30-Minute Rowing Workout

30-Minute Rowing WorkoutThis is a fun one! It’s also a workout you can use to track your progress with rowing and cardiovascular endurance in general (you’ll see what I mean below). If you’re new to rowing, you may want to bookmark/pin this workout for later and wait for me to post a how-to guide for proper rowing form, which is coming soon.

I had my 6:45AM Row class yesterday at Btone Wellesley do a very similar workout and they crushed it!

30-Minute Rowing Workout

Equipment I Used:

  • WaterRower GX (these machines are AWESOME, but obviously just use whatever rower you have access to!)


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 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. 30-Minute Rowing Workout

Warm Up | Spend 1 min at each stroke rate: 24, 26, 28, 26, 24 (upping intensity and then reducing it).

Tabata Wave | Perform 8 rounds of 20 sec hard intensity (28) and 10 sec recovery pace (<24). This will take you 4 minutes total.

Short Race Intervals | You’ll do four 100-meter sprints at a race pace (30+). Spend 30 sec at easy pressure (24) in between each sprint.

  • Your goal is to be under 25 seconds for each of your 100-m sprints (beginners, under 30 sec). My record is 18 seconds, but I’ve had a student do it in 17—what a beast! These numbers are good parameters for the ladies—guys, your times will be lower.

Timed Race Pyramid | Go as far as you can go in 2 minutes, 90 seconds, 1 minute, and then 30 seconds. Rest for 30-60 seconds in between each interval (think of each interval as one leg of the race).

  • Write down your distance at the end of each interval. When you’re done, add up your total distance traveled in the four legs of the race. Your goal is to be over 1,000m in total, but shoot for the 1,300s!
  • You’ll have a breathless feeling by the last stretches of the long intervals (rowing at race pace for 2 minutes is NO joke). If you don’t, you weren’t pushing hard enough. So that being said…
  • These numbers are just for guidance and not set in stone—listen to your body! In general, race pace is anything above “full pressure” (28). If it’s a quick race (100m, 30 seconds, etc.), you’ll want that number anywhere from mid 30’s to mid 40’s, depending on fitness level. For longer races (over 60 sec, over 200m, etc.), consider pacing yourself a bit and pulling back by a couple digits.

Cool Down | Spend 1 min at each pace: 26, 24, 22 strokes per minute.

30-Minute Rowing Workout

 WEARING | leggings: Lululemon (out of stock, but similar ones here and here) / tank: Brandy Melville (similar here) / sneakers: Nike (similar here)

30-minute Rowing WorkoutRevisit this workout—specifically the timed race pyramid—and try to beat your previous numbers. Having times and distances as benchmarks is paramount in keeping me motivated and engaged with rowing workouts.

Do you row? What’s your favorite way to use a rower in your workouts? signature SHOP A SIMILAR LOOK:

15-Minute Towel (or Slider) Workout

At Home Towel/Slider WorkoutI hope you all had a wonderful weekend! I spent mine up in Maine with my dad relaxing at the house and snowmobiling. It’s so pretty up here!

A photo posted by Nicole Perry (@nicoleperr) on


I have one more towel/slider workout today and then I’ll relax with all these faux-megaformer moves, promise. :)

15-Minute Towel (or Slider) Workout

Equipment I Used:

Set a timer for 15 rounds of 50 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest. I know 10 seconds isn’t very long—it’s basically just giving you enough time to set up for the next exercise. If you’re a beginner, you can change the interval lengths (maybe do 40 seconds of work and 20 seconds of rest). You’ll go through the following five exercises three times. At Home Towel/Slider Workout

Sliding Side-to-Back-to-Curtsey Lunges (Right) |

Your right leg will be the base leg; the towel will go under your left foot. Starting in a standing position, slide the left leg straight out to the left, bending your right knee down into a side lunge. Press through the right heel to come back up to standing and then transition smoothly into a back lunge, sliding the left foot back behind you as you bend the right knee. Again, press through that right heel to rise back up to standing and then slide the left foot to the right, shooting the left leg behind the right foot as you bend the right knee down into a curtsey lunge. Press back to standing and start from the top of the sequence.

Form cues to keep in mind:

  • The right knee should never stick out farther than the toes. To achieve this, think of sitting your hips and bum back into the lunges as you lower.
  • At the top of each lunge (when you’re standing), try not to lock your right knee straight. Keep a soft micro bend in it so that the muscles are still working (rather than shifting your bodyweight into a locked joint).
  • Keep your bodyweight in the right heel. The left foot is supporting little—if any—of your bodyweight.

