Stand up paddlers of all skill levels gathered on the serene grounds of Lumeria Maui on November 3rd for the SUP Pro Talk Workshop with Suzie Cooney. The educational (and fun!) land-based event touched on many important topics for paddlers, including the health benefits of SUP, water safety and ocean preparedness, SUP fitness techniques and training demos, and equipment reviews.
Clay Everline, M.D., co-author of the Surf Survival Health Hand Book, was on hand with a valuable lecture on First Aid, and pro paddler, Jeremy Riggs, heated the afternoon up with his tips on downwind paddling. Suzie Cooney, as charming as ever, kept the crowd entertained and engaged with her informative and “hands on” teaching style.
The big winner of the day was the organization Bring Change 2 Mind, as 90% of the event’s proceeds went to supporting the group’s fight to erase the stigma and discrimination of mental illness. The organization, founded by actress Glenn Close, provides educational material and a meeting place for a broad coalition of organizations that provide service, screening, information, support and treatment of mental illness.
“We were thrilled to sell out three months in advance. That really confirmed to me that people are eager to learn and support the sport. I’m a big advocate of those dealing with mental illness, so I wanted to spread the word about the organization I support, Bring Change 2 Mind.org.
Clay Everline, M.D. was very informative and entertaining, as was Jeremy Riggs, our local downwind pro who shared some of his helpful tips. The participants had great questions, which was helpful for the entire audience!
By Suzie Cooney, CPT owner of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC
It’s no doubt that Hunter Joslin, Indo Board Balance Trainer’s Founder and developer of the popular Gigante Flo Cushion, entertains and trains with me at this year’s Battle of the Paddle at Dana Point. Hunter was wowing the crowd with some tricks this weekend as Chip Martoccia, VP of Operations and I cheered on.
Hunter Joslin and Suzie Cooney having Gigante fun at 2012 BOP, Dana Point
I’ve been a team rider and ambassador for Indo Board Balance Trainer for some time, and thoroughly enjoy my time with Hunter and crew. We never miss an opportunity to play around and challenge one another. He’s quite the surfer and in very good shape. We’ve shared a few waves together on Maui, and I can say he is just a little competitive!
Hunter asked if I’d do this photo shoot and share some new tricks I’ve been working on in my studio here at SUZIE TRAINS MAUI. Of course! Turns out he had never tried or seen any of these so I was stoked, but under the gun to give him my best.
These exercises are THE ultimate core challenge and require good form, good posture and good overall anatomical health. Remember the core is where all movement begins and is everything excluding your extremities.
This type of training, I also refer to as proprioception training to encourage cat-like reflexes for your lifestyle, prevent injury and to provide the opportunity for your brain to command each finite muscle, tendon and ligament that supports all joints.
UPDATE: Nov 2, 2012: Thank you everyone for helping me reach my goal of 3100 squats with 20lbs. I am continuing on with new found strength and am wondering why I took so long to do this. See, even trainers need a little help now and than. My legs are super strong AND my butt and legs got more toned!
I am writing this blog entry today, October 9th, 2012 with 900 squats completed in my own training log. Today was proof, with a high surf advisory here on the N. shore of Maui, my legs held me up and helped me stick 2 head high waves at Kanaha. It was closing out all the way across and at first, I simply could not get out, then finally a small lull. I felt confident and strong. YES!
Why in the world you may ask am I challenging myself to perform 100 squats a day with 10lb (20 total) dumbbells? Did you know that this is my LEAST favorite exercise to do? I absolutely with my heart and soul detest doing squats. You’d never bet that would you?
Well guess what, I need to be motivated and challenged too. As a trainer I tell my clients that if you make a commitment and goal to yourself, then tell someone publicly; your trainer, spouse, friend or whatever, you will more likely make that goal. Write it down, post it, let the world know. You don’t want to let them down do you?
Have you heard of the 21day rule? If you do something for 21 days in a row it becomes habit. I will admit I think things are not only taking shape but it’s shaping my thought and my brain.
