Science of Rowing is the resource for coaches and rowers of all levels. Our authors wear multiple hats with experience as coaches, researchers, sport scientists, clinicians, and sport psychologists.
PhD Student Exercise Physiology
MSc Sports Performance
MS New Media Management
BBA Sport, Event & Hospitality Management
I first began rowing at Ventnor Viking Boat Club in Ventnor, NJ at age 12 during my summer break. I continued this each summer and when I reached high school I participated in tryouts for my freshmen rowing team at Mainland Regional High School. My high school experience earned me a partial scholarship to attend The George Washington University. I was a varsity oarsman all four years and was named team MVP my senior year. I then spent the next three years as the graduate assistant coach for Syracuse Men’s Rowing under Head Coach Dave Reischman. My first job opportunity came through an introduction from a local master rower I was coaching in the Syracuse, NY area.
My point in sharing my personal journey is that, ‘rowing’, was and continues to be the common thread throughout my personal and professional life. I can directly connect every step of my career back to the sport of rowing. It’s given me job opportunities, earned me my first date with my fiance, and earned admission into Masters and PhD programs. I know firsthand that the sport of rowing can be a catalyst for an individual’s life. Science of Rowing’s mission is to provide scientific, evidence based education and practical applications to rowers and coaches of every level of the sport. We strive to increase accessibility to high quality information while making it easy to implement in day-to-day training and coaching.
My passion for rowing resulted in launching my business, LEO Training in 2014. This has provided me the opportunity to continue working with rowers by consulting with junior, collegiate, masters, and national team rowing programs, as well as interviewing hundreds of rowers, rowing coaches, and strength coaches through the LEO Training podcast.
I moved to the Kansas City area in 2017 and worked three years as the strength and conditioning specialist for Lawrence Memorial Hospital. This expanded my coaching experience as I worked in the realms of rehabilitation and sports performance. It also provided me the opportunity to work with many other sports including swimming, track & field, cross country running, basketball and baseball. Through my strong relationships with Michael D’ Eredita and Luis Ahrens-Texeira, I served as Head Strength and Conditioning Coach for Portuguesa de Remo from 2018 to the conclusion of the Tokyo Olympics in 2021. This has given me the opportunity to be part of, and contribute to a high performance team in preparation for major championships and the Olympics. This experience has allowed me to understand and apply similar high performing principles in my work and studies today.
Rowing and coaching are two important parts of my life. This is the very reason for launching Science of Rowing with Will and Blake in 2020. I wanted to create something that allows me to give back to the rowing community while tapping into the essence of coaching – helping others to fulfill their potential. Science of Rowing’s mission to provide scientific, evidence based education and practical applications to rowers and coaches of every level of the sport. We strive to increase accessibility to high quality information while making it easy to implement in day-to-day training and coaching.
As a lifelong learner too, I’ve taken the opportunity to complete my MSc in Sports Performance at the University of Limerick earning a First Class Honours Award. I am now completing my PhD at the University of Kansas in Exercise Physiology under the auspices of Dr. Andrew C. Fry and Dr. Kathryn Ackerman. These experiences I know will add huge value to Science of Rowing which I hope you will get to experience too.
BSc (honors) in Human Biology and Sport Science
Post Graduate Diploma in Sports Nutrition
MSc in Sports Biomechanics
Until 2009, I had never been involved in rowing outside of watching Steve Redgrave and Matthew Pinsent every four years at the Olympics. However, in early 2009, I was appointed Lead Strength and Conditioning Coach for British Rowing where I remained for six years working with two phenomenal coaches, Paul Thompson and Jürgen Gröbler. I had the pleasure and privilege to prepare British rowers for two Olympic Games at London 2012 and Rio 2016. Having never rowed before, I made it a priority to learn to row and joined a local rowing club where I instantly found a peace on the river. It also taught me just how technical rowing is. I believe I still hold the record at the Redgrave-Pinsent rowing lake for the greatest number of times falling out of the boat in a single session!
