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Expensive Compound Bows Vs Super Adjustable Compound Bows

Q

Hey Charles.

Question for you on Bows...

I'm really interested in getting a decent composite bow off the start (after a few lessons of course). The one I'm thinking of getting is the Oneida Kestrel or Pheonix. Do you think that's a bad idea? I read online that it's ok to go with more expensive bows as it just means I won't grow out of the bow quickly. I know online comments aren't always accurate, so I'd like to hear from a pro. Thoughts?

- Geoffrey C.

A

Hey Geoffrey!

The Oneida Kestrel as seen on the popular "Arrow" TV show.
The bow has seen a boost in sales thanks to the show.
Well, the Oneida Kestrel/Pheonix are definitely more expensive hybrid recurve compound bows. I only know of two people who even own Oneida bows, as they are pretty rare. I should note that older Oneida's can also be very accurate, judging from the one I shot a few years ago and it was made during the 1990s.

I would disagree with the statement that "people don't grow out of more expensive bows as quickly" because obviously there is going to be exceptions to that statement, and since there are so many different kinds of expensive bows, that is quite a few exceptions.

A better statement would be:

"A compound bow that is easy to adjust, fully adjustable, and has a broad range of power settings, draw length settings, and even comfort settings is the kind of bow a person will not easily grow out of."

This weekend I met a guy who had purchased a compound bow with two comfort settings. The first one had a hard Wall, but faster FPS arrow speed, while the second setting was more comfortable with a soft Wall, but slower FPS arrow speed. Modern compound bows are becoming ever more complicated, and this is largely due to manufacturers trying to make bows which are more easily adjustable and have more options for adjustment to suit the user's needs.

Consequently having more options / more adjustability can make a compound bow more expensive...

However not all compound bows are super adjustable. Some are quite the opposite, they are very narrow in how much they can be adjusted because the manufacturer has decided to focus on making a bow super powerful, faster FPS arrow speed, a harder Wall, more let off, extra gadgets for the sake of accuracy, more durability, lighter, better balanced, more expensive materials, etc.

There are many ways to make a compound bow more expensive. The ability to not grow out of it too quickly doesn't necessarily factor in to the ways a particular bow is more expensive.

With expensive bows there is always the chance a person ends up buying the wrong bow too and ends up regretting it because it was too powerful, not adjustable enough that it was suitable for the individual, etc.

eg. I saw a guy a few weeks ago who bought his girlfriend a compound bow expecting her to be able to use it, and unfortunately she wasn't strong enough to pull it even at the lowest possible setting because the bow he had purchased was not adjustable enough. She then ended up shooting his bow instead - which was super adjustable and could be adjusted to her draw length and power needs. Later he ended up shooting her bow instead of his own. (Maybe that was his evil plan all along, to get himself a new bow?)

If you have additional questions let me know. Have a great day!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

The Oneida Eagle Phoenix Hybrid Recurve Compound Bow

The Bear Takedown Recurve Vs the Samick Sage

Q

Hey Charles, this is the bow I'm thinking about getting I'm just wondering what configuration would work best for me?
http://www.bow-shop.com/secure/store/index.php?main_page=document_product_info&cPath=124_127_141&products_id=584
- Jon C.

A

Hey Jon!

Ooo fancy, the Bear Takedown. I have been wanting one of those for almost a decade. I will probably get one eventually, if I ever stop buying antiques / vintage bows - or maybe I will buy a vintage Takedown. We shall see.

See also http://www.beararchery.com/bows/traditional/takedown so you have a better idea of its stats.

The Takedown has two different riser lengths, 56 and 60 inches. I recommend the 60 as it is more forgiving of canting mistakes. (Shorter bows / shorter risers are less forgiving, so if you make a canting mistake it can be way off instead of a little off.)

The real problem is the poundage of the limbs - for which the minimum is 35 lbs. Ideally for someone who is still learning I recommend 20 to 25 lbs so that they can work on building their form while building strength, and then later get a 30 to 35 lb bow and work their way up to 40 to 45 lbs. Starting off at 35 lbs right away can cause a person to develop bad habits and I want my students to avoid that.

