Collected Rowing Studies

Collection of interesting links and online articles pertaining to rowing.

Collected Rowing Studies

Postby igoeja » September 25th, 2006, 1:14 pm

Below are collected stduies available via PubMed categorized by type, Improving Performance, Physiology, and Measuring/Predicting Performance.
Last edited by igoeja on September 27th, 2006, 11:06 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Collected Studies - Improving Performance

Postby igoeja » September 27th, 2006, 11:03 am

Development and validation of a core endurance intervention program: implications for performance in college-age rowers.

Tse MA, McManus AM, Masters RS.
Institute of Human Performance, University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong. matsega@hkusua.hku.hk

The objective of this study was to examine the effectiveness of a core endurance exercise protocol. Forty-five college-age rowers (age 21 +/- 1.0) were assigned to either a core training group [core group] (n = 25), which took part in a core endurance intervention exercise protocol, or to a control training group [control group] (n = 20), which was not given any specialized core training. Training took place 2 days per week for 8 weeks. Trunk endurance was assessed using flexion, extension, and side flexion tests, whereas a variety of functional performance measures were assessed (vertical jump, broad jump, shuttle run, 40-m sprint, overhead medicine ball throw, 2,000-m maximal rowing ergometer test). The results revealed significant improvement in the two side flexion tests for the core group (p < 0.05). Interestingly, significant differences were noted in the trunk extension test endurance times for the control group (p < 0.05), but not for the core group. No significant differences were found for any of the functional performance tests. In summary, the 8-week core endurance training program improved selected core endurance parameters in healthy young men, but the effectiveness of the core intervention on various functional performance aspects was not supported.


Dietary carbohydrate, muscle glycogen, and power output during rowing training.

Simonsen JC, Sherman WM, Lamb DR, Dernbach AR, Doyle JA, Strauss R.
Exercise Physiology Laboratory, School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, Ohio State University, Columbus 43210-1284.

The belief that high-carbohydrate diets enhance training capacity (mean power output) has been extrapolated from studies that have varied dietary carbohydrate over a few days and measured muscle glycogen but did not assess power output during training. We hypothesized that a high-carbohydrate (HI) diet (10 g.kg body mass-1.day-1) would promote greater muscle glycogen content and greater mean power output during training than a moderate-carbohydrate (MOD) diet (5 g.kg body mass-1.day-1) over 4 wk of intense twice-daily rowing training. Dietary protein intake was 2 g.kg body mass-1.day-1, and fat intake was adjusted to maintain body mass. Twelve male and 10 female collegiate rowers were randomly assigned to the treatment groups. Training was 40 min at 70% peak O2 consumption (VO2) (A.M.) and either three 2,500-m time trials to assess power output or interval training at 70-90% peak VO2 (P.M.). Mean daily training was 65 min at 70% peak VO2 and 38 min at greater than or equal to 90% peak VO2. Mean muscle glycogen content increased 65% in the HI group (P less than 0.05) but remained constant at 119 mmol/kg in the MOD group over the 4 wk. Mean power output in time trials increased 10.7 and 1.6% after 4 wk in the HI and MOD groups, respectively (P less than 0.05). We conclude that a diet with 10 g carbohydrate.kg body mass-1.day-1 promotes greater muscle glycogen content and greater power output during training than a diet containing 5 g carbohydrate.kg body mass-1.day-1 over 4 wk of intense twice-daily rowing training.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)


Development of race profiles for the performance of a simulated 2000-m rowing

Kennedy MD, Bell GJ.
Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, E407 Van Vliet Center, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H9, Canada.

The purpose of this study was to determine the race profile for a 2000-m simulated rowing race as well as the effect of training and gender on the race profile. Nineteen men and 19 women undertook a 2000-m simulated rowing race before and after 10 weeks of a typical off-season training program for rowing. Velocity was calculated every 200 m and the deviation in velocities from the mean race velocity (MRV) was plotted every 200 m to produce race profiles for each gender before and after training. The three fastest male rowers varied approximately 0.02 m.s from the MRV after training and displayed a constant-pace model. The fastest female rowers displayed an all-out strategy after training, producing large deviations from MRV. Average squared deviations from the mean (SDM) determined that all groups except the fastest females had a reduction in MRV deviation after training. These results suggest that the optimal race profile for a simulated 2000-m rowing race may be different between genders. Training reduces SDM and influences both male and female pacing patterns such that both exhibit a pacing strategy that is more similar to that of elite athletes in other events of similar and shorter duration.


Intra-abdominal pressure and rowing: the effects of inspiring versus expiring during the drive.

Manning TS, Plowman SA, Drake G, Looney MA, Ball TE.
Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb 60115, USA.

BACKGROUND: The lumbar vertebrae of rowers are subjected to high levels of shear and compression at mid-drive, but intra-abdominal pressure (IAP) may partially neutralize these forces. IAP fluctuates with breathing. This study compared the IAP between inspiring during the drive and expiring during the drive. METHODS: Experimental design: ten volunteers performed one 5x2-minute repetition test while inspiring during the drive and one 5x2-minute repetition test while expiring during the drive on a rowing ergometer. The five work rates were: 100, 125, 150, 175 and 200 watts at 22, 24, 26, 28 and 30 strokes per minute, respectively. Measures: the movement of the body while rowing was analyzed using a position sensor, and IAP was measured using a pressure transducer catheter. RESULTS: A 2x5 repeated measures analysis of variance showed that there was a significant interaction for the dependent variable mid-drive IAP (p<0.05), with the mid-drive IAP increasing at a greater rate while expiring during the drive relative to inspiring during the drive. Across work rate, the mid-drive IAP and minimal IAP were significantly higher while expiring during the drive than inspiring during the drive (p<0.05). Across breathing pattern, the minimal IAP, maximal IAP, average change in IAP and mid-drive IAP increased significantly with work rate (p<0.05). CONCLUSIONS: The data show that expiring during the drive leads to a greater mid-drive IAP than inspiring during the drive.


