Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Introduction to Rowing starts today

Today we are starting our introduction to rowing program, taught by our own athlete, Kevin Hodgson! Sorry for the late post, but we were distracted trying to wind down the Strength Program at the same time and didn't realize that September was upon us so fast. Below, is Kevin's plan for this first week of rowing.

A couple of notes:

1. The rowing program is free for all of September. We want you to come in an learn how to row and experience how great of an instructor Kevin is. Bring your friends!

2. There will be one shorter (anaerobic) workout each week. Do this instead of any S&C class of your choice. Ideally, you'll do this Tuesday so that you have more time to recover for the longer workout - and Tuesday is when Kevin is going to be at the Gym.

3. The second, longer workout likely won't fit inside of the S&C class time. You're free to come during any of the individualized programming hours, or simply stay late after class. Ideally, you'll perform this workout on Saturday, where we will block out enough time, and again, have Kevin there for direct instruction.

Here's Kevin's plan for this week:

Sept 1st

Introduction to rowing technique 

We will break down the basics of the rowing stroke on the erg and talk briefly about what the plan is over the next 16-17 weeks. Basically we will have two workouts a week for the first 12 weeks. One shorter workout designed to be performed as part of the normal strength and conditioning class which given time constraints would be more anaerobic threshold focused and a longer workout on Saturdays designed to improve aerobic conditioning. The last 4 weeks going into the competitive season in January we will add a third optional workout for those people interesting in competing in the Mile High Sprints and the Denver Indoor Rowing Championships.

For the first four weeks the focus will be to lay the groundwork for good rowing (erging) technique. With a focus to improve the athlete's understanding of the various components of the stroke and create solid technique that will permit efficient (and ideally intense) rowing as well as prevent injury. Long term goals are for both a high level of conditioning and long term health benefits. No one needs to compete with anyone other then themselves, but everyone should want to participate and improve their fitness.


Discuss and demonstrate the components of the stroke: the drive and the recovery. Basics of the drive, the finish, the catch.  Show "arms only", "arms and body only", "1/4 slide", and the "full stroke". Rather than 20-20-20-20 we will do 1 minute of each. Talk about the importance of creating a steady cadence. We can exaggerate the primary 1-2-3 for show, but power and intensity is developed with fluidity. We will discuss the 2:1 ratio.


Workout is to apply the fundamentals of good rowing technique with a focus on skill building and creating muscle pathways, emphasizing proper form over achieving a "good score".

4 x 800m @ 18spm
Increase stroke rate 2spm every 200m (18-20-22-24) 
Rest in between each 3min slow paddling or off the erg until partner is done

Sept 5th

Quick recap of previous skills discussion.  

Today's class is about addressing some common errors and a couple of drills to practice body position
    1. Lunging and Overreaching at the catch. Body position at the catch should be 1 O'clock.
    2. Excessive Layback. Body position at the finish should be 11 O'clock.


Pause at 1 O'clock, pause at 11 O'clock, and strapless rowing. Do about 1 minute of each.


This workout is to apply the fundamentals of good technique as the body (and the mind) starts to get tired. A secondary goal is to start aerobic conditioning. We will focus on proper stroke, stroke ratio, and fluidity when tired.

2 x 4000m @ 20-24spm 
Maintain the same stroke rate for the entire piece
Rest between each 18min or until partner is done