Month: October 2013

300 FY Tips and Hints – How to Conquer it

schwinn airdyne

The 300 FY is a workout from Gym Jones. This workout is simple, but very difficult to complete due to the power output required. If you don’t get 300 calories in 10 minutes than you haven’t completed it. The 300 FY is an Airdyne workout. If you aren’t familiar with the Airdyne, this is why it is one of the best (if not the best) cardio equipment pieces made. 

While looking at pacing strategies for the “300 FY”, I looked at just going hard right out of the gate. While I was able to exceed 30 calories a minute for the first few minutes, I quickly became fatigued and then ended up well short of the 300 calories. A better strategy to complete this workout would be the old strong and steady not wasting any effort and aiming to just make the 300 mark. Rob MacDonald from Gym Jones has an impressive score of 402 calories for the 300 FY, and I think that this workout favours serious power production that the big guys  can crank out. Watch 300FY tips and Hints Video here

One of the biggest tips that I can think of for power production on the Airdyne is correctly fitting the seat height. If your seat is too low, you are going to really feel your quads burn. Too high and you won’t be able to push hard.  So sit on the Airdyne and then put your heel on the pedal and have the crank arm go to the bottom. Your leg should be almost straight while in this position. With a correctly fitted seat, when you move the middle of your foot to the pedal your leg should be slightly bent. I am 5’11 and I have my seat set at position #9 on the Airdyne posts for an AD4. After I struggled with the big fat seat seat that comes with the Airdyne, I changed mine and found a more comfortable seat that allowed me to push much harder without being uncomfortable. Play around with this and test what works for you, so people have longer femur bones so a standard chart of height and seat height will get you close, but it won’t be as precise as you need it for optimal power output. proper seat height airdyne


The second point that I have is a pacing strategy.

I have found that by using RPM on the monitor you are able to more accurately control your power output and not use excess energy. See the below chart

85 RPM produced over 30 calories pretty consistently. 83 RPM’s may put you bang on 30 calories if you are continuing to do 30 calories minutes back to back.

300 fy pacing


3. Preparing for the 300 FY. This isn’t a workout that you should start out with cold. You need to be warmed up and have your lungs ready to work. Your legs will also need to be ready to fire and hang on for the 10 minutes. Get a good warm up in and be ready to work with a consistent pace to achieve your goals.

Click here for more airdyne workouts

Good luck and share your tips and hints in the comments section below.

Dan Johns Strength Standards – How Do You Compare?

Dan Johns Strength Standards


 Dan Johns Strength Standards

How strong should you be? What should your strength be like in the various skills of Squatting, Pulling, Hip Hinge, and Pressing?

Have a look at this excel spreadsheet from Dan John top notch Strength and Conditioning Coach. For the excel spreadsheet and the PDF version of Dan Johns Strength Standards click below.

Click here for Link : Strength-Standards

Click here for PDF: Strength-Standards

For the excel spread sheet, you can input your score in the section that says “Me” and it will give you a representative chart that would show you where you need to spend more of your time to balance out your strength.


Click here for more CrossFit Inventory Skills 

 Dan Johns Strength Standards For Men:

Expected = Bodyweight bench press
Game-changer = Bodyweight bench press for 15 reps
Expected = 5 pullups
Game-changer = 15 pullups
Expected = Bodyweight to 150% bodyweight deadlift
Game-changer = Double-bodyweight deadlift
Expected = Bodyweight squat
Game-changer = Bodyweight squat for 15 reps
Loaded Carry
Expected = Farmer walk with total bodyweight (half per hand)
Game-changer =Bodyweight per hand
One left and right, done with a half-filled cup of water

For Women:

Game-changer = Bodyweight bench press
Game-changer = Three pullups
Game-changer = 275-pound deadlift
Game-changer = 135 for five in the back squat
Loaded Carries
Game-changer = 85 pounds per hand
One left and right, done with a half-filled cup of water

Dan Johns Strength Standards High School Standards, for Girls Varsity: Big Silver Club (Girls)

One Arm Bench 12kg10 Right/10 left
Standing Press 70
Power Clean 95
Deadlift 205
Back Squat 135
Front Squat 95
Power Clean & Jerk 75
All done in one workout, by the way.

