Concept 2 Rowing

Simply the most versatile tool to have as part of your fitness program. Knowing how to use the Concept 2 can take your workouts and results to the next level.  This no impact addition to your training session can be a perfect warm up for lifting or can be the only element of your workout too. All ages and fitness levels can benefit from investing some time on this one piece of equipment. It is worth investing a little time in dialing in perfect form. As you get fatigued good form will get you home sooner and with minimal risk of injury.


Scroll down for suggestions from our Concept 2: workout of the week.

TIP: Don't Think of it as a pull action. Good form is mostly leg work so think of each stoke as PUSHING those feet away.

 WoW #1

WoW #1

W.o.W. # 1

This Workout of the Week is a great way put in a big distance without the boredom or monotony of a steady state 5k.

How Do I Do It?:

Warm up with an easy 1000m. Use this warm up to dial in your perfect form. Then begin the sequence.

10 light effort, long strokes followed by 10 powerful long strokes.

20 light, 20 with power.

30 Easy, 30 Powerful

40E : 40P

50 :50

40 :40

30 : 30

20 : 20

10 : 10

Cool down with light rowing until breathing and heart rate return to warm up intensity.

How to do it well:

By the end of your 1st 20 powerful strokes, You should have an idea of what pace you can maintain. Decide here that this shall be the target pace for the remainder of the power strokes. as you fatigue it will be tough to hold on to it but you will get almost enough recovery during the light phases of this workout.


For this workout I like to set the display to show the Watts bar chart. It shows you just how effective your stroke was compared to previous strokes and you will see that when you relax into a great rhythm with good form, you will see your bar reach higher even though the stroke seems easier. 

Hardcore Option:

Allow yourself 4 transition strokes to get the pace back to your target after the last light stroke. (These 4 strokes are performed at full power though).  After the 4th, refuse to count any strokes that results in a pace slower than your target pace. If your pace is slower than your target, the next stroke to count is the one that gets you back under your target.  In doing it this way you will keep the powerful strokes POWERFUL. Its a great motivator to stay the course as you are coming down the back side of this pyramid. You will also make the connection between good form and good pace. Faster but poor technique will just not get you there near the end.

TIP: Keep your core engaged and tight as you row. Your core is used to keep your spine in line, protected and a strong link from your legs to your arm action.

W.O.W. #2

A really useful feature of the Concept2 is the ability to create your own intervals.

How to Set up for this workout :

Push Menu/Back button.

Select Workout.

New Workout.

From here you can choose single or intervals using time or distance.  For this workout select Intervals: Time.

Use arrow to switch which character to edit.

Use + or - to edit.

Set Time to 3:00.

Set rest to 1:00

Press the check button.

The monitor is now set to repeat this cycle of 3;1 for as many times as you want. It is advisable to warm up well so I suggest a 3 min easy followed by a 3 min moderate poace before beginning your main workout.

For this workout we are aiming for 3 steady but fast paced rowing.

 W.o.W. #2

W.o.W. #2

How to do it well:

It may take a couple attempts to find the best pace for you. To do this one well there should be very little difference in distance completed in the last 3 minutes compared to first 3 minutes. In order to get your max distance you will need to find a balance between pushing hard enough to do well each round but not so hard that you fade early in the last round. In the first couple attempts often you can finish with too much in the tank and you know you could have done more, or you can wipe out if too ambitious at the start. Learn from your attempts and dial it in next time.

TIP: The shorter the workout, the longer the warm up!

 W.o.W. #3

W.o.W. #3

W.o.w. #3

Try this one as a part of your next workout, or if pressed for time, add a good warm up and cool down and stretch and make this one your whole workout. This is a very effective use of 20 minutes.

No need to set up the PM Monitor here. After your warm up just reset by pressing Menu/Back button. The start of every minute is the start of a new round.

How Do I Do It?:


0:00 - 0:12 = All Out Sprint,     0:13 - 0:59 = Light Row recovery.

