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9/17/2020 5:59:48 PM
Posted: 1/13/2016 11:02:03 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/13/2016 11:03:59 AM EDT by avlon06]
I got on the row machine for the first time last night (concept 2 rower) and I am trying to get in shape for a 2K meter row. (Date is undetermined, but probably within a week or two)

I did the 2k row last night just for a base line and this is how I finished. (Damper was set at 4)

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I prob could have pushed myself a little harder but I have never rowed before, so I was a little hesitant.

My biggest problem I noticed was my hips hurt. I felt like when I would push back during the drive, I was stretching far at the top when I was leaning back. Should the seat hit the end of the machine?It's my understanding to speed up my time I need to up my strokes per minute?

Any tips?
Link Posted: 1/13/2016 11:21:35 AM EDT
Have you watched the videos on the Concept 2 webpage?  It does a very good job explaining the correct stroke.  I am not an expert by any means, in fact I have only had my C2 rower for about three weeks, but I do 2K meters on 7-8 in just over 10 min.  I doubt that is a good time either, but I am ready to puke my guts out afterwards.

If you haven't looked at the C2 webpage, do it.  I know it goes against everything manly to watch an instructional video but it may save your back and hips if you are doing it incorrectly.
Link Posted: 1/13/2016 11:34:39 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By NoImpactNoIdea:
Have you watched the videos on the Concept 2 webpage?  It does a very good job explaining the correct stroke.  I am not an expert by any means, in fact I have only had my C2 rower for about three weeks, but I do 2K meters on 7-8 in just over 10 min.  I doubt that is a good time either, but I am ready to puke my guts out afterwards.

If you haven't looked at the C2 webpage, do it.  I know it goes against everything manly to watch an instructional video but it may save your back and hips if you are doing it incorrectly.
View Quote

I did spend sometime on their page before I got on there. It definitely had some good info for first time rowers.
Link Posted: 1/13/2016 11:40:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/13/2016 11:42:22 AM EDT by LawyerUp]
I had to do a 2k meter row competition in 2014 and ran about 7:00, which was pretty good, but was not in the top 2.  My best 1000k m in competition was 3:00, which was a split of 1:30.  I think I did finish first in that one.  That was much better, but also half the distance.

So I know enough to be dangerous.  What I did was experiment with the rower to find my ideal drag factor for me to row that distance.  Play around with the buttons and you'll find the mechanism that tells you your drag factor.  Every rower's damper could be slightly different due to different levels of dust in the fan.  So the reliable indicator of your resistance level is the drag factor.  Look up some rowing forums/sites and you'll find what drag factors other people use based on their body types/sizes.  Then test yourself using different techniques.  

Watch the videos you can find online.  Some things that helped me:  Keep your back straight.  Let your hands go forward before your knees bend.  Keep your elbows in at your sides on the pull.   When the going gets tough, just close your eyes and embrace the suck.

Good luck.  My 2k m row competition was probably the most miserable I've ever been.  

ETA: and otherwise, you just have to build that cardio engine.  Work on your breathing.  And eat big.  Lots of carbs.
Link Posted: 1/13/2016 1:02:41 PM EDT
I want one of these so fucking bad.
Link Posted: 1/13/2016 4:22:33 PM EDT

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Originally Posted By LawyerUp:


I had to do a 2k meter row competition in 2014 and ran about 7:00, which was pretty good, but was not in the top 2.  My best 1000k m in competition was 3:00, which was a split of 1:30.  I think I did finish first in that one.  That was much better, but also half the distance.



So I know enough to be dangerous.  What I did was experiment with the rower to find my ideal drag factor for me to row that distance.  Play around with the buttons and you'll find the mechanism that tells you your drag factor.  Every rower's damper could be slightly different due to different levels of dust in the fan.  So the reliable indicator of your resistance level is the drag factor.  Look up some rowing forums/sites and you'll find what drag factors other people use based on their body types/sizes.  Then test yourself using different techniques.  



Watch the videos you can find online.  Some things that helped me:  Keep your back straight.  Let your hands go forward before your knees bend.  Keep your elbows in at your sides on the pull.   When the going gets tough, just close your eyes and embrace the suck.



Good luck.  My 2k m row competition was probably the most miserable I've ever been.  



ETA: and otherwise, you just have to build that cardio engine.  Work on your breathing.  And eat big.  Lots of carbs.
View Quote
Yeah this. Anything splits under 2 minutes are ok, if you're leaning back really far, you're probably wasting energy, but LawyerUp basically has it down.

 


I row a lot.
Link Posted: 1/14/2016 2:49:59 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By therex:
Yeah this. Anything splits under 2 minutes are ok, if you're leaning back really far, you're probably wasting energy, but LawyerUp basically has it down.  
I row a lot.
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Originally Posted By therex:
Originally Posted By LawyerUp:
I had to do a 2k meter row competition in 2014 and ran about 7:00, which was pretty good, but was not in the top 2.  My best 1000k m in competition was 3:00, which was a split of 1:30.  I think I did finish first in that one.  That was much better, but also half the distance.

So I know enough to be dangerous.  What I did was experiment with the rower to find my ideal drag factor for me to row that distance.  Play around with the buttons and you'll find the mechanism that tells you your drag factor.  Every rower's damper could be slightly different due to different levels of dust in the fan.  So the reliable indicator of your resistance level is the drag factor.  Look up some rowing forums/sites and you'll find what drag factors other people use based on their body types/sizes.  Then test yourself using different techniques.  

