Low rep training improves long distance rowing

Given the choice between high reps and light weights versus low reps and heavy  weights, most endurance-sport coaches will opt for the former over the latter. The reasoning appears sound: the repetition scheme more closely resembles the high volume of endurance sports.

rowing_pictureA recently published study  examined the effects of those two training protocols on collegiate rowers. Two weight training groups resistance trained and rowed twice a week, using one protocol each, respectively,  while the control group only rowed twice a week with no additional weight training. Each group performed their respective weight training protocol along with their daily rowing practices. The subjects performed both pre and post 2k -meter ergometer tests on concept 2 indoor rowers.  The control group lowered their 2k time by 11 seconds, the high rep group lowered their time by 12 seconds (nearly the same as control), and the low rep group (who trained with the heaviest weights) lowered their 2k time by the greatest margin, clocking in at 15 seconds faster than their pre-training times.

Of course this flies in the face of conventional lab-coat wisdom, but affirms what strength coaches have known for decades.

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