Week 41 ・Joe Thomas
No wimpy men allowed on tour. Yes, anglers nowadays need to keep themselves mentally sharp and hip to managing their personal business and tournament days. But they really need to keep themselves in good physical condition to help them stay at the top of their game.
Team Lucky Craft pro Joe Thomas has been a pro fisherman for over 20 years. He has many business interests along with tour life. The physical demands of travel and the constant abuse his body endures on the water motivate him to get his body in the best shape possible to ensure a long and healthy life both on and off the water.
Pump You Up
Thomas may not be a bodybuilder, but he does love to hit the squat rack and get a good pump.
"I'm pretty realistic about all of this," he said. "I'm 44 years old. I need to make sure I stay in good shape. It's so important for your life to be healthy, but it's extra important when you are a pro angler. Your body is constantly stressed with the travel and what we undergo on the water in rough conditions.
"I find that a rigorous off-season workout plan is the key to surviving a tough season," he said. "If you enter the season in shape, it takes a lot of the fatigue factor out of your day on the water. The days of the stereotype big bubba sitting on a bow seat relaxing while he's fishing are over. This is a serious sport, which you need to approach with serious training."
Basic Is Best
Thomas prefers to focus on a basic weight program along with a steady diet of cardiovascular work to keep his heart in shape.
"In the off-season, I work out 5 days per week," he said. "My average workout lasts about 90 minutes. I'll do at least 30 minutes of cardio work. I like the stationary bike, a cross trainer or the Stairmaster.
"For weight training, I divide things up into three workouts," he noted. "I do upper-body pushing movements like chest, shoulders and triceps one day, then upper-body pulling movements like rows and biceps, and for the third workout I do legs. I still do squats and a lot of free-weight stuff, but it's a lot lighter now and I incorporate a lot of machines to prevent excess injuries."
While Thomas was at his local gym, he found out the owner was a BassFan.
"The owner of my gym is a big fan of pro bass fishing," he said. "He came up to me and said he liked my show and was a fan. The gym I train in, Royal Family Fitness, is owned by ACS Fitness in Columbus, Ga. These guys really enjoy the tournament scene and bass fishing in general."
> Thomas feels proper diet will help you on the road. "It's really tough to train properly when you're on tour," he said. "So to counter the lack of training, I'll bring my food with me. Each morning I eat oatmeal and bring protein shakes or bars in the boat to eat. This way, I may end up eating fast food only once a day, if at all."
> Train your abs to help your back. "If you don't do any other exercises at all, at least do some abdominal work," he said. "Injuries and fatigue in your lower back can be prevented to some extent by strong abdominal muscles. I'm not saying you need six-pack abs, but try and keep them toned."