It seems like my last post on resistance training drew some interest, so here is a short follow up on a my favorite tool for resistance training – weight in the boat.
Using weight is an excellent way for improving boat glide. But I’m afraid most paddlers use in the wrong way – trying to improve their force output while paddling (although that may be a bi-product, for this goal it is better to use an under water resistance like a ball or tube).
The unique advantage of training with extra weight is the ENHANCED INERTIA of the boat while paddling. When a boat is heavier and the paddler is reaching “planing speed” he/she will feel that the boat is moving by itself, that happens because the boat has more torque that pushes the boat forward.
This state it is a great condition to practice an efficient and short catch (meaning not paddling past vertical) because the paddler feels the boat drives itself, the only thing he should do is to not interfere and and just nudge with a short and efficient stroke that emphasis and improve the glide.
When done correctly, it feels like running downhill, with less and less effort the boat speed increases.
Some guid lines –
1. Use about 5%-10% of your body weight, no need for more. Remember, it a technical exercise not the gym.
2. For maximal results, you should split the training 2/3 with the extra weight and 1/3 with out. Don’t forget to take the weight out, at first it will feel strange and you will have to adapt to the new stroke but thats how your muscle memory learns to incorporate the new feeling into the technique. After 10′-15′ you’ll adjust and will have better glide and DPS.
3. Use Motionize and try to see if the Stroke Length to DPS ratio has changed from you “regular session”. DPS minus SL is the net boat glide, try to improve it!