22 Jul 2005 08:54:00
Women, bodyweight and weight training

I would be interested in what people see in Women's rowing today as
regards weight training.

Thames? Dutch? Canadians?

How much is heavyweights, or circuits and when does a transition

Any thoughts on weight of athletes? How much do people favour size
against athleticism?

22 Jul 2005 18:04:51
Ewoud Dronkert
Re: Women, bodyweight and weight training

On 22 Jul 2005 08:54:00 -0700, anton2468@aol.com wrote:
> I would be interested in what people see in Women's rowing today as
> regards weight training.

Personally, I don't see any advantage beyond stability training, but I'm a
bit out of touch with what the elite team is doing this year. So no help,

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25 Jul 2005 03:13:21
Re: Women, bodyweight and weight training

I believe that strength training is one of the most important aspects
of training for women athletes because of several reasons.

1) Most of western society today suggest that women must be skiny
"model" type figures or because of lifestyle are actually overweight.
There are few "athletic" type girls or women who are not really
actively involved in sport. Because of this societal influence younger
women becomeing involved with sport and particualrly higher levels of
performance have rarely done any strength training because of the
perceptions of what it will make you look like. This is probably
supported by the fact that every "gym" magazine has a guy on the front
who is juiced up to the max.

2) Women develop muscle mass and strength slower than men because of
the lower testosterone levels that they have. They develop strength
slower and bulk up slower but are capable of becoming extremely strong
with long term training. (at least compared to joe bloggs in the

It is important to also consider the differences in types of strength
training and their use in the sport of rowing. Hypertrophy training is
aimed at developing bigger muscle mass i.e. bodybuilding type training.
There is also motor neuron recruitment training where the aim is not
really to grow the muscle (although is does happen slightly)but rather
to use more of the muscle each repetition.

I believe that is it this muscle recruitment type of training that is
most important for rowers as it does not add more drag (more weight)
but does increase the possible load applied.

Strength endurance training is probably the most debatable training and
whether it should be done as opposed to MR or Hypertrophy is always
strongly debated by coaches. I personally do not have my athletes do SE
in the gym as I see it as wasted oportunity to improve boat speed.
Doing SE in the boat is much more beneficial as the athetes can work on
speed as well as technical issues at the same time. If you are trying
to achieve the highest boat speed at all rates, low rate pieces become
SE sessions. For example 4 x 8' @ 24 give you 4 =B1200 rep sets that are
really specific. Extend this to 3 x 12' or 2 x 20' at 24 and you can
progressively extend the SE training. Having a speed coach can make
these sessions extremely productive.

Core strength training can also be very benificial and can be done as
seperate sessions or be integrated into the normal strength training.
Exercises such as squats and low pulley row can be really good core
exercises if done with good technique.

When setting a strength program I always try to get the athletes to
start with free weight exercises that need to use core stability as
well as developing joint stability using more than one joint movements.
I=2Ee. squats, pulley rows, dumbell press and then as the athletes
fatigue use the machines that are somewhat safer i.e. leg press, bench

An excellent book on the methodology of strength training with sporting
applications is Bompa's Periodization Training For Sport available
through Human Kinetics. There are also several books by Fleck and
Kraemer that deal with strength training in general as well as specific
aplications to women or to younger athletes. I would highly recomend
these for detailed explainations of the science behind the strenght
training as well as specific applications to different sporting codes
(particularly Bompas books)