Training Guidance


(c) Naomi Baker

British Rowing recognises that there are several training levels for the development of a rower. It is important to remember that all new rowers of any age will start their rowing life at the same point. All rowers should progress through “Level 1” before moving on to “Level 2” etc.

The rate of progression through each level will vary but each stage is important to a rower’s development. No level should be overlooked if we wish to give everyone an opportunity to thrive in the sport and maximise their opportunities to enjoy the sport fully and for a long time.

A new rower needs to have a positive experience at their first point of contact with the sport to keep them engaged for life.

Additional Notes:

* Advice given on training amount is for rowers wishing to progress up the rowing levels. As an example, a rower may wish to stay rowing at the amount required for level 1 but still work on completing pillars above this level. If the rower, then wishes to progress it is recommended they spend some time training at the level 2 guidelines before progressing to Level 3 etc.

** The age requirement is the minimum starting age for any rower to start the relevant levels. A new rower who is older than the suggested minimum age should still start their rowing life at level 1. They should only progress if they wish to and when they have met all criteria laid out in the pillars for each level. There should be no pressure on a rower to move up a level until they are ready.

*** The number of sessions refers specifically to the number of rowing specific sessions, (i.e. any session where you are simulating the rowing movement) either on water or on land. It is expected and encouraged that a new rower will be doing more than two activity-based sessions a week other than just rowing. It is important that they are encouraged to participate in other activities to develop an athlete with a varied skill set. This can include other sports or skill-based activities such as swimming, drama or learning to play an instrument.If someone has converted from another sport with a significant training history, we would still aim to keep the number of rowing specific sessions as recommended until they were competent in the relevant areas they needed to improve. They could of course continue to do a significant amount of cross training to maintain fitness.

**** The guidance for the number of sessions shows both the average number of sessions and the maximum number of sessions during a normal training week. The average is what you would normally see during the majority of someone’s training at this level. This may peak to the maximum number of sessions shown if building up to a competition or specific training cycle. The number of sessions may be more than the number shown in the guidance if for a specific reason such as a training camp.


<<< Introduction

Level 1 >>>

Level 2 >>>

Level 3 >>>

Level 4 >>>

FAQs >>>

More in this section


What do each of the pillars stand for? Physical Literacy - The ability to perform movement skills and improve body awareness. This allows the rower to become more efficient in their movement, making them more confident and in control. Athleticism - The building blocks and physical qualities that rowers are expected to achieve to be able to…

View Content

Level 1

Level 1 is the initial level in a rower's development and ALL rowers should be competent with this level before progressing onto Level 2. Successful completion and positive experiences of Level 1 is likely to keep the rower interested and engaged to stay in the sport.   Developing confidence to get in and out of…

View Content

Level 2

British Rowing would like to see all coaches supporting their rowers to be competent with Level 1 before moving on to any specific rowing training. Successful completion and positive experiences of the level 1 stages is likely to keep the rower interested and engaged to stay in the sport.   Developing confidence to get in…

View Content

Level 3

This is a major level in a rower's development, as if done correctly it will capture their interest in the sport. There should be a wide and varied mixture of training modalities, continual observation and evaluation of musculoskeletal developments. Make sure to take into consideration growth spurts when setting different types and volumes of training…

View Content

Stay up to date...

Get the latest rowing news, tips, event info and updates straight to your inbox.

Click here to subscribe