Impact of two different body mass management strategies on repeat rowing performance.

Slater GJ, Rice AJ, Tanner R, Sharpe K, Jenkins D, Hahn AG.
Department of Physiology, Australian Institute of Sport, Belconnen, Australian Capital Territory, Australia. gary.slater@ausport.gov.au

PURPOSE: The present study was conducted to examine the impact of acute weight loss on repeat 2000-m rowing ergometer performance during a simulated multiday regatta, and to compare two different body mass management strategies between races. METHODS: Competitive rowers (N = 16) were assigned to either a control (CON), partial recovery (REC(partial)), or complete recovery (REC(complete)) group. Volunteers completed four trials, each separated by 48 h. No weight restrictions were imposed for the first trial. Thereafter, athletes in REC(partial) and REC(complete) were required to reduce their body mass by 4% in the 24 h before trial 2, again reaching this body mass before the final two trials. No weight restrictions were imposed on CON. Aggressive nutritional recovery strategies were used in the 2 h following weigh-in for all athletes. These strategies were maintained for the 12-16 h following racing for REC(complete) with the aim of restoring at least three quarters of the original 4% body mass loss. Postrace recovery strategies were less aggressive in REC(partial); volunteers were encouraged to restore no more than half of their initial 4% body mass loss. RESULTS: Acute weight loss increased time to complete the first "at-weight" performance trial by a small margin (mean 3.0, 95% CI -0.3 to 6.3 s, P = 0.07) when compared with the CON response. This effect decreased when sustained for several days. Aggressive postrace recovery strategies tended to eliminate the effect of acute weight loss on subsequent performance. CONCLUSION: Acute weight loss resulted in a small performance compromise that was reduced or eliminated when repeated over several days. Athletes should be encouraged to maximize recovery in the 12-16 h following racing when attempting to optimize subsequent performance.


Inspiratory muscle training improves rowing performance.

Volianitis S, McConnell AK, Koutedakis Y, McNaughton L, Backx K, Jones DA.
School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, The University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham B15 2TT, United Kingdom. stefanos.voliantis@excite.com

PURPOSE: To investigate the effects of a period of resistive inspiratory muscle training (IMT) upon rowing performance. METHODS: Performance was appraised in 14 female competitive rowers at the commencement and after 11 wk of inspiratory muscle training on a rowing ergometer by using a 6-min all-out effort and a 5000-m trial. IMT consisted of 30 inspiratory efforts twice daily. Each effort required the subject to inspire against a resistance equivalent to 50% peak inspiratory mouth pressure (PImax) by using an inspiratory muscle training device. Seven of the rowers, who formed the placebo group, used the same device but performed 60 breaths once daily with an inspiratory resistance equivalent to 15% PImax. RESULTS: The inspiratory muscle strength of the training group increased by 44 +/- 25 cm H2O (45.3 +/- 29.7%) compared with only 6 +/- 11 cm H2O (5.3 +/- 9.8%) of the placebo group (P < 0.05 within and between groups). The distance covered in the 6-min all-out effort increased by 3.5 +/- 1.2% in the training group compared with 1.6 +/- 1.0% in the placebo group (P < 0.05). The time in the 5000-m trial decreased by 36 +/- 9 s (3.1 +/- 0.8%) in the training group compared with only 11 +/- 8 s (0.9 +/- 0.6%) in the placebo group (P < 0.05). Furthermore, the resistance of the training group to inspiratory muscle fatigue after the 6-min all-out effort was improved from an 11.2 +/- 4.3% deficit in PImax to only 3.0 +/- 1.6% (P < 0.05) pre- and post-intervention, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: IMT improves rowing performance on the 6-min all-out effort and the 5000-m trial.


The prediction of power and efficiency during near-maximal rowing.

Jensen RL, Freedson PS, Hamill J.
Department of Kinesiology, Health Promotion, and Recreation, University of North Texas, Denton 76203, USA.

The relationship between power and gross efficiency during near-maximal rowing, and physiological measures of strength, power, aerobic and anaerobic capacities and United State Rowing Association (USRA) performance tests (independent variables) was investigated among collegiate male rowers. Criterion measures of rowing power and gross efficiency were measured in a moving-water rowing tank, using an oar instrumented with strain gauges to assess force and a potentiometer to assess oar position. Bivariate correlation analysis (n = 28) indicated no relationship between the independent variables and rowing gross efficiency (P > 0.05). Rowing power [mean (SD) 483.4 (34.75) W] was significantly related to inboard leg extension strength (IL strength, r = 0.63), outboard leg extension strength (r = 0.45), combined leg extension strength (r = 0.45), and time to complete the USRA 2000-m simulated rowing race (r = -0.52; P <0.05). Stepwise regression using resampling cross-validation of 15 random samples (21 subjects per sample selected from a total group of 28 intercollegiate oarsmen) indicated that predictors of rowing power were IL strength and blood lactate following a peak oxygen uptake rowing test with significant multiple correlations of R 0.61 to 0.86 (P <0.05). The standard error of estimate (SEM) ranged from 18.1 to 29.9 W, or 5.3 (0.77) percent of the criterion value. Cross-validation with a hold-out group (seven subjects per sample) was performed for each equation and correlations ranged from R = 0.14 to 0.97 (SEM = 8.0 to 38.9 W). In conclusion, data from the present study suggest that to increase rowing power, training should emphasize leg strength and anaerobic training to decrease the level of lactate accumulated during rowing.


