If you see the numbers on top of your screen, in the upper right corner is “Strokes Per Minute” ("s/m" or "spm").
Why is that important?
It’s essentially how many strokes I’m doing back and forth in a minute. So if it's a higher number like 30 or 40, it means I'm going really really quick back and forth, that's like going 20 mph. If I'm going like 24, 20, 18- I'm going slower back and forth. I'm not getting as many repetitions in that minute and that's like 2 mph. It's the SPEED component.
The other numbers on the top next to that, you can see TIME- that's how long I rowed for. The big number in the middle is kind of a key number. That is how much power, how much force I have in that drive on my legs to really be able to move a boat or move the rowing machine. That and the s/m, those two work really good together.
Under that, the 75 meters, that's how far I went. 6,504 m is if I kept pulling like that, like I was doing, in 30 minutes I would get 6,504 meters. These other numbers, you can pretty much ignore them unless you're like, "Hey, I wanna row for 2,000 meters, I wanna row for a certain amount of distance."
But the big number in the middle, you could kind of think of it like weightlifting; or somebody who's pushing weight over their head.
Are they pushing 10 lbs, are they pushing 20 lbs, are they doing 100 lbs, what are they lifting over their head?
That number in the middle is how much am I pushing, how much am I pressing with my legs, it kind of translates that way.
The only difference is it's telling us that information in TIME, so time instead of lbs.
So instead of thinking "Hey I'm lifting 100 lbs ( or whatever kgs)"
It's a TIME measurement instead (per 500 meters).
In a lower time like 1:59 or 1:30, it is going to be a person lifting 100 lbs versus a 2:30 is a person lifting 50 lbs. You can think of it that way.
How much am I pushing with my legs to really be able to transfer that, move the boat and how much force am I getting with my legs to move it or move that flywheel.
And that's essentially what that number is measuring.
Now, the strokes per minute( s/m) the one on the top-right,that's the SPEED.
How fast was I going? I got 24 strokes in a minute if I kept at that speed.
Not necessarily the time measurement of how much am I pushing or pulling.
Depending on what screen you have, what machine you have, those numbers might be in different places.
They might look slightly different, even if you press UNITS on the Concept 2, look up between watts, calories. You're getting different inputs and you're getting it in different ways.
I tend to stick with the screen that I showed you because it gives me a lot of information and usually people are talking about it in that SPLIT
That big number in the middle, that's how they call it - it's a SPLIT per 500 meters
So that's your SPLIT or your PACE
We're usually looking at that number and the strokes per minute
The rest, "hey, how long did I row, how far did I row?" Those matter too, but the rest,most rowers don't really look at it in the watts or the calories.
Now if we're doing Cross Fit workouts sometimes it's like "Hey, row for 20 cal." or and that's when you switch it.
The strokes per minute (s/m) does not impact your SPLIT time and the key is learning that you can control the strokes per minute to be able to push more.
However, some people do say that if they're going faster in the strokes per minute, they're going really fast back and forth, they find that they can get 1:30, they'll get a lower SPLIT and lower is better- more power, more weight.
But for longer rows, it's not sustainable.
If they're rowing 500 meters, you'll find that people are just going really really fast because they’re gaining momentum and with that momentum, they’re able to push more.
But in reality, it's not actually impacting it, so it's figuring out " Hey, do I want to just do 500m and sprint it out and then maybe get a lower time or am I trying to do this for 2000m in which case I probably don't want to sprint cause I'm gonna be dead after 500m."
It doesn't really (impact ) in the long run, but sometimes you can get that momentum for a really, really short distance to be able to have more power, more push.
I hope that helps a little bit, those are the numbers on your Concept 2 screen.
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Amanda Painter is the Rowing Doc. She is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and is here to help people stay active and rowing without aches and pains so they can keep doing what they love!