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The Baby Hercules Hypothesis

Within the topic of Family Fitness, I have approached the topic of my sons' health a bit aggressively.

My wife and I have two boys, the firstborn is currently 5 years and the second is 11 months.

During the first year of a child's life it is generally recommended that parents do something called "Tummy Time" with their children.

Tummy Time encourages the baby to learn how to roll over, and also increases their arm and leg muscles. It is part of a baby's normal development.

As a personal trainer/sports trainer I approached this topic by aggressively doing Tummy Time with my first son (Richard), every day, often multiple times per day. And this worked fantastically in my opinion, speeding up his ability to crawl, cruise and eventually walk with confidence.

With my second son (Arthur), I repeated this process, with the difference being that Arthur was about 3 lbs heavier at birth than Richard was and seems to be developing at a faster rate.

At 11 months old he is walking (with aid), taking a few steps by himself, cruising with ease, and can stand independently for minutes at a time. He is also walking up and down stairs (with aid, for safety reasons).

As I write this Arthur is standing in his playpen, unaided, and playing with an old remote control with both hands. We let him have the old remote so that he stops grabbing the other remote controls. He likes pressing the buttons, even though they don't do anything.

Every day, several times per day, I am currently taking Arthur for walks around the house to visit various family members, and I will help him up and down the stairs too during these daily walks. Sometimes I will bundle him up in a snowsuit and take him for a walk outside in the backyard. (I am looking forward to summer time when I can take him for walks more frequently and don't have to worry about snowsuits.)

Arthur is surprisingly strong. I joke to my wife that changing his diaper is akin to trying to change a diaper on Baby Hercules, because if he is not cooperating then he makes it very difficult to change his diaper. Sometimes it takes two people to do it, one to distract him and keep him happy (and possibly grab him if he tries to squirm away), while the other changes the diaper.

Now it is my belief (and I defy anyone to prove me wrong) that a stronger baby is effectively a healthier one, and that if in a dangerous situation a baby who knows how to roll over can roll themselves over on purpose.

But what about a baby who cannot roll over? Well, I think that is inherently dangerous. What if the baby ends up in a situation where they are being smothered and they will suffocate unless they can roll over?

The Potato Baby Conundrum

Meanwhile a relative of mine has a little girl who was born only a few days before Arthur. So they're roughly the same age, but the mother has taken a very different approach to her baby's welfare.

She refers to her daughter as "a potato". She doesn't do Tummy Time. If you put her daughter on her tummy she starts to scream and struggle because she doesn't know how to roll over. The mother does this because she wants her daughter to "remain a potato" for as long as possible, because it is less work to manage her movements and behaviour.

I consider that to be inherently more dangerous, because what if her baby ever ends up in a situation where she is being smothered, is in water, or in some other kind of danger and all she needs to do to save herself is to roll over, sit up, stand up, etc. If the baby cannot do such actions independently then it could die.

Worse, as her baby gets bigger and bigger, the baby is facing an ever increasing uphill battle. As she weighs more her muscles will have to work that much harder just to roll over and accomplish other tasks like sitting up and walking. Her little muscles will, eventually, catch up and grow so that she can do such things, but she will be effectively be physically delayed when compared to other children who got the recommended daily Tummy Time. (And far beyond children like Arthur who got above and beyond that.)

Arthur is bigger and stronger than the baby in question, but his strength and size are partially due to the fact that he gets exercise every day (with his own private certified personal trainer, aka Daddy). As such I have greater confidence that if ever placed in a situation where his life is in danger he is physically strong enough and confident in his ability to stand and walk to escape from danger.

So my recommendation to other parents?

Do Tummy Time every day with your baby. Encourage your baby to roll, crawl, stand and walk. Don't turn your baby into a potato who just sits there all the time. Let your baby be a mini Hercules or Atalanta (Greek girl who was raised by bears).

Will it be harder to change your baby's diaper? Yes. But that is a price worth paying to keep your baby alive and healthy, in my opinion.

Baby Arthur with Kettle Bell

Note - The Kettle Bell in the photo is just plastic and when you rotate the grey section then it makes a clicking sound. It isn't actually heavy.

And for fun, here's another photo of Arthur giving daddy a big smile.

Refresher Course Archery Lessons

Good Morning!

There is no shame in getting a refresher course.

If you haven't done archery in a long time and you are worried you've forgotten a few things, or perhaps you've been doing it regularly, but you feel the need to improve on a few things that you feel you are having difficulty with, well then there's nothing wrong with getting a refresher course.

And judging by the pleasant sunny weather outside, spring is coming early.

So to all my former archery students, welcome back! Come get a refresher course. Refresh your memory and pick up some new archery skills too. Plus I thought it would be nice to see some of my old students from a decade ago.

Happy Shooting!

Charles M.

PS. Below is a needlessly cute of my son Arthur that I took this morning after changing his diaper and getting him dressed for the day. I gave him one of Richard's old plastic bows and snapped a photo of Arthur plucking the bowstring.

