I am in the unique position here at Rock Island (for me) to be in one location, where there is no water, for over 2 months, now. This isn’t good for the paddling psyche, but I have committed to being here for this time and have to make the best of it.
I haven’t really done much for weight training, since 1993, my last year of real weight training, as part of my Slalom training, “Mega Plan”. This is primarily because I committed to doing my physical exercise on the water in my kayak, instead of in the gym. I get asked all of the time what kind of training I do to prepare for the season, and it is not normally applicable to the average person, simply because I have access to kayaking all of the time, and spend more hours on the water than most people can.
I have many years of experience preparing for kayaking, injury prevention, etc. in the gym, but it has been awhile. Well, with the dry weather in the Southeast, I decided that I couldn’t just wait it out and let myself get out of shape until it started raining.
I have the following goals for the winter for my body.
1. Increase total strength and power.
2. Round out my shoulders for muscle balance.
3. Stay in aerobic condition.
4. Keep my legs strong.
My routine is well established, but the volume is beginning to increase as my body has adjusted to the weights and is able to be pushed without as much risk of injury.
Every Two Days: Weight Training- Circuits- three laps, little to no rest in between exercises, going for high heart-rate, as well as strength.
Warm-up with 12 pound dumbbells- all of these done back to back in one set.
1. 10 straight arms lifts to the side
2. 10 straight armed lifts to the front
3. 10 “Sword Draws”- or “PNFs” with each arm- (literally pretend to draw a sword with your weights)
4. 10 Overhead presses
5. 10 curls each arm
6. 10 shoulder shrugs each way (forward and back)
7. 10 stretches to the side each way.
1. 135 15 times
2. 155 12 times (second lap),
3. 185 6 times (third lap)
1. 10 behind the head, wide grip
2. 10 front grip, shoulder width
3. 10 reverse grip, narrow grip
Repeat all three sets for 60 chins total, but after the circuits are done.
1. 20 each set, going at least 90 degrees on the elbows. (I’ll add two more sets to this for a total of 100, and then add weight by spring)
Curls- 35 pounds- 10 each arm, each set the same.
Overhead Press- I go straight to the overhead, not putting the weights down from the curls, which really gets the blood flowing. 35 pounds, 10 reps.
Abs- Nick Troutman showed me this one, and I am sticking with it. It is perfect for circuit weights and will get the job done well!
10 different ab exercises, each one done ten times.
1. Straight crunches
2. Crunches with legs to the right
3. Crunches with legs to the left
4. Lift legs overhead bent knees, focusing on lifting your butt of the ground (Upper abs)
5. Swing your straight legs back and forth, but don’t let them hit the ground.
6. Put your legs straight into the air and reach up to touch your toes.
7. Lift your legs only from the ground to vertical up and down 10 times.
8. Lift your body up and bend your knees up balancing on your butt, 10 times.
9. Bicycle pumping- 40 times elbow touches knees, legs pump straight out.
This is our entire routine so far. We will begin to add bent over rows to it but they make you feel sick and as a kayaker you can use so much weight that it really changes the feel of the workout from being hard, to being painful. We’ll wait another month or so to add that. Kristine has a treadmill, which is also awesome for doing 60 second sprints on it as part of the circuit, pushing the heart-rate to max. We haven’t started that yet either.
OK, now the other days, and sometimes on weight lifting days too.
Trampoline workouts. 4 or 5 times a week. Dane, Nick, and I create a routine that lasts 30 seconds long and we do that routine 2 times back to back. We have been practicing different kinds of flips, etc. and it is quite fun. We have a no more than one bounce in between moves rule, and go for combos whenever possible. A typical routine would be (just bouncing high for 60 seconds is like running fast, it is anaerobic.)
Back drop, front flip, side flip, side flip, double airscrew, 180 twist flip, 720 vertical spin (jump and rotate 720 and land on your feet), stomach drop 180. Bread and butter (kind of like in the boat), back flip, then repeate a second time. We switch out after two times through the routine with each other. It is a medium hard workout with three people and a REALLY hard workout with 2. We do it 5 times, and then take a break and change the routine.
Biking- done more for fun than a hard workout, we do two laps on our 3 mile trail. Clay created some nice log moves and jumps on it for extra technical challenge too. We do this maybe two or three times per week.
When we start paddling again, we’ll continue on with the weights, etc.
My goal is to beef up for this year and then trim down over the summer by worlds through volume of paddling. I am 170 pounds today, while I was 155 at the World Cup this year. It is a combination of higher body fat and more muscle. I am not particularly worried about fat right now and eat a lot and drink my fair share of dark beer. I found that I get stronger letting my body fat hit 10% and not focus on that. Once Rock Island runs and I do a winter training camp, I’ll lose that fat and be back in the low to mid 160’s but stronger too. My body is ready to take hits or abuse in the boat which is a good thing. Getting hurt is never fun. The only thing that I’ll have to nurse back carefully is the rib muscles. Doing wave moves after not doing any for a couple of months can tear things easily if you go full out.
I can provide some reasons for my selection of exercises in another article if people are interested. These are the key muscles to work for performance and injury prevention, in my experience.
See you in the gym, and then on the water!