Rowing_Ergometer_Training_for_Combat_Sports_99769 by xiaoyounan


									Rowing Ergometer
Training for Combat
Kristina L. Kendall, MS and David H. Fukuda, MS
Metabolic and Body Composition Laboratory, Department of Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma,
Norman, Oklahoma

SUMMARY                                         speed (11). Matches are characterized         Traditionally characterized as an en-
                                                by multiple rounds of 3–5 minutes,            durance sport, rowing places a high
                                                consisting of short phases of maximal         demand on both the aerobic and the
                                                intensity activity spaced by brief re-        anaerobic energy systems, as indicated
 ATHLETES TO IMPROVE AEROBIC                                                                  by blood lactate concentrations that
                                                coveries. Combat sports are intermit-
 AND ANAEROBIC FITNESS WHILE                                                                  reach as high as 19 mmolÁL21 after
                                                tent in nature and demonstrate a heavy
 MAINTAINING LEAN BODY MASS                                                                   2,000 m of maximal rowing (18).
                                                reliance on the phosphagen system
 AND DECREASING FAT MASS. THE                                                                 Interval training is frequently used in
                                                and glycolysis early on in the match
 SPECIFIC NEEDS OF COMBAT                                                                     rowing training during the months
                                                and then steadily declines as the
 ATHLETES MAY BE MET BY                         contribution of aerobic metabolism            leading up to competition season to
 TRAINING ON THE ERGOMETER                      increases in subsequent rounds (2,9).         increase the volume of training per-
 BECAUSE IT INVOLVES THE                                                                      formed at or near race pace. Repeated
 COORDINATION OF BOTH THE                       Rowers require not only strength but          sprint training is commonly used as
 UPPER AND THE LOWER BODY TO                    also finesse while working as a group          a method of interval training and
                                                of individuals in unison to propel            includes repeated bouts of high-in-
                                                a boat through the water. Conversely,         tensity exercise with short rest periods,
                                                combat athletes use a variety of skills,      with the goal to perform each work
                                                including strikes, takedowns, chokes,         bout at the same intensity (16).
       owing, a sport in which athle-

R      tes’ race against each other on
       a 2,000-m course relies on both
aerobic and anaerobic energy path-
                                                and joint locks, with the ultimate goal
                                                of controlling and submitting their
                                                opponent. Although the 2 sports
                                                appear to be on opposite sides of the
                                                                                              Interval training, which is described as
                                                                                              periods of high-intensity work alter-
                                                                                              nated with brief periods of low-in-
ways and the simultaneous devel-                                                              tensity work/rest, is commonly used
opment of strength and endurance to             sports spectrum, the metabolic de-
                                                                                              to train both the aerobic and the
drive the boat across the finish line.           mands required are strikingly similar,
                                                                                              anaerobic systems to strengthen the
The typical race lasts between 5.5 and          specifically when looking at the up-
                                                                                              cardiorespiratory system and improve
7 minutes, engages approximately 70%            per-body anaerobic profiles of elite
                                                                                              recovery times (3,12,13). Replacing
of a rower’s total muscle mass, and             judo players and rowers (19). To be
                                                                                              longer bouts of exercise with short
generates an average power output of            successful in both rowing and combat          duration, high-intensity intervals can
450–550 W (21). Rowers depend                   sports, one must not only be able to          lead to significant improvements in
mainly on aerobic metabolism for the            maintain a high aerobic capacity but          aerobic and anaerobic parameters
bulk of the race, maintaining an energy         also be able to buffer the highly acidic      while delaying muscle fatigue (23).
output at a rate greater than 90% of            muscle and blood concentrations that          The purpose of interval training is to
their maximal aerobic capacity for              occur during a race or match. A closer        repeatedly stress the body, resulting in
a period of 6 minutes (10). In contrast,        examination of the training used for          chronic adaptations and improving
combat sports is a collective term to           both sports reveals that they share           metabolic and energy efficiency. Dur-
describe a competitive sport where 2            a common goal, to increase muscle             ing periods of highly anaerobic work
combatants fight against each other,             buffering capacity and delay fatigue
which requires high levels of dynamic           while improving power and explo-
                                                                                               K E Y W O R D S : interval
and isometric strength, aerobic and             siveness to maintain peak perfor-
                                                                                               anaerobic conditioning; combat athlete
anaerobic conditioning, flexibility, and         mance during competition.

