When you train for rowing, you row a lot. There are benefits, however, in using other equipment and exercises to balance out the muscles and increase general fitness. It can be motivating to add variety to workouts, too!
When Peter and Dick Dreissigacker looked at building their latest erg, the BikeErg, they knew that cycling was popular in boathouses. Cycling engages similar major muscle groups used in rowing: the quadriceps, glutes and buttocks. Similar to rowing, it is low-impact and a great calorie-burner. Rowers and cyclists both have strong cardiovascular engines. Cycling is rarely “new” to the rowing athlete and often a familiar activity from childhood. That makes the BikeErg easily accessible as a training tool for all levels of athletes.
The familiarity of the Performance Monitor makes the BikeErg a natural cross-training tool. Tom Terhaar, women’s coach of the US National Rowing Team, explains that “the BikeErg is a great addition to our training equipment. It's efficient, solidly built and most importantly the monitor is the same monitor used on the rowing ergometer. That means the splits are consistent, recordable and the same as the other C2 BikeErgs. And the price is more competitive than any other bike we have.”
The Pace display that the athlete watches is set to be equal on both the indoor rower and BikeErg. This means that a 1:50 pace while rowing is equivalent to a 1:50 on the BikeErg. The wattage required to go at a given pace per 500m on the indoor rower is the same wattage required to go at that pace per 1000m on the BikeErg. However, the “metres” travelled has been given a value that more closely simulates biking on the road, and has been pegged at 2X for the same power. For the coach planning a 5k piece who also has athletes on the BikeErg, a 10k BikeErg piece would be an equivalent workout.
Teams who have used the BikeErg for indoor training are now seeing their results on the water. The BikeErg is also a helpful warm-up tool for regattas, where on water time before racing can be limited. From warm-up, to interval training, to long steady state and testing, the BikeErg is making itself at home in boathouses and erg rooms.