Whether you’re an occasional gym goer or elite-level athlete, few fitness fans would argue that it can be tricky to keep up with your fitness regime on holiday. While this can be for a number of reasons - a desire to take some time off, a busy sightseeing schedule or simply too many tempting opportunities for sunbathing and snacking – it can also be because the space and equipment for your chosen activity aren’t available when you’re away from home. The good news is, if you own or charter a yacht, a bit of thoughtful design can offer a seamless transition from onshore to on board workouts. Here Edward Thomas, director of Gym Marine Yachts & Interiors, which has worked on numerous projects for health conscious yacht owners, offers his advice…
Get your personal trainer involved
“We are able to create our best designs when we have close contact with a personal trainer or coach who can brief us on what essentials are to be integrated into the gym and how the user likes to train,” explains Edward. Your personal trainer knows your exercise plan even better than you do so, if space constraints mean a favourite piece of equipment is ruled out, they can work with Gym Marine’s gym design team to suggest an alternative or custom piece that will provide the same results. Many standard power and half racks, for example, are too tall or bulky for on board gyms but Gym Marine’s adapted version has a reduced footprint along with sea fastening tabs, lowered pull-up attachments and locking plates/bar storage so you get all the functionality without sacrificing on space.
The crew are important too
They may be there primarily to cook, clean and generally keep everything ship-shape but hiring staff with a few secondary skills can do wonders for your on board fitness regime. Most chefs will automatically reach for the butter and salt when cooking so brief yours beforehand if you want a lighter meal plan for your vacation. Many crew recruitment firms can also direct you to staff with yoga qualifications, personal training experience and massage know-how so there’s no need to let your routine slide.
Consider multi-functional equipment
Even on the biggest of boats space is still at a premium so opting for gym equipment that offers a variety of exercises can be the perfect solution. Moving from separate leg curl and leg extension machines to a dual use machine that allows you to do both, for example, can save up to two valuable square metres of space. If a total body strength training machine is required, Edward recommends the Technogym Kinesis and Cybex Bravo as good places to start.
Unless you really love the burn of a set of burpees your workout is going to be much more enjoyable (and likely to happen) if you’ve got some great entertainment at your fingertips. Speak to your designer about soundproofing so you can turn the music up loud without disturbing other guests and consider investing in equipment with integrated streaming services. Matrix, Precor, Lifefitness and Technogym all offer pieces with in-built screens and Netflix, Spotify, BBC iPlayer, Kartina TV and Deezer to make those long cardio sessions a walk in the park. The true genius, of course, is that you can press pause in your cabin, head to the gym and pick up where you left off on your treadmill without missing a single second.
If you’re really pushed for space or simply want to break free from the gym then the world really is your oyster on board. Take a swim round the boat, run up and down the steps between decks, make the most of safety rails for attaching resistance bands to and open-air deck spaces are a brilliant alternative environment for working out. This is especially true if you’re chartering. Always ask about the health and wellness offerings available on board before booking (Gym Marine keeps a database of yachts with the best on board gyms) but should you be unable to find a charter vessel that’s up to scratch then Gym Marine’s ‘Gym in a Box’ can be an ideal alternative. Equipped with adjustable kettlebells, resistance tubes, skipping ropes, ankle weights and stretching mats among other essentials, it has everything you need for a makeshift but effective work out. Let’s face it, the scenery from the sun deck of your Caribbean anchor is going to be better than even the most beautiful gym.
Stats and data are the best way to make sure your on board exercise plan is living up to its land-based counterpart and now there are a whole host of gadgets that will let you check just that. Technogym’s MyWellness Cloud allows you to track your progress towards weekly goals and data can be accessed from any connected smart device and sent to your personal trainer back at home to make sure you stay on target. The brand’s Personal line, meanwhile, is equipped with front facing cameras that can be used in conjunction with the Skype app so that if you really need some motivation you can have your personal trainer right there watching and shouting at you in high definition surround sound.