T Nation

Rowing, Strength and All Round Athleticism


@duketheslaya - Merry Christmas and all the best for the New Year!

Happy New Year as well to anyone else who still occasionally follows this.

Training was ad hoc over Christmas and I was really poor at logging it. Still that is in the past and time to get back on it. A big 2018 ahead and hitting a post uni PB on my 30 minute test gives me a real good chance to hit heights this year.


5km row on erg r19 at 1:55.8 split.
30 minute cycle on bike at 244 watts per hour.


Squats: 60/5, 80/5, 100/5, 120/5, 100/5
Pull Ups: 6, 7, 7, 7
Dips: 12, 12, 14, 14

Kept it fairly light getting back into it. A lot more there, just wary of the soreness after slacking on weights in recent weeks.

30 minute run on treadmill at 12kph. Solid enough post squats.



Just active recovery session today ahead of a tough weekend.

1km swim
10 minutes in sauna



River flooded so land training today.

1st Session:
20 minute run

2nd Session:
2 x 20 minutes row on ergo r20 at 1:56.0 split with 3 minute rest.

3rd Session:
Circuits 3 rounds of 30s on 10s off, with 2 minute rest between each round.

Squat Jumps
V sits
Press Ups
Bicycle Sit Ups
Dorsal Raises
Split Leg Press Ups
Sit Ups
High Knees Jogging
Jumping Lunges
Squat Thrusts



16km outing in the 8 with 4 x 7 minutes of work.



6 x 6 minutes row on erg with 1 minute rest.
3 minutes r20 2 minutes r24 1 minute r28

Legs felt really heavy but managed a 1:50.5 split



Deadlift: 70/5, 110/5, 140/3, 160/3, 110/8
Bench Press: 60/5, 70/5, 80/5, 90/5, 100/4
Barbell Rows: 90/6, 90/6, 90/6, 90/6

Kept volume fairly low, but decent little session and should hopefully be in good shape for tomorrow’s 30 minute test. Deadlift felt comfortable and that is the first time I have bench pressed 100kg in a long long time.


30 minutes r20 row on the erg. 8025m at 1:52.2 split.

Suffering from a cold at the moment so happy to still get over 8km.



Squats: 40/5, 70/5, 110/5, 120/5, 130/5, 110/5
Pull Ups: 5, 6, 7, 8
Dips, 10, 12, 14, 16

5 minute run

Bit lacklustre today. Really hoping man flu clears up soon but will just try and keep things ticking over in the meantime.



Double Outing:
11km in coxed 4 with 3 x 7 minute pieces.

6.5km in the coxed 4 focusing on technical work.

Both outings utter garbage today.


Double Outing:
12km in the 8 with 4 x 6 minute pieces.

7km in the coxed 4 focusing on technical work.

Much better today. Needed that with trials coming up for the top 8.


Complexes: 20kg x 8, 40kg x 8
Romanian Deadlift
Barbell Rows
Power Cleans
Push Press

Deadlifts: 70/5, 110/3, 140/3, 140/3, 140/3
Bench Press: 60/5, 70/5, 80/5, 80/5, 80/5

Giant Set:
Toe Touches: 10, 10, 10
Bicycle Crunches: 20, 20, 20
Spiderman Plank: 10, 8, 8

15 minute run at 12kph

Light week this week, but should starting lifting proper weights next week. Used this as an opportunity to focus on form and bracing.


Solid work for 30 mins. I have never done that long of a row. Might try it. I’ve done 10x500 averaging 1’35” with equal parts row rest. What’s a really great 30 minute distance? 9k?


@bustedwheel - Thanks. Still a long way to go. At my fittest, I could do around 8200m keeping the stroke rate at 20 spm. 9k is an excellent score, you would be looking at olympic standard at that level. For the top level club races, 8500m should be a level capable of winning if you can row well enough. 1:35 split is solid for 10 intervals though. When I was at that kind of pace, I was around 6.30 2k. Would be interesting to see if you could break that 6.30 barrier. Do you row much in the gym?


I do row a fair bit, usually lower volume. Did a 1k around 3’10”. Think I could probably do a 6’30”


Going to start gradually doing longer rowing sessions. Maybe 1 day a week doing a longer rowing session and adding a minute or two until I get up to a 30 minute session.

Today did 10 minutes medium at 2700m - That’s the longest continuous I’ve done at one time. Usually I will do 5-10x300-500m at 1’40" or faster pace. Sometimes I will do 10x100-200m at 1’20" or faster pace. Sometimes 10x3 pulls for max watts, have gotten up to 900 a couple years ago.

Had a hard time keeping stroke rate low. Averaged about 22 S/M - not sure if that is too quick a cadence or not? Also - damper setting - what is best setting for a 6’2" guy who is moderately strong?


