Kayaking and shoulder injuries

deltoid_annotated

Worried about shoulder injuries while kayaking or working out on a kayak ergometer?

Well then geek out on this research paper that suggests that as you increase load you put more stress on your Anterior Deltoid.

And enjoy these exercises to strengthen your Anterior Deltoids:

 

Using the computer from the Nordic Track ski machine on your DIY kayak ergometer

I had a customer who purchased my plans for the compact, DIY kayak ergometer reach out to me to ask if it is possible to use the computer from the Nordic Track to track time, speed, distance, etc.

He was not the first person to ask.

The short answer is absolutely yes!

The longer answer is I do not show you how to do this in my video plans since 1) It is relatively rare to find one of these devices with a still-working computer 2) The computer types vary greatly and 3) Many times the magnetic sensors are missing and even they come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

20181030_120028_resizedThe Nordic Track computer mounted on my kayak ergometer, right in front of the flywheel, underneath my lower legs.  I used Velcro to secure it to the main deck and I drilled an additional hole through the deck to run the wire from the underside.

To use the computer, you will need the magnet that is mounted on the flywheel shaft and the sensor for it.

20181030_203409_resizedThree types of the various magnet assemblies (that I’ve come across–there may be more) used on the original machine.  The magnet is the silver cylinder mounted into the black sleeve and the sleeve was mounted on the shaft of the flywheel.

As you can see, some of these magnets were on a sleeve that clipped to the shaft and others were fully encased and more securely mounted on the shaft.  It is not uncommon for the “clip on” type to be missing from these old machines.

Sometimes these sleeves will fit onto the shaft on the final kayak ergometer machine and sometimes they will not because there is not enough room between the flywheel and the side rail.

You might have to shorten the length of the black, plastic clip-on housing or remove the magnet entirely and glue it to the flywheel shaft.  As far as I know, the magnet itself was always the same length and it will fit, but the sleeve that holds it might be too long.

The sensor is easy to identify as it will be mounted on the underside of the deck of the original ski machine, mounted very near where this magnet rotates, and have a wire running from it.  It is typically mounted with 1 screw through its bracket.

20181030_203435_resizedMe holding the magnet next to the sensor (with the wire) on its original bracket

Once you mount the magnet onto the flywheel shaft, then it is a matter of figuring out a way to mount the sensor very near the rotating magnet so it senses it with each revolution of the flywheel.  You might have to remove the sensor from the original bracket and get creative on how you mount it.

In my case, I removed the sensor from the bracket and hot glued it onto a nail that I pre-bent at a 90-degree angle so I could mount it.

20181030_205554_resized_1
Sensor mounted next to the magnet on the shaft of the device, photo taken from underneath. Notice the sensor is hot glued to a nail bent at 90-degrees and then driven into a small shim I attached to the inside of the side rail.

20181030_205529_resized_1One more view of the mounted computer sensor from underneath the device

So as you can see, yes, the computer from the Nordic Track ski machine can be used on the ergometer, but there were so many variables and variations on the original equipment it was impossible to show you how to do this in the instructional video.

You might have to get a little creative, but the computer is worth the effort since it allows you to track time, speed and distance and maybe even heart rate if yours came with the heart rate sensor/clip that plugs into the computer.

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Click here to see the kayak ergometer, read the story and purchase the video plans and parts list to build your own.

Homemade DIY compact kayak ergometer

A customer who purchased the video plans for my kayak ergometer was nice enough to send me a photo of the finished product and I think it looks fantastic!

finishederg
Completed compact kayaker ergometer built by Alan M. using my plans

Alan took the time to sand and stain the device and it truly looks beautiful.  He also reports the device paddles much smoother than he imagined it would.

Getting feedback like this is great.  Thanks, Alan!

Buy your video plans and part list for only $20 USD.

Read more:

Homemade kayak ergometer from Nordic Track ski machine
Buy the video plans and part list now for $20 USD.
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PS – And now I just found his YouTube video!

