Real-time feedback on mechanical power output: Facilitating crew rowers’ compliance with prescribed training intensity

Lotte L. Lintmeijer*, A. J. Knoek Van Soest, Freek S. Robbers, Mathijs J. Hofmijster, Peter J. Beek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Athletes require feedback in order to comply with prescribed training programs designed to optimize their performance. In rowing, current feedback parameters on intensity are inaccurate. Mechanical power output is a suitable objective measure for training intensity, but due to movement restrictions related to crew rowing, it is uncertain whether crew rowers are able to adjust their intensity based on power-output feedback. The authors examined whether rowers improve compliance with prescribed power-output targets when visual real-time feedback on power output is provided in addition to commonly used feedback. Methods: A total of 16 crew rowers rowed in 3 training sessions. During the first 2 sessions, they received commonly used feedback, followed by a session with additional power-output feedback. Targets were set by their coaches before the experiment. Compliance was operationalized as accuracy (absolute difference between target and delivered power output) and consistency (high- and low-frequency variations in delivered power output). Results: Multilevel analyses indicated that accuracy and low-frequency variations improved by, respectively, 65% (P > .001) and 32% (P = .024) when additional feedback was provided. Conclusion: Compliance with power-output targets improved when crew rowers received additional feedback on power output. Two additional observations were made during the study that highlighted the relevance of power-output feedback for practice: There was a marked discrepancy between the prescribed targets and the actually delivered power output by the rowers, and coaches had difficulties perceiving improvements in rowers’ compliance with power-output targets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-309
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
Volume14
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019

Keywords

  • Biomechanics
  • Coaching
  • Energetics
  • Rowing

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