Last week we shared David Harralson’s suggested improvements for Volker Nolte’s
In response to these suggestions Volker Nolte contacted Ed McNeely, the author of the chapter, they have written:
I would like to respond to your comments on the strength training chapter.
First, it is important to understand that the strength targets that are set have been set based on the strength levels that are necessary for rowing. There is a certain amount of strength that is necessary in any sport and attempting to push strength levels beyond that level is not a good time investment for the return that you get on performance.
The data I have collected over the past 20 years does not support needing higher levels of strength than those in the tables. From the strength data, the on water force data and erg performance data it is clear that once you hit these strength levels the time required to push strength levels higher could be better spent training other components of rowing that will pay off in greater on water improvements. If you are capable of lifting more than the target levels good for you, it suggests that this is not a weakness and that you should be focusing your training elsewhere.
As for the squat, please don’t assume that because a squat is normally performed incorrectly that the squat is invalid. There is no reason that a squat cannot be done to the same depth as a front squat. Parallel squats are a product of the fitness industry and any good strength coach will have their athletes perform a squat to full depth. Keep in mind that the front squat is a quad dominant squat that limits the use of the glutes and erector spinae. If you have a very upright posture at the catch the front squat may be applicable but as you reach over more the back squat becomes a better exercise. I n fact we have seen from in boat force curves that the technical errors in the curve are very similar to the weaknesses and technical errors observed during a back squat and that in many cases it is possible to predict technical errors in the boat based on how the back squat is performed.
Over this past Olympic cycle I have observed many international calibre rowers who could front squat very well but still had “holes” in their on water force curves. As soon as they worked on their back squat the errors in the boat started to resolve.
Ed McNeely and Volker Nolte