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Showing posts with label Exercise Questions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Exercise Questions. Show all posts

Question: Do you teach Winter Archery Lessons?

Q

"Hello!

Do you teach archery lessons during the winter? How much for 3 lessons? Are the lessons outdoors?

- D.S."

A

Hey D.S.

Yes, yes I do teach Winter Archery Lessons. Three lessons are $170 for 3 lessons (for 1 person). And yes, they are outdoors, although I limit myself to only teaching on days that are:

  • -5° C or warmer.
  • Not snowing or raining.
  • Not incredibly windy.

I recommend also reading my Archery Lessons Syllabus so you have a better idea of what each of the lessons will be focusing on. While Winter Lessons do have a stronger focus on skills that are useful during the winter, the overall scope of the lessons remains the same as the normal lessons.

If you have additional questions feel free to ask. Have a great day!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca


About Winter Archery Lessons

2016-2017 Winter Archery Lesson Rates

Weekday Morning / Afternoon Rates (Start Time: 10 AM to 2 PM)

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

Weekend Rates (Start Time
: 10 AM to 2 PM)

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


Notes

All equipment is provided during archery lessons. Winter Archery Gloves are also provided in a variety of sizes. Buying your own equipment is not mandatory, but it is optional.

I also teach Archery Biathlon (combination of cross country skiing and archery), so if a person is interested in learning that they just have to ask. I do not provide the skis or poles however, so that is something you would need to purchase or already own if you are interested in doing Archery Biathlon.

Snowshoes are handy if the snow is really deep. Again, not mandatory.

Wearing temperature appropriate clothing is mandatory. I also strongly recommend bringing a thermos filled with a hot drink.

See Also

Winter Archery Practice, Part One

Winter Archery Practice, Part Two

Toronto Archery Lessons Syllabus

Q


Hi There


I’m interested in [archery] lessons, is there a syllabus?

- Daniel C. 

A

Hello Daniel!
Lesson 1
  • Safety Lecture
  • Eye Test
  • Aiming Lecture
  • Proper Form Lecture
  • Field Archery Practice
Lesson 2
  • Target Archery Practice
  • Arrowhead Lecture
  • Focus of lesson is on building quality form and good habits.
Lesson 3
  • Long Distance Field Archery Practice
  • Arrow Spine Lecture
  • Focus of lesson is to be using consistent back strength, which is key to long distance accuracy.
Lesson 4
  • Precision Target Archery Practice / Aiming Exercise
  • Bowstring Waxing Demo
  • Focus of lesson is to get rid of remaining bad habits that hinder accuracy.
Lessons 5 to 10
Topics Vary, tailored to the student needs/desires, but may include:
  • Adjusting for Wind Conditions
  • Long Distance Shooting
  • Long Distance Field Archery
  • Gap Shooting
  • Shooting at Moving Targets
  • Shooting while in Motion
  • Additional Precision Archery Practice
  • Instinctive Archery
  • Aiming Exercises
  • Flight Archery
  • Night Shooting
Lessons 5 to 10 also typically include a short lecture and/or demo on topics dealing with equipment maintenance, technical skills, etc.

If you have additional questions please feel free to ask.

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca


Training Muscles for Bowhunting

Q

"Hi Charles,

I enjoyed the lesson.

I would like to see you for more lessons but I need a week or so before I can commit to any further dates.

I’d also like to get your opinion on purchasing a bow. It would be great to have to teach me on my own."

Warmly,
Rachel P.

A

Hey Rachel!

Well, since I know you want to get into bowhunting I am going to make a rather specific recommendation:

Get two sets of limbs when you buy your bow

One set 25 lbs, the other set 35 lbs. The purpose here is so you can practice with the 25 lbs and build your accuracy and form, and then whenever you want to build strength you can switch to the 35 lb limbs.

Ontario Laws wise, you need a minimum 39.7 lbs (18 kg) at 28 inches for deer and 48.5 lbs (22 kg) at 28 inches for elk, moose or black bear.

However there is a problem. You have a shorter draw distance, closer to 26 inches. This means you will likely need 45 lbs or 55 lbs respectively for hunting those types of game, to make up the difference for your shorter draw.

You will be able to pull that poundage eventually and hold it, but like weightlifting you want to follow a gradual process. The bow you were shooting yesterday was 18 lbs at 28 inches draw. So 25 lbs vs 18 lbs will still be a step up from what you were doing yesterday, and 35 lbs is for the days when you want to building muscle faster. The problem with many beginner archers / would-be hunters is that they often try to go straight to the higher poundage bow, without going through the whole gradual process of building up strength. Think of it like dumbbells. People don't go straight to the 40 lb dumbbells and use them constantly, they get bored and tired too quickly while doing that. You want to practice with 20 lbs, 30 lbs and build up to 40 lbs so you are using proper form. (It is amazing how often amateur weightlifters cannot do a simple bicep curl properly, often sticking their elbows out on an angle and lifting partially with their shoulders.)

Some people prefer to do an even more gradual process. 25 lbs, 30 lbs, 35 lbs, 40 lbs, etc. However in my experience the 5 lb difference is barely noticeable. An extra 10 lbs is more of a shock in power and that builds muscle faster. Alternating between two or three poundages gives the muscles a chance to relax while still shocking them regularly.

Note - You might decide you are not ready to commit to having two sets of limbs yet, in which case just get the 25 lb limbs for now. You can always go back later and get more powerful limbs when you feel you are ready to make that step.

Building Accuracy First

With archery it is also really important to be building accuracy first before attempting to build muscle. Accuracy matters most of all and that requires good form. The problem with higher poundages it is becomes more difficult for people to maintain good form and people will often botch a shot because they cannot hold it steady.

Once an archer has developed good accuracy then they can switch to higher poundages and go through the gradual process of building strength, shocking the muscles repeatedly, switching back and forth between poundages regularly. It is also beneficial to have a 2nd set of limbs for "off days" when the archer is feeling tired, hungry, distracted, distressed and just wants a more relaxing shoot.

What To Get

The Samick Sage is the bow I typically recommend. Ask for 25 lb and 35 lb limbs. Make sure it is a RH model.