The analogy I like to use is dumbbells and weightlifting. You start off the smaller dumbbells, use them with good form in a variety of exercises, build up strength and eventually go to a bigger set of dumbbells when the old dumbbells start to feel too easy. This way a person progresses from one stage to the next, working on their form while simultaneously building strength/endurance.

Starting off with a bow that is too strong a person will often get exhausted easily, their endurance will lag, they will start making form mistakes / shooting too quickly / etc.

Here is one you might consider in the meantime:

Samick Sage - available with 25 lb limbs
http://www.bow-shop.com/secure/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=124_127_201&products_id=1558

Then after you build up strength and that bow feels easy you can get a 30 to 35 lb bow, eg. the Takedown, and progress from there.

The good news about both the Sage and the Takedown is that you get more powerful limbs as you progress too, allowing you to experiment with other poundages to see which one you like best. Obviously there will be a big price difference between those two bows.

Also it is handy to have an extra bow that is easier to pull in the future should you ever introduce a friend to archery, or perhaps even just have off-days when you want to relax and just shoot without it feeling like a weightlifting workout.

Pros and Cons

The Bear Takedown is one of the best traditional recurves you can get. It is powerful, durable and comes with a great warranty.

The Samick Sage in comparison is basically the Ford F-150 of bows - it does everything you need the bow to do, on a budget. (History Note - Decades ago the Damon Howatt X-200 / Martin X-150 used to fill that role, and was quite literally the F-150 of bows.)

Both bows have lots of great reviews, although Bear's warranty / craftsmanship / quality assurance certainly make it a fan favourite.

Both bows are attractive to look at. The Takedown is obviously prettier, but the Sage is certainly not ugly either.

There is the obvious price difference, however the price I don't think is the biggest issue here. It is the available poundages that matter.

The Samick Sage is available in 25 lbs. It is even possible to get 20 lb limbs that match it, but it is trickier to find those. This will make it easier to pull and work on quality form.

The Bear Takedown has a minimum of 35 lbs. It is not meant for someone who is still building up their strength and working on form. It was primarily designed to be used for bowhunting.

The Samick Sage does have a very good resale value. If you buy one for $175 CDN you can later sell it for about $140-$150 CDN. Thus if you decide to get one and later switch to the Bear Takedown, that is certainly an option. Or keep it as an extra bow for friends to try archery.

Conclusions

By now you have probably guessed that I feel strongly about this whole patience / proper form / building up strength issue. I have seen past students ignore my advice because I was not adamant enough about the whole being patient / working on proper form issue, and they bought a bow that was too powerful for them to properly practice with and they eventually stopped shooting because it was simply too hard - and now their bow is probably collecting dust in a closet.

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

My Retirement from Personal Training / Sports Training

July 22nd 2017.

On June 24th, 4 weeks ago today, my wife gave birth to our son Richard. I write this on my laptop while he sleeps (and farts) curled up next to me on a baby blanket.

On August 28th I will be officially retiring from being a personal trainer / sports trainer and I will begin devoting my time towards being a full time stay-at-home dad while my wife pursues her law career.

This means I only have 5 weeks and 1 day before my official retirement. Anyone in Toronto wishing to have archery lessons - which is my main thing this time of year - should contact me ASAP if they are seeking to have archery lessons.

This will therefore effect scheduling. As the Retirement Day approaches, I will be encouraging any new students to either choose a lesser number of lessons, or a very aggressive schedule to get the lessons done ASAP.

People seeking to have 10 archery lessons should be thinking of 2 or even 3 lessons per week, instead of the normal one lesson per week schedule. The goal being to get all the lessons done before August 28th.

Outstanding Lessons

Any outstanding lessons will either be refunded or conducted on weekends in September 2017. I am hoping to have all outstanding lessons done before the end of August, but there might be a few people who need to have their lessons on weekends in September or refunded.

The Archery Coach formally known as Charles, February 2017
Semi-Retirement???

