Trainer tailors fitness program
to amateur, pro boaters
by BILL WAGNER, Staff
(article from The Capital Online)
don't consider sailing a
strenuous sport. There's this
image of middle-aged men and
women sitting on a comfortable boat drinking beer.
Competitive sailboat racers know there is a lot
of physical activity involved. Hoisting sails, cranking
winches and hiking out all require
a certain degree of strength, endurance and athleticism.
Yet the reality is that many sailors, both amateur
and professional, don't train the way they should.
Sitting behind a desk all week then
going out and doing a four-hour race on Saturday can lead to injury
Returning to Annapolis after more than two decades
away, Harry Legum was stunned to learn the area had
no workout programs
targeted toward sailors. Legum, an elite-level certified personal
trainer at Annapolis Athletic Club, has taken it upon himself to
remedy that situation.
Legum has established Annapolis Sailing Fitness
LLC, which provides specialized training geared toward
the type of activities
performed aboard a raceboat. Local professionals such as Terry
Hutchinson, Jahn Tihansky and Brian Bissell are now being trained
by Legum, who is eager to expose recreational competitors to his
sailing-specific conditioning program.
"When I got back to town, I couldn't believe there was no one taking care of
the sailing community," said Legum, who worked as a personal trainer in Atlanta
for 16 years. "It's the biggest sport in Annapolis with literally hundreds of
participants, so it made too much sense not to create a fitness program that
was relatable to
Tihansky is preparing to compete in the International
505 World Championships in the famously heavy air
off Santa Cruz, Cal. He will be hiking hard throughout
the event and knows that requires
tremendous leg strength.
"Jahn told me whoever has the strongest quads usually
wins. So I've had him doing exercises and lifting designed to strengthen those
muscles," Legum said.
Paul Murphy turned to Legum for help when trying
to get into shape for the J/22 World Championship
that was held off Annapolis in May.
Murphy was primarily interested in strengthening a previously-injured
Hutchinson was recently hired as tactician
for Team New Zealand, which is beginning
its quest to recapture the America's Cup. The Harwood native's
primary job is to survey the course and competition
then make strategical calls, but he must
also perform physical duties aboard a 70-foot sloop that possesses
"You exert a lot of energy no matter what type of
boat you are sailing," Hutchinson said. "Sailing
involves a lot of explosive movement and bursts of
energy. You need strength, flexibility and
Hutchinson, who lost 21 pounds while doing a
leg of the Volvo Ocean Race, hikes hard while racing Farr
40s and uses all sorts of muscles while
sailing a Star boat. The St. Mary's High graduate tries to
stay in shape, but came away from a two-hour workout with
Legum at the Annapolis Athletic Club knowing
there was lots of
work to be done.
"I've come off the water some days and my
whole body has ached. You do things in sailing that strain
your back, your stomach, your arms, your
shins," Hutchinson said. "If you don't train properly, you're
going to pull a muscle, strain your back or hurt your knee."
a 1982 graduate of Annapolis High, grew up sailing beach
catamarans and boardsailing on the South River. He
served as a paramedic in the U.S. Army before getting
the fitness business.
Legum was determined to get back
into sailing upon moving from Atlanta to Annapolis,
but didn't figure to do so in a work-related manner.
fitness idea evolved from training longtime North Sails
executive Jim Allsopp at Annapolis
Athletic Club, which is located in Eastport.
mouth and recommendations from the likes of Allsopp
have brought other sailors to Legum, whose
fliers can be
found at The Boatyard, North Sails, J/World and yacht
are just so many little things you can do to better prepare
your body for sailing," said Legum, who taught a fitness class
to members of the Severn Sailing Association junior program. "There
are certain actions that I can duplicate in the gym, like pulling
a halyard. By working at a machine,
we can condition someone to use
the proper technique when doing that."
Legum has other unique
exercises that help improve agility and balance, which
are so important aboard a sailboat. He
new ways to train sailors by crewing for clients.
advantage of as many invitations as I can get. I've been out
on a J/105, a Mumm 30, an Etchells
and every time I go I
discover new things that I can incorporate into this regimen," he
Legum will hold his inaugural Fitness for Sailing
Workshop on July 26 (7:30 p.m.) at
Annapolis Athletic Club. He is working with Tihansky
on a manual of techniques and also hopes to produce
video demonstrating sailing-specific excercise.
are working the bow or steering the boat, it always
helps to be in good shape," Hutchinson said. "Decision-making
is important in sailboat racing and being in solid condition
makes you sharper mentally."