New to rowing...

Rowing for weight loss or weight control? Start here.

New to rowing...

Postby Rylant » October 2nd, 2016, 4:34 am

Hello,

A little backstory. I am 47 years old, and I have always struggled with my weight; recently hit the 400 pound mark. Of course my doctor has always been concerned, and I have decided to try to take things in a better direction. About 5 weeks ago, I changed my diet and started eating better, and pulled the Concept 2 out of the closet, as it had been gathering dust for years.

At first, it was hard; I knew it would be. I was able to start with 10 minute rowing intervals, and at first, I did it a couple of times a day. I started adding 30 seconds of rowing a day, and it is to the point where I am now able to do a 30 minute row, and I row every day. Usually, I row in the morning when I wake up; I find it hard to row after I have eaten; I am not sure if that is normal.

So, I have lost about 15 pounds in the last 5 week (yay me), but I have noticed a few things. At first, I thought it was just a case of getting in, and rowing. I wasn't really concerned with the numbers I was hitting, or my form. I have paid attention to these things over the last week or so, and thought I would share them in case I can change anything to become more efficient.

My form; I have recently watched video of good rowing form, and I am a little off. At the beginning of my stroke, I lean in less, and at the end of my stroke, I lean back less. I use my legs a lot, and my arms a little, but I think the reason I don't lean in too far is because of my belly which prevents me from leaning in too far, and I think the reason I don't lean back much at the end of the stroke is also because of my weight and not being comfortable leaning back much. So ya, there's that...

I don't change my intensity throughout the row at all. I finish at fairly close to the same intensity that I start with. I tend to average about 32 strokes per minute, which I see seems to be high. I assume it is faster because I am not hitting ideal form. I also tend to do about 6000 meters throughout a 30 minute row, which turns out to be a 2:30 split time, which also is pretty low. My 30 minute distance is slowly increasing, so I do know that I am getting better at it. Also, I never knew there was a resistance setting until recently, and it seems as though I have been rowing at a very low intensity; maybe a 2 or so.

So a couple of questions. My primary concern is weight loss, and having lost a bit already, obviously something is working. So, is my poor form a big concern? I am not sure I can slow it down much and lengthen the stroke at the beginning and end because of my weight. At the end of my sessions, I feel great. I am sweating fairly heavily, and my heart rate gets to around 140-150.

Is it important to take a rest day? I have heard conflicting reports on this. In the last 5 weeks, I have only missed 1 day of rowing because I was just starting, and I was fairly sore from the day before's row. Now, I tend to be slightly sore from my rows, but it is not severe by any means.

Also, should I change the resistance or intensity of my row now? Obviously, for my first little jaunt back into rowing, I was just trying to become comfortable with it again. Now that I seem to be getting the feel for it, I am willing to change it up a bit to get better results.

So, thanks for listening. Any insight here would be much appreciated.

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Re: New to rowing...

Postby hjs » October 2nd, 2016, 6:27 am

In your case, doing the work, any work is key. Your current body does not make it possible to use "common" rowing style yet..
It will slowly get there. Keeping your diet is number one. For people like you a low carb diet is the most easy. Lots to find on that on the net.

http://Dietdoctor.com is a good place to look.

Good you got started, go for the long run !
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Re: New to rowing...

Postby Bob S. » October 2nd, 2016, 11:36 am

About the damper setting - it's not a resistance level in the usual sense. Check out Damper Setting 101:
http://www.concept2.com/indoor-rowers/t ... etting-101
Also, the real number that you need is the drag factor, which can be found on the monitor. It varies with the damper setting, but also with the atmospheric pressure, but mostly with the cleanliness of the cage around the wheel. This does not apply if you have the really old models, A or B, which do not have closed cages. Learn what you can about drag factor from the C2 website. There is also a lot of discussion about it on this forum, but a search here would be quite overwhelming.

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Re: New to rowing...

Postby lindsayh » October 2nd, 2016, 5:50 pm

well done so far
I agree with Henry - don't worry about perfect technique yet - just not possible until tummy reduces a fair bit
Food reduction is king!
this may help if you haven't seen it
http://indoorsportservices.co.uk/weightloss/interactive
and
http://www.concept2.com/indoor-rowers/training/rowing-for-specific-goals/weight-loss
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Re: New to rowing...

