Tired of Your Workout? Try These Rowing Routines

If you aren’t rowing, you should be.


When you’re at the gym, it’s easy to fall into the same boring routine. Mike Creamer, owner and founder of Ergo, sees rowing as the perfect way to spice things up.

“Indoor rowing is a high-performance and high-tech fitness activity that anybody can do,” says Creamer. “It’s a complete exercise that involves all the major muscle groups — especially the legs, back and core. It provides an unbeatable cardio and strength conditioning workout.”

Still, it can be intimidating to hop on a piece of exercise equipment out of the blue for the first time. That’s where Creamer’s expertise comes in. “With the right technique, you can arguably get a better workout… because you don’t have to deal with external variables,” says Creamer.

“All rowing workouts are either steady-state (aerobic) or interval sessions (anaerobic) and it’s good to do both types,” says Creamer. The Concept2 rowing machine, which Creamer recommends and says is available in most gyms, contains presets for both types of workouts. Below are some of Creamer’s favorite workouts when he’s rowing in the gym.

1 “New rowers should first develop their aerobic fitness with set piece rows before attempting the more intense interval workouts. I always recommend beginners to start out by doing one or two two-thousand-meter rows. It’s a relatively short distance and is a great benchmark workout. Two thousand meters is also the standard race distance for the sport of rowing.”

2 “My favorite set-piece rowing workout is a 5K. It’s a middle-distance ‘piece’ that takes me a little under twenty minutes. The pace is not as intense as the dreaded 2K (race pace), and it is a great aerobic and benchmark workout for more advanced rowers.”

3 “When it comes to interval training, nothing compares to the indoor rower, especially for HIIT. One of my favorite [HIIT] workouts is the sixteen-minute pyramid workout of one-two-three-four-three-two-one minutes, with equal rest periods. For more advanced rowers there is a 5K interval workout of two thousand meters, fifteen hundred meters, one thousand meters, five hundred meters, with three-minute rest periods. Both of these workouts are challenging and very effective.”

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