T Nation

Rowing, Strength and All Round Athleticism


@countrygirl2016 - Oh stop it! You’re making me blush now. But seriously thank you, tidying up my nutrition has been way harder than the training volume. I am loving the training, but cutting out beer, pizza and chocolate is not as fun.


1.2km swim alternating 200m front crawl, 200m breastroke. Swimming is really tough with sore lats from pull ups. I felt awful.


12km in the 8

10km in the 8 with 4 x 500m race pace bursts.


10km in the 8, with some technical focuses.

7km in the 8, with full race warm up and 2km race piece. First time we have done the full distance and broke the course record by a long way! Really good sign ahead of next weekends race.


Nothing too strenuous today, just 45 minutes steady row on the erg r20 at 1:55.8 split.


I am not sure I could cut the beer and pizza out :flushed: I need those in my life or I might not make it! I am happy you posted a progress picture because you look freakin awesome! What you’re doing is working really well.


Well done!


@countrygirl2016 - I know the feeling, it is the hardest part for sure! I actually really enjoy training, but restricted food choices is less fun! Although the week post Henley will have beer and pizza in abundance! I will keep in a good place this Summer, but I am allowing myself a week of post Henley, and the same when I go to Eastern Europe in August and Amsterdam in September. Balance it right and there is no reason you can’t have a lot of fun along the way too. But, thanks for the compliment, I have never consider myself aesthetically pleasing and it is never something I have focused on, as I just chase performance. Still it is an extra bonus :slight_smile:

@bustedwheel - Thanks! And there is still more to come, I think I can finally do the 227.5kg (500lb) mark in the Summer during the off season.


Double Session:

Giant Sets:
Deadlift Speed Reps: 60/3, 100/3, 120/3, 120/3, 120/3, 120/3
Bench Press Speed Reps: 40/3, 60/3, 60/3, 60/3, 60/3, 60/3
Ab Wheel Rollouts: 10, 10, 10, 10, 10, 10

Nothing too intense as tapering for Sunday’s race.

Followed by an 8km outing in a pair.


Sprint intervals again on the erg:
1750m 7 minute rest at 1:41.6 split
1500m 6 minute rest at 1:41.6 split
1250m 5 minute rest at 1:40.8 split
1000m at 1:39.8 split

Averaged a 1:41.1 split overall. Really pleased with the progress again.



Squats: 60/10, 60/10, 60/10, 60/10, 100/3, 100/3, 120/3, 120/3 (similar weights, but low reps this week tapering for race.

9km outing in the 8.


Race day prep in the 8. Full race warm up followed by a couple of practice starts.


RACE DAY (2km multi-lane regatta):
Won our heat!

Came 4th in the final (only 2s off the winner and 0.3s off the top 3).

Full write up to come, but devastating to come so close. I have come out with very mixed feelings on this, but looking at the progress we have made we are still moving in the right direction.


So we lost the final for a few reasons, but the biggest was not executing in a tight race and tensing up too much and the second reason was purely mental. I think we went too easy in the 1st half as we have been used to playing catch up in the later stages of races and we go in with the mentality as brave underdogs. I don’t care if others see us as that, but it is time to go out there with confidence and take control of these races.

Our heat is at 7.46.



So yesterday was rest day as it was a long drive back after the race. Was not in bed until 2am and was just shattered.

30 minute row steady state at 1:59.2 split r18 on erg.

Complexes: 20kg, 40kg x 8 reps
Romanian Deadlift
Barbell Rows
Power Clean
Push Press

Deadlift: 60/5, 100/3, 140/3, 170/3, 190/2, 140/3

Giant Sets:
Bench Press: 60/8, 70/8, 70/8, 70/8, 70/8
Barbell Rows: 60/10, 70/10, 80/10, 90/10, 70/10
Ab Wheel Rollouts: 10, 10, 10, 10, 10
Burpee Press Ups: 10, 10, 10, 10, 10


1.25km, 1.5km, 1.5km, 1.25km row on erg with 5,6, 6 mnute rest.

Averaged a 1:42.6 split. Did the first 2 at 1:40s, but just dies after that finishing that last 1 at 1:45.

Still I was generally pretty happy with this kind of score last years, so to hit it on a bad day shows decent progress, but I hope to be much better next week.


9km paddle in a coxed 4.

Skipped weights as I needed the rest.


Squats: 60/30, 60/30, 60/30, 60/30, 100/15, 100/15, 100/15

Giant Sets:
Weighted Pull Ups: BW/7, 5/6, 10/6, 10/6, BW/11
Weighted Dips: BW/14, 5/12, 10/12, 10/12, BW/22
KB Swings: 24/10, 24/10, 24/10, 24/10, 24/10

20 minutes cycle on the watt bike at 236 watts per hour.


