I finally built a hiking bench and I was wondering if there were any particular "workouts" that you can recommend for me to do while on the bench.
Dear Joe Youngblood,
I think you have completely misunderstood why Laser sailors own hiking benches. They are not to do "workouts" on. They are to psyche out the other sailors. Here are a few examples of how you can use your bench ...
1. Get yourself a website and put up some pictures of your hiking bench. Establish your reputation as a guy who knows how to design and build a hiking bench. 99% of your readers will naturally assume that you actually use the bench. More fool them.
2. Post a message on the Laser Forum letting all your competitors know that you have a hiking bench and know how to use it. I didn't say you actually have to use it. Just lie a lot and make sure that the whole world thinks you know how to use it.
3. Plaster your hiking bench with stickers saying things like "Olympic Sailing Equipment" and "Live Sail Die" and then place it somewhere prominently in your house - say the TV room. Make sure that your sailing buddies see it when they come round. After the guys have left use the bench as a table for your beer and pizza while you watch Monday Night Football.
4. If anyone asks you how long you hike on the bench, say, "Oh 30 - 45 minutes or so I guess." It's perfectly true - you have hiked on it for 30 minutes. Accumulated over your whole life. Have a beer with the guy who was gullible enough to think you meant 30 - 45 minutes in one session.
5. Write a book about Laser sailing and include a picture in the book of you sitting on the hiking bench showing extreme hiking form. Hey, you only have to hold that pose long enough for someone to snap the photo. Have a beer afterwards.
6. Write a book about sailing fitness and include a picture in it of you sitting on a hiking bench holding a 50 lb weight and twisted in some contorted position while some girl in a sports bra presses down on your shoulders. Include a scary sounding cautionary note about how these advanced exercises should not be attempted until the muscles have been strengthened over a period of many months by doing 300 crunches a day. Have a beer after the photo session. Don't forget to give the girl in the sports bra a beer too.
7. Prowl the sailing forums and blogs and pounce immediately if anyone posts a question asking about how to use a hiking bench. In your reply don't provide any specific ideas on how to use the bench but emphasize how much hiking is supposed to hurt and write things like, "I don't care if it hurts...hike out! What, you can't? Why not - are your legs going to break? There's no excuse for not hiking hard." This will ensure that your competition continues to hike hard (even though their form is all wrong) until they injure themselves, at which point you won't have to worry about them any more. Have a beer to celebrate winning the race.