25 Jan 2005 21:44:50
Henry Law
Damper dampening my performance

I've googled on the subject; lots of hits but nothing conclusive. So
forgive me if I'm reanimating a corpse that should be left in peace
...

I did 5-min intervals this evening on the ergo, damper on "4" as
usual, pulling 1:54s. The usual procession of gym gorillas took
possession of the other ergos nearby and yanked and tugged away with
the damper on "10", also as usual, going quite a lot slower than me
(swank, swank).

Just for a change I thought I'd do my last piece on "10" to see what
sort of a fist I'd make of it. Ugh! Horrible! So unpleasant. But
more to the point it was all I could do to rate 1:56 for the 5-min
piece, ending up with HR right up at my max, legs burning, etc etc. I
really could not have done much more.

Received wisdom says that the damper setting doesn't matter, at least
in terms of the amount of work you do; but today's experience suggests
to me that this isn't true: I felt that I expended far more energy at
"10" than I usually do at "4".

Now I appreciate that this doesn't matter in the context of training
to row a boat on water; but should I feel less superior to the gym
gorillas in future?


25 Jan 2005 14:12:52
Re: Damper dampening my performance

Henry Law wrote:
> I did 5-min intervals this evening on the ergo, damper on "4" as
> usual, pulling 1:54s. The usual procession of gym gorillas took
> possession of the other ergos nearby and yanked and tugged away with
> the damper on "10", also as usual, going quite a lot slower than me
> (swank, swank).
>
> Just for a change I thought I'd do my last piece on "10" to see what
> sort of a fist I'd make of it. Ugh! Horrible! So unpleasant. But
> more to the point it was all I could do to rate 1:56 for the 5-min
> piece, ending up with HR right up at my max, legs burning, etc etc.
I
> really could not have done much more.

Partly you probably run up against a strength limit, partly you have a
well developed muscle firing pattern that works at the damper settings
you're used to.

Try a piece on '1' and you'll most likely see your splits not as good
as normal, either.

Pete



25 Jan 2005 22:18:07
Walter Martindale
Re: Damper dampening my performance



Henry Law wrote:
> I've googled on the subject; lots of hits but nothing conclusive. So
> forgive me if I'm reanimating a corpse that should be left in peace
> ...
>
> I did 5-min intervals this evening on the ergo, damper on "4" as
> usual, pulling 1:54s. The usual procession of gym gorillas took
> possession of the other ergos nearby and yanked and tugged away with
> the damper on "10", also as usual, going quite a lot slower than me
> (swank, swank).
>
> Just for a change I thought I'd do my last piece on "10" to see what
> sort of a fist I'd make of it. Ugh! Horrible! So unpleasant. But
> more to the point it was all I could do to rate 1:56 for the 5-min
> piece, ending up with HR right up at my max, legs burning, etc etc. I
> really could not have done much more.
>
> Received wisdom says that the damper setting doesn't matter, at least
> in terms of the amount of work you do; but today's experience suggests
> to me that this isn't true: I felt that I expended far more energy at
> "10" than I usually do at "4".
>
> Now I appreciate that this doesn't matter in the context of training
> to row a boat on water; but should I feel less superior to the gym
> gorillas in future?

As another has replied about your firing patterns and suggested trying a
piece set on "1", it's probably good to do a variety of settings
occasionally. Not every stroke you take in a boat has the same load.
Sometimes you're in a headwind, sometimes you're in a tailwind, and
these may have an effect similar to a change of the ergometer damper.
If you're ONLY accustomed to pulling against one damper setting, might
it take a bit longer for your body to re-adapt to being in a boat?
W



25 Jan 2005 14:23:28
oarsman
Re: Damper dampening my performance

Henry,

It has been my experience that erging should be done at all settings.
I think the only reason that you burned out was that you were working
at a load that was unfamiliar to you. I would bet that you could take
the same gorillas rowing at a 10, change the damper to 1, and they
would equally burn out trying to row their normal distance.

When I set out to get a hammer at the crash b's, I used a strategy of
rowing at the lightest setting until I could do a 2k in a reasonable
time. I then switched training to the heaviest setting, and worked at
this setting until I could pull a reasonable time. When I went back to
the lighter setting, it took training to get my time back down. After
awhile, I was able to do similar performance at all levels. I got my
hammer, so now I see no need to do it again.

So, strictly from my own observation, I would say that the damper
setting only matters in what one is use to rowing. In fact, rather
than use the damper setting, you are much better off using the hidden
function to give you the drag factor. Then, each time you do an erg
test use the same drag factor.

Bob Eldridge



25 Jan 2005 17:23:10
Jim Dwyer
Re: Damper dampening my performance

Do "Around the Wheel"

Set the monitor to 4 minute pieces with 30 seconds rest. Do a piece at 1
and during the rest set the damper to 3. Continue around the wheel: 5, 7,
9, 10, 8, 6, 4, and 2.

