David Harralson kindly wrote a comment under our Book Review of Volker Nolte’s new edition of Rowing Faster.
I have read both of Volker Nolte’s books, and find them very interesting and informative.
The only comment I have is on Chapter 12, Training for Strength and the tables for strength to weight factors.
The squat, as normally performed, has a low correlation to rowing performance. The thighs go only to parallel as opposed to the body’s position at the catch. A better example would be the front squat bringing the body down so the hamstrings almost touch the calves. This would more closely approximate the conditions at the catch, although the squat as a whole does not correlate that closely to the force demands during the stroke.
I find the recommendations for 1RM dead lift to be rather low. At 71 years old, I did a 2.5X BW dead lift at my club after rowing practice. I think any Olympic caliber rower (especially lightweights) could easily exceed 2.5X BW. The dead lift is a very good exercise, especially for the bow rower in a pair as it helps develop a force profile more optimized for the bow rower. Maybe Ed McNeely and Volker want to make more rowers feel their strength is at Olympic level!
One point Ed did not directly make is that the 1RM is the first point on the hyperbolic strength vs repetitions curve. The greater the 1RM, the greater the force at any repetition point, but to a proportionally reduced level. Thus calling for training at all points on the hyperbolic strength vs repetitions curve is necessary for optimum rowing performance.