Southern Hemisphere Paddle Strength Program- Winter is Coming…

If you are part of the Paddle Monster Family, it means you are passionate about paddling. Perhaps you are competitive and your main goal is to win races. Maybe you are time limited and you thrive under the guidance and structure of a professional designed program. Or it could just be that you strive to become the best version of you, constantly improving your fitness with the sport you love. Regardless of your reasons for being a Paddle Monster, there is something for everyone. If you are new to the community, welcome to the team! This is a great starting point for taking your training to the next level.

This time of year if you are a competitive athlete you have finished your last race and are looking forward to next season already. This doesn’t mean you should stop training. Or perhaps you are more recreational or race year round for fun. Regardless, now is the time to turn your focus and efforts to off-water based strength and conditioning. This is one part of the Paddle Monster training program that sets it apart from anything else out there. If you are wondering why off-season strength and conditioning is important for paddling, check out this article I wrote last winter that is pretty in-depth on the topic (link to article).

Not only will strength and conditioning help you with your training and racing, but it will greatly help you in preventing injuries. By increasing the capacity of your muscle, bone and connective tissue to handle load, it means you do more activities of daily living AND training with a lower risk of injury. By increasing your strength you increase the margin of safety, the amount of stress those tissues can handle. This can also carry over into other aspects of your daily living, as strength is one of the physical qualities that deteriorates most as we age, yet is so important for a long and healthy, active lifestyle.

The Off-season gives us a period of approximately 4 months where we can prioritize strength training without worrying about all of the on-water training, racing and its interference with adaptations. Endurance and strength both fight against each other when doing high volumes of both, and during race season obviously paddling takes priority. 4 months of a structures program which focuses on one strength quality at a time allows us to dig in and make some meaningful changes.

The Off-season program will begin on March 16th with the first block of the Winter Strength Program. If you more time away from training then take it as needed. Recovery from a long season is the first step to building success for the next season.

If you did the Off-season program last year, move up a difficultly level. So Novice > Intermediate, and Intermediate > Advanced, Advanced > Elite.

Put in the work now and it will pay dividends come next race season! Looking forward to seeing those gains!


About Coach Chris Chapman, MSc., CSCS, CSEP-CEP
Paddle Strength and Power Coach

Having spent the last two Olympic cycles as the strength coach for CanoeKayak Canada, I have supported some of the best flatwater paddlers on the planet in reaching the podium at world cups, world championships and Olympic games. I have spent the last 8 years perfecting a model of dryland training for endurance athletes.
Read more: