30-day Roworx Indoor Rowing Workout Plan
This program is great because it measures endurance, strength, fitness, mental toughness, and rowing technique all in one test. It can be used for all levels of athletes and since rowing is a low impact sport the benefits are seen and felt directly through the body and not by impact.
This 30-day program is a unique format of 8 different rowing workouts rolled out in an order to see you make gains in all areas of the sport of rowing. Over 20 years of rowing experience including some of the best coaches in the world were used to design this program. The workouts listed below have been mentioned in a article by The Daily Burn a few years back as they interviewed me at Roworx Fitness to find out the best indoor rowing workouts. It is all laid out in front of you but it takes you the individual to apply the work needed to improve all the aspects of rowing. The 2,000-meter test/race is the Olympic standard distance race. Anyone can row 500 meters or even 1,000 meters relatively quickly but you start to see flaws in fitness, strength, and especially rowing technique fall apart around 1,000 meters or halfway through the standard race. It is important to know how to row technically well just as it is important to learn technique from every other sport in the world. If you learn how to apply the rowing technique correctly along with strength and endurance you will be able to pull through any cross training, boot camp, circuit workout more efficiently and have more energy to do other workouts while leaving your competition in the dust. Learning the Roworx method will also keep you away from injury as most individual’s row incorrectly and put their bodies in jeopardy of further injury.
EQUIPMENT NEEDED: LIST OF EQUIPMENT NEEDED AND SHORT DESCRIPTIONS OF EACH
THE ROWORX TEST: A PHYSICAL TEST TO BE DONE BEFORE AND AFTER THE 30-DAY PROGRAM TO JUDGE RESULTS
The Olympic Standard Distance of 2,000-meters will be used to test on the Concept 2 Rowing Machine
*Make Sure to set the proper drag and get a complete warm up before every workout rowing session
Display Drag Factor: Many participants forget about this valuable tool on the Concept 2 rowing machine. Make sure to set your damper on the side of the machine to the right number. To set this option press ‘More options’ on the Menu button of the Concept 2 Rowing Machine, then go to and press ‘display drag factor’. Then it will say ‘row to display drag factor’. Make sure to then row some good hard strokes to get a number to pop up on the screen. This number is a ‘gear’ essentially like a bike. You want to find your right ‘gear’ to last through the race. If your number is too high, you will go fast but it will get too heavy and you might bonk or overload yourself through the race. If you are too low, you will not go as fast and it will feel to light as if you’re ‘spinning your wheels’ working harder to keep the stroke rate up but not going anywhere. There is a preference on where this drag factor should be, however the general number for age/weight/ gender is as follows in my opinion. Heavyweight Men over 180 lbs (120-135 drag) Lightweight Men from 140-180 lbs (110-120 drag) Heavyweight Woman over 160 lbs (110-125 drag) Lightweight Woman under 160 lbs (95-110 drag). Again, this is only an estimate. It is up to you to decide the best drag for yourself. The drag will be on the monitor for display as you get ready to row on the actual ‘racing machines’.
Ready to row? Try one of these eight conditioning sessions spread out during the 30-day rowing workout challenge to improve overall speed, strength, endurance, and technique on the rowing machine. And we’ve got some good news: You don’t even need to time your own intervals. All the first four of these workouts are pre-programmed in the monitor of the Concept 2 rower and the next two workouts are easy to program on the monitor. Read the tips below, do the 10-minute Pick Drill above, then cue up your routine by choosing “Select Workout” from the main menu, then tapping “Custom List” or “Standard List” option on the Concept 2 monitor and pick your poison.
Make sure to spend at least 20 minutes warming up before each of these rowing workouts. It will give you added rowing time as well as improve your flexibility and efficiency in the workout. Throughout the warm-up start by breaking down the stroke, arms-only, arms and back, 1/4 slide, 1/2 slide, full slide, doing about 30 strokes on each part. I would do these 2 times and then stretch and get some water. After the first 10 min of the warm-up go to the next phase and do some power 10’s and or 20’s strokes at stroke rates 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, and 34. Don’t take more than 100 or so hard strokes. This will be enough and your race pace will probably be around a 28 – 32 strokes per minute. If you are elite or national team member you are probably going to be at 34 – 36 strokes per minute. Once again, remember that a high stroke rate does necessarily equal faster speed. Stay relaxed, drink your water, and approach the race calm and collected. Remember to breathe right from the beginning of each workout.