Watch the videos you can find online.  Some things that helped me:  Keep your back straight.  Let your hands go forward before your knees bend.  Keep your elbows in at your sides on the pull.   When the going gets tough, just close your eyes and embrace the suck.

Good luck.  My 2k m row competition was probably the most miserable I've ever been.  

ETA: and otherwise, you just have to build that cardio engine.  Work on your breathing.  And eat big.  Lots of carbs.
Yeah this. Anything splits under 2 minutes are ok, if you're leaning back really far, you're probably wasting energy, but LawyerUp basically has it down.  
I row a lot.


Our coach programs rowing weekly, anything from 1-2K distance to intervals with set rest or row for calories. All of the above is sound advice, I would just throw in to really focus on your leg drive to make hard pulls, and really you will only be finishing the pull to your ribcage with your arms. You will get better rows/cals this way, and your arms will last much longer before you start to fatigue.
Link Posted: 1/14/2016 9:54:13 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By therex:
Yeah this. Anything splits under 2 minutes are ok, if you're leaning back really far, you're probably wasting energy, but LawyerUp basically has it down.  
I row a lot.
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Originally Posted By therex:
Originally Posted By LawyerUp:
I had to do a 2k meter row competition in 2014 and ran about 7:00, which was pretty good, but was not in the top 2.  My best 1000k m in competition was 3:00, which was a split of 1:30.  I think I did finish first in that one.  That was much better, but also half the distance.

So I know enough to be dangerous.  What I did was experiment with the rower to find my ideal drag factor for me to row that distance.  Play around with the buttons and you'll find the mechanism that tells you your drag factor.  Every rower's damper could be slightly different due to different levels of dust in the fan.  So the reliable indicator of your resistance level is the drag factor.  Look up some rowing forums/sites and you'll find what drag factors other people use based on their body types/sizes.  Then test yourself using different techniques.  

Watch the videos you can find online.  Some things that helped me:  Keep your back straight.  Let your hands go forward before your knees bend.  Keep your elbows in at your sides on the pull.   When the going gets tough, just close your eyes and embrace the suck.

Good luck.  My 2k m row competition was probably the most miserable I've ever been.  

ETA: and otherwise, you just have to build that cardio engine.  Work on your breathing.  And eat big.  Lots of carbs.
Yeah this. Anything splits under 2 minutes are ok, if you're leaning back really far, you're probably wasting energy, but LawyerUp basically has it down.  
I row a lot.

I think this may be the reason my hips were so sore after.
Link Posted: 1/14/2016 10:54:51 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By avlon06:

I think this may be the reason my hips were so sore after.
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Originally Posted By avlon06:
Originally Posted By therex:
Originally Posted By LawyerUp:
I had to do a 2k meter row competition in 2014 and ran about 7:00, which was pretty good, but was not in the top 2.  My best 1000k m in competition was 3:00, which was a split of 1:30.  I think I did finish first in that one.  That was much better, but also half the distance.

So I know enough to be dangerous.  What I did was experiment with the rower to find my ideal drag factor for me to row that distance.  Play around with the buttons and you'll find the mechanism that tells you your drag factor.  Every rower's damper could be slightly different due to different levels of dust in the fan.  So the reliable indicator of your resistance level is the drag factor.  Look up some rowing forums/sites and you'll find what drag factors other people use based on their body types/sizes.  Then test yourself using different techniques.  

Watch the videos you can find online.  Some things that helped me:  Keep your back straight.  Let your hands go forward before your knees bend.  Keep your elbows in at your sides on the pull.   When the going gets tough, just close your eyes and embrace the suck.

Good luck.  My 2k m row competition was probably the most miserable I've ever been.  

ETA: and otherwise, you just have to build that cardio engine.  Work on your breathing.  And eat big.  Lots of carbs.
Yeah this. Anything splits under 2 minutes are ok, if you're leaning back really far, you're probably wasting energy, but LawyerUp basically has it down.  
I row a lot.

I think this may be the reason my hips were so sore after.


If you're doing it right, your entire body will be wrecked afterwards.  My quads and hips are always in bad shape from rowing.  Sometimes I'll start fucking romanian deadlifting that thing to take pressure off of my legs on longer distance rows, or rows that are mixed in with a crossfit workout.
Link Posted: 1/14/2016 4:20:33 PM EDT
Something that really helped me get better with my rowing was using Calories as my units, and aiming for 1-1.5 Calorie per pull.  Once I got to where I had that efficiency, my longer distance rows came together nicely.  When I started out, I could do like 1:40 for 500m, and be toast, or more like 2:10 splits if I was rowing longer distances.  After the Calorie focus for a bit, my splits were more like 1:50-1:55 range for my 2k efforts.  

I'm not a tall guy (5' 8"), so I had to do some work to get to the pull strength the taller guys just seemed to get naturally - "why can't you do 2-calorie pulls like me?" says the 6'2" 225lb dude on the next rower.

I had a few good take aways from this video as well, specifically setting the foot plates more appropriately for my foot size: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TD60yqeToGM
Link Posted: 1/14/2016 4:29:41 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By flooger:
Something that really helped me get better with my rowing was using Calories as my units, and aiming for 1-1.5 Calorie per pull.  Once I got to where I had that efficiency, my longer distance rows came together nicely.  When I started out, I could do like 1:40 for 500m, and be toast, or more like 2:10 splits if I was rowing longer distances.  After the Calorie focus for a bit, my splits were more like 1:50-1:55 range for my 2k efforts.  

