The WARM UP.
What is a ‘warm up’?
10 mins on a treadmill?
2 degrees of Core Temperature rise? (how do we accurately measure that?)
A ‘light’ set?
A ‘Run Through’?
An Ice Bucket?
Throwing and catching a ‘Bouncy’ ball?
Zig Zag runs?
In actual fact, along with other ideas, any of the above could be pertinent.. The two degrees of core temp though, definitely out, in my book… as it has to be measured with an Anal Thermometer. (Pass on that one).
Here’s my take;
A warm up is something that prepares you, in the best way possible to be ready for what you are about to do next.
This is where ‘Specificity’ comes into play. Running might warm you up for a bike ride but riding a bike would be a better warm up. If you’re just looking to increase blood flow or raise the heart rate, many options spring to mind.
What it cannot be is something too rigid. We are all different, we are also all different on any given occasion. Saying 10 minutes of this/that might not be applicable. One day you might need 22 minutes, another 4 minutes. It must applicable to the person in front of you.
With Athletes I tend to make many suggestions as to how they might like to go about it. Try this, try that, change this change that. Ultimately though it must be a joint decision. The Athlete generally knows best or is given the freedom to discuss and get ideas for modification of the warm ups possible for many changing scenarios. If you’re given a 10 minute warm up, but don’t feel ready to go. Either modify the next warm up or don’t ‘go’ at 10 minutes but wait until you feel ‘safe’ to proceed.
Specific movement patterns are always a preferred option, hence why I said running for bike riding might not be ideal. Doing lot’s of Bench press because you’re about to Squat really doesn’t make that much sense.
If an Athlete has had something distracting before they arrive for a training session they need to know they should tell the coach. Sometimes I have canned a whole planned session and gone to plan b, or c etc. If the person’s not mentally ‘there’, then it may be unsafe to continue with difficult or hard/heavy training. Skill work might need to be modified. Remember it’s perfect practice that makes perfect, not just practice.
Static stretches can be fine and so can dynamic stretches, as long as the technique and form is maintained at a high level. I think a dynamic sport needs a dynamic warm up.
Canvassing an Athlete or the person about how they ‘feel’ (as a Coach/Trainer) is extremely important and communication must be understood to be critical to a successful outcome.
A lighter weight may be deemed applicable, but the adherence to the designated protocols of the session must be adhered to.
So, to give an example; You bench 100 kgm for 5 reps usually. You warm up with 70 kgms. I personally still set 5 reps at the same (100 kgm) Tempo not faster because it is lighter. Therefore, I am ‘warming up’ the musculature but also adhering to the designated neural patterning.
In short warm ups are infinitely variable. All they need to do is make you ‘ready to go’.
Good Day Clive,
I really like your write ups over at Slim’s site. Especially your initial theoretical approach to training and scepticism of what has become gimmicky instagram orthodoxy. This is a painfully general question, but would you say strength training for especially the back, shoulders, as well as legs, more directly translates into paddling and turning gains? Have found the training in general has really improved my surfing, but I think I have a bias toward traditional chest/arms over back/arms/legs at times. Thanks again and look forward to your write ups!
Thank you for your compliments Tom.
Onto your question;
Training is firstly individual. I gave a long lecture last year on this and the fact that training has to morph with you.
Strength Training needs to translate into practical gains on the surfing front. There are ways I do this, but it’s not always an easy transcription (Transcription as I call it, think ‘from page to page’).
Traditional training will benefit the beginner, specific training benefits the advanced. I wouldn’t be scared to set one exercise only, if I felt that was the key to success and the difference between first and second.
So the better you surf the more specific the programming and training needs to be. If someone handed a WSL Tour Surfer a page of paper saying here’s your programme for the next month, 3 months whatever… I’d call it rubbish!
The Training Programme I put together for the lecture had EVERY day of the whole tour designated. Not only that, it had many sliding scales for the variances the Pro Surfer would encounter. If you’re on the right road… a traffic jam will stop you, unless you take a detour!
Going back to traditional training for a moment, always consider the postural balance aspects.. I generally trend 3 x back to 1 x front on the upper body. Yes… it’s an imbalanced programme, but seldom do I find a balanced person (posture wise).
Happy Surfing Tom