Short-term maximum rowing power

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Sprague, Robert Chapman IV

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Force-velocity and power-velocity relationships for ergometer-based, whole-body exercise appear incomplete; therefore, a Concept2 Model C rowing ergometer was modified so that resistance was provided solely by the moment of inertia (I) of the flywheel. Flywheel velocity (ω) and acceleration (α) were determined from time measurements (± 1 μs) recorded with a reflective sensor. Instantaneous force (F [subscript I]) and instantaneous power (P [subscript I]) were calculated as Iαr, where r is the radius of the axle sprocket, and Iαω, respectively, and recorded 15 times every flywheel revolution. Peak instantaneous force (F [subscript IP]) and power (P [subscript IP]) and average force (F [subscript acc]) and power (P [subscript acc]) were recorded during the acceleration phase of each stroke. The highest instantaneous (P [subscript IP] max) and average (P [subscript acc] max) power values were identified for each bout. Well-trained male and female rowers completed five bouts of six maximum intensity strokes on the modified ergometer with two minutes of active recovery between each bout. Force-velocity and power-velocity relationships were constructed with data for the six strokes. Force decreased with increasing velocity. Power exhibited a quadratic relationship with v [subscript H], reaching a pinnacle in the 3rd or 4th stroke of each bout for all subjects. P [subscript IP] max occurred at a v [subscript H] of 3.33 ± 0.20 m/s and P [subscript acc] max occurred at a mean v [subscript H] of 3.35 ± 0.18 m/s. Mean P [subscript IP] max and P [subscript acc] max was 3182 ± 369 W and 1971 ± 246 W, respectively. The within-subjects coefficient of variation for P [subscript IP] max was 4.8 ± 0.5% and for P [subscript acc] max was 3.4 ± 0.3%. The inertial load method applied to a rowing ergometer provided a means to determine whole body maximal power and establish detailed force-velocity and power-velocity relationships across a large range of contraction velocities in a single, short bout of exercise. Maximum rowing power in these subjects differed from other whole body modes of exercise, possibly due to differences in the magnitude and kinetics of activation


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