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Frenchy
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02/26/2020 05:59AM
Spring is just around the corner. I was wondering how many are physically preparing for this years trip?
I guess when I started tripping in the 70’s it was never a problem. But almost 5 decades later, it has become a very important part of trip planning.
We like to visit many different lake on each trip which means a lot of paddling and portages. I have found each trip much more enjoyable and definitely safer if some time is spent getting fit prior to putting the canoe in the water each year.
 
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Blatz
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02/26/2020 06:58AM
I think there's few Physical Education teachers like myself on this board. I'll keep it simple. It's not race training so speed isn't a factor. Just paddle your local lakes and rivers as much as possible. Keep it steady and watch your technique. For portaging find a hill and do hill repeat walks with your pack. I also find lunges and squats to be very valuable. But the big one is STRETCH, STRETCH, STRETCH. It will pay off in many ways.
 
soundguy0918
member (46)member
 
02/26/2020 07:02AM
Most of my pre-trip exercise is about stretching. I work on my shoulders, back, and especially ankles. Lifting a canoe and slipping off a rock on a portage are not normal everyday activities 51 weeks out of the year. During my last trip there were several times I rolled my ankle - and suffered no real harm - and thanked myself for doing the prep work!
 
02/26/2020 07:25AM
I have a physical active job but about 6-7 weeks before a trip I'll start going on weekends to a large forest preserve lake. I will start doing about 1- 1and 1/2 hour paddles and build up to 2 hours and using a good pace (enough for a good workout).

After these paddles I take my CCS Wanderer pack that has 25 lb's of hand dumbells wrapped in towels in it and go for a one hour hike on the trails in the preserve. There's a couple nice hill climbs here too. If I really want to get in shape I'll wear ankle weights when I hike. I also wear the pack when I go on dog walks throughout the week. I try to stretch out my back and legs prior to the hike. That's about it.

 
AmarilloJim
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02/26/2020 07:35AM
I'm training this year for sure
 
cyclones30
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02/26/2020 07:39AM
My wife and i each workout year-round so no real changes. As it gets closer I do tend to do more lifting in motions that'll be used. (Squat, standing overhead press, etc)

I'll take a 45 plate (tandem canoe weight) and basically do my portage motions with it as part of my routine. Start with it on the ground off to one side, work on proper technique and get it right above my head, then press to full extension. Back down slow like I would on the other side and repeat going the other way. Works legs, core, and arms
 
A1t2o
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02/26/2020 08:08AM
I'm in my 30's and I workout to get in shape before a trip. Nothing too major like practice canoe trips, but I will ride bike, lift weights, and diet a little just to make the trip a bit easier. I like to think of it as a bit of spring cleaning for my body. It keeps me from ever really getting out of shape.
 
treehorn
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02/26/2020 08:44AM
cyclones30: "My wife and i each workout year-round so no real changes. "

This is about it for me. General fitness year round including jogging, lifting, cycling, etc. Maybe subconsciously I do more shoulder work leading up to a trip because I know that's the one muscle that really starts burning if I'm carrying a canoe on a long portage.
 
nofish
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02/26/2020 08:53AM
I think the most important thing to work on is you core. A strong core makes handling packs and canoes easier and reduces the risk of injuring your back while making some sore of awkward move or when you lift up that pack without bending at the waist.

Shoulders and legs are also important for paddling and portaging but a strong core makes everything easier.
 
GopherAdventure
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02/26/2020 09:47AM
I would second many of the things suggested here, especially stretching. If you're comfortable trying Yoga, I was blown away at the strength and flexibility I gained from a little bit of Yoga every now and then. Also, lot's of people ask what I do to get ready for canoe trips and what I do to prepare for the Ely Portage Marathon so I made a little video. Hope this helps you a little.
Canoe Trip Preparation Workout

Tony
 
Blatz
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02/26/2020 09:52AM
nofish: "I think the most important thing to work on is you core. A strong core makes handling packs and canoes easier and reduces the risk of injuring your back while making some sore of awkward move or when you lift up that pack without bending at the waist.


Shoulders and legs are also important for paddling and portaging but a strong core makes everything easier. "
So true. Paddling is all about the core and shoulder muscle groups. Basically your arms are just a way to attach you paddle to your body
 
bobbernumber3
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02/26/2020 10:15AM
Great video Tony! Sending link to my Water Tribe partner now.!!
 
jfinn
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02/26/2020 10:27AM
1. Stay fit year round.....HIIT (Orangetheory Fitness), Yoga, Bike, run
2. Specificity toward canoe season includes, well.... canoeing and carrying a pack on walks with weight
3. Special strength considerations in the few months prior include working on the core a little more and strength training for the legs in compound movements.

