Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Questions for Experienced Concept 2 Rowers
Old 10-04-2012, 07:13 PM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 16,465
Questions for Experienced Concept 2 Rowers

I have been rowing fairly often for several months now. I had to build up slowly for my sensitive knees to adjust. I figured out how to keep my knees from having problems. Then I started working on some personal goals.

Yesterday I reached my main goal which was to row 4000 meters in 25 mins. This was a minute faster than my last attempt for 4000m. 25 mins is probably the longest time I intend to row as I figure I'm getting a pretty good benefit for that amount of time and I don't want to get into overuse issues.

I tend to work pretty high in my heart range (HR) range. I'm usually rowing at a HR of 145-155 bpm, and sometimes I push harder (as I did last night) and row a good part of the time in the 165+ zone. I never feel winded or experience any lactic acid build-up. I can't get anywhere near that rate with cycling or walking, so I really use the rowing to work higher in my HR range.

Then I started reading about specs etc., what other C2 rowers do, and I'm wondering if I need to make some adjustments.

When we first got the rower, my husband set the damper to 6, and that's what I have been using all this time. I checked the drag factor today, and it's about 134. From what I read that's high for my weight (150 lbs). Damper setting of 4 and aiming for a drag factor of 120 is more appropriate for my weight? I guess I've been getting more of a strength workout in my rowing .

My stroke rate is usually 32-33 s/m. I was rewatching one of the training videos today, and they suggest aiming for 22-26 s/m. Wow - that's a lot slower than I expected. Seems like strokes per minute would be related to your height/arm+leg length. I'm only 5' 3" - wouldn't that influence my stroke rate since I don't move nearly as far back on the rower than a taller person?

I'm a lot shorter than my husband. He routinely rows 1000 meters in 5 minutes. I row more like 800 meters in 5 minutes, 840 being my best distance. I figure part of his distance advantage is how tall and long-limbed he is.

I've been doing some reading on various forums, and, well, it's NOT enlightening. There are a lot of specs thrown around that make no sense to me. I have been looking for clear answers to the above questions on line, Concept 2 docs, and well, clear as MUD!!!!

I suppose I should try to work at a lower damper setting (4) and aim for a slower stroke (say 26 s/m) and see if my distance improves?

Does that sound right? Or should I just continue as I am, and distance will keep improving with practice.

134K meters so far. Nothing close to 1M meters, but I only row twice a week. I also cycle, walk, strength train and do yoga. So, trying to add more rowing days means cutting out some other activities.

I haven't set any new goals yet. I guess I'm going through an evaluation phase .
__________________

__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 10-05-2012, 07:40 AM   #2
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
DFW_M5's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 4,982
Hey Audrey,

I'm not a Concept 2 rower and have never been on one of these, although I plan to buy one. Its seems to me you are doing great, and so long as you are working out high in your Heart Rate Range over that period of time, does it really matter what the strokes/min or the settings are

Obviously, you can always work toward continual improvement, but honestly from a layman's perspective, I see nothing wrong with what you are doing.
__________________

__________________
DFW_M5 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2012, 08:52 AM   #3
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 16,465
I don't know, DFW_M5, which is why I was asking the questions.

It seems like I might be able to row farther in a given amount of time if I change some settings a bit and work on some aspects of my technique. For example, if I slow my stroke speed by allowing a slower, more relaxed recovery, I might be able to pull much harder on the upstroke, thus increasing my speed even though my stroke rate is slower.

I guess it's worth a try?
__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2012, 09:07 AM   #4
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 374
I don't have any input for you with respect to the resistance level, but have an idea that might ease the strain on your knees.

I've got a lousy right knee, and found that my natural stroke on the Concept 2 allowed me to slide too far forward, bending the knee to a greater degree than I'd comfortable with. I looped 2 resistance bands (rubber tubing with handgrips at each end available at fitness stores) through the underside of the seat, and slipped the handgrips over each rear "foot" of the rowing machine. That puts an elastic "brake" on my forward slide, reducing my knee's bend by about 1/3.
__________________
Cb is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2012, 09:57 AM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 16,465
Thanks Cb!

Actually, I was able to work with my knee issues. (both knees are equally bad)

At first, I did limit my range, not coming all the way forward where my calves were vertical, and that really helped. But now I am able to come all the way forward with no problems.

After having a lot of difficulty at first, I focused on having a very very smooth stroke to minimize impact. I also limited my distance/time at first and only rowed 2 times a week. Probably the most important, however, is I did some warmup before getting on the machine, and did extensive stretching afterwards, including sitting and lying hamstring stretches.

