Guest blog: Carlos Dinares. Why do we do low rate ‘steady state’ rowing?


Why do we do long training sessions at 18 and 20 strokes a minute?

When I row I spend most of my time at those rates.  Many rowing teams that win very important races do too.  Why it is 18 and 20 and not 22 or 24 or 16-14?  Why those rates and not others, what is the reason behind that?

Some of the most successful rowing nations like the Germans, French, GB, Australians, NZ, USA, Canadians, and many other teams spend Hours and Hours at those rates, WHY?

OK this is a good question and I have my own opinion and answer.

If you are a rower or a coach, you should know why we spend so much time at those rates. There needs to be a reason why people do that.  There need to be reasons at all levels.

I know that in order to progress in rowing one needs to question things and find answers to those questions.  In order to do that one needs to work out the answer and compare others’ answer to your own answer.

If you are a rower or a coach and you row many of your workouts at those rates or around them I’m sure you have your own opinion.

What is the reason for that?

Why you don’t you write a list of the reasons of why you think these things matter and tomorrow when I list them you can compare them to yours.  I will do my own exercise and post all the reasons why I believe we row lots of miles at those rates.

Carlos Dinares


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This Post Has One Comment

  1. Barrie Robinson

    As someone who is convinced that awareness of stroke rates is extremely important I will venture an opinion. Rowing at a slow rate probably instills a sense of rhythm and control. The whole rowing action is one of control, which is why the sport is followed by people with strong mind sets. Almost 95% of my school age crews are in the top 95% of school academics. Practicing at low rates allows the mind to become tuned to the mechanics of the process. Thus when a higher rate is called for it is an easy upgrade, albeit a short one. During a high rate in a race the mind is conditioned and only fatigue will negate the action. As the real fatigue period is only for a relatively short time over the final metres, the rower can easily carry on to the finish.

    All of this leads me to say….All coaches should be equipped with stroke rate stopwatches !!

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