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Rowing Beep Test

The rowing beep test is a stroke rate based incremental aerobic fitness test, similar to the running beep test, though performed on a rowing ergometer. This test is based on the research of Alan Metcalfe at the University of Bedfordshire (Metcalf, 2012). There are also set distance ergometer fitness tests for rowers over 2km, 5km and 500m.

rowing ergometer event rowing ergometer test

purpose: to test the aerobic fitness of rowers, by predicting VO2max from a beep test performed on a rowing ergometer.

equipment required: rowing beep test app (or audio cues at the same rate), Concept2 rowing ergometer (or equivalent). A specific drag factor needs to be set.

pre-test: Explain the test procedures to the subject. Perform screening of health risks and obtain informed consent. Prepare forms and record basic information such as age, height, body weight, gender and test conditions. Check and calibrate the equipment as required. Perform a standard warm-up. See more details of pre-test procedures.

test preparation: You do not need to use the performance monitor to perform this test, the stoke rate will be determined by audio cues from the app. To ensure a full stroke is made each time, first make a full stroke then mark the chain at the point it comes out of the unit. This will be the marker to know that a full stroke is made each time.

procedure: As a arm-up, the participant rows for three minutes at 24 strokes/min (females) or 28 strokes/min (males) at any resistance level (this is also for test familiarization and practice keeping time to the beeps). After a rest of one minute, the actual test begins at a stroke rate of 28 strokes/min (females) or 30 strokes/min (males), indicated by audio beeps. Thereafter the stroke rate is increased by one stroke each minute. Ensure the subject reaches the top of the stroke (full extension) with each beep. The test is over when the athlete can no longer keep up with the beeps (e.g. if misses the chain marker more than three times) or when the test is completed.

scoring: On the app, click the stop button when the test ends, to see the predicted VO2max score and a rating level.

target population: rowers

comments: good efficient rowing technique is required for this test to accurately measure aerobic capacity.


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