Two-time Olympic Medallist shares the Training Secrets of Rowing | Hitting the Wall
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Two-time Olympic Medallist shares the Training Secrets of Rowing | Hitting the Wall

August 15, 2019


20 metres. 10 metres. Holy cow. Lord! (HITTING THE WALL) (KELSEY AND DC
TRAIN FOR ROWING) So, Kelsey Lee, guess
what we’re doing today. Something with boats. Good guess, actually. Today we’re going to be meeting
Tom, who’s an Olympic rower. And he’s going to be
putting us through our paces and showing us what his
training is all about. Sounds terrifying. And fun. – Are you excited?
– Yeah, I’m excited. – OK. Let’s go find him.
– All right. Let’s do it. (CORSHAM, UNITED KINGDOM) I’m Tom Ransley.
I’m an Olympic champion from Rio in the men’s eight. My team were able to be
the first-ever British crew to win the World Championships. And we’ve also won
the London 2012 bronze medal and the Rio 2016 gold medal. Hitting the Wall is
pertinent to our sport. It’s all about
pushing the limits. The only way you’re
going to do that is to absolutely go 100%. I think that’s the
enjoyable part of the sport, is to try and find
what you’re capable of. – I’m Kelsey.
– Kelsey, nice to meet you. – Hi. I’m Daniel.
– Tom. Nice to meet you. Good to meet you, Tom. How long do you train
when you go out there? About an hour, hour and a half. Sometimes it is a big session,
like up to two hours. How many of those sessions would you be doing over
a day out on the water? We might do a gym session, and
then a water session, and then another gym session
or another water session. One or two water sessions
a day. Up to how long
are each of those? Somewhere between
an hour to two hours. – Six hours a day of training.
– Yeah. In terms of cardio to weights,
what would the ratio be? It would change through the… but we probably do
a lot more strength-based and try and push our maximum
capacity through the first four months or so of the year. You’ve got elements of
the aerobic and the stamina. And you’ve also got
elements of the sprint. Are we going to
do some training? – Yeah, let’s do it.
– Let’s do it. OK. Let’s go. (ROWING WARM-UP) Welcome to Caversham.
This is where we train. So I though we’d start with
some stretching and then get into some lifting. So the back leg is straight. And then this one’s coming
up to sort of an angle. And then you just
go over the top and you should feel it
through your right glute. Oh, yeah. How serious is injury
prevention in this sport? Back is quite
a vulnerable area. OK. So you’re trying to let the
core muscles take that load. This might be a bit
too long for you. Sorry. What are you trying to say? I’m saying
you’re very flexible. This is for the back. Right. If you keep the hamstrings
nice and long, it will help you off-load
the back a little bit. It’s a whole body sport,
which is quite useful. Everything gets a workout. People think it’s more arms, but actually the legs
and the back are the massive
instigators of power. Because the seat slides. Oh, it does.
I didn’t know that. So that’s why you’re getting
a lot of leg workout. OK. Here we go. (ROWING TRAINING) So here’s trap bar dead lift. And it’s like
a global strength exercise. Grip up, you’re trying to keep
that strength through here. And then it’s obviously
a leg-driven sport. Think of rowing, you think
of upper body strength, but obviously having
a strong core, strong leg muscles is going
to be so important, isn’t it? Yeah. So obviously in the boat,
we’re hanging off the arms and driving through
the foot plate. You’re here, like the weight
is hanging through the arms. We’re getting it down
through the lats, keeping the strong trunk, and
then driving it off the floor – through your feet.
– Oh, nice. So you see that kind of
chain happening here. – Yeah.
– Glutes. It’s like the perfect
exercise to replicate – what you’re doing out there.
– Yeah. You really have to
engage the core there to stabilise yourself. Yeah. So you throw in a few
waves and instability and it gets a lot more fun. I’m there. Get the wind in
my hair. I’ll be a wave god. You can borrow some of mine. So we’ve got bench pull. Although the arms are
probably only the third most important part, you know,
you’ve got the legs and the back that are really
producing all the power, arms are still important. You want to be able to transfer
that power that you’ve already generated through
the back end of the stroke. You want to try and smash it
against the bench down here. (BENCH PULL, 50 REPS) Nice. You’ve really got to smash it. It’s just a lot
more fun if you do. Dave, there you go. It’s a lot more difficult than
