Ski Erg for Max Cardio-How To Maximize?

Talk about the ski ergometer and training tool from Concept2
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Ski Erg for Max Cardio-How To Maximize?

Post by Jeremy44 » July 14th, 2018, 3:23 am

Hello Ski Erg Forum

I am 44 years old, former runner, retired at 33 due to OA, competed at university track (100m, 200m, 1500s) and in late twenties switched to 5ks and half-marathons.

About 5 years ago bought a ski erg while injured from other training but never really used it.

Moved across the country, brought it out of garage, now using it again. Intend to use it 3 times a week long term purely for cardiovascular training. Not strength. Not strength-endurance. Not power. I get that from other workouts. Just for max cardio.

I don't expect the Ski Erg to match running or any other endurance sport for cardiovascular gains. But I'm doing my best with it. Resistance on low. Started out with 500m pulls. Did first 2000m today. Took about ten minutes. Probably could have kept my mouth closed the whole time. Pulling down harder or faster just seems to work my upper body muscles, but not my heart and lungs.

Is it not possible to train the heart and lungs more than the upper body with this machine somehow?

Looking for long time ski erg dudes' advise and experience. Not just "lower resistance" or "pull more often".

Not that I can think of anything else myself.

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Re: Ski Erg for Max Cardio-How To Maximize?

Post by hjs » July 14th, 2018, 5:06 am

You certainly can train your aerobic fitness, but you need to get your upperbody strenght to improve. In most sports, maybe not swimming, its the bigger lower body muscle that do the most work. Not so on the skierg. Upperbody does the bulk of the work.
Don,t know how big you are, lean bodyweight is important, but if you pull 10min over 2k, and hardly have to breath you can,t expect much gains. Pull longer and faster. In the end its just like any other sport.

Drag, very low drag is not needed, I don,t like high drag, but most good skiers use pretty high drag.
Ratings, its important to rate up. 40 spm or more is common. On low drag that is difficult.
Stroke lenght, don,t go to long, keep the strokes snappy and don,t squat much. The lats upperback do the work.
And you need volume, aerobic fitness is about volume, 5k is the absolute minimum. In one go or in interval format, but either way, you need meters.
For my training see twitter @Hjsrowing

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Re: Ski Erg for Max Cardio-How To Maximize?

Post by johnlvs2run » July 14th, 2018, 10:53 am

Greetings.
I ordered a skierg yesterday and am looking forward to use it.
My questions are similar. I'm planning to do a moderate session the first day, at lowest drag and a light spm.

I'm interested to firm up my abs, core, lats, shoulders, gluts, but not to add any bulk.
Seeing top skiiers, such as Johan Olsson in this video, training well on the skierg has helped me to see this is possible.

The hardest part now is waiting the next 10 days for arrival.
72, 5'8", 155lbs
Let's develop a watts per weight ranking system.
my training log

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Re: Ski Erg for Max Cardio-How To Maximize?

Post by Jeremy44 » July 14th, 2018, 11:04 am

Hi and thanks for the note,

I'm about 185 and around 10% body fat, used to lift a lot of weights as a kid, mostly bodyweight exercises and yoga now, not as strong as I look, much more of an endurance guy. The upper body is probably stronger than most newbies to the ski erg for the pull down movement, although it's definately a new exercise so yeah hopefully over time I will be able to shift from strength emphasis to increase the spm...

What exactly is spm? Strokes per minute? Yes 40-45 is pretty much where I'm at. Maybe try to take it to 50?

Not sure what drag is exactly...I keep the wheel set at resistance of 1 to keep the pressure off strength/power as much as possible

Stroke length I find myself bending over a lot when pulling the cable downward, almost bowing. It's farther than in the demos but seems to make the stroke much smoother. Don't squat much, try to make sure I do or I probably would keep legs too firm. Feel it a lot in lats and upper back and pecs and triceps too. Could that be better?

Yes, volume. Thinking of maybe one or two 10,000m in a workout as optimum.

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Re: Ski Erg for Max Cardio-How To Maximize?

Post by Jeremy44 » July 14th, 2018, 11:11 am

Hi John,

I definitely have found the Ski Erg works the upper body muscles as you describe. It seems more of a power (strength times speed) machine than strictly cardio machine. If that's what you want, it probably will work awsome for you.