After August 28th I will also be raising my rates and my availability will become extremely limited.

I am already the most expensive and most sought after archery instructor in Toronto - hence why I have been able to raise my rates multiple times over the years, due to the demand. However with retirement, I will be raising my rates again to compensate for the fact that I will need to arrange babysitting for a newborn / toddler just to make it possible for me to teach people seeking archery lessons.

So that means I won't be retiring from personal training / sports training entirely, rather my availability and willingness to teach will be highly dependent on a variety of factors, such as the availability of a babysitter, my personal availability, etc.

Richard's first trip to the Toronto Archery Range
So what will I be doing in the future?

Well, asides from changing Richard's diapers, clothing him, bathing him, feeding him, burping him, letting him sleep on my chest, teaching him how to go potty, teaching him archery, baseball, fishing, how to read, how to write, how to do math, how to cheat at poker...

On my To Do List I will also be doing the following:
  • Finishing my second book about archery and finally publish it.
  • Perhaps write a few more articles for Archery Focus Magazine or other archery publications.
  • Writing archery equipment reviews for archerytoronto.ca.
  • Bowmaking. I have 2 pieces of cherry and 2 pieces of black walnut just waiting to be turned into pyramid bows / flatblows.
  • Wooden arrow dowel making. (I started making a wooden arrow dowel jig two years ago and I would love to finish making the jig and start making arrows.)
  • Arrow fletching.
  • Making Bowstrings / Re-Serving Bowstrings.
  • Repairing Compound Bows (a rare skill, but nevertheless).
  • Working on my other website projectgriddless.ca, which is dedicated to off-the-grid living, survivalism, and bow-making.
  • Teaching archery to actors and thespians - I got into this years ago and I plan to keep doing this.
  • Doing trick shot videos.
  • Fishing and Bowfishing.
  • Working on my culinary skills.
  • Working on my carpentry skills.
  • Various fitness goals.
  • Sleeping in more often.
  • Camping.
  • Travel.
  • Raising my son to be a good person.

*Special Note* It is also theoretically possible that my wife's law career might take us outside of Toronto, possibly moving to a smaller city or town within Ontario, but I am very confident that even if that did happen, we would be back as both my wife and I have family here in Toronto and it is above all else, our home. If however we ended up living in a rural area that we could potentially get horses, lets add the following things to my To Do List:
  • Buy horses.
  • Breed horses.
  • Horse maintenance.
  • Pay expensive vet bills.
  • Teach Richard how to ride.
  • Get into equestrian archery.
  • Opening an archery range / horse-riding school.
So yeah, plenty of possibilities in my future. My retirement from being a personal trainer / sports trainer is simply a new step on a long road of adventures.

The future? We shall see.

How to Set Realistic Weightlifting Goals

If a person goes to the gym and sets for themselves an unrealistic goal of someday "bench pressing 400 lbs" they are basically just setting themselves up for failure.

What people should do instead is to first determine the following:

How much can I currently lift doing particular exercises?

So for example, if their chosen exercise is the bench press, and they can currently bench press 120 lbs, they should then set a new goal that is within range. Like bench pressing 125 by the end of the week, and later trying to bench press 150 within several months.

Those are realistic goals a person could set.

And the trick here is that such goals will vary with the person.

A much stronger person, who can already bench press 170 lbs might set a short term goal of 180, and a long term goal of 200.

Thus goal setting with respect to weightlifting should be to do the following:

One - Make a system / schedule whereby you are doing a variety of exercises geared towards achieving your weightlifting goal.

Two - Set a short term goal.

Three - Set a long term goal.

Four - When you achieve your short term goal, set a NEW short term goal that is slightly harder, but still below your long term goal.

Five - Keep setting and achieving your short term goals until you eventually achieve your long term goal.

Easy.

But the first trick is knowing how much you can already manage. Then you will have a better idea of how to set realistic short term and long term goals.

When setting such goals you should also be setting goals that are SAFE!

And if you know you are stretching the limits of safety, at least get yourself a spotter so you lower the chances of seriously hurting yourself.

