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Deadlifts Will Save Your Back (RHIB Drivers)
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strength_forever
Level 4

Join date: Nov 2002
Posts: 51

For all those that are Boat guys. I thought i would share a theory with you.


Before my buddy and I tried for selection. We both heard how hard driving a RHIB at high rates of speed through sea state are on the human body. Stories of compressed discs, compression fractures, blown knees from the intensity of such an occupation. I think some one told me its like getting into over 500 car crashes in one night. Three years in the job... I completely agree.
So we made a vow to train right, from the beginning. We figured that waves that hit these boats are relentless. And to put a marathon runner against a 33 foot linebacker is just plain retarded. We needed lean mass and a lot of strength.

We believed that Deadlifts where the ultimate lift. Due to the spinal load and the obvious strength and mass benefits. We trained at least once a week in deadlift. We both passed selection and our course. And unfortunately, recently my buddy took a really hard hit and compression fractured a vertebrae in his lower back. Most guys with this injury are out of the game for a while, sometimes surgery, sometimes out for good. Well on the bright side. He wore a back brace for about 3 months, no surgery and is about to rejoin us.

I passed by him a short time back and asked him how rehab was going. "Im about to go do some light deadlifts, doc cleared me" In my mind I was dumbfounded but he assured me that not only did he and the medical staff believe that his back muscle were so strong they stabilized his spine that his recovery is fast forwarded with less pain associated with such an injury.

One new exercise we have added to our deadlift day is Hack squats. Now some of you may think this is a bad idea. But hear me out. When we drive, our backs are supported by a bolster we kinda lean back on. Now when you are in a sea state where you hit constant chop it will be like doing 1000 drop squats in a day. And Im not really exaggerating. So we put only a forty five a side. We will start doing quarter squats at medium tempo, then increasing to full squats to jumping squats. (Disclaimer: This is what I do, not necessarily is it what you should do.) Its a great finisher and completely mimics the conditions you will feel on the boat.

Food for thought.

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SailorJerry
Level

Join date: Dec 2009
Posts: 102

I was the SAR guy on my boat for a while, and the RHIB mesed me up real bad on those long trips. I agree with having more beef on your back to deal with this kind of stuff, but would a Frigate Sailor do underway? All bars have to be fixed, like a smith machine, and the DBs only go up to 80 lbs. Getting a workout was tough on those deployments.

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strength_forever
Level 4

Join date: Nov 2002
Posts: 51

Thats a hard one. I have never spent more than a couple days on an actual ship. I bet single leg dumbbell deadlifts would be very challenging. There are strength coaches that use the smith machine to teach beginners form in the deadlift. Not a fan of the smith machine but when that is all you have....... Its probably better than doing nothing.

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boatguy
Level 3

Join date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1342

Damn strength, that's an old ass picture. What team you at? 22, used to be at 20.

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boatguy
Level 3

Join date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1342

Another good one for RHIB guys is the suitcase deadlift. Barbell or dumbbell held in one hand at your side, like you would carry a suitcase, maintain good deadlift form, do reps on both sides. This one is crucial for when the bottom drops out and you take those awesome side hits.

Strength - Have you guys tested the new suspension seats? They tried to sell us on them several years ago, we said NO.

You might become more fatigued standing through the whole evolution, but when you are standing your core is already engaged, and your core muscles react faster to shots as they come. Sitting down, the seats take the brunt of the force from the normal up/down hits, but when side shots come, your torso is already swinging and your core is trying to catch up. (At least that is my theory, I would imagine exercise physio guys would agree with me)

I saws another form of suspension seat which was basically a foam 'saddle' arrangement which you straddled, the foam just under your butt, with the saddle on a cantilever/bar arrangement with a large spring. When you take a big shot, you drop on the seat and the spring takes the shock. I never tested those, but I like the idea better.

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strength_forever
Level 4

Join date: Nov 2002
Posts: 51

boatguy wrote:
Another good one for RHIB guys is the suitcase deadlift. Barbell or dumbbell held in one hand at your side, like you would carry a suitcase, maintain good deadlift form, do reps on both sides. This one is crucial for when the bottom drops out and you take those awesome side hits.

Strength - Have you guys tested the new suspension seats? They tried to sell us on them several years ago, we said NO.

You might become more fatigued standing through the whole evolution, but when you are standing your core is already engaged, and your core muscles react faster to shots as they come. Sitting down, the seats take the brunt of the force from the normal up/down hits, but when side shots come, your torso is already swinging and your core is trying to catch up. (At least that is my theory, I would imagine exercise physio guys would agree with me)

I saws another form of suspension seat which was basically a foam 'saddle' arrangement which you straddled, the foam just under your butt, with the saddle on a cantilever/bar arrangement with a large spring. When you take a big shot, you drop on the seat and the spring takes the shock. I never tested those, but I like the idea better.


Oh boy, You may have opened a can of worms with this one. Suspension seats.....

We have a suspension seats in our boat. But most of the guys don't use them here are a few reasons why.
1) They are first gen. a car shock and spring. They move up and down that's it.
2) Knee's are replaceable, spines are not.
3) Side impacts like you said. Although I do rely heavily on the side bolsters of the seat in a folded down position. Or I would have been ejected a few times.
4) You can't feel the Boat. Since we run Gas engines I can time waves very well and make a very smooth ride through throttle manipulation. But I have to feel how the boat is reacting to the wave. When to cut, when to accelerate. (Funny story. One of my Pax yells up. Whats that Loud bark noise I keep hearing..... I yell back. That's the boat coming right out of the water)



I strongly believe that they can design a good suspension seat if the dam engineers would wake the fuck up. Motocrossers and Throphy truck drivers and almost every other offroad discipline have athletes/drivers that make long careers out of hitting huge jumps and impacts. Their suspension systems are very sophisticated. They can adjust every aspect of how that shocks and springs reaction to impact. Angles to increase travel and to minimize impact. If a trophy truck can jump 30 feet and hit a turn then hit whoops and the suspension just soaks it up why can't we design a seat to do so as well?
We have hooked accelerometers inside our boats and the amount of G's that you take are unnatural. The longevity of a driver could be enhanced by technology.

Until then, My legs and core are my suspension system.


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boatguy
Level 3

Join date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1342

Agreed. The only way we will get that kind of tech into one of our boats, is a complete redesign. The RHIBs we are using, when you add the seats, you lose most of the small amount of room you had ot begin with.

I had forgotten about the feel (this was about 6 years ago we tested them and said Fuck Off). With the seats, we were just running wide open throttle, not even trying to throttle in(partially because we were testing, partially because we could).

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gregron
Level 4

Join date: Oct 2009
Posts: 13490

those suspension seats sucked balls.

I preferred to just stand using the regular seats (flip the mini butt cushion up and fill in the gap with another back pad)

No way you can be on a RIB for your entire career and not need some sort of surgery.

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strength_forever
Level 4

Join date: Nov 2002
Posts: 51

gregron wrote:
those suspension seats sucked balls.

I preferred to just stand using the regular seats (flip the mini butt cushion up and fill in the gap with another back pad)

No way you can be on a RIB for your entire career and not need some sort of surgery.


Most still do suck. But someday they will figure it out. And yeah MCT guys sacrifice the body to git'r done. The question is when do I pull the plug before and injury does it for me. Fitness will protect me but time will catch up. The sick thing is that I love this job.

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boatguy
Level 3

Join date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1342

What's not to love? Fast boats, big guns... Do you guys have MCADS?

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