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Aerobic exercise on a rowing machine



 
 
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  #1  
Old November 16th 07, 10:56 PM posted to misc.fitness.aerobic,rec.sport.rowing,misc.fitness.misc
Lacustral
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Posts: 5
Default Aerobic exercise on a rowing machine

I have a magnetic rowing machine, a Lifecore R900. I've been working
out on it pretty hard for a few months, and it looks like it won't be
too long before I can't any longer get my heart rate high enough at
the top resistance, rowing at the rate that feels most natural to me,
about 28-30 strokes/min. I use it at the next to highest level now.
I don't think it is underpowered relative to other rowing machines. I
tried a Concept 2 in a gym and the top resistance is easier than the
resistance I use on the R900, rowing at the same 28-30 rate. I'm a
woman of about average natural strength, my cardiovascular fitness is
good but not extraordinary.
So what is going on? There are lots of people who are stronger and more
fit than me. What do they do to get a real aerobic workout on a
Concept 2? Row really fast? Really jerk the bar hard as they pull it
out?
I don't think I would max out the elliptical trainer at the gym.
I use it at level 11 out of 20.
One possibility I can think of:
The Concept 2 is meant to simulate actual rowing in a boat, not as a
pure exercise machine like the elliptical trainer. Just like you see
runners going by you and they aren't breathing hard, people can get in
shape for rowing a boat and after a while they won't breathe hard.
Unless they really row fast!
I might get used to rowing faster for my half hour workout - but it
seems kind of uncomfortable to row really fast. Possibly the resistance
of air or water rowers increases more with higher stroke rate than a
magnetic rower, maybe that's how people get high resistance out of a
Concept 2.
It seems like magnetic rowers, like the one I have, are designed more
as exercise machines, less to simulate actual rowing, than something
like the Concept 2. (which is fine with me)
You can get rowing machines that have higher resistance than the one I
have, for sure. Magnetic rowers with more powerful magnets and rowers
using both magnetic and air resistance. I got the magnetic resistance
because it's less noisy.
Since I do it partly for strength training, it seems like a good idea
to find something with higher resistance rather than just trying to
row really really fast.
I surfed the internet (groan) and I did find some comments about rowing
being only mildly aerobic exercise. It wasn't very aerobic for me at
first because my upper body muscles weren't used to it, so I could only
get my heart rate up to 140 or so. But then I got used to it, and it
looks like the resistance isn't high enough!

Laura
  #2  
Old November 16th 07, 11:06 PM posted to misc.fitness.aerobic, rec.sport.rowing, misc.fitness.misc
[email protected]
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Posts: 2
Default Aerobic exercise on a rowing machine

On Nov 16, 1:56 pm, Lacustral wrote:
I have a magnetic rowing machine, a Lifecore R900. I've been working
out on it pretty hard for a few months, and it looks like it won't be
too long before I can't any longer get my heart rate high enough at
the top resistance, rowing at the rate that feels most natural to me,
about 28-30 strokes/min. I use it at the next to highest level now.
I don't think it is underpowered relative to other rowing machines. I
tried a Concept 2 in a gym and the top resistance is easier than the
resistance I use on the R900, rowing at the same 28-30 rate. I'm a
woman of about average natural strength, my cardiovascular fitness is
good but not extraordinary.
So what is going on? There are lots of people who are stronger and more
fit than me. What do they do to get a real aerobic workout on a
Concept 2? Row really fast? Really jerk the bar hard as they pull it
out?
I don't think I would max out the elliptical trainer at the gym.
I use it at level 11 out of 20.
One possibility I can think of:
The Concept 2 is meant to simulate actual rowing in a boat, not as a
pure exercise machine like the elliptical trainer. Just like you see
runners going by you and they aren't breathing hard, people can get in
shape for rowing a boat and after a while they won't breathe hard.
Unless they really row fast!
I might get used to rowing faster for my half hour workout - but it
seems kind of uncomfortable to row really fast. Possibly the resistance
of air or water rowers increases more with higher stroke rate than a
magnetic rower, maybe that's how people get high resistance out of a
Concept 2.
It seems like magnetic rowers, like the one I have, are designed more
as exercise machines, less to simulate actual rowing, than something
like the Concept 2. (which is fine with me)
You can get rowing machines that have higher resistance than the one I
have, for sure. Magnetic rowers with more powerful magnets and rowers
using both magnetic and air resistance. I got the magnetic resistance
because it's less noisy.
Since I do it partly for strength training, it seems like a good idea
to find something with higher resistance rather than just trying to
row really really fast.
I surfed the internet (groan) and I did find some comments about rowing
being only mildly aerobic exercise. It wasn't very aerobic for me at
first because my upper body muscles weren't used to it, so I could only
get my heart rate up to 140 or so. But then I got used to it, and it
looks like the resistance isn't high enough!

