Week 27: Getting Ready for HOTA and HOTP

With HOTA and HOTP right around the corner, we’ll continue to get plenty of strokes in, and see if we can get those strokes in our race line ups, or at least close to our line ups.

And for this week, I want us to re-emphasize the through that the catch is not a position in the stroke, but rather a motion of a stroke that leads into the drive. I think this idea has gotten away from us just a little bit over the past couple of weeks, as some of us have start to stab the water a bit more.

So again, think of the catch as a motion that starts as soon as we begin coming up the recovery with the legs, with the hands raising into the front end as we begin our square, and once we are squared at three-quarter slide, finish the recovery with the catch by backing the blade it – not throwing it in to the water or stabbing the water. Each motion of stroke leads into the next without any pause or delay of the catch, and of course, the motion of the catch leads into the drive.Overall, this will help make the stroke feel a bit more fluid and relaxed, and less forced or tense.

Below is a video that I’ve shared before from the U.S. men’s program. Focus on the movement of the arms into the catch, as well as the square, catch and go of the blade. It looks effortless, as in they aren’t throwing their hands up and stabbing the water to catch. One motion leads into the next, even as the rating and pressure comes up.

[wpvideo 6d1my1CZ]

Monday:

Warm up: Pick drill by six and once back to full slide strokes, we’ll take it to 18 SPM with 10-15 stroke rotations of cut the cake until we reach the stadium.

Workout: 3 min on x 1 min at 50 percent. The 3 minutes on will be full pressure at a given rating which will be determined by how well we move together. The 1 minute at 50 percent is not a paddle, and will be at 18 SPM.

To start, we will begin the piece by 6 at 20 SPM for the first on series, and we’ll gradually increase rating and add in by 8.

Post workout: 3 x 40 squats and 3 x 30 triceps extensions

Tuesday: 

Warm up: 10-15 stroke rotations of cut the cake by 6 up to the stadium.

Drill/ Workout: Steady state by 6 at 20 SPM at 80 percent pressure. The steady state will include two rotations of pauses with multiple rotations of each. The first pause series will be at arms and body over, and the second pause series will be at half slide.

We will eventually drop the pauses and pic it up by 8.

Post Workout: 3 x 40 reverse lunges and 3 x 40 leg lifts

Wednesday:

Warm up: Pick drill by 6, followed 10 – 15 stroke pause rotations at arms and body over, then half slide. We’ll do two rotations of each up to the stadium, at 18 SPM.

Workout: From the stadium, we’ll continue to warm up as if it were race day. We will pick it up by 6 at 18 SPM and every minute we’ll bump it up 2 beats until we hit a 24, and we’ll then pick it up by 8, and bring the rating up every minute until we hit a 28, which will be our given race pace.

We’ll spin the boats by the channel, which is the marshal area for HOTA, and we will simulate the start of a head race which includes:

  • Lining up the boats in race order in the marshal area
  • Paddling by 6 up to the shoot
  • Building up by 8 to pressure and rating as you go through the shoot so you are at race pace once you cross the start line

For our purposes, the shoot will be starting just prior to the dock along side the AF base and the start line will be as we pass the end of the dock. You can view the course here: https://www.capitalrowing.org/crc/media/civicrm/persist/contribute/images/hotacourse.jpg

Post Workout: 3 x 60 second wall sit and 3 x 60 planks

Thursday:

Warm up: Pick drill by 6 followed by 15 stroke rotations of cut the cake, up to the stadium at 18 SPM.

Workout: Low rating pyramid work: from the stadium we’ll pick it up by 6 at 16 SPM at 75 percent pressure, with rating changes every 4 minutes. The pyramid will follow as: 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 22, 20, 18, 16.

Post Workout: Stretching routine.

Week 26: Lots of Strokes Rowing and Erging

With two weeks to go before we shove off for our first head race, we’re going to continue to get lots of strokes in (on the water and on the erg) to build our endurance and conditioning.

To emphasize this, on Monday, we’re going to switch things up a little. Instead of making any adjustments after the warm up, we will make any adjustments we need to on the other side of the Pennsylvania Bridge before we start the warm up. And once we start the warm up, we’re not going to stop rowing until we return to the dock.

The 6K’s this week will also be capped at 26 SPM.

We may also try to get line ups together if it works out.

Monday:

Warm up: Regular pick drill by six, and once through the warm up, we will take it up to 20 SPM by six.

