Man… So I popped my hamstring last night in Yoga and I am really feeling the pain today. This made me want to share a few tips on a machine that often goes overlooked in gyms around america (well maybe not Harvard or around Boston) – the rowing ergo.
Here are some tips to become better friends with it:
DAMPER: this is the dial on the side with 1-10 and a dial to select the number of your choice. Now, I’m the type of person who is in the mindset of bigger number, better workout. Oh not so here however, the number reflects the weight of the boat. Higher number is a higher weight of boat you are pushing through your imaginary seas. To replicate a legit racing boat, a level of about 3-4 is suggested. For indoor training base it on your weight and ‘drag factor’. Test this out… Take a few hard strokes and look for the drag factor on the machine (number between 100-150) and then adjust your dial accordingly.
Lightweight women: 120-125
Heavyweight women: 125- 130
Lightweight men: 130- 135
Heavyweight men: 135- 140
Or just do what I do… Go with 3-4 on that damper!
SPLIT TIME: a split is 500 meters… So split time is your time to row 500 meters and displayed at av/500m. This is like the speed of the boat, the lower it is the faster that boat is rowing.
STROKE RATE: measured in SPM or strokes per minute. Higher is not necessarily better… Many workouts use a prescribed range, such as 22-24 spm’s.
STANDARD DISTANCES: most common race distance is 2000 meters. Elite men can do this in 5:30-6 mins, elite women about 6:30-7… Me and us regular folk can aim for 8 min. 5000 m and 10000m are popular too.
Try to pace yourself so you can maintain your split time throughout your workout. It will seem easy at first, but as you get going you may start to burn out… I started at 30 this morning and by 3000 m was hitting a 27 spm rate. I would have been better to keep a consistent 26 spm pace throughout.
More info on the link above… But how to measure and what to measure was my main question getting on a rowing machine after my first major injury that sidelined me from running.
Row… Row… Row…