So, the main reason for me sharing this on Facebook the month of October 2012, is that I need your help. You see, after busting my legs in April of 2009 (Maui Weekly Story) that 3 month wheelchair stint did a number on me. I mean, my legs turned to mush in two weeks. My lower half atrophied in ways I’ve never ever experienced and even with all the training they are not quite the same legs they used to be and yes, I do run like a girl!-
That freak accident changed my life in so many amazing ways and here I am professing and confessing to you my weakest link! Three years later I’m still trying. My left ankle is bigger than the left but you won’t notice at first, my strength is ( to me ) about 75% and I really want to be extra strong for surfing, stand up paddling, and long distance crossings.
I still have to wear a compression stalking on the left leg once in a while and it still swells up once in a while. It feels great and maybe I’ll start a new trend!
Now I am accountable to you. I don’t want to let you down and simply by posting this blog, I have assigned accountability. That is one of the many reasons people hire me is to hold them accountable and help them reach their goals. I get it. But did you know that even trainers come to me to get motivated, get a jump start and ask me to hold them accountable? It is true.
I know that some of you are doing it with me and I really appreciate that. It helps more than you can know. I will occasionally jump in here or on FB to keep you updated and please feel free to do the same.
I want to thank straight away Tracy Lynn Penny and son from Sunset Beach, Hawaii , sales person for freesurfmagazine. Way to go Tracy! Also to Jennifer Gladwin, Jacqueline Tan-Barclay, Amie Engerbreston, Jenny Ryan, Suzi Tucker, Joel Edwards, Brian Coppedge, John Smalley, Carlita T., Marty Melum, Salma Ansari, Elder SUP, Brianna Castillo, Mary Lynn Hershey, Nick De Meyer, Kimberly Sutton, Casey Gotcher, Blen Hinton, Jeffrey Zerkle, and many more.
Thanks for checking out my video! Whether you want to charge big waves or shed weight, strengthen your core or get inspired, I’m here to help YOU!
I specialize in water sports performance training on Maui;- (SUP)stand up paddle stronger, surf stronger, windsurf stronger, paddle or kite stronger. Pros and non-pros are welcome! Or if you’re not a water athlete, I can help you too. New mom’s wanting to get a jump start, reentering fitness or coming off an injury, I’m in your corner.
My training will challenge and motivate you. Improve your core and balance, land and ocean endurance and learn all my jewels to keep you balanced and avoid injury. Training is functional training. On the beach, in the studio and on the water, I want to see what you’ve got!
If you are visiting Maui be sure to contact me well in advance to assure my availability. Contact me e: firstname.lastname@example.org Also be sure to visit: http://www.suzietrainsmaui.com/suzie-cooney-certified-personal-trainer/
As used in video: Indo Board Training Gear. To order yours to be a stronger surfer, paddler or strengthen your knees, hips and ankles click photo here:
Aloha Suzie Cooney, CPT Owner of Suzie Trains Maui, LLC
A Simple Training Tip For SUP to Maximize Leg Strength and Endurance with the Indo Board Training Gear
By Suzie Cooney, CPT Owner of Suzie Trains Maui
More and more people are stand up paddling and I get flooded with emails on how to strengthen the legs to help reduce fatigue, increase performance for distance, wave paddling and simply cruising. There is not one answer but I have a tip that can help all the above at some level.
From beginners to professional paddlers, everyone can benefit to learn how to maximize your leg strength and endurance to you can enjoy paddling longer, possibly reduce injury or to push your limits and improve your performance.
I’ve been a Team Rider for Indo Board for years now and love how the sport and gear have evolved together to allow for smooth paddling and more water time. I’ve had numerous major injuries over the years, and seriously, my Indo Board gear has brought me back faster and stronger than ever.
When folks are making transitions from flat water to wave paddling, it’s all footwork and water reading. It’s pretty awesome when you can train your body to connect to your brain’s intention and have it all right there. Connect your body to the waves, bump or trough if downwind paddling.
