Fitness

Rowing and Growing

Elias Riskin

PIT Fitness athlete Elias Riskin, when not swinging kegs or lifting atlas stones at the PIT on his time off from school, is a member of the Trinity College rowing team. I had the pleasure of both learning from and getting schooled on the erg by Elias this summer. Using the erg is an unbelievable workout for your legs and back. It is an extreme power exertion. Now imagine doing real rowing in open water with perfect technique.

I asked Elias to describe some of the training he’s currently performing. Check out his piece and great accompanying proper form video below. Thanks E. Can’t wait to train with you again soon. Go Bantams!

Rowing can be described as a sport of finessed exertion. To say it less eloquently, the sport requires you to go balls to the wall, hard as you can while maintaining harmony with seven other rowers. While these workouts do not give the technical work that rowing on the water does, it does give a taste of the fitness aspect.

Terminology
Stroke Rate- The amount of strokes taken per minute. This is displayed on the erg’s screen.

Split-The erg has several settings that show how hard you’re pulling (watts, calories, etc). For these workouts, the setting should be the split setting.

Average Split- The average split is the mean power output. The erg, unless set differently, takes the average split every 500 meters. The average split is shown either below or beside the current split. For a rower this number is the concrete evidence of their off-water rowing abilities. In the world of rowing, the man with the lowest split is the champion of the erg.

Damper- The damper is the knob on the side of the erg beside the fan. This determines the resistance of the fan. For the workout listed, the damper should be set to 5.

Basic Training on Concept 2 erg:

5 X (1:40/20’s)- Full power for a minute and forty seconds at a 22-30 stroke rate followed by twenty seconds of steady state. This is repeated without rest for 5 rounds. In between sets there is a minute break. Repeat for three sets.
This is one of those workouts that I highly suggest parking nearby for.

4X 1000 meters- This piece is just a balls out race to empty the counter. No mandatory stroke rate, no strategy, and no timer. The 1000 m piece is used by rowers to narrow down their projected 2000-meter times (the length of spring season races).

5000 meter testing piece- This is the main testing piece of the fall season. The suggested stroke rate for this piece is between 24-30. I personally do this piece at around a 25-27 stroke rate. Similar to the 1000 meter piece above, this test involves a race to the zero meter mark.

10000 meter steady state- The idea behind steady state is muscle memory and consistency. While this is an endurance piece, it not designed as much as physical test as much as it is a technical one. Focus on a modest split but hold it without falter for the entire forty minute period.

30 Minute/Rate 20- This was the favorite testing piece of my freshman coach. The piece involves rowing for thirty minutes at a strictly enforced rate of twenty strokes a minute. The goal is to pull the absolute lowest average split over the thirty-minute period. The current freshman record of my team is a 1.45. My current personal record is a 1.52.

Good hunting,
E

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