chris Abraham Lat Pulldowns

Building muscle for rowing

2016-07-31 21.20.51I’ve actually worked How to Build Muscle for Rowing Review into my workout.  The workout is very simple: seven machine-based workouts, four on one day, skip a day, three on the other. I started out with Betsy at the King Street XSport Fitness so that I could get my max weight sorted out as a baseline: leg press: 240lbs, chest press: 110lbs, lat pulldown: 120lbs, ab crunch machine: 70lbs; then, shoulder press: 55lbs, bicep curls: 90lbs, and triceps extensions: 70lbs. So, that’s the baseline.  I’m starting slow as I haven’t been weight training a lot in a couple-few years. But I am recovering quickly — very quickly.

Here are my numbers so far — I’m working out at my local XSport Express:

Leg Chest Lats Abs Day
7/26/2016Leg Press24083
7/26/2016Chest Press11083
7/26/2016Lat Pulldown12083
7/26/2016Crunch Machine7083
Shoulder Bicep Triceps Day
7/29/2016Shoulder Press5583
7/29/2016Bicep Curls9083
7/29/2016Triceps Extension7083
Leg Chest Lats Abs Day
7/31/2016Leg Press240103
7/31/2016Chest Press110103
7/31/2016Lat Pulldown120103
7/31/2016Crunch Machine70103

How to Build Muscle for Rowing Book CoverThe program is interesting: 6 weeks of the Build Phase, 4 weeks of the Fail Phase, and then 2 weeks of recovery. The Build Phase should have 12 sessions and a maximum of 18 workouts. Each session is defined by the book: first session, 8 reps of max weight for three sets.

Session 2, the one I am in, says, “using your ten repetition maximum, complete 3 sets of 8. But this time, try to exceed 8 repetitions per set and stop when you reach failure. Rest for 60-seconds between each set.”

Session 3 will be even weirder, “using your ten repetition maximum, complete 3 sets of 10 repetitions. But this time, try to exceed 10 repetitions per set and stop when you reach failure. Rest for 60-seconds between each set.” 

To move on from session 2 — which I feel like I can already do — I need to do 30 reps total per each exercise and to move on from session 3 I need to complete a total of 36 reps for per each exercise set. Get it? It’s incrementally progressive.  I feel like when I did my max weight last week my muscles weren’t warmed up so the lifting is easy this week; however, the way the system works, it speeds up if the weight’s not challenging enough, and it backs off if you’re struggling. 

And if you fail to “pass” your session, you repeat it again until you pass, which means this system isn’t going to hockey-stick, where the weight gets added and compounds until you’re lifting the equivalent density of a collapsed star or white dwarf. 

Once you hit the Fail Phase, you no longer track your track your sets and reps. Instead, you lift until you can no longer move the weight. Then you’ll decrease the weight and keep on lifting until you can move almost no weight at all. Total spaghetti arms and legs those four weeks!

Then, the Rest Phase is simple: do no resistance training at all for two weeks (this phase is not optional, though keep up with protein supplementation)

2016-07-29 21.26.38Believe it or not, the workout includes drink 20-25 grams of protein or more within a half-hour of the workout, so I have been doing that with Muscle Milk that I get at the XSport Fitness fridge; that said, I will be moving over to a milk+whey protein+creatine mix right after I pick up some sort of milk. I’ll vary between soy, almond, rich, and cow’s milk. 

Now that I am no longer sort after these very short weightlifting sessions, I shall add some serious cardio to the mix, adding rows in my Concept2 Indoor Rower, adding runs around the neighborhood to see if I can get my mad-slow but reliable 3-5-mile jogs back into the mix (at an aspiration 12:00-13:00 pace, especially in this heat).

2016-07-26 20.14.01I will also start today with the kettlebell swinging I had promised myself and you I would be doing, taken from the pages of Get Fit, Get Fierce with Kettlebell Swings: swinging a kettlebell for 90-seconds every 60-minutes all day long.  

Starting with a blue 12kg bell I will set my GymBoss MiniMax for the workout and then stop what I’m doing every hour to two hand swings for a minute.  One mistake I did make before that I won’t make again: don’t swing your kettlebells without stretching your body.

Even though you’re only doing work for 60-seconds, you really should cool down and stretch for a couple minutes out of the hour. So, give yourself a good 5-7 minutes around that 60-seconds of intense kettlebell work to cool down gracefully so that you don’t seize up — it’s happened to me.


0 thoughts on “Building muscle for rowing

  1. Pingback: Why should big, tall, chubby, fluffy, heavyset, and fat athletes should wear rowing unisuits and wrestling singlets during their workouts? - RNNR

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