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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 09-01-2005, 08:01 AM   #1
Chris Wyant
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Ok I am writing this thread to clarify the drag factor on the Concept 2 rowers. Many people comment me "Chris - I row with the damper on 10 because its the hardest and thus im doing the most work." I shake my head in dismay. To clarify how the drag factor works imagine that you are in an actual boat. A drag factor of 10 is the same as rowing in a Central park row boat - 8 feet wide, 10 feet long, and impossible to flip. It's heavy, its slow, but if you can get it moving it has quite a bit of inertia. A 4-5 on the damper setting is the equivalent of a racing shell - 24 feet long, 18 inchs wide, and the slightest off weight tilt will flip you - a set of 5 strokes gets this boat moving. A 1 on the damper setting - There is no boat.

Now what is the best damper setting for you?

This depends on many factors - primarily weight. Workout being second.

To make my point clear a damper setting of 10 (8 for women) should only be used for pieces under 150 meters. This is not a rule - but a suggestion. The reason I say this is that unless you have been trained with the proper stroke for years - you will cause damage to yourself at this setting. 150 meters is a sprint/muscle piece that no matter what you do - it wont kill you.

Now I will discuss wieght before going back to distances.

The following is a laymans chart of where you damper should be around for your weight. (Applied for 500meter+ piece)

250lbs - 6-7
200lbs - 5-6
175lbs - 4-6
150lbs - 3-4
125lbs - 2-3

Now that you have a general idea of where your fan should be - realize that this is not final. Every erg is different. If you want to make sure that each erg you get onto has the same "drag factor" there is a function that lets you determine exactly what your fan is set at.

On the model C (grey and black) erg hold down both the "rest" and "ok" button at the same time. In the bottom right hand corner a little "drag" should appear. Hop onto the erg and pull 5-10 strokes fairly hard - a number will appear. The following is a chart regarding recomended drag:

250lbs - 139
200lbs - 132
175lbs - 125
150lbs - 120
125lbs - 114

(Note first generation Model D users - Go to options and the last selection is "more options" under which is "Drag Factor"(Not sure about subsequent generations - they revised the computer 4 months after initial release))

So that now you know where drag is you must realize - these drags are considered in the rowing world to be the most efficient for how a rower works. These drag factors rely on endurance and aerobic ability more then anarobic. Moving higher to the 10 setting emphasizes strength more and more - but subsequently takes much more strength to move the fan (This will make you much more tired sooner then at a lower drag). Remember - it may look easy - but anyway you slice the cake (erg?) it will hurt.

The athlete's anerobic threshold, the point at which the body's muscles have exhausted their oxygen store and start burning other fuel. For regular folks, reaching that threshold is quitting time; anaerobic work is 19 times harder than aerobic work. But rowing is all about harder. Elite rowers fire off the start at sprint speed -- 53 strokes per minute. With 95 pounds of force on the blade end, each stroke is a weightlifter's power clean. Rowers cross their anaerobic threshold with that first stroke. Then there are 225 more to the finish line."




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Old 09-01-2005, 08:02 AM   #2
Chris Wyant
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Sorry one more thing - the last paragraph of my article - ESPN Magazine, May 2000
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Old 09-01-2005, 09:49 AM   #3
Kenneth Urakawa
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Thanks--I had no real idea what those settings were meant to represent. Learn something new everyday...
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Old 09-01-2005, 10:50 AM   #4
Alexander Karatis
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Me neither. Great piece of info and very fresh too! And I wondered why I'd fry my right or left adductor after every 10Ker!
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Old 09-01-2005, 10:57 AM   #5
Lincoln Brigham
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According to the C2 FAQ, lower damper settings will improve your technique as well. (So will rowing without using the footstraps.)
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Old 09-01-2005, 11:48 AM   #6
Chris Wyant
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Correct ou are Lincoln. Taking your feet out of the straps will inprove your technique as it forces you to push off hard while maintaining a strong core as to not go flying backwards off the seat. It also prmotes a straiter posture and prevents people from leaning back so far.

Also as a side note - for all of the model D users. When rowing - flip the handle upside down so that the ends of the handle are pointing upwards as opposed to downwards. This in turn provides a better angle for your arms and wrists. Having the handle pointing downwards encourages "chicken wings" and bent wrists which ultimatly cut off power in the finish.
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Old 09-01-2005, 09:16 PM   #7
Pat Janes
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Great information, Chris! I've still not had the opportunity to try a C2, but although this has been discussed many times in the past, I don't ever remember such a clear explanation of the reasons for choosing a given setting.

Past discussions have been limited mostly to "set it to around about 4, give or take...".
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Old 09-02-2005, 07:54 AM   #8
andy clark
 
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Thanks Chris, wait until I show this to my brother, he's of the '10 is best' school too. I go for 5-6 which is when he rolls his eyes & emits a funny grunting noise.
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Old 09-02-2005, 08:39 AM   #9
Lincoln Brigham
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When I got my rower, I was having a hard time keeping my strokes per minute below 30. (All of the C2 studs use a SPM < 30). I just couldn't get a good time without cranking up the stroke rate. As soon as I got some practice in without straps, I was able to get good speed with a low stroke rate AND a low damper setting.
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Old 09-02-2005, 02:08 PM   #10
Chris Wyant
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Andy, Tell your brother that while rowing at a 10 is fine and all - unless his technique is impeccable (Which I can assume it is not unless he has 3+ years of rowing under his belt), he will cause damage to his L3, L4, and L5 spinal disks due to all of the load being placed on his lower back.

Lincoln - While all of the rowing studs may train at SPM < 30. They most certainly do not rce at that pace. I personally do workouts where I do 10ks at a 22spm pace and hold around a 1:52 avg split for a light workout. However when I test - im usually at 28-29SPM and around 1:49.

2ks are around 31-32spm for heavyweights (over 165lbs) and around 34-36 for lightweights.

500s I usually pump out with a 48spm start and end at around 38-41SPM upon completion.
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