Workout: We’ll continue by six at 20 SPM at 80 to 90 percent pressure. As the piece goes on, we’ll gradually pump the rating up and take it to all eight. Rating increases will be determined by the coaches and coxswains

Post Workout: 3 x 40 reverse lunges and 3 x 40 scullers

Tuesday (Erg Day 1):

Warm up: The warm up will be the pause rotations from last – at the feather and at half slide. We’ll do three rotations of each for 15-20 strokes each, by six.

Workout: 2 x 16 minutes pieces at full pressure, with 3 minute rest in between.

  • Piece 1: first 8 minutes by 6 at 24 SPM; last 8 minutes by 8 at 26 SPM
  • Piece 2: first 8 minutes by 8 at 26 SPM; last 8 minutes at 28 SPM

Post Workout: 3 x 30 squat/ overhead press and 3 x 30 leg lifts

Wednesday (Erg Day 2):

Warm up: Regular pick drill by six, and once through the warm up, we will take it up to the stadium by 6 with pauses every 10-15 strokes at arms and body over.

Drill/ Workout: Steady state at 18 SPM at 75 percent pressure, with rotations of cut the cake incorporated every couple of minutes. We’ll start by 6 and gradually drop out cut the cake and add in by 8.

Post workout: 3 x 15 push ups and 3 x 30 flutters

Thursday: 

Warm up: Regular pick drill by six, and once through the warm up, we will take it up to the stadium by 6 with rotations of cut the cake every 10-15 strokes.

Workout: 4 x 9 minute pieces with rating changes every three minutes, followed by 30 second paddle, with 90 second rest. Ratings for pieces:

  • Piece 1: 22, 24, 22
  • Piece 2: 24, 26, 28
  • Piece 3: 26, 28, 30
  • Piece 4: 28, 30, 32

Post Workout: 3 x 30 high pulls and 3 x 60 second wall sits

Week 25: A Bit of a Repeat from Last Week… Minus 6K’s

The focus this week will continue as it has the past few weeks:

  • The catch is a motion and not a position
  • Pulling straight back on the handle during the drive
  • Gradual raise of the hands on the recovery
  • Gradual feather
  • Staying supportive with the outside arm at finish – elbow and wrist

And, a lot of strokes. 

 

Monday:

Warm up: By six at 18 SPM, two rotations each of:

  • Outside arm only on the square
  • Inside arm with flat outside hand on the sqaure
  • Inside arm with flat outside hand on the feather

The rotations will be 15-20 strokes each, with regular strokes on the feather in between. Once through the drills, we’ll take it up to all eight until the stadium.

Drill/ Workout:

Steady state at 20 SPM with pauses at half slide, and half slide only strokes included. We’ll incorporate the drill strokes every 10-15 strokes during the steady state, eventually dropping them out, and adding in by eight.

Post Workout: 3 x 40 Sumo Squats and 3 x 15 Push Ups

 

Tuesday: 

Warm up: Regular pick drill by 6. Once through the pick drill, we’ll take it up to all eight, pumping the rating up to 24 SPM until the stadium.

Drill/ Workout: 2 x 20 minute pieces, with 2 minute rest in between.

  • Piece 1: First 6 minutes by 6 at 24 SPM. The last 12 minutes we’ll take it up to a 26 by 8.
  • Piece 2: First 6 minutes by 6 at 26 SPM. The last 12 minutes we’ll take it up to a 28 by 8.

Post Workout: 3 x 30 squats and 3 x 30 scullers

 

Wednesday: 

Warm up: By six at 18 SPM, two rotations each of:

  • Outside arm only on the square
  • Inside arm with flat outside hand on the square
  • Inside arm with flat outside hand on the feather

The rotations will be 15-20 strokes each, with regular strokes on the feather in between. Once through the drills, we’ll take it up to all eight until the stadium.

Workout: Steady state at 18 SPM to start at 90 percent pressure, with pauses at the finish and at half slide. For the pause at the finish, we’ll be on the feather, and focus on the support in the core and the outside arm without breaking down the elbow or wrist. For half slide, pay attention to the core support, the gradual roll up of the feather, and the raise of the hands in and out of that position. 

Pauses will be every couple minutes, for 10-15 strokes, 3 to 4 rotations each. 

