Tricks to Dominate Endurance Rowing Workouts

Endurance rowing workout

 

Not gonna lie, when people walked into the Bodyshop and saw a version of the workout above, their faces dropped.  500m – 750m – 1000m – 2000m and back down the pyramid.  Seven total rounds and close to 10,000 meters when all is said and done.

 

Endurance rowing.  Character builder.  “Ugh,” (said some).

 

When you’re used to rowing intervals of 500m or just a couple of minutes that’s A LOT of work.  Some of us would rather stick hot needles in our eyes than row or SkiErg that much!

 

Endurance rowing workouts are both a physical AND mental challenge, they take a longer time to do and they can be suuuuper boring.  That’s IF you don’t have the tricks we’re about to give you.

whAT’S SO GREAT ABOUT ENDURANCE ROWING?

WE GET IT,  but there are a lot of good reasons to press on and do a workout like this.  Among them:

  • Endurance building: Monster-meter workouts like these help build cardio endurance that gives you a good base to work from, even when you’re more focused on shorter, high-intensity workouts.
  • Weight loss: When weight loss is your goal, some longer rowing workouts are in order (once you’ve built up enough cardio base to push yourself for lengthier intervals)
  • Cross training: Steady-state or interval rowing is great if you’re cross-training for another sport or working on your general fitness.
  • One-stop workout shopping: Rowing-only workouts are one-stop-shopping.  They work virtually every muscle on every stroke, without the need for any other equipment.
  • Meter munching: It’s the best way to grab lots of meters in a rowing competition like the Concept2 challenges.
  • Mental toughness: Having the ability to guts it out on a difficult workout (long OR short) builds mental muscle we can use when the going gets rough elsewhere.  There’s nothing like being able to tell yourself, “If I can get through 10K (or 2K) I can get through this, too.”

 

For some people, simply rowing the distances would be challenge enough.  Visit our RowStrong group on Facebook and you’ll find people who relish rowing 10K daily just for fun.

 

For the rest of us though, some additional distraction is in order.  Read on…

 

hacks to bring the magic to a long rowing workout

 

Endurance rowing workouts are as much a mental challenge as they are physical.  The key to making this kind of workout not just doable – but dare we say it, FUN – is to break up the meter pieces and do each one differently.  It’s also a great time to work your technique.  Be creative!

 

Here’s how we did this one at the Bodyshop.  As you’ll see, it was actually eight intervals, so if you do the workout in the photo you get a bit of a break.  Ha!

 

Monster Meter Pyramid Workout – Bodyshop Version

Start rowing, or set your monitor for the intervals below (intervals>variable on a Concept2 monitor), with 1:30 paddle rest in between each.  Keep your strokes per minute between 22 and 28.

Vary your effort throughout – as suggested below – but challenge yourself to stay within your split or pace goal for each distance.  For example, your 500m split should be faster than your 2000m split since the 500 is shorter and you can be more intense.

 

500m – Do a Pick Drill warmup if you’re rowing, or a straight warmup if you’re skiing the workout

1000mTechnique focus: Begin to build power and find your 70-80 percent effort level.  Focus on key technique elements like hip swing, cycling the hands quickly through the finish, keeping the handle straight through the stroke, etc.

1500m – Split focus: Divide the piece into three 500m sections and aim to lower your split every 500m piece

2000m – Interval focus: Row 30 seconds on at 26-28 spm, 30 seconds off at 20-22 spm

1500m – Stroke rate focus: Divide the piece into 3 500m sections (or six 250m sections) and increase your stroke rating every time

1000m – Interval focus: Rolling 100s.  100 meters hard, 100 meters easy

500m –   Finish with a target of your first 1000m split, or cool down

 

post-row recovery

 

Recovery is critical after a workout like this, particularly if higher-volume workouts aren’t a regular thing for you.

 

If you’re not already, develop and follow a good post-workout routine.  That way you’ll be sure to repair cells and tissues that were damaged during the workout, replace nutrients and remove wastes.