Copyright Ó National Strength and Conditioning Association                Strength and Conditioning Journal |     1
Rowing Ergometer Training for Combat Sports

                                                             Table 1
                          Three pathways for energy production and their application to training

Pathway                             Description                       Duration                          Application
Phosphagen                 Immediate source                   First 10 s of intense       10 maximal effort pulls followed
  system (anaerobic)         of energy                           exercise                   by 30-s active recovery
Glycolysis                 Provides energy at a fast rate     Approximately 30 s of       30 s on/30 s off, maximal effort
  (anaerobic)                but cannot be sustained            intense exercise
Oxidative                  Provides energy at a lower         Exercise lasting longer     500-m sprints with 1-min recovery or
  phosphorylation            rate but can be maintained         than 2 min                  fastest 2,000-m time trial time + 30 s
  (aerobic)                  for a longer period

                                                                                           (maximal exercise lasting 60–90 sec-
                                                                                           onds), an increase in hydrogen ions
                                                                                           and inorganic phosphate occurs lead-
                                                                                           ing to a decrease in muscle pH and
                                                                                           ultimately muscle fatigue (1). Meta-
                                                                                           bolic adaptations to interval training
                                                                                           have been shown to enhance the
                                                                                           muscle’s ability to remove such metab-
                                                                                           olites and facilitate the resynthesis of
                                                                                           the energy stores, glycogen and crea-
                                                                                           tine phosphate (8,20). Such adapta-
                                                                                           tions should enhance an athlete’s
                                                                                           ability to generate high-power outputs
                                                                                           for a longer period (6).
                                                                                           Mahler et al. (15) examined rowing
                                                                                           performance        and      physiological
                                                                                           changes after different training seasons
                                                                                           in collegiate female rowers. After 3
                                                                                           months of anaerobic training on the
                                                                                           ergometer, which consisted of interval-
                                                                                           type work performed at 80–100%
                                                                                           maximal effort, rowers improved VO2   _
                                                                                           at the anaerobic threshold (AT) by 18%
                                                                                           as well as heart rate response at
                                                                                           anaerobic threshold. Similar changes
                                                                                           were observed in elite male scullers
                                                                                           during a comparable training interven-
                                                                                           tion (14). Anaerobic metabolism can
                                                                                           contribute up to 33% of the total
                                                                                           energy requirement (21) and is essen-
                                                                                           tial for the beginning of the race and for
                                                                                           the final sprint across the finish line.
                                                                                           Because of similar patterns of energy
                                                                                           utilization, one could assume that
                                                                                           combat athletes would greatly benefit
                                                                                           from a similar interval training pro-
                                                                                           gram. Table 1 describes the 3 pathways
                                                                                           for energy production and their appli-
                                                                                           cation to training.
Figure 1. (A) The ‘‘catch’’—arms are straight, head is neutral, and shoulders are level
           and in front of hips. (B) Shins should be vertical and not compress passed      Additionally, a study examining the
           perpendicular. (C) Balls of the feet are in full contact with the footplate.    physiological responses to short-duration,

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                Table 2
   Sample workout 1: Training for
    the anaerobic energy system
 Warm-up: row easily for 5–10 min

   12 3 250 m with 250-m rest:
     row 250 m at a high intensity,
     taking 250 m of easy rowing in
     between (repeat 12 times)
   5-min rest/water break
   20 3 20 s with 40-s rest:
     Row for 20 s at maximal effort
     with 40 s of rest in between each
     interval. Adjust the damper to
     a slightly higher setting to add
     more of a strength-building
 Cool down: row easily for 5–10 min

high-intensity intermittent rowing
demonstrated that using a protocol
consisting of a work to rest ratio of
15:15 seconds allowed rowers to train
for prolonged periods at or slightly
above competition intensity (7). Row-
ers were able to maintain 80% of their
maximal oxygen uptake and 90% of
their maximal heart rate, with relatively
small increases in blood lactate con-
centration during the intervals. Inter-
estingly, this protocol was used by the
silver medal winners in the 1992 World

                Table 3
   Sample workout 2: Training for
     the aerobic energy system
 Warm-up: row easily for 5–10 min

   6 3 3 min with 2-min rest: row
     six 3-min pieces at a challenging
     intensity with 2-min rest
   5-min rest/water break
   5 3 750 m with 3-min rest: row
     five 750-m pieces at                    Figure 2. (A) The ‘‘drive’’-while maintaining the position of the upper body, exert
     a challenging                                     pressure on the foot late and begin pushing with your legs. (B,C) As your
     intensity, taking 3-min rest in                   legs approach straight, lean the upper body back and draw the hands back
     between                                           to the lower ribs.

 Cool down: row easily for 5–10 min

                                                                     Strength and Conditioning Journal |    3
Rowing Ergometer Training for Combat Sports