If you want to look at other brands / models, check out http://www.cardiotrek.ca/2016/09/recurve-bows-brands-and-models.html

You will also want the following:

Archery shooting glove - Make sure you get the correct size that fits your hand.
Arrows x 12 - Make sure you get arrows that have screw in arrowheads. Do not get the glue in arrowheads (they break too easily).
Arrowheads x 12 - 125 grains each.
Arrowrest - Either a traditional Bear faux fur rest or a more modern arrowrest, eg. Flipper. Ask them to install it for you.
Bowstring Wax
Bowstringer
Nock Bead - Ask them to install it for you on the bowstring. If not, I can show you how it is done.

The store I recommend most is Tent City because they have the best prices and good selection (and if they do not have it then they can order it). Expect to be spending about $350 if you are shopping at Tent City. It will be closer to $400 / $450 at other locations.

TENT CITY
Address: 1600 Steeles W, Concord, ON L4K 4M2
Phone: (905) 660-6885
Hours:
Sunday Closed
Monday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Tuesday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Wednesday 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Thursday 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Friday 10:00 am – 9:00 pm
Saturday 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Hours of other locations are listed on http://www.archerytoronto.ca/Archery-Equipment-in-Toronto.html

If you have any questions feel free to ask. Have a good weekend!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

Archery Question about Instinctive Archery

Q

"Hey Charles,
Going to get a little philosophical on you but just wanted to hear what your perspective is.

Don't people instinctively shoot when they practice a specific style of aiming after practicing it for a long enough time?  Kind of like knowing what notes to play over a given chord progression when improvising in music or being able to to counter punches by feel and timing because you have mastered those situations via practice.  Much like what Miyomoto Musashi goes into when he talks about mastering the way of strategy as a means of mastering any skill or art in the Book of Five Rings.

What makes this style of shooting different than any other style?  Or is my definition of instinctive different than what it is in archery terms? 

- Gordon M."

A

Hey Gordon!

Next time you see me ask me to demonstrate instinctive shooting for you and I shall do so.

There is a lot misnomers and confusions about Instinctive Archery. Some people mistakenly think it is a further progression of Traditional Style or Gap Shooting. Some people even think that Traditional or Gap Shooting IS instinctive, since they don't know the differences. This is why there is a lot of false information out there because some people don't know the technical definition.

It should also be noted that there is a difference between Instinctive, Subconscious, and Experience. Instinctive is laid out below, but shooting subconsciously and experienced shooting should not be confused with the former.

Instinctive Shooting
● Shooting with no set anchor point, ie. a floating anchor point that moves constantly depending on the whim of the archer.
● Shooting without any kind of aiming technique. No Gap Shooting, no aiming off the arrow head (Traditional Aiming), no sights, etc. Basically just shooting / "aiming from the hip".
● Shooting without any worries about proper archery form.

Pros
• You don't need to learn proper archery form to shoot instinctive.
• You don't need any sights, stabilizers or other gadgets.
• You can theoretically shoot around corners
• Fun. But with a downside. (See below.)
Cons
• Only accurate at very short (point blank) distances. Point Blank is anything under 30 feet (10 yards)). With more powerful bows the range of point blank can be extended, but accuracy will never be super accurate at mid or long distances and will instead look like a complete loss of accuracy.
• People eventually get bored of Instinctive Archery, mostly because of the lack of accuracy at mid to long distance. It is fun, but it eventually becomes boring and repetitive.
• People who shoot Instinctive too often will sometimes develop bad habits with respect to proper archery form, and this can then hurt their accuracy when doing other styles of archery. (This happened to a friend who was playing too much archery tag and his accuracy went down because he developed some nasty habits which took him months to get rid of.)
In a sport like archery, where the whole point is to be accurate, instinctive archery has a reputation for being inconsistent and inaccurate. This is why so few archers use the style. It is simply too inaccurate and thus least likely to be chosen as a style worth learning.

When it comes to archery then Accuracy Matters.

I would argue that it is best for archers to learn multiple styles of archery so that they are ☆VERSATILE☆. That way they can pick up any bow, shoot any style, use any method of shooting/aiming, and be competent at every style. They will likely still choose to specialize in one style of archery, but being proficient in every style of archery is also handy and gives the archer a deeper understanding of how to shoot regardless of the equipment being used.

In that sense I do actually encourage people to learn how to shoot instinctive style, but it should not be the only style you are learning. Learning multiple styles allows the archer to explore all the avenues of what it means to be an archer, and not be trapped into thinking "I am only a compound shooter and that is all I will ever be." or similar thoughts.

Have a great day!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca


Follow Up Question

"Would it be kind of like the archery equivalent of fast draw shooting with revolvers?

- Gordon M."

If the revolver was shot from the hip (or something similar). Yes.

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

Shots going to the left, center-shot arrowrests

Q

"Hey Charles,

I noticed I have to kind of aim to the right of the target in order to get my arrows any where near the target.

Is it because I'm not perfectly aligned with the object I'm trying to shoot at? Does it have something to do with forced perspective?"

- Gordon M.

A

Hey Gordon!

What kind of arrowrest did you get?

Unless you are plucking, canting or making some other kind of form mistake, chances are likely your arrowrest is not center-shot, and you will have to aim a little to the side when using that style of arrowrest.

There is no such thing as "a perfect arrowrest", but there are a wide variety of arrowrest designs with varying degrees of how center shot / accurate they are.

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca


Round 2


"The one I got has one of those flippers on it."

- Gordon M.


Hey Gordon!

This one correct?

You have two choices:
  1. You can deliberately aim to the right a bit.
  2. You can deliberately cant to the right a bit. Try to cant the same amount each time once you find the correct amount of canting.
Feel free to experiment with both methods to find the method you like best.

In the future you might also decide to get an arrowrest that has a more center-shot design, but for now the flipper will work.

If you have additional questions let me know.

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca



Update

"Thanks Charles. That's the one.

I'll experiment with canting."

- Gordon M.

How does too much brace height affect the trajectory of the arrow?

Q


"Hey Charles,


Probably a dumb question.


How does having too much brace height on your bow affect the trajectory of your shots?"

- Gordon M.

A


Hey Gordon!

