Since the introduction of the smartphone and Bluetooth LE it hasn’t been possible to create a simple method to collect every stroke from the Concept2 rowing machine until now.

We’ve been working on ErgStick for nearly a year now and one thing that has become clear to me is how angry I get when I don’t record my ergo sessions. It just feels like I haven’t done the session at all.

But why would you even want to collect every single stroke?

If you are data geek, but also if you care about your own performance and history.

Today when I erg its slightly different, as I am no longer erging for performance instead to create a product that will make people go faster.

A few days ago I decided to do 10 x 500m with 1 min rest.

Here you can see my splits (feel free to laugh at me in the comments), what you can see is how my average split was 1 second faster each 500m. But something you don’t see is how I paced each 500m. You just don’t get that level of information, but what if you could?

IMG_4909 IMG_4910

Here is my ErgStick pacing graph showing what you can’t see on the screen. The green line is my pace and the yellow is my rate. What you can see in particular towards the last few 500s was that I was starting off hard and letting the split creep up. Compare that to my pacing over the first few where its more consistent.

 

IMG_4952

As someone who no longer rows competitively, having this when I was would have been a huge benefit to see what I was doing right and what I was doing wrong. Many of us know that coaches select based on ergo times and if you could have got a second or two faster by improving your pacing or understanding your performance, you should take it.

This isn’t the only thing you can do in ErgStick. Like the screen your splits for each 500m are displayed, as you can see below. This doesn’t tell you anything new, but when you go into each 500m you can look at your 50m/100m/250m splits for that 500m piece.

IMG_4953 IMG_4954

The piece below is my second to last 500m and I have chosen to look at every 100m of it.

IMG_4955

Now that I have this data I know that the next time I do 10 x 500m (it won’t be soon) I can look back at what I did before but I can also see if my pacing between sessions have improved.

Having a training history that isn’t stuck in your head or in a book but on your phone and alway accessible when you are erging or working out will help, but having a deeper understanding of your pacing and speed with make you faster.

 

If you’d like to use ErgStick just download the free app and connect to a PM5 monitor or to the ErgStick.

If you’d like to look at my raw data for the session you can download it here.

Feel free to leave a comment or suggestion of a session I should do using the ErgStick (I don’t like long sessions)