Base Yourself: The Key to Rowing at Rowgatta

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We designed the Rowgatta Workout so that people of all skill and experience levels can challenge themselves in a safe and effective way. Whether you’re a world-class athlete or haven’t been off the couch in over a year, the key to maximizing your time on the erg is finding your Base pace.

At Rowgatta, we work in four power zones: Recover, Base, Push, and Sprint. While rowing, your monitor will display your power output at any given moment, measured in calories per hour. We’ve put together the following guidelines for our first-time Athletes. 

Recover:         

This is where you warm up, cool down, and catch your breath. Easy breezy!

Suggested: <500 cal/hr                                

Base:              

This is a working pace that you can hold for several minutes, similar to a run – 65%-75% effort.

Suggested: 500-900 cal/hr

Push:

This is where you work hard – 75%-95% effort.

Suggested: 50-200 cal/hr above your Base pace but Coach may ask for a specific push.

Sprint:            

This is where you push your limits – all-out effort!    

Note that these numbers are only suggestions, and each Athlete should find his or her own Base pace. Different Athletes will have different power outputs and therefore different Bases. One Athlete may have a Base of 1,000 cal/hr, while another’s may be 400 cal/hr. There is nothing wrong with either, the most important thing is effort! Unlike a treadmill, you create your own resistance on the erg, so you literally get out what you put in. Don’t worry about the actual number, just find one that works for you and try to hold it. Consistency is more important than a burst of power!  

Once you know your Base pace, you have a reference point for all our rowing blocks. For example, a Coach may ask the class to give a 100 cal/hr Push above your Base for 1 minute – if you know your Base is 600 cal/hr, your goal will then be to hold 700 cal/hr for that minute. 

Keep in mind that it will take you a couple of classes to really get comfortable with your Base pace, so don’t worry if you’re unsure of your exact number after the first class. Also, as your form and level of fitness improve, your Base pace will increase. This is a great way to track your progress over time, as what once felt very difficult will someday become your Recovery!

FitnessNadav Ben-Chanoch