Too much or too little brace height hurts the arrow speed, and arrow speed consequently affects the length of the arc of the arrow, the power and accuracy of the shot. It really comes down to the speed of the bowstring and how quickly it stops on the ideal location. The arrow only leaves the bowstring when the bowstring reverses its forward momentum and goes backwards instead. So yes, it definitely affects the arc and trajectory.

To illustrate this in terms of physics, think of three cars accelerating in a drag race and then slamming on the breaks, with each of the three cars trying to stop at a specific line on the race track.
  • The first car speeds up, but then stops too soon, not achieving its full potential speed. On a bow, this hurts arrow speed because it never reaches its full speed.
  • The second car speeds up, but stops too late. It did go very fast, but on a bow that means the bowstring went too far forward because the bowstring was too slack, and that process causes it to slow down on the forward thrust and then bounce backwards in a sluggish manner.
  • The third car speeds up, reaches optimal speed, and then stops at the ideal spot. On a bow, this means the arrow leaves the bowstring at an optimal time to maximize its speed.
There is also a sound difference. If you experiment with different brace heights you will discover that the three different brace heights will cause the bowstring to make noticeably different sounds. A good brace height should make more of a solid thrum sound, whereas incorrect brace heights will sound more twangy.

Notes

You should be able to find the precise brace height for your bow online and then measure it with a ruler or a Bow T-Square, but when a ruler is unavailable you can also use the "Rule of Thumb Method" I showed you previously.

Measuring Brace Height with a Bow T-Square
Rule of Thumb Brace Height
Some archers also file or use sandpaper on the nocks so that they leave the bowstring faster and more smoothly, in an effort to increase arrow speed by a few feet per second (fps).

If you have additional questions feel free to ask.

Have a great Thanksgiving weekend!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca



UPDATE

"Wow, definitely made a huge difference now that it's at the recommended brace height."

 - Gordon M.

Arrow Length Question + Archery Testimonial

Q

Have a quick question regarding purchasing arrows.  How long should your arrows be with respect to your draw length?  Should they be the same length or should they be a little longer than your draw length?"

Kind regards,

Gordon M.

A

Hey Gordon!

One inch longer than the draw length is very common.

Some people have a habit (or like having the option) of overdrawing the bow and go for two inches past their normal draw length.

Some people also try to save weight (to increase speed slightly) by having only half an inch past their draw length.

Happy Shooting! Let me know if you have any additional questions.

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

Note

Various cultures also historically used really long arrows for bowfishing or for hunting birds. The really long arrows would be easier to find / would float in the water, making their retrieval easier. In some cases the arrows would be almost as long as the bow or even longer than the bow itself.

Bowfishing from a Riverboat
Wai Wai Bowfisherman

Bird Hunting in the Amazon



Archery Testimonial

Had an awesome time learning archery the past month, the lessons had a good balance between formal and chill atmosphere.  Learned a lot about how to safely and properly handle the bow, but more importantly also about the proper ettiquette shooting at a public range; because nobody wants to be 'that guy'.

- Gordon M.

Where to get archery lessons west of Toronto?

Q

"Hello,

I am living in Oakville and that location is too far away from me. Do you give [archery] lessons at  other locations [closer to Oakville]?

Thanks,
C"
A

Hey C!
Sadly, no. There is a shortage of archery ranges in your region and I am not in the habit of traveling that far to teach.

OCCS is closer to you, located near 403 and Burnhamthorpe Road in Mississauga.

They have an indoor range and teach group archery lessons, although they might not be teaching the style of archery you are looking for - they only teach Olympic style, whereas I teach all 5 major styles of archery (since Craig referred you to me I am guessing you are hoping to learn how to shoot compound). I cannot comment on the quality of the instructors, but they are certainly closer to where you live.

See http://www.classicalsport.com/archery-adults
Barefoot Bushcraft in the Niagara region (Allanport Road) is actually further away from you, but might suit you better if you are in the habit of going to the Niagara region.

Barefoot Bushcraft Outdoor Archery Range
BB has two instructors, Wolf who teaches longbow / traditional bows / bushcraft, and Britt who teaches compound. So depending on which you are interested in learning they could help you as well. Lessons with either Wolf or Britt are more likely to be one-on-one lessons. They run their own private archery range which is outdoors.

See http://www.barefootbushcraft.ca/services/archery-lessons/

Those are the only two locations I currently know of that are out your way. I recommend you shop around for instructors in the Hamilton, Burlington and Milton area. Chances are there are archery instructors out that way that I have never heard of who will be able to instruct you in the style of archery you are looking for.

[Disclaimer - I have no affiliation with either of the above two organizations, nor have I been paid to advertise them. I simply enjoy promoting the sport of archery.]

If you still want lessons out this direction, let me know and we can begin scheduling.
Best of luck!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

Bowstring Flaying, should I worry about it?

Q

"My bowstring is flaying a bit on the tips. Should I be worried about it?"

A

Hello!

Not really. Bowstrings are designed to be multiple times stronger than the bow itself. A few strands flaying is not a big concern.

Individual strands have their own weight allowance. Eg. 20 to 40 lbs per strand. So if your bowstring has 16 strands and they can withstand 40 lbs per strand then its max weight is theoretically 640. Since strands can flay / snap it is desirable to have a max weight that is many multiples of the bow's weight.

If two strands flay the bowstring is still usable because it still has 560 left. If half of the strands flay it is probably time for a new bowstring.

The individual strength of strands can vary wildly between the type of material. Some materials might only be 20 lbs per strand, 25, 30, etc. So for example a particular brand might only be 20 lbs per strand, but might also be physically lighter, and/or more/less likely to stretch. With 16 strands that bowstring would be able to withstand 320 lbs, which is still abundantly more than the bow itself, but might have the advantages of less weight and stretching less.

Flemish Twist Bowstring
To save weight / add speed some archers will also make 14, 12 or 10 strand bowstrings. Thinner bowstrings means it will require more serving for the nocks.

Most archers prefer to have a robust bowstring that lasts a long time, hence why 14 and 16 strands are the most common. Some will even do 18 or 20 strands just to make the bowstring more robust and take the slower arrow speed as a trade off. (Crossbow bowstrings typically use between 24 and 30 strands, although the actual amount may vary on the crossbow manufacturer and model.)

