Abstract: Analyzing weight adjustment in rowing: absolute and relative VO2 max effect on indoor rowing results

The rowing ergometer (erg) is an indoor exercise machine that simulates rowing. It is frequently used during the winter training period when it is too cold to be out on the water and in between racing seasons. When rowing on the water, one of the most important determinants of boat speed is the power output provided by the rowers while minimizing the drag created by the weight of the rower in the boat. Weight adjustment is a formula used to try and standardize erg scores based on the size of the rower to make them more applicable to the results that would be seen on the water.

VO2 max is the maximum amount of oxygen someone can utilize during intense exercise, it is accepted as an indicator for cardiovascular fitness. VO2 max can be reported as absolute VO2 max, which is the raw value, or relative VO2 max, which considers body weight. I plan to investigate if weight adjustment is an accurate way to standardize erg scores for results on the water by comparing the adjusted and raw erg scores to the well accepted standardization of absolute and relative VO2 max scores. I will answer this question by performing VO2 max tests using the erg on members of the William and Mary rowing team. Participants’ body composition will also be determined using the DEXA scanner to determine the effects of fat and muscle distribution.

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