Movember Push-Up Fitness Challenge


  I have decided to grow a sweet moustache in the spirit of Movember

This is no “ice bucket challenge” this has real consequences, and I’m putting my body on the line for this one.  When it comes to men’s health and wellness, I am a strong believer that fitness plays a significant role in the prevention of both mental and physical ailments. I would like to raise some money and awareness for the Movember charity. On a side note I’m not quite sure how many “likes” or dollars this will add up to, and to be quite honest, I am okay with up to 1000 likes. Anything more than that I may have to break it into 2 days.

Here is how things are going to go down.

  • Made_in_Movember_Icon_2-Thumbnail%20copy%203For every like on Facebook I will do a push-up, so feel free to share and I will honor this agreement.

  • For every dollar donated to the Movember charity on my page I will do one push-up.

  • I will subsequently add the two together and do the amount of push-ups required.

So feel free to click “Like on Facebook” as well as donate so you can double the numbers! Donate as many times as you’d like!

I’d like to make Mark do a bunch of push-ups

Click here to go to: Movember Page here

This contest ends at the end of November 2014.

I will video of all my push-ups as proof and post it on December 1st. 

Thanks for your time and reading all the way down to the bottom!

So click like and share!  Donate as well! 

Mark Arnold Movember

Let’s Make it Happen People!

Getting the biomechanics right

These are the measurements that you should get and keep

These are the measurements that you should get and keep

plumb line bike fit

using a plumb line for bike fit

If you are riding a bike and want to maximize your effort then getting a bike fit from your local bike shop is a must do!

When you are in your saddle for a 100 km bike ride and your seat height being out by an inch can make a huge difference in comfort and power output.

Make sure that when you get these measurements from the bike store you write them down and also mark the seat post in case you have to remove it or it slides down over time.

If you are riding a stationary bike or an Airdyne (see fixing the uncomfortable airdyne write up here) Then you should be able to get it close by having the leg at almost full extension 20141117-170834-61714559.jpgwhile you are at the bottom of the pedal stroke. If you have the seat too low you will know by the burning sensation in your quads.

This stuff matters, there are really quite a few websites where you can nerd out about bike fit and angles, but if you are comfortable on your bike then you are more apt to ride it. No two people are going to be the same, and we are all built a little differently, so the sizing charts may put you in the ballpark in terms of positioning.

Experiment with the positioning and seek out a good bike fitter to put you in a good position to maximize your effort!


Should I buy an old Airdyne?

gold color airdyne bike orange So you’ve scoured the classifieds and the internet and finally found a Schwinn Airdyne bike. Problem is that it was manufactured circa 1979 and it is an amazing gold orange hue. Should you buy it? Schwinn introduced the Airdyne exercise bike in 1978. It proved to be one of Schwinn’s best-selling products ever. This Airdyne above has a replacement seat because the originals are really uncomfortable and it’s a good idea to change them out. 

Pros: it’s an Airdyne and will give you one hell of a workout. The older models were very durable and stood the test of time. The parts are all the same up to the AD4’s. It’s chain driven which is a plus. You can probably pick it up really cheap, because it does look old.

Cons: it’s an awful color. The monitor is old and is run with a cable. Good luck finding a replacement, if this baby goes then I guess you still essentially have a “warm up” bike.

The bones of the older Airdynes are essentially unchanged. The only real difference is the monitor. It’s up to you, but know that if that monitor goes then you are probably not going to be able to retro fit or find a replacement. Happy shopping!

Click here for more Airdyne Specific workouts. 


airdyne workouts list







“450” Airdyne Interval workout

20141027-184219-67339560.jpgIntervals on the airdyne are an effective way to push the intensity.

The goal of this workout is to hit 450 calories on the airdyne.

The work to rest cycle is 1:1 with one minute intervals. A minute on and a minute off is the name of the game for this workout. You are done this workout when you get 450 calories on the air dyne. It is very similar to Heathers Gym Airdyne Test, but a touch tougher.

Finish this in as few cycles as possible. Pacing here is key because the rest cycles are relatively short and the cumulative work cycles will have you begging for a reprieve. Good luck and let me how you make out by commenting below.

Click here for a full list of all the Airdyne workouts. 

