In 2016 our resident athlete adventurer Ross Edgley completed the World's First Tree-athlon (an Olympic Distance Triathlon carrying a 100lbs tree) to raise money for our chosen wildlife charities. But in 2017 the tree-athlete looks set to take things up a level as he attempts to complete a year-long series of extreme, long-distance, open water swimming events with a 100lbs tree attached to his trunks (again to raise money & awareness for our chosen causes). Coached by the Royal Marines and World Long Distance Swimming Champion and 3-time Olympian Keri-Anne Payne, Strongman Swimming will be completed in some of the world’s most stunning seas, rivers and lakes. Starting on the historic banks of Windermere Lake and going via Loch Lomond in Scotland and the Royal Marine training camp in Devon, it will all end back at the sport's birthplace in the Caribbean as Ross attempts an island crossing never attempted before… 40km from Martinique to St Lucia. Ladies and gentleman, this is the new sport of Strongman Swimming and here Ross explains how he’s plotting to tackle it from TPW Towers™ (with a tree attached to his trunks and Superood Bites tucked into his wetsuit).
Each swim represents a set of challenges, but 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 8,000 calories a day but thankfully I my diet is being prepped by nutrition partners from meat providers Athleat, the performance cocoa from Hotel Chocolat and the entire range within 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”.
The 4 Main Strongman Swims
Strongman Swimming will be completed in some of the world’s most stunning seas, rivers and lakes. Starting on the historic banks of Windermere Lake and going via Loch Lomond in Scotland and the Royal Marine training camp in Devon, it will all end back at the sport's birthplace in the Caribbean as Ross attempts an island crossing never attempted before. Starting with a 10km swim in Windermere, each swim will get progressively longer before he attempts the 40km island-to-island crossing.
16km | Devon, UK | July
20km | Loch Lomond | August
40km | Caribbean | November
Strongman Swimming Fuel
To fuel his 10km Strongman Swim training Ross has been consuming an average 8,000 calories a day (and still losing fat) and holds the record for the most Nut Butter eaten in one single day at TPW™ Towers (it's 2 tubs of Rawtella and 3 Peanut Butter Toffee Crunch for those interested). But below he's listed what else helps him build everlasting strength and stamina whilst building muscle and losing fat at the same time.