Rowing different distances requires different exertion. And depending on what else the workout includes, knowing your stroke rate is a good thing.
“Stroke rating is extremely important in helping you find your efficiency and determine, all right, how are you going to structure this workout as you have to get off the erg and do something else?” says Shane Farmer of CrossFit Rowing.
Dave Lipson, a fellow coach at CrossFit Invictus, demonstrates what various stroke rates look like from a 5,000-meter row down to a 250-meter row. Knowing that number factors into determining your pace and strategy in a workout, Farmer notes.
“You can’t win a workout on the erg, necessarily, but you can lose one,” he says. “This machine has to be finesse. If you try and crush this machine, it’s not going to give up. The harder you push, the more it’s going to resist. And as it resists, it’s going to wear you out.”
Video by Again Faster.
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Additional reading: Smoother Rowing for More Power by Tom Bohrer, published April 1, 2008.