New to erging or wondering why you're not improving? Here's some good info.

General discussion on Training. How to get better on your erg, how to use your erg to get better at another sport, or anything else about improving your abilities.
Rod
10k Poster
Posts: 1022
Joined: December 21st, 2016, 9:55 am

New to erging or wondering why you're not improving? Here's some good info.

Post by Rod » May 23rd, 2020, 7:21 am

A good article here for anyone who's ever wondered why they're not improving and new people that want to know the best way to train;
http://whchambers.com/always-training-i ... ur-health/
62 year old, 72 kilo (159lbs), 5'8''/174cm (always the shortest on the podium!) male. Based in Sussex, just south of London, England. Best recent rows 60 mins.....16011 metres. 30 mins.....8215 metres.

User avatar
ampire
2k Poster
Posts: 211
Joined: October 28th, 2017, 7:11 pm

Re: New to erging or wondering why you're not improving? Here's some good info.

Post by ampire » May 23rd, 2020, 12:05 pm

Thanks this was a great read. I am very interested in improving my aerobic.

If I am doing 100KM/week or so aerobic training right now to build my aerobic base, what do you think is an approximate weekly ratio of UT2 to UT1?

The article recommend <75% MHR for majority of meters, and I have seen UT2 often defined as 55-70%MHR and UT1 as 65-80% MHR. So my question is one of how intense should the <75%MHR be, as there is a big difference between 55% and 75% MHR.
M34|5'8"/173CM|150lb/68KG|LWT|MHR~192BPM|2020: 5K 18:52.9 (@1:53.2/500)|C2-D+Slides

uk gearmuncher
500m Poster
Posts: 76
Joined: December 16th, 2019, 4:26 am

Re: New to erging or wondering why you're not improving? Here's some good info.

Post by uk gearmuncher » May 23rd, 2020, 1:49 pm

Rod wrote:
May 23rd, 2020, 7:21 am
A good article here for anyone who's ever wondered why they're not improving and new people that want to know the best way to train;
http://whchambers.com/always-training-i ... ur-health/
It’s a viewpoint to be sure but I would say the published science doesn’t support this view wholesale. There are many ways to skin the training cat. Whilst Seiler’s 80/20 polarised training or Maffetone’s principles are doing the rounds at the moment, it’s just not the only way.

Irrespective of how you choose to train, the basic training principles are: overload, recovery, progression and specificity. The reason I see people not progressing in sport is often not because of their training intensity distribution - it’s because their training programme is insufficient in one or more of those principles.

estragon
500m Poster
Posts: 56
Joined: March 23rd, 2015, 4:45 pm
Location: Switzerland

Re: New to erging or wondering why you're not improving? Here's some good info.

Post by estragon » May 23rd, 2020, 4:33 pm

There are many ways to skin the training cat.

Agreed. I'm no Erging expert but based on my experience as a runner I'd say that the title of the thread is a little misleading. I'd been running for a few years when I discovered the books of Dr George Sheehan, and his perspectives really opened my eyes. You can read about him yourself but one phrase that crops up more than once is that "an athlete is an experiment of one".

In other words, part of the voyage of discovery is establishing what works for you. And realising that what works for you isn't necessarily what works for the next person. The heart rate approach is long established, but never worked for me. Does this mean it's a bad approach? Absolutely not. But just as some ergers advocate the importance of session frequency or time spent or distance rowed, others focus on watts or drag factor or pace or stroke rate or calories or heart rate zones or some permutation of these elements. By all means look at all of these things. Then make up your own mind.

User avatar
hjs
Marathon Poster
Posts: 8995
Joined: March 16th, 2006, 3:18 pm
Location: Amstelveen the netherlands

Re: New to erging or wondering why you're not improving? Here's some good info.

Post by hjs » May 24th, 2020, 4:04 am

Like the others said, it depends, if you are on the very aerobic side of the spectrum this won,t do much, nomatter what you do, there are not many fast fibers, so it will be tough to go anaerobe. You are a slowstarter, and have a low peakspeed.

Other side, you are very anaerobic, fast starter, high peakspeed, but nomatter what you do, aerobic fitness will never be great. You natural strenght is speed.

The man in the middle, not really fast, not really great at long distance, but always liked to do shorter faster interval type of work. For this type trying this out could be worth a try.