Jim

"Walter Martindale" <[email protected]??telusplanet.net > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>
>
> Henry Law wrote:
>> I've googled on the subject; lots of hits but nothing conclusive. So
>> forgive me if I'm reanimating a corpse that should be left in peace
>> ...
>>
>> I did 5-min intervals this evening on the ergo, damper on "4" as
>> usual, pulling 1:54s. The usual procession of gym gorillas took
>> possession of the other ergos nearby and yanked and tugged away with
>> the damper on "10", also as usual, going quite a lot slower than me
>> (swank, swank). Just for a change I thought I'd do my last piece on "10"
>> to see what
>> sort of a fist I'd make of it. Ugh! Horrible! So unpleasant. But
>> more to the point it was all I could do to rate 1:56 for the 5-min
>> piece, ending up with HR right up at my max, legs burning, etc etc. I
>> really could not have done much more.
>>
>> Received wisdom says that the damper setting doesn't matter, at least
>> in terms of the amount of work you do; but today's experience suggests
>> to me that this isn't true: I felt that I expended far more energy at
>> "10" than I usually do at "4".
>>
>> Now I appreciate that this doesn't matter in the context of training
>> to row a boat on water; but should I feel less superior to the gym
>> gorillas in future?
>
> As another has replied about your firing patterns and suggested trying a
> piece set on "1", it's probably good to do a variety of settings
> occasionally. Not every stroke you take in a boat has the same load.
> Sometimes you're in a headwind, sometimes you're in a tailwind, and these
> may have an effect similar to a change of the ergometer damper. If you're
> ONLY accustomed to pulling against one damper setting, might it take a bit
> longer for your body to re-adapt to being in a boat?
> W
>




25 Jan 2005 22:29:19
John Mulholland
Re: Damper dampening my performance

Perhaps we should give names to the various settings, e.g.
10 = horizontal weightlifting,
4 = rowing an eight and
1 = spinning (the "no load" high-speed exercise on an static bike).
Any other suggestions?

John Mulholland

"Walter Martindale" <[email protected]??telusplanet.net > wrote in message
news:[email protected]
>
>
> Henry Law wrote:
>> I've googled on the subject; lots of hits but nothing conclusive. So
>> forgive me if I'm reanimating a corpse that should be left in peace
>> ...
>>
>> I did 5-min intervals this evening on the ergo, damper on "4" as
>> usual, pulling 1:54s. The usual procession of gym gorillas took
>> possession of the other ergos nearby and yanked and tugged away with
>> the damper on "10", also as usual, going quite a lot slower than me
>> (swank, swank). Just for a change I thought I'd do my last piece on "10"
>> to see what
>> sort of a fist I'd make of it. Ugh! Horrible! So unpleasant. But
>> more to the point it was all I could do to rate 1:56 for the 5-min
>> piece, ending up with HR right up at my max, legs burning, etc etc. I
>> really could not have done much more.
>>
>> Received wisdom says that the damper setting doesn't matter, at least
>> in terms of the amount of work you do; but today's experience suggests
>> to me that this isn't true: I felt that I expended far more energy at
>> "10" than I usually do at "4".
>>
>> Now I appreciate that this doesn't matter in the context of training
>> to row a boat on water; but should I feel less superior to the gym
>> gorillas in future?
>
> As another has replied about your firing patterns and suggested trying a
> piece set on "1", it's probably good to do a variety of settings
> occasionally. Not every stroke you take in a boat has the same load.
> Sometimes you're in a headwind, sometimes you're in a tailwind, and these
> may have an effect similar to a change of the ergometer damper. If you're
> ONLY accustomed to pulling against one damper setting, might it take a bit
> longer for your body to re-adapt to being in a boat?
> W
>




25 Jan 2005 14:48:04
Re: Damper dampening my performance


[email protected] wrote:
> Henry Law wrote:
> >
> > Just for a change I thought I'd do my last piece on "10" to see
what
> > sort of a fist I'd make of it. Ugh! Horrible! So unpleasant.
But
> > more to the point it was all I could do to rate 1:56 for the 5-min
> > piece, ending up with HR right up at my max, legs burning, etc etc.
> I
> > really could not have done much more.
>
> Partly you probably run up against a strength limit, partly you have
a
> well developed muscle firing pattern that works at the damper
settings
> you're used to.
>
> Try a piece on '1' and you'll most likely see your splits not as good
> as normal, either.

I agree, however, given a bit of a [re-]adjustment period, I think I
can get better scores on higher levels.

