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Exercises Movements, technique & proper execution

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Old 12-06-2003, 06:03 PM   #1
Michael Halbfish
Member Michael Halbfish is offline
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: New Brunswick  NJ
Posts: 400
ON THE WOD when rowing is prescribed what tension level should we use on the Concept II. Generally, I've been doing a level 8.
Coach you might find it interesting that I find that my rowing times are well within the top 10 in your trophy case (I'll have to track it and send it in the next time). Yet, I am not doing as well on the running workouts. This is interesting because I was a Div I distance runner in college (I'm about 50 lbs heavier now). I'm also not nearly as competitive in the other WOD categories. Yet, I have no previous rowing background.
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Old 12-07-2003, 01:30 PM   #2
David Wood
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Posts: 3,303

You're talking about the graduated scale that controls how freely the air flow generated by the flywheel blows, right?

I don't know what standard applies for the tension . . . the one I use is an older model B, and doesn't have the numbered scale on the adjustment. I just use a midpoint setting.

I think you should feel free to find the adjustment that gives you the best power performance. There's usually a point for each person where the load on each stroke is best for their individual maximum power. Note that the best setting for you might be different for different distances.

(Vaguely relevant history lesson: Many, many, years ago, one of the first time-and-motion studies established that the shovel that coal miners used should be shaped and sized so that it held just exactly 22 lbs of coal in each load . . . more would give a higher load per shovel, but would tire out the man digging with it . . . less would leave the diggers less tired, but would move less coal overall . . . (Of course, no one asked the miners what they thought of it.))

Rowing seems to be sort of like that . . . there's a load for each stroke that will give you the maximum expression of work in least time, and you have to find it.

Also, I'm not entirely surprised to hear that your rowing times are leading your other WOD performances, especially if you're a "big guy" (say, 200+ lbs). The bodyweight stuff (chinups, HSPUs) is hell on the big guys, but rowing seems to favor them a bit. Check out the performances on the Concept II website, and you'll generally see that bigger guys (heavyweights) are doing a bit better.

This is particularly true for ergometer rowing, as opposed to on-the-water stuff . . . in a boat, there's at least a small penalty for more body mass (you have to move it through the water, but moving it back and forth on the ergometer's track isn't as big a deal.)

I'm still trying to break 4:00 consistently in the 1000 m . . .

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