This simple tip I offer will wake up all the fine muscles around the feet, ankle, knees and hips independently of your other leg. I like this exercise ( see blow ) because although all the muscles of your body work together, by breaking it down and loading up each joint; we can then maximize each point to perform with it’s own strength and consistency, then ultimately allowing for every joint to excel in unison.
Additionally, the strength you gain will then allow for quicker reaction times to changing conditions, increase muscle endurance and hopefully minimize injury or overuse syndromes and other compensations. ( I am not a physician but have worked in sports orthopedics. Always consult with your personal specialist with regards to any injuries or if embarking on a new fitness routine.)
Even though I’m a “regular” surfer and paddler surfer, funny thing is I skateboard and snowboard “goofy”. So fortunately I will benefit from training with left foot and right foot forward. My point is, even though you may be one or the other, train both legs.
Inflate the Gigante Flo Cushion with less air for more difficulty or more air to slow it down. Place the Indo Board Rocker or Indo Board Kicktail on top with nubby side up for maximum traction of board to cushion. I also suggest that you kick off your shoes because any rubber will act as a false barrier between you and the real thing.
Step onto board slowly in a surfer’s stance with kettle bell or dumbbell in the hand of the opposite side of the foot your approach with. So if goofy or right foot, step up and hold weight in left hand.
To maximize results, hold weight “above” the joints we intend to stress, so up to shoulder. My joint targets: ankles, knees and hips.
I suggest “time” your set. For example, beginner would hold for 5-10 seconds, and advance to 30-60 seconds in each direction or with each foot.
Lower body into squat position, gaze forward, breathe and hold. Burn to fatigue. Shaking is okay and expected.
You will begin to feel your ankle, knee and hip burn and or shake! This is good! Hold on to this position as best you can and time yourself now. See how low you can go. Relax your feet and don’t look down.
Rise up slowly, step off the back of board onto ground rest then switch it up over to the opposite leg. Repeat.
If you have the opportunity to try both boards, the Ying and Yang ( links here ) and then the Kicktail, wow what a difference. The Kicktail, which is my favorite, is very challenging and offers a lot more ankle and foot action. This requires the small, tiny stabilizers to fire and fatigue, which is the result you want.
Again, the point I’m also attempting to illustrate is that by holding a weight over and above the joint or muscle group that you’d like to strengthen and train, you will maximize the benefit and outcome. The fact that we also get to add the variable of an unstable platform gives us the ultimate opportunity for your training. If the weight is below or at joint level it will produce a different result.
This kind of training is efficient and I promise you that you will definitely notice a difference the minute you get on the water. People who train with me are blown away of how much easier it is to literally step onto the wave, or last longer in channel crossing, or for any distance paddling.
This particular exercise can also transfer well to surfing, kiting and windsurfing.
I hope you enjoyed this tip. Here is a link to other articles I’ve written for SUP Fitness.
If ever on Maui, I’m available for private specialized training and can show you all my training tips to maximize your results and SUP water performance. I also offer private and semi-private professional SUP lessons.
Don’t forget to order your Indo Board Equipment here. Here is a photo of my training quiver from Indo Board. Having good balance, strength and leg endurance is key for more time on the water. Other articles you may enjoy allows you to learn more SUP training applications.
Whether you’re just learning to surf or pulling into a nice hollow Honolua Bay wave, the thrill of surfing or dreaming of a wave like this is definitely good for your health. Here, Maui photographer, Simone Reddingius captures this surfer dropping in. His muscles are ripped, he’s focused and you can bet his heart rate is high. The endorphins that make you feel so good are exploding as he carves that gun into the blue room for that magical moment. This, you can be sure is good for your health!
CLICK here to see more of Simone’s fine surf photographer and other talents.
Also, check out all the photos from recent Suzie Trains Maui ENews Highlights of Naish & Suzie Trains Maui SUP Fun Beach Fitness & Paddle Challenge special guest Kai Lenny, as 55 participants finished FREE event. See the famous “taco rolls in the sand”. See photos and event highlights.
