or it is Winter) then there is certainly an appeal to have the option to go for a run on a treadmill indoors instead. During the Summer when there is beautiful weather outside, you really should be outside getting your exercise, but if its raining or snowing it does make perfect sense to have a backup plan.

However running on a treadmill is SUPER BORING. But there are ways to make it more interesting. It is why many gyms have treadmills with TV sets on them - which I find annoying, because often the sound is broken, no matter how much you fiddle with the headphones.

#1. Pets on the Treadmill

Oddly enough pets - dogs and cats will sometimes join their owners on the treadmill. It is a bizarre phenomenon, but it shows that even animals enjoy getting some exercise.

In the video below a baby raccoon gets some exercise on a treadmill with its owner.



#2. Dancing on your Treadmill

This is oddly enough a growing phenomenon. There are a lot of videos on this topic below. Below is my favourite treadmill dance video.



#3. Listening to Music / Watching TV on the Treadmill

This one is a no brainer really. Nothing complicated there. I shouldn't even have to list this, but I am doing so for the sake of not leaving anything out.

#4. You know you are bored when you...
  • Play with the buttons and settings on the treadmill.
  • Focus on perfecting your running form.
  • Increase the incline for an added challenge.
  • Sideways gallop.
  • Skipping (with or without a skip rope).
  • Marching or Goosestepping.
  • Get those knees up.
  • Try to kick yourself in the butt with one foot.
  • Hopping. (Avoid jumping when the treadmill is going fast. There are lots of fail videos on YouTube for this topic.)
  • Focus on your breathing.
  • Get distracted by how your treadmill sounds like a train.
  • Repeat a mantra.
  • Sing (like you do in the shower).
  • Cover up the monitor so you can stop being distracted by the numbers.
  • Use your arms more.
  • Use the time to think about your life.
  • Plan your day.
  • Plan your weekend.
  • Plan what you will eat for lunch.
  • Plan your vacation or retirement.
  • Imagine you are racing.
  • Imagine you are being chased by zombies.

#5. Listen to an audio book

The easy way to do this is to jog on the treadmill for however long it takes to listen to one chapter. A chapter per day, every day and before you know it you will be feeling fit and have the book done.

#6. Listen to a Podcast

If you have a favourite Podcast you like to tune into to, make your Podcast time the time you also use the treadmill. Apple iTunes has lots of podcasts to choose from if you are not sure what to listen to.

#7. Listen for Trigger Words

Every time you hear a trigger word, eg, "Yes", then you run faster. Every time you hear another trigger word, eg. "No" then you run slower. The idea here is to alternate your speeds when you are running. If your treadmill is next to a window you could change your speed every time you see a black car drive by the window. Pick a trigger or multiple triggers and then use that to guide how often you alternate your speed.

#8. Play Mind Games or Memory Exercises

There are plenty out there to choose from. I like word games myself, wherein you start by picking a topic - eg. plants - and then you pick a word from that genre - eg. rose - and then you try to think of a word that starts with the letter the last word ended with. So rose, easter lily, yew, weeping willow, etc.


There. That should be enough to keep you busy and motivated.


8 Reasons to take up Snorkeling

Ever wanted to get into snorkeling? Well here are 8 fun activities you can do while snorkeling - hopefully some of them will inspire you to get snorkeling lessons and try it out.

#1. You can swim with the fishes and see the world from their point of view.


#2. You can try spearfishing while snorkeling. For those of you who also like to know where their food comes from.


#3. Practice your underwater hand signals / Sign Language. The hand signals below are "I love you" in American Sign Language (ASL).


#4. Hang Out with Friends / Make New Friends



#5. Collect Sea Shells and Dead Starfish


#6. Play Underwater Tag, Hide-and-Go-Seek, Capture-the-Flag, Etc.

#7. Learn more about Exotic Sea Life In-Person



#8. Search for Shipwrecks, Plane Wrecks, Pearls, Etc.


BONUS - Pick up ocean trash while you are out there and help save animal lives. Don't leave any trash behind either.

New Weekend Archery Rates

Weekend archery lessons is one of my most popular / most requested services. Unfortunately, weekends also tend to be time I want to spend with family - and due to supply and demand there are only Saturday and Sunday to choose from.

(Or alternatively, you can prebook Winter archery lessons.)

During the 2015 archery season I opted to charge a different rate from weekday lessons and quickly determined that charging extra for weekend lessons was not much of a deterrent. People booked them up so much that every weekend time slot was fully booked to the end of the year by the time mid July rolled around. Logically this meant every person contacting from mid July to the present and asking for weekend lessons was going to disappointed that I had only weekday time slots to offer - or worse, I was pointing them towards prebooking for 2016.

So if you are looking for weekend lessons and reading this, you are coming to the conclusion that weekend archery lessons are rare - and more so if you are looking for a quality instructor. This is one of the reasons why I have been devoting more of my free time to writing my new book on the topic of recreational archery, because I know I cannot teach everyone. I simply do not have enough hours on weekends to teach every person who emails asking for weekend archery lessons.

But I can however sell them a book that teaches them all of the fundamentals.

And for those willing to pay a premium for weekend archery lessons, here are my new rates that are coming into effect at the end of October.

New Weekend Archery Rates

1 Student
$90 for 90 minutes; 3 Lessons - $255; 5 Lessons - $405; 10 Lessons - $780.

2 Students
$120 for 90 minutes; 3 Lessons - $337.50; 5 Lessons - $540; 10 Lessons - $1050.

3 Students
$150 for 90 minutes; 3 Lessons - $427.50; 5 Lessons - $675; 10 Lessons - $1320.

(Note that I also charge the weekend rate for ALL lessons conducted outdoors during the Winter. If I am going to freeze outside in the snow while teaching, I should get paid extra for it.)
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!

Subscribe by Email

Followers

Popular Posts