What are Crew Workouts?
Crew workouts are the main part of your training. They will make or break your performance during a race. A good crew workout is one that works all major muscle groups, but it’s not just about strength and size. You need to get enough calories into your body so you don’t lose too much weight while rowing. If you’re going to compete at a high level, you’ll have to eat well every day throughout the week.
The Crew Workout: What Do I Need To Know About?
You need to include some cardio in your crew workout. It helps keep your heart rate up and improves endurance. Your muscles need to be warmed up before you start rowing. You want to do a warm-up routine first, then move onto the crew work. There are two types of crews: tempo and speed. Tempo crews consist of easy strokes followed by hard strokes with short rests between each stroke. Speed crews consist of fast strokes followed by slow strokes with long rest periods between them.
Tempo Crews: How Long Should I Train For?
It depends on what type of racing you plan to do. Tempo crews require less time than speed crews because they involve fewer strokes per minute. However, tempo crews are harder on your joints since you’re doing many more reps. If you’re new to the sport, it’s best to start off with tempo crews. They are a good way to improve your endurance while not wearing down your muscles too quickly. If you’re an experienced rower and you want to race, then you’ll need to do speed crews.
A typical tempo crew workout will last around 30 minutes. This is a good amount of time for most rowers. If you’re a beginner, it’s best to start off with shorter tempo crews. As your endurance improves you can increase their length.
If you want to improve your stamina and endurance, you should do long tempo crews. These will require around 40 minutes to an hour of training. If you’re an experienced rower with good endurance, long tempo crews are a great way to further push your body to the limit. These crews can last anywhere from 50 minutes to 90 minutes.
Whatever the length, after each tempo crew you should take a five minute break. This lets your muscles relax so you don’t get too tired. If you’re an expert rower, you may not need a full five minutes to rest. After a few weeks, you’ll be able to tell how long you need.
Don’t forget to hydrate before, during, and after your training!
Speed Crews: What Are They And How Long Should I Train For?
Speed crews are the exact opposite of tempo crews. Instead of taking longer rests between each stroke, you take shorter ones. This increases your stroke rate, which improves your speed. If you’re new to the sport, you shouldn’t do any speed crews for at least a month. You’ll most likely get tendonitis otherwise.
A good rule of thumb is to never do more than five minutes of speed crews when you first start out. Even then, you’ll need to increase your endurance with longer tempo crews before doing any serious speed work. If you’ve been rowing for a few months and want to get faster, do speed crews for up to 20 minutes each. As always, take at least five minute breaks in between each one.
Increase the time as your muscles get used to it. Most professionals do speed crews for up to an hour.
As with tempo crews, take a break after each speed crew. The break should last about five minutes, depending on how long you rowed for. As always, hydrate and eat something nutritious during your breaks!
What Type Of Crew Should I Do?
Whatever type of rower you are! No matter who you are, you’ll need both tempo and speed to become the best rower you can be. Beginners will benefit most from longer tempo crews first and foremost. These increase endurance the most. Once your endurance is up, you can start doing shorter tempo crews in preparation for full on sprints. Experts already have good endurance and will need more speed than anyone else. They should start with shorter crews and slowly build up to an hour. Newcomers should start with longer crews and slowly build up to an hour as well.
If you’re an expert rower, here’s a tip: never do two successive speed or two successive tempo crews. Always alternate them. This prevents injury and lets you train longer in the long run.
When Should I Do These?
You can comfortably do a training session (one lasting an hour or more) three times a week. If you wish to do a fourth training session, it should either be a shorter one(up to 30 minutes) or an endurance one(2 hours or more). You can of course do more than that if you have the time and energy.
The bulk of your training should be done over the weekend, when you don’t have school or work getting in the way. No matter what weekend you pick, never do two successive days of medium length or longer sessions. Always take one day off in between, to prevent injuries and give your body time to recuperate.
With medium length sessions, you have a little more leeway. You can do two medium length sessions in a row only if they’re on Thursday and Friday. This will be your endurance training.
Also, make sure you’re well fueled for a training session. Carbs are best for energy, so have something like pasta or bread an hour before your training. If you’re going to be doing an endurance session or a longer speed one, have a bit of protein as well.
Two days before a competition, cut back on your training. Do shorter sessions with less intensity and keep the breaks between them longer. This will prevent injury and let you rest up for the big day!
You now know everything you need to about how to train for rowing. It may seem like a lot to take in, but if you don’t do it, you won’t be as successful as you could be. Remember to keep a training log and stick with it! You’ll be on your way to the Olympics in no time at all.
To see what else you can do to get better, check out the other sections of this website.
Good luck and train hard!
Sources & references used in this article:
Strength testing and training of rowers by TW Lawton, JB Cronin, MR McGuigan – Sports Medicine, 2011 – Springer
Strength and conditioning practices in rowing by TI Gee, PD Olsen, NJ Berger, J Golby… – … Journal of Strength …, 2011 – cdn.journals.lww.com
Strategies to optimize concurrent training of strength and aerobic fitness for rowing and canoeing by J García-Pallarés, M Izquierdo – Sports Medicine, 2011 – Springer
Does a bout of strength training affect 2,000 m rowing ergometer performance and rowing-specific maximal power 24 h later? by TI Gee, DN French, G Howatson, SJ Payton… – European journal of …, 2011 – Springer
Performance conditional factors in rowing by A Penichet-Tomás, B Pueo – … en Educación Física, Deporte y Recreación, 2017 – redalyc.org