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Fishermen Wellness: Strength-Training After Working on the Water

By Christopher Gilman Scott


“Ego is not your amigo.”

Returning to the strength and conditioning world from the sea can be a test on the


On a positive note, as we’ve come to know, the fact that the commercial fisherman is a

“physical laborer” is a good thing. Our bodies are in motion and are muscles are

working, maintaining, and improving our strength. It builds this capacity peripherally

from the movements of powerlifting and ultra-running. However, since it does not have

an effect directly on these movements and the volume is so large, when returning to the

gym and the trails, it is imperative to lower the volume and build back up patiently.

I struggle with this.

Photo: Christopher Gilman Scott

Usually, when I return, I want to test myself that first week back to see where I’m at and

what I can handle right away. This often leads to a state of overtraining from the get-go

and prolongs my gains.

Do not do this.

I’m in the process of understanding and developing a more informed mindset about how

our bodies perform under these conditions.

A study has brought to light that even after individuals took 30 weeks off from training

completely, they only lost 13% of their strength: “After 6 weeks of training again

following their break, their strength increased another 40% relative to where they were

after their break. Not only did these subjects regain the 13% they had lost, but they were

also able to set new personal records with only 6 weeks back in the gym.

This is a study we should keep in mind when we feel like we’ve weakened due to a lapse

in regular strength and conditioning training.

The wiser ones of us may already have this concept dialed in. For the rest of us, consider

these approaches when returning to your training.