Given that only a handful of people have ever rowed an ocean it is surprising how many different training programmes can be found giving advice as to exactly what must be done to ensure that the body and mind are as prepared as possible for the hell that they will both endure. Two months rowing 12 hours in 24, at sea, living off dehydrated foods and being thrown around on swells as big as houses, have long and lasting effects on the human body.
Luke and I will both need to gain within 15-20kgs before we set off. The simple reasoning behind this is that we will be in a calorie deficit every day due to the constant physical exertion we will be under. We can expect to lose half a kilogram in weight each a day. For a crossing of 50 days, which is what we are broadly going for, we will lose 25kg’s. What happens if we don’t gain enough weight before the start? Simply, we will get too weak and skinny too quickly, which will slow our crossing dramatically and can lead to serious health implications.
So what are we doing to get ourselves physically prepared?
We are on a personalised programme created by the Adam Fedorciow, our health and conditioning coach.
At present, Luke and I are on a strength programme consisting of low reps but at a very high intensity. To throw out some figures, We are benching 95-110kg’s for 4 reps, squatting 120-140kg’s and deadlifting 120-160kg’s. This phase will last 6 weeks before moving onto our hypertrophy (growth) phase, where our reps and sets will increase but the weight will drop. This is the period where we will gain our most mass, although Luke and I have already gained 10 and 12 kg’s respectively.
As many people know though, it’s not so much the gym programme that enables the body to change, but rather the diet that the athlete is on.
A standard days food includes around 5000Kcals.
Breakfast – 6scrambled eggs, two pieces of toast with butter and a Whey Protein Shake (MyProtein brand)
11am – Either two grilled salmon fillets or two Chicken fillets with around a quarter mug of rice (Soya Sauce reduces the unpleasant taste)
Lunch – Fillet of Beef or fish with potatoes and greens (Broccoli, beans or lentils)
2pm and Pre-workout – Shake of BCAA and Creatine Monohydrate (MyProtein). Myprotein.com have generously sponsored us with creatine, bcaa , recovery xs and chocolate cookie flavoured wheyprotein to aid our build-up and weight gain, along with high energy bars, supplements to support us during the row.
During Workout – Recovery XS Shake (MyProtein)
Post Workout – Blend Whey Protein with two Bananas, any berries and milk
6pm – Turkey Breast with Pasta (usually with pesto or Carbonarra)
9pm – Greek yogurt with scoop of whey protein and honey.
Before bed – Any snack from the fridge.
Given that Luke and I have to gain as hard and fast as possible our diet contains more Carbohydrate and Fat than most standard diet plans would contain.
Lastly, this is not enjoyable, eating like this every day is quite miserable. I haven’t been hungry for about 3 months now which is an odd feeling but nonetheless, a necessary one.