3 Interval Training Workouts for the Rowing Machine

Interval training is a great way to get the most out of your rowing machine workouts. Rowing is a total body workout that burns calories, improves your cardiovascular system and builds muscle throughout your body. To maximize the efficiency and health benefits of your rowing exercise, interval training is a great option.

When you’re doing interval training, you’re basically alternating between high intensity and low intensity periods during your workout. Research has shown that this type of training and especially high intensity interval training, yields better results in less time than steady cardio when it comes to over all fitness and weight loss. Another benefit of interval training is that it’s a lot less boring than steady state cardio. Since interval training carries options, let us take a look at 3 workouts for rowing:

1. Fartlek

Fartlek training is one of the oldest forms of interval training, and it’s a fun one. Fartlek is Swedish for “speed play,” and that’s exactly what you will be doing during the exercise. You start by doing a warm up on your rower for about 5 minutes at a moderate intensity. When your muscles are warmed up and you have your heart pumping, you alternate stretches of fast, high intensity rowing with stretches of lower intensity rowing to recover. You can adjust the length, intensity and number of these stretches to your own taste. You want to end the workout by a cooling down period of a few minutes at low intensity. Since you can adjust your workout intensity and length to your own taste, this type of interval training is good for both the novice as well as advanced rowers.

2. Fixed Interval High Intensity Interval Training

If you’re doing fixed interval HIIT, you row high intensity intervals, at about 85-95% of your maximum intensity alternated with low intensity intervals to recover. You can adjust the length of the intervals to your level of fitness. A beginning rower can start with high intensity intervals of 30 seconds and recovery periods of 1.5 to 2 minutes, and repeat this for about 10 minutes. An advanced athlete could work out at high intensity for 1 minute, while having 1 minute rest intervals and repeat this for 25 minutes. They can also go for Tabata sets, which consist of 8 repetitions of 20 second high intensity intervals and 10 seconds of low intensity intervals per set. Of course, you need to warm up and cool down properly with these workouts.

3. Pyramid Workouts

Pyramid interval training starts with a warm up of 5 minutes, after which you start doing high intensity intervals that first become longer with each repetition till the maximum length is reached (after which the intervals become shorter again until the length of the first interval is reached). Your workout could look something like this:

  • 5 minute warm up
  • 1 min High – 1 min Low
  • 2 min High – 1 min Low
  • 3 min High – 1 min Low
  • 4 min High – 1 min Low
  • 3 min High – 1 min Low
  • 2 min High – 1 min Low
  • 1 min High – 1 min Low
  • 2 minute cool down

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