Need a change of pace? Try these high-intensity rowing workouts

Over the past few weeks I’ve decided to get both C and myself reacquainted with an old friend: the rowing machine.

Looking to change it up? Rowing is a great addition to any workout program.
Looking to change it up? Rowing is a great addition to any workout program.

While I’m by no means a rowing expert, I do know that this often overlooked piece of cardio equipment is great for mixing up your training and reaping huge improvements in your overall fitness. That said, I’ve had a lot of fun implementing these workouts into our weekly training regimen:


Start with an easy 500 meter warm up, then row 500 meters as hard as you can. Recover with an easy 500 meters. Repeat for a total of 5 cycles and then cool down with an easy 500 meters. (Note: We often change it up with distances ranging from 250-1,000 meters, depending on the day).

 The Ladder

100 meters – easy

200 meters – sprint

300 meters – easy

400 meters – sprint

500 meters – easy

600 meters – sprint

700 meters – easy

800 meters – sprint

900 meters – easy

1,000 meters – sprint

For this one, you start with an easy 100 meters, then, row a full 200 meters as a sprint. Recover with a full 300 meters, and then sprint a full 400. Repeat this cycle all the way up to 1,000 meters.

10K row

This one’s exactly what you think it is. Row 10K as fast as you can. Be careful not to come out too strong; you’ll be on the rower for a while.

Max effort sprints

My personal favorite. Pick a distance and row it as hard as you can 3 times, with at least 3-5 minutes of true rest in between attempts. Play with the distance and try to keep the variation in finishing time as minimal as you can.

Before you dive in and start rowing make sure you’ve done your homework, are honest with yourself about your current fitness level, and understand the machine and its settings. I’ve always been partial to Concept 2 rowers. Check out their website. It provides a wealth of rowing information, training ideas, daily workouts and more. If that’s not enough just Google “rowing workouts” and you’ll instantly be overwhelmed with information.

While these workouts are by no means unique or revolutionary, they have been beneficial (and fun) for both of us. Hopefully you can find some enjoyment/benefit in them, too!

Take care,


8 thoughts on “Need a change of pace? Try these high-intensity rowing workouts

      1. I’ve got the Crooms 50 miler at the end of March. That one is a little outside of Tampa Florida. And then the Keys 100 in mid May, all the way down in Key West Florida.


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