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How do I improve 2k rowing erg time from 7:40 to sub 7?

I am 15 male and weigh 58kg 123 pounds I am 6 foot and am currently rowing a 2k … read more

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I am 15 male and weigh 58kg 123 pounds I am 6 foot and am currently rowing a 2k on an erg in 7:40.

I have very good technique and endurance but no muscle. You could say that I am quite skinny. I want to increase my 2k time to under 7 minutes by the end of this year. Please help on how to train.

You are young and you will still be rowing in 5 years time by then your body will be larger, heavier and have more muscle.

Junior rowing ergo Photo Credit: Hereford RC

How tall and heavy is your Dad? How tall was he when he was 16? That’s a good guess as to how your body may develop – note there’s nothing you can do about the height thing, it’s genetics. Weight and body mass – yes you can affect this.

So three things to do:

  1. Get some expert coaching on your erg technique. Learning how to row an erg will give you better scores on the machine. Learn how to recruit muscle groups into the power phase, learn how to pick up the chain at the catch earlier and faster, learn how to drive your legs hard and learn deep relaxation to rest your muscles on the recovery. Test yourself. Also try switching the display from 500m splits to Watts – this is a measure of Power and will give you good indications on the effectiveness of your technique changes.
  2. Get some expert coaching in lifting weights – Will Ruth is expert in rowing and strength training Strength Coach Will – Read his blog, buy his Rowing Stronger book and go to your local gym and get TAUGHT how to lift. Note do not try to teach yourself, it’s not a short cut. This will get you stronger.
  3. Get a training program for your erg sessions written by an expert rowing coach and ask them to include regular testing so you can see your progress. If you can afford lactate testing or to get heart rate training zones figured out, do that too. This will enable the training program to reflect your need to include strength (yes you can do this on the erg as well as in the gym) and also endurance training sessions.
About Rebecca Caroe
Rebecca is the host of RowingChat podcast and is a masters athlete and coach. Passionate about helping others enjoy the sport as much as she does. View all posts from Rebecca Caroe
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