Santa Cruz local Nat Young started surfing at four. At 17, he took his training beyond the waves, incorporating high-intensity gym sessions. Today — at the age of 24 and ranked seventh in the World Surfing League — the surfer works out five days a week, combining three to four hours of surfing with in-gym sessions led by Nike Trainer Joey Wolfe.
“The way I look at training as a whole is that the foundation level is movement,” explains Wolfe. “When I got Nat, he was a really good mover and that natural athleticism made my job easier. It was like: Okay, I just have to get this guy stronger and good things are going happen. And that's exactly what happened. It’s no different than any other sport: If you get an athlete and they move well, then the sky is the limit. My job is to get him stronger, keep him flexible and protect him from injury.”
Accordingly, Wolfe’s workouts enhance Nat’s strength, endurance, flexibility and balance via targeted routines designed to address the physical demands of surfing and prepare him for the unpredictable ocean environment. The ultimate goal, however, remains.
“My main goal in surfing is to win a world title,” Nat reiterates. “I go into each contest to win. If I can achieve those goals, that's part of the bigger picture. I take it event by event and work towards the end goal.”
NAT YOUNG TRAINS IN THIS GEAR
Inner Strength Documentary Series
This is the sixth installment of a documentary series that captures the inspiration, and motivations that drives Nike athletes in their training. Their journeys vary as do their goals, but they share a common obsession with athleticism