More Power! – Peak Power Session


  • PT Suite
  • 10 minute warmup with 5 stroke power bursts at nominal drag factor
  • 10 x 10sec / 1′ rest peak power training on max drag
  • 2 x 20′ / 1′ Cat VI (r18-r20, 2:03 to 2:08, HR cap at 155)

I did my PT exercises.  My back was a bit sore from the kettlebell swings I did yesterday, but it loosened up nicely.

The warmup was uneventful.  I tried to work on getting the rate up nice and high, but I wasn’t too successful.  But I managed to work up the beginning of a sweat, so mission accomplished.

For the Main set, I tied my shoes extra tight, moved the foot stretcher up one hole, and cranked the damper to 10.  Then I programmed the PM to 20 second intervals with 50 second rests.  That’s as close as I can get to the desired setup with the constraints of the PM5.  SO, I rowed the first 10 seconds of each interval hard, and then eased up for 10 seconds, and then let the flywheel coast down during the 50 second rest.

The protocol is to do a rep, see what power you manage to get, and then do reps until you reach 10, or your power drops below 90% of the your initial value.

Today, I saw no real drop off, which I suspect means that I am not trying hard enough.

Here’s the summary plot.  I think the only useful information on it is the drag factor.  187, maybe it’s time to clean the erg?

It is way more instructive to look at this on a flex plot.


So you can see all the reps have peak power between 675 and 710W.  710W is 1:19.0.  My all time best low pull on a static erg was back in 2015 at 1:16.9 (769W).

It is telling that my best power was achieved in the last two reps.  You can see how many reps it took me to get the rate up to near 45 SPM.  the early reps I was trying too hard to just over power each stroke.  By the end, I was more focused on getting my ass back to the catch.

You can see this in the work per stroke, which is actually declining as the power is going up.


What I found really fascinating was comparing this workout to the same session done on the Concept2 Dynamic.  I did this a couple weeks ago.

First is a comparison of the power.  I was able to achieve much higher peak power on the dynamic, maxing out at 795W.  What’s up with that?


The short answer is that you can rate up like crazy on a dynamic erg.  I was consistently able to rate between 55 and 60 spm, versus the 40 to 45 spm on the static erg.


Take a peek at the work per stroke on the prior workout.  It is really consistent and 200 joules lower than what I was pulling on the static erg.


You can see this in the peak force too.  On the dynamic, I pulling around 1100N.  On the static, peak force was around 1400.

What the hell does all of that mean?  I guess it depends on what you are trying to accomplish with the session.  If the point of the session is to get as many reps at the highest possible handle force, then it make more sense to do the session on the static erg.  If the point is to work on neuromuscular coordination to be able to effectively apply force at high rates, the dynamic is a better choices.  If you are trying to impress your friends with insanely fast splits, definitely go with the dynamic!

This is a very interesting session  to highlight the differences between unique erg types.  I think I’d like to do this session on the Oartec and the C2 on slides to see what happens.  I think they will probably fall in the middle between these two extremes.

After that, I did the 2 x 20′ Cat VI.  Apparently there wasn’t much left in my legs or body, because it was massively hard work.  my HR shot up to the limit very quickly and so I rated up to 20 and lightened up the pace to try to hold my HR right at 155.  It was an extremely long 41 minutes.

Tomorrow:  The forecast is for temperatures of 31F and freezing rain, so I’m going rowing!  I’m going to meet my friend Joe to take out the double for my first outing of the season.  I will also pick up my boat so I can get it back down to the Charles on Thursday morning.

The planned session should be a bit of fun.  I think Joe will enjoy it.

  • Nice long warmup, working on technique from the boat house to the south cove.
  • 3 x 1500m / 1′ rest (This should take up from the south cove to the north end of the lake)
    • r24
  • 3 x 500m / 2′ rest (This will take us from the north end of the lake to the boat house)
    • r28

I have a lot of organizing to do tonight to get all my goodies packed and charged.


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