Weightlifting Fails, Things Not To Do

Realizing That Was Stupid
GET A SPOTTER!

5 Slimming Foods for a High Protein Diet

Guest Post by Henry V.

Eating healthy foods can greatly help in losing weight painlessly. Sometimes it is just a no-brainer when it comes to picking foods that you just know are good for you. Check out the foods below and get to know the evidence.

Many people use to hold misconception with the foods and weight loss. They often starve themselves and rush to lose weight quickly. But, this is the injustice and the mistake you commit to the body.

Our body needs to be fueled up with the nutritious food items to stay healthy and fit. So, eating sufficient food and consuming certain nutrients is not only essential for the better functioning of the body but also it promotes weight loss.

In the same way, protein is one of the most beneficial nutrients in the body. It is used for repairing muscle tissue and many of the other tissues in our body that suffer wear and tear.

How can Protein help you to lose weight?

Incorporating protein-rich food items to the diet eliminates the hunger pangs and makes you feel fuller for a longer period of time. When you are satiated, there are little chances that you crave for the junk foods and intake unnecessary calories.

Protein gives energy to the body, that ultimately helps in burning calories and growing muscles. This is the reason why protein supplements are consumed by the people going the gym.

Now that we have learned the benefits of protein in losing weight, let us check 5 protein-rich foods that would be helpful for being into toned shape.

Eggs

1 or 2 eggs a day would add a good amount of protein to your diet. Apart from the protein, eggs are a good source of vitamin D, vitamin B12, vitamin B6, vitamin A, iron, zinc, magnesium, and calcium.

This is the main reason behind the title awarded to the eggs as the healthiest food.

Legumes and Beans

Consuming legumes and beans are considered to be the best substitute to that of lean chicken. This is the main reason, why these foods are considered to be the richest source of protein for the vegetarians.

A half cup of cooked beans serves 7-10 grams of protein. Therefore, beans are considered as the superfood. Apart from being high in proteins, it has several other benefits that keep brain, heart, muscles and intestines healthy.

Pan Fried Lake Trout
Fish

Be it lean chicken, salmon, turkey, cod or tuna; they are the richest source of proteins. Every 100 grams of these food items contains approx. 40-55% of the protein which is quite more. This is not it! They are a prominent source of vitamin B12, vitamin B6, omega 3 fatty acids, and iron. Moreover, it has capability make you satisfied for protracted.

For obvious reasons you should try to avoid deep fried fish covered in batter, and also avoid fish that has a high mercury content. Lake fish (freshwater trout/salmon/catfish/crab/etc) is generally safer than oceanic fish (halibut/tuna/saltwater bass/shark/etc) when it comes to mercury content.

Low-fat Dairy (Milk, Yogurt)

Yes, your favorite food items are healthy in order to maintain a fit body.

A glass of low-fat milk a day feeds sufficient amount of protein that has fewest calories and highest amount of calcium in it. Whereas the appropriate proportion of cheese and cottage cheese would fuse additional protein to the body. (Avoid cheeses that have higher fat / higher salt content.)

Consuming 4 ounces of Greek yogurt feeds 6 grams of protein and brings in oodles of nutrients and healthy bacteria. It improves the digestion process. For added flavour / nutrition toss some berries in with the yogurt too.

Whey protein powder is technically made from milk whey, so it also falls into this category. Whey is a byproduct of making cheese. In its powder form it is usually used by bodybuilders, weightlifters and athletes - but their goals are not to lose weight, it is to bulk up in muscle. As such whey protein powder is handy if that is a person's goal, but if they want to slim down they would probably be better off avoiding the whey powder completely. Thus please use a dose of discretion.

Healthy Nuts

Almonds, cashews, and pistachios are considered to be some of the healthiest nuts as they are lowest in calories. Additionally, it contains 40% of the protein among all other nutrients. Dietary fibers, magnesium, and calcium in it, proves to be the companion nutrients that helps to maintain a flat belly.

In terms of protein content almonds, pistachios and cashews also have the highest protein content (in that order). Almonds have 21 grams of protein per 100 grams, whereas pistachios have 20, and cashews 18 grams respectively.

