Keeping shipshape with on-board fitness

| With thanks to Absolut Pilates Antibes, Katie Handyside & Frederic Gingreau


Fitness for the yacht industry is a growing niche market, an additional luxury offered to those wanting to keep up their regimes whilst on their yachting break.

With this said, just as with every other aspect of the superyacht industry, expectations of personal trainers are extremely high, with clients wanting someone with ‘the whole package’. Yachting Pages has taken a look at what to expect when working with a personal trainer and what kind of dietary requirements may be recommended for you.

women running at the gym

What to look for in a personal trainer

Making sure the personal trainer is an expert and highly trained is essential. The personal trainer must manage all aspects of the client’s fitness including creating and maintaining a professional and energetic atmosphere, and focus on fitness and health that is accessible to all guests. Personal trainers can now be experts in a vast number of different training methods and can create and develop programs for individuals and groups. You can find experts in;

  • Pilates
  • Yoga
  • Stretching
  • Aerobics(Water Aerobics, Dance Aerobics and Step Aerobics)
  • Bodypump
  • Cycling/Spinning
  • Zumba

The list goes on!

Frederic Gingreau, a qualified personal trainer from commented, “Personal trainers who not only can provide a fantastic service in terms of fitness, but someone who can also collaborate with the on-board chef to plan meals in accordance with goals and preferences, source supplements and equipment when desired, and possess extra skills in life-saving and sports massage.”

Frederic went on to say, “Having limited space or no gym is not an excuse for a good personal trainer; they should be able to construct a results-specific programme in accordance with the possibilities on board. Utilising TRX, cardio boxing, H.I.I.T, body pump, yoga, and Pilates, even aqua aerobics whilst clients are at anchor are all possible.”


Superyacht Pilates

Pilates has been gaining momentum in recent years. Its popularity has increased and there has been a rise in many contemporary Pilate instructors. Superyachts are an ideal location for Pilates. There are however a few important things to know about Pilates.

Pilates is not a form of yoga. It is a system by itself developed by Joseph Pilates who was a German physicist. He believed in balance between the mental and the physical well-being through the practice of Pilates.

There are basically two ways in which Pilates can be practised. 1) Mat-based Pilates involves a series of exercises performed on the floor. The key here is to use the combination of gravity and your body weight to provide resistance to the muscles. 2) Equipment based Pilates is an exercise that incorporates the use of various equipment and weights for muscle training.

The equipment is not better than the mat work, but an essential complement for those who want to experience the true benefits of Pilates.

There are only a handful of high quality manufacturers (Peak Pilates, Balanced Body, Gratz and The Pilates Center Boulder). Most of whom, have re-sellers in Europe.

Marika Gruber, from Absolut Pilates Antibes commented, “I cannot stress enough how important it is to get a machine that is well made! In my opinion they all fit into a fitness room on a yacht and there are 100’s of different exercises that can be done on them, all with the use of spring tension. It is a beautiful piece of equipment that uses a Scandinavian style made of wood, iron and leather.”

Pilates requires maximum concentration

Pilates is all about precise movements and it demands a lot of concentration. As funny as it sounds, Pilates is based on the belief that ‘the way exercises are done is more important than the exercises themselves’. Not the quantity, but the quality.

Breathing is the key

Pilates involves a series of exercises along with attention to proper breathing techniques. If you didn’t know, a lot of stress is laid on exhaling by wriggling out all the air from your lungs, while practicing Pilates. It is said to be much like ‘squeezing out a wet towel’. Any form of Pilates will not be complete without conscious breathing in and breathing out.

Quality is important

Marika Gruber continued, “I suggest that you learn from a qualified Pilates teacher from a school recognised by the PMA (Pilates Method Alliance). Pilates is a specific method that requires several hundred hours of personal practise, teaching, observing and anatomy theory. Check the diplomas of the instructor or studio you are approaching!”

Pilates will challenge your body

If you are interested in putting your mind through extreme control, concentration, and focus together with a strenuous physical workout you should try Pilates!


Exercise on board a yacht

If you don't like Pilates, don't practice Pilates; if you don't like running, don't run; if you don't relish lifting weights, don't lift weights. Move in a way in which you love and enjoy, and not only will you see the benefits much quicker, but you will stick at it much longer. Your workout won't be a burden because it's enjoyable! Maybe you enjoy dancing, martial arts or aerobics? Many of which can be performed on a yacht bottom line: Do what gets you motivated.

Nutrition is half the battle

Exercise is only one part of a healthy lifestyle. Eating the correct food to aid your fitness and health is also vital. Katie Handyside, a personal trainer, sports nutritionist and health & body coach has given some of her professional nutritional advice;

  1. Try to reduce your sugar intake, including artificial. No diet products, drinks or foods and no low fat products - good fats keep us full.
  2. Eliminate all processed foods (nothing out of a can, packet or box!) and if you give up alcohol temporarily watch and notice how much better you feel , mental clarity and how much weight you lose.
  3. Avoid starches- cous cous, quinoa, bread, rice or pasta and root vegetables. Sweet potato’s are an excellent source of carbohydrates for those in training and also have a high antioxidant value.
  4. Quality protein in every meal – grass fed beef, organic chicken, salmon and other oily fish, oysters and shellfish, organic eggs, anything from an animal source. Organic organs like liver and bone broth are all excellent.
  5. Each time we eat we raise acid levels in the body so try to refrain from picking between meals.
  6. Eat to moderate fullness, slow you’re eating down, knife and fork down between each mouthful and concentrate on your food to allow your digestive acids to become activated and break your foods down properly.
  7. Eat more colours; simply increasing the diversity of colors on your plate will help you eat healthier.
  8. Add sea salt to your meals, it contains valuable minerals.
  9. Use fresh herbs and spices they have a multitude of healing properties.

Sticking to a diet like this will strengthen your metabolism and enable your body to burn its fat reserves for energy permanently.


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