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Andrew J. Vogler, Anthony J. Rice and Robert T. Withers

Purpose:

The Concept II model C (IIC) rowing ergometer was replaced by the Concept II model D (IID), but the design modifications of the updated ergometer might alter resistance characteristics and rowing technique, thereby potentially influencing ergometer test results. This study evaluated the physiological response to rowing on the IIC and IID ergometers during a submaximal progressive incremental test and maximal-performance time trial.

Methods:

Eight national-level rowers completed submaximal and maximal tests on the IIC and IID ergometers separated by 48 to 72 h. Physiological responses and calculated blood lactate thresholds (LT1 and LT2) were compared between ergometer models (IIC vs IID) using standardized drag-factor settings.

Results:

Power output, oxygen consumption, rowing economy (mL O2 · min−1 · W−1), heart rate, blood lactate concentration, stroke rate, and rating of perceived exertion all displayed similar responses regardless of ergometer model. Calculated physiological values equivalent to LT1 and LT2 were also similar between models, except for blood lactate concentration at LT1, which displayed a small but statistically signifcant difference (P = .02) of 0.2 mmol/L.

Conclusions:

The physiological response when rowing on IIC and IID ergometers is nearly identical, and testing can therefore be carried out on either ergometer and the results directly compared.