11th August 2015 2 min to read

Sport: Becoming lightweight…

Category : RANT, SPORT

So as you might already know I’m a rower. It’s a tough sport but oddly addictive! We are currently on a break. The season has ended, we’re resting our sore bodies but also thinking of next season. It’s important for us to rest but not to get complacent during these restful weeks off. Come September, we are back into one big melting pot again. Boats, crews, seat positions; all go out the window. At least for us it does. We’re too new to have any properly formed crews anyway, we can just about sit the boat! You have to stay on top of your game to guarantee your position in the crew. To make sure you make the cut. For some that’s getting stronger (squats galore!), for others it’s practicing technique. For me, well it means getting lighter.

I know what you’re all thinking. Screaming at your moniters/tablets/phones. I’m sure you are quick to say that it’s ridiculous, that I’m a healthy sized woman and I don’t need to lose weight, that I shouldn’t try to be too thin. But I promise you I will not be too thin. I promise you it is not for vanity reasons.  It’s about my racing and giving me a chance to compete well.

I should explain…

You see, there are two weight categories in rowing. Lightweight and heavyweight. Heavyweight women are borderline 6 ft (if not more) and are 59 kilos or heavier. Lightweight women are usually 5 ft 7 or shorter and are below 59 kilos. The reason they have two categories is that weight and height are major players in how strong a rower can pull. It’s all physics! And it would be unfair to pit the tall women against the short ones because they have a definite physical advantage from the get go.

I’m 5 ft 4 and 63 kilos. Height wise I fall into the well into lightweight category but I’m currently racing heavyweight and since I was only starting off that was fine. But we have new members joining, we are going up in the league and I will be competing against taller, stronger women more and more. In my own crew and beyond. To give myself the advantage I need to be light, I need to be quick and I need to be very fucking fit! It means eating better (I just had a Chinese), it means long cardio sessions, it means working on my lung capacity. But I want to do it, I want to give myself the best chance possible. I’m heading into my second year and I need to lift it up a gear.

If you guys don’t mind I was going to use Bitch Mittens to help document my progress, keep me on track and vent when necessary. I hope you enjoy the journey to the stronger, leaner more bad ass version of me.

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Comments (6)

  • ReplySkipping: The Sweat Machine | Princess Bitch Mittens 16th August 2015

    […] as I explained before I am attempting to go Lightweight. This involves a slight (hopefully) deficit in calorie intake and an increase in cardio activity. […]

  • ReplySport: Will you take me? The art of asking… | Princess Bitch Mittens 12th August 2015

    […] Rhona mentioned here, we’re on a short break from rowing training – some of us are baking healthy treats, […]

  • avatar image
    ReplyCaelen 11th August 2015

    How is the weighing managed? Is there a weigh in, like boxing? They can cut 5-15Kg at weigh in the day before and be back to normal weight the next evening.

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      ReplyPrincess Bitch-Mittens 11th August 2015

      The weigh for indoor rowing competitions is generally a few hours (no more) before the test. I've seen lightweights weighing in too heavy, and spending an hour sweating on the machines before weighing again and racing. Hell on earth!

      • avatar image
        ReplyCaelen 12th August 2015

        I am not advocating this (it doesn't look fun) but you may find this interesting http://www.powerliftingtowin.com/cutting-weight-for-powerlifting/. It has a program for cutting weight with a weigh in two hours before the event

  • avatar image
    ReplyErica 11th August 2015

    You go girl!!! Looking forward to hearing about your progress #thisgirlcan

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