Friday, January 20, 2006

2006 Sailing Goals #1: Get in Shape

Measurable Goal: Lose 40 lbs

Last summer I sailed on a Star. The nice thing about sailing a Star at the club/regional level is that the boat is not that physically demanding. Some Star sailors might disagree, but it just doesn't take that much effort as a crew to trim the tiny jib, adjust the backstays and droop hike, compared to sailing in smaller dinghies. Sure, the stakes are a bit higher in a Star; if you screw up a gybe in a dinghy you might lose a few places in the a Star, if you forget to cleat the new windward backstay as you cross the boat then the mast will go over the bow. In the Star, I had plenty of strength and enough coordination to do everything I needed to do. It would have been nice to be able to lift myself out of a droop hiking position without using the deck handle (OK...grabbing the backstay) but hiking itself doesn't take much effort in a droop harness. Being a big Star crew was fun, but I need to get back to driving a boat and my most likely ride is a Laser.
To sail a Laser properly again I will need to gain alot of endurance and lose alot of weight. So to this end I joined a gym that is around the corner from my office. To start off with I am planning to do at least 30 minutes of some sort of cardiovascular exercise 4 times per week(either on the machines at the gym or running outdoors when the weather gets nicer). I am also going to do some basic circuit training using the weight machines at the gym initially and then adding more free weights into the routine as I become more comfortable with weight training again. As the routine develops I will post details here. In addition, I am going to build up some sort of core strength routine to build abdominal and back strength. I have a meeting with a personal trainer next week, so I will ask him more about what I should do then.
Please add comments with any tips or suggestions.


Tillerman said...

I'm impressed. Look forward to hearing on your blog what exercises you choose and what your personal trainer recommends. I'm probably steal his or her ideas.

Scheherazade said...

I was just working with a trainer about recommendations for my college sailors to get into shape for dinghy sailing. He gave me some very good information, some of which surprised me.

To lose weight, he strongly suggests a spinning class as the best use of your time and the most likely to bring serious results.

I'd concentrate on lifting weights more than on cardio, and use your gym time there. It'll boost metabolism, and give you power, strength, confidence. The trainer was pretty serious about weight lifting as the best use of time -- recommending it be more than half of your training time. For the cardio, do short bursts of serious, sweaty work. Better to run 2 miles all out than to run 5 miles slow, unless you have other reasons for wanting to build up your runner's endurance. Running changes your body in ways that aren't very helpful to non-running applications.

Lots of fun core, quad/hamstring, shoulder and bicep exercises. Enjoy, and please write us what you're doing.

Dan said...

I'd concentrate on the core muscles first, then the legs and arms... but I'm willing to borrow from whatever your trainer suggests.

Anonymous said...

why don't you start sailing in a Finn?

Litoralis said...

Because I can't afford a Finn, the regattas are too infrequent, and the fleets are too small.

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