170,000 Metres Rowed, 17 Hours & 45 Minutes of Exercise: A Week in The Life of an Olympic Rower

I trained like an Olympic rower for one week. This is what happened . . .

a team of Olympic rowers rowing on open water

In this series of articles – A Week in The Life – I plan to follow in the footsteps of an experimental lab rat and for one week will pit myself against the training regime of a professional athlete.


For seven days I aim to challenge myself to maintain the same training volume as the professional whilst adopting, as closely as possible, their exercise routine. As I undertake what will surely be an arduous physical ordeal, I'll document each day’s exercise outputs whilst ensuring to summarise my experience in a concluding paragraph.


Each Week in The Life will begin with a walkthrough of the sport/discipline particulars. These particulars include:


  • The main events/competitions that the professional athletes from the sport aspire to win

  • The physical attributes that are essential to cultivate for those who have designs on ascending to the pinnacle of the sport/discipline

  • A brief bio of the current top-level athlete

  • An outline of the average pre-competition weekly training regime

Concluding the overview I’ve cobbled together a daily training routine ensuring to keep as close as possible to that of the professional. This daily training routine will act as a blueprint for the week; each session to be populated with different exercises or approaches: strength, muscular endurance, high intensity/low intensity, technique work.


Following the Week in The Life training regime, I have compiled the overall outputs as well as, where applicable, total distances covered, weight lifted and repetitions performed.


A Week in The Life of an: Olympic Rower

As sad as it sounds I was very much looking forward to the challenge of maintaining the training volume of an Olympic rower. I’ve been rowing recreationally now for years and have often fantasised over what it might be like to follow in the wake of a professional.


Thus, when I embark