Fat Noob needs starting advice

Rowing for weight loss or weight control? Start here.
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wphunter
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Re: Fat Noob needs starting advice

Post by wphunter » June 23rd, 2013, 7:42 pm

Wow, thanks for all the great info!!!!! "It never gets easier, you just go faster", I think I'll write this on my monitor!
Wayne
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peters0
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Re: Fat Noob needs starting advice

Post by peters0 » July 1st, 2013, 6:04 pm

Just to continue with some other random lessons learned...

4) Damper Setting
There's lots of confusion about damper settings on the rower. The science can be understood here.
http://www.concept2.com/indoor-rowers/t ... etting-101

The key to this is what the article says, the damper makes the "boat" feel different. For me I tend to use it like this.
1) If I'm new back to rowing I tend to start at a setting of 3 or 4 - this makes the rower feel sleek, I don't have to use too much muscle or power to pull the handle quickly (after a long time away from rowing there isn't much muscle available anyway). Usually I need to build cardio strength and endurance before muscle power, and lower settings help you do this.

2) After a week or so, once I have my technique down again and I'm starting to gain better cardio performance (i.e. same speed at a lower heart rate), I increase the damper setting to 4, if i was on 3 the previous week. Also use the function on the PM3 to actually measure the drag factor. Record this along with the damper setting in the notes of your online log book e.g. D4(120) [means damper setting 4, drag factor 120]
http://www.concept2.com/service/monitor ... rag-factor

3) There after each week or couple of weeks I increase the damper factor to say 5(130) and then 6 (drag factor 140 on my machine). Now when i row I have to put in a lot more power to pull the handle and maintain my usual stroke rate of 20-22 for the long steady state rows I do. This gives my muscles a different work out and help me, I feel, build muscle and power. If I tried to do this at a lower damper setting, I feel like I'd have to row too fast...

4) That said, I rarely ever go above 7, it just feels like you are rowing a brick at that stage. I then ramp it back down again each week to 3 and do the same again. It helps vary the work outs and stop me getting too bored.

In summary, a low drag factor (damper setting) feels like a fast boat, but you may find your cardio vascular system runs out of energy before your muscles, a higher damper setting (drag factor) makes the rower feel like a heavier boat, and you have to put in more power to row at the same speed as you may have been doing. In this case though, your muscle energy may give out before your cardio vascular system does. The ideal balance is to stress both systems to the same degree so you can row as long and as hard as you can so all your body fails at the same time...nice :)
Andy | Age 46 |Weight 184lbs / 84 Kg | Height 6' 1" / 1.83m | Rowing since 2006 (on and off); C2 Model D PM3
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wphunter
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Re: Fat Noob needs starting advice

Post by wphunter » July 1st, 2013, 8:08 pm

I'll have to look at this and see what my drag factor is now, I was using damper setting 5 but after almost 3 weeks off sick I dropped down to 4 and am now building back up again. On a happy ending, I did my first sub 8-minute 2,000 meters last night, and it was after a 10k. Feeling good!

Wayne
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csmith0406
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Re: Fat Noob needs starting advice

Post by csmith0406 » July 4th, 2013, 10:00 pm

I too have just started rowing rowing in order to recover from significant health issues and weight gain. I affiliated with the Japan and Friends group, hope my numbers will be good enough to help in the next challenge. I tried starting a few months ago but it was too soon after major abdominal surgery. I just tried again today and felt much better. I was able to go for 13 minutes averaging 24 watts. I found this thread very inspirational and encouraging, it inspired me to log my progress in hopes to keep me motivated.

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wphunter
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Re: Fat Noob needs starting advice

Post by wphunter » July 5th, 2013, 6:46 pm

csmith0406, I see you joined the Japan & Friends group, welcome! The more the merrier!!! No number too small if its a positive number. Slowly but surely is best, I forgot to take my own advice and am now paying for a personal best 2,000 meters with a pulled bicep! Hopefully a week off will be enough.

Wayne
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wphunter
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Re: Fat Noob needs starting advice

Post by wphunter » August 26th, 2013, 5:54 am

8,000 meters and I will be finished the Dog Days Of Summer challenge! Feeling good after coming back from a few small injuries. The Fall Challenge is coming up next, if you're looking to join a team and/or affiliation there is none better than "Japan & Friends Indoor Rowers".

Cheers,
Wayne
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seeodywhy1
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Re: Fat Noob needs starting advice

Post by seeodywhy1 » August 29th, 2013, 4:01 pm

I just joined. I only got it last week so I have only worked my way up to 6000 meters per day. I'm looking forward to the Fall challenge.

