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Old 12-08-2011, 03:05   #1
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Cardio Equipment on Board

Does anyone carry dedicated cardio equipment on board for use while on passages? If so, what kind and what make? Do you find it reliable in salt air?

I've been taking the dinghy ashore and running, using gyms at the marinas, swimming, biking, etc. But it would be nice to have something on board...

We don't have enough space for a full-blown treadmill (also running while on the ocean might not be wise) or an elliptical. So I was thinking a foldable mechanical stairmaster, rowing machine, or installing mounts for my bike. The last one is the easiest, but I don't really like bicycling for cardio. Not sure what other compact cardio equipment is there...

How do you deal with doing enough cardio during passages? During rough weather you don't need any other exercise, but for those trade wind passages...

Thanks in advance
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Old 12-08-2011, 07:10   #2
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You don't need a mechanical stair master. Offshore I use the companionway steps to step up and down, alternating legs. If it is rough weather, it also gives a pretty good core workout. A great way to spend the 10 mins between looking around during the middle of the night shift.
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Old 12-08-2011, 07:44   #3
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Re: Cardio equipment on board?

I think you have allowed the media to scare you to death.

You simply are not going to lose enough cardio fitness during a passage to have any effect on cardiac risk. No way, ask a doctor. What you are expereincing when you layoff for a few weeks is withdrawal from exersize endorphines and a reduction in muscle glycogen storage, not any meaningful loss to your cardiac capacity.

Do you have specific high-risk factors? A scary family history? Without a hospital near at hand (within an hour) I believe resusitation equipment is going to be completely ineffective.

If you can't let it go, try something like this:
TRX Suspension Training: The Ultimate Bodyweight Training | TRX
But I agree with Paul that the companion way stairmaster should do fine. Or any of a hundred vile exersize vidios.
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Old 12-08-2011, 08:31   #4
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Re: Cardio Equipment on Board ?

As a competitive endurance runner I also dread the prospect of compromising my fitness during long passages. Ten minutes on companionway steps is not really enough for a meaningful cardio workout. You need a minimum of about 20 minutes at relatively high intensity, such as running at a moderate pace (8-9 minute miles) to be of much benefit to the cardiovascular system.

I agree that a treadmill might be too unwieldy and difficult to use with any wave action. The bike-on-stands is probably the most reasonable option, but I also would find pedaling boring. If I had the room in the cockpit or in the main salon, I would seriously consider an indoor rower. The best one I had ever used was the Concept2 rower. Itís fairly expensive, but itís the only machine-type exerciser I can tolerate for any length of time. And unlike a bike, it gives a complete workout for both the legs and the upper body.

On a largeish catamaran, it could be deployed in the cockpit. On your boat you might have to somehow lash it to the deck. Or maybe you could use it as a reason to get a bigger boat?
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Old 12-08-2011, 08:33   #5
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Re: Cardio Equipment on Board ?

The TRX is a great idea except that it requires you to work in an open room such as the trampoline on a catamaran if I am not mistaking. Then again, I don't have the TRX so I can't really talk about it

I am also thinking about the Insanity workout with Shaun T. It only requires your body, some weights and some room to move. That one I have and it can be insane!!
Insanity Workout - Extreme Home Workout DVD - Insanity Workout Reviews - beachbody.com

There is also the P90X you can look at P90X One On One - Flying High After P90X? With P90X One On One You'll Take It Up A Notch - Beachbody.com

You can also try some Pilates, some yoga or some fitness ball workout
Slide show: Core exercises with a fitness ball - MayoClinic.com Trying to keep your balance in heavy weather while doing them is an excellent full body workout and the equipment doesn't take a lot of room on your boat!

You have a lot of options to choose from without overgrowding your boat or adding some weight to it. Good luck with your search
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Old 12-08-2011, 09:20   #6
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Re: Cardio Equipment on Board ?

I've always thought a great idea would be some sort of cycling setup with an alternator-you get your workout and count the amp hours you are putting into your batteries. Otherwise, a treadmill on a boat sounds pretty ridiculous-stairs and creative calesthenics would likely be the way to go
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Old 12-08-2011, 10:54   #7
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Re: Cardio Equipment on Board ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adamante View Post
As a competitive endurance runner I also dread the prospect of compromising my fitness during long passages. Ten minutes on companionway steps is not really enough for a meaningful cardio workout. You need a minimum of about 20 minutes at relatively high intensity, such as running at a moderate pace (8-9 minute miles) to be of much benefit to the cardiovascular system.

