Beginners

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Hammer
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Re: Beginners

Post by Hammer » Thu Apr 30, 2015 3:48 pm

Fantastic English and excellent links thank you! I have just started the Pete plan...got a steep hill to climb!

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Re: Beginners

Post by dr3do » Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:00 pm

Hammer wrote:I have just started the Pete plan...
Cool. 8) =D>
Hammer wrote:got a steep hill to climb!
As long you do the hard work, climbing up… we do the the fun & support part and cheer for you. :fsbgrin: :lol: ^O^

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Re: Beginners

Post by Hammer » Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:02 pm

By the way, do you have any tips on complementary weight training / cross training please guys?

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Re: Beginners

Post by Hammer » Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:03 pm

Haha! Cheers Doc!

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Re: Beginners

Post by dr3do » Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:08 pm

Hammer wrote:By the way, do you have any tips on complementary weight training / cross training please guys?
There's an app… ähh… a thread for :lol:

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Re: Beginners

Post by Recess » Thu Apr 30, 2015 4:34 pm

Aha! This is where i meant to post...

I stumbled on this page a few weeks ago:

http://global-rowing-service.com/html/s ... ning_.html
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Re: Beginners

Post by MiguelD » Sun Oct 23, 2016 3:52 pm

Hi

I have been owning a model D for now close to two weeks and this forum and team looks like a gold mine for any beginner like me. :)

So I am new to indoor rowing even if I have done a bit of rowing at a gym here and there in a previous life.

The fact is I have become abysmally unfit over the years :oops: and decided to (try to) do something about it. Look at the numbers: male, 35 years old, 120kg and a simple 500m I just did (after a peaceful 4k as warmup) was at 2:01.7 :? ... and I gave all that I had ! :cry: :cry:

So I guess I can only improve ...
the current plan I was going to stick to is the 14-week weight loss training plan from RowPro. And in between sessions from that plan, if my back agrees and time allows, do some 2k's here and there.


Of course, eating better food is also planned...


Is the plan described above something that sounds reasonable or are there other suggestions that could make me see improvements rather sooner than later ?


Thanks in advance
--
Miguel
--
Miguel

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Re: Beginners

Post by Rodger » Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:47 am

Hi Miguel and welcome to Free Spirits!

The concept 2 is a great choice if you want to do something about your fitness.
I don't know the RowPro weight loss training plan (not a RP user myself), but I'm sure any plan that lets you exercise for longer periods of time will be good.

In the early stages the most important thing is to work on improving technique and building a base. For this, keeping an eye on your stroke rate (strokes per minute, spm) will help a lot. You'll want that rate to be fairly low to develop an efficient stroke. Then later, when your technique and base fitness has improved, you can add workouts with more intensity to your training (like shorter intervals at higher rates and pace).

Best of success and let us know how you get on!
M | 47 | 1.78 m | 72 kg
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Re: Beginners

Post by CamiCrew » Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:20 am

Hi Miguel - welcome - glad you chose to say hello & share some goals.

I use RowPro and very much enjoy it.

For me October 31 kicks off a season of not-as-healthy food choices... so I'm glad I have indoor rowing to help compensate.

Enjoy your new journey :fsbgrin:
-barbara

F Hwt 52 yrs 5'10"

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Re: Beginners

Post by MiguelD » Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:24 pm

Thanks to both of you for your encouragement :-)

In the course of two weeks, I already lost almost 4kg and decreased my 2k from 9min30s to 9min4s.

I am finally dropping RowPro because the Mac version is too buggy to me and I really don't feel the need of it in the end. The PM5 and ErgData seem feature-full enough for me for now.

So for now I am following the C2 weight loss plan, and alternating with some 2k rows to test my progress. Later on I will also benchmark 30min (currently I limit myself to 20min rows - baby steps, baby steps... :wink: )


I do have one question. What seems to be my limiting factor now is my back. If I keep a rather slow stroke rate (20-23), it aches quite a bit in the middle of it. Looks like when I stroke faster (like with a 2k), the pain decreases.

Is that probably due to a technique issue or just my plain lack of fitness and heavy weight are simply showing up this way ?

Thanks again for your support !
--
Miguel
--
Miguel

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Re: Beginners

Post by plummy » Thu Oct 27, 2016 8:51 am

Apologies for the tardiness of this - but welcome to Free Spirits Miguel! - good to have you with us :D
55 yrs old, 71kg, 5' 10"
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Re: Beginners

Post by Rodger » Sun Oct 30, 2016 9:23 am

MiguelD wrote:Thanks to both of you for your encouragement :-)
I do have one question. What seems to be my limiting factor now is my back. If I keep a rather slow stroke rate (20-23), it aches quite a bit in the middle of it. Looks like when I stroke faster (like with a 2k), the pain decreases.

Is that probably due to a technique issue or just my plain lack of fitness and heavy weight are simply showing up this way ?
It could be technique related. It sounds like you could be pulling with the back a lot where you should be pushing with your legs. A little trick I use myself to check this, is to sometimes lay my thumbs on top of the handle bar. That forces me use the legs only to get the stroke going. If those strokes feel different in the legs than the ones where I had my fingers gripped around the handle, that's a sign I wasn't doing the first part of the stroke from the legs well enough.

