What is important?

Rowing for weight loss or weight control? Start here.

What is important?

Postby PKM » June 21st, 2018, 2:03 pm

I row because I need the exercise and this is great for a big guy with beat up knees and the hips of a bad golden retriever. I'm not setting the planet on fire with world class times or rankings. I like to get on after a brisk warm up on my bike and row steady for the medium workout I find in my Inbox each morning.

I'm not trying to beat anyone but me. I need/want to lose weight and inches.

It feels great when I can get on the erg a second time in the evenings. I try and concentrate on proper form and posture and stroke length more so that stroke rate/spilt times.

I think I do ok- but I wanted to check in with others about what is important. I'm beat when I'm done with a workout is that enough?

The stoic in me says I shouldn't care so much but there is a 20 something still buried deep inside of me that wonders. I'm 57 and average about a 2:20 500 and can do that for about 30 minutes. A little feedback would be appreciated.
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Re: What is important?

Postby Dreadfish » June 21st, 2018, 4:26 pm

Hi PKM
Welcome to the forum.
the general consensus is that long steady state rows is better for weight loss. so, long as in up to and exceeding 1 hr and at a steady pace that doesnt kill you off. the recommended band is UT2 which according to the Concept site is rowing at a level that you can also hold a conversation.

this is the site i used to get myself going on the weight loss road. https://indoorsportservices.co.uk/training/interactive
enter your stats and it will set you a 24 week program. if possible do more than the 3 sessions a week. i started doing 4 a week now am at 5 a week.
To date i have lost between 14 and 15kg and still have approx that much to go to get to where i want to be. my losses would be better if i wasnt so loose with my diet as that plays a big part in weight loss. i started out on teh last hole on my belt and am now on the first so will need a smaller belt soon :D to be honest the area i appear to have lost the most is my legs and butt but i have also noticed a general firming up of my upper body and my keg is slowly making way to a six pack of sorts
good luck with your goals and keep posting here for help and motivation
Erik
55 yo from New Zealand
6'4 and 115kg

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Re: What is important?

Postby sekitori » June 21st, 2018, 5:01 pm

PKM wrote: I try and concentrate on proper form and posture and stroke length more so that stroke rate/spilt times.

I'm beat when I'm done with a workout is that enough?

The stoic in me says I shouldn't care so much but there is a 20 something still buried deep inside of me that wonders. I'm 57 and average about a 2:20 500 and can do that for about 30 minutes. A little feedback would be appreciated.


As long as you aren't gasping for air and show no other signs of physical distress, being tired at the end of a workout is perfectly okay. Feeling totally exhausted is not. For an average person like me, the stoic part works well. I try to keep proper form and row at a pace that seems to be comfortable, yet still requiring a good amount of effort. I have long ago gotten rid of the 20 something in me who is interested in setting personal records. I was so competitive with myself that at one time, I was trying to set a PR every time I worked out. The numbers on a monitor were controlling my workouts and that was totally counterproductive. I wasn't really training. Instead, I was trying to do something impossible--the total opposite of a legitimate training program.

I now use a method called perceived exertion. It basically states that how you feel during a workout is more important than what a monitor shows. The theory behind it is that if you feel you aren't working hard enough, increase your effort until you feel that you are. If you feel that you're working too hard, ease up a little. Many people state that this idea doesn't have value for them. They say that it's just too simplistic and that checking numbers on a monitor is a better way to train. But in my particular case, perceived exertion works well. Except for time elapsed, I hardly ever look at the monitor. I used a heart rate monitor at one time but after many years of doing this, its use is no longer necessary. If someone asks me what my heart rate is at any time, I can tell them without actually checking it and be quite accurate--maybe not as exact as an HRM, but pretty close.

As I said, the idea of perceived exertion may not be for everyone but If you care to know more about it, check out the website:

https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/ba ... ertion.htm
Last edited by sekitori on June 21st, 2018, 6:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is important?

Postby rr0ss0rr » June 21st, 2018, 6:10 pm

if you do a 2:20 500m for 30 minutes then I would slow it down to 2:30 and see how long you can row (set a target for 1 hour). I was like you .. 2:15-2:20 500m for 30 minutes was about all I could do .. at 2:30 I row 13000 meters at a 18-20 srm 4-5 times/week. Per other threads, I wear a hrm and keep my hr down to 125-130 bpm. At that point you're burning calories and your body doesn't realize it's really exercising ;-)
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Re: What is important?

