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Patz
11-20-2007, 08:17 AM
Does your butt fall asleep?

I went my personal best for 50min at level 10 (28s/m) today, and damned if my butt (as usual) isn't falling asleep around the 28min mark. It's a real pain in the ass (no pun intended), because it's messing with my rhythm, form, and breathing--all of which are crucial when fatigue starts setting-in.

Any remedies for this?

markdk86
11-20-2007, 09:04 AM
Yeah, if you can row for 50 minutes you don't row hard enough :)

zen
11-20-2007, 09:20 AM
Yeah, if you can row for 50 minutes you don't row hard enough :)

I was thinking the same thing, but that's a personal choice, really.
When I ride the stationary bike, I try to up the resistence a bit every time so that I am pretty much wasted after 20 minutes

Patz
11-20-2007, 09:36 AM
LOL..I was thinking I should probably increase the pace soon. Really, 30 minutes should be my set-point, but when I first found the rower I wanted to conquer it at my current pace for 40min..which I've done. It didn't take long, once I found it on level 10 and decided not to move it back.

Still, I definitely don't sit there and let it take me back and forth like the fat ladies. I move at a good clip. I've just really been trying to push myself for a little more endurance, both on the rower and on the weights. I've got my sets at 10 reps, etc, and might even push the squats up to 20 rep sets when I get my strength back at decent levels.

I feel stronger and more agile after about 3 weeks back in the gym (after a layoff) than I ever have with a regular strength routine, and the weight-measured strength is coming back a lot faster with the high-rep sets.

markdk86
11-20-2007, 10:10 AM
There are a lot better things to do for endurance than lift weights and a rowing machine. My rule of thumb for conditioning/endurance is if you can do it for longer than 20 minutes, you aren't working hard enough.

Killa Kurt
11-20-2007, 10:42 AM
Are we talking about the Concept II Rower?

Patz
11-21-2007, 09:38 AM
Are we talking about the Concept II Rower?

Yep. And although I can surely pull harder and faster, level 10 is the highest resistance setting. I don't even get on a bike..I want EVERYTHING working if I'm going to be doing some kind of steady-state cardio.

And to MarkD...endurance training is all relative to a person's goals. If yours is to be able to endure 20 minutes of real life intensity, then you're all set.

There's a reason marathon runners train by running marathons.

I'll eventually go to crossfit, etc, but for now this is what I have and the rower is a good, full-body contraction. I'm very slowly starting habits to get myself to some sort of elite status (way down the road).

As for weights, there's nothing wrong with strength, and there are few things like a 20 rep set of deads or squats to make the heart pound. It's the best of both worlds, in my particular situation. I'm tired of the aches and pains and pulls and cracks and pops that come with the 3-4 rep range lifting. I just want to feel good, and be able to sit in my chair at work all day without excruciating muscle pain in my back, or my hips all contorted, etc.

Killa Kurt
11-21-2007, 10:10 AM
Yep. And although I can surely pull harder and faster, level 10 is the highest resistance setting. I don't even get on a bike..I want EVERYTHING working if I'm going to be doing some kind of steady-state cardio.

And to MarkD...endurance training is all relative to a person's goals. If yours is to be able to endure 20 minutes of real life intensity, then you're all set.

There's a reason marathon runners train by running marathons.

I'll eventually go to crossfit, etc, but for now this is what I have and the rower is a good, full-body contraction. I'm very slowly starting habits to get myself to some sort of elite status (way down the road).

As for weights, there's nothing wrong with strength, and there are few things like a 20 rep set of deads or squats to make the heart pound. It's the best of both worlds, in my particular situation. I'm tired of the aches and pains and pulls and cracks and pops that come with the 3-4 rep range lifting. I just want to feel good, and be able to sit in my chair at work all day without excruciating muscle pain in my back, or my hips all contorted, etc.

Do both....that's what I'm doing. I'd like to go on record by saying the Concept II Rower is a great machine, wether it be for runners or lifters.

D Breyer
11-21-2007, 10:04 PM
Rowing is awesome! My butt falls asleep sometimes, I just get up and do a few air squats if its terribly uncomfortable.

The "Level 10" you're referring to is the damper setting (something about how much air is let into the flywheel, I'm not sure exactly what it does), not a resistance level.

