Does Size Matter?

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Postby [old] gaa48 » March 9th, 2006, 2:35 am

I started erging last May as part of cardiac rehab following angioplasty. Currently, I am doing around 90,000 meters per month and my splits have dropped to btw 2:28 to 2:37 after experimenting with my technique. I've reduced the spm to 28 to 30. When I row at around 20 spm, I find it difficult to keep my split times low and it seems to be much more strenuous. I generally row for 35 to 45 minutes and finish my sessions with my fastest splits and highest heart rate usually 145 to 160.<br /><br />I am 57, 5'8.5", 160lbs. I have short arms and legs. How much if any does my size limit my capacity to decrease my split times and spm? <br /><br />This is my first time participating in the training forum.<br /><br />Any suggestions or comments ?? Thanks! Gary
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Postby [old] chickenlegs » March 9th, 2006, 3:07 am

the fastest rowers at this year's world indoor rowing championships were all about 2 m.<br />check for yourself in the section showing photos from the event available at concept 2's website.<br />benton, the fastest man of the year, is about 2 mand over 100 kg (he is the man in the very last photos wearing the british racing uniform).<br /><br />flickinger and dentale, who came in a close second and third, look about the same height as benton.<br /><br />dentale's physique, and his score, make a very strong case for the futility of increasing muscle mass through weightlifting as a mean of improving rowing performance.<br /><br />so does height matter in rowing?<br />definetely - the more cms the greater the advantage.<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br /><br />
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Postby [old] tomhz » March 9th, 2006, 4:25 am

<!--quoteo(post=58818:date=Mar 9 2006, 07:35 AM:name=gaa48)--><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td><div class='genmed'><b>QUOTE(gaa48 @ Mar 9 2006, 07:35 AM) </b></div></td></tr><tr><td class='quote'>I started erging last May as part of cardiac rehab following angioplasty. Currently, I am doing around 90,000 meters per month and my splits have dropped to btw 2:28 to 2:37 after experimenting with my technique. I've reduced the spm to 28 to 30. When I row at around 20 spm, I find it difficult to keep my split times low and it seems to be much more strenuous. I generally row for 35 to 45 minutes and finish my sessions with my fastest splits and highest heart rate usually 145 to 160.<br /><br />I am 57, 5'8.5", 160lbs. I have short arms and legs. How much if any does my size limit my capacity to decrease my split times and spm? <br /><br />This is my first time participating in the training forum.<br /><br />Any suggestions or comments ?? Thanks! Gary<br /> </td></tr></table><br /><br />Hi gary,<br /><br />Your size does limit your capacity, but not to a great extend. Age is a more important factor. No way you can do at age 57 what you could have done at 25 with the same training effort. <br /><br />But your size/weight/age does not prevent you to improve a lot. There are several people with your size/weight/age that can row for an hour at pace 2:00 or faster. But this will require a lot of training effort, good technique and some talent.<br /><br /><br />Tom<br /><br />
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Postby [old] jamesg » March 9th, 2006, 12:03 pm

Gary,<br />Your numbers suggest it's your technique that's limiting your ability, and maybe too high a DF, not your shape or size.<br /><br />The pace you mention implies around 100W, and at rating 30 this is only 3 W-minutes per stroke. Your W/kg ratio is also low, around 1.3 W/kg. This means you are pulling very short and not very hard. Pulling short is a disaster on the erg, because in any case we lose about 20cm due to the sloppy catch (having to reach the flywheel speed), so to pull short means there's no stroke length left at all.<br /><br />So I think you need to pull longer strokes, tho' not necessarily very hard. Pulling half your weight and 2/3 your height (you can measure this), at rating 23, leads to 150W, 2W/kg, 6W'/stroke, which is right in the middle of long distance training work, UT2. We use our %HRR to check where we are in this sense.<br /><br />Most of the extra power comes from length, so it's practically free in muscular terms. But it will sure get your heart in a spin, so HR control is important. <br /><br />A low DF say 120-140 will let you do all of this.
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Postby [old] gaa48 » March 9th, 2006, 12:44 pm