I'm not a tall guy (5' 8"), so I had to do some work to get to the pull strength the taller guys just seemed to get naturally - "why can't you do 2-calorie pulls like me?" says the 6'2" 225lb dude on the next rower.

I had a few good take aways from this video as well, specifically setting the foot plates more appropriately for my foot size: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TD60yqeToGM
View Quote


I'm happy to get 1 cal pulls and I'm 6'5 255.  Max effort I can pull a 1:24 split for about 10 to 20 seconds.  Which pulls the skin of my fingertips.
Link Posted: 1/15/2016 2:03:08 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By LawyerUp:


I'm happy to get 1 cal pulls and I'm 6'5 255.  Max effort I can pull a 1:24 split for about 10 to 20 seconds.  Which pulls the skin of my fingertips.
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Originally Posted By LawyerUp:
Originally Posted By flooger:
Something that really helped me get better with my rowing was using Calories as my units, and aiming for 1-1.5 Calorie per pull.  Once I got to where I had that efficiency, my longer distance rows came together nicely.  When I started out, I could do like 1:40 for 500m, and be toast, or more like 2:10 splits if I was rowing longer distances.  After the Calorie focus for a bit, my splits were more like 1:50-1:55 range for my 2k efforts.  

I'm not a tall guy (5' 8"), so I had to do some work to get to the pull strength the taller guys just seemed to get naturally - "why can't you do 2-calorie pulls like me?" says the 6'2" 225lb dude on the next rower.

I had a few good take aways from this video as well, specifically setting the foot plates more appropriately for my foot size: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TD60yqeToGM


I'm happy to get 1 cal pulls and I'm 6'5 255.  Max effort I can pull a 1:24 split for about 10 to 20 seconds.  Which pulls the skin of my fingertips.


This. Im 6' and ~185 and rowing still isn't easy for me. I can sustain 1:50 splits for distances up to about 2K but it really sucks to row that hard. My legs, biceps and upper back feel destroyed after rowing for calories or longer distances. I still cant pull 1.5cal per pull, with everything I got thrown at it, and that's with the damper set at 8.

What damper setting are you guys rowing at and what height/weight out of curiousity?
Link Posted: 1/15/2016 9:47:52 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By FullMetalAR:
What damper setting are you guys rowing at and what height/weight out of curiousity?
View Quote


I usually leave the damper around 6 for everything (never tried to determine the optimal setting for my rower).  5'8", 170.  

Think my best 500m was around 1:35 but it's been a while since I tested that, and that was my home rower which ran "harder" than the gym rowers (my warm-up pace at the gym is like 10 seconds better than at home with the same general effort).  I haven't ever watched calories when I do a 1k or 2k effort, I'm more counting down the meters until the pain is over, but I'd guess I'm under 1 cal/pull for those efforts.  
Link Posted: 1/15/2016 9:53:01 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By FullMetalAR:


This. Im 6' and ~185 and rowing still isn't easy for me. I can sustain 1:50 splits for distances up to about 2K but it really sucks to row that hard. My legs, biceps and upper back feel destroyed after rowing for calories or longer distances. I still cant pull 1.5cal per pull, with everything I got thrown at it, and that's with the damper set at 8.

What damper setting are you guys rowing at and what height/weight out of curiousity?
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Originally Posted By FullMetalAR:
Originally Posted By LawyerUp:
Originally Posted By flooger:
Something that really helped me get better with my rowing was using Calories as my units, and aiming for 1-1.5 Calorie per pull.  Once I got to where I had that efficiency, my longer distance rows came together nicely.  When I started out, I could do like 1:40 for 500m, and be toast, or more like 2:10 splits if I was rowing longer distances.  After the Calorie focus for a bit, my splits were more like 1:50-1:55 range for my 2k efforts.  

I'm not a tall guy (5' 8"), so I had to do some work to get to the pull strength the taller guys just seemed to get naturally - "why can't you do 2-calorie pulls like me?" says the 6'2" 225lb dude on the next rower.

I had a few good take aways from this video as well, specifically setting the foot plates more appropriately for my foot size: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TD60yqeToGM


I'm happy to get 1 cal pulls and I'm 6'5 255.  Max effort I can pull a 1:24 split for about 10 to 20 seconds.  Which pulls the skin of my fingertips.


This. Im 6' and ~185 and rowing still isn't easy for me. I can sustain 1:50 splits for distances up to about 2K but it really sucks to row that hard. My legs, biceps and upper back feel destroyed after rowing for calories or longer distances. I still cant pull 1.5cal per pull, with everything I got thrown at it, and that's with the damper set at 8.

What damper setting are you guys rowing at and what height/weight out of curiousity?

6' 180lb here.

The damper setting doesn't matter necessarily right? The higher the setting the more resistance but longer distance is covered and vice versa for lower setting correct?
Link Posted: 1/15/2016 11:48:37 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By avlon06:

6' 180lb here.

