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Concept2 One Month Report
Old 10-17-2011, 02:48 PM   #1
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Concept2 One Month Report

I have had my C2 in my apartment for about a month now. I have done rowing sessions on 26 days, and rowed a total of 205,000 meters. My rowing kcal expended have been 10,193, and total exercise calories for the month 15,779. (Including non-rowing exercise kcal.) My non-rowing calories have been walking and hiking. I try to be very conservative estimating my calories from these non rowing activities- I use an electronic Omron pedometer and convert miles walked to Kcal at 81 kc/mile. In fact, I think the conversion should actually be a little higher, since much of my walking is on hills, and also about 1/3 of the time I am carrying a full pack- about 25#. Years ago a researcher named Ralph Paffenbarger studied a group of college graduates for years, to see what mortality effect was associated with aerobic exercise levels. He found that life expectancy increased until it leveled out as I remember around 2000 kcal/week, of what he called leisure exercise activity.

My rowing performance is improving a bit, so that I can now expend about 400 kc in less than 45 minutes, including warmup, warmdown and a period where I try to go slow and establish my technique. No clue what my heartrate is, but it is not very high judged by breath. Yesterday my GF was hanging out on the couch while I finished up my morning row and we could talk normally. Using the C2 calculator, my MET rate was slightly over 7 averaged over the entire 45 minutes. Occasionally I step it up for 15-20 strokes, and this takes me over 10 METs, but it is not so easy and I do not want to start dreading the rowing experience.

I think when I get fully grooved I will be doing 500 to 800 kc/day, from all exercise activities that I can easily measure.

Even on pretty days I tend to go ahead and row in late am or early pm, then go out after my shower. Even though it crowds my living space, I am very glad I bought it.

My only negatives are what I mentioned in another thread- figuring out how to stay clean without dealing with itchy rashy skin. This is getting much better though. One big positive is better sleep. Last night I went to sleep at 11, then woke to pee at 6. I was hungry so I ate a few olives and a piece of cheese, then back to sleep until 8:30. And although I doubt I will ever get a 6-pack, my back and legs are getting ripped to the point that these parts look almost like an anatomy chart. I never expected this at my "somewhat mature" age.

I wonder if others who have aerobic equipment at home can give some of their experiences?

I know for me this will be a really welcome device when the rain and darkness sets in. It also keeps my hip in good enough repair that I can dance more often, while a lot of walking can get me sore and kind of set back my dance hobby.

I might be be more fun if I joined a crew, and rowed on the lake in the am, but I wouldn’t do it. Too hard for a (charitably) middle aged man to crawl out of bed in the dark and go out in the cold and wet to get colder and wetter.

Ha
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Old 10-17-2011, 04:03 PM   #2
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Glad to hear that your Concept2 is working out so well, Ha! What a terrific and healthy activity you have added to your daily regimen.
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:02 AM   #3
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Glad to hear that your Concept2 is working out so well, Ha! What a terrific and healthy activity you have added to your daily regimen.
Thanks for the encouragement W2R.

I looked up the abstract of Paffenbarger's original 1986 paper, and I was wrong about 2000 kcal/wk being the level where longevity improvements leveled out. It was 3500 kcal/week, or 500/day if one is exercising every day. Pretty heavy committment. Of course there seemed to be a good dose response curve- anything helped, as compared to sedentary behavior, unless one got way over the top, then there was some suggestion of death rates moving up again. The abstract mentions that the daily dose does not have to be done all at once, it is the total amount that counts.

Physical activity, all-cause mortality, and lon... [N Engl J Med. 1986] - PubMed - NCBI

I have seen the full text, but it is not on the internet for free.

In his 40s, Paffenbarger took up marathoning and ultra-marathoning. He eventually ran 22 Boston Marathons as well as many other marathons and ultra-marathons. Here is a wiki on Dr. Paffenbarger. Ralph Paffenbarger - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ha
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Old 10-18-2011, 01:46 AM   #4
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Also exercise adds so much to quality of life for many of us. This is a benefit that we can see and feel in just a few weeks or months, whereas the "reward" of longer life generally is not so immediate or easy to see. I know I am "preaching to the choir" about the values of exercise.

