Are you a former high school or college rower who has been away from the erg for decades but is now itching to compete again in your age class or the Masters category? If so, this guide is tailor-made for you. Our detailed training plan will help you get back in shape, improve your technique, and maximize your performance on the Concept2 erg for events like the CRASH-B Sprints, the World Rowing Virtual Indoor Sprints, and the Summer Super Sprints Challenge.

Assuming you have access to a Concept2 Model C, D, or E indoor rower, the ErgData app, and a Concept2 logbook, let’s dive into the step-by-step training plan.

Phase 1: Reacquaintance and Foundation Building (Weeks 1-4)

  1. Warm-up and Stretching: Begin each session with 5-10 minutes of light cardio (jogging, cycling, etc.) followed by dynamic stretching to loosen up your muscles and prevent injuries.
  2. Technique Refresher: Start with low-intensity rowing for 10-15 minutes at 18-22 strokes per minute (spm) focusing on proper form, leg drive, and core engagement.
  3. Gradual Progression: Aim for 3-4 sessions per week, gradually increasing rowing time and intensity. Mix in intervals, pyramid workouts, and steady-state sessions.
  4. Strength Training: Incorporate full-body strength training 2-3 times per week, emphasizing core stability, leg power, and upper body strength.
  5. Flexibility and Mobility: Dedicate 15 minutes, 3 times per week, to stretching and foam rolling, targeting key rowing muscles (hamstrings, quadriceps, lower back, and lats).

Phase 2: Building Endurance and Power (Weeks 5-12)

  1. Increased Volume: Aim for 5-6 rowing sessions per week, gradually increasing the duration and intensity of your workouts.
  2. Interval Training: Incorporate high-intensity intervals (e.g., 8x500m with 2-minute rest) and longer intervals (e.g., 4x2000m with 5-minute rest) to build aerobic capacity and anaerobic threshold.
  3. Strength Training: Continue full-body strength training, with added focus on explosive movements (e.g., box jumps, kettlebell swings) and Olympic lifts (e.g., clean and jerk, snatch).
  4. Cross-Training: Complement rowing with 1-2 weekly sessions of cross-training, such as swimming, cycling, or running, to build overall fitness and prevent overuse injuries.
  5. Test and Adjust: Every 4 weeks, perform a 2000m time trial to gauge your progress and adjust training accordingly.

Phase 3: Race Preparation and Tapering (Weeks 13-16)

  1. Race-Specific Training: Incorporate race-paced intervals (e.g., 6x1000m at goal race pace) and race simulation workouts (e.g., 3x1500m at 95% race pace) to prepare for competition.
  2. Tapering: Reduce training volume by 40-50% in the final 2 weeks before the competition, maintaining intensity to ensure peak performance on race day.
  3. Mental Preparation: Visualize race scenarios, establish a race plan, and practice positive self-talk to build mental resilience.
  4. Nutrition and Hydration: Prioritize a balanced diet rich in carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats to fuel your training, and stay well-hydrated throughout the day.
  5. Rest and Recovery: Priorize quality sleep (7-9 hours per night) and take rest days as needed to allow your body to recover and adapt to training.
  6. Final Test: Perform a final 2000m time trial 7-10 days before the competition to set realistic goals and fine-tune your race plan.

Race Day

  1. Warm-up: Engage in your regular warm-up routine, including 5-10 minutes of light cardio, dynamic stretching, and low-intensity rowing.
  2. Hydration and Nutrition: Ensure you’re properly hydrated and have consumed a balanced pre-race meal 2-3 hours before the competition.
  3. Execution: Follow your race plan, maintain focus, and row with confidence, knowing that you’ve put in the hard work during your training.
  4. Cool Down and Recovery: After the race, cool down with light rowing and stretching to prevent injury and aid recovery.
  5. Reflection and Future Goals: Analyze your race performance, celebrate your achievements, and set new goals for future competitions.


By following this comprehensive training plan, you’ll be well-equipped to revive your rowing potential and compete at a high level in the Masters category on the Concept2 erg. Remember that consistency, dedication, and patience are key to achieving success. So, get back on that erg, and let your comeback journey begin!

Image by Sarah Richter from Pixabay