Concept2 Peak Power redux

So today I was off the water as I mounted a new skeg on my single and I had very limited time, so I hopped on the Concept2 to do the Crossfit Endurance WOD from yesterday:  10 rounds, row 8 strokes at maximum wattage every minute.  I modified the WOD slightly to have less rest and get it done in like 15 minutes, which was awesome.  I had a really hard WOD at Crossfit Ignite yesterday involving hundreds of jump squats, knees to elbows, and situps, so my legs and especially abs were cooked.

Remember that back in February I did a post on peak power and at that time I maxed at 683 watts, or about 1:20.1 pace.  I was curious about what would happen today because I’ve only been on a C2 about 5 times since last March.  I like the format of today’s WOD because it gives your body the chance to regain muscle memory on how to pull max wattage on the C2, and gives you enough repeats to actually reach your max and then see a little bit of taper-off.

The good news is that I basically equaled my max wattage from February, on round 7.   So my peak power is likely significantly higher than in February when I did a much more static test.  Plus in February when I did the test, it felt like I was doing a max effort deadlift – like my eyes were going to pop out of my head and my ribcage was going to bust open.  Today, it was a max effort, but it was really no problem – my mobility and control was much, much better, even not having rowed at max on the erg for a long time.  Plus my body weight is about 12-15 lbs. lighter, which usually works against you on the erg.

It’s been 10 months now, and this stuff really works.  I’m rowing much less now than in the summer, doing other things, but the strength and conditioning has not dropped off.  If anything, with more rest, I am nailing much better numbers on lot of the WODs at my box.  What was that about “train less to perform better"?”  I am going to stroke an eight on Sunday at the Head of the Passaic, and I am confident that it will be no problem – Crossfit has given me 100% confidence in my basic conditioning, and now I can focus on technique and swing without worrying about the tank running dry.

WOD:  Concept 2, damper 6 (same machine used for February testing).  10 rounds of 8 strokes at max wattage on the minute, scoring the highest number reached:  618 watts, 593, 629, 646, 648, 677, 682, 675, 677, 672.

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5 thoughts on “Concept2 Peak Power redux

  1. another interesting read 🙂
    in concept2 rowers circles the peak power test is sometimes referred to as LP, lowest pull,
    and measured as the lowest split time you can manage to pull.
    Got advice from a guy who did a 14 sec 100m sprint (OMG!) that his 3rd stroke is where he pulls the most watts.
    I do those attempts at max drag, but couldn’t do 10 reps of 8 strokes of that. Guess that depends on the rest time. Max drag will hurt your back etc etc but you know this I’m sure. Have a good race at the Head of the Passaic regatta on Sunday.

    1. Thanks Johan, 14 secs is sick for 100M ! I do think that pulling at a higher damper gives you the opportunity to generate more watts. I will try this WOD at an 8 during the winter when my back and ribcage is a little more used to the C2. For Fight Gone Bad I used a damper of 8 instead of 4 and that was a better strategy. I find it interesting that on the old C2 model B, we used to test at a drag factor of 180, which on today’s model woud be a damper of about 8 – quite heavy. Thanks and best wishes. – Marc

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