The damper setting doesn't matter necessarily right? The higher the setting the more resistance but longer distance is covered and vice versa for lower setting correct?
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Originally Posted By avlon06:
Originally Posted By FullMetalAR:
Originally Posted By LawyerUp:
Originally Posted By flooger:
Something that really helped me get better with my rowing was using Calories as my units, and aiming for 1-1.5 Calorie per pull.  Once I got to where I had that efficiency, my longer distance rows came together nicely.  When I started out, I could do like 1:40 for 500m, and be toast, or more like 2:10 splits if I was rowing longer distances.  After the Calorie focus for a bit, my splits were more like 1:50-1:55 range for my 2k efforts.  

I'm not a tall guy (5' 8"), so I had to do some work to get to the pull strength the taller guys just seemed to get naturally - "why can't you do 2-calorie pulls like me?" says the 6'2" 225lb dude on the next rower.

I had a few good take aways from this video as well, specifically setting the foot plates more appropriately for my foot size: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TD60yqeToGM


I'm happy to get 1 cal pulls and I'm 6'5 255.  Max effort I can pull a 1:24 split for about 10 to 20 seconds.  Which pulls the skin of my fingertips.


This. Im 6' and ~185 and rowing still isn't easy for me. I can sustain 1:50 splits for distances up to about 2K but it really sucks to row that hard. My legs, biceps and upper back feel destroyed after rowing for calories or longer distances. I still cant pull 1.5cal per pull, with everything I got thrown at it, and that's with the damper set at 8.

What damper setting are you guys rowing at and what height/weight out of curiousity?

6' 180lb here.

The damper setting doesn't matter necessarily right? The higher the setting the more resistance but longer distance is covered and vice versa for lower setting correct?


The damper setting matters a lot.  Real rowers are generally using a really low damper setting.  Like 3 or 4.  Think of it like a smaller, lighter boat that is able to go faster.  But in turn, the rower better have good cardio to pull that fast of a pace.  For many of us the best damper setting (again its really the drag factor setting) is going to be a little higher.  I usually go around 6 to 6.5 for meters.  For bursts of calories that you have to knock out quickly, I go around 8 or 9 and that seems to row the calories better than going lower on the damper.  I just can't keep that up for longer than 20 calories or so at a time.

I'm not a "rower" and there are some on here who might chime in.  But that's what I do.
Link Posted: 1/15/2016 10:47:19 PM EDT
6' 250#s

Damper on 10, I was doing "intervals" of 1 minute balls-out followed by a lazy 45 seconds.  Working hard I would knock maybe 1 1/3 Calories a pull, during the slow portion it was about 1/3 Calorie a pull.

... but I figure all that sprinting was anaerobic and not what I want for my cardio routines, right?  So now I keep an even pace of about 30 pulls / min with about 650 - 710 Cals an hour.
Link Posted: 1/18/2016 2:53:57 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By avlon06:

6' 180lb here.

The damper setting doesn't matter necessarily right? The higher the setting the more resistance but longer distance is covered and vice versa for lower setting correct?
View Quote View All Quotes
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Originally Posted By avlon06:
Originally Posted By FullMetalAR:
Originally Posted By LawyerUp:
Originally Posted By flooger:
Something that really helped me get better with my rowing was using Calories as my units, and aiming for 1-1.5 Calorie per pull.  Once I got to where I had that efficiency, my longer distance rows came together nicely.  When I started out, I could do like 1:40 for 500m, and be toast, or more like 2:10 splits if I was rowing longer distances.  After the Calorie focus for a bit, my splits were more like 1:50-1:55 range for my 2k efforts.  

I'm not a tall guy (5' 8"), so I had to do some work to get to the pull strength the taller guys just seemed to get naturally - "why can't you do 2-calorie pulls like me?" says the 6'2" 225lb dude on the next rower.

I had a few good take aways from this video as well, specifically setting the foot plates more appropriately for my foot size: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TD60yqeToGM


I'm happy to get 1 cal pulls and I'm 6'5 255.  Max effort I can pull a 1:24 split for about 10 to 20 seconds.  Which pulls the skin of my fingertips.


This. Im 6' and ~185 and rowing still isn't easy for me. I can sustain 1:50 splits for distances up to about 2K but it really sucks to row that hard. My legs, biceps and upper back feel destroyed after rowing for calories or longer distances. I still cant pull 1.5cal per pull, with everything I got thrown at it, and that's with the damper set at 8.

What damper setting are you guys rowing at and what height/weight out of curiousity?

6' 180lb here.

The damper setting doesn't matter necessarily right? The higher the setting the more resistance but longer distance is covered and vice versa for lower setting correct?


Agree with Lawyer, it definitely matters. IMO an overly simple explanation is that you can either row quickly at a lower damper(more strokes/min), or row slower at a higher damper making harder pulls. The difference is having someone that has great cardio going against someone who has killer strength, and which works best for each of them.
Link Posted: 1/18/2016 11:22:14 PM EDT
Getting your drag factor set between 120-130 will allow you to row more efficiently.  That should translate into getting more out of rowing, especially longer distances.  Contrary to popular believe the damper setting has nothing to do with how far each pull translates into meters, it is as stated above a way to simulate different types of boats.

If your hips hurt, I would first check your form, which I can't here, but second would be how your foot pedals are set.  The strap should be close to your mid-foot, say around 1/2-way up your shoe laces.  Wherever you set the pedals, you should have plenty of range of motion with your feet and not feel bound up at any point in the pull or return.
Link Posted: 1/19/2016 10:57:44 PM EDT
The video flooger linked to was very informative, it made me more conscious of my form.