You may also notice differences in sound, arrow flight accuracy, nock looseness/tightness, bowstring stretchiness effecting brace height, how easily strands flay, and differences between the types of materials you are using (dacron, fastflight, more traditional materials).

For those people who want to gain extra speed / accuracy they may want to consider learning how to make their own bowstrings using better quality materials so they can learn how to optimize speed by lowering the physical weight of the bowstring. If you do decide to do that, a good place to start is to learn how to make a Flemish Twist bowstring.

Happy Shooting!


How dangerous are crossbows?

My condolences go out to the families of the three people murdered in Scarborough around 1 PM today with a crossbow. For more details about that incident read Triple Crossbow Homicide in Scarborough.

I was contacted earlier today by the radio station Newstalk 1010, which had a number of questions about crossbows. The discussion sparked a number of frequently asked questions about crossbows, however the conversation was relatively short and I don't feel like we covered all the FAQ people would possibly like to know. To allay the concerns of my fellow Torontonians here are some frequently asked questions and the corresponding answers.

How dangerous are crossbows?
In short, very dangerous. Hunters in Ontario commonly use them for shooting black bears, elk, moose and large game. So they are very lethal.
How easy is it to buy a crossbow?
Very easy, provided you are over 18 years of age. They are available at most hunting/fishing stores, and can even be purchased at Canadian Tire or Walmart or similar stores. I doubt that some stores like Walmart even routinely check for ID when people are purchasing crossbows, because the staff working there may not know the laws about selling crossbows to minors.
How powerful are crossbows?
The minimum poundage for a hunting crossbow in Ontario, by law, is 150 lbs of force. Which is a lot of kinetic energy when you compare to other types of bows. For example if someone was shooting a normal bow (compound bow, recurve bow, longbow, etc) then the minimum legal requirement is 39.7 lbs when hunting deer or smaller game. For larger game like elk, moose and black bear the minimum is 48.5 lbs. So when you compare to normal bows, crossbows are incredibly powerful.

Anything smaller than 150 lbs is considered to be a "youth crossbow" and is illegal to hunt with. Some crossbows are exceptionally powerful, like the "Excalibur Matrix 405", which has a 290 lb draw weight and a speed of 405 feet per second when firing 350 grain crossbow bolts. Note, there is no legal limit on how powerful crossbows can be. Hypothetically a hunter could use a ballista to hunt deer.
How easy is it to make your own crossbow?
These days, very easy. If a person had a 3D printer they could print the stock needed to make the crossbow, and then they would just need to attach a bow of somekind to the front, made out of wood or high tensile steel or a steel alloy. (Modern crossbows are usually made out of metal.) Failing that a person could also just build their own out of wood and metal, total cost would be less than $50 for all the parts. The hardest part to make would be the trigger mechanism.
How fast or slow is it to load and reload a crossbow?
This is the Achilles heel of crossbows. Typically, they are VERY SLOW to reload. A typical modern crossbow in the hands of an experienced crossbow enthusiast could be reloaded perhaps twice per minute using a foot stirrup and a cocking rope. Three times per minute if it was a very light poundage crossbow and/or the person operating it was quite strong. A slower but easier method would be to use a windlass handcrank, in which case expect perhaps 1 shot per minute. Using a windlass crank is more common with any of the really heavy poundage crossbows, like the one shown below.

Excalibur Windlass Crank
How do crossbows compare to other kinds of weapons?
Due to their slowness, crossbows are not the greatest weapons. They are easy to use, as any person can basically purchase one, practice with it a few times and learn most of what they need to know to be able to competently shoot one. However due to their slow speed, they have historically done poorly when compared to other weapons. There are a number of historical battles during which large numbers of French crossbowmen were utterly decimated by a comparatively small number of English longbowmen simply because the longbows could be quickly reloaded and fired with ease, whereas the crossbows took a ridiculously long time to reload. You would think based on sheer numbers the French would have won those battles, but they underestimated how quickly English longbowmen could reload and how slow their own forces were at reloading.

A crossbow would be a very slow and inefficient weapon to use in close combat. Compared to other kinds of weapons, if being used in close combat, an axe, a sword or even a hatchet or dagger would be a more efficient weapon. For example, in January 1969 in Buffalo Narrows Saskatchewan 7 people were massacred with an axe. It is one of the largest massacres in Canadian history that didn't involve firearms. It makes you realize just how much firearms play a role in large massacres, such as the École Polytechnique massacre in 1989 which killed 15 people, using a semi-automatic rifle and a hunting knife.

As a sniper weapon, the crossbow excels. It made Swiss crossbowman William Tell famous after he was forced to shoot an apple off of his son's head, and later escaped and used the same crossbow to assassinate the Austrian reeve Gessler - an act which sparked the Swiss rebellion and eventually the creation of the Swiss Confederation.
Should crossbows be restricted or banned or require a license to purchase?
They already face the restriction of age to purchase a crossbow, but it would be worthless to try and require a license for crossbows. It is difficult to estimate how many crossbows are in Ontario, but if perhaps 1% of people in Ontario owned a crossbow it would be 136,000 crossbows - and most of them are probably collecting dust in basements, closets, attics, garages, etc. Some people may have even forgotten they have one. That would be 100s of thousands of people for the province to try and regulate for a hunting tool that is mostly used only for hunting, and hunters typically are not fond of change and would protest strongly against any proposed restrictions, bans or licenses for crossbows.

European nobility tried to ban the crossbow during the Middle Ages, with little success. At the time it was considered to be too easy of a weapon to manufacture and thus also made it really easy to assassinate nobility, hence why they tried to ban it. Their attempts to do so didn't really work however and the popularity of crossbows later waned with the advent of firearms.

Ontario would face the same problem. Crossbows are simply far too easy to manufacture. Especially these days with 3D printers that could make the stock and then it just needs the bow and trigger mechanism. Trying to ban them would be useless as criminals with evil intent would always find a way to purchase or make their own weapons regardless, hence the current problem with 3D printed firearms.
Conclusions
Yes, crossbows are dangerous. But they are a bad choice to be used as a close quarters weapon and typically are very slow to reload when compared to firearms or even other kinds of bows. As details of today's massacre are revealed we learn that it took the murderer 5 minutes to load and reload and kill the three people in the garage and injure a fourth person by stabbing him. That lengthy time leaves a lot of questions unanswered. Why did the people not simply rush him while he was reloading? What other weapons did he have handy? Did he have a handgun on him too, but chose to use the crossbow because it was quieter? Why did none of the neighbours who heard the screaming come and investigate the cause of the screaming? Why did the murderer choose to use a crossbow when other weapons are faster and more efficient? What was their motive for committing the murders? Why did they also leave a suspicious package down at a condo at Queens Quay and what was inside the package? Explosives?

