Carlos Dinares TIP # 481: My ROWING CONFIDENCE is UP! Carlos and RP3

I was lucky enough to row with Carlos for 2 and a half months at Lake
Samish and have learnt and developed myself as a rower by being on the
rowperfect for hours every day, getting in good repetitions and
slowing figuring out how to get the right power application to produce
the most joules possible!! The progress I made in such a short time
has given me great confidence coming back to college rowing and I have
been able to excel on the erg and the water even more so than I
expected!

When I first arrived at Lake Samish spending 70 minutes on a
rowperfect did not sound like my kind of fun! But never the less I was
to find myself for weeks on end spending 70 minutes every morning
pushing myself to the limit, and in the afternoons doing more erging.
It actually became strangely addictive as i was always seeing vast
improvements. I never rowed a single stroke on the water while I was
at Lake Samish (Which was torture- the Lake is so beautiful!) as my
aim was to improve my strength and power on the rowing machine so I
could return to college rowing with a head start by having a top erg
score. Although to begin with I wondered if the lack of rowing would
inhibit my feel for the water, I soon discovered that rowing on the
rowperfect is exactly the same concept, the rowperfect teaches you
good connection, and by being able to watch a detailed force curve on
every stroke it is easy to manipulate your stroke to get an accurate
and smooth curve.

When I really realized how similar the machine was
to rowing on the water was when I first got back to College. I
took out a single one morning, after having not been on the water for
months, and rowed the single how I would row the machine back at Lake
Samish. The movements were the same- I had the same strong connection
(which I never really had rowing in the single before) and I felt like
I was rowing efficiently. The biggest difference I noticed was my pick
up from the catch. Prior to training with Carlos I had a bad habit of
using my shoulders to initiate the catch, but from being on the
rowperfect for the whole summer I slowing eliminated it, and found my
legs. I was now able, in the single, to really pick the boat up with
my legs and open up smoothly to really get some power behind the
blades. I also noticed that at the finish I was able to sit up and
stay connected right through the end of the stroke, which was
developed by get stronger through the core on the RP.

Getting back on the stationary erg after being on the rowperfect was
definitely and experience but I felt just with muscle memory I could
row the stationary machine just like the RP. There is very little
connection at the catch on a stationary erge, unless you can find it,
and the RP really taught me how to pick up the flywheel with good
connection and I felt I could get that same connection, and then
suspension and hanging feeling that I would get on the RP.
But after
using both machines in can definitely see how people training on a
stationary machine all the time would lose that powerful connection.
Carlos always had me training at low ratings which really helped to
figure out where the power should be applied and grasp the rowing
stroke while also developing my strength. Although I was rating low on
the RP I had no problem going onto the C2 and being at higher rates
for my 30 minutes tests.
Every time I got on the C2 I was improving my erg scores which gave me
great confidence that all the hard work was paying off!

One of the workouts i remember was Carlos making me hold above 750
joules for as long as i could and when i took 3 strokes below 750 i
had to stop. This was definitely a different approach to what i was
used to, but the challenge was set and i ended up holding it for 80
minutes. 750 joules was well above what i would normally do even for
30 minutes, so to hold it there for 80, not knowing when my body would
give in, showed that the only limits i was setting were all mental, i
was fitter than ever and capable of holding well above what i believed
i could. I came away from Lake Samish tougher than ever after that
one!

Even now being back at college, although we don’t have any rowperfect
machines here I have been able to keep up all that hard work by being
on the water in a single when I am not with the rest of the team in
the bigger boats. I feel being able to get out in the single allows me
to focus on having that same connected rowperfect drive that I worked
on in summer and not have to be concerned with everyone else in the
boat. However in the eight I have no trouble transferring what I have
learnt to sweep rowing and I am far more confident being out in the
eight everyday knowing I have developed a great base for further
improving every day.


So far I have come back with one of the best 6km
erg scores on the team, and had a great first regatta of the season at
the Head of the Oklahoma. Having Carlos coach me for the summer was
such a great experience, and everything I learnt by watching,
listening, and getting in good repetitions everyday changed me as a
rower. Although it is now a tough life living without the rowperfect
which in some ways became an extension of myself! I still have dreams
about the perfect force curve!

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