For giggles I dialed the damper down to 7, and with a mind on form I found I was doing less strokes/minute (~24) but at a much higher Cal/hour (750 - 850).

What is the technique to determine optimum damper setting?
Link Posted: 1/19/2016 11:24:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/19/2016 11:25:05 PM EDT by oversteer]
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Originally Posted By WhyTanFox:
The video flooger linked to was very informative, it made me more conscious of my form.

For giggles I dialed the damper down to 7, and with a mind on form I found I was doing less strokes/minute (~24) but at a much higher Cal/hour (750 - 850).

What is the technique to determine optimum damper setting?
View Quote


Main Menu, select More Options, select Drag Factor

Pull on the handle just like you normally row, after a few strokes it will show the drag factor.  Raise damper setting to increase drag factor, lower to decrease.  Look for ~120-130 on your drag factor.  Row again to see your new setting, repeat as needed until you get the DF set.

The drag factor will vary from rower to rower, and even change over time as the fan fills with dust.
Link Posted: 1/21/2016 2:05:23 AM EDT
Ok so I set my ideal Drag Factor today, and tried it out for my interval workout. I normally row on ~7.5 for distance and 8 for Cals. My ideal drag factor of 120-130 put my damper setting at 5. I hated life in my 1000m row today, and my time wasn't any better, actually maybe a few seconds slower. I had to row much faster to keep the same pace and just really winded myself in a hurry.

Has anybody else done their drag factor and seen worse performance than usual? Obviously if I could get used to it I may come out ahead in the long run, but its drastically different metabolically than im used to and it sucks.

Maybe since im only rowing for CrossFit then im cool with sticking to 7-8 damper? Most of the big guys in Cf use higher settings all the way up to 10, granted they are all a hell of a lot stronger than me.
Link Posted: 1/21/2016 10:09:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/21/2016 10:10:10 AM EDT by avlon06]
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Originally Posted By FullMetalAR:
Ok so I set my ideal Drag Factor today, and tried it out for my interval workout. I normally row on ~7.5 for distance and 8 for Cals. My ideal drag factor of 120-130 put my damper setting at 5. I hated life in my 1000m row today, and my time wasn't any better, actually maybe a few seconds slower. I had to row much faster to keep the same pace and just really winded myself in a hurry.

Has anybody else done their drag factor and seen worse performance than usual? Obviously if I could get used to it I may come out ahead in the long run, but its drastically different metabolically than im used to and it sucks.

Maybe since im only rowing for CrossFit then im cool with sticking to 7-8 damper? Most of the big guys in Cf use higher settings all the way up to 10, granted they are all a hell of a lot stronger than me.
View Quote

I checked mine last night. On setting 6 there was a drag factor of about 130.

I had been keeping the damper setting on 6 or 7 so I got lucky and guess right.

I did a 2k and was really hurting, but I think I had too fast of a pace early on. Also did a leg workout before so that probably didn't help.
Link Posted: 1/21/2016 10:30:31 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By oversteer:


Main Menu, select More Options, select Drag Factor

Pull on the handle just like you normally row, after a few strokes it will show the drag factor.  Raise damper setting to increase drag factor, lower to decrease.  Look for ~120-130 on your drag factor.  Row again to see your new setting, repeat as needed until you get the DF set.

The drag factor will vary from rower to rower, and even change over time as the fan fills with dust.
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Originally Posted By oversteer:
Originally Posted By WhyTanFox:
The video flooger linked to was very informative, it made me more conscious of my form.

For giggles I dialed the damper down to 7, and with a mind on form I found I was doing less strokes/minute (~24) but at a much higher Cal/hour (750 - 850).

What is the technique to determine optimum damper setting?


Main Menu, select More Options, select Drag Factor

Pull on the handle just like you normally row, after a few strokes it will show the drag factor.  Raise damper setting to increase drag factor, lower to decrease.  Look for ~120-130 on your drag factor.  Row again to see your new setting, repeat as needed until you get the DF set.

The drag factor will vary from rower to rower, and even change over time as the fan fills with dust.

Oddly enough, after a couple of pulls the drag factor always settled between 80 - 85 no matter where I put the damper between 7 - 10.

I did my warm-up on 10 and again found that keeping good form, I was generally doing less strokes/minute and pulling in more Cal/hour (now closer to 800 - 900, with that higher damper setting).
Link Posted: 1/22/2016 1:47:19 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By avlon06:

I checked mine last night. On setting 6 there was a drag factor of about 130.

I had been keeping the damper setting on 6 or 7 so I got lucky and guess right.

I did a 2k and was really hurting, but I think I had too fast of a pace early on. Also did a leg workout before so that probably didn't help.
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Originally Posted By avlon06:
Originally Posted By FullMetalAR:
Ok so I set my ideal Drag Factor today, and tried it out for my interval workout. I normally row on ~7.5 for distance and 8 for Cals. My ideal drag factor of 120-130 put my damper setting at 5. I hated life in my 1000m row today, and my time wasn't any better, actually maybe a few seconds slower. I had to row much faster to keep the same pace and just really winded myself in a hurry.

Has anybody else done their drag factor and seen worse performance than usual? Obviously if I could get used to it I may come out ahead in the long run, but its drastically different metabolically than im used to and it sucks.