I thought it was going to be, actually. Heavy weight. You made it look very easy. Do I have to put my face in
this person’s face right here? I see there is…
My sweat was just there. How many of these would you do? You could go
high volume on this one. You could even do
50 reps or 100 reps. – 50 reps?
– Let’s see 50. Here we go. Shoulder blades. Rear delts are done. I can’t… Help. All right. So we’ve done
some lower body, we’ve done some upper body, but we were talking about the
most important, or at least, one of the most important
components is your core. So you’ve got
some rotation work. So it’s going to be on the abs
and on the obliques, as well. Rotating from here
through to there. OK. Feels good, actually. You’re just twisting
through like that. When you get out into
the boat, it’s obviously an asymmetrical sport. So there’s that
rotation element. I can see how you
really have to protect your lower lumbar in this. Yeah. Right oblique. OK. So we’ve got
seated row here. It’s a upper body exercise –
back muscles and arms. And you don’t want to
go too much into traps. You want to draw it down low. I guess the great thing
about this one, as well, is it really is replicating
more of a rowing motion. Yeah. It’s that last part
of the stroke, so really pulling
down on the lats. Well, you’re well on your way
to being an Olympian tomorrow. Yeah, I’ve got my long levers. I would like to see what your
bench press is like, though. Should we maybe try
a little bit of that out? – Yeah, go for it.
– Let’s do it. So chest press, is it something
that you guys do regularly? Yeah. So it’s probably
not as essential as some of the leg stuff
and some of the pulling exercises we’ve done, but it’s
still important to balance out those pull exercises. (CHEST PRESS,
2 SETS OF 10 REPS) Oh, my gosh. I don’t bench press. – OK.
– Looks good. This is a good weight. It’s not my max,
just so you know. I know for a fact
I could do 20 of these and they’ll show my last rep. This really is a lot
of weight training, a lot of strength training. Do you do any extra cardio? This is actually
the smallest percentage of our overall training. So we do a lot more sessions
which are out on the water or on the ergo, which
are more cardio-based. But no-one likes cardio. Rowing has been a part
of the Olympic games since the beginning. The men’s rowing
competition now consists of seven different events,
same as the women’s, which was added in 1976. Tom has won medals
in the eights, which consists of four rowers
with one OAR on either side of the boat
for a total of eight. Each race is along
a 2,000-metre course, and six boats race
at a time. Great Britain holds
the third most medals in the Olympic sport after
the United States and Germany. (ROW MACHINE) OK. So you’re fighting for
this, Hitting the Wall medal. It’s what everyone’s after. And the challenge is going
to be 750 metres, 500 metres, first one to finish. Feet in. Just get rid of that. Tom goes barefoot,
DC goes barefoot. Ready. Let’s do it. Handles are picked up. Go. Innovative technique. My technique is terrible. Technique is on point. Last 350 metres for Kelsey,
500 metres for DC. I’m going to have to speed up
if I want to win this. No, don’t! DC is in the lead
on predicted finish time. We are at five
seconds’ difference. Leaving a bit of
ground there, Kelsey. Anyone hitting the wall, yet? DC’s now not in the favoured
position, just to let you know. Kelsey’s taken the lead here. Come on, DC. Last 100 metres. I’m dying. Oh, my gosh. 20 metres. 10 metres. Holy cow. Lord! Yes. I think Kelsey won. How? One second. One? I did it. I did it. Just one second. One flipping second. Oh… It’s fine. I thought DC is going to do it because he was
leading out front but he maybe just sort
of lost a little bit of faith, a little
bit of belief. And Kelsey came through
really strong there. And it was only
one second in it, so it was a good
effort for everyone. Meeting Kelsey and
DC was great fun. It was really fun to show
people around Caversham and try and get a little bit of
an insight in what we do here. It was absolutely
awesome to meet Tom. Just to see what
an Olympian goes through in their training
regime was something I’ve never experienced before. Having the opportunity to meet
Tom, and hang out with him, and do some of his training
was really cool. Very intense. And you can tell that there’s
a lot of focus that goes on. I had fun until the challenge.
I’m not going to lie. I still can’t believe
I lost by one second. It’s just a second. Next time
on Hitting the Wall, we’re meeting up with Olympic
ice dancer duo Anna and Luca. Let’s show them our moves.

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