Short and Spicy Workouts from the Archives

Oct 14, 2020

From 1991 to 2003, Larry Gluckman served Concept2 as our Human Resource person—and everyone’s personal coach. Larry had coached numerous Olympic and National Team crews in the years before he joined Concept2, and went back to coaching after he left us. His workout wisdom is evergreen, and well worth reposting 25 years later—with a few updates to reflect that fact that we now have the SkiErg and BikeErg in addition to our RowErg. Here are some effective 30-minute workout ideas from Larry, circa 1995. They are just as effective today as they were 25 years ago!

30 and Out: Quick, Effective Workouts for the Concept2 RowErg, SkiErg or BikeErg

There are times when a short workout is better than no workout at all. Whether you need to fit yours in before your day gets going, or as you're winding down for the day, here are five workouts that will give you a warm-up, stretch and cool down in 30 minutes or less. The common thread in all these workouts is the high quality of effort spread out over about 20 minutes of work.

Warm Up

Warm up with 2-3 minutes of gradually increasing effort with a focus on good technique. Then hop off for 2 minutes and stretch the legs, back, arms and shoulders. Now get back on your RowErg, SkiErg or BikeErg and complete three 10-stroke/pull/pedal segments at increasing spm or rpm. (RowErg: 24, 28, 32; SkiErg: 33, 40, 44, and BikeErg: 60, 70, 80 rpm). This warm-up should take you about seven minutes.

Here are five workouts to try: (Reminder: double the meters if you’re using the BikeErg.)

  1. 4 x 4 minutes with 1 minute easy. Do these pieces at challenging intensity, but not maximum effort.
  2. 20 minutes most meters possible. Fast enough to get those meters, but paced well enough to make it through all 20 minutes!
  3. 5 x 500 meters with 1-2 minutes easy effort between. These are just 500 meters, so should be done a bit faster than the four-minute pieces in #1 above.
  4. 20 x 20 seconds with 40 seconds easy effort between. These are short, so do them with high intensity!
  5. Time pyramid: 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, 1 minutes with an easy minute of effort between each timed segment. Intensity should increase as the workout progresses. Hint: set the Performance Monitor at 20 minutes. On minutes 20, 17, 13, 8, 4, 1, you will complete 2, 3, 4, 3, 2, 1 minutes pieces respectively.

For a cool-down, we suggest at least 2 minutes of easy rowing (skiing/biking), followed by some stretching and core exercises.

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