T Nation

Kayak Training.

I have been out of training for a year now due to a shoulder issue, it’s still around but I have just back into some physical activity.

I’ve taken up kayaking quite recently and I have a natural ability for it. 3-4 sessions in and I can already beat some of the experienced guys in 200 & 500m sprints.

One of the leaders said I could get into competitive races quite soon, so I want to train for it.

I waas wondering what exercises I could do in the weight room to improve my 200-500m times?

Here is a couple of 200m & 500m kayak videos to show you what I am doing:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kchej3XjvYA (200m)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QBlkrYtBdao (500m)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zs2HQG0HLNo (olympic kayak technique)

Would really appreciate input from you guys here.

boo… no replies

well I guess i’ll just have to do some experimenting.

I have never tried K1, but as a recreational paddler with reasonable technique it all seems to be in the triceps, upper back and definitely core.

I would be taking advantage of the cable machine for woodchoppers. Dips and Pull-ups will help. Various rep schemes, lots of sets with relatively short breaks. Planks and side-planks for time.

Dynamic stuff would be great, close-grip speed bench with bands, for e.g. I would definitely put that into the program somewhere appropriate, either as a weekly thing or in blocks.

Clean, then press, then overhead squat all in one go. ie clean weight, press it, now do an overhead squat. That should cover everything, BTW this complex sucks, very good at inducing vomiting.

You of course use your arms in kayaking, but you are most efficent by heavily utilizing large muscles such as back, shoulders, and core. With kayaking, you want to generate much of the power by rotating you body.

Given this, I think that any solid training program that includes dead lifts, squats, bench press, push press, weighted dips, weighted chin-ups, bent rows, and weighted sit-ups will do very well.

You’ll be hitting your core hard and that’s important. Make sure and get out paddling too. Can’t beat sports-specific training. I miss kayaking!

I went to a seminar back in june in which the GB kayaking coach was doing a presentation on how he trained his athletes. It seemed to consist mostly of cleans tapering out into hang cleans come race time, also lots of mediciine ball work, lots of throws, lots of medball slams against a wall. Obviousy they’re at elite level though, so you will need to take into account your own level of preparedness, but hope this gives you some ideas.

I went training today before seeing your replies,

Warmed up with 3x30 push-ups.

I did Dumbbell bench for 4x6-8/ Dumbbell row (with extended ROM and rotation of body) for 4x6-8.

I then did one-arm straight-arm pulldowns for 3x25 with 30 sec rest and dumbbell front raises for 3x20 with 30 sec rest.

Finished up with some dumbbell curls & triceps pushdown (3x12)

I figured that the straight-arm pulldowns & front raises had a good connection to the kind of movements im doing when driving with my paddling.

Also I thought focusing on uni-lateral training would be a good idea so my strength becomes equal on both sides.

I forgot about these, they would definitely be a good idea for kayaking going to add these in next time i go gym

A couple thoughts:

There is a book called Weight Training for Kayaking or something similar to that. May be worth a look. Can’t find it on Amazon, but I know I saw a review of it the old kayak racing magazine Hullspeed.

Also, there is a book/pamphlet that covered Greg Barton’s training before his Olympic medal wins. That book contains examples of the lifting routines he used, as well as his general philosophy on how to incorporate weights in to a kayak training program. It is an older book, but it was an interesting read. But, then, it has been a long time since I looked at it. You might try to contact Greg’s company at www.epickayaks.com to find out where to get that book.

[quote]financeguy wrote:
A couple thoughts:

There is a book called Weight Training for Kayaking or something similar to that. May be worth a look. Can’t find it on Amazon, but I know I saw a review of it the old kayak racing magazine Hullspeed.

Also, there is a book/pamphlet that covered Greg Barton’s training before his Olympic medal wins. That book contains examples of the lifting routines he used, as well as his general philosophy on how to incorporate weights in to a kayak training program. It is an older book, but it was an interesting read. But, then, it has been a long time since I looked at it. You might try to contact Greg’s company at www.epickayaks.com to find out where to get that book.[/quote]

oh thanks ill look into that, might aswell search around for other books while im at it.

I got an exercise idea:

With lat pulldowns, I pull it down into the regular bottom position, lean way back, then do the kayak paddling technique at the bottom.

Although i’m not sure if that would encourage me to lean back while paddling which would decrease my speed…

Or russian twists, alternating between a broomstick & plate

Goodfellow - a clarification on the book I recommended above.

Actually, I found my copy. The book is called “Fit to Paddle” by Rocky Snyder. So, it is about general conditioning for paddling and has one chapter devoted to weight training. I bought it for the weight training at the time, so remembered it as a “weight training” book, not a general conditioning book. Other than a few lifts that are more specific to paddling, most of the weight training stuff is pretty basic. I would say - if you can find a used or cheap copy of the book, it might be worthwhile. But, if you have a lot of lifting experience, it probably isn’t worth paying a lot for it, especially if it is hard to find in England.