Postby Ombrax » June 21st, 2018, 7:01 pm

I think it's best to do a mix of workouts, some longer distance, and therefore slower speed, and some faster speed, and therefore shorter time. Helps to give your body a variety of challenges and keeps you from getting into a mental rut.
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Re: What is important?

Postby jamesg » June 22nd, 2018, 3:29 am

Useful controls can be:
W/kg nominal weight using say BMI = 23-24; 2 W/kg is enough to get and stay fit.
Watts/Rating, the higher the better, but 8-10 indicate good style. A lot depends on height here, but less than 5 and something's wrong.
Some say meters/stroke too; >10 would be a baseline.
77y, 188cm, 85kg, MHR 160. Last 2k (May 1018) 8.37@23
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Re: What is important?

Postby PKM » June 22nd, 2018, 9:42 am

Thank you for the responses all- a lot to try and a lot to review. I sincerely appreciate the time you took to respond.
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Re: What is important?

Postby Ombrax » June 23rd, 2018, 12:47 am

jamesg wrote:Watts/Rating, the higher the better, but 8-10 indicate good style. A lot depends on height here, but less than 5 and something's wrong.


Some more info on Watts / Stroke Rate for those who haven't dug into all this stuff:

1 Watt = 1 Joule / second (where a Joule is a measure of energy)
Stroke rate / 60 = Strokes / second (note that by dividing by 60 this is slightly different from what James posted, but units analysis still holds and the basic concept is the same)

So, W / SR = ( J / sec ) x ( sec / stroke) and the time cancels,

Or, Watts / SR = Joules / stroke, which is the amount of energy you put in per stroke,
which is a one of several useful ways of understanding your performance on the rower.

( Also, since 1 Joule = 10^7 ergs, you can see where the term "ergometer" (or erg) comes from. )
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Re: What is important?

Postby Allan Olesen » June 23rd, 2018, 5:59 am

Ombrax wrote:
Or, Watts / SR = Joules / stroke,

Not quite. To make them 1:1, your energy unit needs to be WattMinutes. 1 WattMinute = 60 Joule.

So:
Watts / SR = WattMinutes / stroke

And:
60 * Watts / SR = Joule / stroke.

So at 200 W and 20 SPM, you are rowing at 10 WattMinutes/stroke or 600 Joule/stroke.
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Re: What is important?

Postby Ombrax » June 23rd, 2018, 6:13 am

Allan Olesen wrote:Not quite. To make them 1:1, your energy unit needs to be WattMinutes. 1 WattMinute = 60 Joule.

So:
Watts / SR = WattMinutes / stroke

And:
60 * Watts / SR = Joule / stroke.

So at 200 W and 20 SPM, you are rowing at 10 WattMinutes/stroke or 600 Joule/stroke.


Yeah - I tried to explain that above the section you quoted when I divided the strokes / min by 60 to get strokes / sec, then assumed from there on that the units of the SR would be / sec, which is the same in your equation as having x 60 in the numerator.

I think we're on the same page.
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Re: What is important?

Postby hjs » June 23rd, 2018, 6:23 am

For weightloss, volume is king, the more meters the better.
You should be in it for the long run, so do sessions that are fun.
Make sure your technique is good or gets better, build a full long strong stroke.
You may be 57, but you should always listen (a bit) to that that 20 year old, you need to have goals, you should be working towards something! Without goals its very tough to really keep going.
Have long term goals, think 1 year orso, but also have short term goals, think 6 weeks.
And make your goals reasonable, not unreachable, but also don,t be soft. It should take effort/work, but you should be able to reach them!

Go for it. :D
For my training see twitter @Hjsrowing
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Re: What is important?

Postby estragon » June 23rd, 2018, 7:30 pm

Hi PKM,

You're in the same boat, as it were, as me. We row at about the same pace. I'm 3 years older than you and I too bought my erg to improve fitness and lose weight. Bought it 3 years ago and used it on and off until this year when I got more serious about it. I average about 3,000 metres per day but that's from doing longer rows (5-8K), about 4-5 days a week.