Maybe since im only rowing for CrossFit then im cool with sticking to 7-8 damper? Most of the big guys in Cf use higher settings all the way up to 10, granted they are all a hell of a lot stronger than me.

I checked mine last night. On setting 6 there was a drag factor of about 130.

I had been keeping the damper setting on 6 or 7 so I got lucky and guess right.

I did a 2k and was really hurting, but I think I had too fast of a pace early on. Also did a leg workout before so that probably didn't help.


Whats your height/weight man?
Link Posted: 1/22/2016 10:24:51 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/22/2016 10:26:06 AM EDT by avlon06]
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Originally Posted By FullMetalAR:


Whats your height/weight man?
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Originally Posted By FullMetalAR:
Originally Posted By avlon06:
Originally Posted By FullMetalAR:
Ok so I set my ideal Drag Factor today, and tried it out for my interval workout. I normally row on ~7.5 for distance and 8 for Cals. My ideal drag factor of 120-130 put my damper setting at 5. I hated life in my 1000m row today, and my time wasn't any better, actually maybe a few seconds slower. I had to row much faster to keep the same pace and just really winded myself in a hurry.

Has anybody else done their drag factor and seen worse performance than usual? Obviously if I could get used to it I may come out ahead in the long run, but its drastically different metabolically than im used to and it sucks.

Maybe since im only rowing for CrossFit then im cool with sticking to 7-8 damper? Most of the big guys in Cf use higher settings all the way up to 10, granted they are all a hell of a lot stronger than me.

I checked mine last night. On setting 6 there was a drag factor of about 130.

I had been keeping the damper setting on 6 or 7 so I got lucky and guess right.

I did a 2k and was really hurting, but I think I had too fast of a pace early on. Also did a leg workout before so that probably didn't help.


Whats your height/weight man?

6' 185lbs

I had a pace of 1:49/500m and that's where I burned my self out too quickly.
Link Posted: 1/22/2016 4:07:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/22/2016 4:08:29 PM EDT by Andrewc_c]
Interesting thread. I had no idea about the drag factor so the last couple of times I have used the rower I have set it at 130 +- a few.

Has anyone used the rower on "sled?" I found it to be really awkward at first as the seat almost seems to stay stationary as the rower moves back and forth compared to you moving the seat back and forth on a stationary rower. Is there any benefit to having the rower on a "sled" or not.

Yesterdays row.
5'11", 180 lbs, damper was set at 7.
Link Posted: 1/22/2016 4:23:15 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By Andrewc_c:
Interesting thread. I had no idea about the drag factor so the last couple of times I have used the rower I have set it at 130 +- a few.

Has anyone used the rower on "sled?" I found it to be really awkward at first as the seat almost seems to stay stationary as the rower moves back and forth compared to you moving the seat back and forth on a stationary rower. Is there any benefit to having the rower on a "sled" or not.

Yesterdays row.
5'11", 180 lbs, damper was set at 7.
http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e116/Camach/626e8737-47d3-4337-a3d6-90a7c995676e_zpso9zkhp60.jpg
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I'd pass out if I rowed for 20min at 2:07/500m
Link Posted: 1/25/2016 7:16:38 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By avlon06:

6' 185lbs

I had a pace of 1:49/500m and that's where I burned my self out too quickly.
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Originally Posted By avlon06:
Originally Posted By FullMetalAR:
Originally Posted By avlon06:
Originally Posted By FullMetalAR:
Ok so I set my ideal Drag Factor today, and tried it out for my interval workout. I normally row on ~7.5 for distance and 8 for Cals. My ideal drag factor of 120-130 put my damper setting at 5. I hated life in my 1000m row today, and my time wasn't any better, actually maybe a few seconds slower. I had to row much faster to keep the same pace and just really winded myself in a hurry.

Has anybody else done their drag factor and seen worse performance than usual? Obviously if I could get used to it I may come out ahead in the long run, but its drastically different metabolically than im used to and it sucks.

Maybe since im only rowing for CrossFit then im cool with sticking to 7-8 damper? Most of the big guys in Cf use higher settings all the way up to 10, granted they are all a hell of a lot stronger than me.

I checked mine last night. On setting 6 there was a drag factor of about 130.

I had been keeping the damper setting on 6 or 7 so I got lucky and guess right.

I did a 2k and was really hurting, but I think I had too fast of a pace early on. Also did a leg workout before so that probably didn't help.


Whats your height/weight man?

6' 185lbs

I had a pace of 1:49/500m and that's where I burned my self out too quickly.


Thanks for the info, were basically identical height/weight. Wonder why my drag factor set my damper so much lower than yours? I definitely feel better rowing with mine set between 7 and 8.
Link Posted: 1/25/2016 9:23:16 AM EDT
I actually feel better going to full extension - think sumo deadlift high pull. @ 6'3"  185 I am all arms and legs so I like to get every inch I can out of a stroke.

