Monitoring of performance and training in rowing

Sports Med. 2005;35(7):597-617. doi: 10.2165/00007256-200535070-00005.


Rowing is a strength-endurance type of sport and competition performance depends on factors such as aerobic and anaerobic power, physical power, rowing technique and tactics. Therefore, a rower has to develop several capacities in order to be successful and a valid testing battery of a rower has to include parameters that are highly related to rowing performance. Endurance training is the mainstay in rowing. For the 2000 m race, power training at high velocities should be preferred to resistance training at low velocities in order to train more specifically during the off-season. The specific training of the international rower has to be approximately 70% of the whole training time. Several studies have reported different biochemical parameters for monitoring the training of rowers. There is some evidence that plasma leptin is more sensitive to training volume changes than specific stress hormones (e.g. cortisol, testosterone, growth hormone). In rowing, the stress hormone reactions to training volume and/or intensity changes are controversial. The Recovery-Stress Questionnaire for Athletes measures both stress and recovery, and may therefore be more effective than the previously used Borg ratio scale or the Profile of Mood States, which both focus mainly on the stress component. In the future, probably the most effective way to evaluate the training of rowers is to monitor both stress and recovery components at the same time, using both psychometric data together with the biochemical and performance parameters.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Exercise Tolerance / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Monitoring, Physiologic*
  • Physical Education and Training
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • Sports / physiology*
  • Sports Medicine*