List Of 8 Different Workouts to Be Applied to the 30-Day Workout Schedule Below
ROWING WORKOUT 1: HIIT SPRINTS workout :30 seconds on and :30 seconds rest x 10-30 intervals (30/30R IN CONCEPT 2 Custom List MENU)
If you’re short on time, these high-intensity intervals will give you a quick sweat fix. Improve your strength and explosive power in just 20 minutes. This workout is a very straight forward exercise and easy to set up as it is at the top of the custom list option on the Concept 2 monitor. Use this workout to get an understanding of the leg power and catch for each stroke. Row hard for each interval as it is only :30 seconds and this workout will give you a cumulative aerobic workout towards the end of the session.
ROWING WORKOUT 2: PYRAMID POWER workout (V1:00/1:00R 7 IN CONCEPT 2 Custom List MENU)
Try this intermediate challenge to improve endurance and consistency with your rowing. For each interval, aim to keep the same workout intensity, or pace. You can check this by looking at watts or by changing your units to “time per 500 meters” on the display. Be warned: Just because you’re rowing and resting for the same amount of time doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy! Your hard work will burn roughly 450 calories.
Rowing Workout #3: 500 METER WORKOUT 500 meters on 1 min rest x 5-10 intervals (500M – 1min rest IN CONCEPT 2 Custom List MENU)
Anaerobic workout used to build strength, increase cardiovascular efficiency, and trains you to be mentally strong. Start with 5 repetitions and as you become stronger throughout the month add on a few more intervals until you get to 10 throughout the month. Row hard at below race pace at a 24-28 for these to establish a high heart rate base.
Rowing Workout #4: 30 MIN WORKOUTS x 2 sets with a 7-minute rest in between each set (30-minute row IN CONCEPT 2 Standard List MENU)
This is a standard workout piece to build your base cardiovascular strength at a low and long stroke rate while trying to hit consistent split times and holding higher watt output on the monitor. 1st 30 min piece you can use and combine it into a warm up/workout piece while holding a lower and longer stroke rate around a 22-24 spm.
The 2nd piece can be a bit higher in intensity but train your body and the stroke to be consistent and keep the splits even on the monitor. Have a goal in mind to hold an average split number and hold it there for the entire 30-minute piece.
ROWING WORKOUT 5: LEAPFROG workout 1:00 min on/1:00 min rest x 5 intervals x 3 sets (Manual Setting on Concept 2 Monitor)
Compete against yourself during these aggressive bursts. While most rowing workouts are aerobic, this one is designed to be anaerobic. Like a weightlifting session, you’ll exert your muscles enough to produce lactate which leaves you with that burns-so-good feeling. Ultimately, an anaerobic rowing machine session will help you increase your power output and endurance because you’ll be forced to tap into the strength of your legs. While paying strict attention to your stroke rate, try to maintain or increase your meters rowed during each “on” minute. For example, row 1 minute hard at a 28 then rest for one minute then row harder for the next minute up at 30 then rest for a minute then row hard back to rating 28 then rest again then row even harder up to 30 then rest and last interval back down to 28 strokes per minute all while increasing the distance and or increasing the power for each interval. This workout forces you to work harder with less strokes. If you want more of a challenge, then try a separation of 28 to 32. For example, row the first minute at 28 then up to a 32 then back down to 28 then 32 and the last one to 28. Do this work out 3 times for a total of 30 minutes of work with about a 3-minute rest in between sets.
ROWING WORKOUT 6: ‘SPEED PLAY’ WORKOUT (30-20-10) 4-6 MINUTES/SETS OF 30-20-10 ON AND 2 MINUTES REST
You can start this workout by utilizing 4 sets of 30 seconds’ moderate pace at stroke rate 28 – 20 seconds at a hard and fast pace at 30 strokes per minute – 10 seconds for an all-out fast sprint at 32 strokes per minute and following this 4-minute workout routine you can set 2 minutes for rest. You can do 3-4 intervals of this workout which brings you to a total workout time ranging from 20-30 minutes with the warm up included.