There are way too many unanswered questions at this time. We hope that police can release more details about this incident soon and that it is hopefully an isolated incident.

My condolences go out to the families of the three people murdered. All life is sacred.

Archery Question - Does the size of the bow matter at all?

Q

"Hey Charles,

Thank you so much for the [archery equipment] information and help, I'll start looking around based on the information that you provided and hopefully this week we'll be able to get our own equipment.

Does the size of the bow matter at all? I noticed that the sizes vary from 60' to 66', I'm not sure if the size matters as long as we get the proper poundage.

Regards,
Francis"

A

Hey Francis!
Yes, to some extent it does matter. Longer bows are known to be more forgiving accuracy wise, meaning you can make a small mistake and it won't be too far off. Shorter bows are generally less forgiving, so if you make a mistake it will often be a more dramatic difference.
Coincidentally this also applies to compound bows too, hence why many compound shooters like longer axle-to-axle compound bows because they are more forgiving of mistakes and thus more accurate. That said, it is a trade-off because some hunters prefer smaller bows which are more maneuverable through thick brush and weigh less.
Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

Archery Question: Building Upper Back Strength

Q

A former archery student of mine sent me the following question today:

"I have a few sessions coming up with a personal trainer. Is there anything specific I should ask him to do to help with my back strength? I am keen to get beyond the 18 -20 lb kiddie strength mark.

Best,

Stephen"

A

Hey Stephen!
 
You should tell the personal trainer to pay extra attention to the following muscle groups:
  • Upper Back (Rhomboids and Trapezoids)
  • Shoulders (Deltoids)
  • Triceps
If you are shooting regularly (once or twice per week) you will be building muscle in those places and eventually 20 lbs will feel easy and you will feel the urge to move up to 25 lbs. If you are not shooting regularly however, exercises that target the above muscles will be beneficial.
I should also note that archers regularly benefit from all over exercise. A stronger heart and lungs allows an archer to be more relaxed about their breathing and they are pumping oxygen-rich blood more efficiently to the muscles.

Have a great August!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca

Archery Lesson Plan + How many lessons should you do?

Q
Good Afternoon,

I am interested in signing up for archery lessons. I was hoping to get some additional information about the lessons. From the site, I see that they are packages for 1,3,5 and 10 lessons. I was wondering if the multiple lessons have a sort of lesson plan, for example the first lesson deals with X and Lessons 2 and 3 deal with Y. Or if you have a recommendation of how many lessons a beginner like myself should start off with.

Thank you,
F.

A

Hello!
Yes, I do follow a lesson plan - although it does sometimes vary from client to client. eg. Some clients want to learn how to shoot longbow, shortbow, compound or have specific goals in mind, which changes how lessons unfold. Depending on wind conditions some lessons will also deal with how to adjust for the wind.
Below is a typical lesson plan.

Lesson 1 - Safety Lecture, Eye Dominance Test, Aiming Lecture, Form Lecture + Field Archery Practice (various distances), with a focus on form.
Lesson 2 - Target Practice at 60 feet. Focus is on developing quality form and getting rid of bad habits, may include learning how to adjust for the wind depending on wind conditions. The lesson may sometimes include a Field Archery element for fun.

Lesson 3 - Target Practice at 60 feet. Focus is on adjusting aim and doing an aiming exercise, while still working on quality form. May include different types of aiming exercises or one of the topics mentioned below.

Additional lessons beyond that can vary dramatically, but typical topics include:
  • Long Distance Shooting, either Field Archery or at 90 feet (possibly further depending on the relative skill of the student).
  • Adjusting for Wind at Longer Distances. 90 feet up to 300 feet.
  • Perfecting Form / Getting rid of any remaining bad habits, how to recognize bad habits.
  • Shooting at Moving Targets / How to Gap Shoot.
  • Precision Marksmanship at 60 feet - requires the student to have developed good form first.
  • Instinctive Archery - but only if the student requests to learn that style.
  • How to shoot while Kneeling + Alternative Stances.
  • Varying Distances, Adjusting Aim based on minor Distance changes.
Some lessons may also include a mini lecture and/or demonstrations on a topic such as arrow spine, arrowhead grain, how to wax a bowstring, how to string a bow using a bowstringer, how to string a longbow, etc. Mini lectures typically occur during the middle of a lesson, to give the student a bit of a brief break from shooting.

As to how many lessons, most people choose based on the following:
  • 1 lesson for people who want to just try archery.
  • 3 lessons for people who are thinking about getting their own equipment.
  • 5 lessons for people who definitely want to get into archery, and possibly are already shopping for equipment.
  • 10 lessons for people who want to get better at archery in a hurry and are definitely planning to purchase equipment.
If you have additional questions feel free to ask. Have a great day!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca


Statue of Archer

Ramsay's Archery Skills on Game of Thrones / National Post Article

I was recently asked a series of archery questions by a reporter from the National Post, a Canadian newspaper. The questions pertained to a recent episode of the popular television show "Game of Thrones", episode 9 of season 6 during which the character Ramsay Bolton (formerly Ramsay Snow) displayed his impressive archery skills.

SPOILER ALERT - If you have not seen the recent episodes of Game of Thrones you may want to watch the episode in question before reading any further.

Some of the questions I was asked included:
  • How far would Ramsay, the shooter, have to be to successfully target the victim? How far would be too far?
  • And how long would this shot typically take? How fast do you believe the arrow is moving? 
  • What style of arrow and method of shooting is Ramsay using, and do you think these are good choices considering what he is about to do?
  • Would the arrow continue moving in a straight path at this distance? Would his victim have been able to “zig-zag” and avoid it, in other words?
Ramsay Bolton with Penobscot Flatbow

Ah yes, the scene with the Penobscot bow. I was very happy when I saw that. The Penobscot are a Aboriginal American tribe who used "double limbed flatbows" which have extra cables attached to extra limbs on the bottom and top of the bow, which allows the archer to adjust their tiller and weight by shortening/lengthening the cables by twisting the cables to tighten or loosen the cables. The adjustability and added power makes the arrows go further with a longer arc, which ultimately leads to more accuracy at longer distances.

