Beyond the sun, warm weather, and vacation time, summer is also a wonderful time to make gains to lay the foundation for the rest of your training year. If you’re a spring 2k rower following the block periodization system, summer marks the turning of the page into the next training year. Whatever you accomplished, however many medals you won, and no matter what PR’s you hit in the previous spring, training for more and faster starts now. Summer strength training will follow the general preparation phase model of block periodization.
“General” is the name of the game for this block of 10-16 weeks. Forget about your 2k or 6k erg time and set some goals outside of short-distance rowing. No one cares how fast you are or how strong you are in July, so don’t waste time and effort trying to hit 2k PRs or new 1-rep maxes now. There’s plenty of time for that later, and working on some different goals now will help you now and in the future. The whole goal of summer strength training is building a broad base and foundation for the rest of the year. High variety of exercises, high variety of rep ranges, and high variety of cross-training.
Why is strength training important for rowing? The answer is simple. Increasing your strength decreases the amount of effort required per stroke, which increases your endurance. Read more about this in the first article below.
- Basics of Strength Training for Rowing
- Understand the block periodization system and the purpose and goal of the summer general preparation block
- Summer Training Programs
- Here are two training programs following the popular 5/3/1 system plus my rowing-specific additions and considerations
- Summer Training: Fix Your Imbalances
- Use this valuable time to accomplish the third of four goals of the general preparation block
- Staying Summer Fit for Rowing
- How to train if you’ll be on an extended vacation (2+ weeks) or with minimal equipment
- The 10 Best Strength Training Exercises for Rowing
- Summer is a great time to include more variety in your training, but if you need a starting point, these 10 exercises are it
- Strength Training for Masters Rowers
- Sport Specialization is Not the Answer
- More than ever, summer is a great time to join a recreation/intramural league or pick up a different form of training besides rowing.
Learn the Lifts
Summer is a great time to start strength training if it isn’t a part of your training already. The single biggest factor in your program’s success is how well you perform the lifts. Make sure to get instruction from a qualified coach or trainer if you’re beginning to lift.
- Why Work with a Strength Coach (and how to find one)
- Exercise Index: demonstration and cues for all the exercises I use in my programs
- 5 Lifts to Make you a Better Rower, Part 1
- 5 Lifts to Make you a Better Rower, Part 2
- How to Train Your Rower: The Squat
- FAQ: Squatting for Rowing
- How to Train Your Rower: The Deadlift
- FAQ: Deadlifts for Rowing
- How to Train Your Rower: The Overhead Press
- FAQ: Overhead Press for Rowing
- Core Training for Rowing
Improve Your Mobility
Build Your Knowledge
- Blake Gourley, Joe Deleo, and I host The Strength Coach Roundtable podcast. Every 1-2 months we do a deep-dive into a topic in strength training for rowing with the occasional guest. We’re always taking questions, too.