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Rowing Machine and Weights Workout

A Badass, Total-Body Cardio and Strength Routine

Getting bored with your routine? This intense workout from Sports Club/LA trainer Ben Hwa will stifle the yawns. First, power your way through a cardio workout on a rowing machine, then tack on a muscle-building routine that will impress even the biggest guy in the weight room.

You can use whatever rower your gym has available, but Ben recommends the Concept2. "It is a more dynamic and full-body workout than other traditional cardio machines, and it gets the posterior chain warmed up for other exercises," he says.


On the rowing machine, set the display to show the distance you've traveled, so you can later see if you can beat it, Ben recommends. "The great part of this workout is that you can repeat it and track progress," he says. If you've never used a rower before, read our step-by-step tips on how to use a rowing machine.

Time Resistance
0:00-5:00 2
5:00-6:00 Rest
6:00-10:00 4
10:00-11:00 Rest
11:00-14:00 6
14:00-15:00 Rest
15:00-17:00 8
17:00-18:00 Rest
18:00-19:00 10
19:00-20:00 Rest


For the strength-training portion, you'll need a barbell, a TRX strap, and the pull-up machine (ask a trainer if you've never used one before). Repeat each exercise three times.

Deadlift to Shoulder Press

Don't make the mistake of trying to lift too much — start with a barbell without any weights attached until you perfect your form and are confident it's time to add weights.

  • Stand behind your barbell and bend at the knees slightly. Use an overhead grip to hold the barbell a little bit wider than shoulder-distance apart.
  • Bending at your hip joint, not your waist, slowly raise the barbell up, squeezing your glutes as you do. Keep the barbell close to your legs as you raise it up.
  • Keep pulling your elbows up so the barbell is chest-high, pulling your shoulder blades down and back. Pause if needed, then keep moving your arms up to raise the barbell over your head. Lower the barbell back down to the floor.
  • Do five reps.

Lunge and Dumbbell Curls

  • Hold a pair of dumbbells at your side, palms facing up.
  • Keep your upper body straight, with your shoulders back and relaxed and chin up (pick a point to stare at in front of you so you don't keep looking down). Always engage your core.
  • Step forward with one leg, lowering your hips until both knees are bent at about a 90-degree angle. Make sure your front knee is directly above your ankle, not pushed out too far, and make sure your other knee doesn't touch the floor.
  • As you lunge forward, bend your arms at the elbows to do a bicep curl.
  • Keep the weight in your heels as you push back up to the starting position. Lower your arms back to straight.
  • Do 10 reps on each side.

TRX Squat to Row

  • Stand in front of the TRX straps and lightly grip them at the handles, then lean your upper body back until there is only a little slack left in the straps and your body is at an angle. Don't pull completely on the straps; you want to make sure you aren't hanging onto the straps as support. Your legs should be working during the squat.
  • Hold the straps at chest level and lower your body into a squat (like you're sitting back into a chair), making sure you keep your core engaged. Slowly raise back up until your legs are straight (at an angle).
  • As you raise your body up, keep the handles at chest level while you pull your elbows back to open up your chest into a row. Focus on keeping your shoulders down while pushing your shoulder blades together.
  • This completes one rep. Lower back down into a squat and repeat 15 times.

Pull-Ups and Dips

Image Source: Thinkstock
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