This is an intense, focused 5-Week, 6-day/week training program is sport-specifically designed to prepare athletes for the beginning of the surfing season or a 1 to 2-week surf vacation.
This is Version 2 of the plan, updated in April 2021.
Research has proven and experience has confirmed that the primary fitness demand of early-season surfing is paddling. Often, shoulder fatigue and/or low back fatigue from paddling is limiting factor early in the season and early in any surfing vacation. This training program is sport-specifically designed to prepare you for the fitness demands of early-season surfing or a surf-focused vacation. Another fatigue issue for beginner surfers is simply fighting the surf to make it out to the line up.
Fitness-wise, the focus is on shoulder strength and strength endurance and low back strength and strength endurance. However, the plan is multi-modal, and total body (lower/core/upper pull) strength as well as general endurance, are also trained.
Technique-wise, the primary focus of early season surfing or a surf vacation should be on your pop up form. This training program includes programmed pop up training. Pop up technique can vary from athlete to athlete, and from coach to coach. YouTube and the internet are ripe with pop-up technique tips. We personally recommend Barefoot Surf and in the plan link to their Technique Videos (see below). However, if you have your form or have another technique you prefer – this is fine. Just practice your Pop Ups as programmed in the plan.
This training program has 4 general objectives:
(1) Increase your shoulder strength and strength endurance for the primary fitness demand of surfing … paddling.
(2) Increase your low back strength and strength endurance for paddling
(3) Increase your overall fitness including upper and lower body strength endurance, core strength endurance, and general work capacity and endurance.
(4) Force you to practice Pop Ups
This is a limited equipment program. The strength work in the plan is all bodyweight. Swim pool access is optimal, but if no pool is available a jump-rope based alternative is prescribed.
This program is designed to be completed the 5 weeks directly before your surf season starts or you depart for your surf vacation.
Shoulder Strength / Strength Endurance, Low Back Strength and Strength Endurance
Shoulder strength and low back strength endurance are trained multiple ways in this plan:
Swimming Sprints, Swim PT, Moderate Paced Swimming or Jump Roping – for those without swim pool access
Bodyweight Upper Body Exercises including push ups, burpees and multiple pull up progressions
Isometric Superman Holds
Isometric Low Back Holds
Various Core Bridging and other bodyweight core exercises
Total Body Strength, Work Capacity, General Endurance
In addition to the shoulder and low back focus, this plan trains lower body strength, and dryland and pool-based multi-mode work capacity in addition to general endurance (running).
- Mon: Bodyweight Strength Assessment or Progression, Low Back Strength Endurance, Pop Up Practice
- Tue: Swim Sprints + Swim PT, or Jump Rope Intervals + Lowback/core strength
- Wed: 40-60 Minute Recovery Run, Pop Up Practice
- Thu: Bodyweight Strength, Low Back/Core Strength, Pop Up Practice
- Fri: Swim Sprints + Distance Swim or Jump Rope Intervals + Lowback/core strength
- Sat: 40-60 Minute Recovery Run, Pop Up Practice
- Sun: Pop Up Practice, Total Rest or Outdoor Recreation
- Swimming Pool or Jump Rope
- Pull Up Bar
How fit do you need to be able to begin this plan?
This is an intense program designed for fit and active, incoming athletes. Click the “Sample Training” tag to see the first week of programming. We recommend athletes try the first week before purchasing. If the programming is too intense for you, email firstname.lastname@example.org for advice.
How Long do the Sessions Last?
What does 3/5x Chin Ups mean
3/6x Chin Ups = Women do 3x, Men do 6x.
What if I miss a day?
Begin where you left off when you return to training. This program is progressed – each session builds upon the prior session – so don’t skip a session or skip around. Follow the training sessions in order, regardless.
Where do I find unfamiliar exercises?
See our Exercise Library HERE.
What about nutrition?
See our Nutritional Guidelines HERE.
Can I see sample training?
Yes. Click the “Sample Training” tab to see the entire first week of programming.
How do I access the plan?
Access is online, via username and password. You can log in either through our website or through our app (Mtn Tactical Fitness) available for IOS and Android.
Can I print out sessions to take to the gym?
Yes – you can print a week of programming at a time.
More Questions? Email: email@example.com
Before beginning any exercise program, consult with your physician to ensure that you are in proper health. Physical training contains inherent risks including, but not limited to, muscle strains, tears, physical and bodily injury up to and including death. This training program is not meant to provide medical advice; you should obtain medical advice from your private health care practitioner. If you are unable to assume these risks then you should not engage in this training program. No liability is assumed by Mountain Tactical Institute, Inc, its owners or employees, and you train at your own risk. Mountain Tactical Institute makes no warranty, express or implied, of any kind in connection with this training program.