Huge legs and sculpted abs, this is a look many of us try to emulate.
The arms of Oli Zeidler, or the abs of Dark Horses’ own Shane Farmer, can be pretty awe-inspiring for anyone, not just in the rowing world, but how easy is it to get into that shape, and is it something we should even try to achieve?
Here’s our breakdown on not only how to get ripped but also how to get strong.
Back in the days of competing in swimming, I would turn up, scan the other competitors and make a mental note of who looked the strongest and leanest. I would then make a point of going over and picking their brain on nutrition, training and everything else I could syphon from them to put into my practice.
The stronger and leaner I looked, the better it made me feel. Just like new training shorts or sneakers, it gave me a boost.
The problem was I had yet to learn if what I was doing was aiding my performance or making me look like I knew what I was doing.
I was figuring it out.
Once you get past the initial “give-it-a-go” phase, then the phrase “marathon, not a sprint” starts to become especially true in working towards that body you desire or physique to be proud of.
Regardless of the goal, CONSISTENCY is the key for all aspects and none more so than your nutrition and training.
Yes, I know, that’s a dull answer and one you didn’t have to read this article to get the same advice. However, when you bring rowing into the mix, it gets interesting.
Rowing allows us to blend your training style (endurance or HIIT) and learn about your body, how it reacts to the stimulus you give it, and the fuel it works best with over time.
Results will come, just not overnight.
Despite saying that rowing will help your goals, finding the balance between training and eating is tough.
Why? At the end of the day, your body needs fuel – i.e. calories.
Yes, you can reduce the calories you consume, but if you get to the point where you are in deficit and trying to increase the amount you are asking of your body energy-wise, it will eventually call time.
Top tip: Practice keeping a food log. You don’t need to track every gram or litre consumed initially; however, a good practice is looking at the timing of your food consumption and then addressing the types of foods and sources. MyFitnessPal has always been a great starting point here.
Start by using what feels attainable and start to tweak the length or intensity of your training.
Now that you can do this, it’s time to layer on a reduced calorie reduction (slowly to start 200-500 calories per day).
Avoid big sweeping changes, such as eliminating certain foods altogether, and remind yourself that slow and steady will win this race.
If it all goes a bit wrong, don’t be stubborn about adding more calories or reducing the amount of work you ask from your body. Instead, let it find its happy place and keep tweaking the process.
If rowing all the time isn’t your thing and you need to pack on a little lean muscle, strength training is what you will need to hit HARD!!
The calorie burn isn’t going to be as higher compared to a rowing workout, however, the more muscle we have the more calories our body is able to continue to burn at rest.
Simply put, a higher muscle per cent means a greater resting metabolism and now you really are turning up the heat on that ripped-for-rowing physique!
Like nutrition, there is a lot of trial and error to this approach.
Some people will prefer (if time is not limited) to put on a strength training session early in the day followed by a row in the evening. Others prefer to work the other way.
The way to best structure this depends on your current training schedule and work and life balance.
That means you are naturally good at recovering from rowing workouts, but the strength training leaves you sore and fatigued. Therefore, you are better off giving yourself the longest time possible between strength sessions and having rowing as your supportive work.
For example: Mon AM: strength training
Mon PM: rowing
Tues AM: strength training
Tues PM: rowing
Thurs AM: strength training
Thurs PM: rowing
Fri AM: strength training
Fri PM: rowing
Sat & Sunday: REST
This allows 24 hours of recovery at a molecular level from the activity that gives your body the biggest shock. Therefore, rowing, which may be less fatiguing, will not cause as much cellular damage for you to recover from. Again trial and error is the best approach here. You’ll have to accept being a little tired and beaten up if you pull double sessions!!
If that has answered many questions or opened your eyes to the depth of work that needs to go into getting yourself ripped for rowing, then join us here in The Crew and find the training plan purpose build to help you gain muscle or get leaner.
We love discussing topics like this and can’t wait to help you on your journey!!
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