Strength Training: Studies and why you should Strength Train

In the International Rowing scene, there is roughly an even split of countries; ones that include strength training and ones that do not. 

In this section, we aim to show the science that PROVES Strength training’s benefits and why it should be implemented in every rowing and indoor rowing programme. 

Check out our other page on HOW to implement the exercises and how to structure the programmes.

There are minimal Strength Training studies that are specifically about rowing. There are plenty of other relevant studies on the benefits of strength training in endurance sports that are similar to Rowing. As we know, rowing is a Strength AND Endurance sport that has physiological correlations to other endurance sports.

Rowing studies on Strength training have shown that over a 14 week period, rowers who weight trained improved leg strength and muscular endurance.

Rowing Strength studies show myths against weight training are false, losses in aerobic condition and too much  muscle mass gain are not true.

“Adaptation within the strength-trained muscle including postponed activations of less efficient type 2 fibers, improved neuromuscular efficiency, conversion of fast-twitch type 2 X fibers, and improved musculo-tendinous stiffness. “

Looking at the plethora of studies on the effects of strength training on endurance in cycling we have many studies proving its benefits.

  • This study showed Strength Training improved time to exhaustion by %17, an improvement in work efficiency and an improvement in overall power. However, overall aerobic capacity was not increased.
  • Another study on runners and cyclists showed no improvemen tin VO2 MAX but an improvement in:
    • Exercise economy
    • Anaerobic capacity
    • Lactate threshold
    • Delayed fatigue
    • Max strength 
    • Rate of force development
    • Maximal speed
    • Endurance performance
  • Women only study showed an improvement in 40 minute time trial performance  and a change in use of muscle fibre types, from type 2x before to the more efficient type 2a
  • Another exclusive study looking at masters aged 45-55 showed benefits again. Force endurance and efficiency improved 18 percent in masters group, more than “young group 20-30”. Building an even stronger case for Strength training in older people.

There is an even stronger case for Female and Masters Rowers and Indoor Rowers to implement Strength Training.