Train Like A Viking


Vikings were famous for their toughness and expertise when it came to rowing. Rowers can take inspiration from Vikings and incorporate their fighting ethos into their own training routines. So in this post we look at how the Vikings have inspired a new wave of fitness and how it can be applied to rowing.

For those wanting to become a Viking in the gym, the Viking Challenge is sure to test your physical and mental resolve. T-Nation revealed that the challenge involves four sets of rowing with each set doubling the distance covered by the previous set. Set 1 is 125 metres, set 2 is 250 metres, set 3 is 500 metres, and set 4 is 100 metres. The rest periods between each sets are for the same amount of time it took you to complete the set. Each time you to do the Viking Challenge you should be looking to shave off a few seconds of time until you are rowing like a true Viking would.

The Vikings were known for their strength and conditioning, both of which are crucial to rowing. The Viking Method is a training regime dreamt up by Svava Sigbertsottir from Iceland. The 34-year old, who is based in London, was interviewed by The Telegraph telling them: “Icelanders carry within their genes toughness that has them priding themselves in working hard and being able to endure anything they are faced with. The harder the work, the more they get out of it. And this is shown in their mentality when it comes to fitness. We train for power. For strength. For survival.” This ethos can easily be applied to any rowing club.

Her workouts feature an unusual set of exercises with The Telegraph reporting that they include: “bunny hops, crawling, dragging weights by your hips, leaping between benches, planking, squatting and kick-boxing.” Rowers need to train every part of their body to be successful at the sport and Sigbertsottir’s Viking Training does just that. The next time you are at a gym don’t just focus on the upper body strength, be mindful to work the whole body.

Viking culture has seen a surge in popularity lately through the television show Vikings. The increase in public awareness has led to a growth in Viking related experiences. From fitness programmes to the online game Vikingmania from leading gaming platform Betfair, Viking influence is now a part of popular culture. 

Men’s Health spoke to Lee McDermott who trains the cast in the aforementioned History Channel show Vikings. The trainer states that Vikings were one of the toughest fighters on earth and compares them to the special forces units of today. One aspect of being a Viking that links directing to rowing is comradeship. Vikings had to be very close in order to work together. When rowing as part of a team, comradeship is important, as it could be the difference between finishing first or second.


We hope this article has inspired to embrace your Viking warrior the next time you pick up an oar. 


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