Siding Side-to-Back-to-Curtsey Lunges (Left) |

Army Crawls |

These are fun! Well…”fun”. You know what I mean. :) The move is called Lizard in Lagree Fitness and it’s the feet that stay still while you move the carriage with your forearms (everyone loves to hate this move). Off the machine, put your feet on a towel and get into a plank with your forearms at the end of an exercise mat. Army crawl your way up the length of the mat, one forearm in front of the other, maintaining the plank position as you slide forward. When you can no longer go any farther forward, reverse the motion, crawling your forearms backward towards the starting edge of the mat. As you move, try to keep your hips level in a plank. They’ll want to dip side to side with each step of the forearms; use your core strength to stabilize them. Beginners: you can do these from your knees, just make sure to add an extra towel for padding.

Hip Bridge Heel Sliders |

Start in a bridge position, feet on a towel stacked underneath your knees, shoulders, neck and head resting on the ground with arms by your side. Squeeze your glutes and core to lift your hips off the ground so that from shoulders to knees is a straight, diagonal line. From this starting position, start to slide your feet out, straightening your legs and rolling onto your heels. Try to keep your butt off the ground, even at your farthest extension. When you’ve gone as low as you can comfortably go, drag your heels inward, coming to a flat foot as you slide your feet back to the starting position. A note about form: This goes for any hip bridge exercise, but especially when you’re adding in these sliding hamstring curls: you don’t want to overextend your low back. It’s the smallest change in position (as you can see below), but think of it as the difference between engaging and not engaging your abs. In the picture to the left, I’m engaging the backside of my body to keep my hips lifted: squeezing my glutes and back, but not activating the front of my core. You can tell by the slight upward arch of my midsection. In the picture to the right, I’ve engaged my whole core, pulling my abs in tight with a slight upward tuck of the pelvis. My low back is not over-stressed, and the top of my body forms a straight diagonal line. Hip Bridge Exercise - tips for proper form Beginners: you can do these from a crab bridge position (think of the crab walk you used to do as a kid). Support yourself on your hands instead of resting shoulders on the floor, keep your hips lifted, and slide the feet out and in from this all-fours position. 

Windshield Wipers in Plank |

Start in a forearm plank position with feet on a towel, shoulders stacked over elbows. From here, you’re going to swish both feet to the left, squeezing the left sidebody. Swish them back to center, then to the right. Continue: left, center, right, center. Maybe my floor just was a little sticky, but these had to be one-part slide, one-part hop for me in order to get a full range of movement. Keep this exercise in mind, too, if you struggle with windshield wipers laying on your back. At Home Towel/Slider Workout - just 15 minutes long!

WEARING | tank & leggings: Fabletics // sneakers: Nike (similar here)



Traveling to Australia: What We Did In & Around Sydney

Traveling to Australia: What to do, eat  and see in and around SydneyBondi Icebergs pool

Jeeze took me long enough to finally post about my trip! I’m going to split it up into two posts since we divided our time between two major areas: Sydney and Cairns. They’re long, so if you just want to scroll through the pretty pictures, I don’t blame you. But if you’re interested in traveling to Australia or simply want to hear about my vacation (10 brownie points for humoring me), I’ll go over all our favorite activities, restaurant recommendations, must-see’s, etc. I’ve highlighted tips and major takeaways from the trip for any future travelers reading this.

(Not) Planning the Australia Trip

traveling-to-australia-sydney-cairns-48Sydney skyline at sunset

I’m a planner and my boyfriend is…not…so I knew it was on me to figure out the logistics of the trip. But it quickly started stressing me out. Where should we stay? How do we get around? Should we book tours in advance? How many days should we stay in each destination? What should we budget for each part of the trip? I was falling into psychotically-type-A mode and then just thought: Screw this—let’s just wing it.

Joe had a friend living in Sydney and I had a mental list of some locations that came highly recommended (Great Barrier Reef, Whitsunday Islands, Gold Coast, Byron Bay, Great Ocean Road), and with that—and only that—we hopped on our plane.

traveling-to-australia-sydney-cairns-19Eating breakfast at a little cafe on the water in Rose Bay

Having a local friend and not having a plan ended up being the two best things for our trip.

Not having an itinerary allowed us to be flexible and follow good weather and suggestions of locals we met along the way. I originally had a vague game plan to fly into Sydney for the wedding, fly up to Cairns to do the Great Barrier Reef, and then travel down the east coast back to Sydney stopping at the Whitsunday Islands, Gold Coast, Byron Bay and a couple other spots along the way. Then, if time, drive the Great Ocean Road on into Melbourne, and back to Sydney to fly out.