Health Benefits of Krill Oil

Note: This is not an advertisement. This is a personal anecdote regarding my own usage of Krill Oil for health reasons + bodybuilding reasons. You will notice that there is no link below for buying any products and that I take a generic brand of krill oil.

So my doctor years ago prescribed me fish oil or krill oil because I had high cholesterol. It wasn't really a surprise seeing as I eat fish n chips and hamburgers regularly. I admit I am not the healthiest when it comes to eating. Exercise is more my thing.

I chose the krill oil out of the two options, proceeded to take it daily, and then after about a week I promptly forgot to take it regularly. Sometimes, once in a blue moon proverbially speaking, I remembered to take some more pills, but otherwise the krill oil pills sat on the shelf next to the Tylenol, looking lonely and forgotten.

Years later, in January 2023, I decided to start weightlifting again (and possibly try bodybuilding), and I did some research to see if I could supplement my weightlifting somehow with vitamins.

Hence my January 2023 post titled: 5 Bodybuilding Tips you can do today for $0.

At the bottom of that list is a section that says "MORE TIPS" during which I mention that "Fish Oil or Krill Oil [is] not only good for your brain, health, lowering cholesterol, etc, but also good for building muscle."

And when I researched the topic I realized that krill oil would benefit my weightlifting/bodybuilding goals, so I started taking it again... Daily. And I started keeping it not on a shelf, but on my writing desk close to where I like to exercise.

Thus in the morning while drinking my juice I will take 1300 mg of Tylenol (the arthritis variety that comes in 650 mg caplets because they last 8 hours) and 1000 mg of a generic brand of krill oil (two 500 mg softgels).

And in the past month I have been steadily building muscle, but also losing fat around the middle. Is it because I am exercising more? Taking the pills? Both?

Well today I decided to do some research to see what the health benefits are:

  • Improves heart health
  • Improves lung health
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Boosts the endocrine system
  • Contains Omega 3 fatty acids, (240 mg for every 1000 mg) which affects brain health and other things.
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Reduces joint pain, stiffness, rheumatoid arthritis
  • Reduces the pain and emotional side effects of PMS
  • Helps prevent cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Lowers triglyceride levels
  • Decreased risk of colon cancer

So what about muscle growth?

Well, that's difficult to study because muscle growth can often be affected by a number of different factors, but...

"A randomized controlled trial demonstrated that supplementation of 4 g per day of krill oil for 6 months in healthy older adults significantly increased knee extensor strength, grip strength, and skeletal muscle thickness in both men and women."

Krill oil is very popular amongst bodybuilders, with some reporting that they take 3 to 6 grams (3000 to 6000 mg) per day. You will note that I only take 1000 mg, but that is due to my cautious nature about supplements. 3 to 6 grams per day feels... excessive and unnecessary. 1 gram per day is enough for my needs.

Side Effects

May sometimes also cause: 

  • Bad breath
  • Stomach discomfort
  • Gas
  • Heartburn
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache

Honestly, speaking for myself... The pills do taste bad which is why I swallow them with juice, and as a consequence I haven't noticed any issue with bad breath. I also only take them in the morning during breakfast, and in my experience with taking similar pills that cause such symptoms that offsets the chance of diarrhea, nausea and stomach discomfort. So I haven't noticed any such symptoms asides from the bad taste.


Talk to your doctor before taking krill oil if you are on medications like blood thinners, estrogens, beta-blockers, diuretics, and aspirin.


I routinely take 1000 mg because that is the amount recommended on the bottle. However your doctor can recommend a different dosage depending upon your situation. When in doubt just consult your doctor.

Global Warming = More Archery?

The birds are chirping like it is spring outside.

I spoke to my mother yesterday (who lives up north) and she saw a black and orange caterpillar two days ago, a sure sign of spring.

Almost all the snow is melted in my front yard and back yard.

The forecast for today is a high of 8 Celsius (46.4 Fahrenheit). So that isn't exactly warm, but it isn't freezing either.

Supposed to go up to 13 Celsius on Wednesday (and rain), but otherwise it is going to be unseasonably warm and mild for mid February. (Usually we should be expecting a big snowstorm around this time of year.)

Spring is Coming.

We can thank Global Warming, I suppose. I see this as a silver lining. In the future I may be able to teach archery more often in February and November, and perhaps take a few weeks off in July/August to enjoy a vacation when it is too hot.

Which means I can book archery lessons for 2023 for anyone who isn't afraid of a little cold.

Or you can prebook for March, April or May. Whatever weather suits your fancy.

Contact to book your archery lessons in Toronto today!

Archery Lessons for Valentines Day

Looking for something fun to give a loved one for Valentines Day in Toronto?

Why not give them an Archery Lesson for Two?

Or Archery Lessons...

2 Students, Weekdays or Weekends
$100 for 90 minutes; 3 Lessons - $290; 5 Lessons - $470; 10 Lessons - $920.

Contact to get a Gift Voucher Number and have a Happy Valentines Day!

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


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