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Concept2 rower(11 posts)

Concept2 rowerstlman
Dec 20, 2001 5:05 AM
Somebody mentioned this rower in the past, I am thinking of adding this to my workout plan. Anybody have any input on a rower as a cardio workout compared to running/treadmill, and how has it translated over to the bike? (the trainer is a little tough to do everyday!)
re: Concept2 rowerDawn Patrol
Dec 20, 2001 5:17 AM
My wife and I have had one for about five years now.
Great for cross training or dry land if your a rower.
To me its a big investment and I would first spend the money on a fitness center membership where you could use one and the treadmill and do weights, if thats a viable option.
Still a real nice machine.
re: Concept2 rowerC-mond
Dec 20, 2001 5:21 AM
I have had alittle experience in the sport......

well, in comparison to running the erg (rower) will allow more of a muscle workout with your quads. It is much harder to erg for an hour than run for the same hour at the same heart rate.

Rowers make good bikers. I have huge quads that can power me up hills- looks like I know what I am doing.

My past as a rower allowed me to come from a true newbie in cycling just trying to keep up with the back of the pack to having no trouble riding with the lead guys and doing more miles on top of that. In just a few months of cycling training.

It is good to vary the workout. I am sure you will reap the benifits very soon.
hard workdzrider
Dec 20, 2001 6:57 AM
I used one at a health club. I found it very hard work and used it often after my little weight training routine and before running home. I never once had to wait to use it which is pretty good evidence that lots of people find it damned unpleasant. You have to sign up in advance for stairmasters, eliptical trainers and treadmills at this club. I second the notion of trying it to see if you can stand it. If you can, 20 mins of spinning, 20 mins of rowing and 20 mins of spinning would be a helluva workout for a cyclist.
re: Concept2 rowermuncher
Dec 20, 2001 8:46 AM
Been using them for about 15 years. They are great for cardio work. You have to be careful about upper body though - you can get big fast with these things. What a lot of people can't grasp is that setting the fan on 10 is not the best workout for fitness - if you put it on lower resist, you have to work faster to cover the distance at the same speed, and that is harder for most people.

I would suggest therefore, that you train on about 5-6, for a really good cardio w/o, without putting on too much upper bulk.

Personally, I also find that doing a lot of high resistance leg work on them doesn't really help my cycling greatly - it's a different technique - better to do that on a bike machine, but some say different.

I think they are great though - and very kind on the body/joints.
re: Concept2 rowerSingleThreaded
Dec 20, 2001 8:51 AM
No other standard gym machine will give you the cardio workout that the rowing ergometer does. Unlike the treadmills and trainers which concentrate the work to specific body parts, the erg hits most parts of the legs, arms, abs and back. This requires oxygen replenishment to all parts of the body. The nice part about this is it requires little effort to get the HR high because the cumulative effort of all the body parts puts it there. While running hard gets you into the mid 100s; rowing hard can easily put your HR over 200. That was a typical workout back in college, typically ending with a purge into a bucket.

On the down side, it's difficult to go for extended periods; it doesn't concentrate too much on the cycling muscles (perhaps making it good for off days); it's no substitute for base miles and its quite load.

I would recommend it as a cross training activity. And I would love to have one in my basement if I could find one used and cheap.
The machine has a whole cult around it....Bruno
Dec 20, 2001 9:15 AM
The are international competitions with them. I have seen pictures of competitions where they put hundreds of machines inside a large gym. Concept 2 has a monthly publication that lists the record times by age for a given distance. I believe 2000m. Like rowing it's a wicked exercise because you have to use most of you muscles at the same time. Rowers are supposed to have the highest VO2 max of all athletes (according to rowing magazines). I have tried it at the gym a few times (its also never used) and feel that my forearms start to hurt way before anything else. I think its great for cross training but if you already have enough muscle in the upper body (like I do) you may want to look at something else.
re: Concept2 rowerPatrick
Dec 20, 2001 9:37 AM
Oh God no!

I thought I had left the pain of these machines far behind me and replaced it with a nice little gut. Years of viewing these divices as only winter torture and testing machines make me hate them so...(I's shaking just thinking about them). Nothing will make your legs bigger though, and they are a truly unparalleled workout as long as you know how to use it. Just be careful of your back. All ex-rowers have back problems
re: Concept2 rowerDINOSAUR
Dec 20, 2001 10:21 AM
I've been using one for 11 years. It sat gathering dust in our family room for a couple of years then I decided to do some cross training. It provides an excellent full body workout and hits all major muscle groups: Traps, deltoids, pecs, lats, quads, gluts. The topside is the aerobic treshold you reach. It does have a tendency to overdevelope your quads and you might have lower back problems if you don't do some stretching for the lower back. You can plug in different workouts with the computer so you don't get stuck do the same routine everday. Concept2 has a website loaded with workout routines. I've found also that they help me with my position so I can get down low and stretched out on my bike. I usually workout 45-minutes to 1 hour a day when I can't ride. During the season I started to use it a couple a days a week after my ride for 20-30 minutes. They are also very durable and require very little maintenence, just a light coat of oil on the chain once and a while and a wipe down of the mono rail after a workout.
The new generation has an enclosed fan and they collapse so you can fold it up and stick it in a corner when not in use.
I recommend one to anyone, but be aware they hurt. I didn't find it overdeveloped my upper body as previously mentioned, the opposite for me. It's like doing high reps, light weights with free weights. I stumbled on the concept2 when I was forced to join a health club in the late 80's because of child care problems. I thought if I had one of those things in my house I could just workout for about 45 minutes a day and get a better workout then working out every other day in the club. They aren't cheap at around $800.00, but they will last a lifetime. Probably the best way to find out is to find someplace that has a Concept2 and you can try one and for a couple of days. Concept2 was invented by a cyclist. The first generation was a bicycle wheel which was later replaced by an al flywheel.
I think they work best as a cross training tool, cycling/rowing works for me. I was lifting weights but I got too bulky and started to put on a bunch of weight. I've taken off about 2 inches off my waist since I started using my concept2 a couple of months ago.
In all honesty I wish it wasn't raining and I be out on the roads on my bike and not sitting here talking about rowing machines...
ROWING IS THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I Love Shimano
Dec 20, 2001 5:57 PM
Although it has been a couple of years since I 'retired' from full time rowing, I still am very enthusiastic about the sport. In fact, aside from cycling during the weekdays, Sunday mornings are spend on the boat with some former teammates who have grown a gut by now. IMHO, rowing is a much better workout than cycling. It tones everything, makes you real lean and takes the gut out faster than cycling. BUT, your legs still look better cycling, rather than rowing. Try it out, it is 500 times better if you learn how to row on a boat and get to row real fast with other strong crewmates. Nothing feels better than a shell at speed, and the sound of oars pulling against the water, and having to lie in the fetal position after a very hard 2k ERG TEST. Damn.
re: Concept2 rowerRickS
Dec 21, 2001 8:32 AM
I use a waterower - it is an american-designed, british-built work of art that uses water resistance (as opposed to the concept2's air resistance). Having used both machines, I purchased the waterower for three reasons:

1. The "catch" (when you first "pull") is more natural and feels like an oar in the water.
2. The unit is very quiet as compared to the concept2
3. The waterower has a very attractive wood frame and stores in the same space as a chair.

I don't know if using the waterowe in my training has helped my riding specifically, but it is a great change-of-pace workout and has the added advantage of working my upper body.

The web-site for the waterower is: