There are a few books that are well worth a look if you are embarking (or re-embarking) on a fitness drive for your sailing.
My favourite is Sailing Fitness and Training by Michael Blackburn. The edition I first had was 'Sail Fitter', which is the paperback version, but this newer Kindle version is more modern, has more information, and is cheaper too.
We are lucky to have Michael Blackburn as it is hard to think of someone better qualified to write about sailing fitness:
- Firstly, he's an Olympic medallist, so he knows all about how to get fit for sailing
- Secondly, he's a coach, which means he knows how to impart information in a way that is as helpful as possible to other sailors
- Thirdly, he has a PhD in Sports Science, so he kind of knows what he's talking about
- And finally, he is a good sailing writer. He is widely published on several topics relevant to sailors, and not just on sailing fitness - here are a bunch of articles by or referring to him. Have a look, and you'll see what I mean.
The best thing about Sailing Fitness and Training is that it covers everything you need to know to get yourself in shape for sailing. This means that it is great for club sailors and Olympic hopefuls alike, as you can take it to whatever level is suitable for your own needs and goals.
It is a funny thing, but if most club sailors did one to two workouts a week they would be among the most sailing-fit people at their club. The reason is that a lot of sailors either do sailing as their exercise, or do other exercise that isn't specific for sailing fitness.
And being sailing-fit can make a big difference to your results. Ask most coaches what they think will lead to the biggest improvements in boatspeed and many will say sail the boat flatter. The best way to sail the boat flatter? Be sailing-fit.
And so Sailing Fitness and Training is gold dust. It has the best training sessions you can do; it has loads of different exercises you can use; it has sample programs, fitness tests and yearly planners; and it is designed in such a way that any sailor can use it to get what they need without having to wade through everything if they don't want to.
If you're going to do a bit of work on your fitness for sailing then you probably need this book.
You can buy the book here:
The other book that I love and that is specifically for sailing fitness is Mental and Physical Fitness for Sailing. Although it looks a little dated these days it still has a lot to offer, especially for club sailors.
It has a great selection of sailing-specific exercises and loads of advice on putting together your own fitness plan, which is important as it is much more likely that you'll stick to a plan that you've designed to meet your own needs.
Of course, it has the added benefit of having a large chunk on the mental side of sailing. This part of the book is really very good, with lots of practical advice, and little tips that can be used to help improve results.
It's a book I come back to more than I thought I would, and it can be got pretty cheaply these days too.
Where to buy:
There is one other book that I've come across specifically for sailing fitness, but I haven't got round to getting a copy yet. I'll write a review of it when I do. If you're interested, it is called Sailing Fitness Toolbox, and it looks good. The contents certainly suggest it is pretty comprehensive.
If anyone has read a copy then I'd love to hear what you thought of it.
Where to by:
So there you go - my favourite books for sailing fitness.
I'll write a post on other books and resources that I've found useful for this area, but if you've come across something that is good then do let me know - I'm always looking for good information in this area.