From Concept2:


The settings 1-10 on the Indoor Rower are not work level settings or fitness level settings. The intensity of your workout is controlled by how hard you pull on the handle and is calculated and displayed by the electronic monitor as you row. Your accomplishment is indicated by the monitor, not the setting of the wind damper.

D Breyer
11-21-2007, 10:07 PM
I also found this...



Now that you are thinking in terms of a boat on the water, let's examine the effect of the damper settings 1-10. In the lower numbers 1-4 the feel of the Indoor Rower is like a sleek racing shell. In the higher numbers 6-10 the feel is like a big, slow rowing boat. Either boat can be rowed hard; and as you try to make either boat go fast, you will need to apply more force. Making the sleek boat go fast requires you to apply your force more quickly; and when trying to make the big boat go fast you will feel a high force but at a slower speed of application.

Kiwirower
11-22-2007, 09:13 AM
The "Level 10" you're referring to is the damper setting (something about how much air is let into the flywheel, I'm not sure exactly what it does), not a resistance level.

It is a resistance level. More air in the fan blades inside the cage = more resistance. Which I'm sure you could tell if you tried using one.

For off-season rowing training we often used to do a 45 minute or 1 hour session on these things. And yes, my bum always ended up numb.

Using a setting of 10 on the damper/resistance is really tough. A setting of 4 is pretty similar to an average rowing shell. Maybe your gym has a poster with a guide to technique. You should be able to take nice long strokes, keep the stroke rating (ie strokes per minute) down around 22, and maintain a pace of around 2:00 minutes per 500m. If you can achieve that for 45 minutes or more, you'll be in good shape!

zen
11-22-2007, 09:32 AM
lemme ask you guys something.... does your bum get numb when you are rowing in real life???
If not, then I'd say these rowing machines have a crappy design. Is it possible you can sit on one of those foam pads you use at sporting events?

Kiwirower
11-22-2007, 10:00 AM
lemme ask you guys something.... does your bum get numb when you are rowing in real life???
If not, then I'd say these rowing machines have a crappy design. Is it possible you can sit on one of those foam pads you use at sporting events?

The seats in rowing shells tend to have holes where the bones in your butt are, and you don't seem to get so numb. Depends of course how long you're spending in the boat. We used to have a 10 day training camp about 2 months out from national champs, and spend 4 - 5 hours a day in the boat (two long sessions and one shorter one). Many of us ended up losing skin off our behinds by about half way through the camp. That probably wasn't as bad as the blisters on our hands which tore open. Painful.

I guess very few people sit on the Concept-2 seats for more than say 20 minutes, so long duration comfort is not such a big design consideration.

Killa Kurt
11-22-2007, 06:23 PM
I only row for 500m, so my ass doesnt get numb, I bet if I did it for an extended amount of time it would though.

Patz
11-23-2007, 01:22 PM
It is a resistance level. More air in the fan blades inside the cage = more resistance. Which I'm sure you could tell if you tried using one.

For off-season rowing training we often used to do a 45 minute or 1 hour session on these things. And yes, my bum always ended up numb.

Using a setting of 10 on the damper/resistance is really tough. A setting of 4 is pretty similar to an average rowing shell. Maybe your gym has a poster with a guide to technique. You should be able to take nice long strokes, keep the stroke rating (ie strokes per minute) down around 22, and maintain a pace of around 2:00 minutes per 500m. If you can achieve that for 45 minutes or more, you'll be in good shape!

Yeah, I was going to say no matter what the damper 'feels' like, it's still a resistance setting.

My last row was Tuesday, and it was 50 minutes @ 29 s/m. Although I'm in much better shape than when I started it, I think it's more that I'm built for rowing than that I'm in good shape. I feel like I've got a long way to go to really feel like I'm in great shape.

You mentioned keeping the pace "down" to 22 s/m. Is there any reason for that? When I think about it, it seems like a stroke every 3 seconds is a little more like what you'd be doing on a rowing team. I guess what I'm wondering now, is...how hard should I pull if I slow down the pace? I usually gauge it by the calories/hr setting, trying to keep it over 700 as long as I can, and always keeping it between 650 and 850 for the duration of the workout. If I really jerk it, it'll go over 1000, but I generally can't keep that up more than a minute.