So, once I had the above in place, I just very gradually increased my distance per row, and as I was improving with no problems, I also started to increase the power that I pushed off the foot pedals making my legs do more work. This is also when I started gradually coming all the way forward with no ill effects.

I had to be patient, but it so paid off! And I think the post row stretching continues to be key to me.
__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2012, 09:10 AM   #6
Confused about dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1
Hi Audrey, glad to hear the erg is allowing you to get in a good workout. I think it is important to find a damper setting and stroke rate that works best in terms of continuing to not impact your knees in an adverse way.

In terms of stroke rate and damper, in part it comes down to ratio. When rowing, you want to accelerate from the start of the stroke to the finish (point that you are furthest from the fan) and then SLOWLY return forward. There should be a distinct ratio between how quickly you accelerate through the stroke and how slowly you move forward during the "recovery". A lower damper will allow you to accelerate without pushing off quite as hard but you will need to be more cognoscente of slowing your recovery.

If you are doing 4000m, you can target a 24-26 SPM rate as this will help you hone your technique. You will continue to accelerate back during the stroke almost as fast as you did when rowing 32-33 SPM (espicially with the lower damper) but during the return, you will move much slower - it should be obvious to someone watching that your recovery is much slower then your drive.

If you find you are not getting to your target HR, you can keep the lower SPM but push a bit harder each stroke. Alternatively, if pushing harder bothers your knees, then increase your rate (but keep a good ratio - fast drive, slow recovery).

I would recommend using the 500m split display and find out what your 500m splits are. As your cardio improves, your goal will be to lower your 500m splits without increasing your rate - this is where the real "fun" starts.

Best of luck...

Cliff
__________________
Clifford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2012, 06:56 PM   #7
Full time employment: Posting here.
friar1610's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 820
I use a C2 rower at my gym some days. I normally do a 30 - 35 minute workout. I set the damper at 9 (highest level) and normally do about 30 strokes per minute. Sometimes I do intervals and do 30 spm for 4 minutes and then drop down to 25 spm for a minute before restating the cycle. I don't really pay attention to the distances I've rowed.

I had a rotator cuff problem a few years ago and went to physical therapy for it. ONce I got better, it seemed like the C2 rower replicated some of the PT exercises I had been doing. Since I've been doing the C2 intermittently, I haven't had any more rotator cuff problems.

I try to use the C2 as a counterbalance to lower body aerobic workouts (spinning bike or elliptical.) Seems to work for me.
__________________
friar1610
friar1610 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2012, 09:57 PM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
audreyh1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Rio Grande Valley
Posts: 16,465
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clifford View Post
Hi Audrey, glad to hear the erg is allowing you to get in a good workout. I think it is important to find a damper setting and stroke rate that works best in terms of continuing to not impact your knees in an adverse way.

In terms of stroke rate and damper, in part it comes down to ratio. When rowing, you want to accelerate from the start of the stroke to the finish (point that you are furthest from the fan) and then SLOWLY return forward. There should be a distinct ratio between how quickly you accelerate through the stroke and how slowly you move forward during the "recovery". A lower damper will allow you to accelerate without pushing off quite as hard but you will need to be more cognoscente of slowing your recovery.

If you are doing 4000m, you can target a 24-26 SPM rate as this will help you hone your technique. You will continue to accelerate back during the stroke almost as fast as you did when rowing 32-33 SPM (espicially with the lower damper) but during the return, you will move much slower - it should be obvious to someone watching that your recovery is much slower then your drive.

If you find you are not getting to your target HR, you can keep the lower SPM but push a bit harder each stroke. Alternatively, if pushing harder bothers your knees, then increase your rate (but keep a good ratio - fast drive, slow recovery).

I would recommend using the 500m split display and find out what your 500m splits are. As your cardio improves, your goal will be to lower your 500m splits without increasing your rate - this is where the real "fun" starts.

Best of luck...

Cliff
Thanks much Cliff! I appreciate you stopping by just to discuss my newbie issues on the erg.

I watched a few more C2 videos, and I did figure the key was to slow down my recovery. I will also lower the damper to 4. Yes I will target the 26 SPM rate and focus on my technique.

I already changed to the 500m split display. I figured out that was a key number .

Thanks for taking the time to give me these specific suggestions and confirming that I was on the right track! It really helped.

Audrey
__________________

__________________
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
audreyh1 is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 09:06 AM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.