Rowing Apps - What's Hot and what's not

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Mike Channin
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Rowing Apps - What's Hot and what's not

Post by Mike Channin »

Been quite a while since I had time to investigate the various rowing related Apps in detail, so I thought I'd appeal to the greater experience and wisdom of this group, to answer the question:

At start of the 2021-22 Season, which Apps do you rate and why?
(Doesn't have to be restricted to SmartPhones - laptops count too)

There's obviously a wealth of training and health related Apps out there: rowing specific, general training, and utility (like your music App of choice!)

(Maybe we can even get a summary and 'sticky' it, as this is useful info)
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Mike Channin
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Re: Rowing Apps - What's Hot and what's not

Post by Mike Channin »

I'll kick off, although my App usage is a bit archaic.

I have a PM4 on my Model C which I'm using for my rowing at the moment.
I'm not recording anything more than screen shots of the PM after the sessions (interval data; yes, I'm aware of the inaccuracies of the Av Rate and HR)
I'm using a Polar HRM (H10) with the PM link, plus recording the HR data on Polar Beat.

I tend to use Spotify for the audio, but sometimes Audible for long, slow boring stuff.
I'm using AutoSleep (from Apple Watch data) for readiness analysis, but don't find it terribly reliable or correlated with results.
I used to use Elite HRV but haven't done for ages.

I'd like more data on stroke quality, so I guess ErgData is a good way to go...
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Claudius
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Re: Rowing Apps - What's Hot and what's not

Post by Claudius »

i also had a pm4...now a pm5- updated it only for the use of zwift- with a pm4 you have everything a purist indoor rower needs- thx to ant+ HR compatibility, and for Ergdata you can use the cable. Ergdata is a great software for indoor rowing, completely free, no adds, it just does for what it is built for. Its design is simple, nothing special. Just a good solid piece of software. Krew is another very good tool. I was in that Beta group. The design and connective possibilities are more advanced than Ergdata. But it doesnt support the cable...and now it isnt free anymore...so goodbye. Row Pro was unique...but it didn't evolve.

The just to summarize

Ergdata - must have
Krew - an option
RowPro - the former champion- but outdated
Zwift - at the moment only for cyclists/runners- or for freaks like me

i didnt tested EXR and the other stuff- i love to be a freak...so it is zwift with ergdata for me !
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Mike Channin
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Re: Rowing Apps - What's Hot and what's not

Post by Mike Channin »

Thanks Claudius - that's very helpful.

It seems very hard to get hold of the iPhone variant of the cable, so I seem to be stuck between updating my PM4 or sticking with it and getting a cheap android tablet (and lead) JUST for the rower. Suspect the first makes most sense...

What are the benefits of using Zwift with a rower then? It looks very cycling/running oriented...
I had RowPro when it first came out, although I rarely used it.

Is there a video-style rowing app or system? (Where you get a video view of the course - Like the TDF stuff on cycling systems, except wetter and backwards!)
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Re: Rowing Apps - What's Hot and what's not

Post by JonT »

Here is my input to this

First the Kit
  • PM5
  • Wahoo Kickr HR Band
  • iPhone
  • iPad
  • Garmin Fenix 5 Watch
The Apps

Erg Data
I use ErgData for ad hoc "Just Row" style rows which are typically warm-up/cool-down sessions before other activity.

ErgData has it's uses. It syncs nicely with the C2 logbook, both up and down. It has a wealth of extra fields compared to the PM5. The one I make the most use of is Stroke Length just to make sure I am not slacking and I am holding reasonable form. But I know others make use of peak/average force etc.

ErgZone
I have started using ErgZone more and more because I do a lot of structured sessions and it is a very powerful tool for configuring workouts and saving them for future use and future reference. The sessions are all named and have "tags" so sorting them and saving them by type is also easy (tags I use are things like UT2, set piece, rowalong etc). The app is also easy to configure to show various data fields as you row, and also gives good information about how you are performing versus target pace, rating etc. I love it.

Finally, there are a large number of rowing session libraries, many of which are free to access.

RowPro
For those who are not familiar with it, RowPro is a PC based system that places you on a virtual river (the most boring river in the world). Within the software you can configure rowing sessions with various intervals, rests and targets. There is also a set of training programmes available, but I have never looked at these. Last time I used it, the software required a cable attachment to the PM. I don;t know whether a Bluetooth attachment works or not.

I used to be a fan of RowPro mainly because of the ability to set up and save sessions easily and the fact that I could compete against others. But I got fed up with the flaky software and just got used to using my phone for everything.

Rowalong
Not really an app, but I often use my iPad to follow John's Rowalong sessions which I have accessed in his ErgZone library, or set up myself. I run these on an iPad while following the workout on ErgZone.

Zwift
I used to be a big Zwift user for my indoor cycling. But I have switched all of my focus to rowing and I have cancelled my subscription, which is not cheap! Claudius wrote an excellent explanation of rowing on zwift (which is really cycling when rowing on an erg) -> here

EXR
EXR is rowing's answer to Zwift. It is still in early development and I keep meaning to try it out as a member of the Beta Testing group. But the fact that you can't do set pieces and log them on the C2 log book puts me off.

Synchronisation

Having all of this kit working alongside each other is relatively straight forward. Here is my setup.
  • HR monitor connected to Fenix 5 watch and also PM5 using Bluetooth and/or ANT+
  • ErgZone or ErgData connected to C2 log
  • Watch connected to Garmin Connect system which is where I store most of my fitness data
  • C2 log connected to Strava which is where I share most of my data with others. (Remember - we have a Strava club running -> here)
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Re: Rowing Apps - What's Hot and what's not

Post by duffyoz »

My 2c worth

PM5 (upgraded a year or so ago)
Polar OH1 armband Bluetooth to polar flow which now directly records instead of through polar beat
ANT+ the OH1 to the erg
I use the Polar Ignite watch for strength sessions just so polarflow will see the session and the sleep and recovery data. Very interesting to see the HRV up to surgery, then following as no exercise and now when I am back at it.

Ergzone almost every time. I label my programed rows so they can be seen separate from anything else. I tried ergdata but had some upload issues and never went back Ergzone is still evolving, they have strokelength and other data coming in upgrades. Any issues they have always been very quick to help via facebook or insta.
Android Samsung Note 9 phone for polar and ergzone, I dont have an ipad or the like.
Spotify for music during HM's and above, it doesn't throw of ergzone but others have said it does on occasion
Strava because my rowing coach /programmer asked me to and now we have a freespirits group on there

I have a skierg and a bikeerg as well which I dont use as much. I do want to figure out how to link them together for an ergathlon - I think that would be a fun few hours.
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Re: Rowing Apps - What's Hot and what's not

Post by Wolfmiester »

As rowing sessions have been mentioned already, don't forget 'Zoomergos'
A growing rowing community with multiple daily sessions generally lead by Olympians or OxBridge alumni
Brilliant for getting sessions in the bank when inspiration is lacking.
Wolfie

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