Normally Ramsay in the TV show is seen with a Hungarian style horsebow, a type of shortbow which is not known for its long range accuracy, but by switching to a Penobscot bow he gets added range and accuracy. As a fan of the Penobscot bow, it was very nice seeing it being used in the show.

Sample of a Penobscot Bow

Penobscot Woman with Penobscot Bow
Note - Torontonians interested in buying a Penobscot bow should contact Gary at Basically Bows at 940 Queen Street East. Address and hours are listed on http://www.archerytoronto.ca/Archery-Equipment-in-Toronto.html

How far would Ramsay, the shooter, have to be to successfully target the victim? How far would be too far?


Depending on the archer and the power (measured in poundage) of the bow, he could be pretty far away. Howard Hill once shot a bald eagle at 150 yards away, which is twice the distance modern Olympic archers shoot at. Rickon is a lot bigger than a bald eagle however, but I would estimate he was about 100-120 yards away when the fatal arrow hit him.

Ramsay showing off, deliberately missing.
Judging by Ramsay's previous skill shown in the TV show, this is not impossible. I would say Ramsay is likely "reasonable accurate" out to a distance of 120 yards when shooting at a man sized target. Ramsay's skill is quite good and he even shows off a bit by looking away during one shot and deliberately missing. Judging by the camera angles and the size of people in the distance I think the two opposing forces were about 200 to 250 yards apart.

[It is difficult to estimate the precise distances as camera angles will sometimes skew distances. I am basing my estimates on previous experience of seeing the sizes of people at known distances of 100 yards, 200 yards and 300 yards.]

And how long would this shot typically take? How fast do you believe the arrow is moving?


To nock, draw and aim - only a few seconds. You would not want to be holding it for a long time when aiming at a moving target, as the character Ramsay likely would have tuned to the Penobscot to his ideal poundage for the utmost accuracy and speed. The arrow was likely traveling between 200 to 250 feet per second (fps) on release.

Regarding the precise arrow speed I am basing that on the estimate that Ramsay might have tuned the Penobscot bow to approx. 80 lbs, the higher the poundage the more power and speed released initially. Based on Ramsay's physical size, his youth and the fact he has clearly been shooting a very long time, 80 lbs seems like a reasonable amount.

Historically any bow used for war would be a much higher poundage than any bow used for hunting or recreation.

To put this in context 80 lbs is the bare minimum for an English warbow, which is more powerful than the standard English longbow. Longbows for adults are *usually* in the range of 20 to 80 lbs. English Warbows are usually in the range of 80 to 200 lbs. For example Howard Hill once used a 173 lb now while hunting a bull elephant in Africa, which admittedly was overkill in terms of power.

A typical hunting bow in Ontario is between 40 to 70 lbs, stipulated because the minimum legal poundage for bowhunting deer is 39.7 lbs and for moose/elk/black bear the minimum is 48.5 lbs.
A bow that is only 20 - 30 lbs of draw weight in contrast would have a speed of approx. 100 to 125 fps. Only a fraction of what a Penobscot bow is capable of.

What style of arrow and method of shooting is Ramsay using, and do you think these are good choices considering what he is about to do?


Ramsay appears to be using a wooden arrow with long turkey feather fletching (for added accuracy on non-windy days, less accuracy on windy days). The arrowhead appears to be a moderately heavy traditional broadhead. He would not want an arrowhead that is too heavy as that would reduce his long distance accuracy, so he has chosen one that is relatively narrow and saves on weight.

Ramsay Bolton with Hungarian-style Bow
Ramsay is using a style of archery similar to the Howard Hill style of shooting (this is how famous Howard Hill is, he has an archery style named after him). Howard Hill would also lean forward and into the shot slightly, aligning his body with the angle of the bow. The style is popular with longbow and flatbow archers, and bears similarities to Mongolian, Persian, Turkish and Hungarian archery styles. The style involves deliberately canting (changing the angle) of the top limb of the bow to the side so you get a cleaner view of the target and it compensates for the sideways motion of the arrow - without the cant the arrow would tend to go further to the side, but the cant allows the archer to be able to compensate for the difference and makes it easier to aim at their target.

As longbow archery styles go, there are three common styles you may have seen previously: English Longbow Style (no cant, shooting long distance in volleys because of reduced accuracy), Japanese Kyudo (no cant, but with significant stylistic differences in form and release), and the Howard Hill style of shooting. Of these three styles, the Howard Hill style makes the most sense, plus since he has already been seen shooting Hungarian style horsebows, it is not so different from the style of shooting he does regularly.

So yes, a moderately weighted arrowhead with a long fletched arrow, using a Howard Hill style cant makes total sense to get the most accuracy.

Hungarian Bow

Would the arrow continue moving in a straight path at this distance? Would his victim have been able to “zig-zag” and avoid it, in other words?

The arrow would be traveling in a straight arc, so yes, it would be straight and arcing downwards. In theory, yes, Rickon would have been able to zig zag at that distance and dramatically reduce the chances of Ramsay hitting him, but Rickon clearly was not thinking that. He also did not think to run behind the burning crosses and let the heat rising from the crosses change the view of the target so that it was blurry and more difficult to aim at. So if he had thought to zig zag behind the crosses, his chances of survival would have shot way up.

I should note that in the TV show Stark children who have their wolf killed somehow have a tendency to die. Sansa is the only character who has had her wolf die a long time ago and has not yet died. She has so far bucked the trend, which makes me wonder if she is doomed. Rickon was clearly doomed the moment he got captured and his wolf was killed. Robb got separated from his wolf during the Red Wedding and it was locked in a kennel, thus signaling his death was imminent. Arya is fortunate that her wolf is still wandering the Riverlands. Bran only recently lost his wolf on the TV show (not in the books) so it will be interesting to see if he also dies sometime.



