concept 2 rowing machine

Interval Rowing for High Intensity Cardio

By on 9 September, 2015

If you’re short on time and want to get some high impact cardio done, interval rowing is an excellent option. Within a very short period, you can really get a lot of intensity in and I can guarantee you, you’ll feel great (like “I just had a hard workout” great).

How does it work? Basically, you alternate high intensity rowing (just under 2 minutes) with a 1-minute rest. If you have an indoor rowing machine in your gym, this works perfect. This is how it works. First, row 500 meters. Aim to do it in less than 2 minutes if you can, otherwise as fast as you can. Once you hit 500 meters, you stop and take a rest for one minute. Then do another 500 meters, followed by a one minute rest, and repeat for as many times as you can or have time to do. The faster you do the 500 meters, the higher the intensity. Ensure that you keep good form though. During the one minute rest, you can get off the rower, stretch, walk around or just focus on catching your breath…but stick to only one minute!

Each cycle will take you about three minutes so, depending on your available time, you can do as many as possible but I wouldn’t recommend doing less than 5 cycles (15 minutes in total) if you want to work up a sweat.

To add even more intensity, you could mix in some body-weight exercises during the 1-minute “rest”. I will cover a similar routine including cardio and body-weight exercises in my next fitness post.

Keep in mind that these concepts can be applied to other forms of cardio as well. No need to limit yourself to rowing. Furthermore, this can also be incorporated into your overall training routine, not only when you’re short on time.

Tip: if you’re using a Concept 2 (like the one featured in the image) there is a setting that does all the timing and distances for you so you don’t need to keep track yourself. This is quite handy.


Keep growing and stay healthy!

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