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!