You mention that you didn't expect the muscles on your back and legs to develop so nicely at your age. That is great! I have been pleasantly surprised at the firming up and better balance that I have gained through exercise in recent months. Lately it has just been the weight machines at my regular gym workouts, as I let my exercycling drop off. Time to start working on that regularly again.
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Old 10-18-2011, 09:20 AM   #5
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The exercise/sleep thing doesn't work that well for me. I rode 60 miles on my bike yesterday -- 4.5 hours of continuous hard effort; I was totally knackered when I got home. Last night I only slept 7.5 hours, and didn't feel rested when I woke up.
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Old 10-18-2011, 09:41 AM   #6
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The exercise/sleep thing doesn't work that well for me. I rode 60 miles on my bike yesterday -- 4.5 hours of continuous hard effort; I was totally knackered when I got home. Last night I only slept 7.5 hours, and didn't feel rested when I woke up.
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Old 10-18-2011, 09:42 AM   #7
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Ha,

Given your obsessive careful recording of exercise data, I think you'd enjoy a Garmin GPS device that records heart rate. Although the distance/map part would be irrelevant for your rowing, you'd get a chart of your heart rate, like this (not mine -- I don't have the heart rate option):

Short run with Carrie (QC) by 5amfreak at Garmin Connect - Details

and an automatic record of your workouts. You could also use it on your walks.

The other benefit is that you can set goals (shown in yellow here).

calendar.jpg
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Old 10-18-2011, 09:51 AM   #8
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The exercise/sleep thing doesn't work that well for me. I rode 60 miles on my bike yesterday -- 4.5 hours of continuous hard effort; I was totally knackered when I got home. Last night I only slept 7.5 hours, and didn't feel rested when I woke up.
4 1/2 hurs of continuous hard effort sounds like a competition output- like a marathon for runners. These are overdo experiences. It does not suprise me that after something like this sleep can be not the best- although 7.5 seems pretty good to me.

You may be describing physical exhaustion that needs more than one night of catchup.

@W2- you are right, there are always immediate benefits, or almost immediate, and those are in the bag, not still in the the bush of better lifespan. Still, I think a study like Paffenbarger's is useful quantitatively, to help us get in the ballpark of effort for a middle aged person seeking health improvement, and who is not training for some athletic event. There is a pretty good sized group of regular exercisers on the board -"The Choir".

Ha
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Old 10-18-2011, 12:47 PM   #9
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Nice write-up Ha. Do these machines move around much when you are rowing hard and how's the noise factor? Really think I want to get me one of these, maybe as a retirement gift to myself
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Old 10-18-2011, 02:28 PM   #10
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What factors go into your choices of what days to row and not to row? What factors go into how long you row for?
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Old 10-18-2011, 03:56 PM   #11
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Nice write-up Ha. Do these machines move around much when you are rowing hard and how's the noise factor? Really think I want to get me one of these, maybe as a retirement gift to myself
You are bigger and younger than I, so maybe you can move it- but i have never even seen one move. If you are at all concerned, put a rubber pad under the front feet and the rear. No way could it move on a carpet, and mine never moves on hardwood floor. Good gift for yourself!

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What factors go into your choices of what days to row and not to row? What factors go into how long you row for?
I row every day, unless somehow I am gone all day which almost never happens. I row 45' to an hour usually, but may go longer as I improve.

Ha
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Old 10-18-2011, 05:02 PM   #12
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Ha - your rowing is phenomenal. I am in awe.

Just so everyone who doesn't know much about this rowing gig will understand, Ha is on pace to have a 2+ million meter year. That puts in him a pretty small group of indoor rowers - I would guesstimate the upper 5% or so.

As for lifting them off the ground - you have to be the size of a bear and doing a world class pace.

Felix "The Breaker" Bach (World Champion men's junior single sculls), is just such a person. At the 2010 CRASH-B he broke the chain on a brand new C2 machine so he did his run with the junior girls and they had two guys standing on the front and back legs to keep it on the ground.



I love the blonde on the next machine who keeps looking over at Bach in amazement.

Ha, check out where Bach has his damper set.
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Old 10-18-2011, 05:23 PM   #13
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I took my rowing machine to the lake, and it sunk like a stone. When I took it back to the store, they looked at me like I was an idiot, but it doesn't say anywhere that you're not supposed to use it in the water. - Gary Shandling
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Old 10-18-2011, 06:22 PM   #14
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Ha, check out where Bach has his damper set.
Maybe 8?