This is usually reserved for running workouts but you can easily incorporate this awesome workout on the Concept 2 rowing machine. This workout is probably the easiest way to tackle speedwork as it ramps up the pace when you feel good and slow down when you need a break. This classic workout strategy, called fartlek (Swedish for “speed play”), alternates easy and hard rowing–you decide how long and how fast–and is used by both newcomers and Olympic-caliber athletes. For new rowers, the flexibility makes fartlek rows and workouts an ideal introduction to speedwork. Fartleks allow the body to gradually adjust to harder training without being forced to stick to a pace or distance. The heart works harder, as do the specific rowing muscles, but because you’re in control, it allows for an easier adaptation. For seasoned rowers, freelancing a tough workout provides respite from the grind of hitting splits and watts and a chance to tune into how an effort feels. Whatever your goals, injecting a little playtime into your rowing routine can help you hit your target while building strength and endurance in the process.
ROWING WORKOUT 7: ONE AND ONE WORKOUT (1 MINUTE ON AND 1 MINUTE REST X 10-15 REPS)
This is very straight forward workout designed to get individuals focused specifically on what they are doing for one minute a time during the workout. Each minute is designed to be intense and hardworking making sure you are getting the highest watts and lowest split possible on the monitor. Each minute is a ‘Focus Piece’ in which the individual will think about one technical cue only throughout the 26-32 strokes per minute workout. I usually start with the head and chin position and then work my way down the rest of the body to enhance technical skills to drive out more power from each of the bodies movements.
Example of the workout can be to focus on one technical aspect of the rowing stroke for one minute at a time.
Minute 1: Chin level and shoulders relaxed
Minute 2: Straight arm hang. Feel the latissimus dorsi stretch throughout the middle of the back as you push against the footboards and hang off the legs.
Minute 3: Breath twice per stroke. Exhale at the catch (front of the stroke) and the finish (back of the stroke)
Minute 4: Hook the catch. Make sure the feet, seat, and hands all hook up at the same time at the catch which is one of the most important parts of the rowing stroke.
Minute 5: Light and wide grip on the handle. Making sure the hands are wide apart and relaxed near the end of the edge of your fingers and the thumbs are below the handle.
Minute 6: Keep the chain level and don’t let it bounce or move to high up or down. Focus at the front of the chain during the rowing stroke and don’t let it move too much or shake/bounce.
Minute 7: Legs down fast. Look down at the knees and tell them to go down as fast as possible to get more power and efficiency out of each rowing stroke.
Minute 9: Shins vertical. Again, making sure you are getting compression at the catch (front end of the stroke) pivoting forward from the hips and keeping the seat 6-8 inches away from the heels.
Minute 10: Put everything together and make the stroke perfect every time while trying to hold the exact same split or watt power average for every single stroke.
Rowing Workout #8: :45 seconds on full blast and 1:20 rest x 8-12 intervals
This is also an anaerobic workout and one of the hardest workouts you will do in rowing. It doesn’t look like much but if you go full blast for :45 seconds each time you will start to feel like you want to quit after just 5 intervals. Make sure to keep going and as the month progresses do more intervals. This workout should be done at max capacity and speed. Don’t hold back and give it everything you have for each :45 second interval. Take the time to rest, drink water, and recover during the 1:20 rest sequence.