 

MAKE SURE TO INCLUDE:

 

  • HYDRATION – Drink water throughout the workout, but also be sure to replenish depleted stores afterwards

 

  • STRETCHING – We will often do a 10-15 minute round of yoga after a workout like this.  It helps us calm down, drop cortisol levels and generally hit the rest of the day refreshed and ready to go.  We love the Down Dog app for this.  It makes yoga easy, even for us non-yogis.  Failing that, it’s a must to do some general stretches that target the areas most taxed in rowing.

 

  • POST-WORKOUT SNACK – A well-balanced snack or a meal within 1-2 hours of a workout like this will help you recover, refuel and build muscle.  Unless you’re working out for more than 2 hours or have very specific nutrition needs, you don’t need special supplements

 

  • REST – Adequate recovery is essential to avoid overtraining.  That includes both leaving enough time between workouts and getting sufficient sleep (7-9 hours per night is best).

 

 

Do you have favorite endurance workouts?  Share them in the comments … please!  We all need a good workout.  Row on!!

 

Further information:

 

Fight Melanoma Cancer – Work Out: Meters for Melanoma 2017 is Here!

Help us beat melanoma, one of the deadliest cancers! Join us on May 5 for Meters for Melanoma, supporting the Midwest Melanoma Partnership. Join us!

Fight melanoma cancer and get your row on at the same time!  METERS FOR MELANOMA, our annual fundraiser to support research and education by the Midwest Melanoma Partnership is back for a second year, bigger and better than ever.  We’ve added prizes – ERGS! – for top fundraisers and, thanks to a $20,000 challenge grant, your donations are worth even more this year.

 

row a little – row a lot

REGISTER NOW to either row as an individual, or get your small team (25 or fewer) or large team (26+) together and plan to raise funds and row meters together.  We’ve made the meter distances accessible for pretty much anyone.  You can row as few as 500 meters, or 5000 meters, or beyond.  Not into rowing?  Just want to support the cause?  No problem.  You can even donate to register as a Virtual Rower and your entry will count towards the prizes.

 

WIN A ROWING MACHINE OR SKIERG!

This year we’re sweetening the pot and giving one individual and two teams their choice of a Concept2 rowing machine or SkiErg.  There are minimum fundraising levels to qualify for the erg giveaway – check the registration page for details.  All registrations received before April 1, 2017 will get a swag bag and a cool t-shirt you can wear when you row your Meters for Melanoma.  Swag for any registrations received after April 1 will go out after the event.

Register now

raise money to fund melanoma cancer research

Melanoma cancer is one of the deadliest forms of the disease.  One person dies from it EVERY HOUR.  Think about that: In the time it takes you to finish your workout at the gym, one person has died from melanoma cancer.  On-water rowers and outdoor athletes in general are at great risk for cutaneous melanoma due to their exposure to the sun.

Prevention is critical.  And much easier than treating this deadly disease, as we at UCanRow2 know all too well.  That makes Meters for Melanoma a labor of love for us.  A very personal one as you’ll see below if you watch the video from our own Terry Smythe, who was diagnosed with rare mucosal melanoma late in 2013.  [Did you know that melanoma actually has three forms – cutaneous, mucosal and ocular?]

Meters for Melanoma 2017 from UCanRow2 on Vimeo.

Sign up now

The Basics

WHEN: May 5th-7th, 2017

WHERE: Anywhere you can find a rowing machine or SkiErg!

WHY: To raise funds for melanoma research and awareness. Our goal is to raise at least $20,000 for these activities, which will then be matched by an anonymous donor.

HOW: Grab your team, or sign up as an individual at this link.

NOTE: While it is Terry’s hope that everyone will be active in some way during this weekend, you DO NOT need to row to participate.  Virtual rowers are welcome, too!

Register now

Questions? Post them in the comments.  Come row with us and help us fight melanoma!

