Indoor rowing is all the rage lately in gyms and homes due to a variety of classes, new machines and its many benefits. Among them – it’s super effective, works the entire body and is low-impact.
Research shows that you use as much as 86% of your muscle mass while rowing – which definitely beats the treadmill. Plus, rowing is a big-time calorie scorcher; you can blast as many as 800 calories in one hour of vigorous exercise.
For greater productivity, try rowing interval training, which boosts stamina, blasts fat and increases metabolism by alternating intense intervals with shorter recovery periods. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) on the rower adds challenge, motivation and results.
Rowing Interval Training
Today’s rowers come equipped with built-in interval programs, so just press a few buttons on the console and get moving. The new Octane Rō has two interval programs that keep you working – and coming back.
- Max 14 Interval – This popular workout, adopted from the Max Trainer, drives maximum effort in a give-it-all-you-got, 14-minute sweat session. You take on intense 25-second intervals, followed by 80-second recovery periods, for eight rounds. It’s exhilarating – and quick. If you still have some gas left in the tank, change the overall workout duration to either 21 or 28 minutes and crank out more cycles. It’s maximum results in minimum time.
- Interval – Here you customize your own routine, choosing the sprint session to be between 5 seconds to 10 minutes long. (We suggest shorter sprints!) Then select your recovery period from 5 seconds to 10 minutes.
For interval training, ratios of work to recovery can be whatever you choose, but typically are 1:1, 1:2, 1:3 or 2:1. Therefore, you may sprint for 30 seconds and recover for 30, 60, 90 or 15 seconds. Or try Tabata, which is 20-second work intervals and 10-second recovery intervals, for 8 sets, or 4 minutes; then rest and repeat. Then set the number of interval rounds on the console between 1 and 99 for your workout.
As for your intensity on the sprint intervals, you can use the console to aim for a specific number of strokes or strokes per minute, a range of watts, your pace for 500 meters or calories burned per minute. Or wear a chest strap and target intensity via your heart rate. The Octane Rō console shows you all this real-time data, and includes a sprint session clock, recovery clock and interval timer.
- Manual – On the Octane Rō, you can simply choose Quick Start and get moving, without hitting a bunch of buttons, and just follow the feedback on the console to perform your intervals. Remember to always warm up first for 3-10 minutes, and cool down at the end for 3-5 minutes. Use your imagination, or try some of these rowing interval training routines:
40/20 – Row 40 seconds hard, and recover for 20 seconds; then repeat 10 times; rest 2.5 minutes and repeat.
250 or 500 meters – Go as fast as you can to cover a set distance, such as 250 or 500 meters, then rest for half of that duration, and repeat.
Pyramid – Row hard for one minute, then recover for one minute. Then row hard for two minutes, and recover for two minutes. Continue up to four or five minutes, then repeat the ladder backwards, from five minutes back down to one minute.
EMOM (every minute on the minute) – Give yourself one minute to perform a specified number of strokes (10-30); however long it takes you is your work interval, and the remainder of the minute interval is rest. Then repeat for 5-10 minutes.