Not say it's not a good cardio machine as well. In my case, just figuring how to get the most out of that.
johnlvs2run wrote:Greetings.
I ordered a skierg yesterday and am looking forward to use it.
My questions are similar. I'm planning to do a moderate session the first day, at lowest drag and a light spm.

I'm interested to firm up my abs, core, lats, shoulders, gluts, but not to add any bulk.
Seeing top skiiers, such as Johan Olsson in this video, training well on the skierg has helped me to see this is possible.

The hardest part now is waiting the next 10 days for arrival.

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Re: Ski Erg for Max Cardio-How To Maximize?

Post by johnlvs2run » July 14th, 2018, 11:33 am

Yes, spm stands for strokes per minute. The drag is a measure of resistance.
It is 55 or so at damper setting 1, 130 or so at damper setting 10, and can be shown on the monitor.

Provided I can use the machine (as yet unknown), I like to exercise, and will like to do most of the ranking events.
72, 5'8", 155lbs
Let's develop a watts per weight ranking system.
my training log

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Re: Ski Erg for Max Cardio-How To Maximize?

Post by hjs » July 14th, 2018, 4:26 pm

Jeremy44 wrote:Hi and thanks for the note,

I'm about 185 and around 10% body fat, used to lift a lot of weights as a kid, mostly bodyweight exercises and yoga now, not as strong as I look, much more of an endurance guy. The upper body is probably stronger than most newbies to the ski erg for the pull down movement, although it's definately a new exercise so yeah hopefully over time I will be able to shift from strength emphasis to increase the spm...

What exactly is spm? Strokes per minute? Yes 40-45 is pretty much where I'm at. Maybe try to take it to 50?

Not sure what drag is exactly...I keep the wheel set at resistance of 1 to keep the pressure off strength/power as much as possible

Stroke length I find myself bending over a lot when pulling the cable downward, almost bowing. It's farther than in the demos but seems to make the stroke much smoother. Don't squat much, try to make sure I do or I probably would keep legs too firm. Feel it a lot in lats and upper back and pecs and triceps too. Could that be better?

Yes, volume. Thinking of maybe one or two 10,000m in a workout as optimum.
If you use ergdata, you get a lot of data. Force, speed, drag, strokelenght. Drag is indeed lower on the skierg compared to rower. It has an extra ring which can be removed to up the drag.
When I started my abs, lats and triceps got sore, but that soon goes away when the muscles are used to the workload.
40 spm is fine, after a while ski and row feel roughly the same effort like, most people are a bit slower on the skierg, but not everybody.
Recovery from the skierg, to me, is a bit easier compared to rowing. Mostly because the back does no direct work.

At first get the muscles used to the movement, you will soon be able to push harder once the body is used to the work.
For my training see twitter @Hjsrowing

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Re: Ski Erg for Max Cardio-How To Maximize?

Post by Citroen » July 14th, 2018, 4:35 pm

johnlvs2run wrote:Greetings.
I ordered a skierg yesterday and am looking forward to use it.
Welcome back to the rowing (skierg/bikeerg) forum, it's only been five years since you posted on here.

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Re: Ski Erg for Max Cardio-How To Maximize?

Post by jamesg » July 15th, 2018, 12:49 am

Pulling down harder or faster just seems to work my upper body muscles, but not my heart and lungs.
Is it not possible to train the heart and lungs more than the upper body with this machine somehow?
The skierg seems to be specialist equipment for double poling in Langlauf. Freestyle X-country uses skis with no grip, waxed for speed on flat and downhill, where double poling is the only way to do any work, due to the high speed or local rules (as at the finish where tracks are close to each other).

The full body work in Langlauf comes when skating uphill. 30 and 50 km races can have over 3000 m total climb. Courses are undulating and given the large speed differences, most of the time is spent going uphill using everything we have.

The rowing erg is probably the machine that can best load the legs and hence our CV system. In the air, climbing fast with skipoles is also quite satisfying; indeed this is a speciality in the Alps.
77y, 188cm, 85kg, MHR 160. Last 2k (May 1018) 8.37@23

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Re: Ski Erg for Max Cardio-How To Maximize?

Post by Steve W » July 15th, 2018, 7:58 am

Jeremy44 wrote:Hello Ski Erg Forum

I am 44 years old, former runner, retired at 33 due to OA, competed at university track (100m, 200m, 1500s) and in late twenties switched to 5ks and half-marathons.

About 5 years ago bought a ski erg while injured from other training but never really used it.