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wphunter
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Re: Fat Noob needs starting advice

Post by wphunter » August 31st, 2013, 5:56 am

Cheers, all donations gratefully accepted!

Wayne
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wphunter
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Re: Fat Noob needs starting advice

Post by wphunter » September 23rd, 2013, 3:17 am

Everybody paddling in the Fall Team Challenge?

Wayne
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dtegg
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Re: Fat Noob needs starting advice

Post by dtegg » September 23rd, 2013, 8:53 am

I saw you got off to a late start Wayne for the Fall Challenge.
Got my metres logged and waiting for you to pass it in one day :D

I had thought "yeah I can do 5000 - 10,000 metres a day for 30 days straight" I was wrong.

I am not keeping track of my weight anymore, seemed to be going no where.
Getting the tape measure out is showing a positive difference, and I had to go buy a smaller belt at the weekend to keep my trousers up, don't want to be walking along and have things escaping :lol:

And my times are coming down.
2000m average was 9.20 ish and PB around 8.50, now I can row that or under fairly consistent with a new PB being 8.25.0

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wphunter
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Re: Fat Noob needs starting advice

Post by wphunter » September 23rd, 2013, 9:54 pm

Yes, a late start due to being away 5 days for a wedding. And I needed to put in long hours before and after that at work to be able to get the time off. So now I am playing catch up! I have been keeping status quo for the last few months, weight that is, dealing with a minor knee and then bicep problem, and a visit from my best man to Japan.... But I am back on track as of the weekend to try and crack the second stage of my three stage weight loss goal. I am trying to keep away from doing personal bests, at least for now, as I think that was the reason for the knee and bicep problem.

Wayne
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wphunter
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Re: Fat Noob needs starting advice

Post by wphunter » October 12th, 2013, 6:42 am

Last couple of days of the Fall Challenge, trying to row every day for the last few days and add as many meters as possible. Hope everyone else in the team is able to add some more meters too.
Wayne
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TexasShannon
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Re: Fat Noob needs starting advice

Post by TexasShannon » October 16th, 2013, 1:27 pm

I hope that nobody stops on the first or second page on this thread, with the already really fit people saying that the smaller steps that some need to get started are useless. Seriously, they have no freaking clue what it's like to have to struggle to get your health back, if you ever had it. I went through organ failure a few years ago and went from being a slightly plump but still solid weight lifter and long distance cyclist, to not being able to walk from my front door to my car. While dealing with all that, I went up to 320 (+? I was avoiding scales at that point) pounds, and had lost soooooo much muscle from being sick in bed.

Anything ANYONE does to get started should be celebrated. You have no idea if doing what to you is a slow enough workout you get nothing, is tremendously hard for someone else. Progress is key, baby steps are how we get there, and the search for instant perfection keeps more people from trying than it does any good at all. (end rant).

Anyway, I'm glad y'all are here. I started rowing yesterday, after reading up on it for a few weeks as a way to help control my blood sugars in less time than a treadmill. I'm 250 lbs, 5'10, and I also am having to keep my knees apart to deal with the belly-in-the-way rowing experience. I use the machine at my gym and I did a 500m in 2:07, did some lifting, did half an hour on the treadmill, and then did 5000 m in 28 minutes- which I'm really proud of, because a) it's the first time I've used the machine and b) I was already pretty tired. My blood sugars dropped 151 points through the whole experience- they were still a tad high, but way better. I am all kinds of sore today, mostly lower back.

I'm thinking of trading out my treadmill time (30-60 min a day for blood sugar and mood control) for rowing. I am currently re-starting the Stronglifts 5x5 program for weight lifting- mostly because I've done similar style programs before and they seem to work best for me to gain real strength, and partly because they have a free iphone app that does all the thinking for me. I just do what the little screen tells me- which means I actually do it.

Reading about the other people who've been over 200 pounds and been turning into rowing ROCK STARS is awesome. Also, Great Fatsby, you are my hero- as long as you keep doing it! :mrgreen:

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wphunter
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Re: Fat Noob needs starting advice

Post by wphunter » November 1st, 2013, 1:47 am

Fall Team Challenge done, Skeleton Crew individual challenge done! Next up is the Holiday Challenge, a good way to prepare for the end of year calorie intake!
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wphunter
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Re: Fat Noob needs starting advice

Post by wphunter » January 1st, 2014, 9:22 pm

OK, Japan & Friends Indoor Rowers is now signed up for the 2014 Virtual Team Challenge, an open team, feel free to join and take part. No meters to small! Wayne
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