HOW TO TRAIN FOR A 2K ROW

HOW TO TRAIN FOR A 2K ROW

The rowing machine has gained popularity as a fitness tool over the last 10 years thanks to its implementation in CrossFit methodology, although rowing itself is one of the oldest sports in the United States. One common test and workout on the rower is the 2000 meter row. Jumping on a row saddle and pulling for 2000 meters as fast as possible is a good way to test mental and fitness capabilities, but in order to prepare for an intense test like this, efficiency and progression must be put into place. Here is how to train for a 2k row. 

THE GOAL OF TRAINING 

For this article, the training program will be focused on a 2000m row test. This training program will assume the participant has a quality rower form. The goal of this training program is to get the client so prepared that they only focus on executing the game plan for the test and leave nothing up to chance. 

This is built through sustainable training. A client will learn the proper way to use oxygen as a fuel source, develop rhythm, and set a foundation for movement efficiency.

PREREQUISITE STRENGTH FOR ROWING

Before a client can begin training for a 2k row it’s valuable to set some prerequisite absolute strength scores. Testing absolute strength will ensure that the client is capable of rowing the distance without developing compensatory patterns to accomplish it. Three good prerequisites include a bodyweight deadlift, a 2-minute plank hold, and 5 strict pull-ups. 

HOW TO TRAIN FOR A 2K ROW IN THREE PHASES

This training will be broken into three phases–accumulation, intensification, and competition–the same method OPEX coaches use to periodize their training programs for athletes. Learn how to apply the principles of periodization to any program in this free course.

The duration of this training will be 15 weeks in length. While that might seem like an incredibly long time, this training program will prepare the client not only to attempt a 2k row but be capable of taking complete control of the test and executing on a plan they have prepared for. 

PHASE 1: ACCUMULATION

The accumulation phase focuses on getting the client used to spending time on the rower and working from easy to moderate pacing. This phase is the most important out of the three phases because of the challenge to technique and efficiency that is required to maintain strict, consistent strokes. This phase sets a base to prepare the client for this.

Weeks 1-3:

In the first three weeks, the client will row three times a week. This phase will build volume with different stroke rates. The variation in strokes will improve overall efficiency. The stroke rates established in the first three weeks will be used as a foundation for the client. 

Week 1:

Session 1: 20 min x 2; rest 10 min @ constant strokes per minute 

Session 2: 30 min x 1; @ constant strokes per minute 

Session 3: 10 min x 3; rest 5 min @ constant strokes per minute 

Week 2:

Session 1: 10 min x 3; rest 5 min @ +2 strokes per minute from week 1

Session 2: 6 min x 3; rest 3 min @ constant strokes per minute

Session 3: 10 min x 3; rest 5 min @ + 2 strokes per minutes from week 1 

Week 3: 

Session 1: 4 min x 3; rest 2 min @ constant strokes per minute

Session 2: 6 min x 4; rest 2 min @ constant strokes per minute 

Session 3: 2 min x 6; rest 1 min @ constant strokes per minute 

Weeks 4-6:

Now that a client has established a base of pacing variations, weeks four through six will consist of incremental increases in volume as well as stroke rates. This phase will build volume with different stroke rates. The variation in strokes will improve overall efficiency. The stroke rates established in the first three weeks will be used as a foundation for the client. 

Week 4: 

Session 1: 20 min x 2; rest 10 min @ + 2 strokes per minute from week 1 

Session 2: 40 min x 1; @ + 2 strokes per minute from 30 minutes week 1 

Session 3: 15 min x 3; rest 7 min @ 10 minute stroke rate from week 1 

Week 5: 

Session 1: 10 min x 2; rest 5 min @ + 2 strokes per minute from week 2

Session 2: 6 min x 3; rest 3 min @ + 2 strokes per minute from week 2

Session 3: 15 min x 3; rest 7 min @ 10 minute stroke rate from week 2

Week 6:

Session 1: 4 min x 3; rest 2 min @ + 2 strokes per minute from week 3

Session 2: 6 min x 4; rest 3 min @ + 2 strokes per minute from week 3 

Session 3: 2 min x 6; rest 1 min @ + 2 strokes per minute from week 3 

PHASE 2: INTENSIFICATION

Weeks 7-9:

In this block, the client will continue to row three times a week. The increase in stroke rates per session will become more challenging, creating a rise in intensity. On week nine, the intensity will be at its highest, creating lactic acid accumulation. Week nine is a test to see how a client manages and processes lactic acid.