Double Outing:
9km outing in the 8

11km outing in the 8 with 4 x 500m pieces and race starts.



Double Outing:

10km outing in coxed 4.

8km outing in coxless 4.


4 x 1500m sprints on erg with 6 minute rest.

Averaged a 1:43.7 split. Legs just did not have it today. Really struggled, but training was tough over weekend, so not beating myself up.


Decided to move weights session to the evening to get some sleep in the morning. Meant a double session in the evening, but I think I really needed the sleep, so was a good call.

Deadlift: 60/5, 100/3, 130/3, 160/3, 180/3 160/3

Giant Sets:
Goblet Squats: 24/10, 24/10, 24/10 24/10, 24/10 (Focusing on speed)
Barbell Rows: 60/10, 70/10, 80/8, 90/8, 60/10
Push Ups: 20, 20, 20, 20 20
Ab Wheel Rollout: 12, 12, 12, 12, 12

Had about 15-20 minute rest then just did a light 7km in a single scull. Been a long time since I have been in a single. I have lost about 7kg since I was last in it so found I was very light for that boat, meaning I was sat very high in the water which was a little scary.


1km row on erg at 1:40.3 split
5 minute rest
1.25km row on erg at 1:40.6 split
6 minute rest
1.5km row on erg at 1:40.8 split
7 minute rest
1.25km row on erg at 1:40.8 split
6 minute rest
1km row on erg at 1:40.3 split

1:40.6 split average. Nice PB there! Last few ergs were a little slower, but does look like it was down to fatigue, so still keeping on that upwards trend.


Squats: 50/30, 55/30, 60/30, 65/30

Giant Sets:
Bench Press: 60/10 60/10, 60/10, 60/15
KB Swings: 24/12, 24/12, 24/12, 24/15
Toe Touches: 14, 14, 14, 16
Mobility Work

Really hate weights in the morning. I always feel much tighter and weaker, but still happy to get the work done. Will be on the water for about 8-10km in a small boat tonight, then on Saturday I am rowing a marathon with 2 others doing intervals of 300m at a time trying to maintain under a 1: 40 split raising money for the brain tumour charity.



Charity row time! We smashed the 1:40 split barrier for the marathon between the 3 of us and the whole event managed to raise over £10,000 for the brain tumour charity which is the most important thing of all. As much as I enjoyed the challenge, this was what it was all about and it was so inspirational to see some of the brain tumour victims there, offering support and some taking part in challenges as well. It was very tough but 100% worth it.

We averaged around 2.20 rest with the time for changeovers and I think I managed to hold around a 1:34 - 1:35 average on the Concept 2 for my 47 x 300m intervals.


No rest after yesterday, straight back on the water with a 12km outing including a 2km piece.

I will sleep tonight!


Good job! That is amazing and I bet it was very inspirational :blush: I’m sure you will sleep great after that hard work.


@countrygirl2016 Thank you. Still recovering now. I am sure I am getting more insane the older I get.


2 x 6km erg at 1:55.9 split with 2 minute rest.

Nothing too intense today after the weekend.



10km in the 8 with some pieces.

Bit of a 2k prep erg today.
2km UT2 on erg
750m at 1:37.4 split
2km UT2
Then a few practice starts on the erg followed by a long stretching session.


Rest day with 2k test tomorrow. 6:30.9 is my PB, 6:37 is my best the past 5 years post uni.


2k test on erg:

6:33.4 at 1:38.3 split.

Best time by quite a way in a long time! Also weighed in at 88.5kg. 10s faster at 6kg lighter than last year.

This year is going to be a good year! It has to be!


6 kgs is a massive difference.

Do you feel lighter/smaller?



@theBird - I would say about 4kg down I really started feeling the difference. Pull Ups and Dips became much easier and that was I started looking noticeably leaner. I may not have been what most would consider fat, but I was carrying more than I needed. It has been surprising how much I have been able to drop and I still think there is room to drop another few kgs without effecting performance.


15 minutes yoga and few boydweight exercises as active recovery.


Double Outing:
10km outing in the 8 mostly technical

12km outing in the 8 with some high rate burts


14km outing in the 8.

Just the one sesison today and last one before the race next weekend. Our chance to pre-qualify for Henley for the first time.


I’ve always felt better when lighter, but like a lot of people here i am in a constant battle of trying to balance strength gains with athleticism.

Did you drop weight by eating less or training more or a combination of both? Do you mind telling us what a average day of food looks like for you? Any cheat meals?



@theBird - I agree, it is a difficult balance, but I guess it just depends what your main goal is.

