Cross training

Looking for some ideas and thoughts on cross training. Hands down if I want to make crew again next year I need to get stronger. As the smallest person on my crew, I'm 5'5" and 120 lbs, (the average girl on my crew is about 5'7"-5'8" and 135-140 lbs) I'm at a disadvantage in sheer strength and reach. What I lack in other areas I make up for in surfing ability. I come in near the end of the pack when it comes to two minute one-man pulls in the OC6 but lead the pack when it comes to 10 mile down wind runs on the OC1s and unfortunately one man pulls are a big decision maker for our coach.

I want to know how to target the right muscles in order to get the best results as far as strength training goes, I know there are ALOT of smaller girls (and guys for that matter) who may have a similar problem and would love to get their input...

Submitted by mana_wahine on Mon, 10/01/2012 - 8:08pm

Mana, refer to this thread for some ideas:

It's a pity your coach puts so much importance on the 2 min pulls - not much use in a 2 hour race!
As a coach I put much more value in OC1 performance as it's a true measure of paddling ability.


#1 Tue, 10/02/2012 - 11:51am

^ I see 2 people mentioned crossfit in that link.... Whatever you do, stay away from crossfit. Unless you want to kill all your joints and get yourself injured.

Proper weight lifting will boost your strength. Start off with compound exercises like deadlift, overhead press, back squat, bench press, etc. that target a whole group of muscles. Get a friend who know how to lift to teach you proper form so that you don't injury yourself.

Also diet is important as well.

#2 Tue, 10/02/2012 - 12:21pm

get a hand plank, go bodysurfing everyday:

#3 Tue, 10/02/2012 - 1:22pm

Mahalo hasto and jeffn,
I will definitely be implementing more weight training, cross fit however is a big fat negative. I have a bad knee due to a car accident about 7 years ago, which is why I started paddling since I could no longer compete in any sport that requires running.

I really appreciate the help!

Aloha, mw

#4 Tue, 10/02/2012 - 1:26pm

Where did your coach Learn to coach??? If tractor pulls make a big impact on his decision for "DIStANCE" he should rethknk his strategy.. Just hit the gym!! And build muscle. Strength will come...

#5 Tue, 10/02/2012 - 2:02pm

Lots of sex!

#6 Tue, 10/02/2012 - 3:49pm


#7 Tue, 10/02/2012 - 4:41pm

Have a look at this vid:

Matahi Brightwell is a world class coach.

#8 Tue, 10/02/2012 - 7:30pm

Thanks PG and Rambo ...

5:17, try this on kids in Cali and see what happens when parents find out. : 0



#9 Tue, 10/02/2012 - 8:13pm

Here is another one. Knee crunches with a swiss ball. Very effective for core muscles.

Have fun !

#10 Wed, 10/03/2012 - 12:21am

Or take the Swiss ball crunches a step further and do the atomic pushups using a TRX. Hard to beat the versatility of the TRX for off the water core work

#11 Wed, 10/03/2012 - 2:58pm

Ive had some pretty good results with crossfit and trx. Both are phenominal in so many ways but some people cannot do crossfit due to injuries etc or just dont want to work out to the point of DIS/GFB. Drenched in sweat/gasping for breath. Trx is good also but you may want to add in some weight for extra strength work. A good trx instructor can show you how.

#12 Wed, 10/03/2012 - 7:22pm

Crossfit by itself is not an intrinsically bad workout or one where injuries need to occur. As with any bad sport a bad coach can absolutely cause injuries. A number of Crossfit trainers will sacrifice form for strength so unless you are 22 with amazing elasticity you need to find a trainer that is the right match. The philosophy of Crossfit using multiple mussels intensely with no rest will build endurance and strength better than any other exercise I have ever done which is why the military, college and professional sports teams have begun to adopt Crossfit.
I remember an old outrigger coach that used to tie the canoe to the wall and have us paddle as hard as we could. Or the tire on the back manu drill. Another one used to have us paddle the 6 mans by ourselves. I loved it at the time but not sure my shoulders are happy today. Thank goodness for these unlimiteds that are now being produced.

#13 Thu, 10/04/2012 - 2:36am

jogging would help with the need your wind.

#14 Thu, 10/04/2012 - 4:15am

Here are a few ideas for you so that by the time the seat pulls arrive the 6 feels lighter!