I try to follow the chart on the rower for form, and check the mirror on my side to make sure my posture is good. I've found I can keep the pace up longer if I really focus on holding my arms tight, and letting my legs *almost* get fully extended before taking over and completing the pull with my arms. I really try to minimize the effect of changeover from legs to arms, and make it as smooth as possible.



This has turned into a good thread.

And I think I would feel weird if I brought my seat pad in for the rower..lol

Kiwirower
11-26-2007, 03:09 AM
You mentioned keeping the pace "down" to 22 s/m. Is there any reason for that? When I think about it, it seems like a stroke every 3 seconds is a little more like what you'd be doing on a rowing team. I guess what I'm wondering now, is...how hard should I pull if I slow down the pace? I usually gauge it by the calories/hr setting,

....

I try to follow the chart on the rower for form, and check the mirror on my side to make sure my posture is good. I've found I can keep the pace up longer if I really focus on holding my arms tight, and letting my legs *almost* get fully extended before taking over and completing the pull with my arms. I really try to minimize the effect of changeover from legs to arms, and make it as smooth as possible.



The reason for slowing down the strokes per minute is that it's much more effective for duration. The pattern should be 1 second on the "drive" phase and 2 seconds on the recovery. In boat terms that means you give a good strong stroke, with a relaxed recovery letting the boat glide through the water.

I never look at any of the other power output measures - 500m split time just makes most sense to me and is usually what rowers focus on. Like I said, for long duration, aim for 2:00 minutes per 500 metres.

Key to achieving the good power output with a slower stroke rate is form. You actually should be keeping your arms nice and loose at the catch. That's when you're at the front. So your knees are bent, the front of your shins should be about vertical, you should be leaning forward so the front of your torso is nearly touching your thighs, and your arms should be stretched out straight but nice and loose. Your hands and the handle should be only be something like 3" or less than 10cm from the cage with the fan in it. Then you drive with your legs, leaving your arms nice and loose. When your knees are almost flat, lean back with your body, so that your torso gets to a maximum of about 15 beyond vertical and then pull back with your arms. Think about your elbows just pulling straight through past your body, squeezing your shoulderblades.

Then the recovery is just the reverse: Arms lead out, then body comes forward, and you then let the knees come up and the seat slide forward .... gently..... So in fact for more than two thirds of the time of the entire stroke from beginning to end, your arms are straight and without tension.

If this isn't how you row now, it will take some time to get used to. But once you do, you'll see a much better progression in your results. You'll be able to deliver more power output for longer, because you're putting more of the work on your stronger muscles. You walk around on your legs all day, and I suspect it's highly likely that you can squat more than you can bicep curl. So let your legs do the bulk of the work while you're rowing. They pick up the stroke, and the back and arms just put the final zing on the end of it.

Patz
11-26-2007, 06:54 AM
That sounds about like how I'm doing it. I try to follow the example on the rower. I appreciate the additional information. I'm gonna try to focus a little more on leg drive, and see how that 1 second pull and 2 second recovery does for me.

lecithin
11-27-2007, 12:18 PM
Not to brag, being a collegiate division 1 rower, I know ergs pretty well and the workouts you can receive from them. Higher fan settings past 7 usually aren't to good for actual extended workouts IMO. You can easily row for an hour (many rowing coaches call this "Hour of Power" etc) and get a tremendously difficult workout, it just takes some immense endurance. My butt never got too numb, but I would adjust my rear slightly from side to side during some workouts.

I don't want to bash anyone, but I almost never see non-rowers with proper form on the ergs, they do horrendous drives, recoveries, and have poor back positioning. The Drive/Recovery ratios are horrific. I've even seen some people trying to curl the handle :( I can only shudder at this stuff haha
With proper form and knowledge, the erg is easily one of the best cardio workouts I've ever done. Try doing some 2k meter pieces, while holding the split around 1:35, thats a good cardio workout, some of my extended workouts on the erg are 6k pieces holding the split around 1:45.

Patz
11-28-2007, 08:49 AM
Thanks for the additional advice.