It seemed that with limited time there, focusing on Australia’s east coast would give us the best bang for our buck (sorry, Perth and Darwin, you’re just too far!). Still, that is a LOT to do in two weeks—Australia is BIG. You could do the east coast cheaply over a longer period of time by taking buses or renting a car, but with only two weeks, we would have had to fly a bunch, and while flights aren’t too expensive within Australia, the costs would have added up quick.

Flying by the seat of our pants, our trip ended up looking like this: Sydney Area –> Port Douglas, Daintree Rainforest, Great Barrier Reef, Cairns –> Sydney Area: Newport/Palm Beach (northern suburbs of Sydney), Manly, lots of Bondi. We agreed we’d come back to Australia again to do the rest, and quickly stopped trying to fit a grand tour of the entire country into two weeks. Today, I’ll talk about the bookends of the trip spent in and around Sydney…

Sydney (Downtown/Tourist Attractions/Manly)

traveling-to-australia-sydney-cairns-57While in Sydney, we stayed with Joe’s friend and his fiancé in the Point Piper area. They were a godsend! Not having to pay for a hotel room saved us a ton of money. And their view of Rose Bay wasn’t bad either… traveling-to-australia-sydney-cairns-1 traveling-to-australia-sydney-cairns-2

Their apartment was a quick walk to the Rose Bay ferry dock (you can get around a lot of Sydney’s surrounding areas via public ferries—so fun!), so we could easily hop on a boat to downtown Sydney or another spot. Most mornings we’d stop at a little café at the Rose Bay marina overlooking the water and grab a coffee and some maple date balls rolled in coconut (I was obsessed with these!) on our way to the ferry. traveling-to-australia-sydney-cairns-18 traveling-to-australia-sydney-cairns-11Speaking of coffee, it’s a whole other language in Australia. On the first day, I tried to order an iced coffee and got a coffee with … ice cream on top of it. Stupid American. Eventually we learned the lingo, and I settled with a “long black” most days. :)

We took the ferry into downtown Sydney several times to check the tourist must-do’s off our list. First up, a walk around the Botanical Gardens and checking out the Opera House. Joe liked it so much he even modeled his hair after it… (LOL).

traveling-to-australia-sydney-cairns-17 traveling-to-australia-sydney-cairns-13 traveling-to-australia-sydney-cairns-12 Notice the map shows you where the best “Selfie Spots” are around the Opera House

From downtown, you can then easily hop on a ferry to Taronga Zoo. If you’re only in Sydney on a quick visit, I’d say you could definitely skip this. You’ve seen one sad, caged animal, you’ve seen them all, right? (Zoos make me depressed). I am, however, happy we went because it was the only time I got to see kangaroos and koalas—and c’mon, you have to see them if you’re in Australia! I didn’t take many pictures at the zoo, but below you can see the city skyline in the distance (the location of the zoo is pretty flippin’ beautiful) and then the bowl of deliciousness the zookeepers were feeding the exotic birds. Joe and I were like…so can we, um, eat that? The answer was no, but doesn’t it look good?? traveling-to-australia-sydney-cairns-16 traveling-to-australia-sydney-cairns-15

Towards the end of our trip, we took the ferry to Manly, which is an awesome little surf town. I easily could have spent a couple days there, but the day trip worked out well. We ate lunch at Mex & Co and got the fish tacos and ceviche. Delish!

My cousin’s wedding was in North Sydney at a theater overlooking the harbor. It was beautiful, and so amazing seeing my family on the other side of the world! It was a 1950’s themed wedding so I…put a weird mesh flower thing in my hair? I don’t know, just go with it.traveling-to-australia-sydney-cairns-10

A couple things we didn’t get a chance to do that I’d like to do next time (there will be a next time!):

  • The bridge climb
  • Happy hour drinks at The Ivy
  • A night out in King’s Cross (everyone kept talking about how dodgy the area is—I’m intrigued!)
  • See a show at The Opera House

Our friend also mentioned an outdoor movie theater somewhere in Sydney overlooking the water that sounds like an amazing date night. Next trip!

