Sport specific performance diagnosis in rowing: An incremental graded exercise test in coxless pairs

B. Coen*, A. Urhausen, W. Kinderrnann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


The aim of the present study was to develop and validate an incremental graded exercise test performed in the rowing boat (coxless pair) in order to give specific performance evaluation data. Furthermore, an attempt was made to transfer these data to training recommendations. Thirty-four female rowers of national and international level performed a 4 × 6 min incremental graded exercise test (GXTboat) in coxless pairs on a lake (6 km, no wind, no waves). The boat velocity on the water (V; measured by a speedometer PACE COACH®) was increased continuously from 3.55 m × s-1 to 4.03 m × s-1. The individual anaerobic threshold (IAT) was determined by means of the lactate (LA) kinetics during and after exercise. Within 28 days all subjects performed a rowing ergometry test (GXT ergo; Gjessing rowing ergometer: 40 watts increments every 3 min) as well as 70 min of constant endurance training in the boat in moderate velocity (ET; n = 10 pairs because of changing weather conditions). Results for V/LA/HR at 1AT are: GXTboat: 3.84 ± 0.10 m × s-1/2. 44 ± 0.66 mmol × l-1/172 ± 11 min-1; GXTergo: 206 ± 10 watts/2.53 ± 0.40 mmol × l -1/171 ± 10 min-1 (means ± SD). The Spearman rank order test showed significant correlations for HR (p < 0.001) and the mean performances of the coxless pairs (p < 0.05). A 5% lower V during ET lead to a 10% lower HR and a 30% lower LA compared to the values at IAT. In conclusion, both a performance specific evaluation and velocity oriented control of training are possible by means of a 4 x 6 min incremental graded exercise test in coxless pairs. However, this test on the water requires almost perfect weather conditions. The HR recommendations based on GXT ergo were confirmed during GXTboat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)428-432
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Control of training
  • Incremental graded exercise
  • Individual anaerobic threshold
  • Performance evaluation
  • Rowing


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