Indoor Rowing Workout 11-9-2016

Indoor rowing interval workout

The indoor rowing workout with a little bit of everything:

it’s wicked

Row/Ski 4 mins
10 goblet squats
15 medball sit-ups
Row/Ski 3 mins
10 DB press
10 DB row
Row/Ski 2 mins
10 pull-ups
10 walking lunges
Row/Ski 1 min – ALL OUT
Done!

Row for a Cause at Meters for Melanoma

Last updated March 31, 2017

Help us beat melanoma, one of the deadliest cancers! Join us every May 5 for Meters for Melanoma, supporting the Midwest Melanoma Partnership. Join us!

 

Melanoma is one of the deadliest cancers there is.  Someone dies every hour from the disease. Sun-baked on-water rowers are especially at risk for the cutaneous form of melanoma.  METERS FOR MELANOMA was created to support the Midwest Melanoma Partnership‘s work to support research to find a cure.

Often melanoma gets mistaken as being solely “skin cancer” that can largely be prevented by minimizing your exposure to the sun’s UV rays.  While melanoma certainly CAN and often does occur on the skin, it turns out that there are two other forms of the disease, mucosal and ocular.  You don’t have to have any sun exposure at all to come face to face with one of the disease’s most aggressive forms: mucosal melanoma.

We’ve learned that in spades at UCanRow2 as our own Terry Smythe has been very publicly riding the cancer rollercoaster since late 2013.  Never, EVER one to take things easily or lying down, Terry is taking cancer on with guns blazing, and using her fight as a platform to educate others about the disease.

Rowing to Find a Cure for Melanoma

Enter METERS FOR MELANOMA, our annual fundraiser to support melanoma research and the tremendous efforts of the Midwest Melanoma Partnership.  Join us each year on May 5 — Terry’s birthday — and row or SkiErg 500 or 5000 meters, you pick.  If you don’t have access to an erg or would prefer to do another fitness activity, feel free!  Do you need a place to row or ski?  Check the links below to find a rower or SkiErg near you.

FIND AN INDOOR ROWER

FIND A SKIERG

SIGN UP for meters for melanoma

Please join us for some fun on May 5 and make a difference for Terry and everyone else fighting melanoma.  You’ll get a cool t-shirt, and our eternal thanks for helping with a really important cause.  Email us your 500 or 5000 meter time and you might win a cool prize!  Register now and we’ll get you set up.

Register now for Meters for Melanoma!

METERS FOR MELANOMA MEDIA COVERAGE

We’ve been so fortunate to count on the support of our local news media in this effort.  Click below to see the story that TV6 Upper Michigan’s Source did on our effort in its first year.

Do you have a melanoma or cancer story to tell? Has rowing made a difference in your recovery? Please tell us about it in the comments below, you deserve a shout-out!!

Rowing Playlists: Row 2K’s Winter 2015-2016 Hits

We all need good rowing playlists! Get your erg on with this indoor rowing playlist that Row2k crowdsourced from on-water rowers.

We can always count on our friends at Row2k to come up with good indoor rowing playlists.  When winter ice arrives, on-water rowers move inside whether they like it or not.  So each year, Row2k is only too happy to oblige with crowdsourced music to make the indoor meters go by a little easier.  Bonus for those of us who like to row indoors all the time.  We’ve tested this year’s Winter Erg Playlist 2015-16 in our own rowing workouts, and we like it!

The whole playlist runs 50 minutes, just about right to get through your 10-12k piece or teach an indoor rowing class. The list starts with Dillon Francis’s Get Low, which is a great warmup tune  – a good bass beat with nice intensity.  Other favorites from the list include Fall Out Boy’s Centuries, Demi Lovato’s Confident and Imagine Dragons’s I Bet My Life.