User avatar
max_ratcliffe
6k Poster
Posts: 743
Joined: May 2nd, 2019, 11:01 pm

Re: New to erging or wondering why you're not improving? Here's some good info.

Post by max_ratcliffe » May 24th, 2020, 4:45 am

It obviously works for many people, and I'm actually giving it a go myself for a few months (so I'm not a complete skeptic). But there's something about the way that many Maffetone-related articles (not this one, actually - this is pretty fair) present their information that reminds me of the "eat yourself thin", or "get abs in just 3 mins a day" brigade.
49yo, 82kg
PBs (2019-2020): 1k=3:29.4; 2k=7:34.7; 5k=19:44; 6k=23:39; 30'=7534m; 10k=40.28; 60'=14621m; HM=1:28.22

2020 goals:
1k - sub 3:30; 30' > 7500m; 60' > 14600m; HM sub 1:29.00
2k - sub 7:15; 5k - sub 19:20; 10k - sub 40:00;

Dangerscouse
Half Marathon Poster
Posts: 3756
Joined: April 27th, 2014, 11:11 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: New to erging or wondering why you're not improving? Here's some good info.

Post by Dangerscouse » May 24th, 2020, 5:12 am

max_ratcliffe wrote:
May 24th, 2020, 4:45 am
It obviously works for many people, and I'm actually giving it a go myself for a few months (so I'm not a complete skeptic). But there's something about the way that many Maffetone-related articles (not this one, actually - this is pretty fair) present their information that reminds me of the "eat yourself thin", or "get abs in just 3 mins a day" brigade.
I do know what you mean about this Max. I do think that this is a relevant to what I used to do until fairly recently as I was a true believer in the Go Hard or Go Home theory.

Since my epiphany, I'm a big fan of Go Slow, to Get Fast
46 HWT; 6' 4"; 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:27; 6k= 21:09; 10k= 36:21 30mins= 8,428m 60mins= 16,331m HM= 1:18:40; FM= 2:45:49; 50k= 3:21:14; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you row"

Instagram: stuwenman

uk gearmuncher
500m Poster
Posts: 76
Joined: December 16th, 2019, 4:26 am

Re: New to erging or wondering why you're not improving? Here's some good info.

Post by uk gearmuncher » May 24th, 2020, 7:03 am

max_ratcliffe wrote:
May 24th, 2020, 4:45 am
It obviously works for many people, and I'm actually giving it a go myself for a few months (so I'm not a complete skeptic). But there's something about the way that many Maffetone-related articles (not this one, actually - this is pretty fair) present their information that reminds me of the "eat yourself thin", or "get abs in just 3 mins a day" brigade.
It’s because a lot of these articles prey on the need for people (without the knowledge or experience) to want to seek out ‘magic bullet’ approaches or ‘wonder sessions’. Not only is such thinking utter nonsense, it will lead to stagnation or failure. It’s not the fault of the original science but more so the fitness industry driving such approaches.

If 20 years of training has taught me anything, it’s that getting fit is far simpler than people make out but getting good is far more complicated than they say.

User avatar
max_ratcliffe
6k Poster
Posts: 743
Joined: May 2nd, 2019, 11:01 pm

Re: New to erging or wondering why you're not improving? Here's some good info.

Post by max_ratcliffe » May 24th, 2020, 7:27 am

uk gearmuncher wrote:
May 24th, 2020, 7:03 am
max_ratcliffe wrote:
May 24th, 2020, 4:45 am
It obviously works for many people, and I'm actually giving it a go myself for a few months (so I'm not a complete skeptic). But there's something about the way that many Maffetone-related articles (not this one, actually - this is pretty fair) present their information that reminds me of the "eat yourself thin", or "get abs in just 3 mins a day" brigade.
It’s because a lot of these articles prey on the need for people (without the knowledge or experience) to want to seek out ‘magic bullet’ approaches or ‘wonder sessions’. Not only is such thinking utter nonsense, it will lead to stagnation or failure. It’s not the fault of the original science but more so the fitness industry driving such approaches.

If 20 years of training has taught me anything, it’s that getting fit is far simpler than people make out but getting good is far more complicated than they say.
Yeah, the science is usually sound, although necessarily limited by both duration and sample ("we took 8 twenty year-old Finnish army recruits..."). It gets pounced on by others, both the well-intentioned and those out to make a quick buck.