If you don't enjoy almonds, cashews, and pistachios, not to worry. Many other nuts are also pretty healthy to eat too, even though they will have slightly higher calories.

Conclusions

As everything in excess can be harmful, it is necessary to intake sufficient quantity of protein. If taken in the correct proportion with vegetables/fruits, then it would definitely promote the weight loss and help you in keeping your body in toned shape.

Considering above slimming foods that are high in protein won't bring any side effects. This is because they are natural sources of protein.

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.

Archery Lessons Syllabus, Updated 2017

This page is an update to my Archery Lessons Syllabus, so that students have a better idea of what to expect when they sign up for 1 or more lessons.

Regarding packages it really depends on how much you want to learn:

3 Lessons - $170;
  • First lesson includes safety lecture, eye dominance test, lecture on how to aim, lecture on proper form, and archery lesson focuses on field archery (targets at different distances).
  • Second lesson focuses on target archery (one distance, 60 feet) and includes a lecture on arrowheads.
  • Third lesson focuses on long distance field archery and includes a lecture on arrow spine.

5 Lessons - $270;
  • Fourth lesson focuses on target archery but introduces a different way of aiming (gap shooting) which is useful for shooting at moving targets. Includes a lecture on how to wax a bowstring.
  • Fifth lesson can vary sometimes, but usually focuses on teaching the archer how to shoot while in motion and/or shooting from a kneeling position. Includes a lecture on types of fletching and pros/cons of different fletching types.

10 Lessons - $520.
Lessons 6 to 10 usually vary on the student, focusing on the student's individual needs but covering a range of topics depending on what the student is more interested in and also special attention to getting rid of any remaining bad habits so that the archer can shoot competently using several different bows/poundages. Topics may include:
  • Adjusting for Wind Conditions
  • Long Distance Shooting
  • Shooting at Moving Targets
  • Precision Archery Practice
  • Instinctive Archery
  • Mental Discipline
  • Aiming Exercises
  • Flight Archery
  • Longbow / Flatbow / Shortbow / Horsebow Form
  • Horsebow Releases
  • Various mini lectures on a variety of topics. eg. How to string a longbow, how to repair a bowstring, how to oil a wooden bow, etc.

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!

The Grace Diet

Your goal in the Grace Diet is to diet gracefully.

But what does that mean?

It is essentially a slow gentle diet, one that anyone can do, and does not require huge amounts of willpower or crash dieting - just a small amount of willpower can get the job done, and a large dose of graceful patience. It involves slowly cutting back and/or avoiding foods you know are bad for you and embracing foods that are healthier, but going through this whole process slowly.

The principle of the diet is similar to the tradition of giving up something for Lent (the Sunday after Ash Wednesday). Except instead of giving up 1 thing per year, you are instead giving up / avoiding one thing per month, with cumulative results over a 12 month or longer period.

To start make a list of 12 foods you consume regularly that you know are unhealthy for you.

Example of 12 Foods to Avoid
  1. Soda Pop drinks
  2. Potato Chips
  3. Beer and/or Sugary Alcohol
  4. High Calorie White Bread
  5. Sugary Cookies
  6. Desserts in General (except on special occasions)
  7. Sugary/Salty Snacks
  8. Fatty Meat
  9. Coffee with Sugar/Cream
  10. Greasy hamburgers or greasy food in general
  11. Syrup on your pancakes
  12. Milk chocolate (high in sugar) / sugary chocolate bars
Then each month cut out one of those foods and start avoiding it. Simultaneously you substitute the food you are avoiding with something healthier.

For best results you should try to focus on foods that are high in calories, and replace that with a food that is lower in calories.

The Substitutions

For example lets say you drink a lot of Coca-Cola. One month you dump the Coca-Col and from then onward you only drink ice water (or Coke Zero, which has zero calories). Then each month you repeat the process, dumping one unhealthy food and substituting something that is healthier. This process over time slowly weans you off your addiction to sugary, salty and high calorie foods.

