Accuracy of the PM5

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.
lostboy
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Accuracy of the PM5

Post by lostboy » September 28th, 2020, 8:30 pm

So new owners for about six weeks, my wife and I, both in good shape, bike , lift weights, walk 25plus miles a week , sail competitively. I'm starting to doubt the pm5 and mostly using it as a clock. Early on it seemed to reflect the difference in our performance but lately not so much, example, today at 30 s/pm it said I would complete 500m in 2:30 but at consistent 33 s/pm, 500m in 2:42, faster should be shorter time. Rowed for 30min. off my usual distance by 265m. Have noticed this the last six times I rowed, I mark it down on top of instant readings and vary my pace to monitor the accuracy. Anybody else notice this or am I missing something.

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Citroen
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Re: Accuracy of the PM5

Post by Citroen » September 28th, 2020, 8:42 pm

That's not how rowing works.

You can cover the same distance at 20 SPM or 30 SPM in the same amount of time. It's all about the pace for 500m (which is derived from the number of watts you're putting into each stroke). Admitedly at 20 SPM each stroke has to have more power on the drive, but you get more time on the recovery. You gain nothing by being a Duracell or Energizer Bunny.

If your pace is 2:42 you're very likely doing it all as arms only. You're not using your legs enough (or at all).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uM06MQqEN0E is a good starting point for learning to row rather than hauling anchor in a storm.

lostboy
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Re: Accuracy of the PM5

Post by lostboy » September 28th, 2020, 8:56 pm

Don't really understand, been watching videos, my daughter is a personal trainer and she's watched me row, drive with the legs and so on, flywheel at 8 , always, which is easy for me, ex-competitive power lifter, amateur bodybuilder, early 60's but look like 40. Want to get this right.

lostboy
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Re: Accuracy of the PM5

Post by lostboy » September 28th, 2020, 9:06 pm

Watched the vid, watched it before, rowing more to belly button than lower pecs, but pushing off hard with my legs on the drive as I'm a 400lb squatter so lots of power on the push, haven't looked at the watts, usually set on just row.

Allan Olesen
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Re: Accuracy of the PM5

Post by Allan Olesen » September 29th, 2020, 1:19 am

lostboy wrote:
September 28th, 2020, 9:06 pm
haven't looked at the watts.
Then start doing that.

The watts will tell how intensely you row. Your strokes per minute (SPM) will not.

There is no fixed relationship between effort and strokes per minute. You can easily row at high SPM and low watts - that is just a question of doing it wrong enough. You can also row at low SPM and high watts - that is just a question of doing it correct enough.

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Re: Accuracy of the PM5

Post by jamesg » September 29th, 2020, 1:40 am

You need to learn to row and your damper setting 8 is too high.

You are pulling slow short strokes with no force, probably arms only, but trying to compensate with high ratings. This is not rowing: when we row, it's the boat that goes fast, not us. We can go as slow as we like, and rating 20-22 is enough for most learning and training purposes, if there is work in each stroke. Putting that work into each single stroke is what has to be learnt, since nothing else can move the boat.

In numbers, I pull about 124 cm each stroke with 32 kg force, at rating 20 (spm) on drag factor 88. This is 1.24 x 32g x 20/60 = 130 Watt, exactly what the PM and ergdata tell me. It's not much, but keeps me fit.

If you want to know why, you have to think basic physics/engineering: Work = Length x Force, and Power = Work/Time. Only power shifts boats.

If you develop your technique you can easily pull 200 watt at rating 20. The ratio 200/20 = 10 is the work in each stroke.

Two Olympic oarsmen:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pf84O5cTWY4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0dzPz0tD5I
08-1940, 183cm, 84kg. Last seen MHR 155, in 2k (2020-12-03) 8.47.6@23

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hjs
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Re: Accuracy of the PM5

Post by hjs » September 29th, 2020, 4:15 am

lostboy wrote:
September 28th, 2020, 8:56 pm
Don't really understand, been watching videos, my daughter is a personal trainer and she's watched me row, drive with the legs and so on, flywheel at 8 , always, which is easy for me, ex-competitive power lifter, amateur bodybuilder, early 60's but look like 40. Want to get this right.
You can put 20 pound on a squatbar and make it look alright. Its about how much is really on the bar.

You can pull at rate 33 at high drag. But still not put any energy in the wheel. Thats what you are doing now.
You number goal should be to learn to put energy in the chain.
Put the damper down, read about dragfactor.
Get the spm down, try 24.
Get the watts per stroke up.

Once you pull a few strong strokes you right away know what you did wrong before. You pull like a baby, slow and without effort. That should be pretty hard and snappy.

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Re: Accuracy of the PM5

Post by Carl Watts » September 29th, 2020, 4:43 am

Did you buy the erg new ?

If you got it second hand first just check its configured to the right model of rower and you can then rule out a PM5 problem.

Your pace is really really slow for some reason so your not using your legs to put power into the stroke.

