I recently sat down with our intern Liam Howden to learn more about how he is attacking the weight room this off season so that he can become a better rider. We will be following Liam's progress in the gym and how it directly correlates to his riding. Liam is a cable rider from the UK and is an upcoming rider who plans on competing more this upcoming season. We invite you to get out and go to the gym to put on muscle that can help you land that next big trick.
Liam what is your motivation to get to the gym?
My motivation is the goals I want to achieve in my 2019 season out on the water. I’ve been wakeboarding for about 4 years, in year 2 was when I took a big step to the next level. Then last year I made a lot of progress but I feel I could of made more if I was stronger, so this year I just want to try and be the best I can possibly be and advance as much as I can.
Have you always worked out in the offseason?
No, I have never been on a set routine. I had lifted weights in the past but have never focused on certain muscle groups. I just started my current routine in February and hope to stay to it. Having a set routine helps with my motivation as I already know what I have to do for the day.
How often are you going?
I plan to go at least 3 times a week leading up to the summer months. Once summer comes, I will be at the lake and won't make it to the gym as often. This is a great time to start lifting for me as I still have a few months before the season really begins. The hardest part is starting and actually going for the first time, it’s a new environment and new people so apart from being there at work experience I wasn’t very familiar with it. I overcame this by inviting my friend to join me. Going with someone else made it so much easier.
How will this training improve your wakeboarding?
The lifts I am working on are focused on improving my upper body strength, arms and core strength. These are areas that will help me become a better rider. This will make air tricks and spins a lot easier, this is because (on air tricks especially) you have to pull the handle to your hips a lot to either land or to spin, this is what I want to learn this year because air tricks such as blind judge (rally to blind) or 313s involve pulling the handle closer to your body.
I hope to land new air tricks such as blind judge and maybe a 313 but most importantly I want to be able to try them and get close, they are challenging to learn and won’t happen over night so my aim is to just try a lot of new tricks. Another benefit to going to the gym is that it also may help to prevent injury which is really important as I’m still young and don’t want a harmful injury to set me back or keep me off the water.
What advice do you have?
My advice to someone who wants to become a better rider is to practice and get as much ride time in as much as you can. Going to the gym will definitely help you become better as you build strength. Don't get discouraged, failing is apart of the process. Most times you go out for a set and have a target, it's ok if you don't hit it. What is important is to have fun, that’s what it’s mostly about. Take time to slow down and enjoy the sport, it's great to always want to get better but make sure you enjoy being out on the water.
We will touch base with Liam during the season to get an update on how his offseason training effected his riding. We invite you to stay in touch with us and get updated on all of our posts by following us on Instagram and like us on Facebook to see all our posts!