For Olympic rower Gevvie Stone, adjusting her sleep habits to her busy travel schedule is easier than for most. That’s because Stone’s learned how to nod off just about anywhere, thanks to her years sleeping in the on-call room as a medical student. That’s right, in between training for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and the upcoming Summer 2016 Olympics in Rio, Stone attended medical school, graduating in May 2014.
“In medical school, it was impossible to work out three times a day, but once I graduated I picked it up pretty quickly,” Stone says. While her training routine during the school year consisted of squeezing in twice-weekly 40-minute workouts in between hospital shifts, it’s safe to say she’s now ramped up her training quite a bit.
Want to know how this superstar is prepping in the months leading up to the games? Check out her weekly routine — and try out one of the rowing workouts that keeps her in great cardio shape on-the-go.
How to Train Like an Olympic Rower
Med school is no joke — but neither is training for the Olympics. With 90 to 100-minute rows Monday through Saturday mornings, followed by afternoon rowing workouts every day except for Wednesday (when she hits the spin bike), Stone’s training is nothing if not intense. She also squeezes in morning weightlifting sessions on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays — plus Sunday yoga, adding up to about 16 workouts a week.
When it comes to food, Stone cooks often to make sure her eats are clean and healthy. “My weakness is getting enough protein, I love carbs and vegetables and could be a vegetarian without having too many issues — but I can’t be because I have to get my protein in,” she says. “I have to make a conscious effort to integrate enough meat.” And one upside to all those hours spent on the water (aside from, you know, the medals) — getting to indulge if she so desires: “Even if I have a bowl of ice cream every night, it’s such a small portion of all my calories in a day it doesn’t make much of a difference!”
From the Olympics to the Erg
Though Stone has never tried a class at trendy boutique studios like Row House or City Row, she loves hearing from friends who hop on the erg (aka rowing machine) and realize what a killer workout it provides. Her advice to newbie rowers: “Pay attention to stroke rate, in the top right corner [of your screen],” she says. “A lot of people try to row up and down as fast as possible, but really the goal is to make the most out of each stroke. So I’d say try not to get the [stroke rate] above 24 and see how fast you can go.”
Your erg also has gears, similar to a bicycle. Whatever you do, don’t set yours all the way to 10, Stone says. “Elite female rowers train with it around four, elite men around five,” she says. “You can make it plenty hard with the damper at one even!”
Want to train like this Olympic rower? Try the 10-minute interval workout below. But before going full-blast, start with this easy warm-up to loosen up your muscles and get your blood pumping.
Gevvie Stone’s 10-Minute Rowing Machine Workout
10 min easy rowing
10 strokes at stroke rate 26
10 strokes at stroke rate 28
10 strokes at stroke rate 30
Repeat this workout as many times as you can — and don’t forget to cool down at the end!