I used to use it on 5 and sometimes 10, and I like it better, but I
put it on 1 these days to avoid injury.

dkl



25 Jan 2005 23:00:06
Jon Anderson
Re: Damper dampening my performance

Henry Law wrote:
> Received wisdom says that the damper setting doesn't matter, at least
> in terms of the amount of work you do;

That's a muddle-headed bit of received wisdom.
Of course damper setting matters. You're working more sympathetically to
your physiology when the damper setting is lower and you're able to rate
a bit higher.

Jon
--
Durge: [email protected] http://users.durge.org/~jon/
OnStream: [email protected] http://www.rowing.org.uk/

[ All views expressed are personal unless otherwise stated ]


25 Jan 2005 23:46:39
Henry Law
Re: Damper dampening my performance

On Tue, 25 Jan 2005 23:00:06 +0000, Jon Anderson <[email protected] >
wrote:

>Henry Law wrote:
>> Received wisdom says that the damper setting doesn't matter, at least
>> in terms of the amount of work you do;
>
>That's a muddle-headed bit of received wisdom.

Well, in fairness I think the received wisdom is evaluating the
physics/mechanics of the way the monitor works, not the physiological
bits you're rightly discussing below.

>Of course damper setting matters. You're working more sympathetically to
>your physiology when the damper setting is lower and you're able to rate
>a bit higher.

I suppose it's a bit like gearing in the boat.


26 Jan 2005 00:05:10
Jon Anderson
Re: Damper dampening my performance

Henry Law wrote:
> I suppose it's a bit like gearing in the boat.

Yup. With a super-erg that can have its damper placed on 20,000 no doubt
you could complete a 2K in one stroke. But you'd need to be Hercules to
pull that stroke with any speed and a normal human being would fail to
maintain the force necessary throughout such a long action without
potentially causing themselves serious injury.

Changing the damper setting to vary the workout sounds like a plan but I
don't see any value in setting it to 10. Save your back and do endurance
weights to build strength instead.

Jon
--
Durge: [email protected] http://users.durge.org/~jon/
OnStream: [email protected] http://www.rowing.org.uk/

[ All views expressed are personal unless otherwise stated ]


25 Jan 2005 16:41:48
Re: Damper dampening my performance


John Mulholland wrote:
> Perhaps we should give names to the various settings, e.g.
> 10 = horizontal weightlifting,
> 4 = rowing an eight and
> 1 = spinning (the "no load" high-speed exercise on an static bike).
> Any other suggestions?

"novice" "junior" "varsity" "master"

I once had a graduated shot glass -- graduations were
freshmen though alumni



26 Jan 2005 02:02:08
Rob Collings
Re: Damper dampening my performance

Jon Anderson wrote:
> Changing the damper setting to vary the workout sounds like a plan
but I
> don't see any value in setting it to 10. Save your back and do
endurance
> weights to build strength instead.

Specificity is the main advantage of using the erg on a high drag. It
develops strength endurance in the rowing movement pattern. I do ergs
on setting 10 a fair bit - 20 mins holding the rate quite low. Then put
the damper back to normal and row for 10 mins more. It's along similar
lines to doing bungee rowing in a single/pair.

Rob.



26 Jan 2005 02:15:34
James Elder
Re: Damper dampening my performance


oarsman wrote:

In fact, rather
> than use the damper setting, you are much better off using the hidden
> function to give you the drag factor. Then, each time you do an erg
> test use the same drag factor.

Agree with this. Setting via the drag factor also give improved
consistency when erging on different machines or in different
locations.

It is noticeable that individual ergos do vary and also of course true
that an ergo will feel different if the fancage is close to a wall.

At my club heavyweight women complete their assessed 2k ergs at 130
drag; lightweight women at 125 drag. Not sure about the men.



26 Jan 2005 11:20:11
Ewoud Dronkert
Re: Damper dampening my performance

On 26 Jan 2005 02:15:34 -0800, James Elder wrote:
> At my club heavyweight women complete their assessed 2k ergs at 130
> drag; lightweight women at 125 drag. Not sure about the men.

That's quite high, IME. I'd say 110-115 and 120-125.


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26 Jan 2005 10:52:12
Jon Anderson
Re: Damper dampening my performance

Ewoud Dronkert wrote:
>>At my club heavyweight women complete their assessed 2k ergs at 130
>>drag; lightweight women at 125 drag. Not sure about the men.
> That's quite high, IME. I'd say 110-115 and 120-125.

Yes but have you seen the size of the heavyweight women at his club?

