Hello hello from cold, rainy Boston. I guess I should be annoyed that it’s 45 degrees in June, but honestly I am SO unproductive during the summer on sunny days that I kinda appreciate the occasional bought of crummy weather. I’m contently sitting inside at my desk with a cup of warm tea and my For the Work Day playlist going, crushing my to-do list. Starting with this post…
I thought it fitting to share a quick rowing workout with you all today because starting on Friday, I’ll be teaching a new class at BURN called Strong Row. It mixes rowing intervals with strength training on the floor (think Barry’s Bootcamp-esque, but with rowers), and is broken into three parts: endurance, interval work and a challenge. I’m really excited to teach it because quick(er) bursts on the rowers are my jam. The following workout uses the same three components, but of course class would be different since we’re splitting it up with weights.
3-Part Rowing Workout: Endurance, Intervals & Challenge
This workout will take you about 20 minutes, depending on how quickly you complete the challenge at the end.
Equipment I Used:
- WaterRower GX (these machines are AWESOME, but obviously just use whatever rower you have access to!)
ROWING INTENSITY SCALE
I use the Indo-Row intensity scale (kind of), which I’ve modified below. So all the numbers you see in this workout (22-40) refer to strokes per minute. It’s just a way to quantify “easy,” “medium,” “hard” and “everything you’ve got.” On the WaterRower console, it’s the big number in the middle, and it’s how you gauge your current work intensity.
In the picture above, I’ve highlighted the numbers on the WaterRower console we’ll worry about for this particular workout. Every rowing machine will vary, which is fine—you really only need a way to track time and distance. You don’t really even need to know your strokes per minute; just go at your perceived “easy,” “medium,” “hard,” and “race pace.”
This workout (especially the challenge at the end) will get your heart rate UP there—rowing at race pace is intense. So that being said, if you have any health issues, consult your doctor before taking on this kind of cardio load. The graphic below is good for quick reference or printing out for the gym, but (especially if you’re newer to rowing) it’s probably best to read the fuller descriptions below as well. You can warm up with a minute or two of light rowing.
Endurance | For this 7-minute stretch, your goal is to continuously row, varying your intensity every 60 seconds.
- 0-1 min @ 24 (easy)
- 1-2 min @ 26 (medium)
- 2-3 min @ 28 (hard, but sustainable)
- 3-4 min @ tempo (go back and forth for the whole minute between 5 strokes at your max effort and 5 strokes nice and easy)
- 4-5 min @ 26 (medium)
- 5-6 min @ 28 (hard, but sustainable)
- 6-7 min @ tempo (again spend the minute going back and forth between 5 strokes at max effort and 5 easy strokes)
Intervals | You’ll do a quick tabata: 8 rounds of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of recovery. During the 20 seconds of work, go to at least a 28. If you’re feeling good though (you know those days!), you can take it into the mid 30’s. Go with how you feel. During the 10 seconds of recovery, just slow your stroke; don’t stop rowing altogether.
Challenge | Think of this challenge as competing against yourself in three races; each shorter than the last. If you’re using a WaterRower, you can use the console to track your distance for you. Otherwise, just watch your meters and time.
- 300 meters: Preform this distance TWICE, resting for 30-60 sec in between each race. You are going at max speed (SPM should be mid 30’s or higher). The second time, try to beat your first time, even if just by a second.
- 200 meters: Preform this distance TWICE, resting for 30-60 sec in between each race. You are going at max speed (SPM should be mid 30’s or higher). The second time, try to beat your first time, even if just by a second.
- 100 meters: Preform this distance TWICE, resting for 30-60 sec in between each race. You are going at max speed (SPM should be mid 30’s or higher). The second time, try to match or beat your first time. 100m is QUICK, so it’s hard to shave off seconds here. Consider a matched time a win. If you’re looking to break records, the fastest I’ve seen a female do 100m in class is 17 seconds. Keep in mind that’s performed at the end of a 45-minute workout. My personal record is 18 seconds…for now. 😉
The pics in this post are oldies from Btone Wellesley. I actually don’t teach at the Wellesley studio anymore (bittersweet–ditching the commute is awesome, but I miss the clients & those M3’s dearly!), but I teach row at the Boston studio. So two chances to row with me if you’re local:
They’re very different classes, so I (selfishly) encourage you to try both! 🙂