Post Workout:3 x 40 dead lifts and 3 x 40 leg lifts

 

Thursday:

Warm up: Regular pick drill by 6. Once through the pick drill, we’ll take it up to all eight, pumping the rating up to 24 SPM until the stadium.

Workout: 4 x 9 minute pieces with rating changes every three minutes, followed by 30 second paddle, with 90 second rest. Ratings for pieces:

  • Piece 1: 20, 22, 20
  • Piece 2: 22, 24, 26
  • Piece 3: 24, 26, 28
  • Piece 4: 26, 28, 30

Post Workout: 3 x 30 high pulls and 3 x 30 modified mountain climbers

 

Week 24: Some Half Slide Strokes and Other Things Sprinkled In

Like the past few weeks, we will continue to emphasize the need to think of the catch as a motion within the stroke and not a position. This through encompasses all the drills we’ve been doing recently, such as the gradual roll up of the square, the gradual raise of the hands into the front end, and the control of the outside arm versus the inside arm during the recovery and the stroke.

All aspects are important because we need to make sure we don’t hit the full slide, pause or hang with the blade, start the drive with the legs, and as a result, miss water that we could have used to send the boat further each stroke.

So it’s important to make sure that when we do the gradual raise of the hands and we have the square of the blade along the recovery, we finish the square which leads directly into the catch, which directly leads into the drive.

If we wait to square we won’t be able to catch when we need. If we drop our hands (our drop our body support which can lead to a drop of the hands), our blade will sky, and we won’t be able to catch when we need. If we rush the slide or hit full slide and stop or bounce off the front end, we won’t be able to catch when we need.

Not cool.

This is because we want to catch as we are roll up with our legs the last inch of the recovery. So keep these items the focus of practice again this week.

 

Monday (9am):

Warm up: By six at 18 SPM, two rotations each of:

  • Outside arm only on the square
  • Inside arm with flat outside hand on the sqaure
  • Inside arm with flat outside hand on the feather

The rotations will be 15-20 strokes each, with regular strokes on the feather in between. Once through the drills, we’ll take it up to all eight until the stadium.

Drill/ Workout: Steady state at 20 SPM with pauses at half slide, and half slide only strokes included. There are several reasons we are incorporating both half slide pauses and half slide only strokes:

  • Give us an opportunity on the pauses to check out body positioning and handle heights.
  • Focus on the gradual roll up on the pauses.
  • Emphasize the need to raise the hands up on the half slide only strokes.
  • Give us an opportunity to hold the proper body support at half slide strokes, without the risk of losing our swing as we hit full slide.
  • Give us an opportunity to get solid pressure strokes using both feet, without the risk of brining our heels up to high into full slide.

We’ll incorporate the drill strokes every 10-15 strokes during the steady state, eventually dropping them out, and adding in by eight.

Post Workout: 3 x 40 reverse lunges and 3 x 40 bicycle sit ups (20 each side for both workouts)

 

Tuesday (Erg Day 1)

Warm up: By six at 18 SPM, two rotations each of:

  • Outside arm only on the square
  • Inside arm with flat outside hand on the square
  • Inside arm with flat outside hand on the feather

The rotations will be 15-20 strokes each, with regular strokes on the feather in between. Once through the drills, we’ll take it up to all eight until the stadium.

Drill/ Workout: 2 x 18 minute pieces, with 2 minute rest in between.

  • Piece 1: First 6 minutes by 6 with pauses at half slide every 10-15 strokes at 22 SPM. The last 12 minutes we’ll take it up to a 24 by 8.
  • Piece 2: First 6 minutes by 6 with half slide strokes every 10-15 strokes at 24 SPM. The last 12 minutes we’ll take it up to a 26 by 8.

Post Workout: 3 x 40 squats and 3 x 40 leg lifts

 

Wednesday (Erg day 2):

Warm up: By six at 18 SPM, two rotations each of:

  • Outside arm only on the square
  • Inside arm with flat outside hand on the square
  • Inside arm with flat outside hand on the feather

The rotations will be 15-20 strokes each, with regular strokes on the feather in between. Once through the drills, we’ll take it up to all eight until the stadium.

Workout: Steady state at 18 SPM to start at 90 percent pressure.

Post Workout: 3 x 20 high pulls and 3 x 40 flutters

 

Thursday:

Warm up: Regular pick drill by six with extended rotations at half slide. When back to full, 18 SPM with pauses at half slide for 15-20 stroke rotations, until we reach the stadium.

