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Designing your own training program – Andrew Randell (PhD)

Current stay at home restrictions due to Covid-19 along with the closure of all public gyms and training venues has led to most physical exercise being conducted in or around the home. Equipment and space can be restricted, so we need to be adaptable and understand the basics of exercise prescription.

As far as physical health is concerned, the heart is the most important muscle to target (due to the high mortality rate of heart disease and obesity in our society) and as the saying goes – if you don’t use it, you will lose it! To exercise the heart muscle, we need to elevate heart rate. To do this training programs manipulate three variables of work: repetition; volume; and intensity. Dose response studies demonstrated that you get your biggest ‘bang for buck’ with a minimum frequency of 3-4 session per week, 30-40min in duration, at an intensity of 60-70% heart rate max (220 minus your age will give you a reasonable estimation of your maximal heart rate).

 With this base knowledge you can set about designing a program to suit your own individual circumstances. Note: If you are an individual with a poor training history it would be wise to build basic strength prior to heading out for a 20min run or ergometer session. This can be done through simple body circuits such as the examples below.

Please note:

By following and using this exercise program you acknowledge you are fully responsible for any and all injuries that may occur.

 When using this program, you need to use common sense and exercise caution to reduce and avoid injury.

Rowing Australia Limited (RA) recommends that you consult with your doctor before beginning any exercise or training program. Do not start this program if your doctor advises against it. If you experience faintness, dizziness, pain or shortness of breath at any time while exercising you should stop immediately. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a doctor.

Performing the exercises or using any information presented in this program is solely at your own risk.

RA and all people involved in this program disclaim all warranties, express or implied, and will not be liable for any injury or harm that may arise out of use of this program.

 Body Circuit:

  • 3-4 Sets; 1 Minute Or 30 Reps On Each Exercise
  1. RUNNING ON THE SPOT
  2. BURPEES
  3. BENT KNEE SITUPS
  4. ROWING SQUATS
  5. STAR JUMPS
  6. OPPOSITE ARM LEG LIFTS
  7. ROWING SITUPS
  8. SPRINGING SQUATS
  9. PUSHUPS
  10. PULLUPS/TRICEPS PRESS

 

Running

Rowing races are largely aerobic so if you don’t have access to a scull or ergo, running is probably the next best activity. Remember the basics, 3-4 session per week of 30-40min duration at an intensity of 60-70% heart rate max. A reasonable fit person who exercises regularly would cover between 20-40Km per week. Typical runs would include 5Km @ 20-25min pace, 8Km @ 28-35min pace and 10Km @ 45-60min pace. These should be alternated with track sessions to help maintain your strength and speed. Examples of track sessions are listed below:

 6km Session A:

  • 2km warm up ,
  • 10x400m @ 75-90sec pace jogging 100m recovery between each rep,
  • then 400m walking warm down

6Km Session B:

  • 2km warm up ,
  • 3x1Km strong pace, walk 400m recovery between each rep
  • 800m walking warm down

6Km Session C:

  • 1km warm up ,
  • 4 sets of (4x200m) 35-40seconds, jog 200m recovery (or walk one minute) between sets
  • 400m walk warm down

 

Rowing Ergometer

The rowing ergometer, like running is a whole-body exercise with the advantage of being weight supportive i.e. if you have knee or back issues you may find this a more practical way in which to elevate your heart rate. The same principles of exercise prescription apply, 3-4 session per week, 30-40min in duration at an intensity of 60-70% heart rate max. A regularly exercising rower would undertake three T1/T2 intensity session per week (see table below which outlines training intensities based off a 2km maximal ergometer test) and alternating these with T4 and T5 intensity sessions. Examples of training sessions appropriate for each training intensity are listed below.

T1 session

  • 2km warm up,
  • 30-40’ @ R20
  • 1km cool down/stretch

T2 session

  • 2km warm up,
  • 1-2×19’ piece (4’3’2’1’2’3’4) @ R18/20/22/24/22/20/18
  • 1km cool down/stretch

T4 session

  • 2km warm up,
  • 1×20’ piece (20”on/20”light) @ R30
  • 1km cool down/stretch

T5 session

  • 2km warm up,
  • 4×3’on/3’light @ R28
  • 1km cool down/stretch

 