WHAT’S ON THE LIST, WHAT’S NOT

We all need good rowing playlists! Get your row on with this best-of-2015 indoor rowing playlist. Row on! ucanrow2.com

 

One notable absence: Where is Walk the Moon’s Shut Up and Dance, 2015’s song of the year? Or Tiesto’s Let’s Go (Technically 2014 but still very popular last year), one of our favorites for starting off a HIIT interval workout?  PS: Yes, Row2k’s list leans pop (although certainly not exclusively) so if that’s not your thing we understand.  All good, no judgement.

Actually not everything on this playlist is our cup of tea, either.  We’d skip right past Gas Pedal, for example, and we’re getting tired of Fight Song, sadly.  We’re optimistic we’ll love that one again if we give it a little rest and we stop hearing it in TV commercials for cars.  In general though, we think this is a good addition to the rowing playlists category, and certainly easy to call up and play on Spotify when you want grab-and-go rowing playlists.

The post on Row2k includes great comments on why people submitted their fave songs, and you can play the whole list straight off Spotify here.  One note: Any time you’re working with rowing playlists you didn’t make you should preview them first.  The lyrics that are appropriate for one group may be beyond uncool for another.  You don’t want to find out you’ve made that mistake when you’re strapped in on your erg trying to guide your group through a minute on-minute off workout.

Here’s the song list:

Andy Grammer – Honey I’m Good

Demi Lovato – Confident

Dillon Francis – Get Low

Dorothy – Wicked Ones

Elle King – Ex’s and Ohs

Fall Out Boy – Centuries

Flo Rida – GDFR

Galantis – Peanut Butter Jelly

Imagine Dragons – I Bet My Life

Pegboard Nerds – Emergency

Rachel Platten – Fight Song

Sage the Gemini – Gas Pedal

Shinedown – Cut the Cord

The Struts – Could Have Been Me

Timmy Trumpet – Freaks

listen to it here

What other songs would you like to have seen here? Post them to the comments, if we get enough submissions we’ll do our own best-of indoor rowing playlist and share!

10 Indoor Rowing Workouts to Kill 10K

Last updated Nov. 17, 2017

10 indoor rowing workouts that will make short work of a 10,000-meter piece. 3, 2, 1 go! http://ucanrow2.com

 

When your indoor rowing workouts call for a larger number of meters, or you’re trying to hit a big number in the Concept2 online challenges, how do you keep it interesting?  By breaking the workout up into smaller chunks and changing it up.  Longer indoor rowing workouts don’t have to be boring.  You just need to have a plan that brings variety into the mix.

Below we’ve given you 10 ways to kill 10k in your indoor rowing workouts, plus one bonus workout.  You’ve got options that will take you from an easy row all the way through, to a calorie-torching blast.  It’s up to you, pick the plan that works for you based on how you feel that day.  Do one round or put several of them together for a monster meter rowing workout.

As always, if you’re new to indoor rowing get your doctor’s OK before taking on a rowing workout like these.  Listen to your body and decide if it’s a good day for higher volume.  If you’d rather do something shorter, check our indoor rowing workouts pages for more choices.

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10 Ways to Kill 10k (+1)