                                                                                           Rowing Championships. They found
                                                                                           the protocol to be successful because it
                                                                                           allowed them to cover a relatively large
                                                                                           volume of their training at race pace,
                                                                                           without the accumulation of metabolic
                                                                                           by-products (H+ and Pi) typically seen
                                                                                           with traditional tempo training. Con-
                                                                                           versely, Mavrommataki et al. (16)
                                                                                           found a work to rest ratio of 1:2 was
                                                                                           most beneficial when completing
                                                                                           repeated 1,000-m sprints. Using a lon-
                                                                                           ger rest period, rowers were able to
                                                                                           maintain a higher peak power during
                                                                                           the first 500 m of the second work
                                                                                           bout, with no change in mean or peak
                                                                                           heart rate.
                                                                                           Recently, rowing ergometer training
                                                                                           has been used by combat athletes
                                                                                           (specifically mixed martial arts and
                                                                                           wrestlers) as a method of metabolic
                                                                                           conditioning (4). Ergometer training
                                                                                           can be an effective supplemental
                                                                                           method of interval training because
                                                                                           it involves the coordination of both
                                                                                           the upper and the lower body to
                                                                                           develop maximal power while im-
                                                                                           proving both aerobic capacity and
                                                                                           power output. The rowing stroke is
                                                                                           performed by extension of the legs,
                                                                                           followed by extension of the trunk and
                                                                                           flexion of the arms, with successful
                                                                                           rowers producing approximately 75–
                                                                                           80% of their power with their legs and
                                                                                           about 20–25% with their arms during
                                                                                           the stroke. Figures 1–3 demonstrate
                                                                                           the proper motion of the rowing
                                                                                           stroke. With the majority of muscle
                                                                                           mass engaged while rowing, ergome-
                                                                                           ter training provides an attractive
                                                                                           alternative to the traditional methods
                                                                                           of training for combat sports (i.e.,
                                                                                           treadmill runs, shadow boxing, spar-
                                                                                           ring, and bag punching), which places
                                                                                           a great amount of stress on the body,
                                                                                           specifically the ankles, knees, back,
                                                                                           and shoulder.
                                                                                           Ergometer training can be used as an
                                                                                           effective weight loss tool for those
                                                                                           athletes who cut weight before com-
Figure 3. (A,B) The ‘‘finish’’—legs are extended, and handle is held lightly at the lower   petition. Because of the nature of the
           ribs. Upper body is slightly reclined with support from the core muscles.       sport and the involvement of all major
           Head is in a neutral position, and neck and shoulders are relaxed. (C) The      muscle groups, rowing has some of the
           body movements of the ‘‘recovery’’ are essentially the reverse of the drive.    highest energy expenditure values
           Arms are extended, the upper body leans forward, and the knees gradually        recorded (5). Lightweight rowers will
           bend as the seat slides forward.
                                                                                           often increase training volume on the

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ergometer before weigh-in to help             starting a rowing program, it would                     intermittent anaerobic performance. Can J
achieve the specified body mass limit.         be beneficial to consult a rowing coach                  Appl Physiol 20: 452–464, 1995.
With the dual purpose of improving            to ensure proper technique and mini-                7. Gullstrand L. Physiological responses to
aerobic and anaerobic parameters as           mize lower back strain that may                        short-duration high-intensity intermittent
                                              accompany incorrect form.                              rowing. Can J Appl Physiol 21:
well as reducing body mass while
                                                                                                     197–208, 1996.
maintaining or increasing lean body
mass, ergometer training for combat                                                               8. Holloszy JO. Muscle metabolism during
                                                                                                     exercise. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 63:
athletes may prove to be extremely                                     Kristina L. Ken-              231–234, 1982.
beneficial.                                                             dall is a doctoral         9. Horswill CA, Miller JE, Scott JR, Smith CM,
To emulate the intensity during a fight,                                research      and             Welk G, and Van Handel P. Anaerobic and
work intervals should be kept around                                   teaching assistant            aerobic power in arms and legs of elite
30–60 seconds long, with minimal                                       in the Metabolic              senior wrestlers. Int J Sports Med 13:
recovery in between. A work to rest                                    and Body Compo-               558–561, 1992.
ratio of 2:1 or 3:1 should be the goal of                              sition Laboratory         10. Jensen RL, Freedson PS, and Hamill J.
training because it best emulates the                                  at the University             The prediction of power and efficiency
duration of fighting and rest periods                                   of Oklahoma.                  during near-maximal rowing. Eur J
                                                                                                     Appl Physiol Occup Physiol 73:
during a match (17). While training on                                                               98–104, 1996.
the ergometer, the focus should be on
                                                                                                 11. Kraemer WJ, Vescovi JD, and Dixon P.
keeping the rest periods around 60                                                                   The physiological basis of wrestling:
seconds or less while eliciting .90%                                   David H. Fukuda               Implications for conditioning
VO2max and maximal heart rate during                                   is a doctoral re-             programs. Strength Cond J 26:
the work periods. In addition, Tabata                                  search and teach-             10–15, 2004.
et al. (22) found that 7–8 sets of interval                            ing assistant in          12. Laursen PB and Jenkins DG. The scientific
training at a ratio of 1:1 led to profound                             the Metabolic and             basis for high-intensity interval training:
effects on both aerobic and anaerobic                                  Body Composition              Optimising training programmes and
capacities, increasing VO2max by 7                                     Laboratory     at             maximising performance in highly trained
         21    21                                                      the University of             endurance athletes. Sports Med 32:
mLÁkg Ámin and anaerobic capacity
                                                                                                     53–73, 2002.
by 28%.                                                                Oklahoma.
                                                                                                 13. MacDougall JD, Hicks AL, MacDonald JR,
Additionally, ergometer training could                                                               McKelvie RS, Green HJ, and Smith KM.
be used in conjunction with fight                                                                     Muscle performance and enzymatic
simulation workouts. For example,                                                                    adaptations to sprint interval training.
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