Thise young very strong guys maybe are better off with a high setting. It would likely give me pulled muscles in my back, having to overcome so much inertia. I am now using about 5->5.5.

Incredible video! He is clearly getting his speed from pulling very hard, not from a fast stroke rate.

Thanks for the compliment!

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I love the blonde on the next machine who keeps looking over at Bach in amazement.
She wants to have his baby.

Ha
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Old 10-18-2011, 06:40 PM   #15
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Maybe 8?

Thise young very strong guys maybe are better off with a high setting. It would likely give me pulled muscles in my back, having to overcome so much inertia. I am now using about 5->5.5.
Aha, Ha!! That must have been the source of my back problem with the Concept2 last January. I was only doing 5-10 minutes on the Concept2 each session since I had just started on the machine, and I was paying close attention to form. However I was setting it at 10 and getting about 50-80 Watts each pull to begin with. I'll bet I overdid it and pulled a muscle.
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Old 10-18-2011, 08:35 PM   #16
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I love my Concept2 as well. I'm glad you are getting so much out of yours. It's really an amazing machine.

Unfortunately, when I first tackled it perhaps a little too enthusiastically, I had trouble with knee pain/inflammation, exacerbated by cycling and hiking as well. Activities which by themselves haven't caused me problems.

I was surprised, because I'd used the rower in a gym a few years ago without the problem. I was doing serious strength training at the time so maybe that had protected my knees back then. But in general, I've had problems with my knees since my early thirties, and don't do any high impact activities.

I've had to develop a very "fluid" style on the rower. It probably means my form is very good, but it takes a lot of effort/focus to minimize any impact to my knees and not over flex them.

I also have to be scrupulous about warming up before and stretching well after. This seems to make a big difference. And maybe not doing any aggressive bike riding the next morning!

After being from the house for 3 months I'm trying to build back up to a good distance and # times per week. So far so good.

Audrey

P.S. I find it rather quiet - most of the noise is a higher frequency "whoosh" type noise from the fan that you are turning. And mine is on very high quality (short, dense fibers) carpet. No moving whatsoever. Not even any rocking.
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Old 10-18-2011, 08:37 PM   #17
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The exercise/sleep thing doesn't work that well for me. I rode 60 miles on my bike yesterday -- 4.5 hours of continuous hard effort; I was totally knackered when I got home. Last night I only slept 7.5 hours, and didn't feel rested when I woke up.
Sounds like what happens with overtraining. Don't be surprised! You just need more time to recover. Just not the kind of thing one can expect to do every day.

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Old 10-18-2011, 11:24 PM   #18
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Aha, Ha!! That must have been the source of my back problem with the Concept2 last January. I was only doing 5-10 minutes on the Concept2 each session since I had just started on the machine, and I was paying close attention to form. However I was setting it at 10 and getting about 50-80 Watts each pull to begin with. I'll bet I overdid it and pulled a muscle.
For the first month of rowing I didn't even know the machine had an adjustment for resistance. After I found that information on the C2 website, I went to the gym and checked and found that both machines were set on "10".
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Incredible video! He is clearly getting his speed from pulling very hard, not from a fast stroke rate.
It plays out similarly on the water. Here's a vid of him winning the world championship in 2009. Same style - what power he generates with that stroke!

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Old 10-19-2011, 12:16 AM   #19
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For the first month of rowing I didn't even know the machine had an adjustment for resistance. After I found that information on the C2 website, I went to the gym and checked and found that both machines were set on "10".
I take it that due to your career experience, you probably have a really strong back.

Like those at your gym, all of the Concept2 machines at my gym are set at 10 all the time. To me they don't seem very challenging when set lower, but then my mind often tells me I can do things that my body really can't do without consequences.
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Old 10-19-2011, 12:31 AM   #20
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I was only doing 5-10 minutes on the Concept2 each session since I had just started on the machine, and I was paying close attention to form. However I was setting it at 10 and getting about 50-80 Watts each pull to begin with.
How many pulls in 5-10 minutes? How many kilowatt-hours does that work out to?

If they only had an inverter or at least a battery-charge controller hooked up to those machines...
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