<!--quoteo(post=58841:date=Mar 9 2006, 08:03 AM:name=jamesg)--><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td><div class='genmed'><b>QUOTE(jamesg @ Mar 9 2006, 08:03 AM) </b></div></td></tr><tr><td class='quote'>Gary,<br />Your numbers suggest it's your technique that's limiting your ability, and maybe too high a DF, not your shape or size.<br /><br />The pace you mention implies around 100W, and at rating 30 this is only 3 W-minutes per stroke. Your W/kg ratio is also low, around 1.3 W/kg. This means you are pulling very short and not very hard. Pulling short is a disaster on the erg, because in any case we lose about 20cm due to the sloppy catch (having to reach the flywheel speed), so to pull short means there's no stroke length left at all.<br /><br />So I think you need to pull longer strokes, tho' not necessarily very hard. Pulling half your weight and 2/3 your height (you can measure this), at rating 23, leads to 150W, 2W/kg, 6W'/stroke, which is right in the middle of long distance training work, UT2. We use our %HRR to check where we are in this sense.<br /><br />Most of the extra power comes from length, so it's practically free in muscular terms. But it will sure get your heart in a spin, so HR control is important. <br /><br />A low DF say 120-140 will let you do all of this.<br /> </td></tr></table><br />
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Postby [old] John Rupp » March 9th, 2006, 12:51 pm

<!--quoteo(post=58818:date=Mar 8 2006, 10:35 PM:name=gaa48)--><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td><div class='genmed'><b>QUOTE(gaa48 @ Mar 8 2006, 10:35 PM) </b></div></td></tr><tr><td class='quote'>I am 57, 5'8.5", 160lbs. I have short arms and legs. How much if any does my size limit my capacity to decrease my split times and spm? <br /><br />This is my first time participating in the training forum.<br /><br />Any suggestions or comments ?? Thanks! Gary<br /> </td></tr></table><br /><br />Hi Gary,<br /><br />Welcome to the forum,<br /><br />Size, weight, height, torso and arm length make a major difference on the erg. Especially torso and arm length make a difference when the rating is restricted. Size and weight are an advantage at any rating. For example, an out of shape 250 pound couch potato can row fast times on an erg with no training at all. <br /><br />You'll get a better indication of fitness going by watts/kg, as was stated by JamesG.<br /><br />Things that affect your time are (1) stroke rating, (2) stroke length, (3) rhythm and timing, (4) size and weight, and (5) height, torso and arm length.
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Postby [old] gaa48 » March 9th, 2006, 2:35 pm

Thank you everyone for the info particularly James and John.<br /><br />I have some research to do to find out what DF and UT2 mean. I think if I fully use the PM3, I can have the watts/kg be useful.<br /><br />I suspect my performance will improve as I refine my technique gets better and more efficient.<br /><br />I've essentially gotten on the erg last May and rowed and only have paid attention to spm and split times which I now see is just the tip of the iceberg.<br /><br />Thanks.
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Postby [old] neilb » March 10th, 2006, 11:54 am

The big guys tend to win because they have good technique, fitness, more muscles and bigger lungs to feed those muscles. <br /><br />Technique is technique and anyone can train to gain good technique regardless of size; just requires patience and practice.<br /><br />Fitness comes next and needs practice, practice and more practice (and benefits from efficient work) <br /><br />You can add more muscle providing it is not just adding bulk.<br /><br />You cannot increase size of lungs but training will improve the delivery of oxygen to the muscles and how they then use it.<br /><br />So, size is an issue at the very top end as someone who is say 5' 6'' is unlikely to have same effective muscles and effective lung capacity as someone who is say 6' 6'' but for most people it should not really be too much of a limiting factor.<br /><br />Rowing at 20 spm with low splits takes a lot of effort and good consistent technique to keep low splits. I quite enjoy a 20 spm session once a week but no more than that. It takes a lot of concentration!<br /><br />You are putting in good steady rowing per session and per month which will do you a lot of good so stick with it. Keep working on technique, enjoy what you are doing and do not worry about short arms and legs. <br /><br />Neil B.<br /><br />
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Postby [old] PaulS » March 10th, 2006, 12:07 pm

<!--quoteo(post=58849:date=Mar 9 2006, 08:51 AM:name=John Rupp)--><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td><div class='genmed'><b>QUOTE(John Rupp @ Mar 9 2006, 08:51 AM) </b></div></td></tr><tr><td class='quote'>For example, an out of shape 250 pound couch potato can row fast times on an erg with no training at all. <br /> </td></tr></table><br /><br />What a world we live in, where else could someone be "thanked" for offering such wisdom as this? 8) <br /><br />Apparently the way to get fast is to be a couch potato and gain weight, amazing!<br /><br />Though it sure must get on the nerves of all those slow, but "very fit" folks, who spend endless unproductive hours on the Erg, only to make no progress. :D
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Postby [old] Ben Rea » March 10th, 2006, 12:26 pm

i say size does not matter because im one of the talest guys on my team, but im also one of the slowest
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Postby [old] eyespliced » March 10th, 2006, 12:44 pm

