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Surf's up! - Renegade water training

I attended a Renegade water training session with Coach Davies last week.

After reading TC’s “Tuesdays with Davies” Atomic Dog a few months ago, I decided to incorporate Renegade training into my workouts. The coach’s website listed upcoming seminars to be held in SoCal, Phoenix, and New Jersey. I emailed the coach expressing interest in attending a session. His reply mentioned that he was offering a new seminar that included water training. He explained that paddling out in the surf was an intense workout. It didn’t look so tough in “Blue Crush”, the movie about surfer chicks, I thought. How hard could it be? I signed up for the session and headed for the land of the Beautiful People - Orange County, California.

We met on the beach and Coach Davies explained the basics of paddling out. There is actually a large amount of technique and strategy involved, the goal being to reach the area beyond the breaks without becoming so exhausted you are too tired to ride back in. He also told me what to do if I was about to get smashed by a big wave, which unfortunately, I forgot. We headed out and I found out the coach was right, it is a lot of work to get out past the waves.

After spending an hour making several runs, I finally washed up on the beach exhausted. Your upper body does most of the work, as you would expect, but your core muscles are also working to keep you balanced on the board. My shoulders were sore, but my triceps were really wasted and my legs were shaky.

We then moved to a grassy area and worked with clubbells, a weight vest, and the Indo board. When we were done I felt like every muscle had been worked, yet I had not gone near a gym. I took a hot shower at a nearby 24 Hour Fitness, then had a P+C meal of fish tacos, rice and beans.

Those surfer dudes must be tougher than they look!

Sounds like an awesome day!

That sounds like fun!!

What a fun session huh, conditions were perfect and I’m glad you had a chance to experience at just how taxing it can be out. The next few sessions will carry on where we left off and eventually lead to some great road trips south.

Drop me a line sometime - snow is coming and the slopes are waiting!!!

In faith,

Coach Davies

As I have stated in the past, I respect all forms of fitness training!

I am in the process of training for a surf trip in Costa Rica in Dec.

My primary goal has been just to cut weight. Paddling out is so tough that it helps if you are moving less weight.

I have been successful in going from 215 to 205 (I am 6 ft) and increasing my strength.

I have been using the Meltdown Training program. But I have been getting worried that I should focus a little more on sport specific training e.g. the shoulders for paddling strength and stamina.

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.


Whereabouts you heading to in CR - I travel there a bit myself.

Re your training - without question it should be directed towards your goals. The demands of Surfing are incredible - few really understand or appreciate it and of-course because of your weight it is even that much more demanding.

Well where do I really start about training, since I just published a book entirely devoted to Xtreme Sport Training - in which obviously Surfing is a cornerstone.

Fill me in more info - this is a huge topic.

In faith,

Coach Davies

Ever been to Witches Rock?

I’m heading to Nosara on the Pacific side. Last year I did my first surf trip in about 6 years to San Clemente/San O and was way out of shape. I hated it.

I swore for this trip I would get my weight way down, and my strength and stamina up.

I just want to make the most out of my last eight weeks of training.


I’d definitely train shoulders, but my triceps were sore for days - don’t neglect them. I’d also do some core and balance work. Every surf shop on the beach sold the Indo board, which should tell you something. I bought the coach’s Xtreme sports book and recommend it - it’s an ebook you download and very through, around 250 pages. I’m starting that program next so I will be ready to ride when the snow falls, which could be as early as Friday if you believe the weather guessers.

loop fit - epic location, Witch’s, near Tamarindo, with long break. How often do you get there?

super* - boy, you were in my backyard, SC and SanO. You’ve got time to get ready though but you’ve got to act fast - too bad you weren’t around for the clinic, that would have got you going. You’ll love Nosara - is this your first time in CR?

air cal - thanks for compliments of the book. Hope to be shredding up in your parts soon but Friday?

In faith,

Coach Davies

Ya first time in CR. I surfed as a teenager and then didn’t surf for a while. Last year some friends who surf got me to meet them in SoCal for a week of surfing.