The effect of high-load vs. high-repetition training on endurance performance.
Ebben WP, Kindler AG, Chirdon KA, Jenkins NC, Polichnowski AJ, Ng AV.
Department of Physical Therapy, Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201, USA. webben70@hotmail.com

The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of high-load (H-load) periodized resistance training and high-repetition (H-rep) reverse step loading periodized resistance training on endurance performance. Twenty-six female university rowers (age = 20 +/- 1 year) were randomly assigned to H-load (5 novice, 8 varsity) or H-rep (7 novice, 6 varsity) groups. Subjects were pre- and posttested using a 2,000-m rowing ergometer test. Outcome variables included VO2 peak, time to test completion, total power, average power per stroke, total number of strokes, stroke rate, and body mass. Subjects trained for 8 weeks using identical exercises. Varsity rowers who performed H-load training demonstrated greater improvement compared with those who performed H-rep training. Novice rowers who performed H-rep training demonstrated greater improvement compared with those who performed H-load training. High-load periodized training appears to be more effective for athletes with advanced training status, and H-rep reverse step loading periodized training is more effective for those who are relatively untrained.


Isometric rowing strength of experienced and inexperienced oarsmen.

Secher NH.

The significance of isometric muscle strength for rowing performance was studied. The questions investigated were: A) Is the isometric rowing strength (IRS) of oarsmen which is two to three times the dynamic force applied on the oar at maximal power rowing, a ratio which is equivalent to the maximal efficiency of Hill's force/velocity relationship? B) Is IRS higher among successful oarsmen that among those less so? C) Is isometric strength of individual muscle groups correlated to IRS? From measurments on 40 oarsmen the results showed: a) IRS among the most successful oarsmen was 2.6 times the dynamic force indicated in literature; b) IRS was 21 kp higher in the 7 international competitive oarsmen than in 22 national oarsmen, and 42 kp higher than IRS of 11 club oarsmen; and c) of eight other strength determinations only hand grip strength was correlated to IRS. It is suggested that IRS, but not isometric strength of individual muscle groups limits rowing performance.


The effect of velocity-specific strength training on peak torque and anaerobic rowing power.

Bell GJ, Petersen SR, Quinney HA, Wenger HA.
Department of Physical Education and Sport Studies, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.

This study investigated the effect of low- and high-velocity resistance training on isokinetic peak torque and anaerobic power output. Eighteen male varsity oarsmen were blocked on peak knee extension torque at 3.14 rad s-1 and assigned to a high-velocity resistance training group (HVR), a low-velocity resistance training group (LVR) or a control group. Subjects trained four times a week for 5 weeks. Each training session included three circuits of 12 stations using variable-resistance hydraulic equipment. The HVR training significantly improved peak torque (P less than 0.05) in knee extension and flexion at 2.61, 3.14, 3.66 and 4.19 rad s-1. The LVR training produced significant improvements (P less than 0.05) in peak torque for knee extension and flexion at 0.52, 1.05, 1.57 and 2.61 rad s-1. High positive correlations were found between peak torque and anaerobic power outputs for all groups. However, no significant changes occurred in 15 s power output, average 90 s power output or peak blood lactate in either training group. These results indicate that velocity-specific strength training does not necessarily improve anaerobic power output in a different exercise mode despite the high positive correlation between isokinetic strength and anaerobic power output.


Technique and muscle force.

Bompa TO.

In the sport of rowing, as may be the case in other sports, the coach frequently tends to relate to skills or technical movement in terms of their aesthetic appearance rather than to their kinesiological requirements, or muscular effectiveness. Maximal isometric strength was tested (N = 18) in three components of the rowing stroke: height of sagittal pull; angle of pull in sagittal plane; and the power position in both the catch and the finish. The results of this investigation suggest that certain technical parameters commonly utilized by rowing coaches seem to be less efficient when discussing muscular effectiveness. Thus one might conclude, that slight alterations in the cycle of the rowing stroke are desirable.


Electromyographic analysis of rowing stroke biomechanics.

Rodriguez RJ, Rogriguez RP, Cook SD, Sandborn PM.
Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Tulane University School of Medicine, New Orleans, Louisiana.

Electromyography was used to study muscle activity in the upper and lower extremities and torso during the rowing stroke. Five experienced male rowers were tested while rowing on a Concept II ergometer. In order to fully evaluate the rowing stroke, six phases were utilized to identify the transition points where individual muscles become more active due to body angle or nature of the motion. The results indicate that the strength of an individual muscle is most likely not as important to the rowing stroke as the combined activity of two or more groups of muscles. Thus, in addition to strength, it is of great value to the oarsman to develop technical skill to coordinate his upper and lower body reactions.


Electromyographic validation of basic exercises for physical conditioning programmes. III. Influence of the grip in the capacity of the rowing exercises in determining action potential levels for the deltoid and the pectoralis major muscle.

Ferreira MI, Bull ML, Vitti M.
Department of Anatomy, State University of Rio de Janeiro, Brasil.

The electromyographic activity of the shoulder muscles Deltoid--anterior portion (DA) and Pectoralis major--clavicular portion (PMC) was tested on 24 male volunteers using a 2 channel TECA TE4 electromyograph and Hewlett Packard surface electrodes during the execution of three different modalities of rowing exercises comparing middle grip with closed grip. Statistical comparisons showed that in both PMC and DA closed grip determined muscular solicitation higher than middlegrip excepting sitting rowing. The authors present some suggestions to the use of the tested exercises.


An analysis of the pacing strategy adopted by elite competitors in 2000 m rowing.