With enough leg speed and power the 500m feels like a leg press of about 70 reps non stop and it will kill your legs
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lindsayh
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Re: Accuracy of the PM5

Post by lindsayh » September 29th, 2020, 6:57 am

lostboy wrote:
September 28th, 2020, 8:56 pm
don't really understand, been watching videos, my daughter is a personal trainer and she's watched me row, drive with the legs and so on, flywheel at 8 , always, which is easy for me, ex-competitive power lifter, amateur bodybuilder, early 60's but look like 40. Want to get this right.
As others have said the erg is the ultimate truth machine and it is almost certain that the PM5 is telling the truth and the truth is a very weak stroke producing slow times. Not too surprising though as you are new to it and it takes a while to get it right even though it isn't super complicated.
You have the physical equipment and especially the strength to do it well with better technique and fitness.
Firstly read this and follow the embedded links it will be a day well spent and particularly learn about drag factor.
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=185257
There are a number of other very good new rower threads here too with very useful information.
Even this one currently running here: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=191347&start=30

With great respect to your daughter in my (very long) experience there are very few gym/personal trainers who have any real knowledge of how the rower works and how to use it. A tip off is that she is letting you row at a damper setting of 8 which is way too high unless you are using a second hand dirty machine and a rookie error that most trainers and many new users don't get right.
Forget about damper setting altogether and just talk in terms of drag factor and use one in the 120-130 range and no higher.
Use your legs - this is a pushing not a pulling exercise - try some strapless drills perhaps
Slow down your stroke rate to say 22-25 and concentrate on a stronger more powerful stroke based on leg drive.
You could aim over the next months to get fit enough with a good technique for a goal of say 5k-30min at 2:00 - 2:10 pace - if you are competitive and go hard the sky is still the limit in the 60+ group
Lindsay
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PBs (65y+) 1 min 349m, 500m 1:29.8, 1k 3:11.7 2k 6:47.4, 5km 18:07.9, 30' 7928m, 10k 37:57.2, 60' 15368m

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Re: Accuracy of the PM5

Post by mitchel674 » September 29th, 2020, 7:55 am

lostboy wrote:
September 28th, 2020, 8:56 pm
Don't really understand, been watching videos, my daughter is a personal trainer and she's watched me row, drive with the legs and so on, flywheel at 8 , always, which is easy for me, ex-competitive power lifter, amateur bodybuilder, early 60's but look like 40. Want to get this right.
Welcome.

You have a weak rowing stroke, but it can be fixed. Some good advice in this thread to a fellow newbie who presented here with a weak stroke and has made some impressive strides in just a few days.
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=191347

Your daughter may be a great personal trainer, but she probably doesn't know much about rowing. Consider posting a video of your technique here for some critique.
55yo male, 6ft, 154lbs

lostboy
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Re: Accuracy of the PM5

Post by lostboy » September 29th, 2020, 9:00 am

Thank you all for your replies and suggestions. Back to the drawing board, I'll review all the links, and threads and attempt to re-educate myself as to what I'm doing wrong and correct it. I'll report on my progress as I really want to get this right.

MoonPlanet
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Re: Accuracy of the PM5

Post by MoonPlanet » September 29th, 2020, 9:20 am

The thing with a rowing machine is regardless of what you set the resistance to, it will only resist as hard as you pull it. If you give it weak pulls, the flywheel won't move very fast so it won't have much resistance. It's totally different from weights where the resistance is independent of speed - even a super weak person will be able to make the flywheel move on damper 10 (admittedly very slowly). You want a fast drive and a recovery that takes 2-3 times as long - really push hard with the legs and consider lowering the damper setting. At the start of the stroke you should think about pushing the footplate away rather than pulling the handle.
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2k: 7:13.2
30r20: 7630m

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Re: Accuracy of the PM5

Post by mromero680 » September 29th, 2020, 1:16 pm

Jamesg that second video of the Olympian on the C2 is one of the best I've seen. A really good prompt for releasing the arms on the recovery by dropping the hands. It does show how much of a difference height makes. He's almost touching the flywheel on each stroke. If the stroke should be long, front-loaded and leg-driven that length separates an Olympian from us mortals!
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500m: 1:36.9/ 2k: 6:59.2 / 5k: 18:53.2 / 30min: 7762 / 10k: 38:52.0 (2020 PBs)

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Re: Accuracy of the PM5

Post by Dangerscouse » September 29th, 2020, 2:37 pm

lostboy wrote:
September 29th, 2020, 9:00 am
Thank you all for your replies and suggestions. Back to the drawing board, I'll review all the links, and threads and attempt to re-educate myself as to what I'm doing wrong and correct it. I'll report on my progress as I really want to get this right.
It looks simple enough, and well suited to someone being able to muscle their way through it, but there are many ways to leak power and aerobic fitness is very important too.

You've got a good mindset, and willingness to learn, so you will improve, but stay patient as there are no short cuts: I have looked high and low. Best of luck to you
47 HWT; 6' 4"; 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:24; 6k= 21:09; 10k= 35:46 30mins= 8,428m 60mins= 16,461m HM= 1:16.47; FM= 2:44:04; 50k= 3:16:09; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you row"

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ampire
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Re: Accuracy of the PM5

Post by ampire » September 29th, 2020, 2:42 pm

lostboy wrote:
September 28th, 2020, 8:56 pm
Don't really understand, been watching videos, my daughter is a personal trainer and she's watched me row, drive with the legs and so on, flywheel at 8 , always, which is easy for me, ex-competitive power lifter, amateur bodybuilder, early 60's but look like 40. Want to get this right.
Try setting the lever around 5 instead. Or better yet go into the menu and check the drag factor which is what that lever adjusts, and move the lever around until you end up somewhere between 100 -130. Take a look at these videos
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VE663Kg0c00
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JLyOyWls9_Y
M34|5'8"/173CM|150lb/68KG|LWT|MHR 192|RHR 42|2020: 5K 18:52.9 (@1:53.2/500)|C2-D+Slides+EndureRow Seat

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