ERGOMETER TRAINING INTENSITIES – Peter Shakespear

    T1 T2 T4 T5
Best Time Average Light aerobic/ recovery moderate aerobic Threshold Maximum Aerobic
2 km 500m split 500m split 500m split 500m split 500m split
5:44 1:26 01:50.7 01:43.7 01:36.7 01:33.2
5:48 1:27 01:52.0 01:44.9 01:37.8 01:34.3
5:52 1:28 01:53.2 01:46.1 01:38.9 01:35.3
5:56 1:29 01:54.5 01:47.3 01:40.1 01:36.4
6:00 1:30 01:55.8 01:48.5 01:41.2 01:37.5
6:04 1:31 01:57.1 01:49.7 01:42.3 01:38.6
6:08 1:32 01:58.4 01:50.9 01:43.4 01:39.7
6:12 1:33 01:59.7 01:52.1 01:44.5 01:40.8
6:16 1:34 02:01.0 01:53.3 01:45.7 01:41.8
6:20 1:35 02:02.3 01:54.5 01:46.8 01:42.9
6:24 1:36 02:03.5 01:55.7 01:47.9 01:44.0
6:28 1:37 02:04.8 01:56.9 01:49.0 01:45.1
6:32 1:38 02:06.1 01:58.1 01:50.2 01:46.2
6:36 1:39 02:07.4 01:59.3 01:51.3 01:47.3
6:40 1:40 02:08.7 02:00.6 01:52.4 01:48.3
6:44 1:41 02:10.0 02:01.8 01:53.5 01:49.4
6:48 1:42 02:11.3 02:03.0 01:54.7 01:50.5
6:52 1:43 02:12.5 02:04.2 01:55.8 01:51.6
6:56 1:44 02:13.8 02:05.4 01:56.9 01:52.7
7:00 1:45 02:15.1 02:06.6 01:58.0 01:53.8
7:04 1:46 02:16.4 02:07.8 01:59.2 01:54.8
7:08 1:47 02:17.7 02:09.0 02:00.3 01:55.9
7:12 1:48 02:19.0 02:10.2 02:01.4 01:57.0
7:16 1:49 02:20.3 02:11.4 02:02.5 01:58.1
7:20 1:50 02:21.6 02:12.6 02:03.7 01:59.2
7:24 1:51 02:22.8 02:13.8 02:04.8 02:00.3
7:28 1:52 02:24.1 02:15.0 02:05.9 02:01.4
7:32 1:53 02:25.4 02:16.2 02:07.0 02:02.4
7:36 1:54 02:26.7 02:17.4 02:08.2 02:03.5
7:40 1:55 02:28.0 02:18.6 02:09.3 02:04.6
7:44 1:56 02:29.3 02:19.8 02:10.4 02:05.7
7:48 1:57 02:30.6 02:21.0 02:11.5 02:06.8
7:52 1:58 02:31.9 02:22.3 02:12.7 02:07.9
7:56 1:59 02:33.1 02:23.5 02:13.8 02:08.9
8:00 2:00 02:34.4 02:24.7 02:14.9 02:10.0
8:04 2:01 02:35.8 02:26.2 02:16.3 02:11.2
8:08 2:02 02:37.1 02:27.5 02:17.5 02:12.3
8:12 2:03 02:38.4 02:28.8 02:18.7 02:13.4
8:16 2:04 02:39.7 02:30.1 02:19.9 02:14.5
8:20 2:05 02:41.0 02:31.4 02:21.1 02:15.6
8:24 2:06 02:42.3 02:32.7 02:22.3 02:16.7
8:28 2:07 02:43.6 02:34.0 02:23.5 02:17.8
8:32 2:08 02:44.9 02:35.3 02:24.7 02:18.9
8:36 2:09 02:46.2 02:36.6 02:25.9 02:20.0
8:40 2:10 02:47.5 02:37.9 02:27.1 02:21.1
8:44 2:11 02:48.8 02:39.2 02:28.3 02:22.2
8:48 2:12 02:50.1 02:40.5 02:29.5 02:23.3
8:52 2:13 02:51.4 02:41.8 02:30.7 02:24.4
8:56 2:14 02:52.7 02:43.1 02:31.9 02:25.5
9:00 2:15 02:54.0 02:44.4 02:33.1 02:26.6
9:04 2:16 02:55.3 02:45.7 02:34.3 02:27.7
9:08 2:17 02:56.6 02:47.0 02:35.5 02:28.8
9:12 2:18 02:57.9 02:48.3 02:36.7 02:29.9
9:16 2:19 02:59.2 02:49.6 02:37.9 02:31.0
9:20 2:20 03:00.5 02:50.9 02:39.1 02:32.1
9:24 2:21 03:01.8 02:52.2 02:40.3 02:33.2
9:28 2:22 03:03.1 02:53.5 02:41.5 02:34.3
9:32 2:23 03:04.4 02:54.8 02:42.7 02:35.4
9:36 2:24 03:05.7 02:56.1 02:43.9 02:36.5
9:40 2:25 03:07.0 02:57.4 02:45.1 02:37.6
9:44 2:26 03:08.3 02:58.7 02:46.3 02:38.7
9:48 2:27 03:09.6 03:00.0 02:47.5 02:39.8
9:52 2:28 03:10.9 03:01.3 02:48.7 02:40.9
9:56 2:29 03:12.2 03:02.6 02:49.9 02:42.0
10:00 2:30 03:13.5 03:03.9 02:51.1 02:43.1

With the basic understanding of exercise prescription outlined above you have the tools required to design you own program that can be gradient increased at your own pace. Have fun with it and if you run out of ideas, a quick Google search will provide many examples of ergo programs for you to work from.

Get stuck into it!

PDF Version Available here.