Training was as it should be for rowing, although I did make sure not to miss sessions and I have really got my head in the right place this year to push through, whether I am tired or had a bad day at work etc. I used MyFitnessPal to track calories. I didn’t record green veggies or protein shakes, recorded absolutely everything else. Aimed for 0.5kg a week weight loss, but 2 days a week on the highest intensity days I would not eat a deficit. I think I worked to 150 calories more than what the app suggested, as 1700 calories very low for someone with any muscle mass. Did this very consistently, cheat meal about once a month. Switched to black coffee to help lower calories.

Typical day would be:

Porridge, banana, handful of raw spinach, 2 scoops of protein
2 bacon, 2 scrambled eggs, spinach, banana

Mid morning snack
1 piece of fruit

Chicken schwarma wrap with sweet chilli sauce and salad

Mid afternoon sack
Yoghurt with fruit and granola

Pre workout:
1 scoop of protein, beta alanine, citrulline malate

Rowing intervals e.g. 5 x 1500m sprints

75g approx of rice
Chicken or fish
Sauce or Mexican seasoning
2-3 different veggies

Not ultra clean, but didn’t need to be. The key was to cut out liquid calories and stop binge eating and keep consistency. Just adjusted for slightly higher carbs and protein if I did 2 sessions a day.



Light day with a 15 minute core workout and 30 minutes of yoga



Squats: 60/15, 60/15, 60/15, 60/15, 100/5, 100/5, 100/5

Giant Set:
Bench Press: 60/5, 60/5, 60/5, 60/5
Barbell Row: 60/ 5, 60/5, 60/5, 60/5
Ab Wheel Rollout: 10, 10, 10, 10

Light session with race coming up.

10km in coxless 4. Went very well!


15 minute warm up
1km r34 at 1:36.9 split
500m gentle
500m r34 at 1:36.7 split
250m gentle
250m r35 at 1:33.8 split

Short and very painful! Good prep for the higher rates in the race though


Deadlift: 60/3, 100/3, 120/3, 120/3, 120/3, 120/3

Pull Ups 6, 6, 6, 6
Dips: 12, 12, 12, 12
Ab Wheel Rollout: 10, 10, 10, 10


2nd in the heat

1st in the Final of the club 8s at tier 3.

First ever win at a big multi-lane regatta! Medal presented by olympic gold medalist too. Buzzing about this :slight_smile: and will get a full write-up done soon.


Time trial. This gets a ranking of all the 8s their club and academic. Last year we came 43rd, up to 28th this year and made the C/D semi final which is effectively tier 2, so first time racing against the big boys at a race like this.

Early Afternoon - Semi Final
Came last :frowning:

Wasnt a bad row, just beaten by the better crews in the race, so into the D final rather than the C final.

PM - D FInal
Only went and won it. Beat all the other 5 crews who edged us in the time trial and the 2 that beat us in the semi final.

To put it into perspective we came 2nd in the G final last year, so very pleased with this progress.


Back to it today
Complexes with 20kg to warmup

Deadlift: 60/3, 100/3, 140/3, 160/3, 180/3, 100/3, 100/3

Giant Set:
Bench Press: 60/8, 70/8, 70/8, 60/8
Barbell Row: 60/8, 70/8, 80/8, 60/8
Knees to Elbow: 10, 10, 10, 10
KB Swings, 24/10, 24/10, 24/10, 24/10



1.5km warm up on erg

2 minutes sprint at 1:38.2 split.

Honestly couldn’t bring myself to erg properly today, so switched over to the watt bike. Luckily I had my tablet with me, so I cycled to the Sufferfest “The Wretched” video.

49 minutes in total with 35 minutes of threshold work.



10km outing in the 8, first outing since race day and went very nice.

Squats: 60/25, 60/25, 60/25, 60/25, 100/15, 100/15 (legs were really weak today!)

Giant Sets:
Pull Ups: 12, 11, 10, 9
Dips: 24, 22, 20, 11
KB Swings: 24/10, 24/10, 24/10, 24/10
Ab Wheel Rollouts: 10, 10, 10, 10

Legs were gone, but pull up numbers were solid enough.



5km steady state row at 1:58.9 split. Just struggled all week!


Double Outing:

10km outing in the 8

9km outing in the 8 with some 600m pieces to practice starts (still a big are for improvement on last weekend’s race - writeup still to come)


11km outing mixing technical work and committed paddling.

9km outing in the 8 with more 600m pieces. These were really tough!


10 x 250m sprints rowing on the erg with 1 minute rest averaging a 1:32.2 split.

10 minute rest before doing it all again

10 x 250m sprints with 1 minute rest at 1:32.3 split. Really tough, but pleased with both the consistency and the pace.