row2k Features
Collegiate Coaches Corner
Cross Training Part 2 - Customization and Favorite Workouts
January 19, 2021
Erik Dresser, row2k.com

Following the cancellation of the 2020 spring racing season, row2k solicited the collegiate coaching community to engage in a variety of high-level topics within the profession. We submitted over sixty questions across a dozen topics and thank the coaches and staffs that found time to contribute their thoughts during this stressful time.

This week we focus on the topic of Cross Training with the following questions:

DO YOU TAILOR CROSS TRAINING TO SPECIFIC PEOPLE, OR DOES EVERYONE TYPICALLY GET THE SAME WORKOUTS?

KERRI BRACE – CANISIUS WOMEN
While in season, most of the cross training is designed for everyone doing the same thing. It gives multiple venues to shine in, and we always remind the team that typically the best rowers also have great effort in all other venues. However, before heading into the break periods, we like to meet with the student-athletes and talk to them about their weak points and what can be strengthened on their own. It’s in these instances where we can recommend they tailor some of their training to work on their individual deficiencies to be better prepared the following season.


KEMP SAVAGE – EASTERN MICHIGAN WOMEN
We tailor our workouts based on amount of time from training. Our novices start off with bodyweight circuits to focus on technique and core strength, this helps them be able to lift heavier weights when they progress into the weight-room in the second semester. It gives a good base to build a heavy strength work out and get the most out of the time in the weight room.


DAN ROOCK – DARTMOUTH LIGHTWEIGHT MEN
A bit of both. Cross training allows for individual choice of exercise and we take advantage of that, yet we also have mandatory cross training workouts where the team all does the same thing.


GABE WINKLER – OREGON STATE MEN
Having a big team, it’s hard to have specialized training. There is something about having everyone do the same thing at the same time. “We’re all in this together.” 40 guys hammering out on the erg is a beautiful sight. That being said, there is a pretty strict progression that we take in our weight room. The new freshman are not thrown in trying to do a 100kg snatch. That is a very complicated movement that takes time and practice to do correctly. Doing it correctly with a lighter weight will increase your total max in the future.


JENN LANGZETTEL – DUQUESNE WOMEN
This past year we began tailoring training based on 3 specific areas. We identified what area each woman was weakest in, and their cross training was tailored more to their weakness.


BRIAN DAWE – TUFTS
Normally the exercises are the same, but the loads and reps may differ. There are always specific changes made where necessary for any particular athlete. Even body circuits vary some depending on things like injury or mobility issues.


ANONYMOUS HEAD COACH
We program the same workouts for everyone. But how those workouts get applied in cross training is specific to each individual and their needs at that specific time.


BART THOMPSON – ADRIAN
We have the “Flex” or “You Pick” sessions built into certain periods of the year in order to allow athletes to work on the areas in which they have the greatest needs.


ALICEA STODEL – MINNESOTA WOMEN
We do a bit of tailoring to our anaerobically predisposed group. Where they are in a lower HR zone on longer aerobic days.

WHICH SPECIFIC CROSS TRAINING WORKOUTS HAVE YOU FOUND MOST HELPFUL FOR ROWING TRAINING?

DAN ROOCK – DARTMOUTH LIGHTWEIGHT MEN
Long distance biking is excellent for cardio training and leg action. My favorite cross-training is Nordic skiing, but to take full advantage, daily access to well-groomed trails is needed, just what I had while coaching the Green Racing Project at Craftsbury. In the winter, the GRP would ski just about every day for three months straight with just two hard ergometer workouts per week. We’d return to the water in March fresh, very fit, and ready to row. Back and rib injuries were rare.


BART THOMPSON – ADRIAN
I don’t think the type of workout changes much; if our training would typically call for steady state on an erg then we are having the athletes do steady state on a bike.

Mentally, though, sometimes it is easier for a given rower to push really hard when the numbers of an erg screen aren’t in front of them, so we will occasionally do a high-intensity circuit in which the rower can focus is on pushing as hard as possible without fixating on what that looks like on the erg screen.


ALICEA STRODEL – MINNESOTA WOMEN
I have seen strength training have a very positive impact on injury reduction, confidence and posture. Additionally, utilizing the bike on recovery days has been great for unloading both mentally and physically.


BRIAN DAWE – TUFTS
A balance of strength and aerobic fitness is recommended for year-round activity. Some of our best results in the fall have come from women riding bikes for a couple of hours every day. Once they scatter in June, we have them bike, skate, hike, run, swim, climb, and any other thing which produces a great aerobic response for anywhere between an hour and three each day.


ANONYMOUS HEAD COACH
Cycling, elliptical machines for back injuries, versa climbers, prowler pushes.


KERRI BRACE – CANISIUS WOMEN
Running, can go either way. Hill sprints are great, but so are longer distance, slower paced miles. For biking, we like to use upbeat spin workouts, but also now that we have the Concept 2 bikes, we’re learning how to use those for cardio resistance training, whether in intervals or in distance. Swimming is rare enough that we don’t use set workouts, but we do like to get laps in, mixed in with a little pool deck agility. November Project is great. In the off-season, we have a lot of great hike options in Western New York as well.


JENN LANGZETTEL – DUQUESNE WOMEN
Running 6 miles or more and some yoga to really understand your body.


KEMP SAVAGE – EASTERN MICHIGAN WOMEN
We typically have 1 piece added to each of our steady state workouts that is on the bike rather than the erg. The other workout is using the stadium stairs to add an AT workout each week. Our favorite workout is a "Super Mile" which is 240 Stairs on our stadium followed by 4 laps on the track for 2 sets on 18-minute centers, then increasing the number of sets every two weeks. maxing out at 5 Super Miles.


ANONYMOUS HEAD COACH
Getting ofF the erg and just having fun goes a long way. That means going to spinning classes or aerobics classes. Of course, erging is the best but a happy athlete makes for a much better rower.


GABE WINKLER – OREGON STATE MEN
This is just from a personal standpoint, but I work out on an indoor personal bike attached to a power meter (called a Wahoo Kickr) that I can race/train on the virtual biking platform, Zwift. I n this time of social distancing, there isn’t anything better to keep you motivated while indoors. There are races (essentially at every 30 minutes throughout the day) where you race real people, from all around the world.

There are specific training programs to choose from, which are all based on your FTP (your Functional Threshold Power, or how much power you can generate in an hour all out) and can get very challenging. Or you could just ride some of the virtual worlds, some are based on actual locations including an exact replication of the Alpe du’Huez. The reason why I like it is because it combines the 2 things that I am good at: erging and video games. Anything that gets you to go harder than you really want to will improve your fitness. Cross training keeps things new and really helps with the mental health of all the athletes.

During these unprecendented times, row2k is working hard to keep rowing coming to you; please help us keeping it coming by supporting our work!


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