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Summer 2014 Workout Suggestions by Coach Bill Randall

posted Jun 1, 2014, 9:21 AM by TJ Crew Webmaster
The number one requirement is to get out and do something active, do anything active.


The number two requirement is to work on your weakness – if you are not flexible then do yoga or take a stretching class.  If strength is your weakness (no pun intended), then work on getting stronger.  If endurance is where you falter then get out there and do the distance work that will fix that.  If you have a phobia about ergs then do 1,000,000 meters this summer (if you start now it is more than possible).  Of course I would like to see you get in a boat – a small boat is better than a big boat for the summer when possible.


If you are not rowing, think about swimming for the local swim team or play soccer.  Not interested in that, then here are some ideas to stay in shape over the summer.  These suggestions are not specific to the erg. Swimming, biking, hiking, rollerblading, or running, are all acceptable (but rowing is best and erging is next on that list).  No matter how you do it, make sure in September you are ready to jump right into fall rowing (for competitive rowing at Resilient the erg test, done in the first week, is a 4,000 meter test) or if you are not rowing in the fall (why not would be my first question) then make sure you are ready for winter training.


The workouts should be designed using a step process.


Week 1 (low)                                Week 2 (med)                                Week 3 (high)       


After three weeks, shift back to a low week.


Low weeks are: 3 Utilization workouts, 2 Anaerobic Threshold workout, and 2 weight workouts

Med weeks are: 3 Utilization workouts, 2 Anaerobic Threshold workout, 1 Transportation workout, and 2 weight workouts

High weeks are: 3 Utilization workouts, 2 Anaerobic Threshold workout, 1 Transportation workout, ONE TEST WORKOUT and 2 weight workouts


If you are only going to workout 2-3 days a week (the you are not doing enough, but) mix it up some.  Make sure the emphasis is on steadystate.  If you want to learn more about certain types of workouts and their impacts let me know and I will give you a link to a set of articles by Dr. Fritz Hagerman – the US National Team physiologist for a very long time.


SEND ME YOUR TEST RESULTS AND Let me know if you have questions by e-mailing me at


UTILIZATION (UTIL) WORKOUTS - Also called Steadystate


Purpose: Improve the ability of your muscles to utilize oxygen by increasing capillary density, promoting enzyme activity, and increasing the number of mitochondria in muscles.


Intensity: Low to medium – a heart rate at 70 to 80% of maximum


Heart Rate should be calculated using the formula:  HR = (Max HR – Resting HR) * Target %  + Resting HR

Example:  Resting HR = 60, Max HR = 200 then 75% is (200-60)*.75+60 or 165


With an Erg:

Without an Erg:


Drag:  115

Pace: Sustainable

Rate: See rate guide

Focus = Rowing well, sustaining consistent output, relaxation.  Keep the rate between 20 and 24 SPM

Util 1 = Long steady piece. 30 to 60 minutes. 

Util 2 = Long intervals. 3 x 4k, 2 x 5k, or 2 x 6k

Util 3 = 10 minute “Huskies.” Three to five 10 minute pieces with 90 seconds in between. Think of this as a long piece with some short rests.

Pace: 4’ @ 6k+7, 3’ @ 6k+5, 2’ @ 6k+3, 1’ @ 6k+1

Rate: 4’ @ 18, 3’ @ 20, 2’ @ 22, 1’ @ 24


30 -60 Minute Run

60-90 Minute Bike Ride (not just coasting)

30-60 minute swim

An hour a tennis, soccer or basketball


Note you can break up the steadystate into chunks as with the huskies (see Util 3 on the left)


Purpose: Increase the intensity at which you can work aerobically (with oxygen) before your system switches to anaerobic (without oxygen).   This is the edge of where you can go without creating lactic acid. 


With an Erg:

Without an Erg:


Drag:  115

Pace: Splits are not the focus, but you should be around your 6k base pace.

Rate: 26-30

Focus: Keeping the rate up.


3 x 12’ @ 28 or 

16’, 12’, 8’ with 6 min rest between  pieces

Factorial – 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3,  2, 1 min pieces starting at 6k+10 and working down 1 second on the split each piece – 1 min rest between pieces.



3 x 1 to 1.5  miles on a track (w/ 5 min rest between)

3 x 10 minutes lap swimming  (w/ 5 min rest between)

10 minute intervals on a bike




Purpose: Increase the capacity for oxygen transportation by strengthening the heart and creating the ability for higher cardiac output.


With an Erg:

Without an Erg:


Drag:  115

Rate: 28+

Focus: Consistent power, high output

Trans 1 = 5x1500m, 7min rest, (extra 5 min after piece 3).

                1 - 500m @ 18, 500m @ 20, 500m @ 22

                2 - 500m @ 20, 500m @ 22, 500m @ 24

                3 - 1500m @ open @ 2k pace

                4 - 500m @ 22, 500m @ 24, 500m @ 26

                5 - 500m @ 24, 500m @ 26, 500m @ open

Trans 2 = Five to eight 500m pieces with 4 min rest between pieces

Pace = Best average for the total number of pieces

Trans 3 = 3x10min, 1x7 min

The 10 min pieces are full pressure at  22, 24, 26, & 28 for 4, 3, 2, & 1 minute.  The 7 min pieces is 24 spm for 5 min and open rate for last 2 minutes



6 x 2-4 minute hills

6 x 400 meters on the track (all out) or 6 x 1:30 minutes if you do not have a track

3 x 1 Mile (all out) w/ 10 min rest between runs

6 x 200 yards freestyle (or other stroke) (all out)




6k or 10k for score and then send me the score at




Always respect the equipment, lift at least one partner, and demonstrate perfect technique on all lifts (don’t lift if you are not doing it right).


Do 3 to 5 sets of 5 reps: that provides for strength and some hypertrophy.

Exercises: squat, deadlift, bench press, over head press

Then work the core.