Dan Johns Strength Standards High School Standards, for Boys Varsity
Big Blue Club (Boys)
One Arm Bench 32kg5 Right/5 left
Standing Press 115
Power Clean 205
Deadlift 315
Back Squat 255
Front Squat 205
Power Clean & Jerk 165

Men’s Standards

Squat Movement

1. Proper Form in the Goblet Squat
2. Goblet Squat: 24K x 10
3. Double KB Front Squat: 32K x 10
4. Bodyweight Back Squat
5. Bodyweight Front Squat
6. Bodyweight Back Squat x 15
7. Bodyweight Overhead Squat x 15

Press Movement

1. Push Ups x 10
2. One Arm KB Press: 24K x 5 per Side
3. Double KB Press: 32K x 5
4. Bench Press: Bodyweight
5. One Arm Overhead Press: ½ Bodyweight
6. Bench Press: Bodyweight x 15
7. Two Arm KB Press: Bodyweight

Hip Hinge Movement

1. Hip Hinge with Proper Form (From stand, floor and loaded)
2. Kettlebell Swing: 24K x 20 (Proper Form)
3. Double Kettlebell Clean: 32K x 10
4. Barbell Clean: Bodyweight
5. Barbell Deadlift: Double Bodyweight
6. Barbell Snatch: Bodyweight
7. Barbell Deadlift 2.5 x Bodyweight

Pull Movement

1. Batwings, thumbs in armpits, 16K x 10 seconds
2. Bodyweight Row on Rings/TRX x 20
3. Bodyweight Row, feet elevated, x 10
4. Chin Ups x 5
5. Pull Ups x 8-10
6. Pull Ups x 15
7. Weighted Pull Up with 48 K

Dan Johns Strength Standards For Women 

Squat Movement

1. Proper Form in the Goblet Squat
2. Goblet Squat: 12K x 10
3. Double KB Front Squat: 16K x 10
4. Back Squat: 135 x 5
5. Bodyweight Back Squat
6. Bodyweight Front Squat
7. Bodyweight Overhead Squat

Press Movement

1. Push Ups x 1 (Excellent Pushup)
2. One Arm KB Press: 10K x 5 per Side
3. Double KB Press: 12K x 5
4. Double KB Press: 16K x 5
5. One Arm Overhead Press: 1/3 BdWt
6. Bench Press: Bodyweight
7. Two Arm KB Press: 2/3 Bodyweight

Hip Hinge Movement

1. Hip Hinge with Proper Form (From stand, floor and loaded)
2. Kettlebell Swing: 16K x 20 (Proper Form)
3. Double Kettlebell Clean: 16K x 10
4. Barbell Deadlift: 1.5 x Bodyweight (or 135×5)
5. Double KB Swings: 24K x 10
6. 5:00 Minute Snatch Test: 16K x 100
7. Barbell Deadlift 2 x Bodyweight (275lbs.)

Pull Movement

1. Batwings, thumbs in armpits, 8K x 10 seconds
2. Bodyweight Row on Rings/TRX x 20
3. Bodyweight Row, feet elevated, x 10
4. Chin Ups x 1
5. Chin Ups x 3
6. Pull Ups x 3
7. Weighted Pull Up with 24 K

 For more of Dan John’s work please go to his website

Schwinn Airdyne vs. Concept 2 Rower – What is the Best Piece of Cardio Equipment?

Schwinn Airdyne vs. Concept 2 Rower

c2 rower versus airdyne schwinn

 Schwinn Airdyne vs. Concept 2 Rower

What is the best piece of cardio equipment for your gym, CrossFit box or home fitness facility?  Forget the elliptical, the Tony Little Gazelle, or your standard treadmill. These cardio machines, don’t hold a candle to these two main workhorses: The venerable Concept 2 Rower, and the Schwinn Airdyne.

There is no arguing the fact that virtually every CrossFit facility has Concept 2 Rower. But the lesser known workhorse that is seeing a groundswell of interest is the Schwinn Airdyne. Here is a quick breakdown comparing the two.