My best 500 split was 143
Link Posted: 1/25/2016 9:33:44 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/25/2016 9:35:48 AM EDT by hammet]
Damper should be set between 3-5 in most cases.  SPM should be about 20-30 depending on your workout.  
ETA:  If you want to row faster (reduce your /500 split), drive harder with the legs!
Link Posted: 1/26/2016 5:15:03 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By hammet:
Damper should be set between 3-5 in most cases.  SPM should be about 20-30 depending on your workout.  
ETA:  If you want to row faster (reduce your /500 split), drive harder with the legs!
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Guess I was in the right range then at 5, because my SPM were 30 or a tad higher. So if my SPM were north of 30 would you recommend bumping the damper up a bit or no?
Link Posted: 1/26/2016 6:35:56 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/26/2016 7:11:04 AM EDT by hammet]
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Originally Posted By FullMetalAR:


Guess I was in the right range then at 5, because my SPM were 30 or a tad higher. So if my SPM were north of 30 would you recommend bumping the damper up a bit or no?
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Originally Posted By FullMetalAR:
Originally Posted By hammet:
Damper should be set between 3-5 in most cases.  SPM should be about 20-30 depending on your workout.  
ETA:  If you want to row faster (reduce your /500 split), drive harder with the legs!


Guess I was in the right range then at 5, because my SPM were 30 or a tad higher. So if my SPM were north of 30 would you recommend bumping the damper up a bit or no?

Increasing the damper is like rowing on a boat with barnacles...not very realistic when you are trying to simulate a racing shell.  It won't make you a faster rower necessarily.
First off, each machine is different depending on use and age and condition. If you go into a gym and you see lint on the fan, you know you are going to have to increase the damper setting to get the same feeling that you would on a new machine in your home.  (The lint means less air for the fan to move)

But there is a way to set the damper so that two different machines produce the same power per stroke.
In the options menu, display the "drag factor".
Row a few times.  Adjust the damper so the drag factor is as follows
110-120 if your weight is below 160 (men's lightweight class)
120-130 if your weight is greater than 160 (heavyweight)


30 is a bit high for spm unless you are sprinting.
You will have a faster split if you bring it down to 28 by putting more power in your drive and slowing you're recovery.
You can do can also do  "on/off" training where you keep your strokes at 24 spm and your splits at say 2:15 for 500m then 28spm at <2:00 for 500m and repeat for example.


ETA:  Rowing is a tall guy's sport.  Being taller is almost always an advantage. (I'm not tall)
Link Posted: 1/27/2016 7:38:57 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By hammet:

Increasing the damper is like rowing on a boat with barnacles...not very realistic when you are trying to simulate a racing shell.  It won't make you a faster rower necessarily.
First off, each machine is different depending on use and age and condition. If you go into a gym and you see lint on the fan, you know you are going to have to increase the damper setting to get the same feeling that you would on a new machine in your home.  (The lint means less air for the fan to move)

But there is a way to set the damper so that two different machines produce the same power per stroke.
In the options menu, display the "drag factor".
Row a few times.  Adjust the damper so the drag factor is as follows
110-120 if your weight is below 160 (men's lightweight class)
120-130 if your weight is greater than 160 (heavyweight)


30 is a bit high for spm unless you are sprinting.
You will have a faster split if you bring it down to 28 by putting more power in your drive and slowing you're recovery.
You can do can also do  "on/off" training where you keep your strokes at 24 spm and your splits at say 2:15 for 500m then 28spm at <2:00 for 500m and repeat for example.


ETA:  Rowing is a tall guy's sport.  Being taller is almost always an advantage. (I'm not tall)
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Originally Posted By hammet:
Originally Posted By FullMetalAR:
Originally Posted By hammet:
Damper should be set between 3-5 in most cases.  SPM should be about 20-30 depending on your workout.  
ETA:  If you want to row faster (reduce your /500 split), drive harder with the legs!


Guess I was in the right range then at 5, because my SPM were 30 or a tad higher. So if my SPM were north of 30 would you recommend bumping the damper up a bit or no?

Increasing the damper is like rowing on a boat with barnacles...not very realistic when you are trying to simulate a racing shell.  It won't make you a faster rower necessarily.
First off, each machine is different depending on use and age and condition. If you go into a gym and you see lint on the fan, you know you are going to have to increase the damper setting to get the same feeling that you would on a new machine in your home.  (The lint means less air for the fan to move)

But there is a way to set the damper so that two different machines produce the same power per stroke.
In the options menu, display the "drag factor".
Row a few times.  Adjust the damper so the drag factor is as follows
110-120 if your weight is below 160 (men's lightweight class)
120-130 if your weight is greater than 160 (heavyweight)


30 is a bit high for spm unless you are sprinting.
You will have a faster split if you bring it down to 28 by putting more power in your drive and slowing you're recovery.
You can do can also do  "on/off" training where you keep your strokes at 24 spm and your splits at say 2:15 for 500m then 28spm at <2:00 for 500m and repeat for example.


ETA:  Rowing is a tall guy's sport.  Being taller is almost always an advantage. (I'm not tall)


You sound like you know what youre talking about, so im going to take your advice. I have a couplet of Row for cals & box jumps today, so ill leave the damper setting at 5 and try to focus on leg drive on the row.  Workout is 25 Cal and 25 box jumps, 20 cal and 20 jumps, 15....

At my usual higher setting, rowing 25cal would take me about 1:05 so ill be curious to see how it goes at the lower damper.
Link Posted: 1/27/2016 12:48:56 PM EDT
Update - did the row for calories with damper setting 5, really focusing on leg drive. 25 cal took me 1:02 and spm was about 24. Even with the lower damper I still managed 1 call per pull, so I'll call it a win. I was able to slow down a bit and save my breathing. This thread has been really helpful, thanks fellas.
Link Posted: 2/25/2016 10:31:05 AM EDT
Great thread!
I want to ask about erg/rowing vs other types of indoor machines. Any input welcome here.
My son rowed through High School and is a strong 6'4" but very light 150.
I need to lose @ least 30#, 49yrs old, 6' 230# cubical fatty. Want to get in shape, he will use it as well.

