Beginner or pro, anyone can claim victory in their Vortex workout. That’s the magic of Ergatta’s Calibrated Competition: when you are scored on performance relative to your own Intensity Zones, the game becomes knowing when to push the pace, and when to hold back.
Here’s what to factor into your Vortex Game Plan.
In Meet The Vortex Workouts, we introduce the new HIIT, Conditioning, Endurance, and All-Around workout types. Each with a unique focus, the categories contain workouts ranging 5 to 45 minutes. Time alone will impact your strategy above all.
It’s unlikely you’ll compete in a 45 Min Conditioning workout at the same tempo as a 5-minute version. The longer your workout—strategy, preparation and calculation count for that much more. Many players will approach all of the 5-Minute Vortex workouts similarly and row pretty hard the whole time. But the price of pacing increases when you’re competing 3, 5, and even 9 times as long.
Now, since each Vortex workout is a competition to work the hardest, chances are your average speed will net out pretty evenly between different workouts with intervals of the same length. What changes is how you balance your pacing, how much rest you receive, and when you dig deep, with reserve energy expended during valuable bonus rounds.
Increasing your cadence lets you kick it up a notch without having to add much in the way of power. Players score points with each stroke and therefore more often with a higher stroke rate. And not without effect—taking a cadence of 26 strokes per minute up to 32 is a 30% increase. Rate up when you’re ready to make a move without the fully committing the legs to full press.
Vortex workouts are defined by their Bonus Rounds. You can see how many there will be in each workout on its library card, and they even appear highlighted orange on the speed graph in the workout details. Long story short—Bonus rounds are important.
HIIT workouts are designed for speed, with most of the intervals leading off with a Bonus round. When points are doubled, hitting the MAX speed bonus creates a tangible difference in point value, accruing 40 points with each stroke. However, MAX speed is intentionally very difficult to sustain, leaving you with maybe two or three dozen MAX strokes to play depending on the length of the workout. On the reverse—if it’s a short workout—each Bonus Round stroke that’s not a MAX points multiplier might be to your detriment.
Conditioning workouts are similar, but since Bonus Rounds don’t appear until about halfway through the interval, it’s important to row hard enough in the first half to stay in the running and set yourself up for the Bonus Round 2x multiplier.
Endurance workouts bring long intervals of sustained efforts, with Bonus Rounds occurring sparingly. Rowing too fast too soon can be a recipe for disaster, and the trick is to pace yourself with a focus on power generation at a lower stroke rate. When you need to make a move, bring the stroke rate up to increase your point intake without burning as much energy. Plan out how many times and when you want to take both a rate push and a full effort push in a given workout.
All Around workouts bring a combination of interval workout types from all of the other workouts, meaning there is no best singular strategy to win. If you think you’ve mastered the elements of this game and are savvy to set up your own game plan, this dynamic and entertaining workout is the competition style for you. As a general rule, sprinters will want to go harder during short Bonus Rounds, and use the endurance intervals to aid in their recovery. On the reverse, endurance athletes may want to push the pace throughout endurance intervals to set themselves ahead before the Bonus Round.
Learn more about the rules of Vortex at ergatta.com/pages/vortex.