To strengthen the depth of lightweight rowing talent, we sought to identify experienced heavyweight rowers who possessed physique traits that predisposed them to excellence as a lightweight. Identified athletes (n = 3) were monitored over 16 wk. Variables measured included performance, anthropometric indices, and selected biochemical and metabolic parameters. All athletes decreased their body mass (range 2.0 to 8.0 kg), with muscle mass accounting for a large proportion of this (31.7 to 84.6%). Two athletes were able to maintain their performance despite reductions in body mass. However, performance was compromised for the athlete who experienced the greatest weight loss. In summary, smaller heavyweight rowers can successfully make the transition into the lightweight category, being nationally competitive in their first season as a lightweight.
Slater, Rice, and Hahn are with the Dept of Physiology, Australian Institute of Sport, Belconnen, Australian Capital Territory 2616. Slater and Jenkins are with the School of Human Movement Studies, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072; Slater is also with the Centre of Excellence for Applied Sport Science Research, Queensland Academy of Sport, Brisbane, Queensland 4109. Gulbin is with the National Talent Search Program, Australian Institute of Sport, Belconnen, Australian Capital Territory 2616.