Being fit and strong =less restrictions, limits on trips. It is not a race and we all trip in our own style. To have freedom of movement is pure freedom!


John

 
straighthairedcurly
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02/26/2020 10:33AM
I have been doing long hikes on the weekends. Hiking on the snowy, icy trails helps keep my ankles strong and they are a weak point for me. I also portage my canoe around the block. Core strengthening is also important for me.
 
ZaraSp00k
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02/26/2020 11:02AM
Frenchy: "s trip?
I guess when I started tripping in the 70’s it was never a problem. But almost 5 decades later..
"


Yoga

strengthens core, flexibility
it also strengthens your arms & legs for portages

not to mention your inner peace
 
IndyCanoe
senior member (62)senior membersenior member
 
02/26/2020 11:04AM
First trip ever we really din't prepare that much. It wasn't unbearable but on the 5 trips since we have prepared more and find our trips even more enjoyable.

We try to take several day trips to a local lake on the weekends to get our shoulders ready. In between trips to the lake i add several dumbbell exercises a few times a week.

Last year I started adding weight to a backpack when i walked the dog. Started about 20lbs and about 2 weeks prior to the trip i had 45 lbs. total distance was about 1.5 miles a day and seemed to make a huge difference on my comfort during portages. I also add steps at work during my lunch we have one set of stairs that is a little over 100 steps to the top. i will make 2 or 3 trips a day up and down it.
 
GopherAdventure
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02/26/2020 11:20AM
straighthairedcurly: “I also portage my canoe around the block."

Do you get funny looks from strangers when taking your canoe for a walk like I do? When training for the Marathon I got all kinds of side eye from people. There were a few who knew exactly what I was doing though.

Tony
 
VaderStrom
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02/26/2020 11:53AM
As I live far enough south of the BWCA that the ice is off usually a month earlier, my preparation is to just paddling around the metro lakes and testing out my gear to make sure there aren't any new holes or failed patches. I also try to practice a cold water fall in too just to make sure I remember how cold the water up there will be in late May. It's always good to know how your body will react when it's real cold.
 
02/26/2020 01:02PM
AmarilloJim: "I'm training this year for sure"
Anyone not training for your trip, well the obvious. Many thoughts about that loop and maps purchased, enjoy the trip for me.
Some nerve damage in my right shoulder, likely pinching, has had me in therapy and training most of the winter. I can get my Magic to my shoulder and started paddling, but cannot lift it overhead yet. I will reach my goals and paddle clean water this year.
 
SammyN
distinguished member (233)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/26/2020 01:31PM
pfft...

all you need is bacon
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-TrOZRHB31c

 
02/26/2020 03:39PM
GopherAdventure: "
Canoe Trip Preparation Workout


Tony"


I checked out your video.

I did notice you using your leg to "cheat" on the pull up.

The demonstration of the shoulder press was helpful to see.

You might consider duplicating the on screen text at 6:38 in the video description.

I can imagine being tired after completing all the sets you recommend.
 
02/26/2020 03:45PM
jfinn: "1. Stay fit year round.....HIIT (Orangetheory Fitness),


"


Do you do the Orange Theory Fitness? From what I saw, they recommend an hour long work out with a heart rate monitor. Is that right?

I am a fan of the heart rate monitor. I use a polar h10.

One of the benefits that is often mentioned for HIIT is that you can get an effective work out in less time. Say 20 minutes on an elliptical instead of 60 minutes.
 
GopherAdventure
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02/26/2020 04:15PM
rdgbwca: "GopherAdventure: "
Canoe Trip Preparation Workout



Tony"



I checked out your video.


I did notice you using your leg to "cheat" on the pull up.


The demonstration of the shoulder press was helpful to see.


You might consider duplicating the on screen text at 6:38 in the video description.


I can imagine being tired after completing all the sets you recommend."


Thanks for the input. I wanted to show some of the variations I do during the subsequent sets. My favorites are the isometric wall sit and the swimmers press. On the 2nd and 4th set, I do 90 seconds of wall sit instead of squats and the swimmers press instead of the traditional shoulder press. For the swimmers press, you hold the weight at your sides, start with a curl and then continue and bring the weight over your head rotating the dumbbells like a swimmer diving into the water. That one is dynamite.
 
