May 31, 2020

Row 5k

A few months ago I was looking for Crossfit style workouts that used a rower, and stumbled on a sort of benchmark fitness test with the 5k.

It’s a good test of your overall cardio and a bit of strength. You are using your lungs, need blood to pump around your body, and a bit of grip, shoulder, arm and leg strength. Would be a good complement to running, swimming, cycling or yoga or other activities. I’m on the taller side, so for me rowing was one of the few CrossFit exercises that I was naturally good at, that’s probably the main reason I like it.. Most people in my gym HATED rowing, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a good workout! YMMV.

But the genius of the 5k is you can take as long as you want. All you need to do is get it to 5k. It’s up to YOU to really push the intensity and try as hard as you can to bring that time down. For most people, it’s just not worth the punishment, but I think it’s worth trying a few times.

Why the 5k

• Only 1 piece of equipment. • Should take less than 25min to complete. • One simple metric to beat: Time. • Involves a ton of muscles. • Leaves you on floor afterwards (or that’s what it does to me.)


None, really, but here are a few tactics that I’ve found helpful. Still playing around with different things. I try and be fully rested before an attempt, although one of my fastest times was at the end of a fairly active day. On the display, I try not to look at the distance completed until the last km, and focus on keeping stroke rate at about 30-31 and speed? above a certain level. Music helps. Cool temp or fan helps. Make sure you’re fueled up and not hungry. If you are really going hard, prepare for your brain to start doing weird stuff for the last 1km. Mental strength helps. I think a basic warm up would help. Run around the block or do some skipping first.


Anything under 20min is strong!