The rowing machine workout behind Gareth Bale's elite endurance levels
The Welshman is arguably the first name on the Real Madrid teamsheet at the moment - and his lung-busting fitness levels are partly responsible
Gareth Bale has recently helped to launch Rowbots, a brand-new London gym that combines rowing machine intervals with floor-based strength training exercises.
Bale credits rowing with whipping him into shape in pre-season, which is why he got involved in the business.
Yesterday, I attended one of the classes at Rowbots led by head trainer Hendrick Famutimi. The workout was a sweat fest as expected, but one which activated every major muscle group in the body.
The workout lasted for 45 minutes in total and was split into three, fifteen minute sections.
Half the class starts on the rower, while the other half begins with floor-based strength exercises.
- 15 seconds medium intensity / 15 seconds fast row
- 30 seconds medium intensity / 30 seconds fast row
- 60 seconds medium intensity / 60 seconds fast row
Those working out on the floor must select a pair of dumbbells for the following exercises. You don't want to go too heavy as you'll be performing 20-30 reps per exercise, but don't go too light either. You want to maintain tension on the muscle in order to gain strength.
The floor exercises are as follows:
- Alternating lunges into dumbbell squat
- Side lunges
- Dumbbell rows
- Bicep curls
- Butterfly sit-ups
To finish off, you alternate between med ball slams for 45 seconds and maximum intensity on the rower, also for 45 seconds. The aim is to reach the furthest distance possible. Rest for one minute in between the switchover.