More POWER in 5 Minutes on the Rowing Machine


(upbeat hip-hop music) ♪ Yeah, yeah, yeah ♪ ♪ Yo, yo, yo, yo, yo ♪ ♪ Coming in ♪ ♪ Flex, I just wanna win ♪ ♪ L A B B who we running with ♪ ♪ 2 2 3 3 I’m on 10 again ♪ ♪ State your name ♪ ♪ Big BeenDope on flame ♪ ♪ I just switched the lanes ♪ ♪ Money clip I tossed it ♪ ♪ I heard it’s big bags ♪ ♪ On big bags ♪ ♪ On big bags coming ♪ ♪ Coming in ♪ – Today, we’re gonna
make you more forceful on the rower in five minutes. That’s like, five minutes of
like, you time on the machine. Not five minutes of me making the video. I swear, I do them as fast as I can. I’m not trying to draw it out. Let’s just, let’s roll the video. You’re probably here because you’re trying to put more force or power,
not actually the same thing. Often used interchangeably. We’ll discuss that in a second. You’re trying to put more
force into the machine and you just feel like where is it? Where’s, I know I have
power but I can’t put it into this machine, why? What am I doing wrong? Is the machine broken? No, to that last question. Yes, and we’ll answer the
previous question to that. Let’s go. We’re gonna be using a little insider tip that a lot of people might not know about but it’s really valuable
and actually acts like a little pocket coach. A little like, if you could
fit me in your pocket, a little tool, at least
on the Concept 2 machine. On other machines as well. I just don’t know how
to actually get to them on other machines and it’s
called the force curve. Let’s just do a quick dip
of our toe into the water of the difference between force and power. Force is mass times acceleration. Now, this is where you are
actually acting on the machine. This is a push or a pull. Those of you that have
hung around the channel, you know that it’s a push in this instance but this is your mass times acceleration. That is what creates force. It is an actual action on another object. That’s force. Power is work divided by time. So, it is taking the
amount of work you are trying to produce and
determining, based off of the amount of time that it takes, that’s what gives you power. So, ostensibly, you could have
a higher work, slower time. A lower work and a faster time and arrive at the same amount of power. That lends, now, we’re not
gonna gonna get into that today, but if you consider
that into the direction of the damper setting or
drag factor discussion, it lends to the concept of
why you can be successful at any given drag factor/damper setting and that there isn’t any
one correct damper setting for anybody because you can achieve power many different ways on the spectrum. All right, that’s out of the way. On to the good stuff. Force curve is a screen
or a monitor setting on all Concept 2 machines. Again, also present on other machines. I just don’t know those machines and there’re a lot of them to cover so we’re just focusing
on the Concept 2 today. It is generally the second button down on the right hand column if you were to, if I’m you, and I’m
looking at the monitor. The right hand column, like five buttons, you push the second one
down and it’s gonna give you the force curve screen. The reason we’re even talking about this, is because the force curve
is a literal direct insight into what you are doing. How you are performing on the machine. On the rowing machine at, in real time. It, as I mentioned
earlier, it’s like a little coach Shane in your
pocket at any given time if your understand what you are seeing when you are watching it and
the other piece of this is can you change the way that you’re moving to create a more optimal force curve so that you can create better force. Thus, the force in the
force curve discussion. The ideal curve that we are looking for, all of us that are coaching in this world, we always call it the haystack. It’s smooth, it’s perfectly symmetrical, it has a nice acceleration point, a peak, a taper off. There are no outliers, spikes,
dips, anything like that and the reason being, the
reason we like that haystack, is because it optimizes the
amount of area under the curve. The more area down there, the
more force you are producing and that’s the goal at the end of the day. There are two other potential curves and both of these are okay. They’re not wrong. They’re just different ways
of approaching the stroke and if you were to take these two on the ends of the spectrum
and smash them together, you would essentially
end up with a haystack which is why I talk about the haystack as being the kind of perfect curve. Now the first of those is a peaked or pretty aggressive peaked curve where you see it actually
reach kind of a point and then taper off. Again, no crazy outliers
on the up or the down but it does have a more definite peak. Now, this is what you would
get if you have a more traditional rowing technique. Legs, body, arms and
you make sure to really stretch out each one
of those so that it is systematic in nature. The second, would be more
of a full body opening at once where you are
driving legs, opening hips, breaking at the arms,
almost at the same time. The arms may wait a little bit longer. That as well, it will have less of a peak but it will have a longer base and thus, we arrive at
almost the same amount of area under the curves which
is why I say they’re okay is because you still have
the same amount of area. You’re still producing
the same amount of force per stroke but you achieve
it in different ways. So, if we talk about the haystack, it kind of encompasses all
mechanics and types of strokes that arrive at ideal
smooth curves that create connection throughout the entire stroke. The most important part
of this all however, is can you actually make a change if you see an issue with your force curve? And if you’re seeing other,
anything other than smooth nice acceleration all the
way through the stroke, odds are there’s probably
something that we can be working on inside the stroke. You just need to be able to read it. To do this we need to