When I said "Maffetone-related", I meant those who were parroting his, and Seiler's, work, rather than the original research.
49yo, 82kg
PBs (2019-2020): 1k=3:29.4; 2k=7:34.7; 5k=19:44; 6k=23:39; 30'=7534m; 10k=40.28; 60'=14621m; HM=1:28.22

2020 goals:
1k - sub 3:30; 30' > 7500m; 60' > 14600m; HM sub 1:29.00
2k - sub 7:15; 5k - sub 19:20; 10k - sub 40:00;

User avatar
Gammmmo
Half Marathon Poster
Posts: 2153
Joined: March 26th, 2016, 1:12 pm

Re: New to erging or wondering why you're not improving? Here's some good info.

Post by Gammmmo » May 24th, 2020, 7:34 am

uk gearmuncher wrote:
May 23rd, 2020, 1:49 pm
Rod wrote:
May 23rd, 2020, 7:21 am
A good article here for anyone who's ever wondered why they're not improving and new people that want to know the best way to train;
http://whchambers.com/always-training-i ... ur-health/
It’s a viewpoint to be sure but I would say the published science doesn’t support this view wholesale. There are many ways to skin the training cat. Whilst Seiler’s 80/20 polarised training or Maffetone’s principles are doing the rounds at the moment, it’s just not the only way.

Irrespective of how you choose to train, the basic training principles are: overload, recovery, progression and specificity. The reason I see people not progressing in sport is often not because of their training intensity distribution - it’s because their training programme is insufficient in one or more of those principles.
Here is my contention with it.....for the erg. This is predicated on me assuming that this is low intensity with lots of volume approach...think that's right. With the ergo it's very difficult to do enough volume c/w say on a bike.

Mark Allen used to take the predicated approach to an extreme...up to 35hrs/week. Worked for him. TBH for me, I've never really pushed my aerobic training on the ergo that hard and have more experience with bike-racing. All I know is that when I went for a high volume approach it made no difference....what did [Bryce - this was Tops zone3 approach - Andrew Coggan's work for an interpretation of what intensity this is] was a slightly higher intensity which meant about 8hrs/week was about all I could do. Similar sort of power that I could do a 100mile TT at which would take 3.5-3.75hrs. And even then only got a modest bump.
Paul, 48M, 5'11" 80kg (all PBs done as a LWT tho'), ex bike time trialler.
1min=350m Image
Targets: 355m+ 1min, 1:27(500m), 3:11(1K), bench 2 plates, squat 3 plates, deadlift 4 plates

Erg on!

User avatar
ampire
2k Poster
Posts: 211
Joined: October 28th, 2017, 7:11 pm

Re: New to erging or wondering why you're not improving? Here's some good info.

Post by ampire » May 24th, 2020, 9:45 am

I seem to improve the most when I do a lot of threshold (THR) 160-180BPM in comparison to HVT, POL, or HIIT. However you can only do so much of that a week and I am trying to get a good 7-8 hours, ~100KM/a week of training time, so I am trying the high volume training / low intensity (HVT) approach now like this article details. I am short, thin, and mostly anaerobic in fiber content so my wattage is really garbage at 130 BPM compared to what it is at 160BPM. The disappointing thing is I've been doing this for like 2 months though it has been a gradual increase each week in time and distance to arrive at the present time and distance, and since that time I haven't really seen any improvement in heart rate relative to wattage, while when I was hammering away at UT1 to threshold pace from like September 2019 to February 2020 I was getting much faster, though I didn't feel like I was recovering if I went over 45K/Week. I switched to the HVT style of training because I felt overtrained back in February after I did my last 5K TT.
Last edited by ampire on May 24th, 2020, 10:00 am, edited 2 times in total.
M34|5'8"/173CM|150lb/68KG|LWT|MHR~192BPM|2020: 5K 18:52.9 (@1:53.2/500)|C2-D+Slides

uk gearmuncher
500m Poster
Posts: 76
Joined: December 16th, 2019, 4:26 am

Re: New to erging or wondering why you're not improving? Here's some good info.

