Rowing and riding classes are dynamic workouts with real-life applications to both sports, rowing and cycling. The introduction of power meters to indoor cycles and various preset programs on rowers have taken these classes to a whole new level. An understanding of the fundamentals of each sport, mixed with a little creativity, is all that is needed for an effective, fun fusion class.
Row and Ride Details
Total Time: 60 minutes
Equipment Needed: indoor cycles and rowers
Music: Play various speeds from 128 to 150 beats per minute (warm-up/climbs/flats/sprints/recovery). Use music in combination with the cycling drills, but not necessarily during the rowing and resistance portions.
Setup (2ÔÇô3 minutes): Each participant alternates from a bike to a rower in a predetermined sequence. If possible, set up the room in a semicircle format, with you (the instructor) in the center. Place one rower to the right of each cycle. Prior to class, ensure that all participantsÔÇÖ equipment is set up correctly, according to industry guidelines.
Warm-Up (5ÔÇô7 minutes)
Start with a standard cycling warm-up. Review the cadence recommendations for cycling (60ÔÇô110 revolutions per minute, or rpm), and suggest a rowing rate of approximately 20ÔÇô30+ strokes per minute (spm). Encourage participants to go at their own pace.
Segment 1 (~15 minutes)
Ride: Power Accelerations (6ÔÇô7 minutes). With acceleration demands through various power output levels, this drill simulates road races. Riders gain a higher power output by increasing the resistance in each sprint. Do three sprints (15 seconds) in one set, followed by a full recovery between each sprint. Try to improve and increase each sprint by 5%; three sets per segment.
Set 1: Work phase is 45 seconds: 15 seconds +5%; 15 seconds +5%; 15 seconds +5%. Recovery is 90 seconds. Repeat for sets 2 and 3 at higher intensities.
Row: Basic Technique Review (3ÔÇô4 minutes). This drill focuses on perfecting the rowing stroke.
Although this stroke is one fluid movement, practicing individual components develops a higher level of mastery.
- Row with arms only, 30 seconds (legs are stationary).
- Row with arms and back only, 30 seconds (add a slight body swing).
- Row with legs only, 30 seconds (arms extended, upper body leaning forward).
- Row with legs and back, 30 seconds; keep arms extended (work on proper torso swing forward and back in concert with leg movement).
- Progress to full-slide row, 60 seconds.
Resistance (2ÔÇô3 minutes). Remain seated with legs extended. Grasp handle and begin one-arm biceps curls (30 seconds; 12ÔÇô15 reps); switch arms. Next, perform one-arm triceps extensions in seated position (12ÔÇô15 reps); switch arms. Exit rower and perform 12ÔÇô15 squats. Transition back to bike (about 1 minute).
Segment 2 (~15 minutes)
Ride: Breakaways (6ÔÇô7 minutes). This drill adds power to participantsÔÇÖ pedal strokes. Have the class pedal at a slow cadence with light resistance for about 30 seconds. Cue to increase resistance, lift off the saddle and drive the pedals hard. The breakaway should last no longer than 10 seconds, or approximately 10 pedal strokes.
Summary: Sprint, add resistance, break away for 10 seconds, recover for 90ÔÇô120 seconds. Perform 4ÔÇô6 breakaways with recovery time.
Row: Partial to Full Slides (3ÔÇô4 minutes). The focus of this drill is using the slide at one-quarter, one-half, three-quarters and full positions. Although participants will focus on moving in fractions, the upper body and torso will be in full-row position.
- One-quarter slide: 30 seconds, similar to arm and back drill above. Begin with slide at extended position, but move forward only one-quarter of way up rail.
- Half slide: 30 seconds. Do same movement, but move seat half way up rail.
- Three-quarters slide: 30 seconds. Do similar movement, but move seat farther forward toward catch.
- Full slide: 30ÔÇô90 seconds. Progress to rowing full slide at stroke rate of approximately 26 spm.
Resistance (2ÔÇô3 minutes). Remain seated with legs extended. Grasp handle with one arm and do one-arm rows for 30 seconds (12ÔÇô15 reps); switch arms. Maintain body position and bring arm across body, touching opposite shoulder lightly with handle. Return to start. Switch, and repeat 12ÔÇô15 reps. Come off rower and, while standing beside it, perform 12ÔÇô15 alternating lunges. Transition back to bike.
Segment 3 (~15 minutes)
Ride: Pyramid Drill (6ÔÇô7 minutes). In this drill, the work phase gets longer on a 1:1, 2:1 and 3:1 ratio of work to recovery. The first work phase determines the duration of all subsequent recovery phases. For example, if the work phase is 15 seconds, the recovery phase is 15 seconds. The next set will be 30 secondsÔÇÖ work followed by 15 secondsÔÇÖ recovery, and the last set 45 secondsÔÇÖ work and 15 secondsÔÇÖ recovery. Cadence remains the same, but intensity increases with each work set.
The work-to-recovery sets consist of 15-second intervals. Start pedaling at a comfortable speed (about 80ÔÇô90 rpm) in a gear that mimics a flat road with a slight headwind (a 2ÔÇô3 on the RPE scale). After 30 seconds, begin the drill. Keep the speed steady, but increase resistance so that the work phase feels challenging. Pedal hard for 15 seconds, and then recover in the flat-road gear. Repeat set 2 with 30 secondsÔÇÖ work, followed by 15 secondsÔÇÖ recovery; then 60 secondsÔÇÖ work, followed by 15 secondsÔÇÖ recovery. Repeat the set, going back down the pyramidÔÇö3:1, 2:1 and then 1:1, equivalent to 15 secondsÔÇÖ work and 15 secondsÔÇÖ recovery.
Row: Pyramid Drill (4ÔÇô5 minutes). The rowing pyramid drill follows the same concepts above, but the strokes per minute will increase each set. Focus on good technique and increase both stroke rate and duration.
- Set 1: 15 secondsÔÇÖ work at 26 spm; 15 secondsÔÇÖ recovery at 22 spm.
- Set 2: 30 secondsÔÇÖ work at 28 spm; 15 secondsÔÇÖ recovery at 22 spm.
- Set 3: 45 secondsÔÇÖ work at 30 spm; 15 secondsÔÇÖ recovery at 22 spm.
Resistance (2-3 minutes). Remain seated with legs extended. Ensure that handle is placed in handle hold. Maintain neutral spine but lean slightly back. Starting with hands in at shoulder height, extend them out to sides and return to start position. Repeat continuously for 15 seconds. Next, reach arms to ceiling, alternating between right and left, extending quickly. Focus on engaging the torso. Transition to alternating forward reaches for 15 seconds. Lastly, extend one arm to side and one hand overhead. Bring both arms in and out. Repeat on other side. Exit seat and perform 12ÔÇô15 push-ups off side of monorail.
Cool-Down (5-10 minutes)
Finish with light rowing. Focus on lowering the intensityÔÇöfull stroke followed by legs and back, legs only, arms and back, and then arms only. Incorporate the equipment into the flexibility sequence, making sure you stretch the hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, quadriceps, upper back and chest, and calves.
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