Following our training plans

Created with expert input from the strength and conditioning coaches and physiologists who support the GB Rowing Team, these brand new indoor rowing training plans are aimed at anyone keen to improve their performance on the rowing machine. Each has a different end goal – either fitness, speed or strength.

Each plan covers an entire eight week period and will be released in parts over the coming weeks. The sessions have been designed to reflect the specific outcome of each plan, and the exercises included are aimed at supporting your rowing training to help you achieve that goal. 

If you’re new to the indoor rowing machine, then we would recommend that you begin with the Fitter plan as this is a great introduction to training consistently on the rowing machine. 

Fitter

Three rowing sessions and at least one strength session per week. If you have time for more strength, repeat the session. Check out the session plans below:

CardioS&C
Week 1Click hereClick here
Week 2Click hereClick here
Week 3Click hereClick here
Week 4Click hereClick here
Week 5Click hereClick here
Week 6Click hereClick here
Week 7Click hereClick here
Week 8Click hereClick here

These training plans are also supported by articles and insight from a whole range of experts, ranging from nutrition advice from Hatty Bates and cross-training ideas from the GB Rowing Team’s Vicky Thornley.

Faster

This eight week programme consists of three rowing sessions and three strength session per week, all designed to get you quicker on the rowing machine.

The strength sessions have been split into upper body, lower body and full body. If you don’t have time to do them all each week make sure you alternate through them, so you’re covering all three every two weeks to keep your training balanced.

Each session, rowing and strength, is designed to be done on a different day.

For the cardio sessions, do them in the order set out in the training plan, and do the same for the strength and conditioning (S&C), but also follow the order of the exercises, mobility first, then conditioning, lift and trunk to finish the session.

Check out the session plans below:

CardioS&C
Week 1Click hereClick here
Week 2Click hereClick here
Week 3Click hereClick here
Week 4Click hereClick here
Week 5Click hereClick here
Week 6Click hereClick here
Week 7Click hereClick here
Week 8Click hereClick here

These sessions are all accompanied by further expert articles to help you get faster on the rowing machine, such as a look at HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) with British Rowing Master Trainer David Howatson.

Power

As mentioned in the training plan, you should look to increase the tempo on the concentric contraction of the exercises in the final two weeks of the FASTER training programme.

By this, we mean that you should make the movement more explosive or dynamic in nature, whilst still keeping control and good technique.

The idea is to encourage more of the fast twitch muscle fibres to be recruited for the movement, to improve the dynamic element of your training.

Stronger

This eight week plan is all about getting your power increased on the rowing machine. As with the Fitter and Faster plans, each week is split into cardio sessions and strength & conditioning sessions – check them out below:

CardioS&C
Week 1Click hereClick here
Week 2Click hereClick here
Week 3Click hereClick here
Week 4Click hereClick here
Week 5Click hereClick here
Week 6Click hereClick here
Week 7Click hereClick here
Week 8Click hereClick here

The Stronger training plan is also support by a wealth of additional training advice and expert insight, such as this breakdown of the deadlift by Katie James.

How to follow these training plans

Whilst going through any of our three training plans, you’ll come across detailed exercises focusing on mobility and movement, conditioning, general strength and trunk strength respectively – explanations of each section can be found below:

Mobility and movement control

The aim is to improve the ability of your joints, so that they move through their full range of motion, in order to prepare for the session ahead. These exercises should involve:

  • loose, fluid movements
  • full range of motion for joints
  • no stop or hold in a position, but movement throughout the full range of motion.

Conditioning

The aim is to prepare the muscles for the movement they are about to perform. These exercises should involve:

  • a strict tempo of 2 seconds eccentric, 2 seconds concentric
  • a light load – e.g a plate, or bodyweight only
  • full range of motion
  • no stop or hold in a position, but movement throughout the full range of motion.

Strength

Perform the exercises following the reps and sets laid out in the programme. This section will improve your body’s strength and power. These exercises should involve:

  • good technique
  • full range of motion
  • a heavier load than the movement control exercises – but you should still be able to complete the full number of reps in each set without a loss of technique.

Trunk

Strong trunks benefit indoor rowers by improving the connection between the different phases of the stroke (eg the drive: legs, body, arms). These exercises should involve:

  • good technique
  • controlled movement through the full range of motion
  • controlled breathing throughout the exercise, especially during isometric (holding) exercises
  • bodyweight only

Exercise Library

Don’t forget, you can check out how to properly perform each exercise in the training plans with our Exercise Library.