Laura


How far did you go on the C2 in a half an hour? That is, set up a 30
minute session and record the meters covered when completed. Then
there are a lot of folks here that will be able to assess what may
help you a bit better.

I doubt there are many exercises that could stress the CV system (and
all major muscle groups) as well as the Rowing Machine, but it does
require a bit more technique than an Eliptical stepper, Cycle, stair
steppers, or Treadmill. The Nordic Track was a bit too complicated
for me to get into, but it seemed like it might be close if one were
to pursue it with vigor.

- Paul Smith
  #3  
Old November 17th 07, 12:20 AM posted to misc.fitness.aerobic,rec.sport.rowing,misc.fitness.misc
Walter Martindale
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Posts: 2
Default Aerobic exercise on a rowing machine

Lacustral wrote:
I have a magnetic rowing machine, a Lifecore R900. I've been working
out on it pretty hard for a few months, and it looks like it won't be
too long before I can't any longer get my heart rate high enough at
the top resistance, rowing at the rate that feels most natural to me,
about 28-30 strokes/min. I use it at the next to highest level now.
I don't think it is underpowered relative to other rowing machines. I
tried a Concept 2 in a gym and the top resistance is easier than the
resistance I use on the R900, rowing at the same 28-30 rate. I'm a
woman of about average natural strength, my cardiovascular fitness is
good but not extraordinary.
So what is going on? There are lots of people who are stronger and more
fit than me. What do they do to get a real aerobic workout on a
Concept 2? Row really fast? Really jerk the bar hard as they pull it
out?
I don't think I would max out the elliptical trainer at the gym.
I use it at level 11 out of 20.
One possibility I can think of:
The Concept 2 is meant to simulate actual rowing in a boat, not as a
pure exercise machine like the elliptical trainer. Just like you see
runners going by you and they aren't breathing hard, people can get in
shape for rowing a boat and after a while they won't breathe hard.
Unless they really row fast!
I might get used to rowing faster for my half hour workout - but it
seems kind of uncomfortable to row really fast. Possibly the resistance
of air or water rowers increases more with higher stroke rate than a
magnetic rower, maybe that's how people get high resistance out of a
Concept 2.
It seems like magnetic rowers, like the one I have, are designed more
as exercise machines, less to simulate actual rowing, than something
like the Concept 2. (which is fine with me)
You can get rowing machines that have higher resistance than the one I
have, for sure. Magnetic rowers with more powerful magnets and rowers
using both magnetic and air resistance. I got the magnetic resistance
because it's less noisy.
Since I do it partly for strength training, it seems like a good idea
to find something with higher resistance rather than just trying to
row really really fast.
I surfed the internet (groan) and I did find some comments about rowing
being only mildly aerobic exercise. It wasn't very aerobic for me at
first because my upper body muscles weren't used to it, so I could only
get my heart rate up to 140 or so. But then I got used to it, and it
looks like the resistance isn't high enough!

Laura

Hi Laura,
The resistance on a C2 ergometer is provided by the air drag on the
flywheel. Since air is a "viscous medium", the faster you go, the
greater the resistance, with the increase in resistance being
significantly greater than the increase in speed. So - the faster you
go, the harder it is to go faster.

However - This "faster" depends a lot on your movement pattern while
you're operating the machine. "faster" doesn't necessarily mean "more
strokes per minute" - it means making the flywheel go faster.

