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Tom’s Corner: Using the Concept2 Indoor Rower

Written by Tom Marchand

Although many people use the Concept2 (C2) rower as a warmup, most do not understand what a fantastic training tool it can be when used properly. Pressed for time, but need to get in some cardio? Hop on a rower, do a quick warmup, then row 6-10x 100 meter pieces with a 1minute 30 seconds rest between. Find longer, steady rowing boring? Set the monitor for 2500-5000 meters, row at a steady pace for 400 meters, sprint for 100 meters, then return to your steady pace once again, repeating the process by rowing fast for 100 meters ( or 10 strokes, or 10-20 seconds )out of every 500, until you’ve covered your preset goal. Are you motivated by goal setting? The C2 website contains an Online World Ranking section which allows you to post your times for various distances and see how you compare with others in your weight class and age group.

( http://log.concept2.com/rankings.asp )

I’ve recently gotten the urge to post a 500 meter time on the World Rankings to see how I compare with other 66 year old Lightweights around the world. (Because I’m still basically an old Weightlifter, I’m more interested in shorter, more explosive efforts rather than covering lots of meters, hence a 500 rather than something longer.) To gradually prepare myself for a fast 500, I’ve been using the following workouts:

  1. a) 10 x 100 meters/ with a 1:30 Recovery period between each ( average pace was 1:47.2 for all 10)
  2. b) 6 x 150meters/ 2:00 R (1:49.2 average)
  3. c) 5 x 200meters/ 2:00R (1:49.5 average)
  4. d) 300 meters (1:48.9)/ 5 min. R, 200 meters (1:47.4)/ 4 min. R , 100 meters (1:40.1)

I row 3 days per week and mix and match these workouts according to my mood, but I try to bring my average times down each training day, even if it’s only .1 seconds. I also plan to gradually reduce the amount of rest time between reps, while trying to hit the same average time for each rep. By November I’ll try my first 500 Time Trial and post that to the Rankings. Once I’ve set my baseline, I’ll try to improve on that one every few months. Wish me luck! (And be sure to check with a trainer if you have any further questions about how to incorporate this great piece of equipment in your training routine.)