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Investment banker by day, athlete by night: How Raymund Bareuther combines job and rowing on a national level

Investment banker by day, athlete by night: How Raymund Bareuther combines job and rowing on a national level

aymund advises company owners and investors on the acquisition, merger or and sale of companies. A job that requires precision and professionalism. Mental strength is therefore one prerequisite for long-term success. Despite or perhaps because of his little free time, Raymund has managed to be the number one rower in different categories time and time again. How does he do that? The current Swiss champion (age group Masters A) in the single and double scull shares in an interview his training routine, his new passion which came out of the corona crisis and his dietary choices. The AURUM High Intensity Training also has a weekly 20 minute slot in his busy agenda.

AURUM: You're a serial rowing champion despite your demanding job as a banker. What is your winning training routine?

Raymund Bareuther: My training routine is characterized by sport early in the morning, which is determined by my job and the rather long working hours in the evening, so that consistent training can only be planned in the morning. Also, the lake of Zurich is ideally flat and rowable in the morning which is key to ensure a proper training session. The training week routinely starts on Mondays with the AURUM strength training and is filled with endurance units throughout the week. Due to the rather short time slots available for training, it is key to focus on effective and efficient sessions to achieve strong results.

Mondays after work routine: The 6 Minute HIT workout

What were your last rowing competitions and what are you preparing for next?

My last competitions took place in 2019, including the Swiss Rowing Championship and the Coastal Rowing Race in Monaco. As a rower, I am constantly looking for competition and am in general a very active person Due to COVID-19, the competition calendar 2020 and training possibilities have changed a lot and so the rowing training units had to be adapted and compensated for by other sports such as road-cycling. After the longer than usual racing break, rowing competitions start again soon. Currently, I am preparing for the club internal qualification for the team boats for the Swiss Championship in Lucerne, which will take place in September. The internal qualification is based on the time needed for 2000 meters on the ergometer. Rowing aside, I am curious to know how fit I have become on the road bike and therefore I will participate for the first time in the “Tortour 2020” (1000 kilometers through Switzerland nonstop) in a team of four as well as the Chasing Cancellara Zürich-Zermatt in a team of two. 

Endurance cycling: Raymund's new passion

What brings you further and faster in the last 100-200 meters when your muscles are exhausted? 

The last meters in a competition, when you are already exhausted -  that’s when mental strength becomes key in order to “push-trough”. For that, it is very important to know your own body, capabilities and limits. Also, a clever race strategy and optimum race pace are essential and can definitely support you through the last meters. Both factors can be learned during training session but nonetheless, racing experience is needed to develop a feeling for when and where to attack and how far your body can go given your current level of fitness. Luck is the last dying wish of those who wanna believe that winning can happen by accident. Sweat on the other hand is for the ones who know it’s a choice. So when the time comes and a thousand different voices are trying to tell you: you are not ready for it, listen instead to that lone voice of dissent, one that says you are ready, you are prepared, it's all up to you now.

In rowing training, extensive endurance training and technical training are essential. How important is maximum intensity strength training? 

Rowing is characterized by long, mentally challenging endurance training whereas in a competition over the 2000m Olympia distance, you have to push yourself every single meter and even go beyond your limits within 6-8 minutes. For every rower, a solid basic endurance is therefore essential and has to be systematically trained over a long period of time. In Rowing, maximum strength training to build up and maintain mass happens typically in November and December, otherwise the training is based on endurance units on the rowing ergometer, bike or swimming for a minimum of 90-120 minutes. 

How do you integrate AURUM into your training routine?

I integrate AURUM by starting every week with an AURUM strength training unit on Monday, so that I am fit for the longer training units on the weekend and that the muscles are sufficiently recovered for new, longer endurance stimuli.

Raymund rowing the AURUM way

What do you propose to young rowers, who want to improve their performance? 

For young rowers, I recommend a combination of strength training and long regular endurance units in the boat and on the rowing ergometer paired with high intensity training intervals, depending on the upcoming competition. Patience and consistency are key. It takes years to create the basic condition. Macro Patience and Micro Speed - focus on the next training session and believe that you can achieve everything over the medium to long term.

Nutrition: What do you eat to constantly bring your performance? 

I am not a prime example for sophisticated, ultra healthy nutrition choices (laughs). My personal daily minimum calorie intake is genetically so high that, in the eyes of most people, I seem to not always eat healthy. However, I focus on a high-quality diet, which contains little meat, many vitamins and nutrients and I put emphasis on regional sourced food. 

Raymund at the chest press with coach Tobias

Your Top 3 “Recovery and Recharge” tips: How do you recover physically and mentally between competitions and trainings?

I would like to divide this into 3 sections: Preparation, After training/competition and, let’s call it, “all the other supporting elements”. Preparation: Sufficient sleep and recovery phases between the sport units are important and have to be planned in order to give your body a chance to actively regenerate. Directly after sport/competition: To relax and activate regeneration, I recommend a Blackroll vibration roller for a profound fascial massage. Additionally, base or bitter salt baths help the muscles to recover better and break down lactate. Bear in mind a timely food intake, consisting of mainly light food to refill your energy storage. Me, just like many other endurance athletes, swear on a non-alcoholic isotonic Erdinger Weissbier after every sport unit. Other supporting elements: Generally, I find it very important to give my body and mind enough recovery time between work and sport and to allow moments in life that simply make me happy. These can be amazing experiences with friends and family or great vacations, because no one can constantly live close to one's own limits.

Raymund and coach Tobias analysing performance data of torso extension

Does the fastest rower in his age group (Master A) in Switzerland 2019 also have days when he doesn’t feel motivated to train?

The thought and feeling of winning, of crossing the finish line first clearly drives me and is the best motivating factor, when I am not in the mood to do the training at 6AM (which happens to me as well as to every other athlete). Additionally, the feeling of being exhausted but happy and starting a new day mentally relaxed is the driving force to get up early. 

Which injuries have you experienced during your career as a competitive athlete and how fast have you recovered?

Rowing is not a sport that makes you prone to injuries and so I fortunately got spared from injuries for over 15 years. In the last years, after I started CrossFit, I have suffered some strains. I’m 1.96 metres tall, which is too tall for this sport and is a risk to injure yourself when paired with insufficient technique and too much ambition. The great thing about CrossFit is the combination of strength and endurance training, which gets you in shape but comes at the cost of increased injuries in my case. 

How important is strength training as one of the preventive measures against injuries?

Strength training is very important for rowers, not just as a preventive measure to maintain the skeletal muscles and strengthen them sustainably, but also to maintain and improve the strength level. And, of course for an aesthetically shaped biceps, which is especially important for rowers (laughs). 

Raymund performing the overhead press with coach Tobias

How does AURUM strength training help you perform in endurance sports?

AURUM complements my training routine perfectly so that I can now limit my weight training to 6 minutes per week and thus focus on the more time-consuming endurance training sessions. For myself, it is astonishing that I do not notice any muscle loss whatsoever, as one might expect from such a compressed strength training. On the contrary, the AURUM training allows me to better address and train certain muscle groups within a very short time. And, the absence of the risk of injury is, of course, another major advantage.For some months now, I have limited my strength training to AURUM and have not done any typical strength training (a la "pumping iron").

Who is Raymund, when not rowing?

My leisure time program is mainly sports-driven: be it mountaineering, skiing or kite surfing - I combine discovering nature through sports with mental relaxation. New challenges and great food are further factors that contribute to my happiness and satisfaction in life. And, what many may not know about me: I prefer to wear my suit over my sportswear!

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