How to conquer the Atlantic Ocean

Workouts Max Anderton
24 Feb 2012
How to conquer the Atlantic Ocean | Men's Fitness UK

MF speaks to one member of a four-man British team that rowed across the Atlantic to find out how he prepared.

On 14th December a team of four ex-Royal Marines departed the Canary Islands in their boat, HM&S Twiggy. And 65 days, 4,191km and 2,880 boiled sweets later, the team arrived in Port St Charles, Barbados.
 
The Prostate Marksmen - Graham Witham, Ken Maynard, Jason Howard-Ady and Aldo Diana – completed their voyage in triumph, having far exceeded their £75,000 fundraising target for the Prostate Cancer Charity by hosting a range of fundraising activities, including rowathons and selling raffle tickets. Marks & Spencer employees also contributed, raising over £60,000 in just three weeks, and a total of £120,000 was ultimately raised.
 
Crewmember Jason Howard-Ady told us how he prepared for this mammoth physical challenge and detailed a typical week’s training.
 
What training advice would you give to someone who wants to complete a gruelling physical challenge like yours?
I would recommend concentrating on core work. Cardio work and the ergo machine will get you used to rowing. Rowing on a boat in high seas is very different to an ergo in the gym but at least it replicates the shoulder, arm and leg work. Building muscle mass will not be of any benefit.
 
What are your top training tips?
Try different things to mix it up. For example, Bikram yoga is not just for women – it’s hard work! Above all, however, enjoy it. I do, and the older I get the more I love it.
 
What nutrition advice can you share?
When I was training I took Juice Plus+ fruit and veg extract supplements each day along with a balanced diet of chicken, fish and vegetables, but I could still have chocolate and the occasional glass of red wine. About four to six weeks before the challenge, we ate more rice, pasta and potatoes because we had to prepare to lose about a stone and half [9.5kg] each during the 45-day trip. Steer clear of junk food or microwaveable meals, naturally. Lastly, drink lots of water.
 
How did you fuel your training?
Plenty of water before, during and after. And about two hours before training, I would eat two bananas.
 
A typical week of Jason’s training
 
Monday
5,000m on ergo
45-minute pyramid session consisting of press-ups/kettlebell crunches/sit-ups/squats/lizard jumps
20 minutes on exercise bike
 
Tuesday
4-mile (6.4km) run
 
Wednesday
10,000m on ergo
45-minute pyramid session consisting of press-ups/kettlebell crunches/sit-ups/squats/lizard jumps
Bikram yoga session - 80 minutes of 27 different stretching and core work positions in 40˚C heat
 
Thursday
6-mile (9.6km) run
 
Friday
5,000m on ergo
45-minute pyramid session consisting of press-ups/kettlebell crunches/sit-ups/squats/lizard jumps
20 minutes free weights exercises
20 lengths swimming
 
Saturday
2,000m on ergo (speed test)
45-minute pyramid session consisting of press-ups/kettlebell crunches/sit-ups/squats/lizard jumps
20 minutes on cross trainer
20 lengths swimming
 
Sunday
Rest day
 
For more sports news, exercise and nutrition tips, get the magazine. Subscribe now and we'll give you five issues for £5.

For more exercise, weight-loss and diet tips, get the magazine. Subscribe now and we'll give you 5 issues for £5! Alternatively, get MF's brand new interactive edition.