I agree that a treadmill might be too unwieldy and difficult to use with any wave action. The bike-on-stands is probably the most reasonable option, but I also would find pedaling boring. If I had the room in the cockpit or in the main salon, I would seriously consider an indoor rower. The best one I had ever used was the Concept2 rower. Itís fairly expensive, but itís the only machine-type exerciser I can tolerate for any length of time. And unlike a bike, it gives a complete workout for both the legs and the upper body.

On a largeish catamaran, it could be deployed in the cockpit. On your boat you might have to somehow lash it to the deck. Or maybe you could use it as a reason to get a bigger boat?
Funny you should mention a bigger boat. We are in the process of building one, thus the question about cardio.

Thanks for the Concept2 idea. It looks very good, though a bit too big when stored. I'll have to review my storage plan. Another thing that concerns me is that there are several metals used in the machine, so I might have to deal with long-term corrosion. A good idea nontheless. Thanks!
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Old 12-08-2011, 11:25   #8
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Re: Cardio Equipment on Board ?

Take one hour on oars and tow the boat with the dinghy every day
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Old 12-08-2011, 11:27   #9
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Re: Cardio Equipment on Board ?

Thanks for Insanity and PRX suggestions. I'm more into endurance training (ex prof. x-country skier), thus the interest in running and rowing.

I've tried yoga and pilates on long passages and, while fun and challenging (your point of balance always changing) I always had to remember what pose transitions I shouldn't do because of the waves. It's different from cardio though.

I'll get a few videos for variety just in case.
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Old 12-08-2011, 11:29   #10
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Re: Cardio Equipment on Board ?

My $0.02, not saying this is for everyone:

The longest passages you'll encounter are a month and I'd be surprised if you do more than a handful of those in your lifetime. Forced layoffs due to injuries are more common/serious for me. If I'm in decent shape when I leave I won't become a tub of goo in a few weeks, although it may feel like it.

As a borderline competitive runner and weight lifter the stuff I bring with me:

- running shoes / mp3 player / socks
- gymnast rings / chalk

Armed with those you can run, do dips, pullups, muscle ups, rolls, shoot throughs, flies, and more advanced stuff if you have the inclination. They pack super small and you can almost always find a kid's swingset in a park somewhere that isn't being used that you can pitch your rings up on.

If you have a scuba tank you can also squat/press it. Not exactly a proper olympic barbell but they can weigh in around 70lbs so at least you're locking in the movement. I've been dreaming up a bar/bracket of some type that can hold a scuba tank on each side so I can at least get up near 150-200lbs.
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Old 12-08-2011, 11:32   #11
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Re: Cardio Equipment on Board ?

snorkel, snorkel, snorkel...
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Old 12-08-2011, 13:20   #12
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Re: Cardio Equipment on Board ?

A rowing machine and a bike on a 35' boat, interesting concept, obviously there's a Type 40 Tardis involved.

You might want to look into exercises that involve swimming and rubber bungies or surgical tubing, as being more practical if the Tardis is not on board.
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Old 12-08-2011, 14:05   #13
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Re: Cardio Equipment on Board ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rebel heart View Post
The longest passages you'll encounter are a month and I'd be surprised if you do more than a handful of those in your lifetime. Forced layoffs due to injuries are more common/serious for me. If I'm in decent shape when I leave I won't become a tub of goo in a few weeks, although it may feel like it.
Deconditioning happens surprisingly fast, even in very fit athletes. Studies have shown that during a forced layoff of up to two weeks, a well-conditioned athlete will lose about 10% of his aerobic conditioning. In three months, about 50% of aerobic capacity is lost. And unless the individual is very genetically gifted, it takes much longer to get it back than to lose it.

A couple of years ago I cracked some ribs in an accident and couldn't run at all for three weeks. A month after returning to running, I ran a race and found I lost one minute in my 5K time. That's huge. Took me another three months to get that minute back. I guess I'm not that genetically gifted...

BTW, weightlifters tend to decondition more slowly than endurance athletes.
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Old 12-08-2011, 14:20   #14
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Re: Cardio Equipment on Board ?

Quote:
They pack super small and you can almost always find a kid's swingset in a park somewhere that isn't being used that you can pitch your rings up on.
Quote:
snorkel, snorkel, snorkel...
Quote:
You might want to look into exercises that involve swimming
All very good suggestions... except I don't know how you do that while transiting, say, from the Gallapagos to Fatu Hiva.

Quote:
and rubber bungies or surgical tubing
Hmmm... sex toys? Now that might work!
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Old 12-08-2011, 15:11   #15
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I sit on a chair and use a small machine that is basically bike pedals on a resistance machine. Adjustable and compact. Can be used for upper body too. Just put it on the table!
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