Offseason Rowers Program

Redefined Fitness Offseason Rowers Training Program

Every sport has specific demands, and rowing is no different. A great rower must produce massive power, have incredible endurance, mental grit, and a balanced and limber body. But, you cannot give 100% effort to each of these areas at the same time. The most effective offseason programs are designed around periodization. This allows athletes to focus on specific skills that enable them to start their season powerful, strong, focused and limber, yet not overtrained or exhausted. The idea is to achieve peak intensity and endurance at the final race of the season, not before the season starts.

Redefined’s program is designed to make our rowers stronger, more explosive, mentally tough and physically balanced. Our program is designed to maximize a rowers strength and decrease their risk of injury. As the weeks progress, the volume decreases while weight and intensity should increase, allowing the rower to begin the season fresh, strong and not overtrained.

The program begins the week the fall season ends. During this time, we focus on getting the rowers’ body symmetry back, loosening tight muscles and restoring posture. Unbalanced, tight muscles become inefficient and weak. To make the fastest and largest gains, you need to start with a body free of restrictions. Posture is also a huge issue. Rowers develop forward rounded shoulders, a hunched upper back and tightness in the front of their hips, which inhibits muscle function and can lead to more serious problems later in life. We try to correct this by teaching self trigger point releases, foam roll work and appropriate stretches to combat postural issues. Then, we’ll apply strengthening exercises to maintain our newfound body position.

Next, we progress into our strength portion of the program. Generally, in the strength phase, athletes are working 3-4 sets of an exercise with 8-15 reps per set. This volume/load combination produces the most muscle gain, which is what we’re after in this phase. We focus on lower body lifts like squats and deadlift variations to build strong legs. We’ll work on overhead pressing exercises to build balance through the shoulders. Additionally, a lot of attention is given to core strength, body position, intensity, volume and rest.

The last offseason phase focuses on power. During this time, volume is scaled back and intensity is increased. We want to gear up the rower’s anaerobic power output and go into the season feeling fresh, not drained. These workouts focus on being more explosive, while still challenging. Short, intense circuits with exercise like med ball slams, box jumps and plyo-push up variations will comprise many of the workouts.

The Redefined program is a starting point, and adjustments may be made based on the needs of the rowers in the workout. Our number one goal is for our athletes to begin their season with the lowest risk of injury. It doesn’t matter how strong, powerful or gritty you are, if you can not compete, you are useless to your team. Our second goal is for our rowers to improve their competitive advantage. We want them to feel strong physically and mentally.

We have enjoyed great success with the rowers we’ve worked with over the years. We want to continue the tradition by delivering the most complete offseason plan to optimize performance. We are confident that following our highly specialized rowing program will give our rowers their best season yet. We look forward to coaching you soon!

-Rich Bihl for Redefined Fitness

Below is an example of the strength portion of our periodized rowing program. Again, the workouts will change slightly based on who is training, what our immediate goal/problem is and what phase of the program we’re in.

Week

Work Set Volume

Workout 1.

Upper Body

Workout 1.

Lower Body

Workout 2. Upper Body

Workout 2.

Lower Body

1

4 X 15

Barbell Overhead Strict Press

Deadlift

Inverted Bodyweight Row

Front Squat

2

2 X 15

2 X 12

Half Kneeling Dumbbell Press

Kettle bell Swings

2 Handed

Single Arm Rows

Bulgarian Split Squat

3

4 X 12

Barbell Push Press

Romanian Deadlift

Pendlay Row

High Pull

4

2 X 12

2 X 9

Cable Single Arm Press Variations

Kettle Bell Single Arm Swings

Cable Single Arm Rows

TRX Single Leg Squat

5

2 X 11

2 X 10

Barbell Overhead Strict Press

Deadlift

Inverted Bodyweight Row

Front Squat

6

2 X 11

2 X 10

Half Kneeling Dumbbell Press

Kettle Bell Swings

2 Handed

Single Arm Rows

Bulgarian Split Squat

7

2 X 10

2 X 9

Barbell Push Press

Romanian Deadlift

Pendlay Row

High Pull

8

4 X 8

Cable Single Arm Press Variations

Kettle Bell Single Arm Swings

Cable Single Arm Rows

TRX Single Leg Squat

9

4 X 8

Barbell Overhead Strict Press

Deadlift

Inverted Bodyweight Row

Front Squat

10

2 X 15

Half Kneeling Dumbbell Press

Kettle Bell Swings

2 Handed

Single Arm Rows

Bulgarian Split Squat

11

2 X 8

2 X 5

Barbell Push Press

Romanian Deadlift

Pendlay Row

High Pull

12

2 X 8

2 X 5

Cable Single Arm Press Variations

Kettle Bell Single Arm Swings

Cable Single Arm Rows

TRX Single Leg Squat

13

2 X 6

2 X 5

Barbell Overhead Strict Press

Deadlift

Inverted Bodyweight Row

Front Squat

14

2 X 6

2 X 5

Half Kneeling Dumbbell Press

Kettle Bell Swings

2 Handed

Single Arm Rows

Bulgarian Split Squat

15

2 X 5

2 X 4

Barbell Push Press

Romanian Deadlift

Pendlay Row

High Pull

16

2 X 5

2 X 4

Cable Single Arm Press Variations

Kettle Bell Single Arm Swings

Cable Single Arm Rows

TRX Single Leg Squat

17

2 X 4

2 X 3

Barbell Overhead Strict Press

Deadlift

Inverted Bodyweight Row

Front Squat

18

2 X 3

2 X 2

Half Kneeling Dumbbell Press

Kettle Bell Swings

2 Handed

Single Arm Rows

Bulgarian Split Squat