Strength Training

Fit to Paddle

The Paddler’s Guide to Strength and Conditioning by Rocky Snyder

Strength Training

Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.


Strength training has long been held to be beneficial to increasing an individual’s fitness level. Some other benefits include:

  • Increased energy levels.
  • Reduced injury potential.
  • Increased bone density.
  • Increased body circulation.
  • Heightened kinesthetic awareness.


When performing strength exercises it is important to remember the five R’s. The five R’s are elements of every strength program and they are as follows:

  1. Resistance – The amount of weight or resistance used during an exercise when maintaining proper form.
  2. Repetitions – The number of times a movement is performed during a set of an exercise. Typically, the lower the repetitions (with high resistance) the more basic strength is trained. The higher the repetitions (with low resistance) the more muscular endurance is trained.
  3. Range of Motion – The movement a muscle is responsible for. Ideally, it is best to train the muscle’s fullest range of motion.
  4. Rest – The amount of time spent resting between each set of exercises. An ideal time frame would be between thirty seconds and two minutes. The more intense the set is, the longer the rest period.
  5. Recovery – The amount of time spent between strength training workouts of the same muscle group. It has been recommended that 48 hours should be given before strength training the same muscle group. However, this is not written in stone. If you find that you are strength training the same muscle groups two days in a row it would be wise to change the selection of exercises for the following day (i.e. performing the dumbbell bench press on Monday and performing push-ups on Tuesday). Some of the following exercises require a workout facility with ample space to execute safely but other exercises can be performed at home. Therefore, as stated in the introduction, if you are not a member of a gym you can still create an effective program.


When strength training, remember to try to achieve temporary muscle fatigue in one set of each exercise. Temporary muscle fatigue occurs when the muscles are so exhausted that another repetition cannot be performed with proper technique. It is important that proper technique occur from start to finish in a set. It is equally important to have someone act as a spotter when performing exercises with weights that are suspended over or above the body. Remember to exhale during the exertion phase of the exercise (i.e. exhale when pushing upward during the dumbbell bench press).

If you experience dizziness or pain when performing an exercise, stop immediately and omit that exercise from the workout for the time being.

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