Workout: 2 min on X 1 min off. On strokes will be full pressure at various ratings between a 20 SPM and 30+ SPM, and off strokes will be 50 percent pressure at 18 SPM.

Notes:

  • We will start with 1 minute on.
  • We will start by 6 for a couple rotations.
  • Coaches/ coxswains will determine on rating strokes based on how the boats feel.
  • On strokes will be called within the last 10 seconds of the off strokes.

Post workout: 3 x 70 second planks and 3 x 70 second wall sits.

 

Week 23: The Catch is Not a Position in the Stroke, but a Motion

The past week or so I’ve been asking boats to think about the catch in different terms; specifically that the catch is not a position in the stroke, but rather a motion of a stroke that leads into another. This idea is being emphasized to help rowers avoid pausing at full slide, which leads rowers to hang the blade above the water, then catch, then drive. This stop and go positioning hinders the rhythm of the rowers in the boat, throws of catch timing, and causes rush – all things we don’t like. 

So what I want us to do, is lose the hang, lose the “then catch,” and lose the “then drive.” Start thinking of the catch as a motion that starts as soon as we begin coming up the recovery with the legs, with the hands raising into the front end as we begin our square, and once we are squared at three-quarter slide, finish the recovery with the catch.

Each motion of stroke leads into the next without any pause or delay of the catch, and of course, the motion of the catch leads into the drive.Overall, this will help make the stroke feel a bit more fluid and relaxed, and less forced or tense. 

And to emphasize this even more, below is a close up video of the body positions leading into the next in regular speed, followed by slow motion. You should be able to see that the arms lead into the body, body leads into legs, and the arms on the recovery lead into the catch, and there is no delay between any of motions. 

Video 1:

 

Monday:

Warm up: We will to do the pauses from the past couple of weeks – at the feather and arms and body over – 10-15 stroke rotations and three times through the boat for each position.

Drill: By six at 18 SPM, we will do 10-15 stroke rotations of:

  • Outside arm only on the square: Focus on the control of the outside arm, as well as the control it has for dropping the blade in the water. Often times the inside arms brings with it a more aggressive catch than what’s needed.
  • Flat outside hand on the square: Let the inside arms work a little here, while the outside palm rests on top of the handle with the fingers extended, even when we are on the drive. We want to avoid breaking down the outside arm at the finish and through the release. If we do, it’s a wasted motion.
  • Flat outside hand on the feather: Same as above, but on the feather we need to pay attention to the outside arm and make sure it stays supportive through the finish.

We will do each drill segment two times through, and once complete, we will drop the drills and gradually bring the rating up from the 18 on the way back, and add in by 8.

Post Workout: 3 x 40 squats and 3 x 30 leg lifts

 

Tuesday:

Warm up: We’ll do 10-15 stroke rotations of outside arm only, inside hand with flat outside hand on the square, and inside hand with flat outside hand on the feather. 

Drill/ Workout: To really emphasize the importance of having one position lead into the next, and being ready for the catch, we will be doing catch calls. This means, wherever we are on the recovery, arms away, or half slide or three-quarter slide, as soon as you hear “catch,” you’ll catch and drive.

So it will be very important to listen to the coaches and the coxswains when we are doing these. It will also be important to have a quick pop/ turnaround to make sure we are applying appropriate pressure on the drive. 

The drill strokes will also be on the square by six, at various ratings as the practice goes on. 

Post Workout: 3 x 40 reverse lunges and 3 x 15 push ups

 

Wednesday:

Warm up: 10-15 stroke rotations of outside arm only, inside hand with flat outside hand on the square, and inside hand with flat outside hand on the feather. 

Workout: 2 x 16 minute pieces, with the first eight minutes of each piece by six with catch calls incorporated. 

  • Piece 1: 20 SPM for first eight minutes, then 22 SPM by all eight. 
  • Piece 2: 22 SPM for first eight minutes, then 24 SPM by all eight.

 Post Workout: 3 x 30 sumo squats and 3 x 30 scullers

 

Thursday:

Warm up: Regular pick drill followed by 10-15 stroke rotations of outside arm only. 

Workout: Steady state at 24 SPM. The first half by six, and eventually taking it up to 8. 

Post Workout: 3 x 60 second planks and 3 x 60 second wall sits.