Dinner reservations were at 6:30pm; my iPhone snickered 5:34pm, knowing I still had a couple emails to fire off. Didn’t help that it was pitch black outside, 35 chilly degrees, and I still needed sweat to out the day. Needless to say, I had no time for an outdoor adventure. It’s easy to “chump out” from the exercise routine in moments like this, but I knew I had one workout guaranteed to deliver on a tight timeline and that would kick my butt indoors. Meet the ShockWave Rowing Workout.

Fitness legend Jay Blahnik and I created this circuit workout as an evolution to our IndoRow workout, specifically designed to bring to health clubs worldwide. Usually, ShockWave is performed in a group setting with some friendly competition and plenty of “high fives”. However, done solo at home or in the gym, it mops up the day’s stress and revs endorphins before heading into evening.
Overview: This workout is designed to take your body and mind through a variety of movement patterns while building strength and cardio. You will work all major muscle groups at very high intensities. Not a second is wasted. The objective is to start by rowing a prescribed distance as fast as you can. The time it takes you to do so is the duration for which you follow the strength exercises. The harder you row, the less time you perform each exercise. Use the first round to better understand how it flows and feels.


What you need: 40-45 minutes, 1 rower, 1 set of dumbbells (8-20 pounds and find what works for you), a yoga mat/towel, a watch/clock with seconds and finally an ability to take some self-inflicted pain! If possible, grab a friend to help motivate and keep you honest.


The Execution: Warm-up on rower 5 mins. and include 3 x 15 hard strokes rate 28-32spm.  Then go through each of the below exercises, performing 10-15 reps to warm-up the body and get familiar with form. Break 2 mins. (stretch, hydrate)


Shockwave Rowing Workout:

Round 1-

  1. Row: 300 meters, all out, 30-40 strokes per minute (with good technique).

Record time for 300 meters as this will be your timing goal for the rest of the round. For example, if 300m takes you 57 seconds, you will do the other exercises for :57 each.

  1. Burpees: Walk or jump out. Push, but pace yourself for your 300m time.
  2. Sit-Ups: Set up mat or towel. Do full sit up with dumbbell, taking it from your chest to between your feet as you rise, then back to chest as you lower to floor.
  3. Pass Through Lunge: Step forward with the left leg into a forward lunge, pass the dumbbell held in the right hand under the left leg and grab with left hand. Alternate legs for 300m time.
  4. Row: 300 meters All out, 30-40 spm. Record new time and use it for the next three exercises.
  5. Dumbbell Fly: Stand with left leg in a slight lunge position, raise both dumbbells out to your side (like flapping wings), then in front of your body, then over your head. Keep core tight while doing. Switch legs and then repeat sequence. Do this for your new 300m time.
  6. Plank: Focus on holding a strong plank position by bracing with the core. You can perform this on your elbows or hands. Add leg raises (taking heel towards ceiling) for an extra challenge.
  7. Squat Jumps: Lower your “stern” towards the ground while keeping your head and chest high. Explode upwards and land softly.

Notes: Rest comes with the transition from one exercise to another. Feel free to take up to 30 seconds, but no longer. Limited rest is a key component to delivering results.

Round 2 –

Row 200 meters, all out, record time and perform exercises as above. So if 200m takes you 41 seconds, do first three strength exercises for :41 until you row again and get a new time.

Round 3 – Row 150 meters, all out, record time and follow same format as above.

Cool Down.  Take a very quick shower.  Make it on time to your dinner reservations.