Endurance training for rowers is a crucial component of being successful at competitive or long distance rowing because it gives you the long-haul stamina you need to keep going. Since most rowing competitions involve covering long distances, your endurance is just as important as how strong you are. But this kind of training isn’t just for individuals competing on ergometers or rowing on the water. It’s also a healthy part of any fitness routine because it increases your cardiovascular health and can prepare you for a variety of other kinds of competition, including marathons and triathlons.
Results of Endurance Training
Anyone who does endurance routines on an indoor rower will quickly see results in both their cardiovascular health and their overall physical conditioning. Because it isn’t strength oriented, endurance training is a great way to do overall sculpting and toning of your muscles without adding a lot of bulk. Because you aren’t increasing muscle mass, it’s also a good way to lose weight because you’re burning calories without adding heavier muscle tissue to your body as you shed fat. Increased lung capacity is another great result of endurance exercises.
Submaximal training is one type of endurance training for rowers that doesn’t increase muscle mass. During submaximal workouts, you push yourself to do constantly increasing repetitions without increasing your resistance level on your rowing machine. In most instances, you’ll want to push your heart rate up, but you don’t want to increase it to the maximum target rate because you’ll get winded too quickly. Athletes who know they need to increase their stamina will use submaximal training so that their cardiovascular capacity is improved without having to focus on building additional muscle that could slow them down. In most cases, you shouldn’t be using more than 70% of your full strength during submaximal training; remember, the f.ocus is on duration and stamina, not power.
Examples of Endurance Training for Rowers
The focus of endurance training for anyone who is using a rowing machine is two-fold: increasing overall endurance (focusing on cardiovascular endurance) and muscle endurance (focusing on preventing muscle fatigue during long stretches of rowing. There are several ways you can do this. We’ve outlined a few basic workouts to get you started, but you should also explore other rowing machine exercises either online or through your local health club.
Workout #1: Row a set, relatively long distance as quickly as possible without stopping. The standard is 2000 meters (the length of a majority of rowing regattas or races), but if you’re just starting out, you can aim for 500 meters and slowly work your way up.
Workout #2: Row for 500 meters, then rest for two minutes. Repeat this up to four times, keeping in mind that you want to focus on stamina and endurance, not strength. Keep your resistance at a level that challenges you without resulting in complete fatigue for the best endurance training for rowers.
Workout #3: This is a more advanced routine for those individuals who have already been working for a while, so don’t attempt it if you’re just starting your endurance routine. Do a 1000 meter row with a 2 minute recovery, and then repeat up to five times. After you’ve done this, rest for four minutes and do a full 5000 meters without stopping.
You can find additional workouts on websites that feature rowing machine reviews, information on various types of indoor rowers, and workout tips. Keep in mind that endurance training for rowers isn’t about cranking up the resistance on your rowing machine. It’s about a moderately fast to fast pace that you can maintain over a long distance. If you remember what your real goal is and focus on that, you’ll soon see impressive results.
About the Author: Kevin Urban is an avid rower and editor of the web's most popular rowing machine review site AllRowers.com. Visit the site to learn more about indoor rowing.