How to Increase your Concept 2 Times Quickly
The Concept 2 rowing machine is quite possibly the finest piece of gym equipment ever designed, it’s superb for building fitness and endurance, keeping the body toned and is suitable for all body types. On top of this there is little if any body jarring so it will also save your knees from damage (which is always an issue with mindlessly pounding the pavements when you’re jogging).
With that said, the Concept 2 rowing machine provides a great challenge and an awesome motivation tool for those wishing to get fit and lose bodyweight.
Why is the Concept 2 so Awesome ?
If you’ve never been on Concept 2 before, it has a monitor attached which records and shows information relating to the speed and distance you are hypothetically travelling. The monitor can be set to do interval training, times and distance with many different options available on the display.
The most common distance raced or trained for is the 2k (2000m race), which when done to your full potential is so physically draining but also rewarding at the same time. There is nothing like exercising to full capacity and the benefits that come with it (which are both physical and mentally rewarding).
One excellent way to train for improving your 2000m best is interval trainining. Interval training for the uneducated or the ‘not-introduced yet’ is where you perform a set amount of work with a certain amount of rest.
For example, using a Concept 2 Rower you would perform 250m rowing followed by 1 minute of rest for a set amount of intervals.
This could also be work for time rather than a distance followed by a rest period for time.
Interval Training is King
Interval training is a superb way of increasing fitness quickly and efficiently although is not for everyone as it can be very demanding, however you should always train to your limits (if you have a very low level of fitness make sure you keep your intensity low initially and gradually build up). Variety is also key here, as many people find repetitive training very tedious and are more likely to give up before any goals are achieved.
8-12 Week 2000m Concept 2 Training Plan
There are many training plans that can be found on the Concept 2 website, all of them are very good and if followed with effort and a desire to improve will result in increases in fitness and 2000m personal bests. I have followed many of them in the past and have also created my own. I enjoy program designing and tweaking, here is one such plan that I have done in the past.
The program is based around 4 key workouts. How much time you devote to the plan is up to you, but the basis of the program is to try and improve your times for each routine each week over an 8 week period. There is no scientific basis backing this program up, you must monitor your own progress and decrease rest times where you can. When following such a program it is beneficial to monitor your resting heart rate first thing in the morning, once you have established a pattern (your RHR may come down over a period of weeks when you gain fitness), you must look for increases in your heart rate and decide if you are over training or becoming ill for some reason.
Also, ensure you keep a notebook with all your workout information (times/metres/rest times etc) recorded for future reference.
Workout 1 6 x 500m 3 mins rest between intervals (decrease rest time by 10 secs each session)
This is a particularly grueling workout and forms the basis of this program, I recommend doing the 500m as a sprint, aiming to get below your 2000m race pace on every interval. Eg 2k best is 7mins – aim to get under 1min 45 secs on each interval (ideally 5 secs under your PB pace)
Workout 2 3 x 1000m 3 mins rest between interval (decrease rest time by 10 secs each session)
Again this is similar to the 6x500m session and particularly hard too, aim for a similar pace as in workout 1.
Workout 3 10,000m Row 10,000m without a rest, as fast as possible
Not specifically an interval session, but nonetheless challenging! Pace yourself to ensure that you complete the 10k. Target pace would typically be 15-20% slower than your 2k pace.
Workout 4 20 sec on/20 sec active rest for 30 mins
This interval is great for increasing your anaerobic threshold and should be done a little bit faster than your 5k best pace (around 8-12% slower than your 2k pace). Simply pull at your desired rate for 20 secs and follow with some very slowly controlled pulls for 20 secs after until the next 20 secs starts (set the monitor to 20sec on 20 sec off), so you never actually stop rowing for the whole duration of the session.
The 4 workouts can be done in 1 week and repeated the following week for 8 weeks. If you require less intensity on a workout then the 10k pull could replace one of the other workouts. Alternatively do all 4 workouts over a period of days that suits you (i.e over 8,9 or 10 days rather than a 7 day period).