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3 Summer Erg Workouts for Rowers

If you are a rower, it would be a good idea to do some erging during the summer rowing season. Even if it’s just 1 erg session per week it can really benefit and help your rowing.

Erging in Summer will help you

  • Keep in touch with the erg for the following winter
  • Row some fitness boosting workouts without having to rely on a crew.
  • Extract a maximum rowing related workout from yourself – without worrying about rowing crew technique.
  • Get some extra rowing sessions in (good if you are looking to get an edge over your rivals and are involved in a seat-racing or selection scenario)

All of the following workouts are designed to be short and hard. In summer the priority should be with your on – water rowing sessions. But if you feel you need to erg for any of the reasons above, it would be better if you could just get a quick, effective session in without adversely affecting your crew rowing.

But the thing is – you need to be able to judge this for yourself. And it depends on lots of factors.

Here are some things that you should consider:

  • Your current training load (and how tired you are)
  • Your overall fitness base (and ability to recover from extra sessions)
  • Your time – and the priority you give to rowing or erging
  • Your rowing technique – some people believe that erg can affect your rowing boat technique in a negative way. This is an important consideration if you are a novice or are less experienced rower. Beginner rowers’  rowing technique can be more impressionable and open to influence.

The last point is very important. Say you have spent the past 5 weeks learning how to load your legs in co-ordination with your back and arms. Then you get on the erg and hammer out 5 x 500 meters (causing you to pull and jerk your shoulders at the catch) – you could set yourself back a long way in terms of technical development.

In summer, rowing coaches pay close attention to rowing technique.

But it’s not really a big problem for more experienced rowers – they can usually hold their technique regardless.

Here are the workouts.

Summer Rowing Session #1

  • 8 x 500 meters / 1 minute rest
  • Do 8 times 500 meters with a 1 minute rest.
  • Aim for a consistent average erg score.
  • You can vary the intensity using average power or rating.
  • Or, if you are feeling really good, extend the session to 10 x 500 meters.

 

Summer Rowing Session  #2

  • (16 strokes hard / 5 strokes light) x 15
  • Row hard for 16 strokes (this is 30 seconds if you are rating 32 strokes per minute)
  • Row light for 5 strokes (15 seconds of you rate 20 strokes per minute)
  • Repeat 15 times

Again you can vary the intensity using rate and power. A higher rate will obviously make the work phase shorter.

If you are feeling Olympic, you could take a 5 minute rest after the 15 repetitions and repeat the whole set again.

Summer Rowing Session  # 3

  • 3 x 1000 meters (rest time: same as your work time)
  • This session is great and one of the best (in my opinion) for summer rowing training.
  • The session is based on the erg workouts that boost your Vo2 Max article and you should read it for more details.

Important. For all the workouts, you should warm up well (as you would for any hard rowing workout). Also bear in mind the timing of the session. If you are using the erg to get ahead and do some extra sessions by yourself make sure you do them when they will least affect your actual crew rowing sessions.

The best time to do them is when there is no rowing seat racing imminent. And you know you will have plenty of time to recover for the next important crew rowing session. I stress important here, because you need to decide which crew rowing sessions are important.


Related Articles

1. Crash Your 2k Erg Score Test Strategy
2. How To Mentally Prepare For A 2k Erg Test
3. Boost Your Middle 1000 Meters with This Rowing Workout
4. 7 Steps To Seriously Effective Erg Technique
5. 2k Erg Test 7 Day Taper Plan

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Lightweight Rowers – After Weigh-In Strategies To Help You Prepare For A 2k Race

After you have weighed in for your 2k erg competition or 2k rowing race you need to do a few crucial things. Otherwise you could bomb when it comes to your actual race. If you have followed a good pre race lightweight rower sweat down strategy, this is a good play for immediately after weigh in.

1. Immediately Begin the Slow Process of Rehydration

When you go into the weigh in room you need to bring a drinks bottle with you. Have it beside you so that the instant you step off the scales and get the all clear that you can row or erg in the lightweight class – start to drink.

2. Drink a Sports Drink slowly and a little at a time

The worst mistake you can make is to drink too much too soon. Even if you have a good quality sports drink with lots of stuff in it to help you retain the fluids, it will still run through you if you. Remember your stomach can only process a certain amount of fluid per hour. Sip a little – slowly and frequently.

3. Aim to drink it all right up to 5 – 10 minutes before start time.

Spread out your drink from the time you weigh in till the time of your race. There’s no point in drinking everything in the first hour post weigh – in. Use as much of the 2 hour window to rehydrate as you can. This will help you to drink and slowly and get maximum rehydration.