#15 Thu, 10/04/2012 - 4:56am

I agree with Floutrigger. Its all about the trainer. Ever since I started the trx classes I attend, it takes quite a bit of work in the canoe to actually get "winded". Workouts that use weight - even if its your bodyweight - at a high intensity will get your HR jacked and make you strong at the same time. I know a few people who have gotten scarey strong in the canoe from this and cannot get their hr up in the surf anymore.

#16 Thu, 10/04/2012 - 4:58am

Mahalo everyone, never tried cross fit before, I did insanity a few rounds, how does cross fit compare? Anyone try both?

#17 Thu, 10/04/2012 - 7:19am

Anyone who know how to lift weight will tell you that "sacrifice form for strength" is a one way ticket to snap-city. I watch crossfit youtube vids in horror how they teach newbies to do olympic lift in terrible form.

If you must, take your time to find a coach who knows what they're doing.

Btw, crossfit gym is much more expensive to join than regular gym. I'd just do powerlifting for strength training and do a bootcamp-type of circuit for endurance. Cheap and easy.

#18 Thu, 10/04/2012 - 8:24am

Crossfit and Insanity don't differ all that much. They do very similar exercises. Crossfit workouts are generally shorter.. I have been doing Crossfit for a year after posting a similar question last year on OC Paddler. I have been hurt in Crossfit, but I have been hurt in basket ball, 24 hour fitness, paddling and football.
A year later, I feel like a different athlete. My core is stronger, my cardio is better, and my recovery is better. But the biggest benefit was getting comfortable, with being uncomfortable. I am pretty smashed after a crossfit workout, but have learned to that getting to that zone is manageable. I am more willing to allow myself to hurt in the boat.
Translated to paddling I closed the gap on the OC1 time trials on everyone ahead of me on my team, and opened the gap on guy behind me. That is until some of those guys joined Crossfit also.
In the end, both Insanity and Crossfit are good ways to get better. Just do whatever keeps you motivated and headed back to the gym. I have done programs that don't keep my interest and I taper off to nothing.

#19 Thu, 10/04/2012 - 9:59am

the short list of instructions i tell people i coach.

do some of everything.
do things that are fun.
rest if you're tired.
if at all possible train with a team mate.

#20 Thu, 10/04/2012 - 10:32am

jc9 - thats the best thing ive heard so far, and you used the least amount of words.

#21 Thu, 10/04/2012 - 11:47am

mana wahine,if you want to become a better canoe paddler,the only thing that will make you better is paddling a canoe.It's that simple,and that complicated.Just paddle most everyday,no matter what.No off season mentality.How do you become a better surfer?You surf everyday,that's how.If you want to work your body in all kine of ways,then you do all the other stuff,but it will not make you a better paddler.You have to become one with the ocean,the canoe,the paddle.BTW,Crossfit as pointed out by jeffn is baad,doing those exercises in the fastest time and sacrificing form for speed is nuts.

#22 Thu, 10/04/2012 - 12:40pm

jpi92109 - those are the only things that keep me motivated to train outside the boat. i get bored easily when my workouts are just running, swimming, or strictly gag inducing circuits ala crossfit. i've just recently trademarked the names wussfit, softfit, and softbatchfit for my workouts. website and blagg soon to follow.

the way i figure, anything is better for me than sitting at home watching the Lions loose.

#23 Thu, 10/04/2012 - 1:41pm

I know what you mean. In the last week ive done a downwind run, 3 hours on my aukahi, trx class, crossfit, and sup. makes me not want to get to april with nothing but oc1 hours - or not seeing the lions in the playoffs...

#24 Thu, 10/04/2012 - 1:49pm

Eric, thank you very much. TRX is not very well known on this side of the Atlantic Ocean. It is a very promising advice. I will definitely check it out.

Mahalo !

#25 Sat, 10/06/2012 - 3:59am

JustPaddle, I appreciated that you posted that video on core exercises. Some of those I already do in my Pilates class but others I think I will incorporate into an off the water program that I am developing for myself this winter.

jc9_01 were you just joking about starting a website for paddling fitness? If not, I look forward to seeing it when you post up the link.

Thanks for posting this question mana_wahine, similar to a question I asked earlier and resulting in more helpful discussion.


#26 Sat, 10/06/2012 - 5:32am

And friend and I have done a workout like this a few times.

10 burpees
20 pull ups
20 air squats
10 minute paddle sprint
x3 for time

You would adjust the number of reps and even the movements to your fitness level or whatever it is your training for. Ive subsituted oc1 for sup as well.

#27 Sat, 10/06/2012 - 6:46am

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