Hydrow's Assessment workout is a 5 minute Drive workout intended to benchmark and measure your rowing progress.
The Assessment workout is an essential part of the Training Camp programs, but can be used anytime to review your rowing performance.
Where can I find the assessment?
When should I do the Assessment?
You can take the assessment anytime you want to check in on your progress.
Across all three levels of Training Camp, this assessment will be the last workout for Weeks 1 & 6.
How does the Assessment work?
Any time you complete this workout video, you will receive a personalized email afterwards with your results.
This email will be sent to the email address listed on the "Profile" tab on Hydrow. (If you need to change that email, you can learn how here.)
Your results email will show:
- Your average split time. (Your speed expressed as minutes & seconds it takes you to row 500 meters.)
- A breakdown of different paces relative to your average performance in this assessment.
What does the breakdown table in the Assessment email mean?
This table gives you several benchmarks relative to the sprint pace that you did in the assessment. An example table is provided below:
For instance, if your average sprint pace in the assessment was a split of 2:59, then we can extrapolate that a Jog pace for you might be ~20 seconds more (or a split of 3:19), and that an easy walk pace might be ~30 seconds more (or a split of 3:29), etc.
The purpose of this chart is just to give you some average split numbers to aim for during other workouts when a full-on sprint pace isn't called for. These should help you calibrate when the athletes call for these paces by name, or for percentages of effort (50%, 80%, etc.).
What do the various paces mean?
This is your assessment pace. It should feel very intense and definitely not sustainable beyond five minutes. In sports science, this might be called your “VO2max” or “Race” pace. It represents a training pace where your body is using all of the oxygen it possibly can to produce speed and burn calories. We base all of the other training paces off of this effort.
10 seconds slower than your Sprint pace. This pace can be described as your “Intensive Endurance” pace. You can likely hold this level of effort for 20 to 40 minutes. It is a great training zone for both fitness and strength.
20 seconds slower than your Sprint pace. This pace can be described as your “Easy Endurance” pace. You can likely hold this level of effort for 40 to 60 minutes. This is a great pace burning calories when you maintain a continuous effort for over 20 minutes.
30 seconds slower than your Sprint pace. We do not recommend that you exercise for extended periods of time at this effort level, but it is essential for helping the body prepare for more intensive levels of effort. It is very easy to stop working completely between hard intervals, but we encourage you to keep your muscles active to promote recovery during these rest intervals and to get ready to work hard again!
“Max” is just as it implies—your very best effort for a short duration at any rhythm number. Low rhythm max efforts are geared toward power and strength. High rhythm max efforts are geared toward aerobic power and speed.
Max efforts are ideal for HIIT workouts, the tops of climbs, and big power efforts. These are often balanced with rest intervals at the Walk pace to yield the best possible fitness results. Two particular components can limit your Max pace:
1) Technical competence. Rowing uses all of the major muscle groups in the body (86% versus cycling's 44%). With all of the joints and muscles involved, rowing requires practice to master the coordination needed to increase your Max pace. Think about how long it took you to learn how to walk and run when you were a toddler! Through dedicated practice, you will see your Max pace splits going down, down, down.
2) The mass of the person rowing. A large person who is not very fit is still powerful, so their Max pace will be much faster than their Sprint pace. A smaller but fit person might be able to sustain a quick split for a very long time, but struggle to produce a lot of power for 20-40 seconds.
How do I improve my results over time?
This is a fantastic question to be asking! If you're looking for help with improvement, start with this extended article in which we discuss ways to improve your split: How Do I Get a Better Workout While Rowing?