Gear & Board Reviews: The Alana Series featured here is oh so lovely. Don’t let the frills or flowers fool you. These two high performance boards are delivering waves of fun and miles of exlporations!Follow @SuzieTrainsMaui
Please feel free to post a comment and tell us how you love to surf to keep healthy! Also, any tips you want to share about how you approach the New Year to make good lifestyle choices, feel free! Mahalo!
Happy New Year! Suzie Cooney, CPT owner of Suzie Trains Maui
Suzie Cooney Balance Training on Indo Board Gigante Disc
Balance training is a key component and is included in all of my training sessions with my clients, as a means to better improve their daily lives, surfing performance, SUP performance, or after recovering from an injury. I’ve written many articles on the topic and thought you might enjoy my quick radio segment from the Maui Breakfast Club, hosted by Tom Blackburn Rodriguez and Kellie Pali-Cruz, every Tuesday on KNUI 900 AM at around 7:38 in the morning:
Below are just a few of the articles that I’ve written regarding balance training. I’m also a team rider for Indo Board Company which supplies me with all of my balance training equipment. They are an innovative company that understands the importance of functional training and offer a variety of various platforms for all levels.
Suzie Cooney, CPT is a certified personal trainer on Maui since 2001. Her former background in sports orthopedics has exposed her to unique and challenging cases where her participation resulted in many positive outcomes. As an athlete, lifestyle coach, and professional SUP paddler, she too has recognized the importance of balance training when coming off of injuries or for increasing sports performance, but especially qualified to help those who are seeking to regain and rebuild muscle strength and coordination.
We encourage you to comment or share your experience and success with balance training and how it’s helped you in your fitness.
Left to right: Gigante Disc, Suzie, smaller 12" disc, 6.5 in roller, 8.5 in roller, INDO Board Pro, Ying & Yang Rocker Board, Kicktail
Aloha! Everyone knows that trains with me or reads my blogs and articles that I ‘m a huge fan of the INDO Board. It has brought all my clients to new levels in fitness and is always exciting and fun; meanwhile allowing me to cater to each individual and their unique needs. I’ve been a team rider and contributor for INDO Board for some time, and their product development, trainer curriculum and application continues to blow me away. My surfers, stand up paddlers, kiters, windsurfers and those also coming off of injuries have enjoyed building their strength on the different INDO Boards and platforms. Even those reentering fitness again or for those who want to freshen up their routine, love the challenge and discover new things about their abilities which allows me at any level, help them reach their personal fitness goals.
Functional training is the key focus of my practice and it’s how I’m sure that when I’m training a surfer or a new mom, all of their kinetic checkpoints are tracking properly before we embark on any new fitness program. The INDO Board training equipment offers me the expansive opportunity to test, observe and ask folks to perform on different, unstable platforms and is part of every assessment for each individual. It allows me to really measure one’s core strength, balance and reaction ability while I’m developing their unique program in my mind, all the while watching them discover new abilities they thought they never had. As a trainer, this is my biggest reward!
Suzie Cooney on Gigante Disc photo by Darrell Wong 2011 All Rights Reserved
The Gigante Disc, which has been a dream come true not only for training my SUP clients on land before we train on the water, but I’ve discovered so many other modalities and exercises that I’ve never before knew one could do. I often make up a lot of this stuff as I go based on the individual’s ability. You will see this piece of gear as one of my favorites and now on Naish’s website with my fitness articles. My mind is always thinking in that direction as I develop more and more exercises and also combine other tools and weights in conjunction with. It’s literally exponential on what you can do for your own training.
