SURF FIT by Clive Rodell (personal fitness Guru)
article No.6 Aug – Sept 2019
Once again, to all concerned, I apologise for the gap in articles. I have just run my first course in Exercise technique, which was well received by the participants (ASCA Coaches, PTs etc).
I am just about to announce the next one on December 7/8 in the Sydney CBD at ‘The Zone’ (Fitness First). It’s open to all, not just Eps, Physios. S&Cs, PTs etc. Basically, anyone interested in upskilling and learning the finer and most important points of Exercise Technique. The purpose being to promote maximum longevity and effectiveness in training.
Price is $790, Early Bird $650…. But to anyone reading Slim’s website gets a Super-Special of $550! Two days of compounding 46 years of my Fitness/Strength Training/Conditioning background… including my mistakes!!
If you’re interested, please drop Slim a line, mention you saw it on his great website and he’ll pass your details to me. ??
So, what shall we discuss this time? I think Slim’s suggestion of the ‘Older Surfer’ is a great one.
As we ‘mature, (some might say I haven’t lol), we need to take stock of what’s happening to our bodies. We must acknowledge the inevitable changes. Obviously, in some ways, we can slow the ageing process…. But we cannot stop it.
If you been ‘sporty/active’ you need to look at the wear and tear factor. Injuries, past and present can linger or cause secondary affectation. If we’ve walked with a limp, for instance, the injury may have healed, but we may not have learned to walk correctly again. As alluded to, in earlier articles, Upper and Lower Cross(ed) syndromes can come into play and start to cause chronic movement pattern injuries. These can take years to form…. And consequently, take ages to pinpoint and fix.
Our metabolic rate changes, a nightmare as you get older, we eat the same, but the weight starts to pile on, as our metabolism drops constantly! Testosterone can be enhanced by weight training and high level efforts.
We can look at any of the Women’s magazines to get the latest diet sensation, but as soon as you embark on that new one, there’s another one the following week! Extremely confusing. I recently went on a 6-week fish/vegetable diet and put on 500gms!!
I’m not sure if anyone really has the answer. Everyone is an individual. There’s also an acceptance of reality, a bitter pill to swallow.
Our flexibility can wane, arthritis and old niggles can come into play, lack of maintenance another issue. I am in Torquay at present, having to wear much more rubber. The rubber slows and restricts our movement. Our adaptation to the changes is slower. Let’s not mention the boots… oh I did… I am not on my 3rd pair in 4 surfs. It’s been embarrassing! Surfing Winki and catching a couple of good ones and tripping up every time doesn’t sit well with me… or the crowd. On that front the cheaper, more sock-like ones are the best so far for me. The stiffer ones with no foot flexibility proved colder and the extra toe length was something I couldn’t adapt quickly to.
So, maintenance, is one of the clues and cues I can give. We all have a certain genetic predisposition for certain physical attributes such as flexibility for example. Some are always more flexible than others. However, keeping what you’ve got, or getting it back to your genetic potential, is a great start.
Get yourself checked out, Medically and Posturally.
Choose a Trainer that is not just a new PT, EP etc, choose experience and a proven track record. A 30-year-old that boast 95 years of experience and blinds you with science, baffles you with BS and is an Instagram hero, might not be the best choice. If you’re looking for a Trainer, choose one that has Australian Strength and Conditioning qualifications, at least a level 1, preferably a level 2.
I recently spent a bit of time with WSL Physio Richard Wallace at his Kieser facility in Torquay, Victoria. I was impressed. Ex Pro Surfer Brad Gerlach, an old friend and someone who used to surf against some of the people I coached in the 80s, has a training System called Wave-Ki.
The Chiropractor I use at Narrabeen has over 35 years’ Service with the Australian water Ski team, there’s another at Mona vale who works with the WSL, I use Physios that are very experienced to refer out to etc.
Don’t be demoralised if you have injuries, get them looked at by the best. Many of the World’s best suffers of a bygone era have had hip replacements, many two and new knees etc. A couple of Bells Contests ago I was giving someone some advice who was trying to put off surgery. When they told me their history/story I said….. get it done, it’s time! I would have preferred another solution, but logic said intervention was the fix. They spoke to me this Bells, and said thank you, best thing they had done for it in years.
Equipment is another thing… pride says ride a 5’11’’ like Mick Fanning, then after several years of struggling, that person buys a Mal! How about looking at the wide point forward, thicker, ‘step up’ option! Best on a mid-range shortboard for my money. For instance, the Channel Islands ‘Big Willy’, it’s the Willy Morris (R.I.P.) version of the Flyer, more meat forward, like a cut-down etc.
So, to recap, get on board, not like a typical bloke! Get your Health Check, get your Postural Check, keep flexible, weight train by getting expert help, up the cardio gradually… walk, before jogging, before running (metaphorically). Variety in your training is beneficial, as simple as walk a different route every day. Choose a good paddler, your paddling will get better, because you’re paddling more easily. Getting more waves in a crowd will make you fitter, your ability to catch waves will improve, your longevity in the water will increase.
When weight training, I use 3 back exercises to one chest exercise. Pullovers, Lat Pulls, Rows etc. Often, I use pushups instead of bench, especially with your feet on a ball etc. Compound leg exercises, Squatting and Dead lifting (modified versions are fine).
Once again, technique is everything, it’s not just about ‘size’. As stated, try an A.S.C.A. Strength and Conditioning Coach qualified Trainer. People use the term Master Trainer… One of the Fitness Institutes coined this term, it meant you got your assignments in on time! Class Champion was the most popular classmate! So, beware the Mumbo-Jumbo!
The biggest tip is; ENJOY! Take up an activity you enjoy that has an incidental fitness bonus.
If you’re around the Northern Beaches of Sydney, contact me and I’ll help put you on the right track.
Take care, and all for now, Clive Rodell.