5 Row Machine Workouts Rowers Love to Hate

 

5 row machine workouts that rowers love to hate - use these to build your rowing machine endurance

 

 

When was the last time you did a longer row machine workout? Like one that took you 30 minutes or more.

 

Does the very thought make you want to tear your hair out? We get it! These days everyone wants to stick to the workouts we can get through in 25 minutes or less.

 

We LOVE that approach too, and they’re the bread and butter of our UCanRow2 workouts.

 

But there are very good reasons why you should mix in a longer workout or two a week:

 

3 reasons why you should do endurance workouts

 

They help build your cardio base, which will not only give you more stamina on the rowing machine, it will help you do things like take long walks in the woods, ride your bike for multiple miles or chase after children or grandchildren for hours.

 

They give you a different kind of challenge. Research has found that in general, the more you switch things up, the better your results (unless you’re following a specific training plan, of course.

 

They help you get better at rowing. Better rowing = better results.

 

There’s tremendous value in simply putting in the time to master your rowing technique.

 

Can you learn to row well 500 meters at a time? Eventually, maybe. But you’ll get way more bang from your buck with at least some dedicated time.

 

With that in mind, we asked Cassi Niemann and Cheryl Arends, two of our master instructors who also do quite a bit of on-water racing, for some of their favorite dryland rowing workouts.

 

Or maybe better put, erg workouts they love to hate.

 

These workouts are all-rowing, sometimes longer than usual, and often more specific about the prescribed stroke rating (the number of strokes you take in a minute).

 

Try these workouts as a nice way to switch it up, build some cardio base or practice your sprints. And channel your inner on-water racer.

 

5 row machine workouts that rowers love to hate

To warm up:

 

Here’s a 10-minute warmup number that Cassi’s boat club likes to do:

4 minutes at 22 strokes per minute
3 mins at 24 spm
2 mins at 26 spm
1 min at 28 spm

NOTE: We’re old, so we would try to do a few more minutes at 22 spm if we have time.

 

To work on speed:

 

WORKOUT 1

Three rounds of 6 minutes with a 3-minute paddle rest in between:

2 mins at 20 strokes per minute
1 min at 26 spm
2 mins at 22 spm
1 min at 28-30 spm

 

NOTE: In rowing you don’t stop until the workout (or the race!) is over. Instead, you “paddle,” by rowing easy with no pressure.

 

 

WORKOUT 2

6 rounds of 1000 meters at mid-race pace (you could give a one- or two-word answer to a question but not more).

 

Do the first three rounds using a racing start. On the last three rounds ramp up as you start the piece, then sprint to the finish.

 

 

WORKOUT 3

Row the following pyramid:

250m – 500m – 750m – 1000m – 750m – 500m – 250m, with 3 mins paddle rest between each piece.

 

To work on endurance:

 

WORKOUT 1

2 25-minute rounds at 18-20 spm

 

NOTE: Our 10 ways to kill 10K post might help you get through this one.

 

 

WORKOUT 2

12-minute rounds at 16-19 strokes per minute, working on driving powerfully and a S-L-O-W recovery.

 

Cheryl’s crew does 6 rounds of this (OMG!).  Listen to your body and cut that back as needed. We recommend starting with no more than TWO rounds and taking it from there.

 

If you’re doing this correctly, by driving HARD (but smoothly) off the catch and then really taking your time on the recovery, you’ll be breathing hard despite the slow stroke rate and you’ll probably feel it in your glutes.

 

 

 

5 rowing workouts that rowers love to hate

 

Whew! We’re sweating just thinking about these row machine workouts.  If you try one we’d love to hear how it goes; drop a comment below.

 

And we’re always looking to help you with your fitness, nutrition and mindset challenges, so let us know what’s on your mind and we’ll cover it in a future post.

 

 

 

For further reading:

 

Want to try some other meters-only row machine workouts? Check out our endurance rowing workouts.

