How quickly does time pass while SkiErging?

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How quickly does time pass while SkiErging?

Postby Ombrax » February 25th, 2016, 2:02 am

A question for you SkiErgers out there: How quickly (slowly?) does the time pass on the SkiErg compared to the rower, for say, a 15 minute piece at about the same degree of effort?

Background:

I'm considering getting a SkiErg, but am concerned that staring at the wall (and the monitor) will be a drag. I've had a Model C rower for ages and find that the time passes relatively quickly, especially compared to riding a bicycle indoors. I'm primarily a cyclist and riding rollers inside turns my brain to mush, possibly because I'm so used to riding outside. Since I'm not an OTW rower (nor an "OTG" skier, for that matter) perhaps I don't have anything to compare to. Either way, given the choice between riding a bike inside vs rowing, I much prefer rowing.

So, if the SkiErg is comparable to the rower then I probably won't have any issues with boredom.

Thanks for your thoughts.
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Re: How quickly does time pass while SkiErging?

Postby Balkan boy » February 25th, 2016, 4:29 am

It's not the same, but also not that different.
Stroke rate on the SkiErg is almost double of that on the RowErg. Passing of time will be relative to your perception of that. For me, it feels like more work per minute on the SkiErg, so it feels longer. Although, I've been using the SkiErg for a few weeks and the rower for a few years.
If you plan to do 15' pieces, just the novelty of the movement should keep you focused. The PM5 monitor has a lot of settings for intervals, a force curve and some games.
For longer, steady workouts of 40-80' it helps to have a plan for pacing to brake the monotony.

In the end, it's not the machine, it's the user. Exercising on an ergometer will always be a drag if you're not focused on what you're doing. I also approach it as a psychological exercise of focus and determination.
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Re: How quickly does time pass while SkiErging?

Postby skiffrace » February 25th, 2016, 8:09 am

I use the rowing erg, but not the ski erg, and I also rode on a stationary bike.
For me it's opposite - the time passes more slowly on the rowing erg compared with the bike.
However, as the Balkan Boy said, it's in the mind of the user.

Also, the intensity is of primary importance. The harder your perceived effort is, the more slowly time drags on.
When you're at/near your AT, each minutes feels like an hour.

Let's not fool ourselves, using all the diabolical contraptions like 'ergs', 'mills' etc is crushingly boring and unpleasant compared with equivalent outdoor activities.
We do it only because we have to, not because we enjoy it (and I won't believe if you claim otherwise)
If it wasn't for work schedules or nastiness of weather, I'd be spending 0 hours and 0 minutes on any rowing/ski erg/indoor bike etc.
Weight lifting is the only thing I'd do in the gym.

IMHO, the best way to deal with the boredom is music. Get some music you really like, preferably playing at the rhythm comparable with the exercise you're doing. Typical record lasts 40 to 60 minutes, which is similar to typical workout. The music somehow works the magic of relieving the tedium of the 'erging'.
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Re: How quickly does time pass while SkiErging?

Postby Ombrax » February 25th, 2016, 5:23 pm

Balkan boy wrote:Exercising on an ergometer will always be a drag if you're not focused on what you're doing. I also approach it as a psychological exercise of focus and determination.


I think it’s interesting to compare the mental requirements of cycling to rowing. Because the pedaling cadence on a bike is typically so much higher than on the rower (about 90 rpm) I think of pedaling as a “flow” process. I just continue to pedal the bike. On the rower, I never race and normally try to keep my stroke rate around 20-22 spm, and maybe if I’m pushing really hard at the end up a piece it will get up to 25-28 spm, but still well below 90. Consequently, and unlike on the bike, each pull is a discrete event requiring my mind to calibrate the required effort and tell my body “yes, I know it’s painful and hard, but yes, you do need to do this. Go. Go. Go. Go…” Cycling doesn’t require a constant stream of individual messages, simply an overall go or no-go decision. This difference makes rowing a much more difficult mental challenge (at least for me).

If I do get a SkiErg, with its higher cadence, we’ll see where it falls in the “flow vs discrete event” spectrum.
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Re: How quickly does time pass while SkiErging?

Postby skiffrace » February 25th, 2016, 9:06 pm

Ombrax wrote:I think it’s interesting to compare the mental requirements of cycling to rowing. Because the pedaling cadence on a bike is typically so much higher than on the rower (about 90 rpm) I think of pedaling as a “flow” process. I just continue to pedal the bike. On the rower, I never race and normally try to keep my stroke rate around 20-22 spm, and maybe if I’m pushing really hard at the end up a piece it will get up to 25-28 spm, but still well below 90. Consequently, and unlike on the bike, each pull is a discrete event requiring my mind to calibrate the required effort and tell my body “yes, I know it’s painful and hard, but yes, you do need to do this. Go. Go. Go. Go…” Cycling doesn’t require a constant stream of individual messages, simply an overall go or no-go decision. This difference makes rowing a much more difficult mental challenge (at least for me)..


Very insightful! I never analyzed it this way, but I think you are spot on!
Now I know the reason why I always preferred riding on my stationary bike to rowing on erg. (to be honest, I always hated rowing on the erg, and do it only because "eating broccoli is good for you" :mrgreen:

OTOH, rowing on the water, especially on large boat like 4x or 8+, is one of the most divine experiences one can have!
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Re: How quickly does time pass while SkiErging?

Postby shu246 » February 27th, 2016, 10:16 pm

The SkiErg is "slower" than the rower. We have the exercise machines in the bedroom, in front of the TV. With the rower, back and forth motion, eyes can stay on the screen. With the SkiErg, head bobbing down and up, not. The more so because with the noise level we depend on captions for dialog.

