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Rowing for weight loss or weight control? Start here.
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Duds
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Rank Beginner...

Post by Duds » October 1st, 2021, 6:22 pm

Looking for direction.

Ht: 5'6" Wt: 240# Age: 56 Asthmatic. Currently been on the erg for 1 month, 3x/week. My thought has been to just put in the time and increase it in an effort to lose some weight and gain aerobic capacity. Definitely need to get diet in order!

Initial goal is to get under 200#. Under 180#

Last workout: 20min, DF 130, 20spm, 2:26/500 avg over that time. (Tough but definitely doable)
On off days I do kettlebell sport snatches and/or burpees.
My intention was to continue these numbers and settings and just add time. Maybe work up to 45min nonstop. Not sure what kind of drop off, if any, I should expect for the /500 avg as time goes up. Should I expect any dropoff in the /500 avg? I assume I'll get fitter and more efficient.

Any thoughts on this plan? I'm really enjoying the direct readout of results and the fact that I can manipulate multiple variables in achieving a goal(within my current abilities). Should I look more at distance as well to see where I fit on the standard distances? Maybe I'm overthinking this...

Thanks

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Ombrax
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Re: Rank Beginner...

Post by Ombrax » October 1st, 2021, 7:29 pm

Duds wrote:
October 1st, 2021, 6:22 pm
Looking for direction.
Welcome to the forum. : )

I'm sure you already know this, but just to get it out of the way, significant weight loss really happens in the kitchen, not the gym. With that said, on to the erg:

I'd suggest doing something more than just "long and steady" rows. Some folks swear by the Beginner's Pete Plan, or the Pete Plan itself, but I find them to be too structured for my taste. Take a look and see what you think.

In your case, if you want a DIY plan, I'd suggest making one of your three weekly workouts something different from your current steady-state. For example, you could do any of the various types of intervals out there. The PM has several already programmed in, but it's super-easy to make your own.

There are at least two benefits to doing interval workouts - 1) higher level cardio performance over time compared to only steady state, and 2) variety to keep thing from getting too boring.

Good Luck

Dangerscouse
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Re: Rank Beginner...

Post by Dangerscouse » October 2nd, 2021, 6:40 am

Duds wrote:
October 1st, 2021, 6:22 pm
My intention was to continue these numbers and settings and just add time. Maybe work up to 45min nonstop. Not sure what kind of drop off, if any, I should expect for the /500 avg as time goes up. Should I expect any dropoff in the /500 avg? I assume I'll get fitter and more efficient.
Welcome to the forum. It really depends on how quickly you increase the time that you're rowing as you need to adapt to the effort and strain.

Your average pace should be perceived as an ephemeral target as it will fluctuate depending on fitness over a longer term, and standard daily issues in the short term. I expect that you will slow down over the longer distance but that will change over time and you'll keep getting faster (to a certain point obviously) if you work hard enough.

If there is a drop off don't view it as a failure, or something to avoid, as it's just a moment in time and something to get better at: none of us start off as the finished article. Rowing is a tough sport, and it takes a lot of patience, sweating and swearing to get better.
47 HWT; 6' 4"; 1k= 3:09; 2k= 6:36; 5k= 17:19; 6k= 20:47; 10k= 35:46 30mins= 8,488m 60mins= 16,618m HM= 1:16.47; FM= 2:40:41; 50k= 3:16:09; 100k= 7:52:44; 12hrs = 153km

"You reap what you row"

Instagram: stuwenman

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Ombrax
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Re: Rank Beginner...

Post by Ombrax » October 2nd, 2021, 11:20 pm

Re:

"significant weight loss really happens in the kitchen, not the gym"

I have no idea why the word I originally used above (starts with "k" and is the place where you typically cook or otherwise prepare food) was flagged as spam. Anyway, I assume everyone knows what I meant.

Good luck to the OP.

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Citroen
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Re: Rank Beginner...

Post by Citroen » October 3rd, 2021, 5:20 am

Ombrax wrote:
October 2nd, 2021, 11:20 pm
I have no idea why the word I originally used above (starts with "k" and is the place where you typically cook or otherwise prepare food) was flagged as spam. Anyway, I assume everyone knows what I meant.
We used to get a lot of kitchen refurbishment spammers on here.

