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Introducing The NEW Sport of Strongman Swimming

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Water-Based BBQ
Introducing The NEW Sport of Strongman Swimming

In 2017 the rules of strength, stamina and swimming will all be re-written. That’s because our resident athlete adventurer Ross Edgley announced he will be attempting to complete a series of ultra-long open water swims in some of the world’s most stunning lakes, rivers and oceans... all whilst dragging a 100lbs tree. In an event he’s calling, “Strongman Swimming” he will end the year by attempting a 40km island-to-island crossing the Caribbean that’s never been attempted before. How? In his own words here he explains the challenge, the training and the diet and how he accidentally became the founder of the Water-Based BBQ.

Last year my training was (pleasantly) manic. Raising money for some truly deserving causes, I ran a marathon pulling a 1.4-tonne car, climbed a rope the height of Everest (8,848m) and completed an Olympic-distance triathlon carrying a 100lbs tree which the media dubbed, “The World’s First Tree-Athlon”. But it was after my last event and over celebratory beers with friends at the BodyHoliday retreat in the Caribbean, that it was decided the Tree-athlete should live on in the sport of Strongman Swimming. So the following schedule was created…

Strongman Swimming

Each swim will be completed in some of the world’s most stunning seas, rivers and lakes and will serve to progressively condition my body until I’m able to complete the final island-to-island crossing that’s never been attempted before:

SWIM (1) | Event: Windermere, Lake District as part of The Great Swim
Date: June 2017
Distance: 10km

SWIM (2) | Event: Loch Lomond, Scotland as part of UK Challenge
Date: September 2017
Distance: 20km

SWIM (3) | Event: Martinique to St Lucia, the Caribbean in partnership with The BodyHoliday
Date: November 2017
Distance: 40km

The final swim could take anywhere between 12 to 24 hours, but with so many variables it’s hard to know. This is because it’s further than The Channel crossing (a mere 33km), comes complete with poisonous jellyfish, sharks and venomous marine life. But most importantly, I will have a giant tree attached to my trunks and based on research from the Journal of Sports Medicine this is going to make an already impossible task outright (and unavoidably) insane. All because drag of the log and lack of swimming efficiency means I burn calories at a far greater rate than swimming normally, “It appears that the rate of energy expenditure is related to the velocity, the gross efficiency, the propelling efficiency and a drag factor.” What this means is as I prepare for the final swim I need to be completing 15-hour swimming sessions (with a tree) as standard. All to build whale-like endurance, strength and stamina.

At the moment I am swimming 100km a week, which means my calories for the day can sometimes rival the famous Michael Phelps Diet. Yes, I can consume over 15,000 but on average I have 6,000 calories a day but thankfully my diet is being prepped by the culinary geniuses at Athleat and the entire range of THE PROTEIN WORKS™ sports lab. In terms of the exact meal “makeup”, this is based on research from the International Journal of Sports Nutrition where I chose a “Daily energy intake with 62% from carbohydrate, 27% from fat and 11% from protein” because their study suggested, “If the guidelines for prolonged exercise are followed, then athletes can successfully complete ultra-endurance events”.

Protein and carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram, while fat provides 9 calories per gram. Based on this, here’s how my 5,958 calorie diet looked in grams with a 62% carbohydrate, 27% fat and 11% protein Food Ratio.

— Protein = (8,000 x 0.11) ÷ 4 = 220g

— Fats = (8,000 x 0.27) ÷ 9 = 240g

— Carbohydrates = (8,000 x 0.62) ÷ 4 = 1,240g

How do I divide this up into meals through the day?

Well, that's what is so interesting! Because when you're swimming 12 hours a day there is no such thing as pre, intra and post workout nutrition. Nope. You're basically eating all day every day! Whether in the swimming pool with a BBQ set up on the side or out at sea as the support boat passes you food, I am always eating to ensure the calorie and nutrient requirements of these swims are met. Granted swimming at sea is a little harder and is also why Devon’s seabed is currently a buffet of protein bars and snacks for the marine life there for a number of times I missed my mouth trying to eat. But this is how I became to accidentally create the Water-Based BBQ and how every mile is fueled by copious amounts of coconut oil based treats, sweets and the odd BBQ rib (the latter just because there is never a bad time to have Athleat BBQ ribs)

*One of those silly disclaimer thingy's > Athleat has no affiliation with THE PROTEIN WORKS™ or the Body Holiday nor do we endorse them specifically. Ross does and therefore he asked us nicely if we could put them in...


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