Strength Training Thoughts

I posted the following on the Rowing Illustrated forum.

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I got back a really great reply from a user SDSweep which I would like to share.

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So, my winter training plan will include:

  • 2 strength sessions a week.
  • These sessions will be tacked onto the end of a shortened endurance session (probably 40 minutes of endurance and 30 minutes of strength work)
  • The plan will be very simple including 4 exercises per session
    • A compound lift emphasizing the rowing muscle groups
      • squats
      • deadlifts,
      • power cleans
    • Something for upper body rowing muscles
      • Pull ups
      • Chin ups
      • Lat pull downs
    • Something for counter muscle groups
      • Push ups
      • Bench press
      • Standing press
      • Seated Press
    • Core
      • Ab roll outs
      • planks
      • leg lifts
  • In terms of reps and sets.  I will probably use some advice from some other folks to mix this up in blocks.  A couple weeks of lower reps, more sets.  Then a couple weeks of higher reps and less sets.  Generally, I will be going for 20 to 30 total reps.
  • Weight.  I will progressively increase weight, but follow the guideline that I will stop at least one rep before failure.

Power Training Zones

My friend Sander has updated the online tools to provide the ability to analyze workouts in terms of power.  Many athletes, especially cyclists, use power zone training extensively.  The concept2 erg provides direct readout of power, and power can either be derived for OTW rowing or directly measured by new products coming from folks like NK.

The power zones on are based on definitions from trainingpeaks.

link to training peaks article

This defines power training zones based off of your Functional Training Power (FTP).  FTP is defined as the power you can hold for a 60 minute time trial.  I haven’t done a 60′ all out test for a while, so I used my recent 10K CTC result.  I held an average pace of 1:51.4 for the piece.  Based on Paul’s Law, I estimated that I could hold 1:54 for the full hour.  (my all time best was 1:52.0 pace).  This translates to a FTP of 236W.

So, my training zones based on the Coggan article are:


The power values show the upper bound of each of the levels.

I was curious how that compared to the power zones defined along with the HR bands from the Terry O’Neil  Interactive plan from the indoor sport services website.  These levels are defined as % of 2K power, not FTP.


So, comparing the two is a bit of a challenge.  The boundaries are quite different.  The upper end of endurance differs by nearly 20W (177W vs 195W).  Tempo is roughly in the neighborhood of UT1, but the upper end is quite different (215W vs 228W).  Threshold level from ISS goes a bit higher than the Lactate Threshold band from Coggan.

I wonder a bit if the Coggan bands are more optimized for cycling and the O’Neil bands are optimized for rowing.  A quick check indicates that both rowing and cycling have a cube law relationship between speed and power, but since the cadences and muscles used are so different, I am not sure if the bands would align.

I’d welcome any thought about this.

Wednesday: 40′ endurance and a little strength training

In Agoura Hills, California.  At the Sheraton fitness center.

Seemed like today was as good a day as any to start doing a little bit of strength training.


  • 20 minutes inclined march (15% grade, 3.5mph)
  • 20 minute jog (3% grade, 4.5 mph)
  • HR cap at 157
  • Easy start to strength training
    • Dumbell deadlifts (2x50lbs) – 3 sets of 10 reps
    • Lat pull down (110lbs) – 2 sets of 6 reps plus one set of 8
    • Push ups – 3 sets of 10 reps

Another bad workout after another bad night’s sleep.  The election debacle kept me tossing and turning even after I turned off the TV.

Tomorrow:  No workout.  Flying back home.