Examples of 12 Substitutions
  1. Ice Water instead of Soda Pop drinks
  2. Popcorn instead of Potato Chips
  3. Low Carb Beer instead of Beer and/or Sugary Alcohol
  4. Low Calorie Whole Wheat Bread instead of High Calorie White Bread
  5. Oatmeal Cookies instead of Sugary Cookies
  6. Fruits instead of Desserts in General (except on special occasions)
  7. Savoury Snacks instead of Sugary/Salty Snacks
  8. Lean Meat instead of Fatty Meat
  9. Tea or Black Coffee instead of Coffee with Sugar/Cream
  10. Healthy Non-Greasy Hamburgers/instead of Greasy hamburgers or greasy food in general
  11. Berries instead of Syrup on your pancakes
  12. Dark Chocolate instead of Milk chocolate (high in sugar) / sugary chocolate bars
 So why does the Grace Diet work?

Well for starters it is really easy to find the willpower to cut out 1 non-healthy food per month and gradually change your diet slowly over time. This makes the whole process easy. It is so easy you will probably never find a book on this diet either, because once you understand how the diet works, having a book about it is truly unnecessary.

Secondly, it is not a crash diet where you go from consuming all your usual foods to struggling to figure out what you are even allowed to eat / starving yourself and suffering from hunger pains / cravings. Instead the Grace Diet is a slow gradual process which allows you to wean yourself off the foods you need to avoid.

This whole replacement process requires you to make an effort to deliberately replace one food with another which is healthier, but fortunately this is comparatively easy because you are only replacing 1 food at a time - baby steps, one step at a time. That wee bit of willpower is all you really need to stick to.

The replacement food is important too; the diet isn't going to work if you get rid of Fatty Meat and you are not replacing it with Lean Meat, for example. If you skip finding a substitute then you could end up binging on something else that is equally bad or worse for you. You have to replace it with a healthier substitute that fulfills the craving.

Each time you switch foods you also need to avoid any temptations to binge on a food. Your goal essentially is to feel like you are eating normally. Thus binging on something you know is bad for you is definitely a no no.

Customization of the Grace Diet

For example lets say your doctor wants you to avoid salty foods. So you could customize this diet by avoiding 12 foods you know to be high in salt.

Or depending on how dire your situation is, 52 foods. Getting rid of 1 food per week, starting with the biggest sources of salt, and replacing it with a food your doctor would approve of.

Example Variations on the Grace Diet
  • The Beach Body Grace Diet - a faster version designed to get you ready for bikini season.
  • The Low Fat Grace Diet
  • The Low Sodium Grace Diet
  • The Low Sugar Grace Diet

Find a New Hobby

While doing all of this it is also recommended that you take up a new hobby. Whether it be painting, going for walks, doing nature photography, or trying a new sport. The goal of the new hobby is to take your mind off food cravings. Ideally try to find a hobby you can dive into and obsess over.

Eg. You could develop an obsession for the sport of archery.

Your choice of hobby is a matter of personal preference, and what you choose to do is less important than whether or not it does its job of causing you to forget about food cravings. Thus your new obsession should be something enjoyable. If your goal is weight loss, try to pick a hobby that involves cardio exercise.

End Goal of the Grace Diet

Keep getting rid of unhealthy foods until you reach your desired weight. So if you lose 50 lbs and go from 220 to 170, that is a good amount and you should be proud. If that is your desired weight then all you have to do afterwards is maintain your weight by continuing to eat what you now eat normally. You have achieved a balanced diet.

If you continue to lose weight later on, this might be due to you exercising more and/or a a faster metabolism.

If continued weight loss becomes a problem you can then re-add foods, similar to Reverse Dieting, until your weight stabilizes. So if you had given up bacon at an early stage of your Grace Diet, you can now re-add bacon to help stabilize your desired weight.

Please bear in mind muscle mass and bone density can also cause your weight to fluctuate. If you are weightlifting regularly then your muscle mass and bone density will go up, increasing your weight in the process. Such fluctuations are normal. Don't become discouraged if you see minor weight fluctuations up and down.

