Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Thomas G. Manfredi


The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of two strategically different protocols performed on the Concept II rowing ergometer, on the physiological response and distance/time relationship in men's lightweight race rowing. Ten members of the University of Rhode Island men's lightweight crew team, eight of whom comprised the boat which won the 1984 Dad Vails Small College Championship, and two alternates volunteered for this study. Subjects performed a 3.5 mile "all-out" (AO) rowing protocol designed to simulate the length, duration and strategy of traditional 2000 meter rowing race. Fourty-eight hours later the subjects performed a second 3.5 mile protocol (P), designed to simulate the pacing strategy recommended for most endurance type races. Rowing performance was measured in elapsed time (min:sec) to complete the 3.5 mile protocols. The stroke rate (SR) was evaluated every thirty seconds (s) with the use of a stroke watch, while metabolic efficiency was determined by thirty second calculations of heart rate (HR), absolute oxygen consumption (VO2), relative oxygen consumption (MVO2), ventilatory equivalent (Ve), and respiratory quotient (RQ). Paired T-tests were applied to the forementioned to determine possible significant differences between the two testing protocols.

Total time taken to complete the two testing protocols was not significantly different, and almost identical between the tests. That mean time taken for completion being 379.6 +- 8.13, and 380.3 +- 8.31 seconds in the AO and P protocols, respectively. SR for the AO protocol was significantly higher during the first 30s and significantly lower from the 90s point to completion of the test. HR in the AO test was higher throughout the entire test, reaching significance at the 30s, 150s, and 270s marks. VO2 was also higher throughout the entire AO test, reaching significance through the first 120s, and again at the 240s and 360s marks. The average across all 30s group mean values for SR, HR, absolute and relative V2, VCO2 and a minute volume were significantly higher throughout the AO protocol.

A significant difference was seen between the total energy costs of the two testing protocols, with the AO test cost being significantly higher. These difference, accompanied by almost identical times taken to complete the two tests, suggest that employment of the pacing strategy seen within the P protocol may result in more efficient mechanisms and effective utilization of energy sources in the working muscles, and may result in a greater use of "energy stores" over the last several hundred meters of 2000 meter race rowing.