I left British Rowing to become the English Institute of Sport’s (EIS) Head of Strength and Conditioning, overseeing S&C support, and leading 65+ S&C coaches to the majority of Olympic and Paralympic sports. During my five years as Head of S&C, this is where I began to really find my passion in practitioner and coach development. This led me to eventually becoming the EIS’s Head of Learning where I had the opportunity to oversee and deliver personal development to 450+ staff, support the organisations learning, and prepare practitioners and coaches for major championships, Olympic, Paralympic Games. During my time at the EIS, I was seconded twice by the British Olympic Association to lead performance services at Olympic Games. This incredible experience has helped me gather insights on what goes on behind the scenes to really make the boat go faster.
I eventually left the EIS in 2019 to pursue my passions of supporting practitioners and coaches through setting up my own consultancy business, Liberating Brilliance. This is when I started to consult with the Chinese Rowing Association in preparation for the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympics, linking back up with Paul Thompson. It is my passion for supporting both the development of athletes and the staff the work with these athletes which provide me the greatest fulfilment.
Joe and I became acquainted when he asked me to join him on the Leo Training podcast in 2017 after Paul Thompson and I co-authored ‘Training for the Complete Rower: A Guide to Improving Performance’. We remained in contact, with Joe first sharing Science of Rowing with me in early 2020. I was delighted to see a resource purposefully looking to make rowing research more accessible and importantly, immediately apply the content into our own context. Joe asked me to again come on to his podcast to discuss my second book, ‘Strength and Conditioning for Rowing’.
Joe asked me to guest author an article for Science of Rowing for July 2022 and when the offer to be a regular contributor in September 2022, it was an easy yes! Not only do I get to fulfil my passion around athlete and coach development, but I also get to specifically do it within a sport I have spent working in for almost 15 years and have become fairly attached to. My personal values mirror those of Science of Rowing shares in providing accessible and credible content which has a strong ethos of practical application. For me, learning has two sides of the same coin. One side is the acquisition of new knowledge, insights, and experience. The other side is the application of this new knowledge, insights, and experiences. The blending of this by Science of Rowing is the very reason for joining the team. I sincerely hope you experience our ethos with each new piece of content we produce.
Contributing Guest Authors
PT, DPT, CP-S
Physical Therapist at Champion Physical Therapy and Performance
Lisa Lowe is a physical therapist in the Boston area. She started rowing through a summer program in Old Lyme, CT. She rowed for Ithaca College Women’s Crew all four years and joined the Alumni 8+ at the Head of the Charles during graduate school. She graduated with her Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) from Ithaca College in 2013. She then moved to Boston, joined Riverside Boat Club and began her PT career while focusing on her goal of making the US National Rowing Team.
Lisa began to work with rowers and para-rowers in the Boston area including Riverside and CRI. Her goal shifted from peak performance to becoming a rowing specialist physical therapist. This goal was paused after a pedestrian car accident, putting Lisa out of work for just over a year. Lisa works at Champion Physical
Therapy and continues her pursuit as a rowing specialist physical therapist. She loves helping athletes remain as consistent as possible with training so they can become the happiest, healthiest version of themselves both on and off the water.
PT, DPT, CP-S
MA Performance Psychology, CPT, PES
Frank Clayton’s training credentials include a Certified Personal Training, Performance Enhancement Specialist, and Fitness Nutrition Specialist certifications from the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Frank holds a Master’s Degree in Performance Psychology. He has been the strength and conditioning coach for the Oakland Strokes Women’s team since 2014. Frank helped lead the Oakland Strokes to national championships and has coached scores of top recruited athletes. Frank Clayton has developed a love for designing programs that focus on both the physical and mental aspect of training athletes. In 2019, Frank created Accelerated Results Coaching Academy (ARC Academy) and Podcast. He looks to connect with coaches and junior athletes with the goal of helping them reach their greatest potential.
Follow Frank on Instagram.