Additional Notes

Check out Ygritte's bow that she had. It is a recurved replica of the Meare Heath bow, which is a famous example of ancient bow designs.

Ygritte with her Meare Heath replica

Diagram of the Meare heath bow

Ramsay was taking his sweet time there between shots. He was in no rush. Had he wanted to he could have shot perhaps 10 times easily in the space of 1 minute, but instead he was patient and took his time about it.

Which I think is part of his character. He takes his time and enjoys his sadistic pleasures. In contrast when he realizes he is in danger he manages to get three shots off at Jon before he starts getting punched in the face. That scene was shorter but was a better example of fast shooting.


Got archery questions?

Send your questions to cardiotrek@gmail.com. More than happy to help answer questions.

Happy shooting!

Girl Pushups and More

The "Girl Pushup"
What is so bad about a "Girl Pushup" ?

It is exercise after all. And lets face it, some people cannot do normal pushups because they haven't reached that stage of athletic fitness - including some men.

It is not a "feminine thing" to be doing so-called "Girl Pushups". It is an "I am out of shape and cannot do a normal pushup yet style of pushup."

You will notice I underlined the word yet. That is the operative word. Do "Girl Pushups" often enough and you will eventually be able to do regular pushups.

Do regular pushups often enough and you will likely also try Incline Pushups or Decline Pushups. Or even One Hand Pushups.

Do various different styles of pushups often enough and you will eventually be able to do Handstand Pushups. Like the woman below is doing.


Clearly this means that Girl Pushups is just part of a gradual process of becoming better at pushups.


My point here is that you should never let embarrassment prevent you from doing exercises. Sometimes things are just names, and there is nothing wrong with doing a Girl Pushup - especially since people (men and women) do them all the time when they are rolling out of bed to get up in the morning.

When you do eventually get good enough to do regular pushups you will want to focus on the quality of your form. Keep your back straight and lower yourself so your chest is nearly touching the floor.

While it is more difficult to do proper form with a pushup, you get more benefits from doing the exercise properly.




Exercising and Dehydration Vs Over-Hydration

Is it possible to drink too much water while exercising?

The short answer is Yes.

It is rather difficult, but still possible. All that is really needed is for a person to think they are dehydrated, drink too much water, and keep drinking because they think the symptoms they are experiencing are from dehydration - when in fact the symptoms of over-hydration are remarkably similar to dehydration.

The long answer requires us to explain the effects of dehydration and over hydration, especially the symptoms.
Dehydration is caused by the excessive loss of water from the body, which causes a rise in blood sodium levels. Since dehydration is most often caused by excessive sweating, vomiting, or diarrhea, water loss is usually accompanied by a deficiency of electrolytes.
Mild to moderate dehydration symptoms
  • Dry, sticky mouth
  • Sleepiness or tiredness — children are likely to be less active than usual
  • Thirst
  • Decreased urine output
  • No wet diapers for three hours for infants
  • Few or no tears when crying
  • Dry skin
  • Headache
  • Constipation
  • Dizziness or lightheaded
Severe dehydration symptoms
  • Extreme thirst
  • Extreme fussiness or sleepiness in infants and children; irritability and confusion in adults
  • Very dry mouth, skin and mucous membranes
  • Little or no urination — any urine that is produced will be darker than normal
  • Sunken eyes
  • Shriveled and dry skin that lacks elasticity and doesn't "bounce back" when pinched into a fold
  • In infants, sunken fontanels — the soft spots on the top of a baby's head
  • Low blood pressure
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Rapid breathing
  • No tears when crying
  • Fever
  • In the most serious cases, delirium or unconsciousness
Over-Hydration is an excess of water in the body. People can develop over-hydration if they have a disorder that decreases the body's ability to excrete water or increases the body's tendency to retain water. Drinking too much water rarely causes over-hydration because normal kidneys easily excrete excess water.

Mild to moderate over-hydration symptoms
  • nausea and vomiting
  • headache
  • changes in mental state (confusion or disorientation)
 Severe over-hydration symptoms
  • dangerously low levels of sodium in the blood (hyponatremia)
  • muscle weakness, spasms or cramps
  • seizures
  • unconsciousness
  • coma

Preventing Over-Hydration

Endurance athletes such as long distance runners can reduce the risk of over-hydration by weighing themselves before and after a race to determine how much water they have lost and need to replenish.

Individuals exercising should avoid drinking more than one liter per hour of fluid. Drinking more fluids before and during a race or an intensive athletic exertion can also help you avoid the need to drink too much water afterwards. Sports beverages that contain the electrolytes sodium and potassium are also recommended, as both are lost in sweat.

If you have an underlying medical condition, such as diabetes, congestive heart failure, or kidney problems, talk to your doctor about the best treatments for those conditions. If you experience excessive thirst or an overly strong urge to drink water, contact your doctor before you develop symptoms - it could indicate a problem that requires treatment and careful monitoring.

Drink healthy!

Three Unusual Questions about Archery

I have heard some of these questions before, and one of them (the last one) I have only encountered today. I thought the last question was rather odd, so I thought I would talk about the three questions in hopes of Busting some Myths.

Question #1: Do I need a license to do archery?

No.

You do not need a license to practice archery.

 You need a hunting license (H1 or H2) to go bowhunting, but you do not need any sort of license to practice archery for recreation or competitions. And even if you do have a hunting license, you can only hunt during specific hunting seasons, only for game allowed during that season, and only if you have any required tags for that specific animal. eg. deer tags for deer hunting season. You have to abide by all of the laws and regulations with respect to bowhunting, and not following those laws can result in the forfeiture of your hunting license, a large fine and even prison time.

For example: In 2014 a Peterborough man, Dave Sager, was fined $1,000 and had his hunting license suspended for a year for accidentally shooting his son with a crossbow bolt. He was trying to unload his crossbow incorrectly. He was allowed to get his hunting license back after a year and after retaking the hunter education training course.

There is also bowfishing, for which you need a fishing license, can only bowfish during carp bowfishing season, and must follow all laws and regulations regarding where and when you are allowed to fish.

Question #2: Do I need a hunting license to purchase a bow or crossbow?

No.