Garland SW.
English Institute of Sport, Baltic Business Centre, Saltmeadows Road, Gateshead, Tyne & Wear NE8 3DA, UK. stephen.garland@eis2win.co.uk

OBJECTIVES: To determine the pacing strategies adopted by elite rowers in championship 2000 m races. METHODS: Split times were obtained for each boat in every heavyweight race of the Olympic Games in 2000 and World Championships in 2001 and 2002, and the top 170 competitors in the British Indoor Rowing Championships in 2001 and 2002. Data were only included in subsequent analysis if there was good evidence that the athlete or crew completed the race in the fastest possible time. The remaining data were grouped to determine if there were different strategies adopted for on-water versus ergometer trials, "winners" versus "losers", and men versus women. RESULTS: Of the 1612 on-water race profiles considered, 948 fitted the inclusion criteria. There were no differences in pacing profile between winners and losers, and men and women, although on-water and ergometry trials showed a competitively meaningful significant difference over the first 500 m sector. The average profile showed that rowers performed the first 500 m of the race faster than subsequent sectors-that is, at a speed of 103.3% of the average speed for the whole race, with subsequent sectors rowed at 99.0%, 98.3%, and 99.7% of average speed for on-water rowing, and 101.5%, 99.8%, 99.0%, and 99.7% for ergometry. CONCLUSIONS: These data indicate that all athletes or crews adopted a similar fast start strategy regardless of finishing position or sex, although the exact pace profile was dependent on rowing mode. This strategy should be considered by participants in 2000 m rowing competitions.


Impact of acute weight loss and/or thermal stress on rowing ergometer performance.

Slater GJ, Rice AJ, Sharpe K, Tanner R, Jenkins D, Gore CJ, Hahn AG.
Department of Physiology, Australian Institute of Sport, Belconnen, Australian Capital Territory, Australia. gary.slater@ausport.gov.au

PURPOSE: The impact of acute weight loss on rowing performance was assessed when generous nutrient intake was provided in 2 h of recovery after making weight. METHODS: Competitive rowers (N = 17) completed four ergometer trials, each separated by 48 h. Two trials were performed after a 4% body mass loss in the previous 24 h (WT) and two were performed after no weight restrictions, that is, unrestricted (UNR). In addition, two trials (1 x WT, 1 x UNR) were in a thermoneutral environment (NEUTRAL, mean 21.1 +/- SD 0.7 degrees C, 29.0 +/- 4.5% RH) and two were in the heat (HOT 32.4, +/- 0.4 degrees C, 60.4 +/- 2.7% RH). Trials were performed in a counterbalanced fashion according to a Latin square design. Aggressive nutritional recovery strategies (WT 2.3 g x kg(-1) carbohydrate, 34 mg x kg(-1) Na, 28.4 mL x kg(-1) fluid; UNR ad libitum) were employed in the 2 h after weigh-in. RESULTS: Both WT (mean 2.1, 95% CI 0.7-3.4 s; P = 0.003) and HOT (4.1, 2.7 - 5.4 s; P < 0.001) compromised 2000-m time-trial performance. Whereas WT resulted in hypohydration, the associated reduction in plasma volume explained only part of the performance compromise observed (0.2 s for every 1% decrement) Moreover, WT did not influence core temperature or indices of cardiovascular function. CONCLUSIONS: Acute weight loss compromised performance, despite generous nutrient intake in recovery, although the effect was small. Performance decrements were further exacerbated when exercise was performed in the heat.


Training of rowers before world championships.

Steinacker JM, Lormes W, Lehmann M, Altenburg D.
Abteilung Sport- und Leistungsmedizin, Universitat Ulm, Germany. juergen.steinacker@medizin.uni-ulm.de

In rowing, static and dynamic work of approximately 70% of the body's muscle mass is involved for 5.5 to 8 min at an average power of 450 to 550 W. In high load training phases before World Championships, training volume reaches 190 min.d-1, of which between 55 and 65% is performed as rowing, and the rest is nonspecific training like gymnastics and stretching and semispecific training like power training. Rowing training is mainly performed as endurance training, rowing 120 to 150 km or 12 h.wk-1. Rowing at higher intensities is performed between 4 and 10% of the total rowed time. The increase in training volume during the last years of about 20% was mainly reached by increasing nonspecific and semispecific training. The critical borderline to long-term overtraining in adapted athletes seems to be 2 to 3 wk of intensified prolonged training of about 3 h.d-1. Sufficient regeneration is required to avoid overtraining syndrome. The training principles of cross training, alternating hard and easy training days, and rest days reduce the risk of an overtraining syndrome in rowers.
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Measuring/Predicting Performance

Postby igoeja » September 27th, 2006, 11:07 am

Peak power output predicts rowing ergometer performance in elite male rowers.

Bourdin M, Messonnier L, Hager JP, Lacour JR.
Laboratoire de Physiologie de l'Exercice - GIP E2 S, Faculte de medecine Lyon-Sud, Oullins Cedex, France. bourdin@univ-lyon1.fr

The aim of the present study was to test the hypothesis that peak power output (Ppeak) sustained during maximal incremental testing would be an overall index of rowing ergometer performance over 2000 m (P2000), and to study the influence of selected physiological variables on Ppeak. A group of 54 highly trained rowers (31 heavyweight [HW] and 23 lightweight [LW] rowers) was studied. Body mass, maximal oxygen uptake ((.-)VO(2max)), oxygen consumption corresponding to a blood lactate of 4 mmol. l (-1) expressed in percentage of (.-)VO(2max) (V.O (2)La4 %), and rowing gross efficiency (RGE) were also determined during the incremental test. In the whole group Ppeak was the best predictor of P2000 (r = 0.92, p < 0.0001). Body mass (r = 0.65, p < 0.0001), V.O (2max) (r = 0.84, p < 0.0001), (.-)VO 2)La4 % (r = 0.49, p < 0.0001) and RGE (r = 0.35, p < 0.01) were significantly correlated with P2000 as well. To take the influence of body mass into account, (.-)VO(2max) was related to kg (0.57). Ppeak was significantly related to body mass (r = 0.56, p < 0.0001), (.-)VO(2max) x kg (-0.57) (r = 0.63, p < 0.0001), (.-)VO(2)La4 % (r = 0.45, p < 0.001) and RGE (r = 0.34, p < 0.05). Multiple regression analysis indicated that the above parameters taken together explained 82.8 % of Ppeak variation in the whole group. It was also demonstrated that Ppeak was the best predictor of P2000 when LW and HW groups were considered separately. It was concluded that, by integrating the main physiological factors of performance, Ppeak is an overall index of physiological rowing capacity and rowing efficiency in heterogeneous as well as in homogeneous groups. It presents the further advantage of being easily measured in the field.