@bustedwheel - Given your splits during the short pieces, you definitely have the power for a sub 6.30 piece. You may need to do a few distance intervals such as 5 x 1k sprints or 4 x 1500m to build up that aerobic base, but I don’t think you will be far off. A lot of non-rowers struggle with low rating as they are not used to getting into that rhythm, or doing longer distances, it just takes a bit of practice. 30 minutes rate 20 is a popular test during winter season.

In terms of the damper setting, it just depends on upkeep of the machine. I genuinely aim for 130-135 on the drag factor. Just check on more options before you start next time, as often they are not looked after properly. At the boat club that is usually around 5, in the gym I need it on about 7 or 8 to get that drag factor.


30 minute test r20 again. 8058m this time at 1:51.6 split.

Still suffering from the cold and really think I will break the 8100m mark once that clears.


Squats: 60/10, 100/5, 110/5, 120/5, 130/5, 100/5
Pull Ups: 9, 9, 9, 8
Dips, 18, 18, 18, 16

40 minutes UT2 cycle on stationary bike at 218 watts per hour.


Thanks - great info.


@bustedwheel - No worries man and good luck with it. I will be following your log, just let me know if you have any questions.


6km light row on the erg r18 at 1:56.8 split.

Kept it steady and low volume due to seat racing tomorrow.


Seat racing today. To any non-rowers who follow this, it mans 2 4s are timed over a set distance (1.6km each race for us today). At the end of the race, the coach swaps 2 rowers and the race is repeated to see the difference the athlete makes to the boat on the water, but you do not know who will be swapped next.

We did 5 races in total, plus the row back up to the top. Would have been about 17-18km in toal.

Results were devastating though. I thought things felt good through the trials, but according to the times the only race I was swapped for, I was 11s slower :frowning:

By far my worst performance in seat racing and was completely shocked at those times. I can’t ever remember feeling so deflated!



Still in a bad mood a yesterdays performance, but I am not going to improve it by not training.

Again river is flooded, which is annoying because it is my water performance that needs improving, my fitness levels would have me in the top 8.

1st Session:
15 minute run

2nd Session:
4 x 10 minutes (r18, r20, r22, r24, r26 changing every 2 minutes) with 30s rest.
Averaged 1:57.1 split. Not great, but leg were tired and mind not fully in it. Still it is a complete session.

3rd Session:
3rd Session:
Circuits 3 rounds of 30s on 10s off, with 2 minute rest between each round.

Squat Jumps
V sits
Press Ups
Bicycle Sit Ups
Dorsal Raises
Split Leg Press Ups
Sit Ups
High Knees Jogging
Jumping Lunges
Squat Thrusts



15km row on the ergo at r18 averaging 1:59.4 split. Felt pretty comfortable considering it has been a while since I have done this kind of distance in one go.


Deadlift: 60/5, 100/3, 140/3, 160/3, 100/3

Barbell Rows: 60/5, 80/5, 80/5, 80/5
Knees to Elbows: 10, 10, 8, 6

20 minute run on treadmill at 12kph
10 minute walk on incline at 6kph
10 minute cycle on stationary bike at 212 watts per hour.



Had a few days off, with motivation at an all time low. Was nice to have a bit of a social life for a few days, but back on it now. I won’t get to do a proper race until May now given the seat racing results, but I still plan on being fit for the Summer season. Also, my weight has crept up and I was 97.4kg on the 22nd. There is no denying it, I have got a bit fat, so I am now monitoring my diet much more, creating better habits and looking to shed 10kg.

1st Session:
11km outing in the coxless 4 with 20 x 500m bursts. Really tough session.

2nd Session:
Weights Circuit, 3 rounds:
1st Station: 40kg: Deadlift x 6, Barbell Row x 6, Clean & Press x 6, Squat x 6
2nd Station: Bench Press 40kg x 15, DB Press 12.5kg x 15
3rd Station: DB Curls 12kg x 21 Lat Raises 8kg x 15
4th Station: Skullcrushers 12kg x 15 Close Grip Bench Press 15kg x 15

Odd choice of exercises for rowing, but still a solid mornings work.


1st Session:
11km outing in the coxless 4 with 2 x 1.6km pieces

2nd Session:
7.5km outing in the coxless 4. Not a great 2nd outing to be honest.

3.8km run in about 17 minutes. Pretty slow, but running is something I am going to slowly bring in to help cut weight and boost aerobic fitness.


20 minute row on erg at 1:56.3 split r20. Was meant to be 3 lots of these, but just wasn’t feeling it.
15 minutes on the watt bike at 202 watts per hour.

Really bad night’s sleep the last 2 nights didn’t help, but still need to do better than that. Incomplete sessions when not ill or injured s unacceptable!
In more positive news, I was down to 96.2kg on the scales today. I know this can fluctuate a bit so I will not obsess too much short term, but it was nice to see better food prep show early results. I will try and weigh myself weekly to track this.


Just keep at it. We all have low periods. Keep getting 1% better