A Henley Business School research project looking at the individual and team resilience of the Heads Together and Row crew is underway, with the first laboratory tests completed before summer. Crew member Justin Coleman explains…
‘Collate the first set of physical data from the crew’. It sounds such a benign phrase doesn’t it? What they apparently had in mind for us , however, appeared anything other than benign, so it was with a degree of trepidation that the four of us arrived at the lab.
The ‘collation’ had begun a few days earlier, when we were sent heart rate monitors to wear for three days prior to the tests. These would track our every waking and sleeping moment, and indicate where the stress points were in our day and how good our recovery time was. First stop was the measurements. As well as height and weight, the team produced callipers to measure muscle and body size (with mixed results) before the hard work began on the rowing machines.
We were eased in gently. A ten-minute warm up before sessions of three minutes duration at gradually increasing pace, with a minute’s rest in between each to take blood samples. The team wanted to discover our VO2 max while at the same time monitoring heart rate and blood pressure. All of us got down to at least 1.55/500m, which isn’t a bad starting point. An all too short seven-minute break later, and the second and final section began. A sustained stage of rowing at maximum effort. I’m not sure any of us particularly enjoyed the experience, particularly while wearing the VO2 masks, but we all got through it without any ill effects.
Overall, a hard but fascinating day. The results should make very interesting reading and, when combined with the heart rate data, will enable us to see the areas we need to work on in the coming months.