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]


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


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


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


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.