Often I'll start on the Ski-Erg with some standing "wall pulley" exercises, one-arm twists, thrusts, etc. Keeps the head position more steady. Often also I'll just put an audio-book on the pocket player, plug in the ear buds, and close my eyes on the SkiErg.

With a good action movie, time often passes easily. Well made and interesting nature documentaries are good. Best is Olympic XC Ski and rowing events, but Wife can only take so much of that.
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Re: How quickly does time pass while SkiErging?

Postby shu246 » February 28th, 2016, 8:54 pm

Alternatively, turn the SkiErg around in front of the TV. Stand on the platform backwards and watch TV. Use an alternate arm swimming-like overhead pull on the SkiErg. Add some trunk twist for flexibility and core muscle development. Or use a two-hand butterfly swimming stroke; use a lunge position with one foot against the fan and the other forward to keep the machine steady on the ground.
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Re: How quickly does time pass while SkiErging?

Postby Ombrax » February 29th, 2016, 12:24 pm

I usually don't listen to music while exercising, but this is one case where that may help. (Assuming I can find ear-buds that aren't affected too much by sweat.)
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Re: How quickly does time pass while SkiErging?

Postby anne.bourlioux » March 3rd, 2016, 10:56 am

I got the mobile platform version of the skierg so that I could move it away from a wall exactly because I was concerned I would not enjoy starring at the wall for extended periods of time. I watch TV (with subtitles) on long rows/ skierg sessions; for the skierg, I put the TV on the floor so that I don't have to hold my head up in an unnatural way to watch it. As mentioned by others in this thread, stroke rate is much higher on the skierg, and I am a stroke counter, so it does take time mentally to get used to having to pull so many strokes and any minute on the skierg feels longer to me compared to the same time on the erg - the good thing is that it makes the rowing erg feel relatively easier. It's all worth it though, it is a nice break for me from just erging and it works great in terms of getting the conditioning : I did about the same total meters for the season compared to previous years (2 million meters at this point of the season), except this year 40% of it was on the skierg and I am not any slower on the erg for it, a little bit faster than last year actually, even being one year older.
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Re: How quickly does time pass while SkiErging?

Postby hjs » March 3rd, 2016, 11:38 am

anne.bourlioux wrote:I got the mobile platform version of the skierg so that I could move it away from a wall exactly because I was concerned I would not enjoy starring at the wall for extended periods of time. I watch TV (with subtitles) on long rows/ skierg sessions; for the skierg, I put the TV on the floor so that I don't have to hold my head up in an unnatural way to watch it. As mentioned by others in this thread, stroke rate is much higher on the skierg, and I am a stroke counter, so it does take time mentally to get used to having to pull so many strokes and any minute on the skierg feels longer to me compared to the same time on the erg - the good thing is that it makes the rowing erg feel relatively easier. It's all worth it though, it is a nice break for me from just erging and it works great in terms of getting the conditioning : I did about the same total meters for the season compared to previous years (2 million meters at this point of the season), except this year 40% of it was on the skierg and I am not any slower on the erg for it, a little bit faster than last year actually, even being one year older.


And for those who don,t know Hammer winner and Wr holder. So training on a serious level.
For my training see twitter @Hjsrowing
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Re: How quickly does time pass while SkiErging?

Postby Clovis » September 15th, 2016, 1:38 am

shu246 wrote:Alternatively, turn the SkiErg around in front of the TV. Stand on the platform backwards and watch TV. Use an alternate arm swimming-like overhead pull on the SkiErg. Add some trunk twist for flexibility and core muscle development. Or use a two-hand butterfly swimming stroke; use a lunge position with one foot against the fan and the other forward to keep the machine steady on the ground.


I always do this, or face my computer with Youtube or something on.
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Re: How quickly does time pass while SkiErging?

Postby Mitch R. » October 24th, 2016, 11:39 am

I have small DVD player mounted on the wall.

For hard workouts, I choose a workout from my Swimervals DVD, which was designed for using Vasa Swim Ergometers. Nice to have Coach Troy barking times and commands at you. Time passes by really fast and workouts are extremely efficient.
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Re: How quickly does time pass while SkiErging?

Postby Ombrax » October 24th, 2016, 7:20 pm

Mitch R. wrote:I have small DVD player mounted on the wall.


Interesting.

With your head constantly moving up and down, wow well can you keep track of the images on the screen?
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Re: How quickly does time pass while SkiErging?

Postby Mitch R. » October 25th, 2016, 12:53 pm

Not that concerned to watch all of the images, just catch a glimpse of some and to listen to the soundtrack.

My DVD player system predates the iPad and my skierg workouts predate the Concept2 skierg.

Before the Concept2 skierg, if you did not have a "Russian Wind Machine," one simply placed a rower on the wall, a rope with handles around the rower handle, and went at it.

For long endurance workouts (e.g., 3-5 hours), I would burn Youtube videos to DVDs. Watching trailers from sources like the Banff Mountain Film Festival and European Outdoor Film Festival, all of which had scenic backdrops with fast music, made for an excellent way to spend 3-5 hours flogging away until the upper body became worthless.
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Re: How quickly does time pass while SkiErging?

Postby Mitch R. » September 25th, 2017, 2:05 pm

For my 2-6 hours workouts, I now use the longer Spinnervals workout cycling DVDs (2-6 hours) to regulate my workouts (time, intensity, recovery intervals) and to help pass the time quickly. The Spinnervals workouts give tension settings for spin bikes (1-5), which I have replicated by marking damper settings on the ski erg housing.

This saves me the effort of having to enter my workouts into the performance monitor. I just choose the type of workout for the day (blue zone, tempo, red zone, etc), put on the DVD, and flog away. I should have thought of this approach years ago. BTW: this approach also works well for my elliptical.
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