Physique traits of lightweight rowers and their relationship to competitive success.

Slater GJ, Rice AJ, Mujika I, Hahn AG, Sharpe K, Jenkins DG.
Australian Institute of Sport, Belconnen, Canberra, ACT 2616, Australia. Gary_Slater@ssc.gov.sg

OBJECTIVES: Physique traits and their relationship to competitive success were assessed amongst lightweight rowers competing at the 2003 Australian Rowing Championships. METHODS: Full anthropometric profiles were collected from 107 lightweight rowers (n = 65 males, n = 45 females) competing in the Under 23 and Open age categories. Performance assessments were obtained for 66 of these rowers based on results in the single sculls events. The relationship between physique traits and competitive success was then determined. RESULTS: Lower body fat (heat time estimate -8.4 s kg(-1), p<0.01), greater total body mass (heat time estimate -4.4 s kg(-1), p = 0.03), and muscle mass (heat time estimate -10.2 s kg(-1), p<0.01) were associated with faster 2000 m heat times. CONCLUSIONS: The more successful lightweight rowers were those who had lower body fat and greater total muscle mass.


Prediction of 2000 m indoor rowing performance using a 30 s sprint and maximal oxygen uptake.

Riechman SE, Zoeller RF, Balasekaran G, Goss FL, Robertson RJ.
Center for Exercise and Health-Fitness Research, Department of Human Genetics, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh, 300 Crabtree Hall, Pittsburgh, PA 15261, USA. riechman@helix.hgen.pitt.edu

The aim of this study was to predict indoor rowing performance in 12 competitive female rowers (age 21.3 +/- 3.6 years, height 1.68 +/- 0.54 m, body mass 67.1 +/- 11.7 kg; mean +/- s) using a 30 s rowing sprint, maximal oxygen uptake and the blood lactate response to submaximal rowing. Blood lactate and oxygen uptake (VO2) were measured during a discontinuous graded exercise test on a Concept II rowing ergometer incremented by 25 W for each 2 min stage; the highest VO2 measured during the test was recorded as VO2max (mean = 3.18 +/- 0.35 l.min-1). Peak power (380 +/- 63.2 W) and mean power (368 +/- 60.0 W) were determined using a modified Wingate test protocol on the Concept II rowing ergometer. Rowing performance was based on the results of the 2000 m indoor rowing championship in 1997 (466.8 +/- 12.3 s). Laboratory testing was performed within 3 weeks of the rowing championship. Submitting mean power (Power), the highest and lowest five consecutive sprint power outputs (Maximal and Minimal), percent fatigue in the sprint test (Fatigue), VO2max (l.min-1), VO2max (ml.kg-1.min-1), VO2 at the lactate threshold, power at the lactate threshold (W), maximal lactate concentration, lactate threshold (percent VO2max) and VEmax (l.min-1) to a stepwise multiple regression analysis produced the following model to predict 2000 m rowing performance: Time2000 = -0.163 (Power) -14.213.(VO2max l.min-1) +0.738.(Fatigue) 7.259 (R2 = 0.96, standard error = 2.89). These results indicate that, in the women studied, 75.7% of the variation in 2000 m indoor rowing performance time was predicted by peak power in a rowing Wingate test, while VO2max and fatigue during the Wingate test explained an additional 12.1% and 8.2% of the variance, respectively.


Prediction of elite schoolboy 2000m rowing ergometer performance from metabolic, anthropometric and strength variables.

Russell AP, Le Rossignol PF, Sparrow WA.
School of Human Movement, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria, Australia.

In 19 elite schoolboy rowers, the relationships between anthropometric characteristics, metabolic parameters, strength variables and 2000-m rowing ergometer performance time were analysed to test the hypothesis that a combination of these variables would predict performance better than either individual variables or one category of variables. Anthropometric characteristics, maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), accumulated oxygen deficit, net efficiency, leg strength and 2000-m rowing ergometer time were measured. Body mass, VO2max and knee extension correlated with 2000-m performance time (r= -0.41, -0.43 and -0.40, respectively; P< 0.05), while net efficiency and accumulated oxygen deficit did not. Multiple-regression analyses indicated that the prediction model using anthropometric variables alone best predicts performance (R = 0.82), followed by the equation comprising body mass, VO2max and skinfolds (R = 0.80). Although the regression equations increased the predictive power from that obtained using single variables, the hypothesis that a prediction model consisting of variables from different physiological categories would predict performance better than variables from one physiological category was not supported.


Relationships between rigging set-up, anthropometry, physical capacity, rowing kinematics and rowing performance.

Barrett RS, Manning JM.
School of Physiotherapy and Exercise Science, Griffith University, Gold Coast, Australia.