Rowing Standard 2,000-meter distance fitness test (2,000-meter row IN CONCEPT 2 Standard List MENU)
WORKOUT SCHEDULE: DAY BY DAY BREAKDOWN OF WORKOUTS, RECOVERY, ETC
Day 1: 20 minute warm up and then one 2,000-meter piece to see where you are to start the 30-day program
Day 2: Workout #7 / 20 minute warm up and then set it to the ONE AND ONE WORKOUT FOCUS PIECE WORKOUT… 1 MINUTE ON AND 1 MINUTE REST X 10 REPS
Day 3: Workout #1 / 20 minute warm up and then set it to the HIIT SPRINTS workout :30 seconds on and :30 seconds rest x 10 intervals
Day 4: Workout #2 / 20 minute warm up and then set it to the PYRAMID POWER workout
Day 5: Workout #5 / 20 minute warm up with the feet out of the straps and then set it to the LEAPFROG workout 1:00 min on/1:00 min rest x 5 intervals x 3 sets 26-28spm
Day 6: Workout #6 / 20 minute warm up with the feet out of the straps and then set it to the SPEED PLAY’ WORKOUT (30-20-10) 4 MINUTES/SETS 2 min rest
Day 7: Rest
Day 8: Workout #4 / 20 minute warm up with the feet out of the straps and then set it to the 30 MIN WORKOUT x 2 sets with a 7-minute rest in between each set
Day 9: Workout #3 / 20 minute warm up with the feet out of the straps and then set it to the 500 METER WORKOUT 500 meters on 1 min rest x 5 intervals
Day 10: Workout #8 / 20 minute warm up with the feet out of the straps and then set it to the :45 seconds on full blast and 1:20 rest x 10 intervals
Day 11: Workout #7 / 20 minute warm up with the feet out of the straps and then set it to the ONE AND ONE WORKOUT (1 MINUTE ON AND 1 MINUTE REST X 12 REPS)
Day 12: Workout #4 / 20 minute warm up with the feet out of the straps and then set it to the 30 MIN WORKOUT x 2 sets with a 7-minute rest in between each set
Day 13: Workout #2 / 20 minute warm up with the feet out of the straps and then set it to the PYRAMID POWER workout
Day 14: Rest
Day 15: Workout #5 / 20 minute warm up with the feet out of the straps and then set it to the LEAPFROG workout 1:00 min on/1:00 min rest x 5 intervals x 3 sets 28-30spm
Day 16: Workout #7 / 20 minute warm up with the feet out of the straps and then set it to the ONE AND ONE WORKOUT (1 MINUTE ON AND 1 MINUTE REST X 13 REPS)
Day 17: Workout #3 / 20 minute warm up with the feet out of the straps and then set it to the 500 METER WORKOUT 500 meters on 1 min rest x 8 intervals
Day 18: Workout #1 / 20 minute warm up with the feet out of the straps and then set it to the HIIT SPRINTS workout :30 seconds on and :30 seconds rest x 20 intervals
Day 19: Workout #2 / 20 minute warm up with the feet out of the straps and then set it to the PYRAMID POWER workout
Day 20: Workout #4 / 20 minute warm up with the feet out of the straps and then set it to the 30 MIN WORKOUT x 2 sets with a 7-minute rest in between each set
Day 21: Rest
Day 22: Workout #8 / 20 minute warm up with the feet out of the straps and then set it to the :45 seconds on full blast and 1:20 rest x 12 intervals
Day 23: Workout #4 / 20 minute warm up with the feet out of the straps and then set it to the 30 MIN WORKOUT x 2 sets with a 7-minute rest in between each set
Day 24: Workout #5 / 20 minute warm up with the feet out of the straps and then set it to the LEAPFROG workout 1:00 min on/1:00 min rest x 5 intervals x 3 sets 28-32spm
Day 25: Workout #6 / 20 minute warm up with the feet out of the straps and then set it to the SPEED PLAY’ WORKOUT (30-20-10) 6 MINUTES/SETS 2 min rest
Day 26: Workout #7 / 20 minute warm up with the feet out of the straps and then set it to the ONE AND ONE WORKOUT (1 MINUTE ON AND 1 MINUTE REST X 15 REPS)
Day 27: Workout #4 / 20 minute warm up with the feet out of the straps and then set it to the
Day 28: Standard warm up feet in rowing for 30 minutes and then 1 standing start 1,000-meter piece at race pace and 1 .. 500-meter piece at race pace
Day 29: Light 30-minute warmup feet in and 3 separate 500 meter pieces
Day 30: 20 minute warm up feet in and then set up your 2k test to see improvement.
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