Terminology question re "intensity"

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Terminology question re "intensity"

Postby sporty » March 23rd, 2006, 12:15 pm

Sorry, I'm new to rowing. The C2 site has a "24 workouts" manual. The first workout says the goal is to learn to vary the intensity while keeping the stroke rate constant. In cycling, I would consider that to increase my "intensity", I would pedal faster and/or at a higher gear. This obviously is not the same definition applied to rowing, since Workout 1 keeps the stroke rate (eg. pedaling cadence) and the damper setting (eg. bike gear) the same. So, how exactly does one increase "intensity" on the C2? The only thing I can think of is using my arms to pull harder -- but this seems to be a muscle specific change (eg. arms), and not an aerobic change (like run faster or pedal faster). Please explain this very basic term, as I would really like to use the rower properly as I see great potential for it.
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Postby Andy Nield » March 23rd, 2006, 12:46 pm

The only thing I can think of is using my arms to pull harder


close... use the legs to PUSH harder!

rowing is all about pushing... you go down the pub to pull!
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Postby sporty » March 24th, 2006, 3:15 pm

Andy Nield wrote:
The only thing I can think of is using my arms to pull harder


close... use the legs to PUSH harder!

rowing is all about pushing... you go down the pub to pull!


OK, but doesn't pushing harder with your legs automatically increase the stroke rate? I cannot visualize how I can PUSH harder without doing that, or I maybe I should just try it and see.
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Postby michaelb » March 24th, 2006, 3:23 pm

I don't know the C2 24 manual you are referring to, so a link might help understand the question.

I would guess that "intensity" refers to going faster. On the C2 display, this means that the pace would be lower (that shows the time it takes to go 500m) or that the watts or calories would be higher. Yes, it is possible to vary the intensity and keep the SR the same, so you can row a faster pace but keep the SR at 25.

However, most training plans set the SR and the level of intensity, so that your idea that the SR may go up as the intensity goes up (pace goes down) is right, except those training plans will tightly control by how much.
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Re: Terminology question re "intensity"

Postby Bob S. » March 24th, 2006, 3:59 pm

sporty wrote:Sorry, I'm new to rowing. The C2 site has a "24 workouts" manual. The first workout says the goal is to learn to vary the intensity while keeping the stroke rate constant. In cycling, I would consider that to increase my "intensity", I would pedal faster and/or at a higher gear. This obviously is not the same definition applied to rowing, since Workout 1 keeps the stroke rate (eg. pedaling cadence) and the damper setting (eg. bike gear) the same. So, how exactly does one increase "intensity" on the C2? The only thing I can think of is using my arms to pull harder -- but this seems to be a muscle specific change (eg. arms), and not an aerobic change (like run faster or pedal faster). Please explain this very basic term, as I would really like to use the rower properly as I see great potential for it.


There is a major difference between bicycling and rowing in that bicycling is a continuous motion and rowing (or erging) consists of two major movements, the drive and the recovery. If you drive harder, the time period for the drive will be shorter, but this can be balanced by using that extra time on the recovery. The result is that the total stroke takes the same time, i.e. no change in rate, but the pace improves.

Don't be in too much of a hurry to get to the next stroke. That is a common problem with most beginning ergers. Those who start out on the water, at least with coaching, have heard over and over, things like "control your slide," "don't rush the slide," "your recovery is too fast - you are checking the boat." Of course, boat check has no meaning on an erg, but I have seen a lot of ergs jumping around the floor like grasshoppers (not the Zurich club) and I would guess that it is due to hitting the stretchers too hard to check an overly fast recovery. The recovery is a time for relaxation. If you are working a little harder on the drive, then use that extra time to take a little rest on the recovery.

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Re: Terminology question re "intensity"

Postby Alissa » March 24th, 2006, 4:11 pm

Bob S. wrote:
sporty wrote:Sorry, I'm new to rowing. The C2 site has a "24 workouts" manual. The first workout says the goal is to learn to vary the intensity while keeping the stroke rate constant. In cycling, I would consider that to increase my "intensity", I would pedal faster and/or at a higher gear. This obviously is not the same definition applied to rowing, since Workout 1 keeps the stroke rate (eg. pedaling cadence) and the damper setting (eg. bike gear) the same. So, how exactly does one increase "intensity" on the C2? The only thing I can think of is using my arms to pull harder -- but this seems to be a muscle specific change (eg. arms), and not an aerobic change (like run faster or pedal faster). Please explain this very basic term, as I would really like to use the rower properly as I see great potential for it.


There is a major difference between bicycling and rowing in that bicycling is a continuous motion and rowing (or erging) consists of two major movements, the drive and the recovery. If you drive harder, the time period for the drive will be shorter, but this can be balanced by using that extra time on the recovery. The result is that the total stroke takes the same time, i.e. no change in rate, but the pace improves.

Don't be in too much of a hurry to get to the next stroke. That is a common problem with most beginning ergers. Those who start out on the water, at least with coaching, have heard over and over, things like "control your slide," "don't rush the slide," "your recovery is too fast - you are checking the boat." Of course, boat check has no meaning on an erg, but I have seen a lot of ergs jumping around the floor like grasshoppers (not the Zurich club) and I would guess that it is due to hitting the stretchers too hard to check an overly fast recovery. The recovery is a time for relaxation. If you are working a little harder on the drive, then use that extra time to take a little rest on the recovery.

Bob S.


What a nice description!!! Yea, Bob S.!

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Postby Andy Nield » March 24th, 2006, 4:20 pm

as well as just taking more time on the recovery, you need to work on separation:

at the finish set the legs/back solid and let the arms come out first, then as the arms are almost straight start to rock the body over (rock from the hips, seat should move backwards as you rock over) then as the body angle passes through vertical let the seat start to come forwards.

Aim to have the body fully rocked over by 1/2 slide and from that point on don't 'dive' for any more length with the body, just let the feet come under you, your knees compress up to your chest, the chest doesn't compress down on the knees...

Make sure you get tha hands past the knees before the knees lift.

The recovery is all about separation: arms - body - slide...
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Postby sporty » March 24th, 2006, 5:24 pm

michaelb wrote:I don't know the C2 24 manual you are referring to, so a link might help understand the question.


Here is the link. It is a PDF file under Training Literature. It is Workout #1:

http://www.concept2.com/05/rower/servic ... p#training
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Postby sporty » March 24th, 2006, 5:28 pm

Thank you Bob and Andy. That makes a lot more sense to me now, I never thought of taking it easier on the recovery portion. Will keep learning and trying to have better technique.
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Postby kit44 » March 29th, 2006, 11:26 pm

So THAT'S where that manual went :? I've been looking for it for a couple of days now - needing some variation in my current training. thanks for mentioning it!
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