3 comments on “Questioning Conventional Wisdom on Erg Testing for Masters Athletes

  1. 1) It might help to remember that performance on a Concept 2 Indoor Rower is calibrated to align with big boats rather than singles. Put another way, 6:30 for 2K on an indoor rower is no more an indicator of your ability to row a 6:30 2K in a 1x than if you had rowed 2K in an 8 that did 6:30.

    2) Within a reasonable range, there is no magic whatsoever in round numbers for interval training. 400s, 450s, 550s and 600s aren’t any better or worse than 500s.

    3) Specificity in training is essential. If you’re a masters rower on the water you should tailor your training towards the 1K race distance. Intervals on the water and on the indoor rower should, overall, be shorter and faster than the intervals you would row training for 2K. Think 200s, 250s and 300s rather than 500s. Additionally, if you row a 1X rather than a big boat AND you’re looking for a somewhat close approximation of your on water performance, your “race distance” time trials on an indoor rower should be in the neighborhood of 20% longer than your on the water race distance.

    A lot of training for both Masters and Juniors rowing seems to be taken directly from an elite rower’s training diary without any thought given to differences in size, strength or race distance. Tailoring training to match the race distance and the athlete’s physiology is just common sense.


    • Bob, thanks for reading and for the insightful comment. I think your last paragraph sums it up perfectly. Hope you didn’t get too much snow out there in Renton!

  2. Agree with specificity recommendation re on water racing. Of course if we’re training for the December – February 2k erg races then we need to train for 2K, but after CRASH-Bs we should start shooting for actual on water race distances. Overdistance training over winter will help build aerobic base so not a damaging training format. But as in any sport specificity is key.

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