Postby Shawn Baker » October 4th, 2016, 11:55 pm

Yep, Henry is absolutely correct!! I would definitely check out the web site he listed as it is an outstanding reference for getting diet sorted out- by far the most important step in regaining health- rowing will be good as well, but if you don't sort out diet it is likely going to be of minimal help
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Re: New to rowing...

Postby skiffrace » November 5th, 2016, 6:28 am

For people like you a low carb diet is the most easy. Lots to find on that on the net.


Pray tell how do you know what is good for "people like you"?
Did you perform a complete blood/metabolic analysis remotely all the way from Holland?

Low carb [==animal carcases diet] = heart disease, cancer, diabetes, bad breath +100 other afflictions known to man.
Perhaps not this month or year, and not the next, but eventually...

Now go ahead and argue again about the "low carb miracle", and how well it is working for you: there is a mountain the size of Everest of studies concluding the opposite, vs. scraps of annecdotal "evidence" by lipid-loading true believers (Internet is patient, and will take any bs posted without complaints).

If the OP is serious about his health, fitness and appearance, something like this is the way to go:
https://www.ornish.com/proven-program/nutrition/
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Re: New to rowing...

Postby Shawn Baker » November 5th, 2016, 8:53 pm

https://phcuk.org/wp-content/uploads/20 ... 0.2016.pdf

Above are 55 studies comparing Low carb vs Low fat diets

Below a recent photo of Dean Ornish

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Re: New to rowing...

Postby Brewster » November 5th, 2016, 10:03 pm

That photo is is worth a whole lot more than the traditional thousand words. Forgive my PC euphemism, but Ornish is one pudgy character. That jacket hides a lot, but I’d guess him somewhere in the high end of overweight and close to if not obese. I’m sure pix of him in full competitive cycling kit would be riotous. He’s not exactly a poster child for his own diet plan.
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Re: New to rowing...

Postby hjs » November 6th, 2016, 5:26 am

Brewster wrote:That photo is is worth a whole lot more than the traditional thousand words. Forgive my PC euphemism, but Ornish is one pudgy character. That jacket hides a lot, but I’d guess him somewhere in the high end of overweight and close to if not obese. I’m sure pix of him in full competitive cycling kit would be riotous. He’s not exactly a poster child for his own diet plan.


True, trouble is once you have been very overweight, nomatter what you never get fully lean again, and other point is training / being physical Active, a healthy body needs to work. Look at the upperbody of a cyclist, zero strenght, more or useless for anything.
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Re: New to rowing...

Postby lindsayh » November 6th, 2016, 6:51 am

skiffrace wrote:If the OP is serious about his health, fitness and appearance, something like this is the way to go:
https://www.ornish.com/proven-program/nutrition/


I don't have a strong view either way but am a carnivore that eats sensibly most of the time I think. (although I erg to eat rather than eat to erg!!)
I am pretty sceptical though of any nutrition program that claims to cure cancer as one of its attributes.
I suspect the evidence in the lo carb court is better than anecdotal as well.
There is a moderate middle road that suits most of us.
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Re: New to rowing...

Postby skiffrace » November 6th, 2016, 9:14 am

I am pretty sceptical though of any nutrition program that claims to cure cancer as one of its attributes.

Not cure, but substantially reduce the risk.

I suspect the evidence in the lo carb court is better than anecdotal as well.

Yes, short term studies that indicate some people can lose weight on blubber-loading diet.
Those studies do not show the cancer a decade or 2 down the road.
What is know is that populations with low-animal food intakes (Okinawans, 7th Day Adventists) have low rates of major civilisational diseases compared with meat-eating populations.

As for Ornish being out of shape? You can get overweight on almost any diet if you eat too much. Would you rather be overweight and healthy, or slim and potentially very sick? If the latter, perhaps consider smoking.
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Re: New to rowing...

Postby hjs » November 6th, 2016, 9:45 am

skiffrace wrote:
I am pretty sceptical though of any nutrition program that claims to cure cancer as one of its attributes.

Not cure, but substantially reduce the risk.

I suspect the evidence in the lo carb court is better than anecdotal as well.

Yes, short term studies that indicate some people can lose weight on blubber-loading diet.
Those studies do not show the cancer a decade or 2 down the road.
What is know is that populations with low-animal food intakes (Okinawans, 7th Day Adventists) have low rates of major civilisational diseases compared with meat-eating populations.

