Among the myriad bits of pro surfer lore that have survived the test of time is the legend of Sally Fitzgibbons' supreme fitness. In countless interviews and asides, her fellow Championship Tour (CT) athletes note that she's always the first one at the beach -- in the dark, rain or shine, after a 30-minute jog, barefoot, in the snow. Anyone who's lurked around the Tour stops knows, too: Her legs of steel, her distinct, pre-heat regime, and her über-athletic talent, from the track field to the lineup.
But this year, Fitzgibbons took her passion for fitness and packaged it into a compact, online program, All Australian Beach Body, that's travel-ready. In an email, Fitzgibbons described her approach to fitness -- and if you're reading this sitting down, this is your cue to stand up and start doing some jumping jacks.
Her whole program -- Train Like Sally -- is, in fact, tailored to surfing. "Surfing is an all-encompassing exercise," said Fitzgibbons. "I train all the elements and muscles on land that I will be using when I'm in the lineup and on a wave so I can be the best and strongest surfer I can possibly be.
"I train my cardio base by running, swimming, biking, skipping and circuit training. I do my strength training and weights in the gym and in whatever my surrounding and natural elements have to offer, like cool parks, and equipment sets out on running trails. Different styles of paddling technique and yoga come into play also. Then a whole heap of time in the surf." In the techniques above, the moves will get your cardio going, as well as use quads, arms, shoulders, biceps, calves and glutes -- essentially, everything you'll need in the lineup, too.
Not only does Sally have the workouts dialed, but also the fitness mindset. "Being consistent and...not giving up on yourself is the key," she said. "You are in a contract for life with your body and if you show it that love and have a great healthy philosophy that you stick to, then you will see and feel it shine through."
All of which, of course, sounds easy for a world-class athlete who seems to have come out of the womb with six-pack abs. Still, even Fitzgibbons knows what 4 p.m. feels like. "We all feel that tiredness and at times just real sluggish at some point during the day," she said. "But if you have that routine of being active every single day you just know you dont want to miss out on your daily dose of movement. I don't even think twice I just put the shoes on and pump myself up... C'monnnn 'you got this', you tell yourself!"
Along with the AABB digital workouts, Fitzgibbons has been taking her program to the streets, literally. Already, she's led workouts at Snapper and at the Geelong Cats' (her favorite Australian Football League team) training grounds. There are four more to go: One on 5th Street in Huntington Beach just before the Vans US Open of Surfing; another before the Sydney City2Surf running classic; the next in Cascais, Portugal, ahead of the women's CT event there in September. The final workout will be Fitzgibbons' Sydney International Beach Festival at Cronulla.
Even if you don't get your fitness on with Fitzgibbons, you can still get your fandom going, with the Vans US Open of Surfing, live daily from July 31 - August 6.