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Nick Robinson-Baker’s blog: Back to training

19 September 2011

Former World Series champion and Team Kellogg’s athlete Nick Robinson-Baker takes us through a gruelling day in the life of a diver preparing for London 2012.

Sport is not the easiest of things to do no matter what age, what size you are and believe me, the month I have just had has been one of the most intense of my life.

Imagine that you have just had a month off and done no exercise whatsoever to wind down after such a hectic season. Then you have to come back and from day one it’s all go, go, go, go.

Yeah, you got it. That was the start to my road to 2012.

This month has been the most intense of my life - yeah, you got it. That was the start of my road to 2012.

So we came in to training at 8 AM and headed straight for the gym, working on our fitness on the bikes, treadmills, cross-trainers and any sort of cardio machine to get that heart rate up.

After 20 minutes of warm-up, we went straight to the dry land gym which is where all the magic happens before the pool sessions. We have to go through all of our trampoline routines which can consist of 10 completely different moves in various directions with different shapes.

It starts getting fun when you have to somersault and twist at the same time.

Obviously we're not going to finish the dive because we'd land on our heads on the mats!

So after a solid 30 minutes on the trampoline, we went off to the diving dry boards where we can practice our dives on to the mats provided.

It’s loads of fun and gives us a good sense of where we are in the air and how the dive is going to appear in the pool. Obviously we are not going to the finish the actual dive because we’d land on our heads on the mats!

After sweating like you can’t imagine for another 45 minutes on the boards, we made our way over to the somersaulting blocks where we did forward, inward, backward and reverse somersaults.

It’s always amusing for anyone from the public looking down on the session as when we do back and inward they are watching our facial expressions which in diving can be a very funny sight when your body is on its way, testing gravity to its maximum.

Finally, the day calmed down a little bit where we had 15 minutes to go and stretch our bodies before we start in the pool.

There is always a sense of excitement before getting in the water but at the start of this season, we all know the Olympics are just around the corner so that excitement is off the charts.

We all know the Olympics are just around the corner so that excitement is off the charts.

When we get in the water as a team, we are bubbly with loads of laughter and the music blaring out so we can keep the environment as relaxed as possible.

We can sometimes get through 50 dives per session and sometimes 100 skills which is a long session.

But at the end of every session, we all know – whether it was easy or hard – it was beneficial for our training path to the Olympics next year.

Finally, we had the pleasure of heading over to the Olympic training venue at the English Institute of Sport where we do our weight training. At the moment, it is the hardest training session you can imagine to make sure we get as strong and fit as possible before we start our phase two.

But for now, training will be four hours in the morning from 08:00, then a two-and-a-half hour break before we’re back at it for two hours to finish at 17:30. We’ll repeat that for five days a week.

If you ever wonder how professional athletes are always so fit, that explains it! So after reading this, who wants to become an athlete? smile

See you next month,

Nick

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