It's also important to hold your back straight while rowing. This may feel a bit unnatural at first and you'll need a strong core, but you're better off developing a good stroke now in the early stages than having to alter a stroke later that developed over the years and may give you backaches.

You may also want to check the drag factor you're using. If it's set too high, you will be using your back too much. It will also be difficult then to develop a smooth stroke. The drag factor can be seen on the monitor and is set by changing the damper at the flywheel. Think of the drag factor as the gears on a bike, you (usually) wouldn't want to bike around in highest gear.
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Re: Beginners

Post by zootMutant » Mon Oct 31, 2016 4:42 am

Hello Miguel! Welcome to Free Spirits! :P

I think you'll find that rowing is easy on your joints compared with high-impact sports like jogging or aerobics classes, and is therefore a good choice for a beginner. However, as you're noticing, it can be hard on your back if you're just starting out.

I agree with Rodger that technique is very important for a beginner. But I'll go a step further and say that by far the most important thing is to give yourself time to adapt to your new workout plan. When you see your times drop and feel your fitness improve, it's tempting to push even harder to maximize those gains. But...

You can only train as hard as you can rest!

When you exercise, you are actually breaking down muscle tissue. Your body then rebuilds that tissue stronger than it was before... if you give your body time to heal! The amount of time you need depends on your age, the total load (intensity, duration, and frequency of your workouts), and your starting level of fitness.

As a beginner, it is important to mix different types of workouts into a plan so your muscles have time to heal. For example, row moderately hard one day, easy the next, then take a day off, then go for a walk or a swim or a bicycle ride. The goal is to keep moving so your fitness improves, while still allowing your muscles to recover.

If your back is sore the day after a rowing session, you probably need to take an easy day to loosen up your muscles. Don't overdo it. Get some rest, do some stretches.

If your back is sore while you're rowing, you need to take a closer look at your form.

There are many videos online, but one of my favourites is: Rowing Technique by Coach Lubo Kisiov.

Also, take a look at your drag factor. Your rowing machine has an adjustable damper. This changes how fast the flywheel slows down between strokes. If you are rowing at a slow stroke rate with a high drag factor then each stroke will feel like you are starting from a dead stop. To ease the stress on your back, you can either row faster (increase the strokes per minute), or you can reduce the drag factor. Play around and see what feels good for you. If I am sprinting, I might row at 30-36 strokes per minute with a drag factor of 140. But if I am doing a technique session I might row at 16-18 strokes per minute with a drag factor of 110. But as I said, try different settings to see what feels good for you.

Rodger mentioned the importance of driving with your legs and keeping your back straight. Both are very important. I hate to say this, but I was 48 years old before I really understood the difference between 'bending at the waist' and 'bending at the hips'. To me they were the same thing! If you bend at the waist while rowing, you are using the little muscles in your lower back to straighten up. But if you keep your back straight and bend at the hips you will be using your hamstrings much more than your back. Think about it while you are rowing. It might help to think of a noose around your neck pulling upward and stretching your back. Or maybe not. :wink:

Keep in mind: The 'best' exercise plan is the one that you stick with! :wink: Regardless of any short-term progress, you will find long-term success if you are still exercising regularly one year from now. Even if you don't lose any weight, your overall fitness and health will be much better. 8)

I wish you luck! If you have any questions, be sure to post them and we'll do the best we can to help.

Cheers,
zoot
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Re: Beginners

Post by Carlrows » Mon Dec 19, 2016 7:21 pm

Hello! I just started rowing! I row on a Concept 2 at my gym. I have belonged to the same gym for two and a half years and only recently tried the erg. Like the gym, I immediately became hooked! I put in an application to join Free Spirits team on Concept 2. I'm looking forward to being a member of your team!

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Re: Beginners

Post by plummy » Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:12 pm

Welcome Carl - thank you for picking Free Spirits and joining us. Feel free to add a few more details on the "A place to introduce yourself" thread (no obligation of course) and let us know what your background/aspirations are etc.

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Re: Beginners

Post by Paul Victory » Mon Dec 19, 2016 8:20 pm

Hi Carl

Welcome to Free Spirits! You have come to the right place for support, advice and encouragement.

Paul V
M 65 6'1" 124kg (May05), 92kg (Feb06), 122kg (Aug10), 95kg (Sep11), 117kg (Jun13), now 92kg
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Re: Beginners

Post by zootMutant » Mon Dec 19, 2016 9:38 pm

Hello Carl!

Welcome to Free Spirits!

Look around and enjoy your stay... there's lots to do around here... and lots of friendly people to help you on your journey! :fsbgrin:

Cheers,
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Re: Beginners

Post by Everett_201 » Thu Dec 22, 2016 4:11 pm

Hi, Everyone;

I'm Eric (Everett is my son) and this is my first post. I have been in love with rowing ever since I did crew in college for a semester back in the late 90s, but only really began using the erg about 4-years ago when I hurt my knee running. Even then I still missed a year or two. I had been using Concept2's in my local gym, but recently bought a Model D with a PM5 that now resides in my basement.

