Concept2 Motocross Nation Row Challenge (2007) 
By Tim Crytser

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James Stewart's 2008 Factory Works Transformx TX-IV that starts out as a Concept2 Model E indoor rower.
There's never a waiting list for the rowing machine. But if you use the right form and regimen, this floor skimmer can torch more calories than a treadmill, build your upper and lower body into a motocross machine, and injury-proof your lower back. The rower is under utilized at most gyms, according to Greg Hammond, Concept2 Motor/Action Sports Training Customer Service Rep., "Because most casual gym users don't understand the full body workout that the Concept2 Rower provides. Most people jump on the stairmaster or stationary bike because frankly they are easier to do than the rowing machine."  But if you are serious about your motocross training or health in general, the rower is pound for pound the best workout you can do. You don't have to look very hard in motocross or other action sports industries to see that word is catching on.  In motocross, James Stewart recently started using his custom designed rower to prepare for the upcoming season as well as Ben Townley, MotoGP Champion Nicky Hayden, some guy named Travis Pastrana, all of the Monster Energy/Kawasaki Xtreme Team Green amateur riders, Millsaps training facility, and the recently retired Ricky Carmichael used the Concept2 throughout his reign as the G.O.A.T.  Other sports with their athletes deep into rowing include Snowcross, NASCAR, the Indy Racing League, Freestyle Motocross, Ultimate Fighting (Mixed Martial Arts) and the WORCS motocross series. 

Want to Get Involved with the Motocross Nation?
Concept2 and Racer X Virtual Trainer are looking for all moto-oriented people to join the Motocross Nation.  A challenge has been initiated on the Concept2 website called the "January Virtual Team Challenge."  The concept of the challenge is simple; see which team can row the most combined number of meters in the month of January.  Greg, who is heavily into motocross, says that, "the hard core rowers here at work give me a hard time when I tell them how good of an athlete you have to be to race Motocross and how great of shape the top riders are in."  He adds, "they don't think there is a chance in Hell that the motocross community can beat the rowers at their own game!"  So the gauntlet has been thrown down and the manhood of motocross has been challenged.  Log on and join the Motocross Team (Moto Madmen and Women) and do your part in showing the rest of the world what motocross men and women are made of. There is a lot of great racing going on in January and if you row while it is on TV you will be paying your dues to a better season next year plus getting the added bonus of losing the extra weight from all the Holiday food and drinks.

Challenge Page Link
Log Book Link

Once you set up your profile, email Greg at and he will add you to the team.

If you are new to rowing, you may want to preview this article to get the scoop on proper row technique.  Like motocross, technique is very important to getting all you can out of each stroke.  Greg says to avoid the most common mistake of hunching your shoulders and leaning too far back, which diminishes your pulling power and strains your back.

The Workouts
Day 1 The Pyramid

Row hard (90 percent of your maximum) for 5 strokes and then do 5 easy (60 percent). Now row 10 hard and 10 easy. Repeat but increase your count to 15 each, then 20, 25, and 30. Next, go back down the pyramid, decreasing by intervals of 5. Repeat when you're able.

Day 2 The 1-to-1
Row hard for 1 minute and then do 1 minute of easy strokes. Repeat, alternating hard and easy, for 15 to 20 minutes. Gradually increase your time to a half hour. Aim for 18 to 20 strokes per minute. After several sessions, shoot for 30 strokes per minute.

Day 3 The Sprint
Set your machine on a 500-meter interval program with 2 minutes of rest. Row at 75 percent of your max and then rest 2 minutes. Do 10 intervals.

Not only are these workouts a perfect compliment for this part of the off-season but you get the added bonus of helping the Motocross Nation beat the rest of the World! 
What the Experts Are Saying About Rowing
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Team Green Xtreme rider, PJ Larson uses the rower to warm up before races.
With so many of the top trainer and experts in the motocross industry using the rower, Virtual Trainer emailed a few of them to get their opinion on why they use the rower.  Aldon Baker, James Stewart's new trainer says, "I like the combination with the physical training and the Cardio and adding another form of training. Rowing has its own unique way of challenging the body and muscles with similarities to motorcycle racing."
Trainers Charles Dao and Randy Lawrence have joined teams and according to Charles, " Concept 2 rowers are amazingly reliable, yet challenging and are second to none. In fact, Concept 2 rowers are one of my favorite muscular endurance training mechanisms that I use with all my athletes, no matter what sport they're competing in. As far as motorsports, what better machine incorporates the entire body, maximizes power output, increases base and interval training capacities, as well as reduces any jolting impact to the joints. All athletes needs to be training on a Concept 2 Rower, otherwise their wasting their time and might as well sit their sorry asses on the sofa and stuff their mouths with bon bons. But if you take you're fitness and strength training seriously, Concept 2 Rowers is a must..."
Regular contributor to Virtual Trainer, Coach Seiji says, " The Concept 2 Rower is advantageous as a mode of cardiovascular activity for motocross training. It is a cardiovascular activity that involves the entire body and it is low impact; both of these are desirable for the motocross athlete. The rower is also an excellent warm up device for racing. I highly recommend the Concept2 to anyone involved in motocross that is looking for an excellent indoor training tool for aerobic conditioning." 
That's it for now. Until next time, good luck with your training and remember, VT can always be found on the Virtual Trainer Expert Forum. In addition, be sure and check out the Racer X Virtual Trainer archive section . Your complete one-stop information zone for motocross fitness.  
Read the Virtual Trainer Concept2 Product Review
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