Newport & Palm Beach (Northern Suburbs of Sydney)

After several days up in Queensland doing the Great Barrier Reef, Daintree Rainforest, etc. (I’ll cover that in my second blog post), we were unsure of what to do next. The weather forecast looked permanently rainy in the Whitsundays, Byron Bay and Gold Coast, so we decided to head back down south to Sydney. A friend of Joe’s friend was going to have a huge party at his home in Newport (about an hour’s drive north of Sydney) on Saturday followed by a day out on his boat Sunday so we—obviously!—jumped on board. Guys. The house… traveling-to-australia-sydney-cairns-50

It was quite possibly the most gorgeous home I’ve ever been to, and we were graciously invited to spend the next three days there. On Sunday we took the boat out all day, eventually docking in Sydney Harbour where we watched the sunset. Life is good. traveling-to-australia-sydney-cairns-49

Earlier that day, after a few (ok, more than a few) drinks, we jumped off the boat and thought it’d be a good idea to swim to The Island, which is essentially a floating bar you get to via water taxi. Yeah, turns out they don’t allow wet, drunk people in bathing suits to climb up the sides of their barge. That’s a #ProTip that I’m sure will come in handy should you ever visit. ;)

During the other couple days spent on the north shore, we hopped around to the different beaches, hung out by the pool, and enjoyed a slower, super relaxed pace of life for a bit. It was wonderful!


traveling-to-australia-sydney-cairns-53Bondi gets its own section because we fell in love with it and spent half the trip talking about how we need to own a condo there when we hit the lottery. The great thing about not having an itinerary going into our trip is that we were able to spend the last three days pretending to live there. We had a little Bondi daily routine by the end of it:

Run along the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk. We walked the walk one of our first days in Australia and were blown away by how pretty the route was. At the end of the trip, we’d run shorter portions of it for a quick morning workout. traveling-to-australia-sydney-cairns-9 traveling-to-australia-sydney-cairns-6 traveling-to-australia-sydney-cairns-20

Go for a dip in the water and catch some rays at Bondi Beach. My only complaint about Bondi Beach is the massive bathing suit envy it ignited in me—I swear everyone was 100x trendier and cooler than me everywhere we went. :) traveling-to-australia-sydney-cairns-55

Head to Bondi Icebergs for a sauna & swim in the saltwater pool. Icebergs is awesome. You pay about $5 to access the pool and sauna, but can also pay more to use their gym or attend their outdoor yoga classes. We loved it! traveling-to-australia-sydney-cairns-58traveling-to-australia-sydney-cairns-3

Finish the day with dinner and drinks at Bondi Hardware. It was almost embarrassing how obsessed we were with Hardware. The hostess would be like “Oh…you guys. Again.” But every dish was like the best dish we’d ever had and we couldn’t get enough. On the weekends they have brunch as well (it’s just dinner on week nights). bondi-hardware-salad traveling-to-australia-sydney-cairns-4

Speaking of food, in Bondi we also loved Trio for breakfast and lunch, Lamrock Cafe for breakfast and lunch, M Deli Cafe for lunch, Mamasan for dinner and Messina for gelato.

traveling-to-australia-sydney-cairns-8Cauliflower spinach salad from M Deli Cafe

traveling-to-australia-sydney-cairns-51Mango shrimp salad from Trio
traveling-to-australia-sydney-cairns-56Sippin’ on an acai smoothie from Lamrock Cafe

Final Thoughts on Sydney

What an amazing city! Granted, I haven’t been able to do a ton of traveling abroad in my life, but this was the first time I visited a city in a new country and thought, “I could totally see myself living here.” It’s an English-speaking, first-world country, so certainly lots of cultural similarities to the States, but the pace is just a bit slower, the lifestyle just a bit more laid back, and therefore the quality of life seems to be just that much better. Of course that assessment is coming from someone who spent all of 14 days there, but we met countless expats in Sydney who shared that same opinion. traveling-to-australia-sydney-cairns-54

I was also struck by how well maintained all the public areas were in and around Sydney, and how many free public amenities there were. No trash on the ground (but also surprisingly fewer trash cans than in the streets of American cities—I don’t get it?), clean public restrooms (and even public showers), and these amazing public pools nestled into the cliffs at several of the beachestraveling-to-australia-sydney-cairns-5 traveling-to-australia-sydney-cairns-7

The pools are built so that the waves from the ocean come over the outside edge—they’re awesome. And with the exception of Icebergs in Bondi, all the ones we saw were free to the public. What a great amenity for people living around Sydney—especially with young kids who may not be able to swim in the open ocean with rough waves.

Of course the tradeoff to amazing public services like this is high cost of living and high taxes, so I won’t go too far down my Sydney-is-perfect rabbit hole, but I really did adore it.

If you’ve traveled to Sydney (or live there) what are some of your favorite things to do (and eat)? signature