What’s the best way to optimize overall fitness for surfing?
It’s a question I’ve been pondering since I took a crash course in human athletic performance at San Francisco CrossFit back in 2013. In about 17 collective months of surfing since–from being obliterated in Hawaii to washing up on various reefs as far away as Chile and Indonesia–I’ve had a lot more time to test the ideas. And more recently, last winter I spent 3 months surfing in the Canary Islands while trying to balance normal life and a somewhat demanding (if amateur) participation in the CrossFit Open.
If you read How I Broke my Body and Fixed it you know I’m a big fan of do-it-yourself physical therapy, but I’ve found very little information specific to surfing. Here are some tips on staying healthy during periods of intense activity in the water, something I originally wrote a few years ago during a month-long stay in the Mentawais Islands.
Feel free to skip directly to the breakdown.
Note: This post is by popular request. I’ve received more messages requesting details on my dietary experiments than almost anything else I’ve written. For those who know the backstory you can skip to the breakdown. Disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, and this is not medical advice. Consider this functional entertainment. Also keep in mind everyone is different, and this is an n=1 experiment. With that said…
“OH, WHAT’S UP NOW MOTHER——!”
The words were out before the weight hit the ground. Thankfully there were only a few observers in the gym that day, but it seemed like a reasonable response to my 4th or 5th personal best (PR) that week.
This time in the snatch, which at 67.5kg (89% bodyweight) was not going to make anyone with weightlifting experience bat an eyelash, but it was the trajectory that impressed me. My PR had increased 2.5 kg per week–for the last 5 weeks–with no end in sight.Continue reading >>
If you’ve somehow missed the trend, here’s some background:
Human performance guru Kelly Starrett has gone so far as to write a book on the topic. He’s mentioned the single biggest thing we could do for public health is to eliminate sitting from schools by replacing school desks with stand-up tables.
And even during the short conversation we had in January at San Francisco CrossFit he threw in the suggestion: “dude, you have to stop sitting.” (more: How I broke my body and then fixed it.)Continue reading >>
My concentration broke long enough to see Kelly Starrett, owner of San Francisco CrossFit, grinning at me from across the room. He seemed pleased.
I was crouched in a deep squat, arms locked out, precariously balancing a weighted barbell overhead—not the best position to lose focus. I tried not to laugh, ground my feet into the ground, and stood up.
Upon arrival two days earlier I couldn’t perform a single air squat without hurting my right knee. I thought explosive movements like the ground-to-overhead Olympic lift I’d just performed would blow my joints apart.
Suddenly it seemed easy.
Three weeks later I would squat 205 lbs. like it was my job. Six weeks later I would press most of my bodyweight overhead and suddenly gain the ability to do free-standing handstand pushups—something I’d never done in my life, nagging shoulder injuries be damned.
After years spent as a broken mess I’d finally figured out why my body was broken and how to fix it. I also learned how to regain and exploit every last ounce of athletic potential I still have in the tank.
It turns out the answers had been right in front of me all along.Continue reading >>