The general aim of this study was to examine the relations between rigging set up, anthropometry, physical capacity, rowing kinematics and rowing performance. Fifteen elite single scullers participated in the experiment. Each sculler's preferred rigging set-up was quantified using measurements that included oar length, inboard, span, gearing ratio, swivel-seat height, footstretcher-seat height and distance, and footstretcher angles. Rowing performance was assessed using 2000 m race times from the Australian National Selection trials. Selected anthropometric, physical capacity and kinematic variables were also quantified. Several rigging variables were significantly correlated with each other, and with various anthropometric, physical capacity and kinematic variables. The individual variables that had the highest correlations with race time were 2 km ergometer time (r=0.90), mass (r=-0.87), height (r=-0.86), oar length (r = -0.85) and strength (r = -0.84). Overall results of this study indicated that the fastest rowers tend to be the largest and strongest, and that these larger body dimensions are reflected in the choice of rigging settings. Rigging set-up by itself should not be considered to be a primary determinant of rowing performance, but rather a consequence of faster rowers being larger and stronger and scaling their rigging set-up accordingly. To maximise rowing performance it appears important to tune the rigging of the boat to match the rower's size and strength.


Rowing performance and selected descriptive, field, and laboratory variables.

Kramer JF, Leger A, Paterson DH, Morrow A.
Dept. of Physical Therapy, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, Univ. of Western Ontario, London.

The purpose of this study was to determine the relationships among measures of rowing performance and selected descriptive, field, and laboratory variables. Rowing performance of 20 intercollegiate oarswomen was assessed using a 2,500-m time test on a Concept II rowing ergometer, the rower's competitive experience, and the coach's ranking of the rowers. The oarswomen also underwent standardized descriptive tests including anthropometric measurements, field tests including 90-s rowing ergometer distance and weight lifting tests, and laboratory tests including VO2max and isokinetic knee extensor strength tests. Rowing ergometer times were highly related to competitive experience (rho = -0.86; p < 0.01) and coach's ranking (rho = 0.87; p < 0.01). VO2max was the only other variable to produce correlations greater than 0.71 with rowing performance. Although most of the correlations observed in the present study were poor to modestly high, they do document and quantify relationships, and suggest that training and testing techniques should be modified to be more rowing specific and that their usefulness with respect to positive transfer and prediction should be examined.
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Physiology

Postby igoeja » September 27th, 2006, 11:09 am

Effects of combined endurance and strength training on left ventricular morphology in male and female rowers.

Haykowsky M, Chan S, Bhambhani Y, Syrotuik D, Quinney H, Bell G.
Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation, Division of Cardiology, University of Alberta, Edmonton.

The effects of 10 weeks of combined endurance and strength training on left ventricular (LV) morphology, muscular strength, maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) and rowing performance were assessed. Twenty-five subjects (eight males, mean age 23.0 +/- 6.1 years, and 17 females, 22.7 +/- 5.0 years) were tested at baseline and after five and 10 weeks of training. Combined training was associated with significant improvements in VO2max, rowing performance and muscular strength after 10 weeks of training. A significant increase in LV diastolic dimension was found in males after 10 weeks of training; however, no significant alteration was found for any other measured echocardiographic variable. Therefore, with the exception of LV diastolic dimension in males, 10 weeks of combined endurance and strength training appears to be an insufficient stimulus to elicit significant alterations in LV morphology despite changes in VO2max, muscular strength or rowing performance.


Morphological muscle characteristics in rowers.

Larsson L, Forsberg A.

Biopsies were taken from the vastus lateralis and deltoid muscle in twelve major senior rowers. Histochemical analyses showed a predominance of the oxidative type I fiber, a low content of the highly glycolytic type IIB fiber, large fiber areas, and a large number of capillaries surrounding the fibers. All these trends were more pronounced in the internationally competitive compared to the nationally competitive rowers. Exceptionally high aerobic capacities and muscular strengths, in competitive rowers, have been reported in previous papers as well as confirmed in the present study. The muscle morphology reported here is in line with the high aerobic demand in race rowing. However, strength has been shown to be more favoured by a high content of type II fibers which may appear contradictory to the present results. This question together with possible effects of physical training on the muscle morphology is discussed.


Applied physiology of rowing.

Hagerman FC.

Elite oarsmen and oarswomen possess large body dimensions and show outstanding aerobic and anaerobic qualities. Oarsmen have VO2max values of 6.1 +/- 0.6 L/min and have incurred O2 debts of between 10 and 20 litres. The caloric expenditure of rowing estimated from the O2 cost of a 6-minute rowing ergometer exercise was calculated at 36 kcal/min, one of the highest energy costs so far reported for any predominantly aerobic-type sport. Aerobic and anaerobic calculations show that 70 to 75% of the energy necessary to row the standard 2000m distance for men is derived from aerobiosis while the remaining 25 to 30% is anaerobic. Women achieve VO2max values of 4.1 +/- 0.4 L/min and slightly lower anaerobic values than men. The relative 60 to 65% energy contribution of aerobic metabolism and 35 to 40% for anaerobiosis is not surprising since women compete at 1000m. Rowers also exhibit excellent isokinetic leg strength and power when compared with other elite athletes and oarswomen produced higher relative leg strength values than men when lean body mass is considered. Muscle fibre type distributions in oarsmen resemble those of distance runners while women tend to have a slightly higher proportion of fast-twitch fibres. An average power output of 390 +/- 13.6W was produced by oarsmen for 6 minutes of simulated rowing while women were able to develop 300 +/- 18.4 for 3 minutes of the same activity. Mechanical efficiency for rowing was calculated at 20 +/- 0.9%. Oarsmen also achieve very high ventilation volumes being able to average above 200 L/min BTPS for 6 minutes of simulated rowing; women ventilate 170 L/min BTPS for 3 minutes of this exercise. Excellent VO2/VE and O2 pulse values demonstrate outstanding cardiorespiratory efficiency. Both oarsmen and oarswomen utilise a unique physiological pattern of race pacing; they begin exertion with a vigorous sprint which places excessive demands on anaerobic metabolism followed by a severely high aerobic steady-state and then an exhaustive sprint at the finish. Tolerance to excessive anaerobiosis is evident by very high lactates and O2 deficits measured during the first 2 minutes of exercise. Physiological profiles of successful international calibre rowing athletes have been established as a result of studies described in this review and the data have been used in a variety of ways to improve rowing performance.


