3-Part Rowing Workout (Endurance, Intervals & Challenge)

3-Part Rowing Workout (Endurance, Intervals & Challenge) - takes about 20 minutes to completeHello 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.  Rowing Intensity Scale (30-Minute Rowing Workout) WaterRower GX Console (30-Minute Rowing Workout)

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. 3-Part Rowing Workout (Endurance, Intervals & Challenge) - takes about 20 minutes to completeYou 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. 😉

3-Part Rowing Workout (Endurance, Intervals & Challenge) - takes about 20 minutes to complete WEARING | tank: GAP // leggings: c/o PUMA (similar HERE) // sneakers: Nike (similar HERE)

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:

  • Wednesdays 5:25PM Row @ Btone
  • Fridays 8AM Strong Row @ BURN

They’re very different classes, so I (selfishly) encourage you to try both! 🙂

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Comments

  1. It was in the 40s over the weekend here too in Chicago and rained nonstop. No bueno.

    Thanks for sharing this!

  2. bumpandrunchat says:

    I love rowing, even though it’s crazy hard! Always looking for a new workout for the gym, so thanks for sharing!

  3. Rowing is a tough workout! I really like the scale of exertion you included as a reference. Good to know!

  4. Kathleen Olson says:

    Wellesley misses you too! Your rowing classes were my I tro to rowing and I love it so much now. I wish I could do it everyday! Unfortunately I pulled my left lat muscle a few days ago and rowing and BTONE are out for a while due to the pain. Hoping it heals soon so I can get back to it. Figures it happened two days after hitting that 17 second mark! Thanks for helping me live rowing!!!

    • I’m so sad I wasn’t there to see you hit 17!! Rest up and get better soon–I’ll try to make it out to Wellesley to sub some classes in July 🙂

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