aramtraining teaches late starter adults how to become competitive masters rowers

How to start late as an adult with rowing and still become competitive – without injuries and overtraining

Start late and become a competitive rower: build up strategy for masters & late starters

What is this video about 

  • Being fit like a competitive rower is one of the best possible states to be in as an adult, and especially when you become older. You may not always want to compete for lack of time, however, the fitness state alone speaks for itself. Competitions for non-professional adult rowers are wide spread and growing in numbers and size. 
  • This video guides you through the different stages and step-stones of starting to row as an adult, and becoming a competitive rower.
  • become and stay competitively fit until very old age – because everybody wants to be fit like an old rower
  • avoid injuries, overtraining, but also undertraining, lack of development and growth

Why it matters to the viewer 

A US masters athlete on team aramtraining who is in his 70s, recently had a conversation with his doctor, who could not believe how fit my athlete is. The doctor said: rowing is not as good as they say, you do not see many 80-year-olds on the water. To this my athlete replied: This is not true. You see a lot of them, but you do not recognize them as 80-year-olds, because they look much more like very fit 70-year-olds…

So, the goal is clear: you want to become competitively fit. This might not imply that you enter a lot of competitions, or any competitions at all, but it means that as you become older, the advantage you have over other people your age becomes more and more drastic. From the age of 40, you either become better or you become worse. The choice is yours. You will not remain the same, as you cannot rely on your natural growth anymore. Nature has done its part, now you need to take care of yourself and prolong your fit life for as long as possible. 

However, I see many masters rowers having injuries because of a lack of comprehensive training. With this video, I want to address this issue and provide the necessary overview. 

How this video is structured

Chapter 1 – What does it mean to be competitively fit? 

  1. You are fit enough to be able to enter Masters competitions, and at least not become last, ideally be in the top 10. This does not mean you HAVE to enter competitions, however, being fit enough alone is the knighthood of getting older in a very healthy way, and to be ready for almost everything. 
  2. It means you have a well thought out training strategy and an according personal training plan for at least a full year. 

Chapter 2 – The prerequisites: current physique, training background, time, environment

The most important thing to keep in mind is that a trained rower has a couple years of rowing under her or his belt. Essential muscles have had a few years of time to respond to the frequent demand of rowing. And along with these: increased bone density, joint stability, ligament and tendon strength as well as cartilage stability.

  1. Analyzing your physique: taking inventory of what you have and what you need to get. If you do not have sufficient pelvic mobility, you cannot hinge correctly, therefore you cannot use your entire trunk to transfer force from your hands to your feet, which ultimately will overload these select muscles and lead to injuries. 
    Exercises to practice:
    1. Pelvic mobilization
    1. Good morning
    1. Overhead deep squat
    1. Shoulder mobilization
    1. Optional but helpful: have a lactate test done and follow the aramtraining protocol for more reliable results

Endurance can be trained, weight can be lost, strength can be gained. As long as you give it enough time and consideration.

  • Training Background / training experience: There are four basic types of training history
    • The former junior athlete who stopped training after high school or college. Life, job and family are more stable now, and it is time to do something for yourself again. You feel you are not getting any younger and you want to prolong your fit life. Benefits from vast training background and racing experience, hard to beat for a long time, as they get older, they do not advance anymore as they rely on their “I-have-always-done-this” methods and thus do not realize their loss of technique and physical capabilities

      This is where you need to be careful: doing the training you did when you were young will most likely lead to overtraining and injuries. Your body is not in permanent build-up mode anymore, and the possibly improper training your body could handle when you were a teen will certainly not be rewarded by your body today. So, it needs a dedicated build-up plan to stabilize your joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles so that you can do proper training in the first place. 
      • Positives: you know how to row, and you have some racing experience
      • Negatives: you think you can just do what you did when you were young. When you find out that you need a much more professional approach now than then, you will get frustrated. If you can find somebody who builds you up again, you will succeed.

    • The non-rower still-an-athlete athlete may never have been top as a teen, yet still kept or built the habit of at least 4 – 7 training sessions per week, mostly dedicated to a specific sport such as cycling, running or triathlon or simply lifting in the gym on a semi-professional basis. Usually the reason for starting to row is either one or multiple injuries or heart problems (usually with lifters), or simply the fact that they have never seen rowing before, and love to use their capabilities in a different sport to see how far they can take it.  

      If you were a lifter before, you are probably lacking endurance around the anaerobic threshold level and below. If you were a cyclist or runner, you are probably lacking torso force transfer strength, possibly bone density, joint stability and most likely your ability to use body weight to generate Watts. 
    • The never did anything seriously, wants to become seriously fit now. 
      You have to take your time to seriously build the required full range of motion strength, muscles and mobility. 
      • Positives: no bad muscle memory to change (rowing technique)
      • Negatives: all the required muscles for rowing need to be built up (slowly)
  • The former national team / high performance level rower, rowed in high school, college, maybe national team later on, then moved on to masters rowing. Benefits from vast training background and racing experience, hard to beat for a long time, as they get older, they do not advance anymore as they rely on their “I-have-always-done-this” methods and thus do not realize their loss of technique and physical capabilities. 

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