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Three Week Program

This version of our Three Week Program is designed to help you improve your fitness whether for health’s sake, or for preparation for another sport or activity.
 
Key principles:  a variety of workout types to improve performance at both aerobic and anaerobic levels.

The program is based on six rowing sessions per week. If you are unable to do six workouts per week, complete the workouts in the order given, ignoring the days of the week, and the program will last more than three weeks. For best results, try to row at least four times per week.

WEEK ONE

DAY

WORKOUT

DETAILS

FITNESS/CROSS TRAINING

MONDAY
Threshold Intervals
Alternate 4 minutes of hard rowing with 3 minutes of easy rowing
Do the work intervals at a challenging pace but not quite max effort. Aim for 3-4 intervals.
TUESDAY
Steady Row with short bursts
Long moderate row with a “power ten” every 500 meters. (Power Ten = ten strokes at higher intensity).
Row 40-45 minutes
WEDNESDAY
Short intervals
1 minute of hard rowing, followed by 30 seconds of easier rowing. Repeat four times for one set then take a break of 3 minutes before starting the next set.
For the first set, row at a moderate pace. For the next two sets, try to increase the intensity of the work intervals. If you feel good, do a 4th set and slightly lower intensity.
THURSDAY
Longer row with alternating intensity
Alternate 45 seconds (or 20 strokes) of moderately hard rowing with 15 seconds (or 5 strokes) of easy rowing. Make the transitions smooth. 
Row with this alternating intensity pattern for 15 minutes. Take a break for five minutes of moderately easy rowing, then return to the alternating pattern for another 5-15 minutes.
FRIDAY
Easy row!
Watch a movie; talk to a friend; row with your kids. Take a break to stretch in the middle.
Keep the pace easy and think about good technique. This is a recovery row.
SATURDAY
Decreasing length pieces
Starting with a 5 or 6 minutes piece, each successive piece will be shorter by a minute and a little more intense, until you get to the last piece of 1 minute as hard as you can go.  Row easily for 2 minutes in between pieces. 
5 minutes at moderate pace,4 minutes moderately hard,

3 minutes a little harder,

2 minutes a little harder still,

1 minute piece as hard as you can go!
SUNDAY
Rest day
No Rowing!
Rest, stretch, do something outdoors.

WEEK TWO

DAY

WORKOUT

DETAILS

FITNESS/CROSS TRAINING

MONDAY
Alternating intensity
Row three minutes at a low stroke rate (22-25 SPM); then two minutes at slightly higher stroke rate (24-27 SPM); then one minute at a still higher stroke rate (26-30 SPM).
Row this sequence 4 to 5 times for a total elapsed time of 24-30 minutes.  Intensity as follows:3min @ moderate pace

2min @ moderately hard pace

1 min@ hard pace
TUESDAY
Steady Row 
Row at a comfortable conversational pace. Take a few power tens in the first 10 minutes to make the pace feel easier.
Nice steady rowing. Aim for 45-50 minutes total.
WEDNESDAY
Short intervals
Row 20 seconds hard, 40 seconds easy, and repeat for a set of 10. Aim for a stroke rate of 28-30 SPM for the 20 second work interval.
Do 2 sets of 10 of these intervals. Start a little easy on the first interval of each set; then row hard for all the rest of them. Row easily for five minutes in between the two sets. Be sure to maintain good technique at the higher intensity.
THURSDAY
Long pieces
10 minute pieces with 4 minutes rest between
These pieces should be rowed at a moderately hard pace – not so hard that you can’t finish them. Do 2-3 of them depending on how much time you have.
FRIDAY
Mostly mindless, but steady and long.  Earn your weekend! Bring a friend so you can talk while you row.
Every 1000 meters row harder for 30 seconds.
Aim for 8-10k total
SATURDAY
Pyramid pieces 
1-2-3-4-3-2-1 minute pieces with equal rest time.
Row at a moderately hard pace as you work up the pyramid, then increase the intensity on each piece as you come back down.
SUNDAY
Rest day
No Rowing!
Rest, stretch, do something outdoors.

WEEK THREE

DAY

WORKOUT

DETAILS

FITNESS/CROSS TRAINING

MONDAY
Intervals
1000 meter pieces with 4 minutes rest between.
Row 4-5 pieces. First and last piece should be done at a moderate pace. The rest should be done hard, meaning you should be feeling ready to stop when you get to the end of each piece!
TUESDAY
Easy steady row at a comfortable pace. Listen to music, talk to a friend or watch the news. Take a stretch break in the middle if you want to.
Aim for 45-60 minutes.
WEDNESDAY
Stroke pyramids
10 strokes hard, 10 strokes easy;20 strokes hard, 10 strokes easy;

30 strokes hard, 10 strokes easy;

20 strokes hard, 10 strokes easy;

10 strokes hard, 10 strokes easy.

Row easy for three minutes between pyramids.
Do 3-4 of these pyramids. Be sure to maintain good technique throughout.
THURSDAY
Rest or Cross-Training
Rest or do some light exercise.  This is your “taper” for tomorrow’s time trial.
Rest, stretch, taper.
FRIDAY
2000 meter time trial. Be sure to record your score!
Suggested warm up: Row 10 strokes hard, 10 strokes easy and repeat three times. Row 20 strokes hard, 10 easy and repeat two times.
If you have done a prior 2k piece, use that pace as a starting point. If this is your first piece, start out at a pace that you think you can maintain for 2000 meters. In the second half of the piece, if you feel good, increase your intensity, and be sure you are exhausted by the end!
SATURDAY
Long steady row:Row with a friend, or listen to music or books on tape, or put your erg in a new location – even outdoors if you have the option and the weather is good!
Row 10 minutes, get off and stretch. Continue rowing, taking five power tens in the next few minutes. Settle into a comfortable conversational pace.
Aim for 70 minutes – or longer than you have rowed before at one sitting.
SUNDAY
Rest, celebrate!
Play, do something active.
Beginners

We recommend that you start with our “Getting Started” workouts. Be sure that your rowing technique is good, see out ‘How to Row’ section. After several weeks of rowing, you should be ready to start this program. Try either of the first two columns, using the low end of the range for workout time/distance, or add additional rest days as needed.
 
Notes for the Workouts:
 
  • Recommended damper setting range: 3-5 (for those who prefer to use Drag Factor: 105-125)
  • Recommended stroke rate range: 24-30 SPM (unless otherwise specified for a certain workout)
  • Standard warm-up: row easily for 5-10 minutes. Take a short break off the indoor rower to stretch, paying special attention to your hamstrings.
  • Standard cool-down: row easily for at least five minutes then get off and stretch again.
  • If at any point you feel that you need an extra day off, due to sickness, lack of sleep, travel – whatever, take the day off and get back to the program as soon as you can. Don’t skip any workouts; just do them later, and let the program last longer than 3 weeks.