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Adjusting the resistance to better your performance

You want to improve speed, increase endurance and build muscle as fast as possible, right? When you sit down on the rowing machine for your RowStudio workout, you might be tempted to set the resistance to the highest setting, but before you do that, read on.

The resistance setting on the rowing machine adjusts the amount of air that is allowed to rotate through the flywheel – the round part at the front  of the machine. The higher the resistance, on a scale from 1 to 10, the more air that is allowed to enter the wheel, causing it to feel heavier. Yet it is uncommon to set the resistance all the way at 10.

Rowing at a level 10 can be likened with cycling up a 20% incline. While it will feel heavy and force you to work hard, it does little to help with your technique nor is it sustainable for building power endurance.

Rather than measuring your strength or the difficulty of the class by the level of resistance, try putting your resistance at a moderate level (1-3 for beginners, 4-6 for more experienced rowers) and work on improving your technique. Look for the results in a higher *watt output or in lower *splits.

Challenge: In your next class, experiment with the resistance level. Start at level 1 and see how high you can get your watts, then add one level of resistance and try again. Repeat until you reach level 10. Where did you generate the highest watts? What level felt best to you?

× Any questions?