Jon
--
Durge: [email protected] http://users.durge.org/~jon/
OnStream: [email protected] http://www.rowing.org.uk/

[ All views expressed are personal unless otherwise stated ]


26 Jan 2005 11:01:16
chris harrison
Re: Damper dampening my performance

Ewoud Dronkert wrote:
> On 26 Jan 2005 02:15:34 -0800, James Elder wrote:
>
>>At my club heavyweight women complete their assessed 2k ergs at 130
>>drag; lightweight women at 125 drag. Not sure about the men.
>
>
> That's quite high, IME. I'd say 110-115 and 120-125.
>
>

Strewth, I should climb down a little then - I tend to do my tests/short
pieces at around 140-145. (It's one way to cheat on the rate-capped
pieces :)


26 Jan 2005 12:16:05
Ewoud Dronkert
Re: Damper dampening my performance

On Wed, 26 Jan 2005 11:01:16 +0000, chris harrison wrote:
>>> At my club heavyweight women complete their assessed 2k ergs at 130
>>> drag; lightweight women at 125 drag. Not sure about the men.
>>
>> That's quite high, IME. I'd say 110-115 and 120-125.
>
> Strewth, I should climb down a little then - I tend to do my tests/short
> pieces at around 140-145.

I had always assumed you were a man, Chris. Sorry about that.


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26 Jan 2005 14:54:51
Re: Damper dampening my performance

By going from a low DF to a high DF you are changing your time on the
drive quite dramatically. The folks that have mentioned muscle firing
patterns are spot on in this regard and since you have adapted to
moving quickly, when forced to move more slowly you will likely end up
under more peak stress during the drive and this tasks the muscles very
differently.

A common misconception is that the higher DF's require higher handle
forces, and this is exactly wrong, for a given pace. The speed at
which that force must be applied is very different.

If you are using the Erg to gain some kind of transferrable skill to a
boat, use high DF's if you plan on rowing in Slow boats and Low DF's if
you plan on rowing in fast boats. First rule of propulsion: you must
catch up to the boat before you can do anything to advance it. At any
given speed you will only have a certain amount of time to impose your
will on moving it faster, due to the limited range of motion; it's best
to be quick enough to do this, otherwise the stroke passes you by.
Also, it's far easier to slow down from being quick than it is to
quicken up from being slow.

If you have access to data gathering equipment that could give you
this, tuning your DF so that your Drive time on the Erg and in a boat
were very close would also be good. Back to the notion that the muscle
firing pattern and speed is very finely tuned.

- Paul Smith



27 Jan 2005 15:49:38
Henry Law
Re: Damper dampening my performance

On 26 Jan 2005 14:54:51 -0800, [email protected] wrote:

>First rule of propulsion: you must
>catch up to the boat before you can do anything to advance it. At any
>given speed you will only have a certain amount of time to impose your
>will on moving it faster, due to the limited range of motion

I think this counts as one of those jewels of coaching; something
perfectly obvious but previously ignored, something that makes the
oarsman see what was previously unseen.

I shall pass it on to the rest of my crew on Saturday. For one thing
I think it is the most likely explanation of why our boat speed is
inversely proportional to stroke rate and effort on the handle, beyond
some point just on the huff-and-puff side of "steady state". It's
perplexed us for some time!


27 Jan 2005 08:15:28
Re: Damper dampening my performance


Henry Law wrote:
> On 26 Jan 2005 14:54:51 -0800, [email protected] wrote:
>
> >First rule of propulsion: you must
> >catch up to the boat before you can do anything to advance it. At
any
> >given speed you will only have a certain amount of time to impose
your
> >will on moving it faster, due to the limited range of motion
>
> I think this counts as one of those jewels of coaching; something
> perfectly obvious but previously ignored, something that makes the
> oarsman see what was previously unseen.
>
> I shall pass it on to the rest of my crew on Saturday. For one thing
> I think it is the most likely explanation of why our boat speed is
> inversely proportional to stroke rate and effort on the handle,
beyond
> some point just on the huff-and-puff side of "steady state". It's
> perplexed us for some time!

Just make sure they also remember to get the blade in the water prior
to utilizing all this speed to catch the boat. Guys in particular just
love to slap the hell out of the water and haul hard at the finish,
when what they should do, in Harry Parkers words, is "Just put the
blade in the water and then pull.". That said, training the legs to be
quick enough to execute this is not an afternoon endeavor, since the
legs are not used to taking this load, they will tire quickly at first,
then become conditioned as the learning goes on. A good cue for many
is to tell them, "If you are increasing handle pressure coming to the
finish, you didn't establish it early with the legs.", but nice frothy
puddle (wasted energy). [;o)

Kleshnev expressed the phenomenon above in a discussion regarding
distance per stroke (DPS), and noted that crews that increased rate
beyond a certain threshold (for which they were strong enough) would
lose so much DPS that the Avg boat speed would fall off. i.e. 9m/stroke
at 30 is behind 10m/stroke at 28.

This phenomenon lead to one of my favorite cox calls for my crew a year
ago: "Slow down, your walking all over them.", on their way to a head
race victory.

- Paul Smith