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What type of bow is best for weight training?



I want to get into archery because I heard it is good for building strength. What type of bow would you recommend for building muscle?

- Kyle J."


Hello Kyle!

I recommend longbows if you want to get into the really high poundages and build lots of muscle. Longbows can go up to really high poundages - whereas recurve bows only go up to a maximum of roughly 60 lbs. Compounds bows can go pretty high, but they have a let off and are not that good for weightlifting because the letoff reduces the poundage once it is at full draw. eg. A 60 lb compound bow with 75% letoff will feel like only 15 lbs at full draw.

Longbows and recurves don't have a letoff and thus are better for weightlifting, and if you want to get into the heavier poundages then longbows is definitely the way to go.

If you are looking to buy a longbow in Toronto you have many options.

Option 1. Buy a bow from Basically Bows Archery on Queen Street East. Tell Gary I said hello! Gary has the best selection of longbows in the GTA.

Option 2. Commission a longbow from Mike Meusel, a local bowyer in Toronto. He made my 36lb pyramid bow "Ramses" for me.

Option 3. Shop for a longbow online. eg. sells a variety of longbows. Expect to pay about $600, but they can also make really powerful (expensive) longbows too. For longbows over 75 lbs they charge an extra $2 per lb, and longbows over 100 lbs they charge an extra $5 - up to a maximum of 200 lbs. So if you are doing the math that is about $1150 for a super powerful longbow.

However I don't recommend you get yourself a super powerful longbow. You won't even be able to string it. You need to work your way up to that. If you are a big guy start with a bow that is between 30 and 40 lbs - make sure in the store you can draw it properly before purchasing - and practice with that bow 3 times (several hours each time) per week for 6 months.

Then get yourself another longbow that is 5 lbs heavier and practice with that one for 6 months.

If you start with a 35 lb bow and go up by 5 lb increments every 6 months (shooting even in the winter) then after 3 years you should be up to a 65 lb bow - or better, depending on your body type, adrenaline/testosterone levels (hormones that make you build muscles faster), the quality of your diet, and whether you are supplementing your exercise routine with a full body workout.

I strongly recommend archers adopt a full body workout that includes weightlifting, yoga, body weight exercises, balance exercises and even yogic breathing exercises. Such exercises will make you stronger, give you better balance, allow you to control your breathing during each shot - and better breathing gets more oxygen to your muscles.

Don't forget to stay hydrated. Water is best. Just plain old fashioned water. (I have determined energy drinks are a complete waste unless it is exceptionally hot outside and you are exercising a lot.)

Lastly I recommend drinking a whey protein shake after you return home from the archery range / after any weight lifting session.

Exercising with your Kids

Who says you cannot exercise with your kids? Utter nonsense!

Above is "The Lilly Ann Workout", a video created by father and YouTube user Michael Stansbury to show off the workout he does regularly with his baby daughter.

It is undoubtedly the cutest workout video I have ever seen.

How to do 400 Pushups - The 400 Pushups Challenge

Anyone who can do 400 pushups will obviously have really nice pecs - simply due to the combination of strength and endurance that is required to do that many pushups.

But the good news is that you don't need to have a body like Bruce Wayne (aka Batman) to be able to do large numbers of pushups. (Although doing large numbers of pushups will certainly help you to become more like Batman...)

So how do you become a pushups machine? Start by taking Cardio Trek's 400 Pushups Challenge.

The 400 Pushups Challenge - Step One

What you need to do is first be able to do a pushup. If you cannot - due to being overweight or lack of physical strength - then you will need to do lots of cardio (to lose weight) and after you've lost a healthy amount of fat start weightlifting and focusing on upper body strength building. Once you reach the point where you can do at least 10 pushups then you are ready to begin training.

Your pushups don't need to be fancy. They could even be an easier version of standard pushups - like the bench pushups demonstrated below.

The 400 Pushups Challenge - Step Two

Next determine how many pushups you can actually do before collapsing in a heat of sweat and craving release. If you can do 15 then your start point for the next stage will be 10. If you can do 30 then your start point will be 20. Basically whatever amount it is you can do, multiple it by 66% and that is your starting goal.

The 400 Pushups Challenge - Step Three

Do 66% of your maximum pushups. Then take a 2 to 3 minute break and do 66% again. Keep doing this until you have done 400 pushups.

So for example lets say you determined you could do 30 pushups at once before collapsing, thus you do 20 pushups during each set - and you do 20 sets of 20, for a total of 400 pushups. That is your goal.

Note - It will take you a significant amount of time to total 400 pushups. Think hours due to all of the breaks you are doing. So for example if you watch TV a lot in the evening you can do your pushups during the commercial breaks. Every commercial break until you get all 400 done. If you have difficulty finding time to do that many pushups then set yourself a lower goal like 200 or 100 pushups.

The 400 Pushups Challenge - Step Four

The next day you do one extra pushup. Thus in our example you do 21 pushups, for 19 sets. A total of 399 pushups.

Every day after that you add 1 extra push up. Some days you might do slightly more or less than 400.

