Rowing hard and getting bigger?

Rowing for weight loss or weight control? Start here.

Rowing hard and getting bigger?

Postby T_M » November 3rd, 2015, 6:54 pm

Greetings forum members...

Seems the more I erg the bigger I get...sort of...

Since my teens, I have trained pretty consistently. I think the term "crosstraining" probably best describes my approached over the years though I have emphasized one thing or another in different decades. In my teens and early twenties, strength training was my priority; mid twenties to mid thirties, distance running (5 -10K) and recreational basketball were my priorities with weight training in the background; late thirties to late forties back to weights with about a five year stint focused on powerlifting; from my late forties to the present day, cardio has been my priority with erging being the dominant form of training for the last approx. year and a half.

My first year of erging, I averaged about 41K per week and for the past nine months or so, I have been averaging over 50K. Virtually all of my erging is relatively long steady state UT2-UT1 range work averaging about 70 - 75% HRR. A typical session is 10-12K r20-21 @ 2:05-2:06. I still do some weights and I've surprisingly maintained more of my strength than I thought I would spending so much time on the erg. Time spent weight training is about 25% of my total weekly training time. I do compound movements: deadlifts, front squats, power cleans, strict overhead presses and occasionally some incline dumbbell presses if my shoulder lets me.

I feel that my fitness has improved significantly since I started erging (just passed the 3 million meter mark). The quality and quantity of my calorie intake has remained pretty much the same. And my lifting is not directed toward chasing PRs...so rarely do I pursue a 1 rep max or do heavy triples (save the occasional deadlift session). I did not start erging to lose weight or size though I kind of expected that might be a byproduct of the sport...but if anything I feel like I'm getting bigger! I can see my abs more than in the past but my torso seem thicker (pants a little more snug around the waist and hips) and I've put on about 5 or 6 pounds over the past 1.5 years. Could it be that rowing is adding a little muscle mass to my posterior chain of muscles?
M, 56, 6'3", 235
T_M
2k Poster
 
Posts: 251
Joined: August 8th, 2014, 3:43 pm
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: Rowing hard and getting bigger?

Postby Bob S. » November 3rd, 2015, 8:11 pm

T_M wrote:I did not start erging to lose weight or size though I kind of expected that might be a byproduct of the sport...but if anything I feel like I'm getting bigger! I can see my abs more than in the past but my torso seem thicker (pants a little more snug around the waist and hips) and I've put on about 5 or 6 pounds over the past 1.5 years. Could it be that rowing is adding a little muscle mass to my posterior chain of muscles?


To me snugness in the waist and hips would be a warning flag. Have you checked on your % body fat in the last few years? You are at the age where your metabolism slows down a lot and keeping up the same calorie intake is going to result in weight gain even though you are getting a lot of exercise. I remember going through that phase in my 50s and I learned that I really had to put a strong curb on my appetite.
Bob S.
Marathon Poster
 
Posts: 5142
Joined: March 16th, 2006, 12:00 pm

Re: Rowing hard and getting bigger?

Postby Carl Watts » November 3rd, 2015, 11:08 pm

You really need to know your body fat percentage before you take up the erg.

For me the result has been a combination of weight gain through increased muscle but at the same time overall weight loss due to reduced body fat.

I just use some body fat scales, very useful you just put in your sex, height, age and fitness level (3 to choose from) and away you go.

Okay so it may not give you an absolute result but your not interested in that your interested in the relative result over time.

By the way they are better than the caliper test, did that to compare and it took like 15 minutes, the scales gave me the same result in 5 seconds.
Carl Watts.
Age:50 Weight: 100kg Height:183cm Body fat:20%
Concept 2 Monitor Service Technician & indoor rower.
http://log.concept2.com/profile/863525/log
User avatar
Carl Watts
Half Marathon Poster
 
Posts: 2671
Joined: January 8th, 2010, 4:35 pm
Location: NEW ZEALAND

Re: Rowing hard and getting bigger?

Postby hjs » November 4th, 2015, 4:38 am

Maybe a bit, compared to other endurence sports rowing is a bit more strenghtoriented, rowers are often easy to spot, strong legs and backside, with often a bit of a chicken chest. The front does not much work.
That said, its proberly what Bob said, your erging is relative easy and with not very much meters, so all in all that does not that much energy.
For my training see twitter @Hjsrowing
User avatar
hjs
Marathon Poster
 
Posts: 6812
Joined: March 16th, 2006, 3:18 pm
Location: Amstelveen the netherlands

Re: Rowing hard and getting bigger?

Postby T_M » November 4th, 2015, 12:12 pm

Thanks for the replies.

Yup, I guess I feared as much...as far as the decreased metabolism goes. And driving a desk for a living doesn't help much either.

Carl, I had a caliper test done about 20 years ago when I was a svelt 12%. I'm definitely higher than that now. I've seen some inexpensive body fat measuring scales at my local Costco...I'll consider picking one up. As you indicated, it's not so much the accuracy as it is the trend.
M, 56, 6'3", 235
T_M
2k Poster
 
Posts: 251
Joined: August 8th, 2014, 3:43 pm
Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Re: Rowing hard and getting bigger?

Postby Carl Watts » November 4th, 2015, 4:22 pm

12%, nice I never even worried about body fat and measuring it when I would have been down at that, probably age 16-17 at the latest.

Started seriously rowing some years ago now in the early 40's at 28% body fat and 108Kg and now its 21% and 101Kg.

If you do the math and strip yourself down to 0% body fat you can workout the body composition change from the numbers. It does also pay to do the numbers to arrive at a sensible target of fat loss, for example its actually now impossible for me to get back to the weight I was at age 21, the lowest I can remember is 78Kg on return from Europe after being sick for a week.

The scales I have are made by SALTER and run on one CR2032 Lithium coin cell battery that lasts about 10 years.
Carl Watts.
Age:50 Weight: 100kg Height:183cm Body fat:20%
Concept 2 Monitor Service Technician & indoor rower.
http://log.concept2.com/profile/863525/log
User avatar
Carl Watts
Half Marathon Poster
 
Posts: 2671
Joined: January 8th, 2010, 4:35 pm
Location: NEW ZEALAND


Return to Weight Loss & Weight Control

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest