T Nation

Will Rowing Make Me Weak?

I’ve just started rowing for college and I’m doing decent times on the ergo, actually outracing the whole freshers squad and I was wondering to what extent it will make my strength vanish if I start training 12 times a week, that’s what the Uni team does. 1-2 of these 12 sessions are in the weight room, other than that it’s all endurance stuff…

I’ve played rugby thus far which of course involves less steady state work.

Does anyone have any experience with such a change in training?

I know that research suggests that rowing will make me weaker but I’m interested in how much it takes to counter that effect…

Thanks

Lets see. You get to go outside and exercise, meet lots of cool new people, probably chicks in good shape, work new muscles, have fun.

Yea, probably not worth losing that extra bulk muscle :wink:

[quote]T-Nick wrote:
Lets see. You get to go outside and exercise, meet lots of cool new people, probably chicks in good shape, work new muscles, have fun.

Yea, probably not worth losing that extra bulk muscle ;)[/quote]

You have basically listed the reasons why I really like it. I was just wondering whether anyone has experience with such a change. I want to get back up to my 200kg squat after my foot injury and be able to hold that while rowing. Any thoughts?

i rowed in college for 3 semesters. that shit is gonna kick your ass and you’re gonna find it hard to gain weight. i maxed out at about 210lbs, after i quit my lifts all sky rocketed and now i weigh 230lbs.

its gonna be hard to put pounds on your squat when you spend 1 hr on a erg and sweat out over 5 lbs of water weight, its an extremely catabolic state. however, i made great friends, memories and competed against great schools.

would i go back and do it again? without hesitation. also, man, i would smoke the shit out of people in endurance events, i was in some f*in good shape.

There was a female rower on here a year or so ago. She had an awsome back.

I’m hopping on the rowing team in the spring.

I’m told they do sprints in the spring and endurance in the fall.

Endurance can suck my balls, but even if that’s all they did I’d probably give it a whirl for a semester.

It’s college, expand your horizons.

Done like that, then yeah, you’ll probably find lots of trouble to GAIN weight. You might be able to keep weight, and maybe (almost) maintain your strength if you do a bit more weight training than they do (there’s an Alwyn Cosgrove article somewhere here for in-season athletes).

But, with that many sessions, you’re gonna have to maximize your restoration time by properly allocating stress throughout the week and month, getting massages, lotsa sleep, Surge, etc…

Now I don’t know how the Canadian team trains, or whether or not they’re just superhuman (though their placings in recent events would state otherwise…), but check this vid.


There’s some pretty muscular guys in the clip.

[quote]Balle wrote:
I was just wondering whether anyone has experience with such a change. I want to get back up to my 200kg squat after my foot injury and be able to hold that while rowing. Any thoughts?[/quote]

A friend of mine took part in an experiment for a Sporting Institute. They put an ad out in a local paper and invited all athletic minded people to take part in the 2 year experiment.

Basically, the experiment was to measure people up, check their slow and fast twitch muscle fibre ratios and etc. It was fairly extensive testing and in the end of it they told you which sport you were suited to. My friend got into rowing.

He’s lost probably 10lbs since he started with all the endurance work, but after the 2 years he is not far off the national team level so he has seen it as worth it.

He is working with some pretty good coaches and reckons his lifting numbers are still close to what they used to be.

Me thinks that if you start engulfing 4000 plus calories a day or more, you won’t be losing any weight. Look at it as an excuse for second helpings of pizza, burgers and buffet dinners :slight_smile:

Its college man!

Thanks guys. I suppose I’ll have to try and get more calories in anyways. I’ve already lost about 30 pounds since my summer bulking but I’m really lean now so it’s not too bad.