The things that turned me into a steady rower were:

  • reading (on this forum) that strokes per minute were the thing to focus on. I dropped from 28-30 spm down to 20-24 spm while maintaining similar times, and started to enjoy rowing much more. Yes, I was still often exhausted after a long row, but I wasn't so wiped out that I didn't want to get on the erg again next day or the day after.
  • stopping trying to break personal records all the time. Of course I want to improve my times but I try to do this once in a while, maybe every 2 or 3 weeks. The big majority of my rows are steady sessions where I try to maintain my previous time for that distance.
  • following a plan. I'm doing the PPB, Pete Plan for Beginners, which you'll find here: https://thepeteplan.wordpress.com/beginner-training/. It's 24 weeks which is quite a commitment, but I'm getting through it. On week 8 now, and currently up to 8,500m rows.
  • getting into the online logbook, and learning to love statistics. For the first time in 3 years, I'm on the 'Annual Meters Honor Board', and after every row I need to see how my ranking has improved. I make a note of it and aim to keep improving it.
  • checking my blood pressure from time to time. Steady rowing over 3 or 4 months has seen my BP drop from a level officially described as "High" to the "Normal" level. This sort of thing is very motivating.

Good luck!
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Re: What is important?

Postby edinborogh » June 24th, 2018, 10:57 pm

estragon wrote:Hi PKM,

You're in the same boat, as it were, as me. We row at about the same pace. I'm 3 years older than you and I too bought my erg to improve fitness and lose weight. Bought it 3 years ago and used it on and off until this year when I got more serious about it. I average about 3,000 metres per day but that's from doing longer rows (5-8K), about 4-5 days a week.

The things that turned me into a steady rower were:

  • reading (on this forum) that strokes per minute were the thing to focus on. I dropped from 28-30 spm down to 20-24 spm while maintaining similar times, and started to enjoy rowing much more. Yes, I was still often exhausted after a long row, but I wasn't so wiped out that I didn't want to get on the erg again next day or the day after.
  • stopping trying to break personal records all the time. Of course I want to improve my times but I try to do this once in a while, maybe every 2 or 3 weeks. The big majority of my rows are steady sessions where I try to maintain my previous time for that distance.
  • following a plan. I'm doing the PPB, Pete Plan for Beginners, which you'll find here: https://thepeteplan.wordpress.com/beginner-training/. It's 24 weeks which is quite a commitment, but I'm getting through it. On week 8 now, and currently up to 8,500m rows.
  • getting into the online logbook, and learning to love statistics. For the first time in 3 years, I'm on the 'Annual Meters Honor Board', and after every row I need to see how my ranking has improved. I make a note of it and aim to keep improving it.
  • checking my blood pressure from time to time. Steady rowing over 3 or 4 months has seen my BP drop from a level officially described as "High" to the "Normal" level. This sort of thing is very motivating.

Good luck!




Wonderful comment!
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Re: What is important?

Postby lindsayh » June 25th, 2018, 6:04 am

sekitori wrote:I now use a method called perceived exertion. It basically states that how you feel during a workout is more important than what a monitor shows. The theory behind it is that if you feel you aren't working hard enough, increase your effort until you feel that you are. If you feel that you're working too hard, ease up a little. Many people state that this idea doesn't have value for them. They say that it's just too simplistic and that checking numbers on a monitor is a better way to train. But in my particular case, perceived exertion works well. Except for time elapsed, I hardly ever look at the monitor. I used a heart rate monitor at one time but after many years of doing this, its use is no longer necessary. If someone asks me what my heart rate is at any time, I can tell them without actually checking it and be quite accurate--maybe not as exact as an HRM, but pretty close. As I said, the idea of perceived exertion may not be for everyone but If you care to know more about it, check out the website: https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/ba ... ertion.htm


My understanding is that the RPE (ranking of perceived exertion) has been shown to be in some ways superior to heart rate in assessing the intensity of a session and is certainly used in high performance labs (such as at the Australian Institute of sport) when working with elite athletes and their training programs. They use the originally described 4-20 system but most at our level can use the 1-10 effectively.
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