20 x 20 (400)
21 x 19 (399)
22 x 18 (396)
23 x 17 (391)
24 x 17 (408)
25 x 16 (400)
26 x 15 (390)
27 x 15 (405)
28 x 14 (392)
29 x 14 (406)
30 x 13 (390)
31 x 13 (403)

The 400 Pushups Challenge - Step Five

When you start getting to the bigger numbers (like 40 or more) you can starting adding a half set or a portion of a set just so you keep the total number of pushups to roughly 400.

Assuming a starting point of 20 it should only take you 380 days of training to eventually do 400 pushups. Doing 400 pushups all at once will be exhausting work. It takes about 40 minutes to actually do it because closer to the end you will be pausing for breath between pushups.

The good news is that in a period of roughly 1 year you will go from having tiny pecs and being able to do 30 pushups to being able to do hundreds.

You will also find that your arms, legs, back muscles are also stronger and have greater endurance.

If you take up The 400 Pushups Challenge please let us know by leaving a comment below. Happy exercising!

Over 100 Cardio Exercises you can Try

Below is a list of over 100 cardio exercises you can try - and many of them won't cost you much to try them either.

At The Gym

Arm ergometer (arm cycle)
Box jumps
Circuit training
Elliptical trainer
Interval training
Jacob's ladder (climbing treadmill)
Rowing machine
Stair stepping
Stationary or recumbent bike
Step ups
Treadmill walking or running

Household Chores

Changing sheets
Cleaning out the garage
Cleaning the bathtub
Cleaning the gutters
Heavy landscaping such as planting trees, shrubs and bushes
Heavy renovations (pulling carpet, knocking down walls, etc.)
Moving furniture
Mowing the lawn with a push mower
Scrubbing floors
Shoveling snow
Sweeping the patio and walkways
Washing the car
Washing windows

The Great Outdoors

Downhill skiing
Cross-country skiing
Water skiing
Rock climbing
Jogging / Running
Power walking (brisk walking)
Paddling a canoe
Nordic walking
Paddle boarding
Water jogging/running
Bleacher running
Ice skating


Flag football
Hitting balls at the driving range
Archery Biathlon
Marathon Running
Martial arts

Group Classes

Step aerobics
Yoga (Ashtanga and/or Vinyasa)
Salsa dancing
Dance classes or lessons
Cardio kickboxing
Hi-lo floor aerobics
Water aerobics
Silver Sneakers
Hip hop dance
Sports conditioning
Krav Maga
StrollerStrides or StrollerFit classes

Play Time

Walking the dog
Playing with your children
Dodge ball
Hooping (hula hooping)
Obstacle courses
Jump rope
Water games in a pool
Playing with your dog
Hop scotch
Taking the stairs
Jumping jacks
Trampoline jumping (rebounding)

5 Cardio Exercises for People who have difficulty Exercising

Large and heavy people often have difficulty exercising because they get sore joints, they have very low endurance, they feel embarrassed, etc.

But cardio exercises like running, jogging, etc are very beneficial for people looking to lose weight. Thus it becomes a whole Catch-22 wherein they feel they are "too fat to jog" and thus feel demotivated to exercise.

And they're not alone.

Elderly people with sore knees find jogging too painful on their legs, women with very large breasts cannot find sports bras in their sizes that give them enough support get sore backs and chest pain / sore armpits when trying to jog.

And then there are people who might be suffering from a sports injury that makes it too difficult for them to jog. eg. An ankle injury.

Thus I have come up with this list of 5 Cardio Exercises for People who have difficulty Exercising

#1. Swimming - Call it the beauty of swimming, but it is great for exercise as it uses as much or as little effort as you feel like putting into it, and you can do it slowly or quickly depending on your endurance - and it is safe for people with knee injuries and won't be problematic for women with large breasts.

A 300 lb person doing moderate swimming for 60 minutes will burn approx. 690 calories.

#2. Cycling - This might be trickier for people with sore knees or ankle injuries (it can still be done, but take it slower and don't put excess force on your knees or ankles), but it won't be a problem for people who are heavier or have large breasts.

A 300 lb person doing leisure cycling for 60 minutes will burn approx. 450 calories.

#3. Household Chores - Honestly this is a long list and includes everything from washing windows to washing the car, gardening to shoveling snow, scrubbing floors to cleaning out the garage. These activities burn calories and you can do them at your own pace, so you can take it easy - which means you get a workout and a clean home too.

A 300 lb person washing their car for 60 minutes will burn approx. 510 calories.

#4. Power Walking / Hiking / Walking the Dog - Assuming that your knees / ankles are okay with walking, you should also be able to go for "Power Walks" or hikes. Avoid long walks if you have low endurance, and keep it short if you find you have problems with your ankles or knees. If you have a dog try to take them for a short walk twice per day.

A 300 lb person walking the dog for 60 minutes at 2 mph will burn approx. 315 calories.

#5. Dancing - Again if you have ankle or knee injuries, stick to slow dances. Signing up dance lessons or joining a dancing group might be one of the best decisions you've ever made.

A 300 lb person doing leisure dancing for 60 minutes will burn approx. 345 calories.

Burning 3500 calories = shedding 1 lb of fat. It takes time, but you can do it.

NOTE - Depending on your circumstances I strongly recommend consulting a doctor before signing yourself up for anything strenuous. Stick to lighter exercises when in doubt.
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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