Big-wave surfer and fitness entrepreneur Laird Hamilton takes the “labor” in “Labor Day Weekend” very seriously, if his Instagram is anything to go by. The 57-year-old athlete showed off his considerable strength and endurance in a video shared over the weekend, taken during a recent training session with pro surfers Billy Kemper and Luca Padua which involved swimming underwater lengths of a pool while carrying a dumbbell.
“Suffering together is always more fun,” he wrote in the caption. “Training w the boys @billykemper and @lucapadua …helping each other become more prepared. Now all we need is some waves.”
Along with his wife, Gabrielle Reece, Hamilton is the founder of Extreme Performance Training (XPT), a fitness concept which takes weight training underwater for additional resistance. And as the Instagram video proves, he very much lives by the principles he espouses in XPT’s four-hour group workshops.
“Anything that has to do with your health and wellness should be a lifestyle,” he wrote in his 2019 book Liferider. “Don’t do things for a few months — make it the way you live.” While Hamilton’s workouts are certainly challenging, he also believes that a fitness regime should not be difficult for the mere sake of it, and that exercise should be accessible to anybody. “If a kid can’t do a version of the workout, and if older people can’t do a version of the workout, then I would quit,” he says. “I would question the validity of it.”
Philip Ellis is a freelance writer and journalist from the United Kingdom covering pop culture, relationships and LGBTQ+ issues.
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