I'm excited to find some community and camaraderie in the rowing community... And to be able to talk about rowing with someone other than my Dad (whom I convinced to buy a Concept2 this past summer). Looking forward to getting to know folks here.

Best,
Eric
Lincoln, Massachusetts, USA

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Re: Beginners

Post by gregsmith01748 » Thu Dec 22, 2016 8:42 pm

Howdy Neighbor!

I'm Greg, and I hail from Hopkinton, MA. Welcome to Free Spirits.

If you ever get a hankering to get back on the water, let me know, I row with a great bunch of folks out in Worcester and we are happy to welcome newcomers.

Greg
Greg - Age: 53 H: 182cm W: 88Kg (should be 83Kg)
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Re: Beginners

Post by zootMutant » Thu Dec 22, 2016 11:01 pm

Welcome Eric, Glad to have you on board! Cheers :fsbgrin:
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Re: Beginners

Post by Helium » Sun Jan 01, 2017 7:28 pm

Hello folks!
A quick message that I'm back on forum and I joined Virtual Challenge team too.
I've got almost 5 year break for rowing because of heel overuse ingury.
It was quite restricting time to time, preventing even long walks I love.
Now everything is ok. Joined crossfit gym at june 2016 and trained there 6 month.
Rowing is getting more easier cause I'm stronger over all. I think my PBs still consist lots of air if you understand my meaning.
What's new happening here?

Regards,
Heli
51y - 162 cm

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Re: Beginners

Post by zootMutant » Sun Jan 01, 2017 7:33 pm

Welcome back, Helium! Good to hear from you. Hope your strength continues to improve!

Cheers,
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Online/virtual coaches

Post by Tako » Sun Feb 05, 2017 9:25 pm

After starting to really use my Erg last summer it has been a great travel.
Better fitness, weight loss, slimmer body, better times, my first MillionMeters, several challenges (C2, C2TC, IRL, ...) ...
All that would not have happened without you all! THANKS A LOT :!: :!: :!:

The weight loss stopped end of November partially due to injury (due to overdoing it) and several colds and infections.
But anyway met my different challenge obligations :fswink: , which helped me to keep the low weight.

To avoid injuries from overdoing it and bad technique I was wondering whether anyone has experience with online/virtual coaches that can help improve technique etc. because I think it is important to remove errors before it is too late to fix them.
In my online search I came across https://darkhorserowing.com/ and they were agressively marketing a special coaching program with skype calls etc.
However, before diving into these kind of offers I would like to know what fellow FSs think about using a coach and where to find one. Does Mr- Blythe offer somwthing worth trying? All input is welcome as it appears to me that local OTW roing clubs seem not to be interested in middle aged indoor rowers, if they are even aware of this "secret world".

Latest at Madchester I guess I can get some face2face feedback :fssmile: :fssmile:

The best wishes to you all!
Rowing for fitness & health!
Without others and competition I wouldn't, so thanks to all of you in the community for keeping me going! :fssmile:

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Re: Beginners

Post by Grobi » Tue Feb 07, 2017 8:23 am

Hi Tako,

first of all I think it's great that you acknowledge the need to fix technique issues early before they get too much of a habit to get rid of them. I looked into the darkhorserowing website and have to admit I'm not overly excited by it. They offer a monthly membership for 29$/month or special courses for 48$. These courses offer training plans to improve your 500m, 1k, 2k or 5k (our find your perfect drag factor in four weeks for 39$, seriously??).

I think that's hugely overprized! Why? Because you can have all this for free. There are very effective training plans out there like the Pete Plan or the Pete Plan for beginners, if you want to take things a bit easier. Of course you need feedback from like minded to keep you going, but that's exactly what this forum can provide.

Talking of improving technique, there's always the chance of posting a video of yourself and asking for advice. I understand that not everyone is comfortable with that as this is a public forum. One way would be to establish a subforum only visible for registered members where FS can upload technique vides? And of course there's Madchester where there will be technique talk, if you can wait that long.

Or you look at the video Dave posted on the EIRC 2017 thread. It's a perfect display of how to row (Dave, erg #10) and of how NOT to row (erg #9):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3I1lhA3C1E

I know that several FS have taken part in Sam Blythe's training program. I've read mixed reviews about it and leave it to them to explain in detail.

Of course a structured training plan like darkhorsereowing or Sam's plan will improve your erg times. But so does EVERY structured plan, especially if you are new to indoor rowing.
Athletes row, others just play games

Peter

51y, 1,89m, 84kg

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Re: Beginners

Post by Draggon » Tue Feb 07, 2017 1:12 pm

Grobi wrote:Or you look at the video Dave posted on the EIRC 2017 thread. It's a perfect display of how to row (Dave, erg #10) and of how NOT to row (erg #9):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v3I1lhA3C1E
Oh my gosh! That poor guy is doing about everything wrong!
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