  1. Set the monitor and go: Find your happy place — that point where you’re sweating but you know you could keep up this pace for a long time, and row. Put on some good tunes and lean in to the Zen of the flywheel. Use this workout to find your steady-state target pace. You should be able to talk but prefer not to, and feel that you could stay at that pace for a long time. To easily set up the workout, from the main menu hit New Workout>Standard List>10000 meters.
  2. SteadyState With Power Bursts: Row 10,000 meters at the pace you found in the workout above. Drop in 10 or 20 hard strokes every 500 or 1000 meters. Aim to drop 10 seconds or more off your split every time you do the power strokes, but always return to your base, steady-state pace.
  3. Rolling 1000s: Warm up through the first 2-3000m, then row 100 meters hard, 100 meters easy for 1000m. Paddle for 1-2 minutes and repeat for 3-5k. This is also a great way to get used to harder effort on the rowing machine.
  4. Power Intervals: Like the rolling 1000s but longer intervals. For example 250 hard meters every 750 or 1000 meters.
  5. Negative Splits: Start out at a fairly easy pace and aim to drop your split per 500 meters every time over the course of the piece. Using the split window on your monitor, aim to drop it progressively over the course of the rowing workout. For example take 5 seconds off your warmup split every 2000 meters. Use the last 500-1000m as your cooldown.Rowing a long piece doesn't have to be boring! Here are 10 ways that you can make the most of a 10,000-meter row, and keep it interesting. Let us know how you like them! www.ucanrow2.com
  6. Stroke Play: Vary your strokes per minute (SPM): 2 minutes at 22-24-26-28 SPM, with the same amount of paddle rest, 2 minutes. Do this until you have completed the 10k. Bonus points if you can do rounds 18 and 20 spm (Hint: sloooow your recovery).
  7. Rolling Intervals: Row repeating cycles of 3 minutes at 22 strokes per minute, 2 mins at 25, 1 min at 28. Paddle in between if you need a break, or challenge yourself and keep on row-ling.
  8. Watch the Watch: Row rounds of 1:00 on with effort/1:00 off, 2:00 on/2:00 off and so on up to 5:00 on/5:00 off, then work your way back down. Increase your intensity as you come down the pyramid. Continue until you have completed the 10k.
  9. Vary the Intensity: Use this one to practice adding more intensity to your workouts. Row intervals of 4:00 on, 2:00 off, keeping your stroke rating the same (we suggest 24-26 spm) but varying your intensity through the 4-minute intervals, from sustainable to highly intense.
  10. Salad Bowl: Mix it up and choose up to 5 of the options above. Do something different every 2000 meters.
    Example:  First 1k: Warm up
    1k-2k: Steady-state, half pressure
    3k-5k: Rolling 100s
    5k-6k: Steady state
    6k-7k: Hard 1000m
    7k-8k: Recover
    8k-9k: :30 on / :30 off. 26 spm on the work, 22 spm on the rest
    9-10k: Cool down
  11. BONUS Row-Ski for those with access to a SkiErg.  Use the undefined rest feature on your monitor to keep both machines going without having to reset.  If you’re a complete badass (and in our book you are if you do this), switch the row and ski numbers so you ski more than you row.

Row                          Ski

1000m                     1000m

1200m                      800m

1400m                      600m

1600m                      400m

1800m                      200m

 

Which one did you try?  Let us know what you thought in the comments, or if you have a question about endurance rowing in general let us know!

Rowing Machine Workouts: Chad 2

Master Instructor Chad Fleschner leads a sample learn-to-row rowing workout at a UCanRow2 rowing certification

 

It’s time to give you guys a new workout!  We thought it would be fun this time to dive into how the workout is put together so you get some insight into how we approach rowing workout programming.  A good row workout balances the effort on the machine with any off-erg moves, taking into consideration the fact that the machine works the whole body.

We’ve said before that we love birthday rowing machine workouts.  There’s just something about a special occasion that makes people willing to step it up.  It’s a chance to try something a little different, have fun with a theme, and showcase your athletes and clients.  When we found out it was Master Instructor Chad Fleschner’s turn to blow out the candles, we couldn’t resist putting together a special sweatfest just for him.  Read on, and then we’ll explain how we put it together.

CHAD #2 (HAPPY BIRTHDAY MR. AWESOME)

Warm up well, then do 4 rounds of the following:

Row or ski 43 calories (Hit “Change Units” on your monitor until calories come up as your unit)

10 push press
10 front squats
13 hollow rocks
10 wall balls

Done!

The method behind the madness

Here’s how this one came together:

Chad was turning 43, so of course that became the centerpiece of the workout. Sometimes we get that done after the main part of the workout with finishers, like 43 sit-ups, air squats or push-ups. This time though, we wanted to include it in the main event.  So four rounds of work for four decades of life, with exercises that total 43 reps, distributed among 4 things (picking up on the four decades again).  The extra three reps went into the easiest movement: Hollow rocks for the win!