Kayak ergometer plans from Nordic Track ski machine almost ready

Just finished the first round of edits on my “How To Build It” video. I need to shoot a little more to fill in some gaps and then the video will be ready. Definitely before the end of the month.

Update March 2, 2018:

The plans are ready!
http://bit.ly/2t7m5Ew

Homemade kayak ergometer from Nordic Track ski machine

Some of you know that back in 2013 I shared a YouTube video that showed my design for a kayak ergometer made from a Nordic Track ski machine. It was the first such design, to my knowledge, that introduced rockers to the ergometer.

It actually combined elements from both my first kayak ergometer “bench” style design along with my balance trainer. All of which I also shared. You can see all three in the video below.

Since then I’ve been refining and redesigning the ergometer.

And also since then people have used my videos to build their own units and now some of these people are actually trying to sell the plans to MY design that I freely shared with the kayaking community.

I feel that’s not right. Maybe not illegal but certainly not right.

Toward the end of last year I built a new design for celebrity fitness trainer Vinnie Tortorich so he could do indoor training in his office in preparation for a 100-mile trip down Bayou LaFourche in Louisiana this Spring. I knew he had limited space in his office so I set out to make the ergometer much shorter in overall length.

I accomplished that mission by moving the flywheel under the paddler’s legs which also had the side benefit of making the feel of the device much smoother while paddling.

VinnieSelfie_sm

My “kayaker’s selfie” with Vinnie Tortorich upon delivery of his ergometer

Later I heard from Vinnie that he started to have some troubles with the forward rollers. Vinnie is a legendary ultra athlete and generally an animal when it comes to training so I knew he would put wear and tear on the unit like it has never seen before.

VinnieandSerena

Vinnie Tortorich with Serena Scott Thomas sporting DTK hats

So after mulling that over in my brain for a while, I went back into my garage over the weekend with a new design for the forward rollers in mind, and built two more kayak ergometers with subtle variations in the design between the two to see which is better and/or easier to build. These happened to be the 5th and 6th units I’ve ever built. (Well, honestly, I probably built and rebuilt the first two at least 10 times each until I was happy with them!) I’ve only made a few of these for close paddling friends.

These two new units have square legs so mere mortals can paddle them, but this design allows rockers to be easily attached and detached as desired.

DSCF2393

DSCF2395


The final design in action

DSCF2399
The result of my weekend in the garage. 1 unit complete and the other one 90% complete

I spent hours in the garage not only building the two units but also recording video of each build so I can edit and produce a “how to” video and then make it available for sale since so many people have reached out to me over the years to inquire about either purchasing a unit or buying the instructions from me.

I’ve greatly simplified the design and now use only hardware and parts that are stock and can be bought off-the-shelf at most hardware stores. The build is much, much simpler than the first few so I feel now the design is at a point where I can effectively communicate how to build your own and you can build one from those instructions rather easily.

It is also the first design I feel is so unique and innovative in the way its built that I’m not so willing to freely share it because there is a little “secret sauce” that I’ve learned through years of trial and error.

When the “How to build it” video is ready I will sell it for $20 since that is the price most people have told me is reasonable and that they’d expect to pay. I believe that is a fair price based on the number of hours I’ve spent building and refining the design to make it as compact as possible, easy to build, and fun to paddle.

Let me know what you think and please let me know if you would like to buy one of these 2 fully completed units (Central mid-Atlantic of the U.S. only.)

Happy paddling!

Dave

These plans assume you will be able to obtain an older style Nordic Track ski machine made from a wooden frame as you will be using some of the mechanical and wooden parts from it.  You might want to check on local availability first, but this video will also offer tips on how to get one for a great price or even free.

Buy the “How to Build” video with parts list now for $20 USD.
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FinalErgDesign
Update March 2, 2018:
The “How to build” video is now ready for purchase!

The device can be built with either the square legs or the rounded ones and the video discusses both approaches.

