Tabata Endurance – Concept2 vs. on the water

This week I’ve done 2 Tabata rowing workouts – one on the Concept2 and one on the water in a double scull.  Why did I do this?  One was part of the Crossfit Endurance program and one was part of a funky Tabata version of Fight Gone Bad at Crossfit Ignite.  I found them to be quite different, and this highlights the differences between indoor and outdoor rowing.

On the C2, I did it straight through for calories, and registered 78 calories.  My ratings were about 36-40 on damper setting 4.  The day after, my upper back and shoulders were extremely sore, since I haven’t touched a C2 since March.

On the water, granular timing is tough.  I decided to do 2 series of 8 x  15 strokes on, 3 strokes off, in order to push myself to achieve something like 45 strokes per minute and penalize myself for anything less.  In the double, this was achievable with a skilled partner.  I felt a lot of burn in the legs, and the legs were burned up the following day as well.

Frankly, I felt that the on-water version was both more effective and much more tiring than the C2.  I attribute this to the increased use of the legs for power while maintaining elasticity in the upper body, vs. using the upper body more as a lever on the C2.  It was surprisingly much easier to hit a higher cadence in the boat than on the C2 as well.

In many ways this is the opposite of what I expected.  Just shows you that by trying new things like Crossfit, you can learn things about a sport even if you’ve been doing it for 25 years!

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