Bearpath9
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02/26/2020 04:19PM
My employer allows me to lift 5 to 50 pound boxes for 6 hours a day and place them on a belt, so I'm not worried about shoulders, back or core. I work the legs by walking a lot, and stairs instead of elevators. About May, I ride the bike around. Endurance is the one thing I really concentrate on, so I usually will up my mileage on the bike the closer I get to leaving.
 
GopherAdventure
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02/26/2020 05:05PM
Bearpath9: "My employer allows me to lift 5 to 50 pound boxes for 6 hours a day and place them on a belt, so I'm not worried about shoulders, back or core. I work the legs by walking a lot, and stairs instead of elevators. About May, I ride the bike around. Endurance is the one thing I really concentrate on, so I usually will up my mileage on the bike the closer I get to leaving. "

That’s so gracious of your employer. Lol.

Tony
 
bombinbrian
distinguished member (175)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/26/2020 05:41PM
Last year I went with my son, in Mid-May. The weather was horrible, cold, windy. Threw my back out on the last portage on the first day.

This year I am on my Bowflex Max Trainer for 30 minutes every other day, I plank and use some dumbbells to work the arms.

Since I have first timers going with me this year, we'll start doing some hiking with packs in May.
 
02/26/2020 07:28PM
In March or April I will start carrying a canoe about at the nature center where I volunteer. They have a large fleet of various canoes so I carry whose on trails. I work my way up to carrying a canoe that weighs near what will be used on my trip increasing the distances week by week. I like river trips so I will eventually be carrying royalex boats. Other than that I just walk and swim laps year around.
 
02/27/2020 06:56AM
GopherAdventure: "I would second many of the things suggested here, especially stretching. If you're comfortable trying Yoga, I was blown away at the strength and flexibility I gained from a little bit of Yoga every now and then. Also, lot's of people ask what I do to get ready for canoe trips and what I do to prepare for the Ely Portage Marathon so I made a little video. Hope this helps you a little.
Canoe Trip Preparation Workout


Tony"


Nice! Thanks for the Vid!
 
SammyN
distinguished member (233)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
02/27/2020 07:14AM

Canoe Trip Preparation Workout
Tony"


Nice Vid!

Very nice routine.

For anyone else, this isn't your cup of tea, try a different routine. Anything is better than nothing.

Search youtube for Tabata (sp?) routines...
calisthenics workout
even a 30min yoga routine.

I used to "pfft..." at yoga, until I did a nice easy youtube routine. Really felt good on my back.
 
soundguy0918
member (46)member
 
02/27/2020 08:33AM
Stretching, stretching, and stretching...ankles get the most attention. I also do pseudo-paddling reps and "canoe-lift" exercises using a resistance band.
 
thlipsis29
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02/27/2020 08:38AM
For what it's worth, the best condition I was in for trips was when I installed carpet full time in 2002 and 2003. Since I left trade (with no regrets I might add), I've never found an exercise program that has prepared by body to the same degree. Admittedly, reading through this thread some look more promising than others. Last year I developed some nasty tendinitis in my left rotator cuff and between accupuncture and rest, I'm hoping it will be up for paddling in 3 months.
 
AmarilloJim
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02/27/2020 09:19AM
bhouse46: "AmarilloJim: "I'm training this year for sure"
Anyone not training for your trip, well the obvious. Many thoughts about that loop and maps purchased, enjoy the trip for me.
Some nerve damage in my right shoulder, likely pinching, has had me in therapy and training most of the winter. I can get my Magic to my shoulder and started paddling, but cannot lift it overhead yet. I will reach my goals and paddle clean water this year."

I'll have to write a trip report for sure. Good luck with the rehab!
 
gkimball
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02/27/2020 10:10AM
I have gone into trips both ways - having prepared physically (in various ways) and having done absolutely nothing. Obviously it went better with physical preparation, but I found that it went best when I had done a combination of strength and cardio conditioning.

Of the two I think strength is more important - defined as some muscular strength with decent endurance for repetitive motions like paddling and walking while carrying loads. Also, good muscle and joint strength helps when lifting, carrying and for balance. When doing resistance conditioning I now try to create "canoe trip muscles" and not "body builder muscles" so they can last all day. This means moderate weights but a higher number of sets and reps.

