High achiever

Photography: Ray Demski/ Red Bull Content Pool Illustrations: Heri Irawan

Raphael Holzdeppe won Olympic bronze in 2012 and world championship gold in 2013. What part of his body is most important to a pole vaulter’s success? Every single one of them

“My daily training routine is a brutal, full-body workout,” says Raphael Holzdeppe, of the routine that has kept him among the world’s elite pole-vaulters for the last four years. “Because, in our sport, you use every muscle,” he explains, “you need strong legs to be fast on the run-up, a buff upper body to get yourself up on the pole, pronounced abs so you can bend your hips quickly once you’re in the air and a strong torso for stability. If you can keep your body stable and still in the air, you’ll gain more height.” 

To achieve all this, the 24-year-old German trains six-and-a-half hours a day, Monday to Friday. “Lifting weights in the gym, sprints on the track, balan­ce exercises on a medicine ball and vaulting, which I do about 100 times a week.”

All-round excellence: strengthening your torso, abs and your sense of balance, all in one move

Lie on side, stretch out arms and legs, increase the tension in your body, raise upper body and lower legs, maintain balance for 10 seconds.

Place arms on thighs and maintain balance for 10 seconds (this is the abs bit). Repeat the whole exercise five times.

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The Red Bulletin | 07 2014

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