Days are longer now, but kids’ sports practices, sunset drinks with colleagues, conference calls with California compete with our workout schedule and can be lethal to our fitness program; we’re easily “forced into” a day off and then even another.  When we do have a small window for a workout, we often fall prey to, “if I can’t produce at least an hour of sweat, then it’s pointless to do anything at all.” Let me help you solve your fitness blues with the below plan. It’s a perfect way to get the legs and lungs burning, counter balance the extra caloric consumption that is a “given” with the spring season parties, and get you done in time to make it fashionably late to your next shindig.

Although this is a rowing based workout, you can do on almost any cardio machine. The overall goal is to consistently drop your split times (increase speed) throughout the workout. Remember –  you control the machine, not the other way around. If you really want a challenge, push the first 500m set! Remember, as you go up in the stroke rate, don’t let form fall apart. Good form equals efficiency and, therefore, performance.


Warm-Up: 7 mins.

Start with Easy rowing focusing on good form – tall, long, connected. SPM (strokes per minute) 22-24. Then take 15-20 strokes rowing legs only, then 15-20 legs and core only. Then row full-strokes throwing in 3×15 Hard strokes with 15 strokes Easy in between. Be sure to row with a nice ratio, taking twice as long coming forward on the Recovery as you do going backwards on the Drive.

BREAK: Water/Stretch. Set your monitor for 500m.

Workout: 6x500m

1. 500m @ 24spm (strokes per min.) / Hard (challenging and uncomfortable). Long, powerful strokes. Focus on generating power from the legs. Mark your time for 500m as you will want to use this as your benchmark time for this workout. Rest 90 sec

2. 500m @ 26spm / Hard. Goal is to bring your Split Time down 2 seconds from #1 – your benchmark 500m time. Focus on good technique. Rest 90 secs.

3. 500m @ 28spm / Hard. Drop 2 more seconds off of your time for #2.

BREAK 3 mins. –Water/Stretch

4. 500m @ 28spm / Hard. Hit the same time for #3. Rest 90 sec.

5. 500m @ 30spm / Hard. Go 1-2 seconds faster than #4. Rest 90 sec.

6. 500m @ Open rating / All Out. Get the best time you’ve seen today!

COOL DOWN – 5 mins.

Easy, but proud rowing.