Need help to get started with rowing? Our RowReady beginner rowing program is perfect.

Want a done-for-you training program of row machine workouts? Have a look out our #MeterMonster program.

Test your newfound endurance skills with our 10 ways to kill a 10K row.

Want to get a new workout in your inbox every week? Sign up for our newsletter.

10 Indoor Rowing Workouts to Kill 10K

Last updated June 21, 2018

 

 

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!

 

You might also like:

 

Body Shop Rowing Workout 3-18-15

This is a great rowing workout to break up a big meter target, like the kind you might have during a rowing challenge. Keep in mind that heavy cardio, even on a rowing machine, will eat into your strength over time unless you balance it with off-erg work. 

Do this series again if you need more meters, and scale down the off-erg reps as needed.  Sub the rowing machine for the SkiErg on the last interval if you don’t have access to a SkiErg. 

  

Candlelit Rowing, Hurricane Sandy Style

waves in motion Guest post by Shoshana Pritzker, RD, CDN of ShoDelicious, Superstorm Sandy survivor and a new Concept2 indoor rower

You know what really stinks about storms like Superstorm/Hurricane Sandy? Being stuck in your house without power, light, or cable entertainment. Back in my Florida days we’d have hurricane parties to pass the time. Friends would bring over any and all alcohol they could find and we’d just get drunk. Things are much different now that I’m a grown-up and past my college drinking days. I no longer look forward to missing class due to a storm. Instead I worry about how I’m going to get in a workout in the dark.

Home workout equipment comes in handy when the lights go out. However, if you’ve got a treadmill you’re pretty much out of luck as most have to be plugged in to the wall. Not so for rowing machines, though, they don’t have to be plugged in to anything. Score – I’ve got a rower!

This year I got the chance to take advantage of being stuck at home to get on my Concept2 Rower. And think of the positive, if we had been flooded out, my strength and skills I’ve gained from my rower would have allowed me to row to safety (if I had a canoe or kayak) in the event of an emergency.

So with winds howling, trees blowing and rain coming down – I got on my rower for a quick but intense, weight-loss-in-mind cardio workout. Here’s how my candlelit workout went:

5 minutes of rowing
Hop off rower and stretch for a few minutes, grab a drink of water
5 minutes of Power 10s (every minute pull as hard as you can for 10 pulls, then row easy for the rest of the minute)
Hop off rower and stretch for a few minutes, grab a drink of water
5 minutes of rowing

Note: Keep in mind that I’m a new rower. I’ve owned my C2 for about a week and have been using the rower at my gym for about a year and a half. My goal is weight loss and improved cardio endurance. The workout I did here is a tough one (for me) and can be easily added to for a longer workout.

Another option that’s great for those without power (whether by design or circumstance) is the Deck of Cards workout.  It’s great for getting a great workout that’s always varied. I’ve added rowing workout options to mine.

Row on!

Want more no-electricity-needed rowing workouts?  We’ve got lots on our workouts page. Ever rowed by candlelight, either with or without electricity? Tell us your story in the comments!

 

MyFitnessPal Calorie/Exercise Tracker Gets a Huge Upgrade

The MyFitnessPal app for tracking calories and exercise, already our favorite, has just gotten even better.  MyFitnessPal wrote on their blog today that the tracker, which with 30 million registered users and 2 million food listings is one of the most popular and complete diet trackers there is, will now synch with some of the most popular fitness devices.  That includes scales (like Withings), activity trackers (BodyMedia FIT and Fitbit), run tracking apps (think Endomondo, runtastic), and cardio devices (like FINIS’s Swimsense).

Woohoo!  Finally two important tools for weight loss and maintenance working together.  As my mother might have said, “Was that so hard?”  Ok yes, probably it was.  We love MyFitnessPal for several reasons: First it has entries in the cardio section for both on-water and indoor rowing at different intensities and seems to do it reasonably well.  That’s rare indeed.  Second, it has a huge database of foods so very often whatever you’re looking to log is already in the system, and third you can track what you’re doing either from your computer or your mobile device, and everything syncs automatically.  Voila!

