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Old 01-31-2003, 10:34 AM   #5
Robert Downing
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Actually it can make considerable difference, although its use and effect is often misunderstood.

In brief, it controls the amount of air resistance into the turbine, against which one pulls. The higher the number, the greater the amount of air, the heavier the drag. The difference is akin to rowing a heavier versus a lighter boat. Misunderstanding typically comes from a too-literal equating of this to lifting with more or less weight. I.e., one who lifts one hundred pounds ten times is exterting more than if he lifts fifty pounds ten times. This is not necessarily analogous to drag factor, however. One can exert just as much pulling on a low drag factor as on a higher. To a degree, it is like switching gears biking. But there is yet another factor, which is that, since actions have equal and opposite reactions, resistance increases with the effort the rower applies. This sounds, perhaps, magical, but it is simple physics. Think of a boat. If one pulls an oar gently, it passes easily through the water. If one pulls hard, however, the oar doesn't fly through the water; rather one feels resistance equal to the force applied. So with the Concept 2.

A beginner will probably find that the higher drag factor results in a lower stroke rate and will tax the skeletal muscles more; the lower drag factor will cause an increase in stroke rate and less skeletal muscle fatigue. But with improved technigue this will cease necessarily to be the case.

I hope this helps.
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