Wondering how to improve performance on that rowing machine at your gym? If so, then who better to give some tips than the U.S. Men's Eight Olympic Rowing team. We visited the team two weeks ago in Princeton, NJ, where it was finishing up its last two days of training in nearly 100-degree heat before heading off to London. Besides enlisting photographer John Loomis to document the last day of the team's stateside practice in this series of Web-exclusive photos (with additional outtakes of our interviews with the athletes), we also asked each member of the Men's Eight for a few tips on rowing better, both on the indoor rowing machine (also known as an ergometer, or "erg"), and on the water. (Loomis also took pictures of seat 2's Grant James demonstrating most of the tips in the erg room at the Princeton Boat House.) Launch Gallery >>
Competition is good.
Another way to keep up the energy and excitement while rowing indoors? Go head-to-head with others. "Make it a competition to see who can get the best 500-meter score, or something," says Ross James, who sits in seat 3, right behind his twin brother, Grant James (pictured on the right), who sits in seat 2, and knows from sibling rivalry. "I like the competitive side of rowing. It's a hard and tough sport, but, at the same time, you get a lot out of being competitive with it." The strategy works between twins, too, even though they're on the same team. "We have a similar body type and stroke, so whoever wins the day is the one who wanted it more," says Ross. "That's always made the competition fun, to see who's the better twin."
Credit: Photograph by John Loomis