Get Ready for Summer Challenge — a Look Behind the Scenes

Pete Donohoe and Peter Donohoe

The Get Ready for Summer Challenge is a 14-day workout plan created by 2x Olympian and Hydrow's Head Strength and Movement Specialist, Peter Donohoe. 

*This plan is meant to be completed over 14 days, but feel free to complete it at your own pace.

Earn a special-edition badge when you complete all 9 workouts between May 15th at 5am ET to May 29th at 3am ET.

Use this tracker to watch your progress throughout the challenge.

Building the Get Ready for Summer Challenge was, in its own way, a challenge for you. What drove you to create this plan, and how did you select workouts that would help people get in shape and ready for beach and travel season?

Pete Donohoe (PD): Changing up movement stimulus is a very effective way to build fitness fast. That’s why this 14-day program is structured with a variety of ways to activate and move the body — to trigger multiple energy systems and build function, all while “tricking” your body into becoming stronger, fitter, and leaner.  

The program starts with a mobility workout to improve function and flexibility, while also building the strength to support these corrective moments. From Day 1, the goal isn’t just to get stronger and feel more energy, but also to improve your quality of life and your confidence in your ability to do more this summer.

What considerations did you take into account when you were designing the program?

PD: Efficiency is crucial. Research shows that the ability to fit workouts efficiently into your lifestyle — even ones that are only 10 minutes long — is highly effective, not just in keeping you consistent and on track with a program but also in actually delivering on your fitness goals.

You mentioned your decision to include mobility and stretching exercises. How does this fit into the overall program strategy, including the idea of investing in your health?

PD: When we think about working out, many of us think about sweating and straining — the stereotyped intensity of a “hard” workout. However, if I continue to work out without addressing my mobility, ultimately I’m just building strength around a limited and tight body.

Mobility is an essential component of any fitness journey. In fact, research has shown that improving mobility dramatically improves quality of life, especially as we get older. It reduces the risk of injury, and can quickly help to fix issues like a painfully tight back. That’s why working on your mobility is something that can and should be done anywhere as a way to help you in your day-to-day life, and why I felt it was critical to include it in this 14-day program. 

Most of the exercises in the Get Ready for Summer Challenge can be done at home without equipment. However, you’ve also included some workouts that include our Hydrow rower. How should people approach that?

PD: You can get a great workout using your own body, without weights and with just a little space on the floor — and the program takes full advantage of that. That said, at the beginning of Week 2 I’ve also included a rowing workout, because rowing is such an incredibly efficient and effective way to exercise. The one I’ve chosen transports you to the waterways of Switzerland, where you’ll improve your fitness in a scenic row with Hydrow Athletes Mac and Nick. 

The good news: even if you don’t have a Hydrow Rower or Hydrow Wave Rower at home, there are other options. You can choose to run or jog up and down stairs, or march or jog in place — so that you’re still performing the cardio part of the workout, which is valuable.

Tell us about the benefits of the Circuit Training workout you’ve included.

PD: This is another one that’s designed to work with a Hydrow rowing machine. Circuit training efficiently combines strength and endurance to create a big calorie-burning workout, where your heart rate is elevated and your muscles are being challenged in multiple positions. It gives you a true full-body workout, where your body will continue to burn calories long after you complete the workout. 

Taken as a whole, the Get Ready for Summer Challenge seems to represent a cross-section of Hydrow’s library of 4,000+ workouts. What can people expect from this diverse approach to fitness?

PD: In 14 days, you’ll take your body through a range of workouts that not only target every major muscle group, but every energy system that moves your body. You’ll learn how to improve your movement, how to effectively burn fat as energy and gain strength, and how to treat recovery with the same level of focus that you would in an endurance workout. 

As your muscles get stronger, they’ll continue to burn calories for longer after each workout — so that by the end of this two-week program, you’ll find yourself on the fast track to getting ready for summer.

What do you hope people will take away from your program?

PD: In terms of the overall program, I want people to know that the Challenge isn’t just about helping you look and feel great. It’s designed to help you move well, enjoy the challenges of travel, and feel confident that you can go for a bike ride or a hike without getting exhausted. The goal in all of this is to help you find the strength, endurance, and ability to move freely in your life. This program isn’t a quick fix, but a launching pad — to better health and a more consistent approach to your fitness journey. 

Peter Donohoe

Peter is our head strength and movement specialist. As an Olympian, conditioning coach, and corrective exercise specialist, Peter’s methodology continues to influence the movement of athletes from many sports. Join Peter for On the Mat workouts and benefit from increased mobility and enhanced performance.