I am working my way through the You Can Row Program on the Peloton Row. If you have not been following along, check out my post about Week 1 here. Week 2 of the You Can Row program was FUN. During Week 2 I really began to enjoy the row. I added in some of my own additional rows along with the program, as I felt good about my form and less frustrated with the metrics. Keep reading for more about Week 2 of the You Can Row Program.
Starting with the You Can Row program
I started the You Can Row Program before I took any other row classes. I was inexperienced at rowing and wanted to learn proper form. After my first class, which I detailed about in my post here, I was frustrated with the metrics. During Week 1 of the You Can Row program, I had two challenges with the row- learning form and learning new metrics at the same time, which was overwhelming. Week 1 of the program helped me work on form and begin to feel comfortable with rowing. After Week 1, I did not have to think about every move on the row and could just enjoy being on the machine. However, I still did not feel comfortable with the metrics. I was excited to see what Week 2 of the program would teach me.
Week 2: You Can Row Program
Week 2 incolves 3 days of work made up of 5 classes in total.
15 Minute Advanced Beginner Row with Matt Wilpers
10 Minute Form and Drills Row with Ash Pryor
10 Minute HITT Row with Adrian Williams
5 Minute Post-Row Stretch with Katie Wang
|Day 4 |
20 Minute Advanced Beginners Rock Row with Alex Karwoski
Review of Week 2: You Can Row Program
Day 1 of Week 2 was an Advanced Beginner Ride with Matt Wilpers. I may have taken a bike class with Matt Wilpers, but it was a long time ago and I have found other instructors who I have deemed my go-tos. Well, that might be changing. Matt Wilper’s class was so much fun! Again, this class focused on form and metrics. I felt like I was finally understanding the metrics and my form was on point. Really- my form rating was 95%. I was still moving slowly and trying to take in everything the instructor was explaining about form. Matt Wilpers makes rowing look easy and has a very calming way of instruction.
I enjoyed his row class so much, I did not want to stop. I did not feel like taking another class with an instructor. Honestly, it was feeling a little draining to keep listening to the instructor discuss form and metrics again. So I checked out the other options on the row. I decided on a scenic row- 1000m Gacka River Row. I rarely take scenic rides on the bike- but I had so much fun on this scenic row. First, I did not know that there was music on the scenic ride (maybe this is new, because I do not remember on the bike scenic rides). Secondly, it was so much fun trying out my row form, going fast and slow, testing myself.
Finally-and most importantly- I think during Day 1 of Week 2 I finally felt as though I understood the metrics of Pace and Stroke Rate. Stroke Rate is the number of strokes per minute (the number of times in one minute that you pull the handle). Pace is the amount of time it would take to row 500 meters. The harder you row, the shorter time it would take you to row 500 meters.
When I first started on the Peloton Row, I could not understand how Stroke Rate was different than pace. Pace and stroke rate are obviously related- if you are going faster then your stroke rate will be higher. But the numbers are not exactly the same and increasing one does not always mean the other number increases. Here is how I understand it: pace is the mouth of time it would take to move your rowing boat 500 meters. If you drive (push off harder on your feet), your “boat” is going to go faster. However, you may have less strokes per minute because your return to recovery (the starting position) may be slower. If you want to increase both numbers, you have to increase the speed of your entire row.
It really took doing a scenic row to test out how I can change the pace and stroke rate. I really like doing. scenic ride, doing at my own pace and testing out my row. The ride I picked was a distance ride (versus a timed row).
Day 3 involved two 10 minute rows. A 10 Minute Form and Drills Row with Ash Pryor and a 10 Minute HIIT Row with Adrian Williams. I am going to star the class with Ash as one to go back to. She talks about form in more detail and about where on your body you should feel tension and what certain parts of your body should be feeling during the row. I want to take this one again and pay close attention to what she said. Again, I took this class very slowly, because I was focused on what Ash was saying and trying to apply what she was saying to my row.
And finally on Day 3, an Adrian class! I knew I would like his class because I like his classes on the mat. I was not disappointed. The HITT class got me sweating a little. I cannot wait to do more classes with Adrian.
The 5 Minute Post-Row Stretch with Katie Wang was fine. It was a good stretch targeting legs and hips.
Day 6 was a 20 Minute Advanced Beginners Rock Row with Alex Karwoski. I haven’t taken a class with all of the row instructors yet, but Alex may be my favorite instructor on the row so far. I enjoy his stories and his upbeat way of guiding the row class. In this class he discussed how when you lean back in your row, you should feel your upper abs. These small details about form are really helping me work on my form and feel like I am getting a good work out. My form rating was 97! I did not hit all of the pace levels- but it is only Week 2, so I did not mind. I did another scenic ride after the row with Alex in which I tested reaching different pace levels on my own. It was a great way to end Week 2.
Week 2 of You Can Row Program
Week 2 was great. I feel like my form is in a great place and I do not need to think about my form on each row in such detail. Rather, I can just row, enjoy the class and start working on hitting the pace targets. Because I have been writing these posts, I have been reading a lot about rowing off the machine. The Peloton website has a lot of great info about form and how to correct common form mistakes. These articles and the instruction from the You Can Row Program classes helped immensely in my feeling more comfortable on the row.
The biggest breakthrough this week was that I understand and feel comfortable with the metrics. Taking the scenic rides to test the metrics was a huge help- I see how I can change my row impacts the metrics. The classes this week also taught me how pace and strokes per minute can be different. This was a huge relief to me- not understanding the metrics was becoming very frustrating.
A few things I realized about the row this week:
- The row is much easier to jump off of than the bike. This may not be important to everyone but if you have kids, this is important. During Day 3 of Week 2, my four year old came in my room at 6:20, just as I was finishing the first 10 minute row class. I was able to pause the class, get off the row quickly and get him set up on an iPad. I was able to jump back on quickly and finish my workout. Unlike the bike which takes a minute to get on and off, and the clipping noise can be loud, the row was easy to get off, and didn’t make any noise that would wake my 1 year old that was sleeping in the room across the hall.
- Before I began this program, I was concerned that the repetitive movement of the row would get boring after 10 minutes and I would not want to take long classes. But that is not the case – a 20 minute class on the row went by quickly. The instructors are great (especially Alex) and switch up traditional rowing with drills. I find that with the changes of pace, the row classes are challenging, fun and go by so quickly. I can definitely see taking a 30 minute class on the row and really enjoying it.
- Finally, I need to take the time at the end of the ride to check out the Form Insights. The Form Insights identifies exactly where in your row you need to work on your form and explains how to better your form. This is exactly the form feedback I need- I just need to spend the time reviewing it.
Also…I think Alex may becoming my go to instructor on the row. I hope he plays some late 1990/2000’s boy band music.
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