Seasonal variables among physiological variables in elite oarsmen.

Hagerman FC, Staron RS.

Nine members of the U.S. Men's Olympic Rowing Team were studied during the in-season (IS) and off-season (OS). Maximum power, VE, VO2, and heart rate were measured during a 6-min rowing ergometer exercise during IS and OS. Per cent body fat and isokinetic quadriceps strength were also determined. Biopsies were removed from the vastus lateralis and analyzed histochemically and morphometrically during OS only. No changes were noted for body composition between IS and OS. VEmax and VO2max increased significantly from OS to IS; absolute VO2max increased from 5.09 to 6.01 l/min and relative values increased from 56.5 to 69.1 ml . kg-1 . min-1. Power increased 14% from OS to IS while heart rate showed no difference. Leg strength increased significantly at 6 different angular velocities from IS to OS especially at the lower speeds. Biopsy data revealed an average ratio of 75% slow twitch Type I fibers and 25% fast twitch Type II fibers. Larger fiber diameters were noted for Type II fibers but this difference was not significant. Although seasonal effects were expected, the unusually large differences in metabolic and strength capacities between IS and OS reflect a high degree of training specificity.


Arterial compliance of rowers: implications for combined aerobic and strength training on arterial elasticity.

Cook JN, DeVan AE, Schleifer JL, Anton MM, Cortez-Cooper MY, Tanaka H.
Dept. of Kinesiology and Health Education, University of Texas at Austin, TX 78712, USA.

Regular endurance exercise increases central arterial compliance, whereas resistance training decreases it. It is not known how the vasculature adapts to a combination of endurance and resistance training. Rowing is unique, because its training encompasses endurance- and strength-training components. We used a cross-sectional study design to determine arterial compliance of 15 healthy, habitual rowers [50 +/- 9 (SD) yr, 11 men and 4 women] and 15 sedentary controls (52 +/- 8 yr, 10 men and 5 women). Rowers had been training 5.4 +/- 1.2 days/wk for 5.7 +/- 4.0 yr. The two groups were matched for age, body composition, blood pressure, and metabolic risk factors. Central arterial compliance (simultaneous ultrasound and applanation tonometry on the common carotid artery) was higher (P < 0.001) and carotid beta-stiffness index was lower (P < 0.001) in rowers than in sedentary controls. There were no group differences for measures of peripheral (femoral) arterial stiffness. The higher central arterial compliance in rowers was associated with a greater cardiovagal baroreflex sensitivity, as estimated during a Valsalva maneuver (r = 0.54, P < 0.005). In conclusion, regular rowing exercise in middle-aged and older adults is associated with a favorable effect on the elastic properties of the central arteries. Our results suggest that simultaneously performed endurance training may negate the stiffening effects of strength training.


Hormonal reactions during heavy training stress and following tapering in highly trained male rowers.

Maestu J, Jurimae J, Jurimae T.
Chair of Sport Pedagogy, University of Tartu, Estonia.

The purpose of this study was to determine whether fasting plasma leptin, cortisol, testosterone and growth hormone concentrations were altered with a heavy increase in training stress followed by a reduced stress in highly trained male rowers. Twelve male national standard rowers (age 20.5 +/- 3.0 years, height 187.9 +/- 6.1 cm, body mass 87.1 +/- 8.3 kg, percent body fat 10.4 +/- 3.2 %) underwent a three-week period of maximally increased training stress followed by a two-week tapering period. The fasting blood samples were obtained every week after the rest day. In addition, the maximal 2000-meter rowing ergometer performance time was assessed before and immediately after the exhaustive training period as well as after the tapering period. A 22 % increase in training stress caused a significant decrease (by 8 %) and increase (by 9 %) in leptin and testosterone, respectively. A further increase in training volume by 25 % significantly reduced leptin further by 35 %. At the same time, no changes were observed in testosterone. Growth hormone was significantly elevated only after the first week of heavy training stress compared to the pretraining level. In the first tapering week, where the physical stress was reduced by 50 %, leptin only significantly increased by 29 %. Testosterone and growth hormone were significantly reduced to almost pretraining levels by the end of the second tapering week. Leptin was further significantly increased during the second tapering week. Cortisol remained relatively constant during the whole study period. Similarly, rowing performance was not significantly changed. We conclude that leptin is more sensitive to the rapid and pronounced changes in training stress compared to measured stress hormones in athletes. In addition, fasting plasma leptin could be regarded as a key signal for metabolic adaptation to exhaustive training stress in highly trained male rowers.


Conversion from vagal to sympathetic predominance with strenuous training in high-performance world class athletes.

Iellamo F, Legramante JM, Pigozzi F, Spataro A, Norbiato G, Lucini D, Pagani M.
Dipartimento di Medicina Interna-Centro di Riabilitazione Cardiologica S. Raffaele, Universita di Roma Tor Vergata, Roma, Italy. iellamo@med.uniroma2.it

BACKGROUND: Benefits of moderate endurance training include increases in parasympathetic activity and baroreflex sensitivity (BRS) and a relative decrease in sympathetic tone. However, the effect of very intensive training load on neural cardiovascular regulation is not known. We tested the hypothesis that strenuous endurance training, like in high-performance athletes, would enhance sympathetic activation and reduce vagal inhibition. METHODS AND RESULTS: We studied the entire Italian junior national team of rowing (n=7) at increasing training loads up to 75% and 100% of maximum, the latter approximately 20 days before the Rowing World Championship. Autoregressive power spectral analysis was used to investigate RR interval and blood pressure (BP) variabilities. BRS was assessed by the sequences method. Increasing training load up to 75% of maximum was associated with a progressive resting bradycardia and increased indexes of cardiac vagal modulation and BRS. However, at 100% training load these effects were reversed, with increases in resting heart rate, diastolic BP, low-frequency RR interval, and BP variabilities and decreases in high-frequency RR variability and BRS. Three athletes later won medals in the World Championship. CONCLUSIONS: This study indicates that very intensive endurance training shifted the cardiovascular autonomic modulation from a parasympathetic toward a sympathetic predominance. This finding should be interpreted within the context of the substantial role played by the sympathetic nervous system in increasing cardiovascular performance at peak training. Whether the altered BP and autonomic function shown in this study might be in time hazardous to human cardiovascular system remains to be established.


