In the final part of our rowing series with former Olympic coach Chris Wilson of Concept2, Jon Gilson of Again Faster learns that drills can be frustrating because they force an issue. Drills spotlight problems and must be done perfectly to increase effectiveness.
Chris instructs Jon to hit different stroke rates at maximum power while implementing everything he has learned in previous lessons. Jon soon runs into problems because the preparation in the early part of his recovery isn’t happening quickly enough. Things improve when Jon rows at higher stroke rates.
Rowing at different stroke rates boosts your discipline and control of the machine. You can see your numbers and determine which stroke rate is best for you. A direct correlation between stroke rate and power output doesn’t necessarily exist. Some athletes are more effective at lower stroke rates. A great deal of individual variation is caused by both physiology and skill level.