Wondering how to improve performance on that rowing machine at your gym? If so, then who better to give some tips than the U.S. Men's Eight Olympic Rowing team. We visited the team two weeks ago in Princeton, NJ, where it was finishing up its last two days of training in nearly 100-degree heat before heading off to London. Besides enlisting photographer John Loomis to document the last day of the team's stateside practice in this series of Web-exclusive photos (with additional outtakes of our interviews with the athletes), we also asked each member of the Men's Eight for a few tips on rowing better, both on the indoor rowing machine (also known as an ergometer, or "erg"), and on the water. (Loomis also took pictures of seat 2's Grant James demonstrating most of the tips in the erg room at the Princeton Boat House.) Launch Gallery >>
The erg has its advantages.
Unless you belong to a rowing club and have time in the mornings or afternoons – not to mention a crew of other rowers – your rowing workouts are most likely going to end up on the erg most of the time. It may not offer as much fresh air and scenery as rowing on water, but the controlled environment of a fixed device in an indoor space does a big plus. "People tend to say the rowing machine is just for strength and not technique and that's not true," says Steve Kasprzyk, a 30-year-old former swimmer who switched to rowing while studying at Drexel University and tends to hit the erg five times a week when he's training. "Practicing your technique on a rowing machine is a better place to work on the simple aspects of the stroke, because when you're out on the boat, a million things are happening at once – you're trying to follow the guy in front of you and the boat's flopping all over the place."
U.S. Men's Eight Photo Gallery (Web-Exclusive outtakes from the photo shoot by John Loomis)
Credit: Photograph by John Loomis