I missed out on the gym due to Thanksgiving, and some other things (like the YMCA's boiler puking and them closing up), but I got back to it today after my upper body workout.

I'm not sure what my drive and recovery ratios were, but...holy crap! I tried to drive in one second and recover in two and keep that up as my pace with the damper on 10, and in 4 minutes I was TOAST. I sat still, panting, for 1 minute and started up again and lasted another 3 minutes and that was it..lol..DONE! I had 7 minutes of rowing, total. My heart was still beating out of my chest on the drive home.

If I could keep that pace up for 30 minutes, I'd be a beast...for sure.


At the end of the drive phase, how far back should I be leaning from a straight-up sitting position, and am I looking to have my shoulders back as far as possible at that point..elbows back and in?

lecithin
11-28-2007, 05:05 PM
Thanks for the additional advice.

I missed out on the gym due to Thanksgiving, and some other things (like the YMCA's boiler puking and them closing up), but I got back to it today after my upper body workout.

I'm not sure what my drive and recovery ratios were, but...holy crap! I tried to drive in one second and recover in two and keep that up as my pace with the damper on 10, and in 4 minutes I was TOAST. I sat still, panting, for 1 minute and started up again and lasted another 3 minutes and that was it..lol..DONE! I had 7 minutes of rowing, total. My heart was still beating out of my chest on the drive home.
If I could keep that pace up for 30 minutes, I'd be a beast...for sure.


At the end of the drive phase, how far back should I be leaning from a straight-up sitting position, and am I looking to have my shoulders back as far as possible at that point..elbows back and in?

Keep your elbows at your sides, not out like... a chicken wing? not sure how to describe it. If you can get comfortable with a fan setting of 10, its upto you, I personally never go that high. I'd be toast as well if I were doing that haha, keep it at like a 6 and you can accomplish a good rate/ratio. Use the recovery as what it sounds like, don't rush it and make a smooth transition. A lot of this is more important if youre actually in a shell, but it doesn't hurt to do it on the erg as well.
As for the leaning back at the finish, not sure how to describe it in degrees... don't go past 45 though

Patz
11-28-2007, 06:17 PM
Keep your elbows at your sides, not out like... a chicken wing? not sure how to describe it. If you can get comfortable with a fan setting of 10, its upto you, I personally never go that high. I'd be toast as well if I were doing that haha, keep it at like a 6 and you can accomplish a good rate/ratio. Use the recovery as what it sounds like, don't rush it and make a smooth transition. A lot of this is more important if youre actually in a shell, but it doesn't hurt to do it on the erg as well.
As for the leaning back at the finish, not sure how to describe it in degrees... don't go past 45 though

I gotcha on the chicken wing. I keep them almost touching my sides as I come in. But, do you pull them back far enough to squeeze the back? My guess would be..yes? I had a hard time keeping the recovery as slow as I wanted. I literally had to hold my completed pull for a pause, then come back to finish the recovery and start the drive again. Tomorrow is legs day, which is my longest and toughest lifting day, so there'll be no rowing. I'll try level 6 with some newfound wisdom on Thursday. Thanks!

Patz
11-28-2007, 06:18 PM
Oh...and breathing was a bitch. What kind of breathing rhythm can I setup? I found it hard to get a decent breath during my pause, which I think made the whole fatigue factor twice as bad.

Kiwirower
12-03-2007, 11:13 AM
I gotcha on the chicken wing. I keep them almost touching my sides as I come in. But, do you pull them back far enough to squeeze the back? My guess would be..yes? I had a hard time keeping the recovery as slow as I wanted. I literally had to hold my completed pull for a pause, then come back to finish the recovery and start the drive again. Tomorrow is legs day, which is my longest and toughest lifting day, so there'll be no rowing. I'll try level 6 with some newfound wisdom on Thursday. Thanks!

Yes, arms back enough to feel the squeeze between your shoulder blades. Ideally the finish of the drive phase is when the handle is very nearly (or in fact is) touching your stomach. If you're training for rowing you would then be dropping the handle a couple of centimetres (to lift the blade out of the water), going through the recovery, then lifting it again a few centimetres at the "catch" (ie at the front). You'll quite likely find that lifting the handle at the catch in any case improves your output because you'll get a more direct connection with the fan by removing some of the slack that occurs if there's not a straight line from your shoulders to where the chain winds around the top of the flywheel.

In terms of back lean: I would say not more than 20 degrees past vertical.

And breathing: Breath out on the drive phase. And then perhaps in - out - in again on the recovery.

No need to pause at the "finish" (end of the drive phase). Just allow a nice slow recovery of the seat back into the catch, ideally decelerating into the catch.

And I'd only use a damper setting of 4. But then again, I was always a lightweight......

Patz
12-04-2007, 06:35 AM
Thanks for the info. This is helping. I'm finding it incredibly difficult to recover slow enough, as strange as that sounds. My body just wants to snap right back to the catch phase, it seems, no matter how hard I try to slow down. I'll keep working on that.

I made it 7 1/2 minutes yesterday with the 500 meter time just over 2:00..damper was on 6. I think today I'm going to drop it to 4 and see how that goes.

I'm still finding this incredibly difficult, as compared to just getting on there and doin what I was doing..lol

Kiwirower
12-06-2007, 04:11 AM
No doubt it will feel different and difficult for a while. I promise though that in due course the results will improve. By rowing correctly you put much more of the emphasis on your legs than your arms. This makes sense because your arms will tire much more quickly than your legs.

In terms of tempo / stroke rate: Think power and drive then relax and recover, on each stroke. Your 2:00 minutes per 500m power output should be easy to achieve on 20 to 22 strokes per minute. Yesterday I did a short period of light interval training. My standard long duration output is around 2:00 minutes per 500m at 20 to 22 strokes per minute, and the (moderately) intense 30 second intervals were at 28 to 30 strokes a minute, with an output of around 1:40 minutes per 500m.

If you're at a similar stroke rate and not achieving that output level, you're not pushing hard enough on the drive phase. Really focus on pushing really hard with your legs, getting your knees down as quickly as possible, then accelerating the handle through to the finish.

FiveSpeedG
12-07-2007, 03:36 PM
Re: sore buns... One guy mentioned rocking your butt back and forth to "adjust" on extended pulls. It helps the blood flow, but on a 20-30 minute pull, I'd imagine your sleepy butt is due to clothing or form issues.

Remember, wear something that won't bunch. Spandex shorts are the ideal, but not everyone is comfortable pulling that off in a public gym. "Bunches" can not only cut off circulation and create blisters, but loose clothing tends to get caught in the slide anyway.

Third, make sure you're using proper form. You should be sitting "up" on your butt bones, head and eyes level, straight back, knees together and legs compressed at the slide, reaching for the handle. At the release, you want to be using your lats to pull the handle to just below the sternum, legs extended, and a slight lean back.

Patz
12-08-2007, 09:53 AM
Thanks and thanks..

I wear adidas shorts..no spandex for me..lol

I've done the rocking thing, but I've actually cause the seat to come out of the track slightly a couple times.


I requested a free instructional DVD from concept2 they were offering on the website. It came yesterday and I watched it this morning. It's very informative, featuring the "awesome foursome (LOL)" Australian Olympic Rowing Team. Based on the DVD I think my form is good, and if I can really focus on bending at the waist to let my arms get past my knees before bringing the knees up, I'll have it down almost perfect.

They mentioned a lot of the gauges of progress mentioned in this thread, and also brought up the curve readout that, if you're pulling well, shows if your form is translating properly to a smooth, correct stroke.

I'll say again..these are nice machines. I might just buy one when I get my next house.

Patz
01-23-2008, 09:33 AM
Just to bump, for the sake of information...

I've been keeping the rowing up. I had to start down on level 3, and slowly work my way up to 30min at 29 s/m. I moved up to level 5 today. The 500 meter time isn't going down as much as I thought it would. It was around 2:30 on level 3, and was 2:06 today. I did a couple 1min bursts, holding it at 1:55, which was brutal.

The long and short of it is...I realized I'm really going to have to develop some explosiveness if I ever want to see 1:30 at 29 s/m on level 6.

The good part is...I'm in the best cardiovascular shape I've ever been in...much better than my jogging days.

Everyone get on that rower.

bas2178
01-25-2008, 12:12 PM
The long and short of it is...I realized I'm really going to have to develop some explosiveness if I ever want to see 1:30 at 29 s/m on level 6.

