Generally, a larger, heavier athlete is capable of producing more power than their smaller teammate. In many cases this results in the larger person scoring better on the erg. This does not tell the whole story, because in on water rowing, greater body weight submerges the boat deeper in the water. This creates drag that must be overcome by the power of the rowers. The heavier the rower, the more drag on the boat, and the more power that rower will have to produce to be equal to their lighter teammate. The erg does not penalize the heavier rower in this way, so a heavier rower may appear to have a higher potential than they really have when it is time to get into the boat.
The Concept2 Indoor Rower is a very useful tool for rowing coaches, because it provides a controlled, measurable way to compare their athlete's potential. However, it is important that coaches take into account the body weight of their rowers as well. This is where the Weight Adjustment Formula comes in. Indeed, many coaches have been using this formula over the years but it required a love of math and a pretty powerful calculator! Now it’s easy with our Online Weight Adjustment Calculator!
Important: Your adjusted score cannot be entered into the Concept2 Online Ranking. Ranking results must be raw times and distances only.
Coaches, take note: The formula used here is not exactly the same as the one you may have used in the past, and you will not be able to compare old adjusted results with adjusted results from this web tool. We have recently fine-tuned the formula so that it better reflects the speed of an eight.
Weight Adjustment FAQs
- Doesn’t the damper setting have to be taken into account?
- No, the Performance Monitor already takes the damper setting into account. It recalibrates itself on every stroke to account for damper setting and ambient conditions.
- Is this formula applicable to women as well as men?
- What is the weight of the standard rower being used for this adjustment?
- Originally, we used 170 to normalize the weight adjusted scores because 170 was approximately the average weight of all rowers. But about a year ago we realized that by using a different number to normalize the weight adjusted score we could give the adjusted score more meaning. By using 270, the weight adjusted score becomes a pretty good estimate of a person’s potential speed in an eight. To put it another way, if the average adjusted score using this formula of the 8 rowers in an eight is 6:00, then that boat should be capable of a 6:00 2k race on the water—given perfect conditions and near perfect rowing effectiveness (nobody rows perfectly). We believe that this will be approximately true for all types of crews.
- What is this adjustment telling me?
- Your weight-adjusted score will be a pretty good estimate of your potential speed in an eight. If all eight rowers have the same adjusted 2k score, then that eight should be capable of rowing that speed for a 2k race on the water—given perfect conditions and near perfect rowing effectiveness (nobody rows perfectly).
- Why should a coach use this adjustment calculator?
- If you are going to use erg scores as one of the criteria for boating selection, it is very important that you compare weight adjusted scores. Otherwise, you will not necessarily be selecting the most effective rowers. This is due to the fact that the erg does not penalize heavier rowers for the effect that their extra weight may have on the boat speed.
- How can an individual make use of this calculator?
- Individuals can also take advantage of this calculator. Enter your body weight and rowing score and the formula will tell you how fast you would be able to go in an eight-oared shell if all eight rowers had the same adjusted score as you. Then you can compare yourself to the Men’s or Women’s National Team Eights! Or perhaps the winners at US Masters’ Nationals. If nothing else, you can compare the speed of “your” eight with that of your training partner.
- What is the weight adjustment formula?
- Here are the formulas used, in case you want to do the calculation when you are away from a computer:
- Wf = [body weight in lbs / 270] raised to the power .222
- Corrected time = Wf x actual time (seconds)
- Corrected distance = actual distance / Wf