Moved across the country, brought it out of garage, now using it again. Intend to use it 3 times a week long term purely for cardiovascular training. Not strength. Not strength-endurance. Not power. I get that from other workouts. Just for max cardio.

I don't expect the Ski Erg to match running or any other endurance sport for cardiovascular gains. But I'm doing my best with it. Resistance on low. Started out with 500m pulls. Did first 2000m today. Took about ten minutes. Probably could have kept my mouth closed the whole time. Pulling down harder or faster just seems to work my upper body muscles, but not my heart and lungs.

Is it not possible to train the heart and lungs more than the upper body with this machine somehow?

Looking for long time ski erg dudes' advise and experience. Not just "lower resistance" or "pull more often".

Not that I can think of anything else myself.
Welcome back, Jeremy. Yes, entirely possible to get a good aerobic workout on the skierg. Personal history for comparison, am a distance runner, triathlete, canoeist, still active in all. If you have not watched the short C2 YouTube clips on skierg form, do that. If your not getting a workout at 10 minutes / 2000 meters, suggest you give 2k at 9 minute clip a go and bet that does it. I use both the skierg and rower on a regular basis for workouts ranging from 2k to half-marathons. Have done marathons on both and they are indeed good workouts! If you're not getting a good workout, would suspect operator error.
63yo, 62kg, Erg 500m, 1:58.6; 1k; 2k 8:04; 5k 20:46; 30min 7096m; 10k 43:49; 1 hour 13578m; half marathon, 1:37:49; marathon, 3:36:47
Skierg 2K 9:10; 5k 24:30; 30 min 6075m; 10k 49:56.5; 1hr 11776m; half marathon, 1:52:43.2; skierg marathon, 4:04:14.

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Re: Ski Erg for Max Cardio-How To Maximize?

Post by johnlvs2run » July 15th, 2018, 12:45 pm

Hi Citroen. Thanks. It's nice to see all the helpful comments.
72, 5'8", 155lbs
Let's develop a watts per weight ranking system.
my training log

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Re: Ski Erg for Max Cardio-How To Maximize?

Post by DavidA » July 17th, 2018, 4:09 pm

johnlvs2run wrote:Greetings.
I ordered a skierg yesterday and am looking forward to use it.
My questions are similar. I'm planning to do a moderate session the first day, at lowest drag and a light spm.

I'm interested to firm up my abs, core, lats, shoulders, gluts, but not to add any bulk.
Seeing top skiiers, such as Johan Olsson in this video, training well on the skierg has helped me to see this is possible.

The hardest part now is waiting the next 10 days for arrival.
Hi John. Haven't seen you here in a loooong time. I assumed you had moved on to other things.
Enjoy your new toy.

David
57 y / 70 kg / 173 cm / 5 kids / 11 grandkids :)
Received my model C erg 18-Dec-1994

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Re: Ski Erg for Max Cardio-How To Maximize?

Post by johnlvs2run » July 17th, 2018, 4:55 pm

Hi David,
Thanks for the welcome.
It's great to see you and the others keeping up with your exercise.

I did 3x 6' of Skierg motion this morning, which was fun and interesting. Estimated arrival is 7 more days.
72, 5'8", 155lbs
Let's develop a watts per weight ranking system.
my training log

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Re: Ski Erg for Max Cardio-How To Maximize?

Post by Jeremy44 » July 20th, 2018, 10:18 am

Thanks for all the advice.

Didn't do much for about five days with the Ski Erg, but yesterday did two 2000m pulls in about ten minutes and didn't get much cardio benefit.

Did try to upping the rpm to 50+ based on that video above, with very short strokes, last week. The nordic guy had it at 60+.

Maybe that is the way to proceed. Put the rpm to 60+, even if that means incomplete pull downs like the nordic guy, but double down and focus on speed for 2000, 5000, or 10000m.

Again, it's not a "workout" I'm looking for, which you can get from anything -- it's a cardio benefit. Two different things.

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Re: Ski Erg for Max Cardio-How To Maximize?

Post by johnlvs2run » July 20th, 2018, 11:02 am

What kind of cardio benefit are you looking for?
The one or two 10,000 in a workout you mentioned seems like it would be good for cardio.

I did 3x 10' skierg motion yesterday morning, with zero resistance, and can feel some improvement.
My biceps and a few other muscles are slightly sore. It isn't easy, at 35 to 45 spm, even with zero resistance.
72, 5'8", 155lbs
Let's develop a watts per weight ranking system.
my training log

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