To do that, you need to ensure that you're doing something approximating
what we rowing types call "good technique".
Key things in this. The "Catch Position" is where your foot rests are
set up approximately so that your toes are at the same level (above the
floor) as the top of the seat - your shins are straight up and down,
your lower back is "sitting up" or "tall" and you're reached forward as
far as your hip flexibility allows - your arms are straight and your
head is "up". The illustration on the frame of a modern C2 shows this
posture.
The "drive" or power phase of the stroke begins by leaving just about
everything in the "catch position" for the first moment, while starting
to push on the machine with the soles of your feet. First stroke, start
at 50% pressure or less, and push harder thereafter. If you think about
jumping (the old fitness test jumping from a full squat to see how high
you can jump is a good analogy) - you can identify how your body jumps
for height - push on the floor with your feet, and let your body uncoil
until it's fully extended - in rowing you end up still sitting (not
fully extended), and in rowing you "jump" from the foot-stretcher and
drag the handle along with you. As you start the push with your feet,
think about the target - the finish position..
The "finish position" - your legs are extended, you are still sitting
tall, and the oar handle is lightly touching your abs, about 2/3 of the
way up from your navel towards your xiphoid process.
If you're pushing and pulling right (do it in that sequence), you'll
have your legs "finish" only slightly before the body reaches the
"finish position", and your arms will be finished moving at about the
same time as the body.
Then - it's the recovery - If you do the movements in the right
sequence, it's easier and more powerful in the next stroke... START the
hands away with the objective of following them into the catch position.

All these "positions" are illustrated on the C2 machines, and IIRC there
are some videos of rowing machine use on the C2 web site.

Other points - try to make the flywheel (via the handle) accelerate
through the drive.

When you're starting out, open the resistance vent ALL THE WAY so that
you can find some resistance. After you start learning to get some
resistance, close it down about 1/2 way. As you get more feel for it,
you can set the drag factor on the machine (each one has a slightly
different menu for doing this). Heavyweight women trying out for one
country's national teams are required to set the drag factor at or below
120 for their national team fitness tests, and lightweights (under 69kg
or under 130 lb) use a drag factor of 110 or below, and in most cases of
university, club, national team or recreational competitive rowers doing
an "erg" race when they've finished a test they can barely move, let
alone get up and walk around.

As well, you can probably get some video off YouTube to see what happens
at an international rowing machine competition known as the
C.R.A.S.H.-B. Sprints. It's anything but "low resistance".
Top international heavyweight women have a world record score of
approximately 6:28.5 for 2000 meters on the C2 - that was done by a New
Zealand athlete in (I think) 2002. If that's been beaten, I missed it
because, really, it's not THAT important except for bragging rights. If
you can record a score like that over 2000 m, (heck, if you can beat 7
minutes) Run, do not walk, to your nearest rowing club and learn how to row.

The people who get a good workout on the rowing ergometer don't really
"jerk" the bar out hard, but they hang onto the handle for dear life as
they try to push their feet through the foot-stretchers, and then try to
extend dynamically and explosively to the "finish".. Any time you "jerk"
the bar out hard, you're exposing your body to more injury risk.

Hope this helps...
Walter
(FWIW I work for a national rowing federation - there are about 25 of
the C2 machines downstairs)
  #4  
Old November 17th 07, 02:11 AM posted to misc.fitness.aerobic,rec.sport.rowing,misc.fitness.misc
Ewoud Dronkert
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Posts: 2
Default Aerobic exercise on a rowing machine

Walter Martindale schreef:
To do that, you need to ensure that you're doing something approximating
what we rowing types call "good technique".


http://www.usrtriton.nl/?p=techniek
http://home.hia.no/~stephens/sprack.htm
http://www.worldrowing.com/medias/docs/media_350412.pdf

http://www.concept2.com/us/training/tools/howtorow.asp
http://www.concept2.co.uk/training/technique.php (server down?)

E.
  #5  
Old November 19th 07, 03:43 PM posted to misc.fitness.aerobic,rec.sport.rowing,misc.fitness.misc
Steve Freides
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Posts: 2,029
Default Aerobic exercise on a rowing machine

"Lacustral" wrote in message
...
I have a magnetic rowing machine, a Lifecore R900. I've been working
out on it pretty hard for a few months, and it looks like it won't be
too long before I can't any longer get my heart rate high enough at
the top resistance, rowing at the rate that feels most natural to me,
about 28-30 strokes/min. I use it at the next to highest level now.


There are quite a few variables here. For one, you may have a different
actual maximum heart rate than the formula by which you likely
calculated it suggests.

I don't think it is underpowered relative to other rowing machines. I
tried a Concept 2 in a gym and the top resistance is easier than the
resistance I use on the R900, rowing at the same 28-30 rate. I'm a
woman of about average natural strength, my cardiovascular fitness is
good but not extraordinary.
So what is going on? There are lots of people who are stronger and
more
fit than me. What do they do to get a real aerobic workout on a
Concept 2? Row really fast? Really jerk the bar hard as they pull it
out?


