Gareth Bale's Insane New Workout Could Be Your Ticket To Lungs Of Steel

If it doesn't send you into cardiac arrest, this workout will steel-gird your lungs.

Gareth Bale's Insane New Workout Could Be Your Ticket To Lungs Of Steel

Gareth Bale’s days at Real Madrid may be numbered, but – despite his manager Zinedine Zidane’s reluctance to play him – the Welsh international is enjoying a good run of form even as his team falls to new depths (the side has hit a number of historic lows since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo).

Which leaves the question: why? Of course, there are many factors at play. Some to do with injuries, some to do with football and some to do with luck.

But we can’t relate to any of those things (and we doubt, unless you are an aspiring footballer, you can either). So today we are going to discuss one factor we can all learn from – fitness.

Gareth Bale recently helped launch Rowbots, a new London gym which combines rowing machine intervals with floor-based strength training exercises, capitalising on London’s rowing renaissance (the indoor version of the sport is now so popular even The Economist is calling it “sexy”).

Anyway, Gareth Bale is currently headlining Real Madrid’s teamsheet and many are arguing that his lung-busting fitness levels are (partially) responsible. And – as Bale credits this machine-based sculling with his early-season fitness – it’s understandable that you would be interested in what exactly his workout involves.

Thanks to sports journalist, Alex Roberts, who recently offered himself up as a guinea pig (and wrote about his experience for JOE) we now know what the workout Bale is spruiking involves.

“The workout lasted for 45 minutes in total and was split into three, fifteen minute sections… Half the class starts on the rower, while the other half begins with floor-based strength exercises.”

Interested? All you need is a rowing machine, free-weights and a piece of floor. Here’s what you need to do.


  • 15 seconds medium intensity / 15 seconds fast row
  • 30 seconds medium intensity / 30 seconds fast row
  • 60 seconds medium intensity / 60 seconds fast row

Sequence to be repeated for seven minutes, non-stop.


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As Alex Roberts wrote for JOE, “Those working out on the floor must select a pair of dumbbells for the following exercises. You don’t want to go too heavy as you’ll be performing 20-30 reps per exercise, but don’t go too light either. You want to maintain tension on the muscle in order to gain strength.”

The floor exercises are as follows:

  • Alternating lunges into dumbbell squat
  • Side lunges
  • Dumbbell rows
  • Bicep curls
  • Surrenders (hold one of the dumbbells high above your head, drop down into a lunge; then bring your other knee down too. Then get back up – maintaining the dumbbell above your head – and rinse and repeat)
  • Burpees
  • Butterfly sit-ups

Each of these seven exercises is to be performed for a minute, then once the seven minutes are up, you switch places with the rowers (and each seven-minute sequence is to be repeated three times).

Warm Down

“To finish off, you alternate between med ball slams for 45 seconds and maximum intensity on the rower, also for 45 seconds. The aim is to reach the furthest distance possible. Rest for one minute in between the switchover,” (JOE).

You then do three to five minutes of stretching and meditation to bring the iron-lung-girding session to a close.

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