Post by uk gearmuncher » May 24th, 2020, 9:55 am

Gammmmo wrote:
May 24th, 2020, 7:34 am
uk gearmuncher wrote:
May 23rd, 2020, 1:49 pm
Rod wrote:
May 23rd, 2020, 7:21 am
A good article here for anyone who's ever wondered why they're not improving and new people that want to know the best way to train;
http://whchambers.com/always-training-i ... ur-health/
It’s a viewpoint to be sure but I would say the published science doesn’t support this view wholesale. There are many ways to skin the training cat. Whilst Seiler’s 80/20 polarised training or Maffetone’s principles are doing the rounds at the moment, it’s just not the only way.

Irrespective of how you choose to train, the basic training principles are: overload, recovery, progression and specificity. The reason I see people not progressing in sport is often not because of their training intensity distribution - it’s because their training programme is insufficient in one or more of those principles.
Here is my contention with it.....for the erg. This is predicated on me assuming that this is low intensity with lots of volume approach...think that's right. With the ergo it's very difficult to do enough volume c/w say on a bike.

Mark Allen used to take the predicated approach to an extreme...up to 35hrs/week. Worked for him. TBH for me, I've never really pushed my aerobic training on the ergo that hard and have more experience with bike-racing. All I know is that when I went for a high volume approach it made no difference....what did [Bryce - this was Tops zone3 approach - Andrew Coggan's work for an interpretation of what intensity this is] was a slightly higher intensity which meant about 8hrs/week was about all I could do. Similar sort of power that I could do a 100mile TT at which would take 3.5-3.75hrs. And even then only got a modest bump.
Yep, I was the same Paul. I’ve tried many approaches (and I can retain a high level of fitness relatively easily these days). I think part of our problem was I think that if your training history wasn’t bad and you’re already in your 40’s, it’s unreasonable to expect any power output gains by that point. The athletes who do seem to make dramatic gains were mainly either under trained or under recovered beforehand in my view. The difference between well thought out training interventions that adhere to the basic principles I mentioned earlier is pretty small in my view.

User avatar
Gammmmo
Half Marathon Poster
Posts: 2153
Joined: March 26th, 2016, 1:12 pm

Re: New to erging or wondering why you're not improving? Here's some good info.

Post by Gammmmo » May 24th, 2020, 1:14 pm

uk gearmuncher wrote:
May 24th, 2020, 9:55 am
Gammmmo wrote:
May 24th, 2020, 7:34 am
uk gearmuncher wrote:
May 23rd, 2020, 1:49 pm


It’s a viewpoint to be sure but I would say the published science doesn’t support this view wholesale. There are many ways to skin the training cat. Whilst Seiler’s 80/20 polarised training or Maffetone’s principles are doing the rounds at the moment, it’s just not the only way.

Irrespective of how you choose to train, the basic training principles are: overload, recovery, progression and specificity. The reason I see people not progressing in sport is often not because of their training intensity distribution - it’s because their training programme is insufficient in one or more of those principles.
Here is my contention with it.....for the erg. This is predicated on me assuming that this is low intensity with lots of volume approach...think that's right. With the ergo it's very difficult to do enough volume c/w say on a bike.

Mark Allen used to take the predicated approach to an extreme...up to 35hrs/week. Worked for him. TBH for me, I've never really pushed my aerobic training on the ergo that hard and have more experience with bike-racing. All I know is that when I went for a high volume approach it made no difference....what did [Bryce - this was Tops zone3 approach - Andrew Coggan's work for an interpretation of what intensity this is] was a slightly higher intensity which meant about 8hrs/week was about all I could do. Similar sort of power that I could do a 100mile TT at which would take 3.5-3.75hrs. And even then only got a modest bump.
Yep, I was the same Paul. I’ve tried many approaches (and I can retain a high level of fitness relatively easily these days). I think part of our problem was I think that if your training history wasn’t bad and you’re already in your 40’s, it’s unreasonable to expect any power output gains by that point. The athletes who do seem to make dramatic gains were mainly either under trained or under recovered beforehand in my view. The difference between well thought out training interventions that adhere to the basic principles I mentioned earlier is pretty small in my view.
The guy who started the thread...Rod, you may not be familiar with. He's low 60s and highly aerobic dominant. He's seen a tangible bump in performance e.g. ~15870m to ~16000m for the hour, since I think working with a coach. Whether you'd class that as dramatic or not is debateable. I'm wondering whether he's got this from the approach cited in his original post...it'd be interesting to hear of SOMEONE getting results with this approach. Suspect that more structure is partly helping. Whatever...bottom line...something has worked for him...and goodluck to him.
Paul, 48M, 5'11" 80kg (all PBs done as a LWT tho'), ex bike time trialler.
1min=350m Image
Targets: 355m+ 1min, 1:27(500m), 3:11(1K), bench 2 plates, squat 3 plates, deadlift 4 plates

Erg on!