Image 2

Box Jump Fails – How to Avoid


Box Jump Fails – How to Avoid



Box jumps have been criticized by those in the fitness community as being one of CrossFit’s most dangerous exercises. Although they are not without their risk they are an effective training tool if used properly.

Here are 8 ways that you can mitigate the risks of the Box Jump for both Coaches and athletes.


start small







1. Start small, don’t have people jumping above their comfort zone. Max height box jumps are for show and Youtube. If you are putting box jumps in a workout then have a height that is very comfortable for the athlete as they will fatigue and be less able to jump as the workout continues.


2. Step down. High rep box jumps were often used in CrossFit competitions and early programming. These high repetition moves caused some people to rupture or tear their achilles tendons. It’s really not worth it to do “quick box jumps” for time if the flip side of the coin is a 6 month recovery period and excruciating pain. Here is a great article from the Tabata times about stepping down. 

Box Jump Fails - How to Avoid

Nice look – Don’t be This Gal


3. Land Soft – As a coach you can hear when someone is about to “miss” a box jump because it sounds as if you are dropping heavy plates onto the box. A loud smacking sound on the box is the precursor to someone not making their box. Their feet are just clearing the edge and quickly smacking down flat on the box causing a loud distinct sound. If you hear your athletes doing this, get them to stop before they leave half of their shin on the edge of the box. A great cue for this to get people to jump a little higher and avoid the edge of the box is “Land Soft”. If the athlete is doing a quiet box jump they are landing on the balls of their feet and absorbing the jump as opposed to landing flat footed and hitting hard.


4. Use your arms – While most of the power from the jump comes from the opening of the hip, some of the power from the jump comes from driving the hands forward and upward in a quick swing. Get people to use their arms in a quick coordinated movement for maximum effect. A quick note is that some people will hit their hands on the edge of the box if they are really aggressive with their arms. The fix? Lower box height.

5. Jumpers vs. Leg Tuckers – Coaches should know what i’m talking about here. There are two types of box jumpers. People who jump and spring onto the box with an athletic stance, and then those who no matter what height the box is, they will pull their legs up to their butt like a plane retracting their landing gear to make their final approach to the top of the box. With leg tuckers, they will ride the jump right to the bottom of the squat and bounce out of the bottom, usually accompanied with the loud hard landing as previously mentioned in point # 3. You want to coach people to land on the box in an athletic stance, and not all crumpled up like they are in the bottom of a squat. A good rules is that you should jump and land from the same position.

6. Visualize your target – When people start getting sloppy with their box jumps, what tends to happen is that their feet start landing partially on the box. This can be a problem, and then next thing you know, someone has donated more skin to the edge of the box and a painful shin bash occurs. As a coach, you want to remind the athlete to have both feet in the middle of the box, and by doing this, there is a greater margin for error, and they will be less likely to trip off the side of the box.


correct box jump foot placement

Jump to the Middle of the Box

box jump foot placement wrong

Someone is going to have a “Box Jump Fail”!

7. Jumps vs. Step ups. Box jumps are scary for some people, and if you have this type of person then why are you box jumping anyway? If you cannot overcome the fear, then just have the people step up on a box. If you cannot effectively jump to a 8 inch box, then don’t you think you would be better served stepping up to 16 inch box? If fear is in the picture, then have your client do a box step, you will get a greater range of motion and twice as much work being done with little risk for injury.


8. Avoid high repetition box jump workout – As an athlete if your coach or your gym programs high repetition workouts involving box jumps then it may be time to look for a new gym, or take a pass on the workout. These dynamic plyometric movements will get riskier as you fatigue and the cumulative bounding effect is what will hurt your tendons and ligaments. For a more detailed funny explanation Check out our friend Beastmodaldomains

Read : High Rep Box Jumps are Stupid!


With these tips, you should avoid the common pitfalls of the box jump. We don’t want to be injured, and we sure don’t want to hurt our clients. In Mark’s Gym, we don’t have any boxes higher than 24 inches, because quite frankly we don’t need them to elicit the response we want, so let’s stop conducting silly training sessions and train smart.


