Harry and Alex are working on their physical training separately as they are based miles apart at the moment. However, the routine is gruelling for both of them. They have to achieve 2 main things -
1) Increase in body mass by c. 25kg – The journey 2 hour on 2 hour off routine and harsh environment of the crossing will mean they are burning about 9000 calories per day. It is not physically possible to eat the quantity of food needed to maintain a stable body weight with this usage. So over the course of the journey they will lose an estimated 20-25kg. As both are naturally pretty slender they need to put the weight on before they can lose it. Initially they will put on as much muscle as possible with a combination of heavy gym sessions and protein packed eating but as they get closer to December the fat content of the diet will increase giving them a layer of fatty resources.
2) Cardiovascular fitness – The pressure on the cardiovascular system during the 12 hours/day (2 hours on two hours off) of rowing is enormous. To over train on this front is not the best strategy as they will need to maintain weight during the build up. However, their bodies need to be prepared for the continuous exercise during the minimum 40 day journey. Both boys will be cross-training with ergo (rowing machines), cycling, swimming and running. The session on the ergo will be a powerful indicator of their fitness levels as they build up to being able to happily row for 2 hours at a time (for those that are keen rowers they will be maintaining 1m50s 500m splits or 7m30s 2k time). Closer to the row they will also do a 24 hour row, where both guys row continuously for 24 hours.
The significant additional food intake that is required to put on the extra weight is one of the most challenging aspects of the training. Alex is taking a slightly more relaxed approach and seemingly finding the weight gain process easier than Harry. Below is Harry’s daily eating timetable.
6 am – whey protein shake
8 am – 3 pieces of toast and 4 eggs (only one yolk)
10.30 am – 1 chicken breast, 1 apple, 2 oatcakes
12 pm – 1 bag salad, 1 chicken breast, 1 piece fish, 2 pieces bread
3.30 pm – 1 chicken breast
6 pm – protein shake
8.30 pm – meat, vegetables + potatoes/pasta
10.30 pm – chicken/protein shake