My second favorite new deck is the simple INDO Board Kicktail and the INDO Board Ying & Yang Rocker Board, which is very loose and wide, offering my more advanced clients a lot more freestyle action on a larger surface, but I’ve already implemented other uses! For example, today, setting up my hard core windsurfer, Tim Ellison loves it when I place the INDO Board Kicktail board on top of a semi-inflated Gigante disc in the surfers stance. This is his way of practicing his foot work for wave sailing. Then I fire at him an 8lb medicine ball in all planes of motion. He loves it! The INDO Board Kicktail is narrow and challenging, while the Gigante forces him to keep his knees bent and manage the force production and movement caused by the weighted ball. He’s be happy and completey satisfied if we did this the entire session!
The photo above shows me on my Naish 9’0″ Hokua. This is quite a sassy quad fin and with the INDO Board Gigante disc inflated almost to the max, I’m able to push my body to the max. ( beginners, remove your fins and I may suggest you place two Gigantes with less air at first, one in front and one in the back of board ). Aquiring upper body endurance with a medicine ball or weighted bar, while at the same time challenging all the finite muscles from from my feet, ankles, knees, hips to the core. This will get your heart rate up and burn your legs! AWESOME!
Advanced INDO Board Core Training. Not just for surfers or paddlers! Everyone can benefit!
SUP paddlers, you can take your paddling to the next level with just a few pieces of key INDO Board equipment. This kind of training REALLY transfers to many different types of water conditions. Flat water, to big waves, to Maliko down wind coast runs, require all muscles to fire and this type of training also known as “propreocetion” work is key. You want your body to respond quickly and naturally. That’s why this gear makes that difference. Be sure you take your time and train your brain with the new reaction benefits that will challenge you. Safety is paramount and as you progress in your leg, core and even upper body strength, go back to the basics and start from the top.
Progressions should be safe, managable and always proper form. Progressions are as simple as two legs to one, less air in disc(s) or more air. Tempo, speed shift, holding weights below your knees or resting on your shoulder as you might perform squats on top of the Gigante disc while standing on the Rocker Board.
Hunter Joslin, Chip and Georgette at INDO Board, thank you for all that you do to help us trainers help more of our clients and water sport enthusiasts, and putting smiles on thousands of hard training folks, and for providing a most excellent quiver of fun under the sun or studio lights!
Mahalo and in good health,
Suzie Cooney, CPT of Suzie Trains Maui
While visiting Maui, Suzie is available for professional private training sessions. These may include on and off water sessions should you like. She will take you through all the progressions based on your current level of fitness and assist you safely to success. Call at 808-283-2121 or go to: http://www.suzietrainsmaui.com/suzie-cooney-certified-personal-trainer/
TweetSee the finish line, the crowd cheering you on the last buoy turn, the last surf heat before the horn, the last lap of your mountain bike or dirt bike race and see your personal victory! Okay, now adjust the speed and tempo, add a little more weight to the bar, do a few more balance tricks and turn up the music.
Visualizing your win, your finish or any goal you set out for your racing or training I guarantee will get you that trophy or medal or simply help you get to the next phase of your training and sport. We watch the networks play over and over in slow motion, two competitors going handle bar to handle bar on the dirt track, paddlers digging as deep and fast as they dig deep into last turn back to the beach, or the Olympic speed skaters pushing off those last few powerful meters.
You can do the same during your training. If you’re a surfer and while you’re performing a weighted squat on your INDO Board, you see the green room and the spray of huge dragons breath; popping you out of that tube standing tall touching the back of that blue wall. For example, when I’m on my spin bike, I close my eyes as the music carries me across the ocean on my Naish Glide at warp speed, catching every bump and trough possible, or better, turning on the face of a big wave.
Whatever your sport, your mental game and how you see yourself as an athlete makes a critical difference in how you perform. Do you see yourself as an athlete? Are you looking to build your game and confidence? I’m not a scientist, but what I do know is that the subconscious captures images of our desire outcomes and holds them and when an opportunity mimics the situation, it retrieves that image and allows our minds and body to shape and make that true.