The good part is...I'm in the best cardiovascular shape I've ever been in...much better than my jogging days.

Everyone get on that rower.

It's pretty intense isn't it? I always thought I was in pretty good shape cardio wise until I started working out on the rower.

I finally got the whole, "go slower to go faster" and I'm getting a pretty good pace on the 15000s now. I can usually keep a 2:14 - 2:16 pace now.
I try to make sure I'm letting the handles travel all the way back up to the holder or a little past when I'm on the machine.

I am finding that working on more of a strength routine on the squats, deadlifts and power cleans has a noticable affect on my rowing power.

Just make sure you tell your GP if/when you go in for an annual checkup that you're rowing. It can have a pretty significant impact on your BP and pulse rate. I ended having a bunch of unnecessary tests done before mine figured out what was going on.

j8715
01-26-2008, 09:56 AM
How does everyone fit rowing into their normal routine?

Patz
01-27-2008, 07:34 AM
It's pretty intense isn't it? I always thought I was in pretty good shape cardio wise until I started working out on the rower.

I finally got the whole, "go slower to go faster" and I'm getting a pretty good pace on the 15000s now. I can usually keep a 2:14 - 2:16 pace now.
I try to make sure I'm letting the handles travel all the way back up to the holder or a little past when I'm on the machine.

I am finding that working on more of a strength routine on the squats, deadlifts and power cleans has a noticable affect on my rowing power.

Just make sure you tell your GP if/when you go in for an annual checkup that you're rowing. It can have a pretty significant impact on your BP and pulse rate. I ended having a bunch of unnecessary tests done before mine figured out what was going on.

It raised your blood pressure??

Killa Kurt
01-27-2008, 08:27 PM
How does everyone fit rowing into their normal routine?

I only do 3-500m sets as fast as I can on my leg day. Fastest time is 1:36.0

bas2178
01-28-2008, 09:23 AM
It raised your blood pressure??

Just the opposite, it dropped it by about 30 points. I guess that was enough of a drop to get the doc all worked up.

As far as routines go, I'm probably doing a slightly different approach than most people are on the rower. I'm going for distance/time, so I have a couple of mid-distance rows I'll do in the morning when I'm lifting that evening. Then I'll have a couple of longer distance piece work days and one really long distance day.

So, I'm usually doing:

Morning: 5K 7.5K 10K 7.5K 7.5K 25K Off
Weights: Heavy Off Light Off Med Off Off

I'm working on adding about 1.5K a week to the total distance right now.

View 1
02-04-2008, 08:01 PM
I finally tried the rower at my gym ( concept 2 ) last friday, and I really liked it. It took some time to get the motion correct, but after that it felt good. I plan on doing it maybe once or twice a week from now on.

Fuzzy
02-04-2008, 11:42 PM
Does your butt fall asleep?

I went my personal best for 50min at level 10 (28s/m) today, and damned if my butt (as usual) isn't falling asleep around the 28min mark. It's a real pain in the ass (no pun intended), because it's messing with my rhythm, form, and breathing--all of which are crucial when fatigue starts setting-in.

Any remedies for this?

Your half stroking, thats part of the problem.

No way in hell do you hold a level 10 at 28spm and row full length.

Rowing full length will let your ass roll around alot more, gets more blood flow. I know what its like to be i the boat for 2 hours plus.

Patz
03-01-2008, 08:01 AM
Your half stroking, thats part of the problem.

No way in hell do you hold a level 10 at 28spm and row full length.

Rowing full length will let your ass roll around alot more, gets more blood flow. I know what its like to be i the boat for 2 hours plus.

I remedied it a couple months ago. I ordered the instructional DVD, then started back on #3 or so and intensified the stroke. I'm sitting at #5 now, and can't get below about 1:50 on the 500m time without wanting to vomit after 5-7 minutes. So, I'm not moving the damper up until I get down to at least 1:45 or I'll never see 1:30 @ level 6. I have noticed I've got the stroke nice and clean now. The DVD suggested using the display to watch for a smooth, high arch to signify a proper stroke, and I've got that. I'm slowly building up more lungs, but getting a breath is really difficult after a few minutes at the current pace.