<!--quoteo(post=58922:date=Mar 10 2006, 11:26 AM:name=Ben Rea)--><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td><div class='genmed'><b>QUOTE(Ben Rea @ Mar 10 2006, 11:26 AM) </b></div></td></tr><tr><td class='quote'>i say size does not matter because im one of the talest guys on my team, but im also one of the slowest<br /> </td></tr></table><br />well, i have to go along w/ most of the other posters on this... i think for the most pard size does matter. however in some cases it does not. e.g on my team their is a guy who is like 6'3"-6'4" who pulls a 2:14 on the erg(average500m split) but he also has major knee problems.
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Postby [old] PaulS » March 10th, 2006, 12:46 pm

<!--quoteo(post=58922:date=Mar 10 2006, 08:26 AM:name=Ben Rea)--><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td><div class='genmed'><b>QUOTE(Ben Rea @ Mar 10 2006, 08:26 AM) </b></div></td></tr><tr><td class='quote'>I say size does not matter because I'm one of the tallest guys on my team, but I'm also one of the slowest.<br /> </td></tr></table><br /><br />Just wait until you become one of the fastest and then you will be told it's all to do with size. Then when you push others out of the boat because of your Erg Score you will begin to hear things like "Ergs don't float", etc... 8) <br /><br /><b>"Be happy with yourself when you are the best, because almost no-one else will be."</b>
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Postby [old] Ben Rea » March 10th, 2006, 11:33 pm

<!--quoteo(post=58931:date=Mar 10 2006, 11:46 AM:name=PaulS)--><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td><div class='genmed'><b>QUOTE(PaulS @ Mar 10 2006, 11:46 AM) </b></div></td></tr><tr><td class='quote'><!--quoteo(post=58922:date=Mar 10 2006, 08:26 AM:name=Ben Rea)--><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td><div class='genmed'><b>QUOTE(Ben Rea @ Mar 10 2006, 08:26 AM) </b></div></td></tr><tr><td class='quote'>I say size does not matter because I'm one of the tallest guys on my team, but I'm also one of the slowest.<br /> </td></tr></table><br /><br />Just wait until you become one of the fastest and then you will be told it's all to do with size. Then when you push others out of the boat because of your Erg Score you will begin to hear things like "Ergs don't float", etc... 8) <br /><br /><b>"Be happy with yourself when you are the best, because almost no-one else will be."</b><br /> </td></tr></table><br /><br /><br />the only reason you can say that is because your amazing at crew and you are JACKED (huge muscles) i have seen the pictures.
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Postby [old] george nz » March 11th, 2006, 1:13 am

Gary the only thing that would prevent you being the best you can be is you .... the quickest route to frustration is thinking that times equals effort.<br /><br />We all have strengths and weaknesses in our makeup, both physical and mental - the sum of these is our potential if we had nothing else to do but eat, sleep, and train, but we are all a part of a thing called 'life' and this generally is a significant component when it comes to reaching our potential and it is a big intangible when comparing our 'performances' with others.<br /><br />Only you know what effort you have put in, but I can guarantee it will determine what you get out.<br /><br />cheers George
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Postby [old] tomhz » March 11th, 2006, 5:31 am

<!--quoteo(post=58990:date=Mar 11 2006, 06:13 AM:name=george nz)--><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td><div class='genmed'><b>QUOTE(george nz @ Mar 11 2006, 06:13 AM) </b></div></td></tr><tr><td class='quote'>the only thing that would prevent you being the best you can be is you .... the quickest route to frustration is thinking that times equals effort.<br /><br />We all have strengths and weaknesses in our makeup, both physical and mental - the sum of these is our potential if we had nothing else to do but eat, sleep, and train, but we are all a part of a thing called 'life' and this generally is a significant component when it comes to reaching our potential and it is a big intangible when comparing our 'performances' with others.<br /><br />Only you know what effort you have put in, but I can guarantee it will determine what you get out.<br /> </td></tr></table><br /><br />Well said, George!<br /><br />Tom
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