's Forum Archives - General

Archive Home >> General(1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 )

Concept II Rower -- Am I missing something?(9 posts)

Concept II Rower -- Am I missing something?harper
Jan 24, 2002 6:51 AM
Last night was my first attempt at using one of these rowing machines. I rowed for 20 minutes and barely broke a sweat, and surely didn't feel as though I got a solid workout. My upper body (lats and shoulders) are not at all sore this morning.

However, I didn't have a introduction to the machine. What are the keys to getting a good sweat going? Thanks.
hands, body,
Jan 24, 2002 7:05 AM
rowing (sweeps, at least) is mostly legs- notice the sliding seat? if you want a hurting, try a real ergometer!
You sure must have...Muncher.
Jan 24, 2002 7:09 AM
The key is speed over distance. Try to maintain about 2:00 min/500 meters as a good average maintainable speed for a fairly fit beginner. It doesn't matter how you do it - 10 on the resistance or 3 - you just have to put more strokes in on the lower resist to cover the same "water". Personally, I find it harder to row 10,000m on 5, than I do on 10, due to my build/power make-up; you may not, but you will find out.

There are some good downloadable work-outs on the Concept web-site - - why not have a look at those.

Rest assured though - if you are not sweating, there is something wrong - they give you a really good work out.

Word of warning though - watch your technique - if you start "yanking" big resitance, you can really feel it in your lower back. Generally though, they are very kind to the body, and ought not to make you ache too much at the end of a really good work-out.

Hope that helps - Enjoy.
not working hard enough...DINOSAUR
Jan 24, 2002 9:06 AM
2:00 min/500 meter stroke rate is a hard effort! I'm lucky if I can maintain 2:15/500 for a 45 min session.

If you are not breaking into a sweat you are not working hard enough. I sweat so much that I have to wear a hand band and pause at the end of every set to wipe my face off. I'm usually soaking wet with perspiration and look like I just got out of the shower when I'm finished.

You should have received a booklet that came with the ergo.
You can program in different workouts, and they have a website as Muncher mentioned that lists a bunch of them.

I like to row long intervals. 5 min work/3 min rest (rest meaning you row a slow stroke rate). A 5 min warm-up, then I program the computer (I have the old model 'B' type) for 5 min work/3 min rest. The computer will keep track of your intervals. I like to do about 5-8 sets, with a 5 minute easy effort as a warm up for the first interval. You should be working hard, but not out of breath so you can't maintain the same effort during all the sets. You can play around with it a lot and make up your own programs.

I used my ergo for 5 weeks as rain kept me off of my bike.
The ergo kept me aerobically fit, strengthened my upper body and quads. When I finally got back on my bike I felt a little wobbly and had a little difficulty with my position for a couple of days. Now after a week I'm back to the same type of riding (for this time of year).

I found the best workout for cycling was long intervals, 45 min- 1 hr. And I'm always a little bit sore and can feel it when I lay in bed every night before I go to sleep. Sometimes I can feel the soreness the next day if I row for an hour.

You're not working hard enough, start cranking, see how low you can get that stoke rate down, you will burn, try 1:55min/500 meter and if that doesn't get you sweating consider trying out for the Olympic rowing team..

20 minutes won't cut it...the problem I found was trying too hard an effort and not wanting to get back on the ergo the next day. I row a moderate effort with a couple of hard intervals thrown in. You have to mix up your workout routines or you will get bored. I also listen to music. If you watch your computer and maintain a constant stroke rate, you sessions will go fast... and best thing is you will enjoy getting back outside on your bike... nothing like the open road...

Do you belong to a health club where the ero is parked? Some health clubs restrict the time on the ergo as people are waiting to use it.
If so, get off after the max time allowed and get on a stationary bike for 20 min then back on the ergo...I finally just purchased one and work out at home, been using one for 12 years...
Good points - forgot to addmuncher.
Jan 24, 2002 9:29 AM
that rowing is hugley dependant on your body shape - a tall, rangy chap will be much better able to maintain a good speed for the same fitness/stroke rate - it's all levers. So, if you are short and stocky - sorry, but you are going to struggle more. Adjust your target pace accordingly.

Dino's right - go for the longer workouts (I do 10,000m - at 2:00 pace - that's 40 mins, which is just right for a lunch hour session with shower and changing. Unless you are a sprinter - then go for sprints. Believe me, you will never out-run on of those machines...
not working hard enough...harper
Jan 24, 2002 9:35 AM
Thanks Dino, I was hoping you would chime in as I've seen you comment on this machine before. Yes, it's in a gym but I haven't seen a backlog for it before. I'll get on it again tonight and try to put some the advice I've received here into use.
I'm a rower - you need technique, all technique...matt
Jan 24, 2002 12:37 PM
i'm a competitive rower. you got to learn good technique before you can really hammer without hurting yourself. i've gotten the computer down as low as 1:10/500meters for a couple strokes. my PR is a 6:25 for 2000 meters (race distance for sprint racing) that's a 1:36.5 split. but anyhow, the key is start at teh catch (handle close to fan) with your lower back still strait. try to get your stomach to touch your thighs. try not to colapse over your knees. keep the back strait. next, drive hard with the legs while keeping your arms relaxed. as your legs go down, don't let your back colapse. keep it at the same angle relative to the ground as you had it at the catch. when your legs are down, swing you shoulders back, then pull in with the arms. try to keep the elbows by your side and pull the handle in by squeezing your shoudler blades together, not by using your biceps. back is much stronger then arms. so... it's legs, back, then arms/shoulders. keep a nice easy pace, about 22 strokes per minute. when you go back to the catch, go arms, then swing the back, then bring the legs up. don't bend your legs before your hands are away from you body otherwise you'll have to lift you hands to get the handle over the knees = ugly. good luck!
Rowing is a better workout than cyclingI Love Shimano
Jan 24, 2002 4:23 PM
It works your legs as well as your upper body. Can cycling do that? Na-ah. If you want to learn more about rowing the C2 erg, go to and you can request some literature that can help you with your stroke. The Daily Rowing Log book is a good one to start off with. Once you've learned to row on the erg, try rowing wth a crew on the water....nothing beats the feel of a fast boat as the oars drive through the water. Aaah, I miss college crewing.
All good information from above...DINOSAUR
Jan 24, 2002 4:59 PM
When I did a lot of rowing (indoors) about ten years ago, I could get down to the low 8:00's. high 7:00's for 2000 meters. Anyone who can get to the high 6:00's has my admiration. These machines hurt!

When I started cycling, after doing nothing but rowing for alomost 2 months, I noticed at first that I was climbing in bigger gears. The ergo built up my quads, as you use your legs to push off at the beginning of the stroke. My position on my bike didn't feel right and I made a couple of changes with my saddle position, then after a week I changed it back to where it was originally. From now on I won't stop cycling completely and get out and ride even if it only means a couple of days a week because of the weather. I also lost a little technique and concentrated on spinning instead of mashing bigger gears.

However~ I have to say that the best part was getting back on the road again with my bike. Cycling is a fun way to exercise. Matter a fact, I don't even think of it as exercise, I look at it as playtime and my little escape into my own little world.

Also thanks to the folks that invented all the high tech cold weather gear, in the old days you couldn't ride during the winter. Now the only thing that stops me is rain, and it's not the wet, it's the idiot drivers and road debris...

The ergo is a great cross training tool...and good for guys that are short on time....