It’s been a while since I updated this blog, but recently I did some testing at CrossFit Ignite on how to come up with equivalent WODs for those who want to or need to use the Assault Bike / Airdyne instead of the Concept2 rower. Here’s what I found, which corroborates the findings in this article. FYI: Set the Assault Bike to measure meters vs. miles for distance.
- Common level of effort can be reached by using the watts setting on either machine. E.g. if level of effort is supposed to be 75% – you can feel what 75% is like on the C2 using the watts setting, and then go onto the AB and pedal at a similar watts level. I tested at:
- 200 watts – which is about 1000 cal/hr or 2:00/500m pace on the C2 – this is the range where most people will be working for most WODs.
- 385 watts – which is about 2k pace for me on the C2.
- Max – which is >750 watts on either machine.
- Rule of thumb for anything longer than 250m/10cal all-out sprints:
- Multiply C2 distance by 2 for Ae. E.g. 500m on C2 equals 1000m on AB in the same amount of time.
- Multiply C2 calories by 0.5 for AB. E.g. 50 cals on C2 equals 25 cals on AB in the same amount of time.
- For anything up to 250m/10cal intervals at all-out sprint intensity (>750 watts):
- Distance rule of thumb is the same.
- Calories become 1:1 – so 10 cal intervals on the C2 are also 10 cal intervals on the AB – but this is only true if you are revving the AB to absolute max.
- I don’t know why the calories even out at high intensities. There is no way of knowing the differences in how each machine even calculates this. In general it’s possible to maintain a higher average wattage on a bike than on a rower because the cadence is much higher on the bike, although the absolute max attainable wattage is similar on both machines. My theory is that there is a limit to how fast a human can move arms and legs, and you reach this limit faster on the AB due to the higher cadence and shorter range of motion, so at a certain point you can pour more force into each stroke (calories) without being able to move the flywheel much faster (distance).
Some unsolicited advice on CrossFit Games Open Workout 17.4 from someone with one foot in the rowing community and one foot in the CrossFit community:
The workout (unscaled) is:
- 55 deadlifts
- 55 wallballs
- 55 calorie row
- 55 handstand pushups
I don’t have handstand pushups, so my strategy was to max out on the row for an Rx score.
A lot of people have asked about rowing strategy. Here’s what I’ve been telling them:
- The row is equivalent to about 850 meters, but because you will be doing it with smoked back, smoked lats, and smoked legs, you will not be able to treat it as a straight sprint. It will take you about as long as a standard 1K row.
- In terms of pacing, try to remember the number of calories you did on the last 1 min round of Fight Gone Bad when you were tired – that is about the pace you will be able to maintain. For me, that was in the low 20s, and I finished the 55 cal row this morning in just under 3:00, so that computes.
- For me, I set a light damper (drag factor 105, about 3.5 on the machine I was using) and kept a relatively high stroke rate (32-33 to start, down to ~30 during the middle, and back up at the end). I believe it’s better to keep the wheel spinning for a piece this long, because with tired lats it’s easy to fall into the trap of squishy finishes, which will sap your ability to maintain power at a lower rate. I think once you let the rate drop into the 26 range and are tired, you start going into a death spiral that’s hard to sprint out of.
- Unscientifically, I’d recommend Rx non-rower men shoot for something like 1000-1100 pace, and women 600-700 pace. Again I was a little higher because I knew I was not doing HSPUs – you will have to pace yourself if you expect to do a bunch of HSPUs.
- Goal should probably be to finish the row by 10 minutes if you want to have time for HSPUs.
I see that a previous post on Calories to Pace conversion is getting some hits today – thanks.
Saturday June 4 is national learn to row day – many rowing clubs are offering free open houses at which you can try on-water rowing in a safe and supervised environment.
You can look up a club near you that is hosting an event here: Click to see
In North Jersey, I’d recommend the following:
Bergen County Rowing Academy (Overpeck Park North End)
ACRA (Monksville Reservoir)
Maroon Blades (Ridgewood)
Passaic River Rowing Association (North Arlington)
Nereid Boat Club (Rutherford)
Rockland Rowing (Hudson Valley)
CrossFitters – this is your chance to try a new sport that you are used to simulating in the gym. Weather forecast is awesome – try it out!
Today I logged the last workouts for Row’d Royalty 2016 after also doing a 2K race over the weekend. I’m glad the indoor rowing competitions are over for me for 2016 and I can concentrate on core training and CrossFit for the next 45 days or so. Looks like I finished 14th out of 139 entries in the Masters 40-49 “tall” category, which is 4 spots higher than in 2015.
I found the format to be tougher this year in terms of how to fit it into regular programming at CrossFit Ignite, and the competition to be stiffer. I also found the web experience to be significantly worse than last year, to the point where I was unable to upload pictures for some of the workouts while I was traveling – the website interface to submit scores and pictures was really slow and cumbersome. It’s a good competition, but I hope next year they improve the website, and they extend the WOD window so that east coast boxes can program it more easily and generate more participants.
Well it finally happened! A CrossFitter sits atop the world record pyramid for C2 indoor rowing. Congrats to Sam Briggs for breaking the lightweight womens’ record in 1:33.4! I sometimes wonder why we don’t see more CrossFitters duking it out for the short-distance records. I would expect to see a lot more of this as CrossFit athletes are large, strong, fit, and tough, and that counts more than technique for the shorter distances. Any men out there that can flirt with 1:10 for 500m ? This one has stood since 1991 – someone (large 🙂 )should target it.
For CrossFitters and rowers in the NY/NJ/CT metro area, there is a great indoor rowing event on January 30 sponsored by Don Bosco Prep. The location is easy, it is well-run and on-time, and last year it was one of the top 5 indoor regattas in the US based on attendance. CrossFit boxes are especially encouraged to attend. The timing of the event is especially good for rowers looking looking for a mid-season check-in on their winter training before the end-of-February championships and CRASH-Bs.
It’s a straight 2K race, with connected ergs so you can go head-to-head against the competition.
They are also selling off the race machines at a discount if you are interested in getting a like-new C2.
The third annual Ironmen Erg Classic Indoor Regatta will be held on Saturday, January 30, 2016. Registration is currently open on Regatta Central https://www.regattacentral.com/user/registration/?job_id=4281&org_id=0
As a USRowing registered regatta, all participants will be required to sign a 2016 USRowing waiver (details to follow).
Competitors that are interested in buying an Erg for home can reserve one of the Race Ergs.
Regularly $900 + $45 shipping, Race Ergs are available for $825
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a race erg or if you have any questions.
Sign up for this – don’t miss it. You can register under a rowing club or a CrossFit box affiliation. This year they are raffling off a C2 rower each week. This is run a little like the CrossFit Open competition, but with some challenging rowing workouts. See you there!