We all have excuses when it comes to starting or maintaining a fitness program. “I don’t have time,” “I don’t like going to the gym,” or “I don’t have equipment.”
While some of us may actually enjoy going to a gym, we all know that’s not an option at sea. And let’s face it; if you do have free time, lack of equipment and space can sink your workout aspirations in a heartbeat.
So how do you stay in ship shape while working on a yacht?
With extensive experience training yacht crews and developing “at sea” programs, I have the solution to not only keep your workout goals afloat at sea but to take your fitness and results to the next level.
This routine was taken from a program designed to get maximum results in the least amount of time. You are going to push your body to the max to increase muscle strength, jumpstart your metabolism to burn fat and calories, and look and feel like you’re in the best shape of your life.
We call this type of training metabolic training, and it’s a form of interval training. You will feel an incredible burn while completing each circuit. The key is to push through the burn to finish your designated reps and sets (without breaking good form). This will force your body to adapt quickly and you’ll see faster results.
Intense training of this nature is not for beginners. I recommend using this routine no more than three times a week for up to four weeks. For beginners, I suggest completing only one exercise from each group and gradually adding others as you improve. If you cannot complete the designated amount of reps, do as many as you can until you hit failure, and then move on. Do not rest in order to get every rep; you should reach your limit and continue on to the next exercise with almost no breaks.
How to do it
Complete each group of exercises one time, then move on to the next group. Once you have completed all groups, restart from the beginning and complete them all again for a total of three rounds. Take as little amount of rest as possible between exercises and sets (no more than 15 seconds).
Warm-up (complete only once at start)
100 jumping jacks
20 body weight squats
50 jumping jacks
5/leg Lunge complex
10/leg Stiff legged dead lift
60 seconds Deep squat burnouts
10 Plyometric push-ups
20 Rotational push-ups
30 second Isometric push-up
20 Snow Angels
20/leg Pike knee drivers
1. Jumping jacks. Begin with feet together, hands at your sides. Jump up to open stance while hands touch above your head. Return to starting position for one. Try to keep bouncing to get your heart rate up.
2. Body weight squats. Keeping your feet flat, bend at the knees to a sitting position, lowering your hips to about knee level or as low as you can go (but no deeper). Raise up to standing position and repeat.
1. Lunge complex
Forward lunge. Start with feet together. Step forward with your right leg, dropping your left knee toward the ground. Take a big enough step to keep your knee over your ankle, thigh parallel to the ground. Return to starting position.
Side lunge. Step right leg to the right, dropping your hips to the right side, keeping your left knee straight. Return to start.
Crossover lunge. Step your right leg across in front to your left side, bending both knees. Return to start.
All three movements with the right leg is one rep. Finish five reps, then move to the left leg.
Cue: Always keep your toes pointing straight forward for each movement.
2. Stiff-legged dead lift
Keeping your left foot an inch off the floor and your right leg straight. Slowly bend at your waist and try to touch your left shoelaces. Tighten your stomach to support your spine. Focus on stretching and lengthening your right leg without moving your left leg.
Control and balance your body, and stand up straight for one rep.
Complete all 10 standing on your right leg, then do the same on your left.
3. Deep squat burnouts
Lower your hips into a squat position, ideally to about knee depth (or whatever your body will comfortably allow).
Keeping your hips in this position, bounce lightly and quickly on the balls of your feet. Try to get your feet off the ground about an inch.
Repeat for the designated time, focusing on staying low.
1. Plyometric push-up
From a push-up position, lower your chest to the floor, keeping your back straight.
Push-up explosively, creating enough momentum to elevate your hands off the floor.
Land in the push-up position and immediately repeat.
2. Rotational push-up
From a push-up position, lower your chest and turn your torso to the right side while bending both elbows to 90 degrees. Keep your back straight.
Extend your arms to the top of the push-up position and lower your chest to the left side, bending your elbows as before. Each side counts as one rep.
Move quickly and focus on keeping your shoulders over the top of your wrists. Do not lower your shoulders below your elbows to prevent unnecessary torque.
3. Isometric push-up
Hold your push-up position with elbows at 90 degrees for the designated time, continuing to breathe. Push-up to the top.
Lying on your stomach, lift your chest and feet off the ground (about 6 inches). Keep arms extended in front and legs straight. Spread feet and arms apart as if you were making a snow angel, then bring them back to starting position.
Slowly lower back to the ground and repeat.
2. Pike knee drivers
In a push-up position, lift your hips high in the air, then lift your right heel high off the ground while squeezing your glutes.
Keeping your back straight, bend and drive your right knee across toward your left elbow. Arms and left leg should remain straight.
Lift right heel back up to above hips and repeat 20 times. Then do left leg.
Start with feet together, standing tall. Drop your hands to the floor and jump back with your legs to a push-up position.
Continue to lower your entire body to the floor (this does not have to be a perfect push-up), then raise your hips high off the ground and jump forward with your feet back to starting position and jump up, getting your feet at least one inch off the floor. Repeat.
Things to remember
Always keep a regular breathing rhythm throughout each exercise.
It should take 7-10 minutes to complete one round of all three groups, which means the entire workout should last no more than 30 minutes.
Keep this in mind and schedule to complete your workouts accordingly. If you know you’re short on time, pick two groups and complete three rounds. On your next training day, complete the third group with one of the previous two. Or do all three groups but only two rounds of each instead of three.
Each week, mix up the order of the exercises within their respective groups for a new challenge.
Triton readers: mention this column for a complimentary training session at Next Level.
Chris Campbell is the owner of Next Level Fit Training in Ft. Lauderdale and is a certified strength and conditioning specialist (www.NextLevelFitTraining.com). He earned his bachelor’s degree in exercise and sports science and a master’s degree in health education and behavior at the University of Florida. He has trained Olympic and professional athletes as well as beginner exercisers. Comments on this column are welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.