Diagnostics Of Power And Anaerobic Capacity In Rowers

Por: K. Ficek, M. Holub, M. Plewa, T. Gabrys e U. Szmatlan Gabrys.

Athens 2004: Pre-olympic Congress

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Hagerman et al (1978) studied energetics of rowers’ work on 2000m distance performed on rowing cycle ergometer and found that anaerobic glycolytic metabolism constitutes a leading source of energy during the initial 30-90 and the final 60-90 seconds of work. So far only a few papers concerning diagnostics of rowers’ anaerobic capacity have been published [Klusiewicz, 2001]. Present studies show that only 20% of rower’s work is of anaerobic type, yet it is still a sphere of work requiring the precise diagnostics in the process of sports training and the need of seeking additional possibilities of increasing the share of anaerobic metabolism in the rower’s work. The objective of the present study was to assess the power and anaerobic capacity in 17-18-year old rower with the use of interval exercise.

The group of 13 rowers performed exercise on rowing cycle ergometer Concept II according to the following protocol: 8 min of a warm-up and 2 minutes of break, then the subjects 4 times covered the distance of 500m and after the completion of each one there was a break lasting 1,5 minutes. The following physiological parameters were recorded during the warm-up and the exercise test: oxygen consumption (VO2), ventilation (VE), exhaled carbon dioxide (VCO2) (Vmax 29, Sensormedics, USA), heart rate (HR) (Team Polar, Finland). On the basis of recorded values of the above parameters describing the gas exchange (VO2 and VCO2) RQ index was calculated. Power and time of exercise values were used to calculate relative work. To assess lactate concentration, blood samples were taken from the ear lobe before the warm-up, after its completion, after each 500m distance and in 4th and 8th minute after the completion of the test. The colormetric method was used here (LP-20, Dr Lange, Germany). The acquired results were subjected to statistical analysis.


The interval training performed on rowing cycle ergometer (4x500m) allows for an effective diagnostics of the level of anaerobic endurance in rowers. During the exercise a complete depletion of available substrates of anaerobic metabolism (glycogen) takes place which is reflected by increased level of lactate concentration after the II exercise (up to 90-95% of maximal value). reduced value of RQ from 1.15 down to 0.98 and in drop in power and total work performed at constant consumption of oxygen [Brooks. Fahey 1985]. Analysis of obtained results shows that 4x500m exercise may be useful in assessment of changes of rowers’ anaerobic metabolism in training cycle. The maintenance of values of parameters characteristic for anaerobic metabolism in III and IV exercise would indicate the development of this physical capacity sphere in a given rower. The limitation of abilities for maintenance of high values of RQ. P. W as well as low consumption of oxygen and reaching of maximal value of lactate after the I interval exercise would indicate reduced capability for continuation of work based on anaerobic metabolism.

[1]. Hagerman F. i wsp. (1978). J. Appl. Physical. No. 45(1): 87 - 93
[2]. Klusiewicz A. (2001) Rowing (In Polish) No. 1:5-7

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