Dangerscouse
Half Marathon Poster
Posts: 3756
Joined: April 27th, 2014, 11:11 am
Location: Liverpool, England

Re: New to erging or wondering why you're not improving? Here's some good info.

Post by Dangerscouse » May 24th, 2020, 2:12 pm

Gammmmo wrote:
May 24th, 2020, 1:14 pm
...it'd be interesting to hear of SOMEONE getting results with this approach. Suspect that more structure is partly helping. Whatever...bottom line...something has worked for him...and goodluck to him.
I can only attribute my recent PBs to this approach and doing more metres generally.

In 2017, when I last the vast majority of my PBs, I was doing the most metres I have ever done but only doing three sessions a week. I was generally well recovered and I was training hard, or at least I thought I was.

Too much of my training was in the grey zone, but not so much of it that I was always under recovered so I was making notable progress, but inevitably there's no way of knowing how much potential gains I was wasting through this approach.

In recent months I have, for the first time, slowed down my UT2 to circa 68-70% as a max instead of circa 78-80% and recently I have also PBed in four different sessions an I'm hopeful that I will PB in another three or four in the near future too. Something that I can only attribute to doing proper UT2 paces, not least as the distances that I'm doing, albeit more than they have been for quite a while, don't compare to my weekly distances in 2017.

I'm not sure what the definition of dramatic improvement is but I'm still on an upward curve in my fitness and form and I've been erging, on and off, for 20 years with a very consistent effort for the past eight years.
46 HWT; 6' 4"; 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:27; 6k= 21:09; 10k= 36:21 30mins= 8,428m 60mins= 16,331m HM= 1:18:40; FM= 2:45:49; 50k= 3:21:14; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you row"

Instagram: stuwenman

Rod
10k Poster
Posts: 1022
Joined: December 21st, 2016, 9:55 am

Re: New to erging or wondering why you're not improving? Here's some good info.

Post by Rod » May 25th, 2020, 1:40 am

Gammmmo wrote:
May 24th, 2020, 1:14 pm
The guy who started the thread...Rod, you may not be familiar with. He's low 60s and highly aerobic dominant. He's seen a tangible bump in performance e.g. ~15870m to ~16000m for the hour, since I think working with a coach. Whether you'd class that as dramatic or not is debateable. I'm wondering whether he's got this from the approach cited in his original post...it'd be interesting to hear of SOMEONE getting results with this approach. Suspect that more structure is partly helping. Whatever...bottom line...something has worked for him...and goodluck to him.
I got my most dramatic improvements in all my erg performances around 2 years ago when a friend introduced me to the ''Maffetone Method'' as before I had just been ''blasting away'' and not using a Heart Rate monitor.

I also added fast sessions to my schedule which Maffetone does advocate after a ''base building'' period of aerobic development and is also backed up by Seiler and his ''Polarised Training'' so was progressing nicely but still felt I was maybe not getting my race preparation and ratios of hard/medium/easy/aerobic/anaerobic training quite right so started working with a coach (Eddie Fletcher, who is well known in Indoor Rowing and trains many top sportspeople across a range of sports) about a year ago and have made more progress under him...and still hoping for a bit more.... :wink:

I posted the article which is from a coach in a social media rowing group I'm in as I think it's good info for those that may be new to the sport or (Like I once did) are feeling that their training is not getting them the kind of results they feel they have the potential for.

There are indeed many ways to train for what we want to achieve and we're all different but it certainly helps to know what's ''out there'' and what may at least be worth looking at to see what you could change to help move you forward.
62 year old, 72 kilo (159lbs), 5'8''/174cm (always the shortest on the podium!) male. Based in Sussex, just south of London, England. Best recent rows 60 mins.....16011 metres. 30 mins.....8215 metres.

Post Reply