Indoor Sport Services Training Guide
Our Indoor Rowing Training Guide is the ultimate training resource for the Indoor Rower. Written by top education and coaching specialists, it includes information on technique and training, with programmes on cross-training, 2,000m and marathon race training, weight management and keep fit. There are guest chapters written by top names such as Jurgen Grobler and Chris Shambrook as well as dedicated sections on psychology, nutrition and weight training.
Weight Training - An Alternative Weight Training Method<< Traditional Weight Training for RowersLoading Table >>
by Terry O'Neill
The drawback of traditional weight training for rowing is that the loading is based on the one repetition maximum and not the loading encountered in the rowing action. As the athlete's one repetition maximum (1RM) increases it is an indication of two things; increased strength and better technique. There is no guarantee that it indicates an increase in power. Power is the rate of doing work. For this reason an athlete may produce more power by lifting a sub-maximal weight faster than they would by lifting 1RM slowly. Because rowing is a test of power not strength the Alternative Weight Training Method is constructed specifically to maximise gains in power.
The basic principle of weight-training is that the muscles involved have to be exercised over the range and speed of the primary activity. The whole of the Drive phase of the rowing stroke takes in the region of 0.6 to 0.7 seconds. This means that the individual muscle groups involved are working even faster and weight training that does not reflect this fact and so may not produce any transferable benefits. Muscles develop as a result of the stimulus of the exercise and muscles trained with slow moving heavy loads could reduce their effectiveness for rowing.
This is not to say there is no role for the one repetition maximum system in rowing training. A case could be made to use this form of training for those muscles not used in the rowing action as a way to develop muscle balance. However, because a significant improvement in power can be gained from a small increase in strength, if you follow this type of training for rowers it should not exceed four weeks. Rowers with long levers are not built to handle heavy weights, this is the domain of the shorter, more compact athlete.
The twelve exercises are the same as those used in the traditional weight training programme, the difference is in the methodology and it is important that the changes to the weights and the speed of the circuit are closely followed in order to gain maximum benefit.
By varying the duration and rating of work when rowing we can alter the training effect. In the same way the training aims of each of the development phases can be met by subtle changes to the way the weight circuit is carried out.
The biggest difference between traditional weight training and this programme is in the periodisation. The traditional periods are replaced by six week rotating blocks as described in Periodisation of Training in Section 4 : Creating a Bespoke Training Programme. The first block equates to the transition period and so only needs to be completed once at the start of the programme. After this, on completion of week 24, the programme continues on week 7. This is done so that the physiological benefits developed over the block are carried over into the next block. By returning to the beginning, a positive upward spiral is created. The changes between the blocks are less dramatic than those of traditional weight training further aiding the upward spiral. All the sessions are circuit format and involve all twelve exercises. Also, the difference in the loading through the periods is less than in traditional weight training, which promotes a gradual gain in power with less risk of injury. The programme is set out below:
This period addresses basic fitness as well as the development of the aerobic system. Load the weight bars sufficiently so that each exercise can be comfortably carried out continuously for one minute. At the end of one minute move onto the next exercise as swiftly as possible so the circuit flows. Total work time is from 24 up to 48 minutes non-stop at a pace of 75 to 80% maximum heart rate (MHR). Two complete circuits should be completed in the first two weeks with a third added for weeks three and four and finally four full circuits on weeks five and six. Special attention needs to be paid to the correct execution of the exercises.
The focus changes to specific strength training. The weight on the bar is increased so that the athlete can complete repeated lifts at a given rate for a period of 20 seconds during which time the heart rate will rise to maximum. At the end of 20 seconds the athlete should not be able to complete another lift. Rest for 20 seconds and repeat before moving onto the next exercise. One minute is allowed for changes between the exercises. As the athlete improves, incremental increases in the loading are achieved by either increasing the weight up to the maximum as shown in Table 7.2 or increasing the rate of lifting. These increases should only be applied when the athlete can complete the 20 seconds without any loss of technique.
This is the specific power phase where the weight is reduced. This is so that the athlete can complete 45 seconds of continuous rhythmic exercise at a given rate at each station. At the end of which the athlete moves onto the next exercise without stopping. This gives a total of eight minutes work during which time the heart rate will rise to 85-95% MHR so that total time and heart rate reflect the demands of a 2,000m race. Rest for two minutes at the end of each complete circuit. Three complete circuits should be completed in the first three weeks with a fourth added for weeks 4, 5 and 6.
The final phase deals with speed which, along with strength, are the components of power. Keeping the weight the same as the previous session, the time on each exercise is reduced to 15 seconds during which time the athlete tries to carry out as many repetitions as possible whilst maintaining good technique. At the end of 15 seconds, rest for 15 seconds and repeat. For the first three weeks a total of three sets are carried out on each exercise before moving onto the next until one complete circuit is completed. One minute is allowed for change over. For weeks 4, 5 and 6 the time on each exercise is reduced to ten seconds with ten seconds rest and the number of circuits is increased to two.
|7-12||1-12||20 seconds||15-35+||20 seconds||2|
|19-21||1-12||15 seconds||15-25+||15 secs/repeat||1|
|21-24||1-12||10 seconds||15-25+||10 secs/repeat||2|