4. How MUCH you drink depends on lots of factors like:

  • Dehydration (how dehydrated you are)
  • Temperature. You will need more in warmer conditions.
  • The speed you drink at
  • How much you eat. Eating will slow down absorption.
  • The drink you use. Sports drinks are best because they are designed to help you retain the fluids you intake. Water tends to just run through without contributing much by way of hydration.
  • The temperature of your drink. Cold drinks get absorbed but run through quicker. This is not necessairly a good thing. Aim for a drink that is not ice cold.

5. You should eat something if you haven’t eaten in a while

Say you haven’t eaten since the evening before the weigh- in. And you don’t really feel hungry because you’ve been psyched all morning making sure you make the weight. You should still aim to eat something after weigh in.

Actually, if you are in good time and are on weight (or slightly below) 10 minutes or so before the weigh in you could have something light (like a rice cake or something).

6. What should I eat – and how much?

You can eat anything from breakfast cereal, to bread rolls and nutella, to rice cakes, to bananas, to a honey sandwich to a powerbar. The stuff lightweight rowers eat after weigh-ins is as varied as there are lightweight rowing techniques. (Literally hundreds of different options and opinions) . It really is up to you what you eat (if you eat at all).

  • Maybe you’re not comfortable with eating so close to race time – that’s fine.
  • Or you have eaten already because making weight for the 2k race is not a problem for you.

For a newbe – I would suggest you try something out in training before your 2k erg or 2k rowing race. Aim to weigh in just like a lightweight rowing race (except at a different target weight) Pick a hard training day and arrive for training early. Do the ‘weigh – in’ and eat afterwards. Test different foods to find out what you like. And more importantly – to find something that agrees with your digestive system.

The last thing you need is to have some rice cake repeating on you, mid-race.

7. Finally

The aim is to hold on to almost everything you have ingested pre race. If you need to go pee too often before the race, chances are that you have drank too much or too fast. It you have ever tried to do a 2k erg or rowing race in a dehydrated you will know that it is a brutal experience. And it can also be dangerous.

3 Race Winning Rowing Workouts

Have you ever wondered about the rowingworkouts you are doing day in day out? Ever wonder if they are designed to help you actually win a race. Late in rowing races is often the time when the outcome is decided and it’s often down to the looser actually breaking, more than the winner actually winning.

But you can learn to win close races by preparing physically (and by implication, mentally) with specific workouts designed to get you familiar with severe pain tolerance – simulating the late stages of a race.

But you should treat the following workouts with caution. Because of the heavy demand physically and mentally they will place on you, they should only be attempted when you are feeling relatively fresh and rested. Use them once a week at most and treat them with the degree of seriousness that race winning knowledge deserves.

Here you go:

#1 Under Over Intervals

12 minutes total
(2 minutes at Threshold Power + 1 Minute Above Threshold Power) x 4

This is really tough training. Perfect for a controlled rowing environment like the erging. Your Threshold Power(TP)  is the power you could hold for 20 – 30 minutes all out.

So for example, if your TP is 1:45 average /500 meters, then you would pull (1:45 for 2 minutes +  1:44 – 1:43 for 1 minute) x 4 (which is 12 minutes total)

I first came across this type of training in the Lance Armstrong Performance Program. And the first time I tried it I was only able to do one 12 minute set. It was extremely difficult but after 3 – 4 weeks I was pulling 2 x 12 minutes with a 5 – 7 minute break between sets.

#2 Five minute boosters

(5 minutes at TP then 5 minutes easy rowing) x 5

Take it a little easier for the first couple (maybe 1:46 in the under over example). The accumulative interval will start to really hit home for the final 2 sets. This is race winning territory. You are burning, you’re tired and the 5 minute rest is not enough to recover. Dig deep and always finish hard to the line.

#3 Vo2 Max Intervals

I have mentioned elsewhere about vo2 max boosting rowing intervals. But here is a different erg workout which again tests you in race winning territory.

(1000 meters all out) x 3

Each set should be done with a proper racing start and a short sprint to the line. This is severe training and is as much mental as it is physical. This workout should only be attempted once per week for a few weeks before an important race or test. When done properly your lactate tolerance will go through the roof – and your ability to win close races  will rocket with it.

P.S. Thanks to Steve for pointing out the error in the Under-Over Workout – The correction is 4 times 3 minutes (12 minute workout).

Related Article:

1. Crash Your 2k Erg Score Test Strategy

Tell people what you've learned ...

Learn More Insights in the 2K Erg Book...

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