I have the pleasure to introduce to you my training client, Stephen. Here is his awesome story on how his visualization training became an exciting reality, to a successful 27 mile stand up paddle race finish. The race was Saturday April 23rd, 2011. It started from Honolua Bay, Maui across the open ocean channel to the island of Molokai. Sport, stand up paddle, partner Mike Owens. ( photos by Joshua Kjorven)
“ I would like to help contribute, it was one of those crazy ideas one gets while I was watching Connor and Dave battle it out in the Pailolo Channel on last year’s race. It was in November when I first watched the video of the battle where Connor ultimately won. Watching him paddle, getting that imprint of his paddle stroke, and ability to read the swell was captivating. I thought with a little practice “I could do that” and why not, what could possibly go wrong? I never think about the details (they usually become a barrier),I just stay focused on the goal, and the details usually work themselves out in the end.
I set up our indoor pool to train and get in shape during the winter months, and then arrived in Maui to start training with you and Jeremy. Jeremy corrected my paddle stroke, and taught me to catch bumps on the four Maliko runs we did, plus several days in the harbor. Suzie helped me focus on my balance and strengthened the areas that I needed to improve upon, and it really helped. In reality was I ready for such a crossing and be a contender? No but my goal was to do it, learn it, and experience the rush, get the confidence, and then do it again next year, hopefully solo.
This is an excellent example of how Stephen’s visual training of seeing his successful outcome and all the steps he needed to take to get there, seeing himself as an athlete, a competitor and a finisher! Good job Stephen!
What I suggest is that you get real clear on what you want to see. Get real specific with how you want to perform. Do you want to go faster, carve bigger turns, or catch bigger glides or simply finish? Focus that imagery on just that. See in your mind over and over again that perfect picture of the outcome. Some people also explore hypnosis.
When you look in the mirror at the gym, get hyper focused and don’t be embarrassed of how strong you think you look. Right on! That’s what I want. Growl, sing see the confetti! If one of my clients is training for a big event and we’re squeaking out one more set or rep, I just love to whisper in their ear, “this is when you win.” I’ll also say, “Are you not the fierce competitor I know? Then do it.”
Now I’m not the mean trainer you see on TV, but I do give my clients the tools to help them get real with themselves and give them lots of positive images while we are training. I am the one that will keep you very positive and erase any negative and mental obstacles. If you don’t have a trainer, I suggest you try and do the same.
Develop a mantra that you say to yourself as you have your image. This is also a very powerful tool I suggest to my clients that get’s them very fired up and focused. I don’t care if it sounds totally silly, or if it’s a string of unusual sounds, it’s what resonates with them, If it makes sense to them and get’s them to that place they must go, then say it. I know people hear me when I’m surfing, SUP surfing or training down Maliko. I talk to myself all the time out loud.
What I strongly suggest when testing out your mantra with your visual, please don’t say negative things, like “you dummy, just one more stroke” or “I’m an idiot… “. You get my drift. Positive words, positive images equal a positive outcome.
Takeaway: Say to yourself “I am an athlete, a fierce competitor and I am strong”. See yourself getting tubed, finishing your first 5 or 10k, rounding that last buoy, or hitting it full throttle across the line.
I’d love to read about what you see when you train and what the outcomes are? Are you faster, stronger? How did it change the way you train? We welcome your comments!
Aloha, Suzie Cooney, CPT
Should you like to learn more about Suzie and train with her on Maui for your next successful experience, go to her website at http://www.suzietrainsmaui.com
Transform your performance! Train like Suzie’s clients with the INDO Board
It was a great day, emotional and draining but I will do it again next year for sure.” Stephen
Getting ready for the big Maui to Molokai Challenge!
My partner was Mike Owens, we did a great job, for first timers, and we had fun. And we will do it again next year. I started visualizing this goal in November, and kept at it since then, but on the beach that morning I was just grateful to have the opportunity to do such a thing, everyone was giving us course instructions, Jeremy was saying this will be an experience of a lifetime and to enjoy it, but once we put the paddle to the water… That visualization, the memory of Jeremy’s instructions and Connors video all came in to focus and that made the difference.