Weight and Resistance Training - Training for Canoe Trip?

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06-22-2005, 01:52 PM
Wondering if anybody has ideas/resources for training for a week-long canoe trip in a little over a month? I already do a lot of upper body exercises, mostly with free weights, but I'm not sure that's really going to help with the kind of arm/shoulder endurance I'll need.

Related, does anyone use the rowing machine? That's the *one* cardio machine that I haven't tried (seems so intimidating for some reason), but I figure it also might help.

If you have nuttin', that's fine, too, but I figured *somebody* may have trained for canoeing/kayaking before. :) Thanks!

06-22-2005, 03:31 PM
My DH has always been an avid canoeist. When he was getting ready for a long trip he would use the rowing machine exclusively for his cardio. (Gave him nice broad shoulders/chest too - :D ) You need to do it for long workouts to build up your endurance, and be sure you're using your arms/shoulders and not your legs. It's as much the endurance you want as the strength. I get very tired after a couple hours out - but then I just let him do all the work. :lol:

06-22-2005, 05:31 PM
Most canoe routes are down stream, so the paddling is mostly just to manuever the canoe, the water will do most of the moving of the canoe. Make sure to take something to sit on though....those seats aren't very comfortable and pack everything in re-sealable bags in case you tip over! Have a great time...I live on the Mississippi and canoe all the time..love it!

06-22-2005, 07:18 PM
Are you doing lake or river canoeing? If you are on a river, Idealperson is right...the water does most of the "power" work for you and you need strength and some knowledge to steer. If you are on lakes (flat or open water) it's a whole different story, especially if it's windy! Where are you going? Lot's of lovely, BIG lakes in upstate NY!

You already do a lot of upper body work, and time is running out. If you can, I'd suggest focusing on lats and mid back for your strength training. Pullups, assisted pullups, db rows, lat pull-downs, etc.

Does your gym have cross-trainers? The "ellipticals with arms"? The are great for shoulder/arm/back endurance workouts along with just a great cardio workout.

Sounds like fun! :D


06-22-2005, 07:34 PM
Thanks, you guys (as always) for the responses.

We are doing river canoeing on the Allagash in Maine, so it's like you said -- should be much easier than the lake canoeing I've done before. I don't know why I'm stressing out about this so much, but I've never taken a multi-day canoe trip before. Perhaps I'd be better served by trying to train myself to deal with black fly bites! Those things are the :devil: !

You're right - I do a lot of upper body work already, but maybe I'll use this as an excuse to kick it up a little (especially since I'm coming out of a little weight loss plateau). I like the idea of really focusing on my back, because it's surprising how many of those muscles -- especially mid and lower back -- come in handy in belly dancing, too.

And the cross-trainer is my favorite cardio machine (it's all relative, though... it's *less boring* than the rest :lol: ), so looks like I'm more prepared than I thought. Incidentally, I went camping last weekend and was SHOCKED at how well prepared I was for hiking. Last year I could barely finish the trip, but this year I was kicking everyone else's a**. What a difference a year makes! :D

Thanks again, all!

p.s. Thanks for the reminder about the cushion. I find my butt isn't quite as padded as it once was! :)

06-22-2005, 09:01 PM
OH! I've done the Allegash! about a zillion years ago, but I don't imagine the river itself has changed much ;) just probably a lot more people. Black fly season should be over by July, but beware the 5 pm misquito invasion. Those really are the :devil:

You'll have a great trip!


06-23-2005, 02:59 PM
And the cross-trainer is my favorite cardio machine (it's all relative, though... it's *less boring* than the rest ),

Ah, a girl after my own heart! :lol: That's how I feel too. And isn't it wonderful to find how out in the "real" world how in shape you are. I found this on my 3 week trip to England - tons of walking and schlepping my luggage everywhere (we took public transportation exclusively).

06-23-2005, 03:41 PM
I tried the rowing machine for the first time today, and it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be (however, I do sort of feel it now in my biceps and upper back). Strangely, though, it seemed to put a lot of stress on my ankles, I guess because of the weird angle at which the footrests hold your feet. I may try it once more, but I'm pretty sure I could get most of the same endurance benefits from just really concentrating on using my arms more with the cross-trainer.

Ah, the awful necessity of cardio. :p Some days the hour just flies by, others I feel like I'm conscious of EVERY SINGLE MINUTE passing. *Sigh*.

06-23-2005, 04:12 PM
Are you being dropped off at one point and picked up down river? If not, then you have to get back up river to get back to your vehicle. If the river meanders alot, you may be fighting current. I agree with everyone's opinions, but any of the trips Ive taken, Ive been sorry I didnt work my lower back, and sholders more.

Are you doing alot of portaging? Carrying your own canoe? You might want to work your legs a bit more too....carrying a canoe uphill can be interesting to say the least

Regardless....have a great time!!