understand what the curve is actually reading. For that, I’m going to use a simple prop. The lens cap to my camera. Now, I’m going to imagine
that this is the force curve graph that you are seeing on your screen. This is the X axis, this is the Y axis. Now, imagine that this is my fly wheel. It’s gonna go right here. Now, from here, imagine that
the rower is extending out. What I’m doing is just, imagine
if I could overlay my graph with a picture of a rowing machine. So, fly wheel, slide, back leg, all right? Essentially, as the graph is drawn, it’s showing you exactly
how force is applied throughout the stroke. Meaning, it begins with leg drive. The legs are the most
powerful part of the body, so we begin to accelerate and
create a lot of force here. The leg drive into the hip connection starts to create a lot of acceleration plus peak force application
during the stroke and that’s why we start to reach that peak right at about the
middle part of the stroke because that’s where the legs
and the hips are connecting. Then as the hips or trunk
and the arms connect, we start to see a taper
off because we are both reaching the end of the
stroke as well as the ability to place strength into the
machine because of the arms being basically the
weakest part of the stroke. I hope that all made sense. Basically, just take your graph. Imagine an erd overlayed
or a rowing machine overlayed over that graph
and it becomes much easier to understand what you are
seeing when there’s a force curve drawn every single time. Now, the fix comes in
wherever you may see the blip. The weirdly spaced peak. The dips. Any of those things
are the moments in time in which you need to observe
a change should be made. If the blip happens on that,
that initial up stroke, right, it could be a number of things. If you peak really fast and
then it’s a long taper off, that tells you that you’re
putting too much force too early into the
stroke and you should be distributing it more over
the rest of the stroke. If you’re seeing a dip at the very middle, perhaps it peaks, dips, peaks
again and then drops off, if that’s the case, you’re seeing an issue in connection between the
legs, the hips, and the arms somewhere in that transitionary
period in the middle. If you are just long flat
lined, you’re not actually creating much force. You’re able to apply much
force to the machine. We should be working on
how you actually connect meaning better bracing at the catch. Better application of
force into the machine. The thing we prioritize
all the time, right, better positioning. There are all sorts of
errors that you can find. All you’re looking for are inconsistencies in that smooth line. Wherever that inconsistency comes in, that is where you are observing the issue and that comes back to
what we were discussing with, if you overlay
the rower on that graph, it will just tell you. It’s saying, hey, there’s an issue with, if it’s early in the
curve, probably your legs. If it’s in the middle,
probably something having to do with the legs
connecting to the hips. If it’s the middle, it’s hips. If it’s the backside or somewhere in that transitionary period, it’s the
hips connecting to the arms or maybe it’s the arms. Anyways, that’s why I say
it’s a coach in your pocket. It’s a little me, Shane, coach Shane, sitting in your pocket
because it’s telling you where to look. It’s like throwing a dart,
just like, right there. That’s what you should be working on. Go chase after it, you. At the end of the day, the
goal is to be able to create consistently smooth, beautiful, large area under the curve, curves. That’s what I meant to say. And to do that, I’m going to give you a little bit of homework. It’s not really homework. Here’s a workout that’ll help you to work on your force production. It is just five minutes
with the ultimate goal of creating the same force
curve every single stroke. If there are deviations at any point, then that five minutes
is going to be about trying to correct that
deviation and messing with parts of the stroke. Messing with when you apply your force. Messing with when you use your hip swing. Messing with when you break the elbows to try and fix that and you’re gonna spend the five minutes trying to
work towards a smooth curve. You’re gonna keep repeating
that until you can get to the point at which
five minutes of rowing gives you five minutes
of the same force curve over and over and over. That tells you A, you’re
producing good force but B, you’re also creating consistency in the way that you
practice on the machine which equals better,
happier, faster workouts in the long run. Less confusion and a more
enjoyable experience. So my friends, go be more forceful. Take this knowledge. Use it as you will. It’s, yeah, it was a bit more technical but this is one of those learning points that is very educational
and very very useful and not a lot of people even know that the force curve
exists or what it does but once you tap into this,
it becomes a really great tool to make you better,
faster, more explosive, just all around better on the machine. So, with that being said guys, thank you all for hanging out. As always, I love you all. You all mean the world to me. Thank you for being Dark Horses and if that’s you, if
you wanna be the hero of your own story and you’re happy with us helping you be the guide to get you there, then you are a Dark Horse. And if that’s you, hit
that subscribe button and the little bell next to
it so that you get alerted whenever we come out with a new video and as always, I’ll see
ya on the other side. Hey, thanks for watching the video. If you enjoyed this and
you’re looking for more and you want workouts,
continuous coaching from me and my other coaches in our
private Facebook community, it’s our monthly workout program. It’s 39 dollars a month. Just go over to
darkhorserowing.com/athlete to sign up now.