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MrCrlhm
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Re: Rank Beginner...

Post by MrCrlhm » October 3rd, 2021, 1:01 pm

Hey there,
I’m in a similar situation, 6’1’’/245/52, got my rowerg in August. My goal is mostly to get myself in better general shape and create the habit of exercise again but also to improve eating habits and lose some weight.
Personally, I found a 2k training plan on the British Concept2 site that had 26 weeks planned at 5 levels depending on fitness. I went for the second lowest and am on my third week of 4 sessions a week, never the same two days in a row which keeps it interesting. Most of all I found it easier to focus on times instead of distances, 2x14 mins at a certain pace and SR instead of distances(that is why I didn’t go for Petes Plan since I find it hard to relate to 3 x 1500m for example, 3 x 10min is easier).
One thing that I have been careful of is not going to wild in the beginning, instead stopping myself from doing to much so I don’t burn out. Loving it so far and am starting to get that feeling of missing out on days when I don’t work out.

You know yourself best, what you need to keep it interesting for yourself. Switch it up with intervals and long rows, time a 2k and do a 20 or 30 min row so you have something down the line to compare to and measure your progress against.
Keep at it!

ukaserex
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Re: Rank Beginner...

Post by ukaserex » October 8th, 2021, 10:43 am

So, there's no question that more time on the erg, provided you're actually rowing while upon it can only aid in the loss of weight. But what kind of weight?

As you state in your post - "Definitely need to get diet in order".

I was in your figurative shoes once. I was 260#s, and actually got a hernia leaning over to pick up a fork I'd dropped to my right side. Fast forward - that hernia, followed by a gall bladder repair (that I would have never done if I could go back in time - but would have changed my diet instead) - and I learned to love the rower. Easier on my feet - as I started walking 10k steps a day in the first steps of my weight management journey. Used up a lot of money in sneakers. I think I've recouped my investment in the rower just by not having to buy more shoes!

Here's what I learned about me. My body adapts. Yes, I got better at rowing when I put more time in on the rower. That's always a plus! The problem is, my body adapted to this increased time on the rower, and the same workout that burned 400 calories 6 weeks ago now only burns 300. Because of the reduced food intake, my metabolism which was around 2400 calories per day, down-regulated to about 2200 calories per day. I figure this is why my weight loss stalled. Great success in the first 6 weeks, though. But some days I wonder how much muscle was lost in that initial flurry of enthusiasm and unbridled motivation. Muscle is hard to build!

So - when you reduce calories - make sure that you don't reduce them by the same amount each day. Plan for some days to be at a low surplus, other days to be at maintenance, other days to be a little bit fewer than other deficit days, so your week on the whole averages out to be at a deficit. Keep your body guessing in your workouts. Every 3 to 6 weeks, maybe alter your rate from 18 to 22. Or from 20 to 24. Try to incorporate weight resistance training, varying your set and rep scheme every 3 to 6 weeks. And make sure you're eating enough protein. What's enough? That varies, but if you'd like to be 180#'s, then you'll want to try to consume about 180 grams of protein through the day. That's super easy for most guys to do. Certainly a manageable amount. What sucks is you have to read labels and measure things. Even then, your intake calculations could be off by as much as 20% simply because the law doesn't require pinpoint accuracy on food labels. Additionally, the calories burned figure given by the C2 rower is no more accurate than a Fitbit or Garmin calorie tracker. They're a decent guess, but we never really know how many calories are being burned. It's almost ridiculous to try to calculate it - but we have to start somewhere and establish a baseline.
100M - 16.1 1 Min - 370 500M - 1:25.1 1k - 3:10.2 4:00 - 1216 2k 6:37.0 5k 17:58.8 6k - 21:54.1 30 Min. - 8130 10k - 37:49.7 60:00 - 15604
1/2 Marathon 1:28:44.3 Marathon 2:59:36

5'10"
215 lbs
53 years old

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