I'm not familiar with your rowing machine, but the Concept 2 is
something of a standard. What's going on? Hard to say, based on what
you've said so far. I would verify your actual maximum heart rate, and
I would keep in mind that after only a few months, it's likely that you
still have lots of room to improve.

I have used some home exercise equipment which wasn't up to my level of
fitness, but that is the fault of the equipment. Since performance on
the Concept 2 is so well documented, you might do a bit of reading and
take a test for yourself at your gym using that machine - that should
give you something of an idea of where you stand.

Try putting expressions like

concept 2 rowing test

into a web search engine and then read a bit of what you find.

-S-


  #6  
Old November 20th 07, 05:45 PM posted to misc.fitness.aerobic,rec.sport.rowing,misc.fitness.misc
Fred
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Posts: 2
Default Aerobic exercise on a rowing machine

Lacustral wrote:
I have a magnetic rowing machine, a Lifecore R900. I've been working
out on it pretty hard for a few months, and it looks like it won't be
too long before I can't any longer get my heart rate high enough at
the top resistance, rowing at the rate that feels most natural to me,
about 28-30 strokes/min. I use it at the next to highest level now.
I don't think it is underpowered relative to other rowing machines. I
tried a Concept 2 in a gym and the top resistance is easier than the
resistance I use on the R900, rowing at the same 28-30 rate. I'm a
woman of about average natural strength, my cardiovascular fitness is
good but not extraordinary.
So what is going on? There are lots of people who are stronger and more
fit than me. What do they do to get a real aerobic workout on a
Concept 2? Row really fast? Really jerk the bar hard as they pull it
out?
I don't think I would max out the elliptical trainer at the gym.
I use it at level 11 out of 20.
One possibility I can think of:
The Concept 2 is meant to simulate actual rowing in a boat, not as a
pure exercise machine like the elliptical trainer. Just like you see
runners going by you and they aren't breathing hard, people can get in
shape for rowing a boat and after a while they won't breathe hard.
Unless they really row fast!
I might get used to rowing faster for my half hour workout - but it
seems kind of uncomfortable to row really fast. Possibly the resistance
of air or water rowers increases more with higher stroke rate than a
magnetic rower, maybe that's how people get high resistance out of a
Concept 2.
It seems like magnetic rowers, like the one I have, are designed more
as exercise machines, less to simulate actual rowing, than something
like the Concept 2. (which is fine with me)
You can get rowing machines that have higher resistance than the one I
have, for sure. Magnetic rowers with more powerful magnets and rowers
using both magnetic and air resistance. I got the magnetic resistance
because it's less noisy.
Since I do it partly for strength training, it seems like a good idea
to find something with higher resistance rather than just trying to
row really really fast.
I surfed the internet (groan) and I did find some comments about rowing
being only mildly aerobic exercise. It wasn't very aerobic for me at
first because my upper body muscles weren't used to it, so I could only
get my heart rate up to 140 or so. But then I got used to it, and it
looks like the resistance isn't high enough!

Laura



Try Tabata intervals, 20 seconds intense,10 seconds rest-do that
for 4 minutes. Repeat if necessary or if you can. (warm up first)
  #7  
Old November 24th 07, 03:27 PM posted to misc.fitness.aerobic,rec.sport.rowing,misc.fitness.misc
Henry Law
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Posts: 2
Default Aerobic exercise on a rowing machine

Lacustral wrote:

I surfed the internet (groan) and I did find some comments about rowing
being only mildly aerobic exercise.


The internet, as we all know, is full of nonsense as well as solid gold
stuff. As others have commented (and as I think you have now found out)
this is well away from the gold end of the scale. In fact it's such
complete, unadulterated, perfect, case-hardened nonsense that I had to
Google to see if I could find it. I'm pleased (but maybe a little
disappointed) to say that I couldn't. Wherever did you find it? Can
you point us to it, just so we can go there and be amazed?

Others have given you good advice: it's all in the technique. My wife
(a foot smaller than me, not a rower at all, only interested in
maintaining reasonable fitness) routinely rows faster and further than
every other woman in the gym (except the other members of my club who
train there), and about 80% of the men. She does it just by rowing a
full stroke, using all the muscle groups, rating about 28.

--

Henry Law Manchester, England
 




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