Week 7: 

Session 1: 20 min x 2; rest 10 min @ + 2 strokes per minute from week 4 

Session 2: 60 min x 1; @ 40 minute stroke rate from week 4 

Session 3: 15 min x 3; rest 7 min @ 10 minute stroke rate from week 4 

Week 8: 

Session 1: 10 min x 2; rest 5 min @ + 2 strokes per minute from week 5

Session 2: 6 min x 3; rest 3 min @ + 2 strokes per minute from week 5

Session 3: 20 min x 3; rest 7 min @ 15 minute stroke rate from week 5

Week 9:

Session 1: 4 min x 3; rest 2 min @ + 2 strokes per minute from week 6

Session 2: 6 min x 4; rest 3 min @ + 2 strokes per minute from week 6 

Session 3: 2 min x 6; rest 1 min @ + 2 strokes per minute from week 6

Week 10-12:

Now it’s time to transition the client to their specific pacing for each part of the 2k row. In a perfect world, this will take only three weeks, but for some, it can take more than three weeks. For these weeks training is still three times a week. Each day is dedicated to building up a pacing structure that a client can aim for when they attempt their 2000 meter time trial. 

It is common for clients to row faster than the race pace in each of the intervals, however, do not worry as these sets are about intensity and this will allow the client to see what their capabilities currently sit.  

Week 10: 

Session 1: 1000 meters x 4; rest 90 sec @ 80% effort 

Session 2: 500 meters x 8; rest 60 sec @ 80% effort 

Session 3: 250 meters x 12; rest 30 sec @ 80% effort 

Week 11: 

Session 1: 1000 meters x 4; rest 90 sec @ 85% effort 

Session 2: 500 meters x 8; rest 60 sec @ 85% effort 

Session 3: 250 meters x 12; rest 30 sec @ 85% effort

Week 12:

Session 1: 1000 meters x 4; rest 90 sec @ 90% effort

Session 2: 500 meters x 8; rest 60 sec @ 90% effort

Session 3: 250 meters x 12; rest 30 sec @ 90% effort 

PHASE 3 PRE-COMPETITION:

Week 13-15: 

For the final phase of training, the client will be rowing three times a week. In week 13, the intervals are set up to increase per set finishing with a near max effort by the final set. In week 14 a client will practice their pacing for each segment of the 2000m row, the initial 250 meters, the middle 1000 meters, and finish with the final 750 meters. Week 15 will be the testing week. 

Week 13: 

Session 1: 250 meters x 8; rest 30 sec @ 85-90% effort

Session 2: 750 meters x 4; rest 60 sec @ 85-95% effort 

Session 3: 1000 meters x 2; rest 90 sec @ 90,95% effort 

Week 14: 

Session 1: 250 meters x 8; rest 30 sec @ race pace 

Session 2: 750 meters x 4; rest 60 sec @ race pace 

Session 3: 1000 meters x 2; rest 90 sec @ race pace 

Week 15:

2000m row time trial 

THE SLOW APPROACH

The training program highlighted above is not a one size fits all, but the principles inside it can be applied to many individuals who aspire to row a 2K. The goal is to allow maximal expression on a rower. Once this training is completed the client will be capable of rowing at high efforts as well as continue to improve their overall time on this test. 

OPEX coaches follow this methodical approach for any goal their client is training for. They realize that sustainable results take time. That is why they assess their client’s physical capabilities, consult them on their mindset and behaviors, and create an individualized training program for their goals. Want to get your clients’ results? Learn our method of individualized training with our free Coach’s Toolkit.

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