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WTW Crew Conditioning and Training

Training and Regatta Schedule for Spring 2020

February - March is on-the-water skill development, specific rowing aerobic endurance, rowing technique, and muscular endurance.

On-The-Water Practice Schedule:
  • Monday through Friday
    • Depart Woodson at approximately 3:30 p.m. (By bus or carpool)
    • Practice at “the River” from 4:00 – 6:30 p.m.
    • Return at approximately 7:00 p.m.
    • Shower, eat, homework, sleep, repeat

  • Saturday Practices
    • Practice Schedule: 8:30 – 11:00 a.m.

  • If your rower is on the practice bus, see the bus schedule under Standard Weekday Practice. 
From March 16: 
  • Fridays
    • Practice at the river from 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
    • Team pre-regatta dinner “Pasta Party” from 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. (These are FUN events)
    • Sleep well
  • Saturdays (Regattas)
    • Arrival time will depend upon race times
    • Coxswains arrive early for coxswain meeting
    • Lightweight rowers weigh in
    • Food cut off – 2 hours ahead of launch
    • All are encouraged to stay and watch races of their teammates
On The Water
  • No baggy clothing: performance fabric strongly recommended 
  • Wear multiple layers when cold 
  • No gloves, skin-to-oar contact at all times
  • Hydrate! Bring a FULL water bottle (no running water at the park when it is cold)
  • Fuel up! Eat up to an hour before practice and immediately after practice
  • Early treatment of blisters is key 
Practice Attendance is Mandatory
  • Boats cannot practice when athletes are missing
  • Team practices twice per day & may race during Spring break
  • Attendance DOES influence race line-ups 
Boat Assignments
  • Assignments are based on performance, participation, and attitude 
  • Erg scores, power factors, seat racing, and demonstrated technical skill
  • We field as many competitive boats as possible
  • Dynamics/Chemistry (Crews that row best together)
  • The Club does NOT offer a guarantee that each athlete will race
April - June. Championship racing: Virginia Scholastic Rowing Association Championships, The Stotesbury Cup Regatta, Scholastic Rowing Association of America Championships (Invitational), USRowing Youth Championships (Invitational). Regattas are listed here and on the Calendar.

WTW Crew Training and Conditioning Manual View Download

Returning student-athletes have conditioning beginning on November 21st, 2019.  The whole team begins conditioning on Tuesday, December 3rd, 2019.

Weekly Winter Conditioning Schedule:


Girls: 3:30-5:30 (2 hr) off ergs by 5:15

Boys: 5:00-7:00 (2 hr)


Boys: 3:30-5:30 (2 hr) off ergs by 5:15

Girls: 5:00-7:00/weight room (2 hr)


Girls: 3:30-5:30 (2 hr) off ergs by 5:15

Boys: 5:00-7:00 (2 hr)


Boys: 3:30-5:30 (2 hr) off ergs by 5:15

Girls: 5:00-7:00/weight room (2 hr)


Full Team 3:30 - 5:30  (2 hr)

Why Attend Conditioning Sessions?


Crew is a cardiovascular fitness dominant sport. The demands placed on an athlete during a race are like running up the side of a mountain for a mile and half while chained to seven of your friends. 

While we do not have tryouts, boat selection during the spring is competitive. The level of fitness necessary for the sport cannot be built in the 4-6 weeks between the first day of practice and the meat of racing season when boat lineups must be set. The better the fitness of the athlete, the better chance they have of making a top boat.  

Winter conditioning is not the only way to get in shape; doing a winter sport or having a rigorous researched workout plan that you do are your own are also good options. We have had past captains and rowers who were members of the swim team, played basketball or ran track and were in top boats that medaled at state championships.  

I will not say that winter conditioning is better at getting you into “rowing shape” than playing a winter sport or working out on your own.  I will say that winter conditioning is far superior to doing nothing. The more athletes that work hard on their conditioning, the faster ALL our boats will be.

If you have questions about the more technical aspects of winter conditioning feel free to drop me an email, but be warned we are going to talk about energy pathways, lactate levels, HR zones, and muscle memory.