Month: February 2014

Calibrating the Schwinn Airdyne Bike – How Consistent are they ?

Schwinn Airdynes ready to work

Schwinn Airdynes ready to work

It’s no secret that we really like the Airdyne bikes. We recently purchased another one and the monitor seemed to be a little out of sync with the other bikes. I checked online trying to find if there is any computer way to check the calibration of the monitors, but I was unable to find anything. I think you get what you get

when it comes to these monitors.


If we are using these pieces of equipment as a training tool then we need to know if we are getting consistent readings for work output. Otherwise we would be essentially be putting on a glorified spin class.

airdyne computer monitor ad4

I set out to test each bike to determine the accuracy of the computer monitors and if there is a discrepancy between them, if any. It should be noted that all of my bikes are AD4 large fan models and they have the exact same computer monitor.

The test:

I figured the best way to calibrate them would be a set time trial over a 5 minute period using revolutions per minute on the screen setting. I am going to hold 70 RPM while the clock on the Airdyne counts down from 5:00 minutes. After the 5 minutes are up I will switch the monitor to Calories and see what the total work output is.

Bike 1:  Calorie output 94

Bike 2:  Calorie output 95

Bike 3:  Calorie output 93


I’d say they are pretty consistent, accurate and reliable.


For more Airdyne workouts Click here



Old Skool pics of Mark’s Gym

IMG_5925IMG_5927 IMG_5928

I was going through some old pictures on the iphoto and found some pictures I took of where I started doing CrossFit back in 2007. There wasn’t an affiliate on every corner, and the people were doing these workouts from and out of their garages with whatever they had available. CrossFit at this point was an underground movement that didn’t have commercials or shoe companies endorsement deals, the workouts were incredible simple in their design and execution. Something that I think may have been lost with some of today’s  .com workouts.

We were teaching ourselves the lifts from whatever reference material and videos we could find online. Luckily my wife Heather had been taught olympic lifting when she went to an NCAA school in the states, so the learning curve wasn’t so steep. I’m not saying this was the best or optimal way to do it, but it was what everyone was doing at the time.

So when I look back at where it all started, it wasn’t a monstrosity of a gym with 10,000 square feet, and it was cold in the winter, my equipment wasn’t the best. I didn’t have enough room, but I made it work. Some of my toughest workouts both mentally and physically were in this small space by myself. Overhead squats were always super sketchy in the garage gym, because bailing wasn’t a great option. If I dropped the bar, stuff was going to get broken in the gym for sure! I took small steps and tried my best to learn my limitations and develop my personal history of exercise and movement.


A gym is where you can feel comfortable to bear your sole and dig deep and learn lessons. It doesn’t have to be the fancy new place, and quite honestly sometimes miss the old days of getting your Chuck Taylors and board shorts and hitting a short simple workout with a friend and calling it a day. You don’t need the best equipment or the newest secret training methods. All the good stuff comes with the doing.  Perhaps that is what I’m going to start doing again, get back to the old school philosophy and keep it simple and fun and do some work.  I started CrossFit because it was simple and effective and it was a shortcut to get fit and keep that edge without the hours of going to the gym or doing block training.

Here is a mash up back from 2011 where I was working out in my garage. My orange Oakley sunglasses will be a sure indicator of the times. Nothing fancy, just a small space to get it done.

Canadian Forces Outdoor Pull up Bars


Outdoor Pull up rigtape on pull up barpull up bars steps IMG_4748

I took these pics of a pull up bar station on a Canadian Forces Base. These have probably seen quite a few pull ups and i’m thinking that this is a pretty tried and true set up.


1. They are using 4/4 posts, I’m guessing 12 footers as this whole thing was pretty high.

2. The bar was pretty thick compared to other pull up bars that I’ve seen and used. I’m guessing that the inside diameter of the bar would be 1.5 inches which would make the diameter around 1.75 inches.

outdoor pull up bars construction

3. The tape, well it was added, but probably not needed. It looks like the bar was constructed from pipe used for gas fittings.

4.  The wedges on the side of the posts are super important to get the people up to the bar, and also important to have them on BOTH sides of the post as you have to grip the beam to get up to the bar.

Pull ups are the ultimate upper body strengthening exercise, and a great way to get better at doing pull ups…. well do more pull ups!

Outdoor workouts are great, and if you haven’t done them, you are missing out!

Check out this sweet video from Rogue Fitness featuring Mikko Salo previous CrossFit Games Champion.


Airdyne Triathlon

Wife and I were sitting at home feeling sluggish in our Canadian winter with the temperature outside being -21 degrees Celcius. I threw down the challenge of the “Airdyne Triathlon”. It operates a little lower in the power range than I would normally like to use the Airdyne for, but it is a valid test and one that could be fun to pull some multi-sporters in to world of the Airdyne.

Here it is:

2000 meter row

300 calorie Airdyne 200 calories for the ladies. 

1 mile run 

for time. 

airdyne triathlon

The real equalizer is the airdyne calorie discrepancy. If you have one airdyne you can have the one person start on the row while the other starts on the Airdyne. The bulk of this workout is on the airdyne.


two stopwatches for airdyne workout

Airdyne seat uncomfortable? Click here on how to Fix it! 

For a comprehensive list of Airdyne workouts click here

Please feel free to leave your times in the Comment section of the page. Good luck!


C2 Rowing Sprints and Cheesecake


Sometimes you eat delicious desserts and I think you should. Here are 250 meter rowing intervals right after cheesecake and ice cream.

Keeping the carb intake periWOD. All good!

8 x 250 meters. Max effort rest as needed between sets. Works great with a few people so the work to rest ratio is 1:2 or 1:3

High intensity interval training has to be done sparingly or you can watch your results suffer. Consistency is the key for the rowing efforts trying to keep the average rowing pace per 500 meters to within +\- 3 seconds.

As you can see in these rowing intervals, the competitive nature of us took hold and the old saying that “People will kill themselves for numbers” held true this day.

Have fun give this one a shot, you don’t have to scarf down the cheesecake, but hey sometimes it doesn’t hurt.