In Rowing, Videos

December 02, 2009

Video Article

In the third and final part of his series, Concept 2 co-founder Peter Dreissigacker focuses on damper settings. He tells Jon Gilson of Again Faster that athletes who think they’re getting the best possible workout by always using the maximum damper setting of 10 are very likely mistaken.

Some fine athletes who can row 2,000 meters on the water in six minutes prefer to use a low damper settings. Some older, deconditioned folks find a setting of 10 is right for them, but so do some accomplished weightlifters who are used to slow and forceful movement. The force-speed relationship is tied to damper setting, but power output is not. Peter demonstrates by taking Jon through a workout that achieves the same power output at a variety of damper settings.

It all leads to the ultimate question: how should you set the damper? The answer depends on how you train, and for what purpose. Many top rowers use a damper setting of 4 or 5. Individual preference can play a large role in determining the correct damper setting, but in keeping with the CrossFit philosophy of “doing the stuff you hate,” Jon suggests getting out of your comfort zone.

10min 26sec

Additional reading: The Power of the C2 Monitor by Judy Geer, published Sept. 19, 2008.



9 Comments on “Getting the Most from the C2 Rower, Part 3”


wrote …

I like how Peter looks like he is barely working and having a conversation with John while doing a ton more wattage at the end there. I would love to have that kind of technique. I noticed Peter keeps his knees very close together and John has his knees further apart; maybe there is something too it...

Well I'm off to row.


wrote …

It's funny you mention that, John, because all I could think is how 'bad' Peter's form looked to me. It's obvious he's a rowing machine, he's got to be at least 6'6" and over 200lbs, but the way he rows looks nothing like the form I've been preaching and learned from the rowing certification I went to here in Calgary. I'm not trying to disparage anyone in any way here, I just found it amusing.


wrote …

So, what is the relation between damper setting and calories burned, if you keep at a semi-constant, say 28 strokes/minute?


Frank DiMeo wrote …

Very informative, thanks!


wrote …

Does any one know how people can save this video to my computer to play on my ipod? I've tried searching but can't finding any topics covering it.
It seems that Peter really doesn't use a power box type form and starts the recovering before extending his arms? Is it just me and Aucoin seeing this?
It's funny watching Peter as he makes it looks effortless and can't still talk seemingly fine. Me=winded


wrote …

Jeff, just right-click on either the Quicktime download link or the iPod/iPhone download link and then choose Save As. That should allow you to save the video on your computer.
To get it on your iPod, first add it to your iTunes library (Open iTunes, click on File > Add File to Library). Then it's a straightforward Sync from there onto your iPod.

Hope this helps


wrote …


You've got good eyes. Peter definitely bends his arms early on the recovery, and you'll notice he keeps them bent on the drive as well. This is not unique to Peter; I've noticed this over and over at the CRASH-Bs and in reviewing Olympic footage.

Someone smarter than myself might be able to tell you the exact reason, although I bet it allows quicker stroke ratings by keeping the arms "shorter". Remember, Peter trains to row on water, where the handles not only clear over the knees, but by going outside the knees in a sweeping fashion. I bet Peter learned to stop extending his arms as soon as he was clear of his knees, which happens prior to full arm extension for him (and for most guys 6' plus). This shortens his arms, and lets him move the oar blades faster.

This is entirely conjecture, but it would make sense, given the 38+ SPM rating some of these crews are holding for a 2k.




wrote …

It's so hard to critique form to better my own abilities as it relates strictly to an erg machine with different erg videos when a rower is accustomed to rowing on the water. Great interview Jonathan! We all appreciate it!


replied to comment from Mehdi El Amine

Thanks Mehdi! Funny how you can look at things over and over and not see that silly and easy step! Worked like a charm:)

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