Fitness tips from Alex Gregory

Strength in Numbers:
Alex Gregory

Photo: Henry Hunt

The two-time olympic rowing gold medallist reveals the hours of effort needed to forge an elite athlete
5:52

MINUTES TO ROW 2,000M ON THE ERGO 

“Rowing is a power endurance sport. We’re not especially strong, comparatively, but we have to generate the power over a six-minute race, for every stroke, consistently. My strength comes from my technique and my aerobic capacity. I’m not naturally that strong, so I needed to adjust the way I trained.”

VITAL STATISTICS

  • Discipline: Coxless Four and Eights Rowing 
  • Age: 32 
  • Height: 198cm 
  • Weight: 98kg 
  • Achievements: World Championship rowing golds in 2009 (Poland), 2011 (Slovenia), 2013 Eights (South Korea), 2014 (Netherlands), 2015 (France), Olympic gold medals in coxless four – London 2012, Rio 2016
Read more
250

KM ROWED PER WEEK IN THE WINTER 

“It’s a mix of on the water and the rowing machine. We do this week in, week out whatever the weather – the only time we won’t go out on the river is if the ice is too thick for the boats to break through it!”

© youtube // sportsbeatsvideo

10

KILOS OF MUSCLE GAINED IN ORDER TO WIN GOLD 

“I was watching from the sidelines in Beijing in 2008 and it was like a lightbulb going off – I realised I was not strong enough and would need to take three months out in order to hit the gym, do no aerobic training, pile on a few pounds and get stronger. I did five weights sessions a week and I had to double my intake of calories with four protein shakes a day – it was horrendous!”

Alex Gregory on Twitter

Row past #selfie from the boat... Happening now

6

WORLD OR OLYMPIC CHAMPIONSHIPS WON IN A ROW 

“I’m one of only three people in the world of rowing to win six consecutive World or Olympic titles and I’m really proud of that – the others are the guys in the Kiwi rowing pair. Crossing the line at the London Olympics was pure relief that it had all been worth it. Part of it in 2016 was proving to myself that I could do it again –that it wasn’t a fluke. Jürgen Gröbler, my coach, said to me after London, ‘Alex, it’s easy to do it once. It’s hard to do it again.’”

© youtube // British Rowing

384,000

KILOS LIFTED IN THE GYM EVERY YEAR 

“We do four weights workouts a week in addition to the rowing training over the Olympic cycle. We do a lot of power cleans because they are similar to the movements you do in rowing. I can power clean 115kg, bench press 120kg, bench pull 115kg and squat 150kg.”

350

DAYS OF TRAINING PER YEAR DURING AN OLYMPIC CYCLE 

“We’d train three times a day, seven days a week – it’s what I’ve done for the last 16 years. A couple of hours on the water, an hour on the rowing machine and then weights. We had time off after the World Championships, but that was it. There’s no flexibility – if you don’t do it, you don’t make the team.”

6,000

CALORIES A DAY IN NORMAL TRAINING 

“It boils down to eating as much as possible! I struggle with it and have to battle to hold my weight – healthy stuff and then a McDonald’s or a protein shake on top of that. We eat about 25 per cent protein to 75 per cent carbs – carbs are massive. I get to the end of the evening and have a 500-calorie protein shake to help me be ready for the next day’s training.”

Read more
03 2017 The Red Bulletin

Next story