The exercises were ordered this way: An upper body move (push presses), a lower body move (front squats), a move that works in a break for those muscles you just worked (hollow rocks), a move that ties it all together (wall balls).  The idea was to provide enough load that the various muscle groups would get a good workout, without taxing them so much that the athletes wouldn’t be able to perform the moves properly (Safety first, always!).

So a balanced, total-body effort that’s designed to leave people able to function.  We’re big proponents of “good sore,” where the next day you know you’ve done something, but you can still get out of bed and wash your own hair.  As an instructor it’s better that your students ask you to work them harder, than it is for them to say you worked them too hard or that they got hurt doing your workout.

We digress.  Back to the workout…

Get a behind the scenes look at how we put together the Chad 2 workout

Pin this workout

calorie workouts and why we avoid them

We hope Chad’s feeling really special right about now because we almost NEVER do a rowing workout using calories.  We know, some of you are appalled: “Workouts for calories are AWESOME! What better way to track your calorie burn than to do it on the monitor?”

Hate to burst your bubble, but even on a rowing machine it’s still not really accurate.  Yes, the rowing machine is an ergometer, and therefore it responds to how hard you’re push/pulling, but it still doesn’t really know how much effort you’re putting into that 2:00 split.  On one day 2:00 might be your warmup, on another it could be your hard effort.  The monitor doesn’t know the difference, and therefore doesn’t adjust your calorie burn accordingly.

There’s another reason we don’t especially like the calories option for rowing workouts: You can’t program a workout using them as your target (the monitor only allows you to program workouts for time or distance).  So, on this one we didn’t get to do it our favorite way, by setting the monitor up for four rounds with undefined rest and letting it rip.  It worked ok though to restart the monitor with every round and row up to the desired number of calories.

make this workout your own

Obviously there’s no exercise magic behind the number 43 so if you wanted to make this workout more generic just drop it to 40 calories and 10 reps of each move.

You could also boost the calories if you like, for example to 50 or 60.  If you do that, just check in with the off-erg work and see if it needs to be adjusted down to compensate for the increased rowing or skiing effort.  In addition, if you decide to try increasing the number of exercises you should look at making them simpler to allow for the added work volume.  Add another bodyweight exercise like a push-up, for example, and drop out the compound move of the wall ball.

BOTTOM LINE: Never give your students a workout you haven’t first tested yourself.  What looks good on paper may be an ugly mess in class.  Try it, then make any adjustments to fit your athletes’ needs.

So there you have it, a new workout, a workout template, and a bonus of the thinking behind it.  Boom!  Try it and see what you think, then let us know.

Oh yeah, if this workout is Chad #2 there must be a Chad #1, right?  Yes, in fact there is, and we use it often in our instructor trainings to teach about damper setting.  You can try it yourself if you like find it on our UCR2 basic rowing workouts page.

Got questions?  Ask and we’ll answer them in the comments.

 

Rowing Workouts for the Dog Days Challenge

Dog Days of Summer 2015 rowing challenge

The Concept2 Dog Days of Summer Challenge has begun!  This one starts out easily, with a goal of only 10,000 meters total skied or rowed in the whole week.  Easy peasy compared to the 40,000-meter target you have to hit in the last week of the month.  As with all of Concept2’s online challenges, it’s a good idea to have a strategy for how you’re going to approach the month.

Intrepid rowers/skiers and long-distance/rowing endurance fans may like to hit the goal all at once.  And really, why not try a marathon or half-marathon during the month if you’ve got a good base?  This is also a challenge that lets you count your on-water or on-snow meters, so if that’s an option for you definitely take advantage … and send us pics!