I’ve been to a weightlifting session of the senior team yesterday, they aren’t particularly strong but they do compound movements only and have great coaches. One of them is a powerlifter. I’m really happy that I’ve finally found someone who does powerlifting in real life, everything before that was internet chat…

I’ll give rowing a shot considering that I’ve done it for less than a month and I’m already outracing a couple of guys who’ve been doing it for much longer… my 2k time is 6:17.8 if anyone’s interested…

I’m off to my next outing right now :wink:

Bringing this thread back up (hijack), I’m getting into crew this fall again. I’ve been putting on mass all year and up about 25 lbs, and I want to keep bulking until next spring.

My real question is with lifting and eating. Crew will be in the mornings from 6 - 7:30, and I might be able to get to the rec to lift right after that (late classes). Right now I think maybe oats and protein before I leave, and have a shake after rowing, and another after lifting, PWO. Any other ideas for what/when to eat in the morning?

Would it be wise to try and deadlift/squat during the week after rowing?

[quote]JCS19Y wrote:
Bringing this thread back up (hijack), I’m getting into crew this fall again. I’ve been putting on mass all year and up about 25 lbs, and I want to keep bulking until next spring.

My real question is with lifting and eating. Crew will be in the mornings from 6 - 7:30, and I might be able to get to the rec to lift right after that (late classes). Right now I think maybe oats and protein before I leave, and have a shake after rowing, and another after lifting, PWO. Any other ideas for what/when to eat in the morning?

Would it be wise to try and deadlift/squat during the week after rowing?[/quote]

If you can lift right after your 1 1/2 hour on the water session, you obviously didn’t row hard enough. Even Canada’s national has sveral hours rest between sessions.

TNT

I’m not exactly rowing for Canada’s national team here, I’m not sure we’re as hardcore as the rest of the rowing community. But if I’m gonna be that dead tired, would it be wasting my time to try and lift during the week at all?

And just what part of the lower body would be taxed; quads, hams, posterior chain, all?? I was just wondering that.

Do the training your coach sets you, do not deviate, do not think you know better, do not think you can do an extra weights session!

The increased energy requirements of rowing will mean you need to eat more. You will only lose muscle if decide for some reason to eat below maintenance, probably around 3000kcals depending on you training.

Rowing power is a function of technique, fitness and functional strength, ie have big biceps will not translate into a massive score nor will a massive score necessarily translate into massive boat speed (google “Benton 2000m” and see if he’s in an Olympic boat).

[quote]JCS19Y wrote:
I’m not exactly rowing for Canada’s national team here, I’m not sure we’re as hardcore as the rest of the rowing community. But if I’m gonna be that dead tired, would it be wasting my time to try and lift during the week at all?

And just what part of the lower body would be taxed; quads, hams, posterior chain, all?? I was just wondering that.[/quote]

The rowing stroke is kinda like doing a power clean or a high pull. The sitting position only helps you return to the catch position. Now imagine doing about 1000 power cleans. That’s your on the water session. And now you want to come back and lift???

None of our university rowers have ever had the energy to weight train after an on the water session. They would just be lifting LESS and that doesn’t make you stronger.

Build your strength in the off-season. Refine your technique on the water. Or…

“Rowers are made in the off-season. Crews are built during the season.”

TNT

my friend is a rower, he does not weight train, and the guy is huge. He never benched in his life and once i covinced him to come to the gym with me and he did 225 for 5 reps.The only exercise he does is rowing.So to answer your question, no, rowing will definitely not make you weak.

It’s a personal thing/a choice. Were you able to lift frequently during your rugby season? You may be tired initially getting used to all of the rowing work but as others said you just have to work harder at recovery. You definitely will have to cut back on your lifting volume but if you really push yourself you should be able to get in the gym a few times a week to keep up your strength.

I seem to remember Dr. Squat writing that training your muscles for endurance will hinder strength development in the same muscle groups.

iam a rower, i lost alot of size in the first month i started after that i binged alittle on food and i gained someweight . it’s hard especially with the erg work and the running . the boat is going to be fun though. i’d say go with a bill star 5X5 it’ll help u alot , it did help me

You don’t do training outside of the training program you are given. PERIOD.