1:00 - 0:15 = All Out Sprint,     1:16 - 1:59 = Light Row recovery.

2:00 - 2:20 = All Out Sprint,     2:21 - 2:59 = Light Row recovery.

3:00 - 3:25 = All Out Sprint,     3:26- 3:59 = Light Row recovery.

4:00 - 4:30 = All Out Sprint,     4:31 - 4:59 = Light Row recovery.

5:00 - 5:25 = All Out Sprint,     5:26 - 5:59 = Light Row recovery.

6:00 - 6:20 = All Out Sprint,     6:21 - 6:59 = Light Row recovery.

7:00 - 7:15 = All Out Sprint,     7:16- 7:59 = Light Row recovery.

8:00 - 8:12 = All Out Sprint,     8:13 - 8:59 = Light Row recovery.


How to do it well:

The sprints are short so make the most of them. Each one is 100% your best effort each and every stroke. If there is even a quarter of a second left before the recovery time you do get that last sprint stroke in.

Choose a Damper setting that provides you with enough catch so the chain remains level and tight.

Stretch well before and after.

TIP: Set the Damper to a setting that gives you a comfortable catch for the power you are putting in to your strokes. Most world records are set at 2-3. Average beginners often do better set to 4-6, than set to 10. Play with it and find your best setting for each type of workout.

W.o.w. #4

Deemed to psychologically and physically abusive so Workout #4 is no longer available for public consumption.

 W.o.W. #5

W.o.W. #5

W.o.w. #5


A simple but extremely challenging distance to compete with yourself for your personal best time. 2,000 meters is about 400 meters too long to push all out on. This distance on the Concept 2 is performed at competitions internationally, and you can check how you rank for your age online if you wanted to. As with all the other workouts a warm up on the Concept 2 is advised for your best 2000m experience.

How to do it well:

After you have dialled in your pace by doing it couple of times, aim for a negative split. This means that your first half is intentionally slightly slower than your last half. Then creep the intensity up and for the last 500m aim to be under your average pace for the last attempt. Doing this well can ensure a PB with the least amount of discomfort.


W.o.W. #6

This one is not for the faint of heart. This will challenge the fittest of us. But feel free to modify to your own level by subbing in easier exercises or simply taking a break.  This week's workout introduces us to the extremely useful 'UNDEFINED REST' tool, which allows us to set up time or distance intervals without having to commit to a set rest time. This is great for multiple all out efforts where you may need longer recovery each interval as you fatigue. However this setting option really comes into its own when you combine your row with other exercises. After you complete your row, the monitor stays active for up to 10 minutes and ready for you to press ROW again after you have completed your rest or your other exercises.

 W.o.W. #6

W.o.W. #6

500m Sprint, 50 Plank Rows, 50 Weighted Sit Ups

500m Sprint, 40 Plank Rows, 40 Weighted Sit Ups

500m Sprint, 30 Plank Rows, 30 Weighted Sit Ups

500m Sprint, 20 Plank Rows, 20 Weighted Sit Ups

500m Sprint, 10 Plank Rows, 10 Weighted Sit Ups

How to Set up for this workout :

Push Menu/Back button.

Select Workout.

New Workout.

Intervals: 500m

Rest: Push arrow up to select Undefined Rest.

Some Alternative suggestions:

Row / Push Ups / V-Ups

Row / Plank Jacks / Squat Thrusters / Plank with Shoulder Taps

Row / Push Ups / Seconds Rest




W.o.W. # 11

Looking to boost your Aerobic Power? 
Try this one.

3 minute intervals of consistent power with 2 minute active recovery in between. Aim to deliberately keep your Strokes Per Minute (SPM) steady even as you tire. Your avg /500m may slow down as you fatigue, even if you are keeping your intensity levels as written. 


Tip: your recover 2mins is exactly that. Minimal effort, focus on dialing in technique, long easy strokes, getting your breathing rate back down fast and allowing your muscles to refuel for the 3 minutes of power.