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5 km Rowing Ergo Test

The 5 km (5000 meters) Rowing Ergo Test is part of the testing for the US marines, as an alternate to the 3-mile run. There is also shorter versions of the ergo test, the 2km and 500m ergo test.

purpose: As an alternative to a running test, it is a test of aerobic fitness with less stress on the lower body.

equipment required: Concept IID rowing ergometer (or equivalent). A specific drag factor needs to be set (see comments below).

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.

procedure: Education and practice is required to ensure correct technique, which will ensure better results and also help prevent injury. Set an appropriate drag factor (see gym staff for advice). Set up the display to show the time and splits. Start from a stationary position, then row continuously for 5 km. The aim of the test is to cover the 5 km in the shortest possible time. Experience has shown that better scores are achieved with an even split rather than starting conservatively and then coming home strong, or going out too fast and not being able to complete the distance.

concept2 rowing ergometer concept 2 rowing ergometer

scoring: Record the time taken to complete the 5000 meters in minutes and seconds. The test may take between 20-30 minutes.

target population: US marines aged 46 years and older.

comments: Good pacing is very important. Too fast a start can lead to increased metabolic acidosis that will have a negative effect on aerobic energy production during the remainder of the test. This could lead to early fatigue and a deterioration in technique. Strong verbal encouragement will help the subject achieve their maximal score.

The Test in Action

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