Duck Tex Mex Marinade and Fajitas

Wild Duck Fajitas

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Marinating Time: 4-6 hours
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4


  •  8-12  duck breast fillets, skin off
  • 1 medium red onion, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rings
  • 1 bell pepper, any colour, cut into 1/4-inch-thick rings
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup tequila mmmmm
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or avocado oil
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground oregano
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • salsa
  • warm flour tortillas
  • lime wedges

1. Place duck breast fillets in a shallow plastic or glass container. Arrange red onion, bell pepper, and jalapeño over goose. In a bowl, combine tequila with the next seven ingredients and mix well. Pour mixture over ducks, onions, and peppers. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours, turning often.

2. Pour off and discard marinade. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add goose and brown evenly on both sides, about 3 to 4 minutes each side. Add onions and peppers, and cook until onions are translucent.

3. Remove duck breast when still medium-rare. Allow to rest for a few minutes and then slice thinly across the grain of the meat. Arrange sliced meat on plates, top with onions and peppers, and serve with salsa, tortillas, and lime wedges.

Check out this Paleo fajita / taco mix recipe here. 



Deck of Cards – Bodyweight Workout

Bmarks gym collingwood deck of cards workoutack in high school there was this wrestling coach Terry Walzack, who would use a deck of cards for conditioning drills. Each different suit was related to different exercise and the team would get a lot done in a small space and a deck of cards. If you know anything about wrestling, then you know that wrestlers work hard and conditioning is at the heart of who wins or loses the match. Mr. Walzack worked us hard in that dark, small gym and it produced many great wrestlers. The deck of cards method changed from day to day and the deck of cards created a randomized effect. You couldn’t get angry at the coaches because it was all the fate of the cards. The playing cards created a fun conditioning game of chance that served a purpose.

Today we did the entire deck of cards in a bodyweight exercise format. You can randomize the exercises and throw in a couple jokers as wildcards.

Beal's longtime athletic director  says the school, its kids and staff stole the heart of this CCH grad and got into his blood. He says the downtown school helped him build relationships that will last a lifetime and have nothing to do with how full the sports trophy cabinet may be. (MIKE HENSEN, The London Free Press)

Terry Walzak -wrestling coach

Give it a shot, aces can be ones or 10’s or even 15’s. Face cards like jack, queen, king are equal to 10.

You decide, but more isn’t always better. Each suit is face value for the number of each specific exercise. 7 of spades = 7 pull ups. Queen of diamonds = 10 squats. You can go through the entire deck and using this formula you are only doing 81 reps of each exercise, a little bit less than the the CrossFit workout Angie, and more broken up for a higher work capacity. For pull ups you can always sub ring rows or you can do banded pull ups. Give it a shot and let me know how you make out in the comments below.

bodyweight wod

Deck of cards workout

marks gym collingwood trainer

Turkish Get Up Kettlebell Workout Routine


5 Rounds of the Following:

Start by laying on back

  • Kettlebell in Left Hand
  • Turkish Get Up
  • Turkish Get Down
  • Turkish Get Up
  • Turkish Get Down
  • 1 Overhead Squat
  • 1 Windmill
  • 10 one armed russian swings 
  • Switch kettlebell to other hand

Lay down on back

  • Kettlebell in Right Hand
  • Turkish Get Up
  • Turkish Get Down
  • Turkish Get Up
  • Turkish Get Down
  • 1 Overhead Squat
  • 1 Windmill
  • 10 one armed russian swings 
  • Switch kettlebell to other hand

Then after 5 Rounds are completed:

20 Two armed Russian Swings

20 Air Squats

Kettlebell Swing Workout


kettlebell training wasaga beach collingwood ontario canada

If I had one piece of equipment to take with me on vacation…

  • 10 Swings Left Arm
  • 10 Swings Right Arm
  • 10 Hot Potatoes
  • 10 High Pulls Left Arm
  • 10 High Pulls Right Arm
  • 10 Hot Potatoes
  • 10 Snatches Left Arm
  • 10 Snatches Right Arm
  • 10 Hot Potatoes
  • 10 Alternating Single-Armed  Swings per side
  • 10 Hot Potatoes
  • 10 Cleans Left Arm
  • 10 Cleans Right Arm
  • 10 Hot Potatoes
  • 10 Clean and Press Left Arm
  • 10 Clean and Press Right Arm
  • 10 Hot Potatoes