A Strength & Conditioning Framework – By Ishan Rawlley-Singh

The Low Back Experience: Part II – By Michael Naperalsky

Elite Rowers Improve Aerobic Capacity and Fat Free Mass with HMB Supplementation – By Joe DeLeo

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Article Summaries

Rawlley-Singh, I., & Wolf, A. (2022). A philosophical approach to aligning strength and conditioning support to a coaches’ performance model: A case study from a national rowing performance programme. International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, 17479541221105454.

The article outlines a framework for strength and conditioning (S&C) support that was aligned to the head coaches’ performance model for a national rowing team in preparation for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic games. The framework identifies areas where the S&C programme supports rowing performance and provides clarity around physical qualities that need to be developed within the weight room to support rowing performance. Articulating the intended outcome explicitly is essential in effective decision-making and establishing the most optimal training method based upon the needs of individual rowers.  

Casey, M. B., Wilson, F., Ng, L., O’Sullivan, K., Caneiro, J. P., O’Sullivan, P. B., … & McGowan, E. (2022). “There’s definitely something wrong but we just don’t know what it is”: A qualitative study exploring rowers’ understanding of low back pain. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport, 25(7).

Researchers conducted interviews with 25 adult senior rowers with a history of low back pain, seeking to understand the rowers’ own perspectives about their injury. The researchers identified key themes across the interviews: athletes had an inadequate understanding of what contributes to low back pain; athletes viewed low back pain as a natural part of rowing participation; athletes emphasized physical methods to deal with their injuries; athletes identified certain risk factors while ignoring others; and athletes sometimes received mixed messages from coaches or medical staff about how to manage their injury. Rowers, coaches, and support staff can use these results to understand how low back pain is seen by rowing athletes and how to create context for this injury in the sport.

Durkalec-Michalski, K., & Jeszka, J. (2015). The efficacy of a β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate supplementation on physical capacity, body composition and biochemical markers in elite rowers: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover study. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 12(1).

Researchers had 16 elite male rowers of the Polish National Rowing Team participate in a double blind placebo controlled crossover study. The rowers consumed 3g/day of HMB or maltodextrin for 12 weeks, followed by a ten day washout period. The rowers then had another 12 weeks consuming either HMB or the placebo. The researchers assessed body composition, aerobic and anaerobic capacity, and blood markers. The rowers had improvements in peak power, aerobic capacity, and time to reach ventilatory threshold. Rowers and coaches can use the results of this study to integrate HMB supplementation into their training and diet to enhance performance.

About Science of Rowing

“Science of Rowing” is a monthly publication created by three dual rowing-and-strength coaches: Will Ruth, Blake Gourley, and Joe DeLeo. Our goal is to move research into practice for coaches and rowers of all ages, types, and levels. We are entirely member-funded and do not promote products or sell advertisements. Members receive one issue each month containing three reviews of recent and applicable research in rowing training, strength training for rowing, and other relevant performance areas like psychology, injury analysis, technology, and more.

Each issue includes video and graphic content to help move the knowledge into practice, as well as a podcast episode of the three of us discussing the takeaways and our experiences. Membership includes access to all prior issues, so join us for one month and get access to every issue. We also offer discounted annual and team memberships, as well as gift memberships for a special rower or coach in your life.