He is telling me to get one of these Concept2 machines because that is what the rowing club used. I know they are $900, not a problem.
I want whole body strengthening and weight loss, tone improvement from my current shape.

Also do most of you do this 2k thing or just row at a given rate for a set time?
Link Posted: 2/25/2016 2:56:50 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/25/2016 2:57:41 PM EDT by spyderboy03]
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Originally Posted By avlon06:

I'd pass out if I rowed for 20min at 2:07/500m
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Originally Posted By avlon06:
Originally Posted By Andrewc_c:
Interesting thread. I had no idea about the drag factor so the last couple of times I have used the rower I have set it at 130 +- a few.

Has anyone used the rower on "sled?" I found it to be really awkward at first as the seat almost seems to stay stationary as the rower moves back and forth compared to you moving the seat back and forth on a stationary rower. Is there any benefit to having the rower on a "sled" or not.

Yesterdays row.
5'11", 180 lbs, damper was set at 7.
http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e116/Camach/626e8737-47d3-4337-a3d6-90a7c995676e_zpso9zkhp60.jpg

I'd pass out if I rowed for 20min at 2:07/500m


Slow your stroke per minute down and push harder with your legs/ pull harder with your arms. I have found that I can row a 24 S/M and roughly 2:15 500m split and be able to carry on a conversation while rowing for whatever distance I feel like.

If I'm rowing 500-1000 for time, I go 21-22 S/M and a 1:38-1:42 500 split time. If I'm rowing a 1000m as part of a crossfit workout and the row is first, I go to a 24-25 S/M and 1:55-2:00 500 split so I can immediately start the next movement instead of trying not to die. A leisure 2000m for me just to move is 8:00-8:30 . I typically only do that 2 days out from a comp as an active rest day, and rest the day before.

I'm 5'11" and 223ish

ETA: I usually have the damper set between 8 & 9, but will turn it down to 7 for 2k.
Link Posted: 2/25/2016 3:08:15 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By spyderboy03:
Slow your stroke per minute down and push harder with your legs/ pull harder with your arms.
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Does the slower stroke dampen the fly-wheel affect and let your legs get into the game more?

Maybe my legs are just super strong (hell, they carry my fat ass around everywhere) but I always find my arms are the limiting factor -- I almost feel like I get little out of my legs.

... though I have also been going at lower damper settings and more for a strictly cardio benefit.
Link Posted: 2/25/2016 4:01:20 PM EDT
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Originally Posted By WhyTanFox:

Does the slower stroke dampen the fly-wheel affect and let your legs get into the game more?

Maybe my legs are just super strong (hell, they carry my fat ass around everywhere) but I always find my arms are the limiting factor -- I almost feel like I get little out of my legs.

... though I have also been going at lower damper settings and more for a strictly cardio benefit.
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Originally Posted By WhyTanFox:
Originally Posted By spyderboy03:
Slow your stroke per minute down and push harder with your legs/ pull harder with your arms.

Does the slower stroke dampen the fly-wheel affect and let your legs get into the game more?

Maybe my legs are just super strong (hell, they carry my fat ass around everywhere) but I always find my arms are the limiting factor -- I almost feel like I get little out of my legs.

... though I have also been going at lower damper settings and more for a strictly cardio benefit.


Slowing the stroke down requires more legs and arms to lower your split time while making it easier to breathe. A 3:30 1000m with a 21ish S/M and 8/9 on the damper is murder on the arms and legs, and nowhere near as bad on the lungs as if you went 30 S/M. But, like someone else said, rowing itself is rough...
Link Posted: 2/26/2016 1:52:14 AM EDT
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Originally Posted By spyderboy03:


Slowing the stroke down requires more legs and arms to lower your split time while making it easier to breathe. A 3:30 1000m with a 21ish S/M and 8/9 on the damper is murder on the arms and legs, and nowhere near as bad on the lungs as if you went 30 S/M. But, like someone else said, rowing itself is rough...
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Originally Posted By spyderboy03:
Originally Posted By WhyTanFox:
Originally Posted By spyderboy03:
Slow your stroke per minute down and push harder with your legs/ pull harder with your arms.

Does the slower stroke dampen the fly-wheel affect and let your legs get into the game more?

Maybe my legs are just super strong (hell, they carry my fat ass around everywhere) but I always find my arms are the limiting factor -- I almost feel like I get little out of my legs.

... though I have also been going at lower damper settings and more for a strictly cardio benefit.


Slowing the stroke down requires more legs and arms to lower your split time while making it easier to breathe. A 3:30 1000m with a 21ish S/M and 8/9 on the damper is murder on the arms and legs, and nowhere near as bad on the lungs as if you went 30 S/M. But, like someone else said, rowing itself is rough...



So tagged.

We have been rowing now at work each day. 1,000 and 2,000m races. Had no idea about split times. We figured drag out and form and just go for time.

Rowing is a killer, so far my best times are 3:33 and 8:07. need to start going for more distance and work on stroke split speeds
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