However, i would still recommend the Barton book. In addition to the training info, it basically gives an overview of how Barton trained for the olympics, in many cases in his own words via interviews.

Sweet. I was just Kayaking in Lake Superior two weeks ago. Apostle Island…
To keep a workout just so I did not just have paddle I did about 300- 400 Meters sprints and did intervals.

I also used to row and I believe your upper back and your biceps are going to have a lot of impact on the sprinting part and I defiantly agree with the core.

Rack pulls, Pull Ups, Zercher Lift off pins, and Barbell rows will defiantly help and overhead squats.

[quote]isuru wrote:
I also used to row and I believe your upper back and your biceps are going to have a lot of impact on the sprinting part and I defiantly agree with the core. [/quote]

Yeah I think Tim Brabants said he used to do like 200 pull-ups every training session or something (1000m kayak winner in beijing)

I want to do top-end strength stuff but my shoulder is still a bit iffy (get MRI results on oct 7th), so for now im going to stay over 15 reps on most things. Since I haven’t trained in a while I can only do about 12 pull ups/chin ups which is heavy enough to cause some aggro.

As far as direct kayak training starts, I’ve only had about 6 sessions so far, so I need to get some qualifcations (1 star & 2 star) before I can go out paddling whenever I want for my own training.

The tests for those don’t start for a while so I will only be able to get like 3 sessions in a week for a couple months. Going white water kayaking tomorrow so i better get some sleep…

Also, do you guys think that tall guys have a big advantage over shorter guys in this sport? Or is it mostly based on your individual power?

The top 3 in the beijing 500m were 6’3", 5’11" and 6’2". I’m only 5’8" so I’m not sure how that will affect my speed in elite levels.

I am thinking being shorter you have a little more advantage? I am only 5’7 and length that i have to get back my paddle into the water is going to be shorter and quicker than someone taller? ( i don’t know if that made any since…)

200 pulls up might be good for him but it really depends on the person.

I would suggest lifting heavy for hypertrophy and have speed lifting sessions.
Pretty much like power lifting.

P= F*S (Force, Speed, Power)

I watched your videos and that would be cool if I can start also.

Any recommendation where to begin Goodfellow?

[quote]isuru wrote:
I am thinking being shorter you have a little more advantage? I am only 5’7 and length that i have to get back my paddle into the water is going to be shorter and quicker than someone taller? ( i don’t know if that made any since…)

200 pulls up might be good for him but it really depends on the person.

I would suggest lifting heavy for hypertrophy and have speed lifting sessions.
Pretty much like power lifting.

P= F*S (Force, Speed, Power)[/quote]

Yeah I got Thibs’ black book of training secrets so i’ll look into that for some suggestions too.

I dont feel like training today since im exhausted from the 6 hours of white water training I did yesterday, so it’s a perfect time to whisk something up.

I just went to a local kayaking club, went to a couple adult sessions & learned basic stuff. I then was asked by one of the guys if i’d like to do the racing sessions also, and it picked up from there.

I am actually going to be doing a 3 mile race next sunday so i’ll let you know how it goes.

hey i’m into kayaking too, started a couple of months ago.

regarding the workouts, ive heard that we should keep it within the high rep range (15+) for power endurance
major muscles would probably include lats, deltoids, core, rhomboids, biceps?
ive mainly been doing pullups and dips for musclework, not much but planning on hitting the gym soon.

and regarding the tall vs short issue, i think that the taller guys have more advantage, given their longer limbs,higher pivot point of the paddle when pulling, and a longer front catch.
just look at tim brabants. he has a monstrous catch, partly due to his extra long limbs too.

ohyea, and anyone has a good idea for a core workout? ive found that balance sometimes restricts me from going all out in a set.

and financeguy mentioned greg barton’s book.i agree with him, its very comprehensive,and definitely worth reading

[quote]raptor03 wrote:

and regarding the tall vs short issue, i think that the taller guys have more advantage, given their longer limbs,higher pivot point of the paddle when pulling, and a longer front catch.
just look at tim brabants. he has a monstrous catch, partly due to his extra long limbs too.

[/quote]
Well here is my positive view on it:

tim brabants is 6’2" and adam van koeverden beat him in the 500m who is 5’11". 5’11" is 3 inches shorter than 6’2", so if that guy can beat a guy 3 inches shorter than him so can I (i’m 5’8"), and if i can beat adam van koeverden that means i can beat tim brabants =p lol.

And as far as rep-ranges go. You need to focus on max strength & speed work, as well as strength endurance.

Hmm… would be pretty cool if i can actually start doing that.

For lifting you have to alternate it like Goodfellow said.

Lift Heavy. Low Reps.
60-70% of your max for reps.

I have been lifting whatever i can push for about 2-3 reps for about 3-4 sets.

Than about 2 more sets for 8-12 reps. Defiantly has been working.