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Old 12-31-2009, 01:22 PM   #1
John Otterstedt
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rowing....dropping from !:45 to 1:30 per 500

For the most part, I tend to stay around 1:45 per 500 meters when doing a 1,000 to 2,000 meter row. I've tried to pull as I hard as I could and have gotten the rate down to 1:39 for a pull or two, but it always goes back up to 1:45, sometimes a few pulls in a row at 1:50. I'd really like to improve it.

Here are my questions:
1) Is there an ideal number that the Concept2 rower should be set to for a 1,000 or 2,000 meter row? I tend to keep it around 4.
2) Any tips on form or frequency of rows that would help?
3) Are there other exercises - other than simply rowing more (which I plan to do) - that would help?
4) If my goal is to get the best 2,000 meter time possible, should I be rowing for further distances in my sessions leading up to the time trial?

I think the thing that frustrates me is that I have seen videos of people rowing considerably faster than me, yet it doesn't "look" like they are going much faster.
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Old 12-31-2009, 02:00 PM   #2
Nathan Kulas
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Re: rowing....dropping from !:45 to 1:30 per 500

Speed is all in the power, so it seems to me. By the time you start pulling with your arms you should be doing a dead lift style push through your heels. The harder the push, the faster you go. That said, I'll have to mess around and see what my times look like. I believe highest speeds are easier to attain with the damper set higher - though I might be mistaken.
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Old 12-31-2009, 02:02 PM   #3
Greg Light
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Re: rowing....dropping from !:45 to 1:30 per 500

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Otterstedt View Post
For the most part, I tend to stay around 1:45 per 500 meters when doing a 1,000 to 2,000 meter row. I've tried to pull as I hard as I could and have gotten the rate down to 1:39 for a pull or two, but it always goes back up to 1:45, sometimes a few pulls in a row at 1:50. I'd really like to improve it.

Here are my questions:
1) Is there an ideal number that the Concept2 rower should be set to for a 1,000 or 2,000 meter row? I tend to keep it around 4.
2) Any tips on form or frequency of rows that would help?
3) Are there other exercises - other than simply rowing more (which I plan to do) - that would help?
4) If my goal is to get the best 2,000 meter time possible, should I be rowing for further distances in my sessions leading up to the time trial?

I think the thing that frustrates me is that I have seen videos of people rowing considerably faster than me, yet it doesn't "look" like they are going much faster.
One thing that I have tried that has really improved my pulling power is a bit of a twist on a rowing workout I saw posted on here. The original work is 19 or 20 minutes, but that doesn't really fit in with goals at the moment, so I shortened it.

Basically it is 8 minutes where for the first 2 minutes you pull 14 strokes per minute, the next 90 seconds you pull at 17 SPM, the next minute at 20 SPM and then go back down the ladder (i.e, next 90 seconds at 17, next 2 min at 14).

It really makes you focus on pulling hard and strong.

The first time I tried this I crossed the 2k mark at close to 7:50. Most recently (I've probably done this 8 or 9 times) I pulled 2k in close to 7:20.

After doing this, I PR'd on the 2k with a 6:53 and it felt pretty easy. I think I could have been in the 6:40s if I had really pushed it. My pulls have gotten a lot stronger too from this. Last night I showed my dad what an all out 20 seconds on the C2 looks like and I pulled 127m back to back with about 1 minute rest. Peak pace in on these was sub 1:15 / 500m. 2 months ago I couldn't even dream of pulling that.

EDIT - These were all at a damper of 4 or 5
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Old 12-31-2009, 02:10 PM   #4
Leslie Powell
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Re: rowing....dropping from !:45 to 1:30 per 500

1. Elite rowers tend to use lower damper settings, especially for longer distances. If you're big and not technically skilled, you may get better times with a higher damper setting. There is no ideal number, though. For short rows like a 500M, a higher setting usually works better. If you're big and/or very strong, a higher setting usually works better.

2. Google "Concept 2 Pete Plan" for a good basic rowing program.

3. Up to a point, more leg strength (squats & deadlifts) will help, but only up to a point. Elite rowers do not have record setting numbers on these lifts.

Last thing: your splits on a 1000 should be about 5 seconds faster than on a 2000, so something is wrong if they're always the same. A 7 minute 2000 isn't shabby at all, btw. You can't really tell how fast a rower is going by looking, as the stroke rate doesn't necessarily increase when you speed up.
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Old 12-31-2009, 02:16 PM   #5
Andrew H. Meador
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Re: rowing....dropping from !:45 to 1:30 per 500

Ignore the damper - use the drag factor. Look it up in your manual or go on C2's website. It should be 130 or so for the "average CF male" at 175 lbs. for a piece of that length. Play with it - some C2s will be 3 or more clicks off of another at the same drag factor.

Other than that, the rowing stroke is where you'll make your gains. Being bigger and stronger helps, as does being taller (which of course you can't change), but mastering the stroke makes a big difference. Try putting the damper to 0-2 and rowing at 20 spm. Concentrate on a slow recovery, and a high-torque pull at the catch (the very most forward portion of the stroke). Legs, back, arms on the pull, arms, back, legs on the recovery. 3:1 ratio of recovery to pull. Take your time on the recovery, and make sure that your legs don't bend right away - wait until your arms have extended and then your back has come forward. If you have to bring the handle over your knees because your knees have bended prematurely, you're wrong. Search the CF Journal for some videos - in particular they have Peter Dreissigacker, the founder of the company, doing some technique videos. Good luck,

Andrew
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Old 01-05-2010, 11:21 AM   #6
Jason Peacock
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Re: rowing....dropping from !:45 to 1:30 per 500

Ditto what Andrew says - perfect your form/technique, and practice developing power at a low stroke rate.

For heavyweights, we'd train most of the year at 18-22spm (damper at 6 emulate on-the-water drag). This was for all our workouts - 500/1000/2000/6000m.

By rowing slowly, you are able to focus on your technique, and learn to drive hard at the catch and get all the power from your legs, then recover on the way back to the catch.

When you race, your stroke rate will go high again, but with better technique and learning how to drive from the catch then your splits will go down.

Also, learn to keep a constant pace - most ppl go out too fast and then die at the end. Instead you should figure out what split you need to finish at your goal time, then hold that split for *every single stroke*. At the beginning it will feel too easy, then at the end it will feel impossible
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Old 01-05-2010, 12:13 PM   #7
Graeme Howland
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Re: rowing....dropping from !:45 to 1:30 per 500

Jon Gilson from Again Faster has a few great tutorial videos on how to use the power output on the monitor to judge potential issues in your stroke:

http://www.againfaster.com/the-micd-...?currentPage=2 (WFS)

Also as mentioned check out the CFJ videos of Jon at C2.

Like you I'm trying to improve my speed in both 500's and 2K's and finding that stroke form is obviously the most important thing to improve.
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