These plans assume you will be able to obtain an older style Nordic Track ski machine made from a wooden frame as you will be using some of the mechanical and wooden parts from it.  You might want to check on the availability of this first.

Buy the video plans now for $20!
paypal_payment_buttons

The device can be built with either the square legs or the rounded ones and the video discusses both approaches.

Summary for 2017

The results of my paddling and gym training for 2017.  I didn’t paddle nearly as much as I wanted to the second half of the year due to a drought so I stepped up the volume in the gym.

On to 2018.

2017training

New piece of gym equipment

I knew it was coming for weeks, but today it finally showed up.

My neighborhood fitness center finally installed a Smith machine so now I have a reasonable way to work heavier squats into my workouts once again.

squatrackThe new Smith Machine

I had been putting off joining a commercial gym since my local Gold’s Gym closed at the end of September and now it looks like I can save myself the monthly fee as the biggest reason I went to Gold’s was for the squat racks and dumbbells that go over 50lbs.

I had explored other gyms and was heavily leaning toward joining Snap Fitness but after I sent them an inquiry through their website link and not getting a response after 10 weeks, (I hate poor customer service and I only imagined if they were that bad before somebody joined it would only get worse after joining) I held off to see what my planned local gym expansion would bring me.

Tonight I had the answer.

The Smith machine has a low pulley in it for seated rows which is an added bonus as I had been using a different piece of equipment that had a 100lb. upper limit which was a bummer.

So now that I have ~85% of everything I need I see no reason to join a commercial gym.

And I can start incorporating squats and legs into just about every workout again.

My legs will hate me for a while but then they will love me.

12-14-17-bodyTonight’s workout was a bit more balanced


Time to start sneaking additional plates into the gym for “donation.”  😉

 

Massive workout and some time to reflect on my training and my life

I was out of the country this past week and due to jet lag with disrupted sleep patterns, long work hours, and my own stupidity, I was only able to hit a gym twice last week.  Last Sunday and last Tuesday.

I flew back from overseas yesterday so today my typical Massive Friday Night Workout (#MFNW) had to become a Massive Sunday Night Workout (MSNW.)

12-3-17_MFNWMassive Sunday Night Workout recorded on the Atlas Wristband

12-3-17FatHeadDinner was a grain-free “Fat Head” pizza featuring bacon and provolone cheese 

I did a lot of total volume so I had a lot of time to clear my head and reflect on my life and my upcoming training over the next few months.

Typically I undulate between lifting heavy at low volume and then lighter but higher volume over the winter months and then try to back down and cut some fat and go into dietary ketosis in time for kayak racing season in April.

I’ve decided to do things differently this year.

I’m going No Beer No Wine (NBNW) effective immediately along with going very strict on my No Sugars, No Grains (#NSNG) lifestyle.  I will stay as strict as I can through most of kayak racing season, my 100-miler with Vinnie Tortorich down the Bayou LaFourche in Louisiana at a date yet to be determined, probably late April or early May, and the James River Rundown some time in June.

BayouLaFourcheBayou Lafourche, LA

I know there will be some weeks where this will be difficult if not impossible over the holidays and with some scheduled business meetings, so I’ll allow for these brief setbacks but get right back on the horse immediately afterward.

I’ll get in as much paddling time on the water and on my indoor trainer as possible and let my gym time fill in the gaps rather than making gym time the centerpiece.  I also want to get back on the bike and work in some more cardio training.  I’ll let my body judge what my gym training will look like, but I anticipate fewer workouts with moderate weights and reps with a focus on legs and core.  In short, this is going to be an extended period of leaning out and cardio conditioning.

I also want to get back in touch with my guitar as it has taken a back seat for the past year or so and has collected too much dust.  That had always been an important part of my mental health and I need to bring it back into my life for some balance.

I also hope to get back in the gym later this week to record a new episode of “Exercises for Kayakers” for my YouTube channel.  The next exercise will be a modified bench press.

I’ll keep you informed as I try this new style of training and living.

Changes are in order.