I just didn’t realize how out of surfing shape I was. The paddling killed me.

After a morning session nothing like a Pipes burrito!

Friday is the first mention of snow in the forecast - of course, it will take some time to build a base. Last year I rode freshies on Nov 3, the year before late October. Keep your fingers crossed and your board waxed…

Winter + Kauai that is all. Time to get the jet-ski out.

You are not kidding about the demands of surfing.
I’m just starting to get in surfing shape, which is quite enjoyable. A rather different sort of fitness than I’ve trained specifically for until now.

South facing breaks in Ventura were firing today and I DEFINITELY got a total body workout with morning & afternoon sessions.

While I’m new to surfing I’ve been snowboarding for about 15 years, and I think the demands upon mucles worked are different, especially in regards to upper body.

For surviving nasty whitewater I recommend (besides surfing obviously) building up endurance in the muscles mentioned already - but you will need bouts of higher intensity for times when you gotta race to get outside or get position on a wave.

I’ve been rubber-armed too many times already and gotten dumped on - no fun.

Anyway, thanks for your input Coach Davies and if ever you are planning on a seminar on snow please let us know.

super* - this is going to be an amazing trip in CR. Make the most of it and get yourself ready by the time you leave. Just let me know if I can help.

aircal - board ready, packed and ready for some back-country if possible, now just waiting for snow. Hmm, you sky-dive - what say we fly in and…(nah)

kuri - Ventura huh, I heard it was going off, maybe sometime we can get out together. But you bring up a great point that few understand - conditioning and the demands for Surf / Snow / Skate are incredibly misunderstood by the mainstream. Beyond the brilliance of the sport, there is a sense of adrenaline that is incomparable - but from a purely bio-mechanical standpoint they are completely different from other sports and mistakenly many try to utilize the same protocols.

Re the Snowboard camps - have one set-up already. I don’t advertise them a lot but send me an email and we can talk.

In faith,

Coach Davies

Coach - i was just wondering if you might make some suggestions about where to focus my training for the last 8 weeks.

I have been training since Aug so I have a good base to operate from.

Also, why is the digital copy of your book the same price as the hard copy… shouldn’t the digital copy be cheaper?

I’m also headed to CR for Dec.\Jan. Surfing is definately one of the most demanding sports out there, especially surfing CR beach breaks. Cutting weight is crucial but so is getting your cardio system raging since you’ll be forced to call upon it during oxygen deprived states(i.e. post duck-diving). Specific muscles I would focus on are all angles of abs, traps, lats, and lower back. These tend to be the major pain areas for me during extended surfing. The superman ab work(lying face down with arms and legs off the floor) will help improve the correct surfing form which will influence you speed and ability to catch waves. Really focus on cutting weight more than usual as it sucks getting it done once you’re there and will increase your buoyancy\speed\ability to catch waves. Good luck and also to me, I’m doing the same thing now.

The book includes a full 6 week training program. The focus of your training is the function of the Surfing and radically different than non-board sports. Let me know if you want to talk more of it - but the book is a solid start for you.

Regarding the book - you have a few options - I have an upcoming promotion that involves a charitable donation but that only involves a hard copy. Unfortunately - you are in a bit of hurry but if you weren’t I would suggest that as it is a great way to help those less fortunate. I hope anyone who is considering the book as a gift during the holiday season uses that method. However you can order the digital version (as well as the hard copy) by just clicking on the books image on my home page of my site, renegadetraining. Naturally for quicker delivery the digital is your choice. With regards to the price of the digital copy - I am told that it is actually more expensive to produce because of the encrypted anti-counterfeiting program.

I hope that helps.

In faith,

Coach Davies

Thanks. Supermans have been part of my workout since day 1. I also use a balance board for pushups since it mimics a pop up on a board.

I’ve been doing HIIT treadmill training for cardio but I took a closer look at Renegade Rope training and think I may make that my cardio workout.

The weight thing is a killer If I can get to 190 I will be really happy.