School term training

  • On water training takes place on Lambton Harbour out of the Star Boating Club. If on water training is not practicable, the squad will train on the ergs (indoor rowing machines) at Star. The squad also has strength and conditioning sessions at Wellington College.
  • Training sessions and times are managed via the smartphone app Team App. All rowers must download Team App to their mobile phone. Parents/caregivers are also advised to download Team App.
  • Weekend water training sessions are dependent on weather and harbour conditions. The squad will occasionally travel at short notice to the Ruamahanga river or the Manawatu river weather permitting.

Training over the Xmas and New Year

  • Squad training takes a break over Xmas and New Year as many families are away on holiday.
  • Rowers are given individual training programmes to do in their own time. These programmes consist of running, cycling, swimming, stretching and body weight exercises (e.g push ups, burpees etc).

Training philosphy

  • The WCRC training programme is aimed at giving the boys the best opportunity to achieve their personal goals and to collectively be competitive at national schools level. 
  • Squad members are expected to be highly committed and organised. 
  • Self-awareness of physical athletic development and general health is taught and encouraged so the athlete becomes responsible for his overall fitness.

The key features of the Wellington College programme are:

Growing the Body:

  • The overall training mix encourages growth of overall athletic abilities and strengths.
  • We recognize that our athletes are undergoing major physical growth, and seek to complement this by addressing all round physical health.

Cross Training:

  • Wellington College is distinctive in the amount of cross training in its programme. 
  • Only 25% of total training is on water. Weight training (with specially designed programmes to enhance posture and strength) comprise 25-30% and is continued right through to competition. 
  • Erg training comprises 30% with the balance of training made up of running (including sprint routines).


  • A healthy diet is key for rowers.
  • In particular high consumption levels of fresh (raw) fruit and vegetables are encouraged and the use of protein supplements are discouraged.

Best Practice. Adopting best practice training methods to achieve peak performance:

  • Stamina training - a range of training over the first 7 months to provide the foundation for maximum peaking.
  • Strength training based on circuits (novices) and weights, (juniors and seniors).
  • Multi-sport training to aid transitions between stamina and speed training.
  • Interval training for final peaking/speed training. (No training session will extend beyond 90 minutes of “full” work, with peaking speed sessions confined to 60 minutes). Interval methods are used across all cross training disciplines.
  • Maximising the training effect by regular rest periods, particularly during maximum peaking phase and encouraging careful time management and lots of sleep.
  • Stretching and flexibility exercises. Growing boys are relatively inflexible. Stretching is a major part of all workouts.

Detailed programmes are provided for each training phase, including training times and venues. Individual programmes are provided for weights, multi-sport, sprint and other cross training elements. Each athlete is encouraged to maintain a training diary. 

Erg Testing

  • Ergs (indoor rowing machines) play a large part in the training schedules and are used for both stamina and speed training.
  • Boys are tested regularly on the erg to monitor fitness levels and as a guide to crew selections.