MSc Strength & Conditioning
BSc Sport Science
Ishan has been working as a strength and conditioning coach in elite sport for the past 10 years, across both Olympic and professional sport. Ishan is currently employed as a strength and conditioning coach by the English Institute of Sport, leading the S&C support for the British Paralympic rowing team towards the Paris 2024 Olympic games. He has previously worked for the Chinese national rowing team in preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games and 2019 world rowing championships, which included China’s most successful performance ever in international rowing. Aside from his experiences in rowing, Ishan has worked as a senior physical preparation coach for the Sportscotland Institute of Sport, leading S&C support for triathlon and canoeing programs. In addition, he has also worked in professional soccer, with Birmingham City FC and Blackburn Rovers FC. Ishan has a Masters in S&C from the University of Edinburgh and an undergraduate degree in Sports Science from Brunel University, London. He holds accreditations/certifications from the United Kingdom S&C Associations, National S&C Association and Australian S&C Association.
MS in Health & Human Performance
BS in Exercise Science
Michael Naperalsky has over 14 years of strength and conditioning experience across the private sector, Olympic teams, and collegiate athletics. He has worked with the University of Louisville women’s rowing program since 2016.
Currently serving as an Assistant Director of Olympic Sports Performance at the University of Louisville, Michael oversees three teams and also teaches graduate courses in strength and conditioning in the Health & Sport Sciences Department. Previously, Michael served as a Senior Strength & Conditioning Coach with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, the national governing body for Olympic skiing and snowboarding. As a member of the High Performance Sport Science department, he helped his athletes win 3 Olympic medals, 6 World Championship medals, 16 X-Games medals, and 93 World Cup podiums. Michael earned a master’s degree in Health & Human Performance, holds certifications from the CSCCa, NSCA, USAW, and ACSM, and was named a Master Strength & Conditioning Coach in 2022. He has presented at national and state conferences, published in peer-reviewed journals, and participated in webinars and clinics for sport coaches, strength coaches, and sports medicine professionals.
PhD Exercise Physiology
Dr. Frank Nugent is a Lecturer in Sports Science in the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences at the University of Limerick, Ireland. Frank completed his PhD in Exercise Physiology in 2018. Frank is an accredited S&C coach through the Sport Ireland Institute, United Kingdom Strength and Conditioning Association and a Weightlifting Ireland Level 2 Olympic Weightlifting Coach.
Frank’s experience is diverse having worked with youth, collegiate, professional and Paralympic athletes. Frank has published research across a wide range of areas in S&C, exercise physiology, and biomechanics. His research interests include low back pain in rowers, youth sport, Paralympic sport, S&C and endurance training methodologies.
Frank was previously a competitive rower and has been supporting rowers for over 10 years now as an S+C coach, sports scientist and rowing coach. In 2019, Frank became Head Coach of the University of Limerick Rowing Club. This role involves leading rowing coaching and sports science support to collegiate rowers. Frank has coached multiple junior and under 23 rowers to the Home Nations, European and World Championships.
MSc Strength & Conditioning
BSc Mathematics & Sports Science
Nicole has always had a passion for better understanding human movement, stemming from her childhood spent as a gymnast. With a keen interest in both Biomechanics and Strength and Conditioning, Nicole has sought to develop her training philosophy through a blend of these two lenses. During the Rio 2016 Olympic cycle Nicole had the privilege of leading the Women’s Strength and Conditioning programme for Great Britain’s Olympic Rowing Team. Nicole then went onto lead the Strength and Conditioning Team for the GB Rowing programme in the lead up to the delayed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. During these two Olympic cycles Nicole was fortunate enough to work with some of the very best coaches in the world. Experiences which have been central to shaping Nicole’s S&C philosophy through their deep technical knowledge.
Latterly, Nicole has gone on to found the company Viktus Ltd, which aims to unlock the athletic potential of all ambitious individuals that are serious about their sport. Whether a development athlete, age-group athlete or someone taking on the challenge of rowing across the Atlantic, Viktus is sharing the knowledge and experience from Olympic sport with a wider audience.
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