Concept 2 Rower. A human polygraph machine

Concept 2 Rower. A human polygraph machine


 The footprint of the C2 rower is very small when it is tilted up on its head while being stored, but when being used, these rowers are quite lengthy and require quite a bit of space. Get a few in a row and you can say goodbye to a fair chunk of your gym, each rower needs a space that is 9 x 4 feet (36 square feet). The Airdyne has a smaller footprint while being used (10 square feet approximately) 4 foot 10 inches by 2 feet 1 inch  L x W.  Airdyne is approximately 1/3 smaller for footprint. Theoretically you could have 6 airdynes in the space you could fit 2 rowers. Advantage: Airdyne



Ease of Use: 

Teaching a new person how to row can be tricky, and there are even courses on how to refine your technique on the C2 rower. Even athletes sometimes have a tricky time grasping the concept of the pull, and separating the moves: Legs / Arms/ Back. People are continually trying to improve their rowing “technique”, and all the while their ability to work hard on the rower and the ability to generate power is hampered. On the Airdyne the only thing you need to really focus on is getting the seat high set correctly and then basically you are just asking them to pedal and push and pull… Lesson over. Within a few short minutes, someone can auger themselves right into the ground with an Airdyne.

Advantage: Airdyne

A bacon powered morning rowing effort

A bacon powered morning rowing effort


The price of a brand new C2 rower is anywhere from $850 to $1200. There are some used ones if you check Craigslist, but they get snapped up pretty quickly by CrossFitters. On the other hand you may come across an Airdyne at a garage sale. They have been around for over 30 years and come up quite frequently on Craigslist or Kijiji. I picked up mine or $150 and a buddy picked one up last week for $30. Typically a used one can be anywhere from $150-400. New airdynes range from $300-$1100 depending on the model. Lots of these beauties are still kicking around, but with the increasing popularity of Airdynes in MMA facilities and CrossFit boxes you have to be quick to snap them up.


Advantage : Airdyne


Both of these machines are fantastic because of the fact that the work on them can be quantified on the monitor. Essentially both the C2 and the Airdyne are human polygraph machines where you can’t hide or go through the motions. On both you can really work hard, but the rower requires more skill and proper positioning to really be in a good position to generate power. The other downside of the rower is that effectively it is a “pulling machine” where you are also using your legs. The airdyne is a particularly effective device because of the fact that when your legs get tired you have to use more arms in a pushing & pulling motion. In terms of bang for your buck you can’t beat an Airdyne for warming up for your workout.

The versatility of the Airdyne can’t be matched by the C2 rower. Basically on a rower you can row, with some minor variations, on the Airdyne some people for very creative in using the handles and pedals in various positions to elicit a variety of exercise stimuli. With a C2 rower there is a bit of a rest on the catch, but on an Airdyne, it is all suck, all the time, there is no rest.  I know that I can row on a C2 for an hour, but the thought of spending an hour on the “dyne” is something that nightmares are made of. Remeber the movie “The Princess Bride”, in that movie I think this was the earliest model of the Airdyne.  Video

Advantage: Schwinn Airdyne


Fun Factor


Certain newer models of the rower have the fish game on the monitor. It’s sort of fun, but not really useful for training.

Airdyne: there is nothing fun about the airdyne. Unless you can share the fun with friends. 

Just try it for a minute hard, and try to hang on. The current record for 1 minute at Mark’s Gym is 48 calories. I’m still working on beating it when I can summon the courage to try it again.  Also the seat on the Airdyne really doesn’t make it fun at all. Every cyclist knows that a fatter seat does not equal comfort. Learn how to change your Airdyne seat. 

Advantage : C2 rower


This one is a toss up. Concept 2 rowers have been around since the mid 1980’s and the Schwinn Airdynes have been manufactured for over 30 years with their designs remaining relatively unchanged. The warranty on the Airdynes is stellar for home use. Frame – 30 Years; Parts – 3 Years; Electronics – 3 Years; Labor – 1 Year; Wear Items – 1 Year.  Concept 2 is similar : Concept2 Model D and Model E Indoor Rowers are backed by a limited 2-year and 5-year warranty. I’ve used both extensively and have never had to replace parts on either, or had any problems with either of them.

Advantage: Tie C2 Rower / Airdyne 

 Schwinn Airdyne vs. Concept 2 Rower Conclusion

If you are serious about fitness then you will probably get both of these exercise tools. But if you had to pick just one, or space is an issue, then I’d say get a Schwinn Airdyne. This is a serious tool that can get you fit fast, the learning curve is low, and it works more muscles in different planes than a rower. Don’t just take my word, try it for yourself!

Click here for a list of Airdyne workouts

Click here for a good partner rowing workout

 Concept 2 Rower versus Schwinn Airdyne