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.


Pros And Cons Of Swimming In Pool vs River vs Lake

Guest Post by Angie Earley.

Summer - Everyone’s Favorite Season

When the summer heat’s coming, you’ll bet that everyone around you is running to the nearest pool of water. While there are people that live in more populated areas and those that don’t, there’s surely a body of water somewhere. Like most people, when we think about getting away from the summer heat, we’ll dive into a pool of water. For others, they might feel like diving into a river or lake instead. Is it better? We’re going to discuss the pros and cons of swimming in pools vs. rivers and lakes.

The Difference Between Rivers And Lakes

There’s a clear difference between rivers and lakes, and many people have the two confused because their terms are sometimes used synonymously with one another.

Here’s the difference: A lake is usually a still body of water that’s surrounded by land and usually surrounded from all sides. The only exception to this definition is if it’s being fed into by a river, stream, or other moving bodies of water. A river, on the other hand, is a natural flowing stream of water. The water that comes from a river usually ends up in an ocean, sea, or lake. To illustrate, a river usually flows into a lake but a lake does not usually flow into a river.


Pros And Cons Of Swimming In Pools vs. Rivers And Lakes

Not everyone is able to afford a home and have a swimming pool in their own backyard but there are many benefits to swimming in monitored and sanitized waters instead of the natural waters that is given to us by nature. Here’s a list of some pros and cons:

Pros
  • Pools are generally much cleaner as owners use good quality robotic pool cleaner and pool filtration systems to get rid of dirt and debris
  • Pools usually contain a lot of chlorine, therefore ridding any and all bacteria swimming in the water
  • Swimming in a pool puts you in the security of a lifeguard. Lifeguards sit and watch over the pool and ensure that everyone is safe inside the waters
Cons
  • Swimming in a pool can be less accessible to some more than others especially if there’s no swimming center nearby
  • It’s not uncommon for swimming centers to charge anyone using their pool
  • Swimming in a pool can be dangerous if not supervised by an adult
Yes, swimming in a pool by consensus is much better than swimming in a river or lake. Let’s review the pros and cons.

Swimming in a pool by tradition, is incredibly clean, has much less diseases, and is much safer. Pools are usually sanitized and monitored by either the home owner or, if you’re swimming at a recreational center, then it is quality controlled by the facility. Pools are cleaned and sanitized with chlorine with a certain level of standard for cleanliness. The way they’re maintained eliminates the risk of diseases and is usually much safer than swimming in open water.

We do know that depending on the area that you’re living in, pools can be inaccessible. It can also be expensive especially if you have to pay membership dues in order to even use the facility in a recreational manner. On the top of that, although there’s usually lifeguards watching over swimmers, it can still be dangerous.

But to circle back around to the point, those are the pros and cons of swimming in a pool. The only real benefit of swimming in a river or lake, are: It’s free, you have complete freedom to do what you want, you feel liberated, you’re surrounded by nature. But aside from these benefits given to us by Mother-Nature, swimming in a pool is still the better choice. For one, there are always things lurking around in the waters and that isn’t just limited to animals or sea creatures. Natural bodies of water are usually home to thousands of tiny organisms naked to the eye, but it’s also a good breeding ground for parasites and diseases as well.

The Better Choice: Swimming In A Pool

There’s a certain attraction to the imagination when someone thinks about swimming in a natural body of water like a lake or river. And yes, there are people that usually loves Mother Nature so much, that all they want to do is swim with nature. However, when you weigh the pros and cons of doing so, instead of swimming in a pool, generally, the risks outweigh the benefits. The real question is, to help anyone make an informed decision, is: “Why put yourself through the dangers of becoming sick or infected by parasites for something so second-handed like swimming?” Certainly, anyone that cares for their lives, will see that it’s simply not worth it. Swim in a pool instead and shelter yourself from any foreign diseases.



Author Bio: - Angie Earley is a founder of PoolVacuumHQ.com blog; it’s a blog about Pool Cleaning tips, guide, reviews, news, equipment and events.

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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