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Rowing machine for cross training advice please(9 posts)

Rowing machine for cross training advice pleaseregulajo
Dec 3, 2002 1:17 PM
I just got a Concept II Rower and am looking for advice from cyclists on what kind of sessions do you do on it? Long endurance rows, intervals, hard powerful sessions? Those with the Concept II, what do you set the damper at?
Thanks,
Steve
re: Rowing machine for cross training advice pleasewaynebo
Dec 3, 2002 1:29 PM
Steve,
I hope you experimented with the C2 before you bought one. If new to rowing, go easy until you build up a good base--just like cycling. Damper setting? Not that is interesting. I read the guy who set the lightweight WR for the 2000 meter piece used a 4. I've read about a guy in a C2 training thread use a 3 and still do 1'45" 500 meters. Then again, I've seen completely out-of-shape knucleheads at the gym put it on 10. Evidently these stooges don't quite understand that effort-in equals effort-out and that setting the damper on 3 and pulling hard is alot more difficult than putting it on 10 and hardly pulling. The C2 website has alot of good training suggestions. BTW, a 2000 meter piece at max effort is the physiological equivalent to back-to-back basketball games. Rowing has become a BIG part of my training regimen. Out.
re: Rowing machine for cross training advice pleaseKSC
Dec 3, 2002 2:48 PM
Probably a mix. Rowers typically do 5k or 6k meters as a longer endurance row on the erg (it usually gets pretty boring to do longer), 2k meters is the standard race distance, and N intervals at 500 meters is usually a nice interval distance. If you're new to the machine, start off with some easier longer rows until your body gets adjusted, and make sure you're using good form, no sense hurting your back.

Damper setting, it's pretty much a bicycle gear so adjust accordingly, 5 or 6 is pretty typical. For longer distances aim for low 20's stroke rate (stroke per minute), for higher intensity, shorter distances probably more like 28 spm and up (those are just ballpark numbers). If it's hard to stay around those rates, adjust the damper accordingly.
re: Rowing machine for cross training advice pleaseBrianNYC
Dec 4, 2002 6:22 AM
I have posted on the Concept II before. My favorite workout is trying to do 7K in under or as close to half an hour as I can and I think it is a great workout (believe me, you will feel it). I would not start out trying to do 7k in half an hour however - I built up to that and actually when I started I did 10K or more sessions at good but not particularly fast rates to build up my endurance - so I think the advice to do some longer rows at a slower/easy pace, whatever is comfortable, to get acclimated is very good advice. I have always found a faster/lighter stroke rate more efficient then a slower heavier one (the equivelent of spinning vs. mashing). That being said, I have never liked interval training, and my experience is that setting a distance (whether 7k, 5k, or whatever) and trying to keep improving your time gets your heart rate toa very high level and builds endurance like you would not believe. One thing you will find is that whatever gauge you are using as a target, whether watts, stroke rate, etc. you will know how fast/far you are going regardless. Also, form is important, one of things that you will notice is that depending on how you stroke you can target different areas for emphasis - upper back, abs, legs, etc. and still have good form.

If you do a search using my user name you can pull up the other posts on rowing on RBR.

Good luck and welcome to the club - it is the best exercise. Also, if you row more than a 1000K in a year, you can get a certificate from Concept II - it is an honor to shoot for.
re: Rowing machine for cross training advice pleasemanicoti
Dec 4, 2002 7:47 AM
I used to row in college and have decided to take up swimming for my cross training, but using the erg is a great way to build total body fitness. The most important thing is to have good form. You can and will hurt your back with bad form. See if you can find a local rower and get a few lessons. Power is built with low rate and edurance with high rate. That is a generalization. We used to do hour pieces once a week to work on our endurance, but you will burn out fast. I would say to 2 or 3 20 minute pieces at a rate 20-24. Don't worry about wattage or calories, watch your splits. They tell you how long it takes to go 500m. A decent split is about 2:00 min. We did tests in college to mimic the 2000m races we did in the spring and my best was a 6:40, but I was a lightweight then. If you weally want a good hard workout, do one minute pieces. Do one minute at about a 1:45 or less, then stop for one minute. Do ten of them, take a ten minute rest, then do it again. The Concept 2 will countdown for both the time you are pulling and the rest time. Just so you know, I was a Level 2 rowing coach with USRowing and coached at a local university for about a year. If you have any more questions, just ask.
re: Rowing machine for cross training advice pleasewaynebo
Dec 4, 2002 10:14 AM
6:40 2000m--You the Man! My goal is to break 7:00 (41 y.o 149#, rowing x 18 months). When you mean rest, do you mean no activity or light rowing? Also, I swam first and then took up rowing. Rowing is easier in terms of form. Swimmig takes alot of time to develop proper stroke mechanics. I don't miss the pool--chlorine, frequent sinus colds, little kids peeing, smacking hands with someone swimming in another lane, etc. But anyhow, how much does a college rower row?
re: Rowing machine for cross training advice pleasemanicoti
Dec 5, 2002 4:04 AM
We always did one minute pieces in pairs, so it was really more like 1 minute on, 10 seconds to get off, one minute rest, 10 seconds to get back on, then go. If I did them solo, I would get my feet out and sit there and sip on water, then strap in and go. The 6:40 was for a 20 yr old who maxed out the lightweight scale at 160. I am now a 27 yr old who tips the scale at a hefty 200. I can still pull under 7:30 for sure, but it would take a few months of training.
I think form is more important to rowing than cycling. I believe that you can still train for hr while swimming with less than optimal form, but try that with rowing, and you are asking for a bad back. We had plenty of novices with good strength and form in the boat, then they get on the erg and have all these nagging little injuries. I would rather swim nowadays andyway.
re: Rowing machine for cross training advice pleasetarwheel
Dec 4, 2002 10:32 AM
I use a Concept2 rowing machine at the Y every now and then and really enjoy it for a change of pace. However, I've found that it really toasts my quads for several days afterwards -- in particular my climbing ability while cycling. I generally will row for 45 minutes to 1 hour, at a pace of about 10-11K per hour. I have no probem rowing for that long, and it doesn't bother my legs while rowing, but I really feel it for the next few days when cycling -- dead legs on all the climbs.
Check out Concept2's website...DINOSAUR
Dec 4, 2002 3:07 PM
Concept2 has a website. click on 'workouts' and then 'list all' and you will have a list of varied routines. I printed out about a dozen of them and used about 3-5 all the time.
It good to vary your routine to prevent burnout. I rowed for about 7-8 years but backed off when I took up cycling again when I retired 4 years ago. It's a great exercise for cross training or when the weather prevents you from riding. I just hate exercising indoors, I have mine in our garage and I'll pull it out and row with the garage door open just so it will feel like I'm outside. Great for the upper body as it hits the area's that cycling misses...also great for your quads...I found an hour gives you one heck of a workout, but most of mine were around 45 minutes (including warm-up and cool-down)..you have to stretch also as you will build up your quads and you don't use your hamstrings and it can lead to lower back problems (same as cycling).....