As for Ornish being out of shape? You can get overweight on almost any diet if you eat too much. Would you rather be overweight and healthy, or slim and potentially very sick? If the latter, perhaps consider smoking.


Low carb food regulats food intake, thats why it helps getting overweight people back on a normal weight.

Being overweight very rarely goes together with being healthy.

20 year cancer down the road, based on what? The current low carb trend is still pretty short lived. Not like the high carb, low fat advice which has given us current western health.
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Re: New to rowing...

Postby Shawn Baker » November 6th, 2016, 10:33 am

Henry, the "low carb" diet has been around for about 2 million years (while acknowledging that some hunter gatherers ate more plants depending on geographic area)- the "blue zone" populations without exception have diets that are very low in sugar and highly refined carbohydrates. Sugar was not even eaten to any significant degree until about 1700- modern fruit has been bred to be far larger and with a much higher fructose content than our ancestors hasd access to. There are almost no studies, excepting weak associational epidemiologic studies, that show meat or saturated fat cause cancer or disease- they all tend to have hazard ratio below 1.2 which are clinically meaningless. Eating nutrient rich foods devoid of empty calories is clearly, in my view, the way to go. Ethically raised and well sourced animal foods are some of the most nutrient dense as well as some of the most ancient foods in existence.
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Re: New to rowing...

Postby hjs » November 6th, 2016, 11:57 am

Shawn Baker wrote:Henry, the "low carb" diet has been around for about 2 million years (while acknowledging that some hunter gatherers ate more plants depending on geographic area)- the "blue zone" populations without exception have diets that are very low in sugar and highly refined carbohydrates. Sugar was not even eaten to any significant degree until about 1700- modern fruit has been bred to be far larger and with a much higher fructose content than our ancestors hasd access to. There are almost no studies, excepting weak associational epidemiologic studies, that show meat or saturated fat cause cancer or disease- they all tend to have hazard ratio below 1.2 which are clinically meaningless. Eating nutrient rich foods devoid of empty calories is clearly, in my view, the way to go. Ethically raised and well sourced animal foods are some of the most nutrient dense as well as some of the most ancient foods in existence.


Yes, I was talking about the "short term" look in the shops, thats what we eat. Smoking, was very big, often still is, alcohol ditto, sugar, thats more a thing from the 25 years. Cheap oils, etc etc. To blame eating meat for current health issues is ludricus. There are so many things involved its tough to pinpoint just one.

If you need natural, there limited options for concentrated carbs, fruit a bit, honey. But for the rest its hard to get a lot of carbs in. A high concentrated carb diet is simply very unnatural. Also eating things, like ae currently do, that need to be transported far, again, very unnatural. Eating lots of fruit year round, unnatural.
Fruits had one big purpose, building reseves for the winter, not for nothing fructose works so well to get fat. Its supposed to do so!

Thinking about it, I have a simple basic thought. Lifeforms on earth have developed next to eachother over a long time, so those are ones we are supposed to eat, like every animal in nature still does. Its only a short while we humans are changing, concentrating etc Foods. Look around us we see the results.
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Re: New to rowing...

Postby skiffrace » November 8th, 2016, 6:29 am

the "low carb" diet has been around for about 2 million years (while acknowledging that some hunter gatherers ate more plants depending on geographic area)- the "blue zone" populations without exception have diets that are very low in sugar and highly refined carbohydrates.

Agree about the refined carbohydrates - they are new to our diet and useless.

Since hominids and great apes branched-off 10 million years ago, our ancestors lived in warm Africa, with it's aboundance and variety of food sources. The diet of hunters-gatherers consisted of eating plants they gathered on a daily basic, occassionally suplemented with meat they managed to hunt.

However, it does not matter what they ate.

Our ancestors died early, typically of physical violence, or bacterial infections. Very few of them reached the age (40s and beyond) where cancer and heart disease really start showing up. Hence, promoting diets that are "natural" (from the chronological perspective) is meaningless - humans ate what was available, not what was good for their long-term health.

If given a choice, a lot of mammals, including humans, will gorge on fatty, protein-rich foods. This type of food causes rapid growth, early sexual maturity and reproduction - good for the specie, bad for the individual's healthy longevity.

High-fat diet feels good, hence many become convinced that it is good, and go to great lenghts to construct a mental framework in support of that belief.
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