Not being overweight definitely helps with cardio demands. Again, I have done it both ways. A couple of years I was constantly cursing all the cookies and beers I had mindlessly consumed the winter before. After that (after losing 30 pounds) I hardly got winded at all doing exactly the same things, and everything was easier to do.

So I now think fitness for trips means strength, endurance, weight control and having a realistic set of expectations working together. At age 69 this sounds like a good formula for staying young!
 
hobbydog
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02/29/2020 08:47AM
I started training in early January, I messed up my should hunting last fall so that has been a focus. I lap swim for an hour 3 times a week. That has really helped the shoulder. I do weights once a week.....I really hate that but it is helpful. I also dusted of my hockey skates. It has probably been 10 years since I had skated. I played HS hockey in my youth and really enjoy skating. I was pretty wobbly at first. Skating uses a different set of muscles than most other activities. I found muscles that I never knew existed. :-) it has been really good for cardio and really helps my knees. With spring coming I will get my bike out. I hate gym machines so try to find outdoor things to keep active. My biggest issue now is weight. That’s the hardest one to work on.
 
x2jmorris
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02/29/2020 09:46AM
I always feel like I should but I never do. Mid 30s so I can get away with it but every year it feels a bit worse.
 
martian
member (28)member
 
02/29/2020 07:27PM
Aging is a rough trip. Spring is always hard regardless of what we do to prepare. As long as we find something we enjoy doing and do it makes big difference. I once raced bikes and still train somewhat similarly and the long summer miles helps but cross training with weights is important. Weight training for aging folks like myself is pretty important. Honestly, doing any physical activity often weekly will make canoe tripping much easier. Cheers!!
 
02/29/2020 08:07PM
I thought I had trained enough for my last trip a couple years back, but was not in the shape I thought I was. Since then, have had some diet changes and a general increase in activity. Next couple weeks will start wearing a pack while walking the dog. I try to add about 10 lbs every 10 days or so until I get up to a weight over what I expect final pack weight to be.

I would toss the Spirit II on my shoulders, but the looks I get with just a pack are enough. :)
 
scramble4a5
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02/29/2020 08:47PM
I exercise year round and lately have been doing hiit training on an elliptical several times a week plus more weight training. At 61 I think it’s important to show up in my best shape.


shape
 
03/02/2020 01:56PM
GopherAdventure: "
Canoe Trip Preparation Workout
"


Interesting how similar your routine is to this minimalist strength training workout.
 
03/02/2020 02:23PM
Geez, I hope to ween myself off oxygen by then. Haha! Snowshoeing maple tree to maple tree should help. Walking and snowshoeing and carrying buckets of sap. Cutting and splitting wood. As soon as the ice is off (mid April I hope) I’ll paddle everyday.
Then I may try some day trips... camping on the edge. End of May ol’ housty9 is going to drag my butt back up there. So I better be ready!
 
tcoeguy
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03/06/2020 11:27AM
Wow, I had no idea. You guys honestly impress me. I struggle through it every year up in bwca because I am not at all a diligent exerciser. I have no workout routine. Never been in great shape. But I will power through any long paddle or portage, and carry my overly-packed bag, and endure the aches and pains and tiredness without a peep of complaint. Because I love it so much up there. Sore shoulders and legs are quickly forgotten about when I see that bobber go down. Or watching the starry sky at night from the hammock.

This has given me a lot to think about though. I have a June trip planned and maybe I should make more of a conscious effort to get my body ready.
 
AmarilloJim
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03/06/2020 02:04PM
tcoeguy: "Wow, I had no idea. You guys honestly impress me. I struggle through it every year up in bwca because I am not at all a diligent exerciser. I have no workout routine. Never been in great shape. But I will power through any long paddle or portage, and carry my overly-packed bag, and endure the aches and pains and tiredness without a peep of complaint. Because I love it so much up there. Sore shoulders and legs are quickly forgotten about when I see that bobber go down. Or watching the starry sky at night from the hammock.


This has given me a lot to think about though. I have a June trip planned and maybe I should make more of a conscious effort to get my body ready."

Walking and stretching is an easy start
 
A1t2o
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03/13/2020 10:29AM
Man, I thought I was in decent shape. I have been using weights, the exercise bike, and roughhousing with the kids over the winter, but when I went out jogging the other day it showed me that I am really not in shape at all. My legs are still hurting. It really goes to show you that getting out and hiking or jogging is different muscle groups than what we typically use indoors. I'm going to have to put some effort into my legs or this trip in May is going to kick my butt.
 
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