If you have access to more than one rowing, skiing or cycling erg, there are some great combined workouts to be had. Multi-erg workouts use muscles in complementary ways—and they’re even better with friends! Here are some ideas to get you started. (Reminder: If you’re using a BikeErg, you’ll need to accumulate twice as many meters in order to be equivalent to meters on the indoor rower or SkiErg.)
You’ll rotate between ergs, starting with 10 minutes on the first erg, then 9 minutes on the second one, continuing to switch ergs and decrease the length of the pieces until you get to 1 minute. As the pieces get shorter, the intensity increases—the last 1 minute piece should be all out. Time: 55 minutes.
- Can be done with any number of ergs, with up to the same number of people.
- For a longer session, start at 12 minutes for a total time of 78 minutes.
- For a shorter workout, start at 8 minutes for a total of 36 minutes.
Crossover (Using Two Ergs)
Start with 6 minutes on erg #1, and 1 minute on erg #2. Then switch machines quickly and do 5 minutes on erg #1 and 2 minutes on erg #2. Continue to rotate ergs, decreasing the time on erg #1 as you increase the time on erg #2, until you reach 1 minute for erg #1 and 6 minutes for erg #2. Time: 42 minutes.
- For a longer session, start at 7 minutes on erg #1 for a total time of 56 minutes
- For a shorter workout, start at 5 minutes for a total of 30 minutes
Here’s a different countdown rotation: Work 5 minutes on each erg, then 4 minutes on each erg, then 3 on each, 2 on each, 1 on each. Time: 45 minutes.
- Can be done with any number of ergs, and the same number of people. Note that with fewer ergs, you’ll want to start with a longer piece to get the same total workout time.
- For a longer session, start at 6 minutes for a total time of 63 minutes.
- For a shorter workout, start at 4 minutes for a total of 30 minutes.
Combo Workout: On and Off the Erg
This workout incorporates "off-erg exercises" to accommodate more people and add variety to the workout. If you have just one erg, you’ll set up enough off-erg stations to handle the rest of your group. If you have two ergs, you’ll need one less off-erg station. The athlete on erg #1 serves as the timer: When they finish 500m (or 1000m on a BikeErg), everyone rotates to the next station. The options are many, depending on what you have for space and equipment, but here’s a simple example that uses 2 ergs and 3 people:
- Athlete 1: Rows 500m
- Athlete 2: Alternates 5 pushups with 5 air squats
- Athlete 3: Core exercises (situps, supermans, leg lifts, etc.)
- Everyone stops and rotates activity when Athlete 1 gets to 500m (or 1000m on the BikeErg)
- Continue rotation for desired total workout time.
Five full rotations will take something in the range of 30–40 minutes depending on the speed of the athletes in your group. Activities 2 and 3 may vary depending on what you have available.
Here are some additional exercises to consider adding:
- Running up and down stairs or a lap around the house
- Inchworm complexes
You’ll need an erg for each person, ideally one indoor rower, one SkiErg and one BikeErg. Warm up for 5–10 minutes using all ergs. Then each person does Tabata intervals on their erg: 8 x 20 seconds hard/10 seconds rest. Rotate ergs, then Tabata again. Repeat once more so that each person does the tabata intervals on each erg. If you have fewer ergs than people, substitute an off-erg exercise for one of the Tabata.