GET MO’ FROM YOUR ROW: How to row correctly, set up a program and get the best out of it!

Hi from France! We touched down for a weeks break at my paps’ place, he has been fighting a battle with multiple myeloma for the best part of 2 years so it is always great to come out here and spend quality time together with him and my step-mother Ariane – who is an absolute legend.

The weather is clear today but we landed in a thunderstorm so I had some time to sit and think about the best forms of HIIT training – as you do. One of the most effective tools in HIIT training is the none other than the concept 2 rower.

For those that don’t use the rower already, this is for you. And for those that already use the rower this is definitely for you too! It is always a positive step to go over the technical points and programming elements that make this type of training such a good option when you hit the gym (or if you have one at home).

Before we begin, you need to have a strong concept of what good rowing is so that you can reap the benefits of this type of exercise without causing yourself some damage in the process.

I was asked the other day about rowing by a friend of mine who wanted tips on how to do it without damaging his back. Instructing on this is a near impossible task without actually being there to coach the person whilst they’re doing it.

To try and remedy this problem I’ve created a little video to give you a clearer idea about what cues to make use of when you’re using this machine.

I feel this still only tells half the story. Rowing requires a very controlled tempo, I describe it as a 2-1 tempo where you take double the amount of time coming in towards the rower as you do pushing away from it.

During the ‘loading phase’ of the movement (when coming in towards the rower) your attention should be focused on keeping your spine straight as you flex your knees. This allows you, in the ‘driving phase’ (when pushing away from the rower) to push through your feet when you move backwards and engage the upper back and brace the core to create maximum torque.

Generate power through good technique rather than trying to just pull as hard as you can through the hands. It won’t help you go faster and it wont help to keep your back safe.

Now, in terms of setting up the rower for HIIT training you can easily set up the screen to set distance, time or calories.

Each of them are good parameters to judge intensity. Here are the tutorial videos to follow to set up a rower for any of those three methods of HIIT training.

Now you know how to set it up, let’s put together some programs.

Easy Intensity

200m/45sec/15kcal ON – 45sec OFF/REST

250m/60sec/25kcal ON – 60sec OFF/REST

Medium Intensity

250m/60sec/25kcal ON – 30sec OFF/REST

3000/75sec/30kcal ON – 45sec OFF/REST

High Intensity

400m/75sec/30kcal ON – 30sec OFF/REST

500m/90sec/40kcal ON – 45sec OFF/REST

Stick to your technique, follow the cues and stay consistent. You will see results.

What is the Right Diet FOR YOU!?

I’ve decideed to give a sneak peak into my first eBook – ‘What is the right diet for you!?’

Below is the first chapter; a simple analysis of what your options are going forward when choosing a diet. If you like what you see, please ‘follow’ the blog and when I release the eBook anyone already following will recieve a FREE copy as a gift for your support. Thank you and enjoy!

Chapter 1 – What are your options?

What is the most frequent question I am asked about diet?

“Patrick, what is the best diet to follow?” or “Patrick, what should I eat after our session?”

The most frustrating thing about this question is, I wish I could give you a straight answer! It would be easy to say; ‘chicken and veg/salad’ or ‘turkey burgers with sweet potato mash’. But, it is not that my decision to follow a plant-based diet is the reason behind why I can’t give you this answer; it’s far more complicated than that.

The annoying but truthful answer to this is…

THERE IS NO ‘ONE-SIZE FITS ALL’ APPROACH.

Unfortunately this answer is also the most frustrating for my client’s to hear.

I can hear you saying it in your head right now; “Surely there is one diet that is better than most…can’t you just tell me what that one is? I haven’t got time to research and read everything and you seem to know what you’re talking about!”

Here’s why I can’t give you a concrete, or a pre-written, diet plan that has been shipped out on a mass-scale. It will not account for the diversity of the people that are following it. You need to think about your diet with a broader perspective. You’ve heard too much mumbo jumbo and your head may be in a bit of a muddle.

Think about this:

  1. Would a diet that works for “all” take into account a persons body type/shape?
  2. Would it take into account how affluent you are (budget)?
  3. Would it take into account the amount of time you have?
  4. Would it suit people from different cultures?
  5. Would it (you see where I’m going with this) take into account someone’s age?
  6. Would it take into account someone’s ethical beliefs?
  7. Would it take into account someone’s gender?
  8. Would it take into account previous experience of undertaking diets?
  9. Would it take into account the cooking facilities available to them?
  10. Would it take into account the size of their fridge/freezer?

This list goes on, and on, and on. I’m not even going to get into the discussion about whether that person in question lives close to a health food shop or farmers market…

To make matters more confusing are, your options for ‘diets’ are ENDLESS.

Paleo, vegan (my choice), vegetarian, atkins, intermittent fasting, 24hour fasting, 5-2 fasting, low-fat, high-carb, regular small meals, irregular big meals, gluten-free, dairy free, macro’s measured, juice cleanses and that list goes on and on…

Now you can see the issue I have with just giving an ‘off-the-cuff’ answer to the simple question I’m asked now, right?

I’m going to use myself as a good example as to why you cannot discount or support any one approach.

I’ve followed low-carb – seen results, intermittent fasting – seen results, high-carb – seen results, dairy-free – seen result’s. Just because it worked for me, and my particular set of circumstances, at that age, with the time I had, doesn’t mean I can ‘cookie cut’ that approach and just give it and say, “use that”. That would be ridiculous, wouldn’t it?

FURTHERMORE, THAT WOULD NOT MAKE ME A RESPONSIBLE COACH EITHER!

The pro’s reading this are saying right now, “Patrick, you’re making this difficult, in order to lose weight you need to exercise more and eat less – it’s pretty simple!”

SIGH….

Well actually diets are actually very similar to other aspects of life; you may succeed in the short-term, but actual success long-term is where everyone falls down.

In order to succeed we need to follow these 3 steps:

  1. Implement behaviors based on knowledge we’ve learnt through other people’s experiences.
  2. Assess whether those behaviors work for you.
  3. Adjust those behaviors to suit you until we get the result we set out to achieve.

Let me make this VERY clear, all diets follow a similar pattern; they get you to focus on what types of food you’re putting in your mouth and how much, they get you to focus on the quality of the food your eating and they get you to control your apatite through the speed at which you eat or frequency.

What I prefer is a nutritional progression model (the ‘Precision Nutrition Model’) versus asking people to “follow a diet”. Because that is what ‘real’ coaches actually do!

Key Understanding 1 –

Understand the word ‘diet’ and what it means. There is no ‘end date’ to your diet, there is no ‘Quick! Fix! Blitz!’ Your diet is carefully selected and implemented after an assessment of your circumstances related to you.

Lets explore this more in the next chapter.