July 22, 2002

changing weights

I've switched my gym workout around a bit, for several reasons. There are lots of
debates about whether weight lifting really helps rowers at all, but as Rudder
points out, doing something different helps keep us from getting so bored we drop
the whole thing. Also, weights can help develop the muscles opposite those we use
in rowing, which helps support the others and prevent overuse injuries (and, of
course, it looks better if they're evenly developed). First and foremost, even
small changes help keep me from getting burned out -- just doing a triceps
kickback one day and skipping my vertical rows can make me feel all rebellious for
breaking the routine. (This tells you how mundane my life can be. Though as href="http://mechaieh.diaryland.com">Mechaieh pointed out the other day,
what's routine for one person can be completely exotic for another.) The other
factors are that I keep reading that one weight set, done properly, can have as
much effect as two or three, and that fall is our head race season -- we race
5000m instead of 1000m, so endurance is much more of a factor.

today I did some strength exercises on the erg first, that being the only thing
that is definitely rowing-specific. I need to fit in more distance whenever I
have time, so I did 2K to warm up instead of my usual 1k, then set the resistance
to its highest level and did 10 maximum-pressure strokes, rested, did 10 max-
pressure with legs only, rested, 10 max-pressure with arms and back, rested, and
another 10 max-pressure full strokes. (My source for this is an article at the href="http://home.hia.no/~stephens/rowing.htm">Rowing Training site.) After
that instead of my usual 3 sets of 12-10-8 reps, with increasing weights, I did 1
set of 20 reps on each exercise, trying to use the heaviest weight I could manage
20 reps of, and tried to concentrate on opposing muscles -- pulldowns and military
presses and vertical rows, biceps and triceps, and some abs and lower back stuff
for good measure, then my usual long stretching session.

The other
advantage to only doing only one set of each thing is that even with the added erg
meters I got to work early, a definite plus because this is going to be a killer
week, what with training and all my regular work to get done.

Posted by dichroic at July 22, 2002 04:59 PM
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