AUTOMATIC VS PRESET
Your first decision is whether you prefer to row for preset time, preset distance, or in automatic mode. Either of the preset modes has the advantage of encouraging commitment from the beginning. You choose a distance or time, and once you start rowing, the monitor counts it down until you finish. Only once do you face the decision of how far you want to row. Then you just do it. Of course, there are also days when you end up wanting to row even further than you thought – and this is when you might prefer to be in automatic mode, counting up from zero. But somehow, automatic mode makes it easier to stop too soon. You should try all three of these options to see what works best for you. In fact, rotating between them may add some spice to your regime, too.
BURSTS OF SPEED
A nice way to break up a long row is to intersperse bursts of speed at regular intervals. For example, if you are rowing a preset distance piece, of say 10,000 meters, you could row 15 strokes hard every 1000 meters. It doesn’t sound like that much, but it adds a nice bit of intensity and interest. For a timed piece, add your burst every 4-5 minutes.
VARY THE UNITS
The monitor offers a choice of units: watts, pace, or calories, which you can change while you are rowing. The ability to look at a variety of units can add interest to your workout, especially if you set yourself goals in each of the different units. For example, start rowing in pace/meters. Row your first 1000 meters, then push Select Units/Change Units once to get to Calorie mode. See what your total calories reads and set yourself a goal of, say, 50 more calories. When you reach that goal, press Select Units/Change Units to get to watts. Take a look at your average watts. Pick up the pace slightly and row until you have taken a second off your average pace. Now press Select Units/Change Units again to return to Pace/Meters. You can repeat the same series of goals, or set yourself new ones.
VARY YOUR STROKE RATE
This is a great way to structure a long workout, both for your head and your body. The key is to alternate between 2 or 3 different stroke rates. Here are several examples: 1) Row 3 minutes @ 24 spm, then 2 minutes @ 27 spm, and continue to alternate between the two. 2) Row 500 meters @ 24 spm, then 250 meters @ 27 spm, and continue alternating.
IMPROVE YOUR MIND/DO TWO THINGS AT ONCE
If you can be watching the news, listening to a book on tape, or learning a foreign language from a tape at the same time as you get your exercise, that’s efficiency.
ROW WITH FRIENDS
There are several advantages to rowing with at least one other person. First, the fact that you agree to both be there at the same time helps get you there. Second, you can support each other in getting through the workout. Third, you can have a conversation, which helps the time pass and keeps your pace at about the right level.
CHANGE YOUR LOCATION
A new view can help a lot. If it’s nice weather, turn your Indoor Rower into an outdoor one. Carrying the pieces just adds a little to your workout. Or bring it upstairs from the basement (being sure the family knows it’s just temporarily sitting in the middle of the living room) so you can be closer to the rest of the family. Or, leave it in the usual place, but turn it around end for end.