As part of the Dare to Do fitness challenge, we’re offering staff and faculty a series of training sessions with coaches from UW Athletics. Last time we profiled coaches in rowing, gymnastics, and football. This week, we’ll take a look at two more coaches, Rose Baker and Matt Rung, who are excited to show you how collegiate athletes train.
Strength and Conditioning Coach
Women’s Soccer, Men’s Crew, Track & Field
Rose Baker understands training from the perspective of both coach and athlete. She pushes her athletes hard in the weight room and has pushed herself just as hard when playing club rugby for 11 of the past 12 years. The strength training session she’s leading will consist mostly of bodyweight exercises.
What are the benefits of bodyweight training?
One of the obvious things is that it doesn’t require a gym. You have your own body and you can do it in your living room, your front yard, or wherever you want. Aside from that, doing more strength-based movement — as opposed to repetitive cardio movement — can improve the tissue quality of your joints, wipe out some imbalances or weaknesses that might creep up and cause chronic pain, improve your metabolism, and increase your blood flow. Working for strength sets you up for a whole lot of other benefits, as opposed to just the calories burned.
Do you have any advice for how to motivate yourself to regularly work out?
You can go one of two ways. I think the more successful way is to find someone to do it with. But if another person isn’t an option on a daily basis, then make a schedule. Put it in writing and have a plan, as opposed to just saying, “I’m going to try to work out Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.” Set aside what time you’re going to do it and make a plan for the activity you’re going to do. The more you’re invested in planning, the more you’ll follow through.
Is there an immediate change that anyone can implement to make their fitness life easier?
Create a habit. The first two weeks are the hardest — it goes for any area of life when you’re trying to make or break a habit. Do it consistently for 10 days, and then it becomes a part of you — a part of your day, your schedule. In those first couple of days, if you go and do something and you know it’s good for yourself, the immediate satisfaction you’ll feel is that you’ll want to do it again. But you have to do it the first time to get that. The hardest thing is starting.
1st Assistant Coach & Recruiting Coordinator
A big part of Matt Rung’s job is finding and developing talent. He coaches rowers on the freshmen team and recruits athletes from the U.S. and around the world. He rowed for Cornell University as a student athlete and also coached rowing there for two years. His training session will involve dividing up into teams and racing. You won’t actually be in the water — getting out there takes about two weeks of training — but instead you’ll be using rowing machines to compete.
What can people expect from your workout?
The best way to get a sense of what rowing is is by rowing. I think getting people involved in racing would be the most fun. That’s what a lot of our guys enjoy down here. We’re different from other teams in that we don’t train just to train — a lot of our training is designed so that it’s a race, and the training is almost a byproduct of the race. So I think that would be the most fun for people. We’ll get the ergometers down, set up teams, and have a race. Maybe we’ll set it up for 5,000 meters and say, “You go until you have to switch. And make sure everybody gets a turn.” The first 15-20 minutes we’ll review to make sure everybody knows the rowing motions.
What are the health benefits of rowing?
Some people don’t enjoy something that’s just purely aerobic, but rowing is definitely more weight-bearing and strength-based. I think it’s more of a total body workout. You feel like you’re harnessing your full body’s power. I think that’s a really attractive experience.
Is there a principle of fitness that stands out to you?
Competition makes it better. It’s one thing to go and train on your own with your MP3 player, but it’s another thing to go with a group of your buddies and play soccer, or hockey, or go climbing. Find a community. If you’re just getting into cycling, find a novice cycling team. If you’re just getting into a weightlifting team, maybe join a CrossFit gym. You’ll have somebody there to measure yourself against and hold you accountable.
The first few coaching sessions have received rave reviews. Don’t miss this special opportunity! Thank you to both coaches for making the time to train faculty and staff.