Rower Workout and The Strength Paradox

Row workout

Set resistant to level 4 to 5

5 minutes at 18 stoke per minute then 5 minute at 12 stroke per minute

2-3 x 2000 meter at 25 stroke per minute with 1000 meter at 15 stroke per minute (SPM is a measurement on the display).

Cool down

This is an easy, straight forward workout that focuses on steady state aerobic fitness. Keep the level at about a 6-7 and try not to go away from the 25 SPM.

Body types are a hotly contested narrative in the fitness industry these days. Are you a mesomorph, endomorph, ectomorph or some combination. I mostly a mesomorph, relatively lean with the ability to gain muscle and weight easily. I do have some endomorphic tendencies however as it is hard for me to lose weight.

No matter what body type you are their are advantages and disadvantages to each body type. Personally, I would not worry too much about what specific type you think you fall under.

First- take a general assessment each year of your strengths and weaknesses. Say for example you are a cyclist and tend to be a bigger rider (either muscle or fat). While hills may not be your strong suite, let us say that you can hold a hard tempo on fast or rolling terrain for a long time. I find that our bodies tend to naturalize to their optimal weight over time and if we stray too far from that optimal then it causes problems (both physically and mentally). This is not to say that we cannot lose or improve our body composition, however, really think through the decision to go through months of dieting and training to get into ‘thin climbing shape’ or ‘lean time trial shape’. You may find yourself unhealthier and slower at the end of it and more frustrated and burned out as a result.

Second – once you find your strengths and weaknesses, optimize the strengths and chip away at the weaknesses. Small changes yield big results. Instead of making drastic changes to your training plan, insert small, specific concentrated changes throughout the year. For example, if all of your training is done on flat roads or if you only do the same 1 hour ride every day then stat throwing in specific intervals or courses related to your weaknesses. For example instead of doing 5, 1 hour medium rides each week do 4 of those rides and make 1 ride more interval specific or hill specific.

Third – This will seem obvious but from experience I can tell you not to force yourself to do things you do not enjoy. If you hate lifting weights or hate doing other forms of cross training then do not force yourself to do it, especially if you are already strapped for time. The reason you are doing your given activity is because you enjoy it. Do not force yourself to change to other less enjoyable activities simply because you see something saying that heavier or skinnier people should include this activity or that activity. Work within the constraints of your given activity first.

Keeping what I said above in mind I will use my self as an example. I am 6 ft 195 when training endurance. If I stop endurance training and only lift I will go up to 215-220. As you can see that is a huge swing. My body puts on weight really easily, both muscle and fat. My body absolutely revolts once it goes below 190. I feel horrible and cannot train effectively at or below 190. 195 seems to be my happy place for endurance training. I will be the first to tell you that at 195 I am not flying up hills, but I can power through rolling hills very competitively and can really take advantage of the flats and downhills. Same applies for my running. Through a lot of trial and error I found my body was happy, and its most competitive at 195. I used my weight strategically and really tried to have my A races on courses that suited my strengths. Throughout the year I would focus on my weaknesses and attempt to make my strengths stronger.

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