Like the above question, this is a frequently asked question. The answer is no. You only need a hunting license if you are intending to go hunting. Anyone can legally buy a bow or a crossbow and they don't need a hunting license or any other kind of license to do so. There is however a requirement that you don't have any kind of weapons ban (due to past criminal activity).

eg. I know of an individual in the GTA who was involved in an aggravated assault (he beat up someone who was abusing a kid) and as a result he spent some time in prison and ended up with a lifetime weapons ban. This resulted in him having to sell any weapons he owned, including his Excalibur crossbow. He is the only person I know of personally who is banned from owning any kind of archery equipment.

Also we should note that certain weapons are just plain prohibited in Canada. Hand Crossbows for example are illegal in Canada.

As long as you are not an ex-con and you are not trying to purchase a prohibited weapon, then you will be just fine.

Question #3: Do I need a certificate proving that I know how to do archery to join an archery club?

No.

Or at least none of the archery clubs that I know of, and I am the president of both the Toronto Archery Club and Archery Niagara. To my knowledge none of the other clubs require any sort of certificate either.

I found this last one rather odd. Someone had apparently told the individual that they needed a certificate in order to join various archery clubs in Toronto. Sadly they were given false information. As president of the Toronto Archery Club I have made a mental note to someday have a chat with the person giving out false information and let them know that, no, the Toronto Archery Club does not require any sort of certificate whatsoever.

I have never seen the need to offer any kind of certificate to archery students, with one exception: I do offer an Archery Instructor Certificate Program, designed for people who want to teach recreational archery (usually at summer camps, resorts, etc).

If you have additional archery related questions or if you wish to sign up for archery lessons in Toronto simply email cardiotrek@gmail.com to learn more.

Happy Shooting!

DIY Circuit Training Routine

Q

"Hey there,

I am wondering how much your services are for cardio circuit training for an hours work.

...rate of pay for an hour?


hope to hear from you soon.


Regards,

Adrian "

A

Hello Adrian!
I don't do circuit training. I shall explain why.

While it is a good way for personal trainers to make money, charging clients rates as low as $10 per hour and then getting bulk clients willing to shell out $10 each, the goal of the trainer is really to fit as many people into a single circuit training session as possible. eg. 10 to 15 clients, so that the trainer makes a quick $100 to $150. Some trainers might charge $20 and aim for 5 to 8 clients, but the end goal of the trainer is still to make money while doing very little actual work.

For the clients, yes, they do get a decent workout and they do get access to the personal trainer to ask questions, ask for advice/etc, but they could accomplish the same thing doing a DIY Circuit Training Routine and simply establishing an email relationship with a trainer, possibly paying the trainer for their time to answer emails if they have an excessive amount of questions or advice they are looking for. Ultimately circuit training with a personal trainer is a bit of a scam because the amount of time you have to talk to the personal trainer is actually quite small, especially if the group is crowded or time is constrained.

To Make your own DIY Circuit Training Routine

#1. Look around your home for whatever exercise equipment you already have available. It can be a mix of store bought goodies or even things you made yourself / substituted.

#2. Make a monthly budget for your exercise routines (eg. $10 to $20) to be spent on exercise equipment. Things like dumbbells, skipping rope, yoga mat, hand grips and other small items can be easily added to your routine over time. This allows your training circuit to evolve as the months go by and you collect an impressive collection of goodies to exercise with.

Note - If you don't have a lot of equipment you can even focus on frugal body-weight exercises that use almost no equipment. See the graphic on the right for examples.

#3. Clear a space in your living room or possibly your garage or basement where you exercise freely without bumping into things. If you have a backyard and you don't mind the weather, you now have an excuse to exercise outdoors and get some fresh air.

#4. Organize all of your exercise goodies according to high intensity exercises to low intensity exercises, and then alternate them in a circle starting with a low intensity exercise, then high intensity, then low, then high again, etc, only the circuit is complete. If you like a particular exercise more than others and want to focus on that exercise more you can even make it a Figure 8 design so the middle exercise is done twice during every full circuit.

#5. Schedule daily or weekly circuit training sessions for yourself. Make it part of your routine, possibly with a small reward for you to enjoy after each session (eg. playing Candy Crush for 30 minutes after you finish the routine, watching your favourite TV show, etc. The reward should never be sugary food, although healthy food is certainly acceptable.)
#6. During the scheduled time spend 1 minute on each exercise with up to a 30 second break between each exercise. If you are not tired after a particular exercise feel free to proceed to the next exercise with minimal rest.

Note - If you want to spend extra time on particular exercise you might also consider doing it for 90 seconds or 2 minutes instead of 1 minute.
#7. While exercising try to pay attention to the quality of your form. During a circuit training session with a personal trainer they SHOULD be watching your form and showing you how to correctly perform the exercise so you are maximizing results and minimizing the chances of sports injuries, however many personal trainers I have witnessed doing circuit training don't actually bother to try and warn their clients about the potential for sports injuries. Some of them even use the phrase "no pain no gain" when clients talk about the possibility of sports injuries, which is tantamount to asking for a lawsuit - which happened a few years ago to a New York personal trainer who ignored the complaints of pain from her male client and the man ended up with a permanent disability due to torn ligaments. My motto on the topic essentially is "if it really hurts, you are doing it wrong and you should stop". Stop and seek advice.
#8. If you have serious concerns about the quality of your form / sports injuries then schedule a session with a personal trainer who is an advocate of preventing sports injuries (me or someone equally adamant on the topic of prevention) for an one on one session and bring a list of questions to the session with you. If possible schedule the session at your home so you can show the trainer your routine, what exercises you are doing, and then they can see what you might be doing incorrectly and unsafely. If you email a personal trainer and they don't take your complaints seriously, find a different trainer for a second opinion. All else fails, stop doing exercise which is harming you and focus on exercises that don't hurt you. Some people, especially as they get older, get bad knees and other health problems which hinders their ability to exercise, in which case they should seek the advice of a personal trainer before attempting such exercises as a preventative measure. It is possible circuit training might not be their thing and they might want to consider swimming instead, which is more therapeutic for people with bad knees / joint problems.

I hope this helps!

Sincerely,
Charles Moffat
CardioTrek.ca
Looking to sign up for archery lessons, boxing lessons, swimming lessons, ice skating lessons or personal training sessions? Start by emailing cardiotrek@gmail.com and lets talk fitness!

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