But if you’re a rowing instructor with classes to teach or you like more variety in your SkiErg and indoor rowing workouts, try splitting up the distance over several workouts.  Here are a couple of sample workouts we’ve done at the UCanRow2 Bodyshop during the first week of the challenge.  Obviously you can increase the distances or add more workouts to meet the goals of subsequent weeks.

Let us know what you do, and we’ll share more of ours, too!

 

Workout #1

Row, SkiErg or mix 3 rounds of 1112 meters (use the undefined rest feature on the monitor)

In between do:

15, 12, 10 reps of:

Dumbbell rows
KB cleans
Mountain climbers

 

Workout #2

Row/Ski/Mix 4 rounds of 834 meters (with undefined rest)

In between choose 3-4 of the following exercises, and perform them in descending reps:

12, 10, 8, 6 reps of:

Push press
Tire flips/wallballs
Squats/lunges
TRX sweeps
Sit-ups
200m run

What’s your challenge strategy or fave workout? Tell us in the comments, we’d love to share it with the world!

Celebrate the Big Day With a Big Workout

 

Cosmos workout

We love birthdays and other big life events around here!  They’re a great way to celebrate those special moments and build your fitness community, which is an important part of any successful fitness business.  People never get tired of them, and in fact they look forward to that shared sinking feeling you get when you know there’s a challenging workout coming up.  Plus, they’re a great way to add variety to your workout routine.

Yes, lots of gyms like to do birthday burpees and the like, but we’d like to encourage you to take that a step farther and really get creative.  We’ll give you some examples, but we’d also love to hear how you mark those big days.

Life Events

Weddings, anniversaries, birth of babies – or grandbabies.  They all provide opportunities to do something out of the norm.  For example, when one of our members had her first grandbaby (Born 3/12/15, weighing 9.5 lbs., 22 inches long), we celebrated with this workout:

Welcome Cosmos Workout

Warm up then do 3-5 rounds of:

1215m row or ski
9 snatch jacks or jumping jacks
22-sec. plank
9 “Charlie’s Angel’s” squats with a twist (From sumo squat position, extend arms in front of body and interlace fingers as if pointing gun. Rotate ribs slowly R and L, hips facing forward)
22 split lunges or med-ball cleans or ball slams
9 hollow rocks or sit-ups

Birthday Workouts

Landmark or other birthdays are another fun one to do this way.

In our UCanRow2 Bodyshop small-group personal training studio we’ll set up a workout where our athletes row or ski meters equaling the person’s birth year, for example, then add reps revolving around their age.  Or make it harder and make the birth year a meter interval.  Usually we try to include the birthday girl or boy’s favorite moves or machines.  And yes, we always make our birthday workouts challenging.  There’s nothing like a good shared sweat to commemorate another year of life!

Here are a couple of examples we’ve done:

Happy 51st Birthday Sarah 

5 Rounds

Ski 510 m

10 DB snatch (LR=1 or 5 each side)

25 sit ups

510m run or row

10 KB swings

10 Lunges

Finisher: 51 jumping jacks or double unders or burpees.

Lou's 79th birthday workout

Happy 79th Birthday lou

Row 2000m
7 push-ups, 9 box steps (or box jumps)

Row 2000m
7 DB snatches, 9 bicep curls

Row 2000m
7 jumping jacks, 9 single-leg lateral jumps

Ski 790m
7 bench sits, 9 sit-ups

Row 790m
7 push-ups, 9 sit-ups

Ski or Row 790m

DONE!

 Holiday Workouts

Holidays work for this approach too of course.  Fourth of July, Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, they all work.  Here’s one example:

Firecracker Fourth (7-4-2011)

Warm up for 10 min – stretch
Set erg or SkiErg monitor for 7411m
And GO!
Or…..
Set monitor after warm up for Intervals: Distance, 500m row/ski with unlimited rest

Then do:
7 – burpees
4- pull ups
11- pushups
4-7 rounds for time

Done, let the grilling begin!

Got a favorite celebratory workout you like to do? Share it with the world in the comments!