Now add on top of that the ability to have this topnotch food tracker talk to your activity device and it’s a fitness nerd’s dream come true – at least for those of us (like Sarah) who need to keep close tabs on energy consumed and burned in order to keep everything in line.

If you want to see the full list of apps that MyFitnessPal is synching with, visit their app gallery.  They’re also looking for suggestions of new apps to add, so don’t be shy if you have a suggestion!

Do you use MyFitnessPal or one of the other tools already?  Has it motivated you with your rowing or weight loss, or that of our clients and members? What would you like to see done differently? Tell us in the comments!

Sweat This (Rowing), Not That (Other Cardio Stuff)

Great to see Men’s Health magazine and the terrific Eat This, Not That series recognizing the calorie torching benefits of rowing in a Sweat This, Not That post.  “Rowing burns the most calories and works the most muscles, including muscles in your back, and also improves posture,” the magazine notes, and it even references a Brazilian study that indicates you can burn more than 25 percent more calories if you’re rowing on the water.

Either way, rowing and weight loss are a natural combination, and it’s a non-impact, total-body activity that you can do throughout your life.  Want some good rowing workouts to get you started?  We have them for you here, and if you’d like to read how it worked for one person check out Sarah’s Story.

Want to learn how to row better and get more out of your rowing workouts? Find a certified instructor near you or attend one of our Indoor Rowing Foundations trainings.

10 Fitness Apps to Rev Up Your Workout and Boost Performance

I can't I have to rowIf it’s true that rowing is the ultimate cross-training sport (and of course we heartily agree with that idea), then there must be other fitness activities that are worth doing, or that are great cross training for rowing – like cycling.   And anything worth doing is worth tracking, especially if you’re looking to improve your performance.

Mashable is out today with a list of 10 Fitness Apps that Boost Your Strength, Speed and Stamina.  The running Zombies are there, a cool Hundred Push-Ups fitness app (that we will definitely be trying) is there, and so is a new cycling and running tracking tool that was promoted during the Tour de France, Strava.

In the comments Mashable took some hits for forgetting Endomondo, one of the most popular online communities / workout trackers. BONUS: Endomondo tracks your on-water rowing workouts!

Tracking indoor rower workouts on the Concept2 rowing machine and SkiErg is easy thanks to the C2 monitor, but even we don’t sit on the erg EVERY day (unless of course a rowing challenge is in progress).  You gotta get outside when you can; it’s great to have tools that help us keep the same kind of tabs on our outdoor workouts as we can on our indoor ones.

Give these apps a try one during your weekend workouts and let us know what you think.  Anybody using any of these already?  Do any, besides Endomondo do a decent job of tracking indoor or on-water rowing workouts? What’s the best fitness app in your mind?  Tell us in the comments.

Bob Harper’s Six Weight Loss Rules

Say what you will about The Biggest Loser (and we’ve definitely got our opinions about the show and the extreme levels of exercise it prescribes, along with the quality of the rowing training), trainer Bob Harper has had great success helping people on and off the show lose weight over the years.

He’s out today with a new book — and judging by how much he’s out there promoting it already he must be needing all his CrossFit strength just to get through it!  He was on NBC’s Today show this morning giving a quick overview of his rules.  Watch the video link and you’ll get the gist.

Anyway he’s got some good, commonsense ideas about what he calls the “non-negotiable” rules for losing weight, including drinking lots of water, eating lots of protein, and going to bed hungry (not eating within three hours of bedtime).  It’ll be interesting to see if what he’s done is also compatible with the Paleo diet, which is a such a big part of so many CrossFitters’ life.

Anybody planning on reading the book? How do you see this fitting into the lifestyle of rowers who want to lose weight? Is it realistic with early mornings, heavy-duty workouts and intense erg sessions?  Tell us in the comments.