The detraining and retraining of an elite rower: a case study.

Godfrey RJ, Ingham SA, Pedlar CR, Whyte GP.
Brunel University, Uxbridge, Middlesex, UK. richard.godfrey@brunel.ac.uk

A heavyweight male rower, and current Olympic champion, undertook a laboratory-based incremental rowing test on four separate occasions; eight weeks prior to the Sydney Olympics (Pre OG), after eight weeks of inactivity (Post-IA), after 8 weeks of retraining (Post 8) and after a further 12 weeks of training (Post 20). Following the period of inactivity, peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) declined by 8%, power at reference blood lactate concentrations declined by approximately 100 W (25%), and power at VO2peak was 20% lower. With eight weeks of retraining, rapid improvements were seen. For most parameters, however, the rate of improvement slowed and after 20 weeks of retraining the individual was approaching pre-Olympic levels. VO2 at lactate threshold as a percentage of VO2peak remained unchanged. These results show that detraining in the elite athlete can be pronounced, with rapid improvements upon retraining which slow, so that retraining takes considerably longer to achieve than detraining did. Complete cessation of training should be limited to short periods only in the preparation of the elite heavyweight rower. Any break should, if possible, include 'maintenance training'. In this way any decrements in those physiological parameters associated with 2000 m rowing performance will be minimised.


The athlete's heart. A meta-analysis of cardiac structure and function.

Pluim BM, Zwinderman AH, van der Laarse A, van der Wall EE.
Interuniversity Cardiology Institute of the Netherlands, Utrecht, the Netherlands.

BACKGROUND: It has been postulated that depending on the type of exercise performed, 2 different morphological forms of athlete's heart may be distinguished: a strength-trained heart and an endurance-trained heart. Individual studies have not tested this hypothesis satisfactorily. METHODS AND RESULTS: The hypothesis of divergent cardiac adaptations in endurance-trained and strength-trained athletes was tested by applying meta-analytical techniques with the assumption of a random study effects model incorporating all published echocardiographic data on structure and function of male athletes engaged in purely dynamic (running) or static (weight lifting, power lifting, bodybuilding, throwing, wrestling) sports and combined dynamic and static sports (cycling and rowing). The analysis encompassed 59 studies and 1451 athletes. The overall mean relative left ventricular wall thickness of control subjects (0.36 mm) was significantly smaller than that of endurance-trained athletes (0.39 mm, P=0.001), combined endurance- and strength-trained athletes (0.40 mm, P=0.001), or strength-trained athletes (0.44 mm, P<0.001). There was a significant difference between the 3 groups of athletes and control subjects with respect to left ventricular internal diameter (P<0. 001), posterior wall thickness (P<0.001), and interventricular septum thickness (P<0.001). In addition, endurance-trained athletes and strength-trained athletes differed significantly with respect to mean relative wall thickness (0.39 versus 0.44, P=0.006) and interventricular septum thickness (10.5 versus 11.8 mm, P=0.005) and showed a trend toward a difference with respect to posterior wall thickness (10.3 versus 11.0 mm, P=0.078) and left ventricular internal diameter (53.7 versus 52.1 mm, P=0.055). With respect to cardiac function, there were no significant differences between athletes and control subjects in left ventricular ejection fraction, fractional shortening, and E/A ratio. CONCLSUIONS: Results of this meta-analysis regarding athlete's heart confirm the hypothesis of divergent cardiac adaptations in dynamic and static sports. Overall, athlete's heart demonstrated normal systolic and diastolic cardiac functions.

Physiological aspects of training in rowing.

Steinacker JM.
Abt. Sport- und Leistungsmedizin, Universitat Ulm, Germany.

At the start of a rowing race, the boat is accelerated and the force on the oars reaches between 1000 and 1500 N. During the race, the speed is maintained at a lower level with a peak rowing force of 500-700 N for 210-230 strokes for about 6.5 min. Rowers are adapted to this effort by a large muscle mass and high metabolic capacities. The muscles of successful rowers demonstrate 70%-85% slow-twitch fibers. Both slow- and fast-twitch fibers have increased oxidative enzyme activities reflecting elevated number and density of mitochondria. Rowing force and boat velocity correlate to maximal oxygen uptake (VO2) which reaches 6.0-6.61.min-1 (65-70 ml.min-1. kg-1) and to the VO2 during a race. In turn, the VO2 during a race is related to slow-twitch fibers content of the muscles, also to the aerobic-anaerobic threshold (AAT) and inversely related to the maximal blood lactate level. The AAT is 80%-85% of maximal performance in highly trained rowers. In successful rowers training intensity is 70% -90% of the training time below the AAT. Training eliciting a blood lactate above 4.0 mmol/l, sprint training and athletics training complete the training schedule, which may reach 1000 h, or 5000-7000 km per year.
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Postby Yankeerunner » September 27th, 2006, 11:15 am

Wow :shock: . Lots of good stuff there. Thank you.

Rick
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Postby ancho » September 27th, 2006, 11:40 am

Man!
Will have to take some time to get through all that...
Thanks for sharing!
yr 1966, 1,87 m, 8? kg
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Be Water, My Friend!
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