Here is what you need to know
– These pieces of equipment are unlike typical cardio machines. They will gas you immediately whilst having little to zero impact on your joints
– There are a variety of workouts you can do using one or all three of these pieces of equipment.
– Intervals can range from Time, Distance and a combination of the two. This article will show just how creative you can be.
Growing up and throughout my initial years as a fitness trainer, I was not too charitable when it came to the use of Cardio machines. Gyms for many years and even in present time are always full of treadmills and cross trainers which in my opinion were very isolated and didn’t have much carry over or bang for your buck. However With more years in the industry I have learnt the value of machines such as the Rowing machine or Erg and just how versatile and effective it was.
A little about me
Late last year I ruptured my ACL (Anterior Cruciate ligament) In my knee whilst training in Freestyle wrestling. I had been lucky to not suffer any significant injuries growing up as I played a lot of competitive sports and through Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and wrestling I had until December last year been injury free.
I had surgery In February this year and whilst I am starting to work my way back into running. With a significant injury such as an ACL tear It has limited me over the months. As a result My Conditioning has suffered immensely right until I decided to give Cardio machines a go. This is where I am going to share my love once again for Cardio equipment and Interval training once again!
So what makes interval training on the Rower so special? Why the love for this piece of equipment of equipment?
– First of you can get in a lot of work in a very short amount of time
– It is non weight bearing and won’t cause the type of stress that running or sprinting would on a treadmill
– Following on from point two, The stress is distributed over your entire body and it won’t tax your lower body like treadmill running would
– It is a tough fitness challenge that can be used to help you recover from heavier and more taxing workouts which involve squatting and deadlifting
With all these points mentioned above it is fair to say that Interval training and using the Rower has my tick of approval BUT is it for everyone?
Here are some contraindications for using the Rowing machine
– You Have symptomatic lower back pain or a history of disc pathologies (Includes repeated flexion/extension of your spine particularly under compressive loading
– Hip pain of any sort. The full flexion of the rowing machine can flare up an exacerbate any injury you have.
– You sit for long periods a day (8-10 hours) This point is raised if you plan on spending large periods of time on the machine Over 20 minutes. However with a focus on doing intervals on the machine this should not be an issue but it is something to keep in mind.
Are there other pieces of equipment which I can do instead of the Rower if any of the contraindications listed above apply to me
– Yes you can! The other two pieces of equipment which you can use to substitute the rower or do with are the Ski Erg and the Assault Bike.
Workouts that can be done on the Rower, Ski Erg or The AirBike
As mentioned above, using any of the three pieces of cardio equipment for short duration intervals are most effective. Here are some workouts you can add to your training. Like any workout make sure you do plenty of warming up including mobility and activation work and lastly be prepared to work!
1) 30 seconds on 30 seconds off for 1KM
– One of my go too workouts on either pieces of the equipment. For the Rower and Ski erg it is a program already in their custom workout tab. You will row for 30 seconds as fast as you can and then rest for 30 seconds. The goal is to get to 1KM.
– This is another low volume, shorter duration style of workout that is a bit easier to suffer through as the distance is slightly decreasing each round.
To Flip this you can also do this by making it an ascending ladder of 100-200-300-400-500 metres too.
3) 3x 1Min Max Outs with 2 minutes Rest
– This one will leave you red face, wheezing and gassed! A great finisher to any workout as it really empties the tank.
Set the Rower/Ski/Assault Bike to a 1Min timer and as fast as you can try work through as many metres as possible. Once complete take two minutes completely off and then repeat. A good target s aiming for 1000m overall for the 3 rounds!
4) Calorie/Meter Target Followed by an active rest
– This workout can be done by setting a distance lets say 10 calories on any of the pieces of equipment and during a rest perform 10x push ups, chin ups, squats etc. You can be pretty creative with this one. Best way to do this workout is a Every minute on the minute where you must complete the target followed by the active rest within the minute window before repeating. Do this for 5-10 rounds and you will be spent!
Interval Training is a very effective training method and when done correctly can have great carry over towards anyone’s training. Give it a go and you will be surprised on just how much volume you can accumulate in a short period of time!