14 Replies to “More POWER in 5 Minutes on the Rowing Machine”

  1. Thanks for the video, very useful tips! I've seen it mentioned elsewhere, to put the machine on it's lowest drag factor possible, and work on your curve using that setting. Would you recommend that as helpful, or better to keep to your normal drag when ironing-out the flaws?

  2. I have this shown all the time when Rowing. I usually get the very large spike from over pushing with the legs. Then I try to fix things as I do workouts. Great information!

  3. Thank you, this is excellent information. I've tried to use this in the past and never quite understood what I was seeing. Something that I noticed for myself is that I get spots on the curve (almost always at the beginning) where I'll miss a point or two. If I only had access to one rower, I might blame the LCD panel (PM5 monitor). However, it doesn't happen all the time, and it happens on different machines. It seems like something I'm doing. My curve isn't exactly symmetrical. It's skewed a little bit to the left (I'll work on this). Do you know what I could be doing to cause the missing points?

  4. I only recently began rowing (about 7 weeks ago). I've been watching your videos and trying to learn whatever I can. I am enthralled! I love how you dive into the physics of this (and I hated physics!!). It is helping me understand the relationship between myself and the machine a lot!!

  5. I used this setting for the first time yesterday on a 6k rowing session. Found that my normal style looked like this: / Basically a very sharp cone. I try and row with a lot of leg power very explosively but not so much else. Feels like I perhaps should try and use my whole body more? When I tried to open up earlier and use my arms more I ended up with a graph that looked much more attractive. Pretty much exactly like shown in the video at 5m20s. A nice longer curve.

    One issue I had with my both graphs though. I have a very small nick in the beginning part of the curve. It's really small but it was consistently there. Any ideas what could be causing it? I couldn't fix it no matter what I tried.

  6. Well I for one never think “is the machine is broken” but, I often think “has the machine broken me?”

    The answer is usually 1, no 2, hell yes!

  7. We are about to buy our first erg for our garage gym! So excited! I have been watching your videos and instagramzingness for some time now. What’s great is not only have you helped me with my own rowing technique in CrossFit but as a coach, I get to spread your magic all around! And now, WE GET TO HAVE YOU AS OUR LITTLE COACH VIA THE FORCE CURVE! Oh man! It just can’t get any better than this! Now I’m dying to head back to the gym to play around a bit. Thank you so much! Hope Dark Horse heads to the Games next year…we’d love to see you in Vendor village etc!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *